Jocko Podcast 204 w/ Dick Thompson: Don't Sign Up For SOG.

this is Jocko podcast number 204 with Echo Charles and me Jocko Willick good evening echo good evening by virtue of the authority vested in me as president of the United States and as commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the United States I have today awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for extraordinary heroism to the studies and observations group military assistance command the studies and observation group is cited for extraordinary heroism great combat achievement and unwavering fidelity while executing unheralded top-secret missions deep behind enemy lines across Southeast Asia incorporating volunteers from all branches of the armed forces and especially US Army Special Forces SOGs ground air and sea units fought efficiently denied actions which contributed immeasurably to the American war effort in Vietnam matvey SOG reconnaissance teams composed of Special Forces soldiers and indigenous personnel penetrated the enemy’s most dangerous redoubts in the jungle Laotian wilderness and the sanctuaries of eastern Cambodia pursued by human trackers and even bloodhounds these small teams outmaneuvered out fought and outran their numerically superior foe to uncover key enemy facilities rescue down pilots plant wire traps mines and electronic sensors capture valuable enemy prisoners ambush convoys discover and assess targets for b-52 strikes and inflict casualties all out of proportion to their own losses when enemy countermeasures became dangerously effective SOG operators innovated their own counters from high-altitude parachuting and unusual explosive devices to tactics as old as the French and Indian War fighting alongside their Mountain yard Chinese nung Cambodian and Vietnamese allies special forces LED Hatchett forces companies and platoons staged daring raids against key enemy facilities in Laos and Cambodia / ran major munitions and supplies stockpiles and blocked enemy highways to choke off the flow of supplies to South Vietnam SOGs cross-border operations proved an effective economy of force compelling the the Vietnamese the North Vietnamese Army to divert 50 thousand soldiers to rear air D security details from far from the battlefields of South Vietnam supporting these hazardous missions were SOGs own u.s. and South Vietnamese Air Force transport and helicopter squadrons along with US Air Force forward air controllers and helicopter units of the US Army and US Marine Corps these courageous aviators often flew through heavy fire to extract sog operators from seemingly hopeless situations saving lives by selflessly risking their own SOGs Vietnamese naval surface forces instructed and advised by US Navy SEALs boldly raided North Vietnam’s coast and one surface victories against the North Vietnamese Navy while indigenous agent teams penetrated the very heartland of North Vietnam despite casualties that sometimes became universal SOGs operators never wavered but fought throughout the war with the same flare fidelity and intrepidity that distinguished SOG from its beginning the studies and observations groups combat prowess martial skills and unacknowledged sacrifices saved many American lives and provide a paragon for America’s future Special Operations Forces signed the President of the United States George Walker Bush and that is the Presidential Unit Citation presented for those that served in Mac V SOG the studies and observation group in Vietnam and for those of you that don’t know what the Presidential Unit Citation is it’s an award that is given to whole units who and this is this is the way they describe it I quote display gallantry determination and esprit de corps that sets them apart from other units and you have heard about SOG on this podcast before first

from John Stryker Meyer otherwise known as tilt and he was on podcast 180 181 and 182 and then from his comrade-in-arms the late great hero Doug the Frenchman Letourneau and it is an honor for us tonight to have another sock warrior here Henry dick Thompson code named dynamite and later known as The Terminator who served as a SOG one one and as a one zero and then continued on with 21 years in the Army eventually retiring and having a whole nother career as a leadership consultant author and speaker mr. Thompson and I know I should probably say dr. Thompson because I know you’ve got your PhD as well if the in case everything else was enough sir welcome to the program thank you for coming on thank you for having me looking forward to it so let’s start at the beginning on a little town called Valhalla not far from Clemson University and and what what years what you report 1947 1947 so you kind of grew up in the 50s yeah pretty and and then were you were you at a military family or anything like that my father yeah my father was world war ii and korea my mother had five brothers Oh World War two one was killed so I was around it you know white from the start because I you know family was together a lot so had a lot of discussion you know about the war and things that were going on and I was always asking questions and how do you do this and how do you do that and how do you organize so I was interested you know right from the beginning and your dad was in world war ii and korea what was his job in the military what branch was in infantry so and he did work with the Rangers for a while and World War two hey would you hear him would he deep brief you all the types of operations that he did and war two in Korea some of it he didn’t talk a whole lot about exactly what he did but he would talk in general about what was going on about the kinds of operations and things so what theater did you fight him he was in Germany most of the time in that area so anyway how long was he in the army for I I mean was about four years and then he got out and then when Korea came along then they called him back in and that’s really where I started to hear about it because I was old enough by then to hear people talk about Korea and about the war and I would you know he would write letters home and talk about how deep the mud was or how cold it was and things like that so I was hearing about the war you know firsthand and then so and were you thinking I’m going in the military I was probably four or five when I started thinking about that and interestingly enough I I did found find my old log book because I also got interested in the Rangers I wanted to Ranger when I went in so I found a log book that I created when you know I was about nine or so when I created it I had all the members of our Ranger company listed which was primarily my cousins but you know we had some other people we’ve recruited in and we had the journal a lot of things that we did people who got promoted people who might court-martial so were you guys doing night raids and stuff and we spent a lot of time in the woods I grew up in the woods you know when I was five years old when I get a chance I’d go off in woods by myself I would go play attract animals I’d listen to the sounds I’d learn how to move by the time I was six I had a army pup tent and I would take up on top of the hill in the woods put it up sleep up there by myself that night take some eggs and stuff with me I build a little fire you know cook as I got a little older and had my BB gun take out some birds roast them over the fire so doing things like that that I

thought Rangers did you the the six-year-old Ranger now company commander getting after it well the log books at general Thompson that works and then what about high school did you play sports football on track how was your athletic capability I was better than average on the team I wasn’t you know college material but you know because I was relatively small but I could hit really hard in my senior year they even moved me from running back to defensive in which I was on a line that weighed over 200 pounds and I was 140 you didn’t want to come around my in my other skill was you know it was very fast so when the quarterback had dropped back he’d see me in his face because I could get there really quickly and then sir when you graduated high school did you did you know you were going to college or what was your plan yeah I started college and after about a year and a half you know Vietnam was going hot and heavy you saw it on the news every night were year to graduate high school 65 okay so yeah I from what I can tell because I wasn’t alive then but from what I can tell the the battle the I drank Valley was in 1965 and that was kind of where the real hey we’re we’re in combat all the time now it seems to have that seems to be the pivot point that’s noticeable when you look at it historically well that’s that was when I think we discovered the North Vietnamese had a real army mmm and they were very good much better than anybody thought at the time and over the next few years I mean you you could place them probably in the top four in the world in terms of armies plus we were fighting in their backyard they knew the terrain they knew how to operate deer they didn’t stop they just keep coming their biggest disadvantage was they didn’t have the technology that we did they didn’t have air superiority and just a lot of things they didn’t have that held them back or it would have been much worse than it was so it’s 1965 is that’s when you said you graduated high school right and when you graduate high school you go to college where’d you go to college University South Carolina and then you said it was like a year and a half to do what you end up doing well I I made a decision that what I wanted to do is take a break from school because Vietnam was going on I felt an obligation you know to go do something do my part and actually was on my way to the Marine recruiter because that’s who you saw on TV every night but stop by the army recruiter who was next door just to see what they had to offer so I went with the army and I knew that would give me a chance to do the Rangers if I decided that’s what I wanted to do by then I was also a chemist about 13 I developed a passion for chemistry so in addition to all the outdoor stuff you know I was I set up my own laboratory in the barn at home I spent all my money on chemicals and I know you like this but back in the day back in the day you could go into a pharmacy and buy all kinds of things I mean you could buy you know nitric acid you know I mean just unbelievable of chemicals you know you could buy particularly if you got your mother to sign for you say yeah it’s okay to let him have that stuff and I would stock my my lab with it and do all kinds of experiments I I was getting close maybe to a successful brain exchange between birds and frogs I could get it in the air I just couldn’t get them you know to start breathing again afterwards so I have a lot of that sounds close yeah yeah anyway so were you studying chemistry in college yes yeah I went to school on a chemist a scholarship the intent was to be you know get a doctorate in chemistry and be a researcher but then I decided to take the break do three years in the army and then come back and finish the degree so it so is it 1967 now one in 67 so it’s 1967 how strong was were the sentiments in America against the war years know in 67 very stone so that was already there yeah what about in South Carolina oh not as much as some of the

other parts of the country you know but it was still there it wasn’t something that everyone thought we should be doing mm-hmm and what about your dad who had seen combat in World War two and in Korea how did he feel about going he supported it my mother doesn’t you know she wanted anything just go on I’m just taking a three-year but I’ll come back and finish the doctorate and everything he’ll be fine she said no you want so what I’ll be back unfortunately when I got in they started talking about man you got to go to everyone school you need to be airborne and they said you need to go to sea yes yeah you need to be an officer so at what point so you go to boot camp right and is it boot camp where they’re like looking at you going hey we need airborne soldiers yeah there was at a pretty easy pathway to get to I yes it was I mean they they ask you day one when you go into an induction Center you don’t want volunteer to be airborne my response was no that’s not what I’m here for it but then once I got into you know boot camp I ate that stuff up did you still so when you were when you when you went in what was the predominant part of your brain that was functioning was it hey I’m gonna do three years serve my country and looked for a job that’ll be similar to being a chemist or was the primary part of your brain that was functioning was the I wanted to be a ranger and and go get after it it was when I first entered first couple of days it was you know three years I’m out go back to school be a chemist I guess it was maybe the first morning we were in the barracks and you know about 3:30 or 4 o’clock the lights come on somebody started yelling and screaming and hollering to get out of the out of bed fall in you know get in the formation in front of the box and then I hear you know when double box I hear him start crashing onto the floor then I jump out and I look and here’s this guy smaller than me and he was big you know smokey the bear had on a Ranger tab Wow and everybody there jumped one night guy said to do you something I said okay I need to start rethinking here there’s gotta be something innate in men to do that just that’s just what happens you see that you go guess I’m in for that yeah I mean this guy was impressive and you know that brought back all the ranger stuff and it started to override the chemistry you know so then then we get out we were on the firing range you know and I was an expert marksman before ever you know went in so I’d max out two marks in the show and you know good physical condition so everything they were doing I could do and I learned it really fast one night I was on CQ duty I had to work in the orderly room but the person who was there all night and I saw this book laying on the table I was fpm 22 – 100 drill and ceremonies and I picked it up and I started looking at it and I thought this tells you everything about you know right face left face when to call the command all this I said it’s all written out right here I mean if I had this book the last couple of weeks so I read the book that night no I read pretty fast the next day I could see the mistakes that the drill sergeants are making and I made the mistake one time while pointing it out so you know I get to work on my triceps and packs a little bit as I pushed push for it going a little bit closer then China but um my family just self was already down you can give me access to it I’ll learn it and so I was the put in charge of my patent as a platoon guide because you know physically mentally everything I was doing great I had a good time and then you volunteer was it did you have a job designated when you went in where you were you’re gonna be infantry when you went in there I was going into chemical so oh so the chemistry brain was legitimately winning when you went in that was for a few days and then and then did you change your your specialty to infantry yeah you walked in and said yeah hey I know I showed up to be a chemist but I want to carry a machine gun maybe how hard was it to do that not

hard at all because I was so fired up I love the things that we were doing and I figured I can do this for three years and I can still go back and do be a chemist if I want to but they let you change they let you study said okay cool hey if you want to change the infantry during that time there was no problem no problem anybody that would volunteer for that I mean you got it right away and then next up how did you volunteer for Airborne School same thing yeah I mean I just had an opportunity to volunteer well after boot camp you go to in my case I want the advanced infantry training AI so yeah so you you know in there you’re volunteering for different things so I volunteered you know for OCS I volunteered to go to Airborne School so I went to OCS first and they sent you to OCS even though you hadn’t completed college yes and they didn’t care not at that time they’re like hey you’re smart lieutenants were getting killed so fast I mean they couldn’t produce lieutenants fast enough I you know lieutenant had a life expectancy of about a day and a half in Vietnam so you know that was easy to get in and you know I did that I did you know really well and I would say yes so it was easy when I said okay I want to go to Airborne School and I want to go Special Forces so you made that decision as well yeah now what about being going from officers to Special Forces was there any challenge and making that happen or was it still just open wide open they took me right in yeah okay you know I done well I I got accepted to that you know so I had to know he had to go sport 1920 so you’re 19 years old you have a year and a half of college you’re an officer in the army going to special forces airborne and this is all distracting you to go to Vietnam yeah and you’re on that track place I’m gonna go ahead well it’s gonna say when you so airborne school you know is airborne school I went to everyone scores lucky lucky enough to have been in the Navy when we still went to Fort Benning Georgia and an Airborne School but what about Special Forces school as you were going through that what was your impression of what was going on what was the instruction like how well was that preparing you from your perspective for what we were going to be doing in Vietnam I think it did a it didn’t prepare me for SOG necessarily it gave me a lot of the basics Special Forces is not just about going in and conducting a raid or something like that it’s really about going in and working with the people we did a lot of training on insurgencies our governments are overthrown different things like that so particularly since I was an officer I was on the officer track so we were doing a lot of the bigger picture staff plus officers get trained and all of the primary skill sets of Special Forces whereas if you’re enlisted coming coming out of the qualification training you go to be a weapon specialist there to be a medic or whatever you go into a specialty area officers have to be trained in all of them so that you understand what the people are talking about if you’re going to lead them so I enjoyed that did well in it volunteered for Ranger School then you went to Ranger School after went to Ranger School after so a lot of harassment and my Ranger buddy and I you know we’ve been together forever so we go there it was that Bob yeah that was Bob and we have to you have to go knock on the door to get in to report in to Ranger School and you can’t knock on the door hard enough so Bob and I got back and ran into it and just knocked it off and then reported in you know the instructors that’s there he looked to us he looked down to the paper and he told the other guy that was with him he said we’ve got to snake eaters here we’re gonna have to keep an eye on him to make sure they don’t crap in the street out there or something you know it went downhill from there because then it became Ranger school kind of became a tug of war between yourself and and the Rangers so every time you did something if they dropped you for push-ups I mean you then you had to do one more for the big Ranger in the sky so Bob and I would do for the big Ranger in the sky and too for the big SF trooper looks over the big ranger you know then they put it back down again so you know it we tried to have as much fun in Ranger school as we could yeah that’s it it was tough and being

able to put a little humor in it as you went along now was Ranger School in terms of preparation for what you’re gonna be doing in SOG a little bit closer yes because now you’re doing light infantry Wow it’s it’s really infantry but it’s patrolling operations raid ambushes you know those kinds of things that we’re doing in SOG in fact you know when I first got to SOG when I went in with with my group everybody that I arrived with went to what they called a 1-0 school the SOG team leader school and I’m standing there and everybody else is walking away as what about me and you don’t need to go to 1-0 school you’re a ranger you’re going to a team tomorrow you’ll be on a team so what point did you hear about SOG you heard rumors you know when you s F at Fort Bragg every once in a while somebody would mentioned the term SOG and you’d what is that what do they get home and stop secret you know nobody can tell you what it is but they really do some really cool missions I mean that’s the elite but but nobody can tell you what really do so so you you Hamlet this all the schooling must have taken what two years for you to get through all the schooling year-and-a-half at this point probably year and a half and when you get done with Ranger School you finally check into a Special Forces Group no I don’t really we were in there was a little in earlier before Ranger school so we were already assigned to an a-team Toby team I was already targeted toward Africa and actually in mission preparation to deploy to Africa for a mission that we’re going on there but I had volunteered to I had put in the paperwork to go to Vietnam so right after Ranger school that came through and you went to all these schools with your friend Bob yeah how did you know him where did you guys meet we met and advanced infantry training right off the bat so I mean it was it was unreal we just every school we had the same interest so I mean we went to every school together you know the whole time where was he from California okay but you guys just hit it off yeah you guys were both had the same boy head that same mindset we’re gonna do it so then what so so you get your orders changed and was that hard to do again I mean hey if there’s if there’s a choice in the military if there’s a tourist between sending someone to Africa or sending them to Vietnam at that time Vietnam was going to win it’ll always want out so as long as you wanted to take the hardest jobs and do the toughest things there’s pretty easy to go that path will end up for ya the army will accommodate you yeah so all right let’s get let’s head over to Vietnam when you show up there I remember tilt saying they kind of showed up in Vietnam and they said hey who wants to volunteer now for SOG is that what happened to you did you already volunteer knew no or you were going I knew is going to special forces I knew it give a Special Forces assignment and then when when we got there there was a guy who was already there working in a Mike force but he was there in the train and so we linked up with him we went to a bar that night and you know he kind of updated us on things that were going on and one of the things he said was I’m tomorrow toward the end of the day one of the last things they’re going to do is they’re gonna ask you if you wanted to volunteer for SOG and he said whatever you do don’t do it just tell them no they’ll say thank you and you know you move on to your special forces assignment so the next day towards the end of the day where Bob and I are sitting in the office waiting to go in to see Colonel Jones or whatever and he said what are you gonna do and I said I’ll make my decision you have to make yours yeah this is not a joint decision on this thing you know so I went in and he asked me about SOG told me just a little bit and then said you know if you want to do that you have to sign a bunch of papers here you volunteering for six months basically go anywhere to do anything and you said you got to understand I’m saying anything okay and then you know you have to sign this other thing you can’t tell anybody for 20 years you know what you do stuff like that so

I volunteered he sent me out the back door and brought Bob in the other door I went back over until the little bar to meet up with her friend and I came walking in he said you did it I can see it on your face said you are a dead man walking I told you not to do that and you know when Bob showed up it was the same way you could say I knew he’s gonna do it but yeah so now you too so that that was the attitude was the casualty rate was so high in SOG that when someone volunteered for it it was like they were a dead man walking I mean the chances of survival if you ended up on a team if you want to you know a staff position that’s a little different but if you were on a team you new men are you gonna get wounded did you and did you you knew that obviously somebody is this what the guy that was telling you don’t don’t go to SOG he said don’t go to saw because you’re gonna get wounded or you’re gonna get killed there’s guaranteed most likely you’re gonna get killed he said there’s the highest casualty rate in Vietnam is there those guys don’t survive I’m not sure exactly what they do but they don’t survive you got something you got one note in the notes you gave me it just says blackbirds so we had to fly from the train to des nein the next day because if you’re going to SOG began you had to go to de name so when we go to the airfield they take us to a restricted area of the airfield and the the c-130s and 123’s that came into that part of the airfield were black he said well that’s that’s a little different than everything else and you get on on the aircraft and there are no seats there seat belts on the floor so the plane is gutted except for the front end and there’s a line up there that says do not go beyond this line classified area so something was happening in the front of those planes that we were not allowed to to go see so we sat on the floor and you know we fly up there and we get off escort picks us out and he says there’ll be a bus here to pick you up in a few minutes to take you or to CCU and so there’s school bus like thing shows up that’s black the windows are shot out they must have been 200 bullet holes in the bus and you know we’re looking at the bus thinking oh geez why did we gotten into the guy driving the bus he said we’ll leave in a few minutes we’re picking up a team here today – and I what happened to the bus and he said well there’s a pass that we have to go through and we get ambushed there sometimes so the main thing for you you to to remember is if you know the stuff starts you get on the floor of the bus and do whatever the team tells you they’ll take care of everything you just do what they tell you if you want to live and we think man that’s not looking good we might not even get there so but we did and we got there what was it did you guys pick up a team I know when we first got there you know it was late afternoon they assigned us to a bunk and told us that we would get briefed the next morning and what we were gonna do and told us this yeah we’ve got something eating a mouse all relaxed there’d be a movie showing that night and or thing I’m gonna leave so that they had constructed some kind of like bleachers that in this little open area held up a few sheets of plywood and had a movie projector and they would get movies from somewhere and they would show a movie out there so we went let’s go watch the movie and behind that screen was a marble mountain which juts up out of the sand 450 feet just out of nowhere this thing is jutting up there and there’s two peaks each peak up there has a combat outpost on it because it’s the bad guys you know got up there they could shoot right down into the compound so we’re watching the movie and all of a sudden red and green tracers are going here I mean it’s just crisscross and popping I’m starting to hit the ground and everybody else just watching the movie okay last one guys what’s going on he’s don’t worry about that happens every night he said every night thank God to get the guys off to combat outposts and you know we put on a little light show up there it’ll be fine they won’t they don’t shoot down here

because they getting shot at and they shoot back at those people Wow that’s so so then what happens you when everyone else got sent to 1-0 school did Bob get sent to 1-0 school or is he the same as you well before before they the next morning we got our briefing we went into the to the headquarters into the briefing room and you know the colonel came in and said okay let me let me tell you what sock is about let me tell you what you’re going to be doing and he uncovered some maps on the wall and started talking about the kinds of missions that we would be going on and you know we would be put on teams and we’d be leading those missions and he kind of explained that you know we had three major areas he had the northern area which was ceasing in there but the forward operational base was up in Phu Bai and so he explained where the the different camps were and then after that he you know he told me I’d be going to lob one up north Bob would be going down to central down around Kahn – you know so we went our different ways at that point did uh when he started brief you on what the missions consisted of did you did you have any was your guests anywhere close to that did you do you have any idea and say yeah that’s probably what I thought we would be doing was it close I had heard rumors that maybe they operated outside of the Vietnam you know so they didn’t surprise me that much when he started talking about the countries we’re going to actually go into the kinds of missions didn’t surprise me too much I mean a few of them did but for the most part it was wow this is pretty cool that’s crazy but he’s pretty cool did he talk to you at all about casualty rates or anything no no all right so so then what happens you get a sign yeah so I want to fop Wynette Phu by with a group of other people and we got here they grab the everybody but me and said you know you guys are going to 1-0 school so a week-long course to teach them how to be a leader small team in the jungle there are a few things that they’ve probably got that I hadn’t done already but not much so I was assigned are told I’d be assigned a team the next morning told me to go report over to the supply room they had a mission for me first that I needed to do so when I got there they told me that we had had some casualties and that their personal effects had to be inventoried you know by an officer before they could be sent home so he said you know their duffel bags are in there you know if you just dump them out go through them and look for anything that might be classified a map or anything like that if there’s any correspondence in there read it make sure it doesn’t say anything about any of the missions if there are pictures you know get all the pictures out so pretty well you know sterilizer their gear so the first bag I picked up when I read the name I thought well you know I know him so this is a guy that you know we had run around with some at Bragg’s already in Ewing and he came over and you know about a month before me and now I’m into his stuff so I kind of got my attention at the casualty rate you know probably was pretty high here but then the next day I was you know a scientist as one one assistant team leader and you know we started mission prep to get ready to go out but who was the team leader sergeant deck so it’s very cool that even though you were an officer you were gonna be a second-in-command no one no one was gonna walk into a team regardless of you rank and just you know say I’m here and I’m the team leader you had regardless of you rank you had to go out as an assistant or or lower and learn how to lead a team learn what’s going on out there and eventually get checked off by the team leader he would you know like sergeant deck had to say okay Thompson can lead a team now that put me put me on the list to take over the next team you know that was available so what did the team consists of myself and you

know I mean sergeant deck myself and another American and then you know we had probably nine indigenous members on the team and who were the first ended what kind of ended crimes the first screw where they Vietnamese really Vietnamese and then did you or did you go through any training protocol to be ready for your first mission or what will change do I mean they’ll just we’ve started training right away once I was a sign you know deck grabbed me up and started talking to me this is what you got to do here’s what I’m looking for here’s where we’re going what we’re going to do we took the team out we started doing immediate action drills and in preparation for what we were going to do on the mission how long did you guys have the train before you guys warm out on your first mission I it was it was probably eight to ten days before we actually went out so I had a little time to get to know the team better to learn all the the drills and the way they did things what was the level of English speaking for your industry not very good for the interpreter and the others they understood some words you know the common words that you would use get down stop you know things like that that you used all the time but I mean that you couldn’t carry on the conversation and what was your how good was your level of focus during this time I imagine you must have been just as focused as a human being could get I mean this is real I saw totally focus nothing else oh my in fact we had a we had a little Theatre in the air at Phu Bai had a little top on it so if it rained we didn’t get wet but some old benches we were sailing on a piece of plywood the movie was on I’m sorry I went to a movie after a couple days they had one I went to the movie that even I’m sitting here and I hear this loud pal when the guy next to me falls off on the ground I’m thinking yeah because we’re sitting outside we just have a little top-off and he falls over on the ground getting the shoulder Wow didn’t matter where you are that puts a downer on ya I wasn’t that much in the movie all right so now what’s the first mission that you guys get assigned I’m they were doing some testing who among other things then in addition to just sending his own admission they were trying to figure out what was the best time to put a team on the ground should you put them in right at first light so when you get off the aircraft you can move out and head to wherever you’re going to go you you’re getting away from the LZ quickly you know because they the bad guys that figure out G of being inserted nice to come out and start looking for you Orin was the best way to do it go in at last light so it’s dark you get off the LZ you set up and you’re remain overnight position and then head out at first light so the NVA or tractors are coming after you then they were having to do it in the dark so our team had been selected to be a last light insertion to see how that worked so you know and I had already been briefed on some things like we go in high we go in 3,000 feet or so when we’re flying to the LZ to aboard the small orange fire coming up at us and then when you get out there to the nativity LZ he’s going to Bank the aircraft on the side and he’s gonna put it in auto-rotate and it’s just gonna fall out of the sky in a spiral until he gets to where he wants to make his short final coming into the LZ and then you’ll put the power back on and slow it down and we’ll come in I was not quite prepared for that I mean I I understood the concept what he was saying but I didn’t realize that when he put that thing in auto-rotate I wasn’t gonna be sitting on anything and then I was on the side that it was turned toward so I’m just hanging out the air in the air holding onto the side of the aircraft looking down 3,000 feet and saying this is not good you know my stomach’s up in my throat and it’s like a thrill ride at the fair or something and this thing that’s appalling and I’m I’m just trying to hang on and stay in there so we spiral into em we come around and coming in on a short final it’s on the ridge line and they had dropped it was called a daisy cutter 2000 pound bomb to blow a hole in the canopy big enough that we could set the

helicopter down and we’re coming in we’re flying over a little pond on the ridgeline and I’m you know climbing out on the skid of the helicopter myself and the other American the team leaders on the other side thought we’re climbing out on the skid and I’m thinking man I mean we’re going really slow and I’m just a sitting target I mean they could just knock me off of this thing any time that’s a night not good so we come up and we had to literally go straight down into the bomb crater so the pilots trying not to clip trees as we’re setting down is just getting dark and we’re going in and myself and the other guy or on the skid and we’re close enough and he slowed down enough I said okay this is it we’re gonna have to jump on you know down into the bomb crater I bent my knees to jump and just as I did I saw that as god pop up on my right by 10 feet you know coming off to the side with an ak-47 and just instantly instead of jumping I push back jump back up on the edge as I look out there just as I jump up you know he opens up with the a K and then the bullets come right across where my legs were but now I’ve moved and they hit you know the other American on the other side of me hit him in the legs so he starts to fall so I’m grabbing the back of his harness with my left hand and I put a half a magazine in the guy you know that’s like there I hold him down and I managed to jerk you know the the other guy up onto the floor of the helicopter and then I could turn and put it you know I can just see muzzle flashes right in front of me so I put the other half of the magazine there so now an empty you know and when when we go in when you go in you would have gunships who would come in alongside you so in case something happens so we’re in a full-fledged ambush now all the way around us to cope or gunships open up with their many guns 4,000 rounds a minute coming in looking like two hose pipes just spraying red water all around us and what you know a lot of people don’t realize is bullets don’t just hit the ground and going to ground the ricochet they bounced all over the place and if there are trees there they’re giving trees they’re going around so I’m trying to pull him I’m trying to pull him back up inside the helicopter got the door gunner on my side full blast the the Cobras coming in and they’re also shooting forty millimeter grenades at 250 a minute so we’ve got that going on I got two team members behind me using me for cover so I’ve got a muzzle on each side of my head right here I’m getting powder burns and you know from the muzzle flashes coming out of there I got hot brass coming from them coming from the door gunner who went all over means the floor is now covered with blood blood squirting out of his legs and and I my magazine is empty so I’m trying to get the magazine out of my my pants that had guided him and you know one of the things I talk about and you know was the stress book is that when your stress level gets really high you lose your fine motor coordination things that you can do very easily when you’re not stressed just don’t work for you anymore so I’m trying I’m having trouble getting the magazine out of the pouch to start with I finally get it out and then I can’t get it in the weapon and I’m I’m sitting there and I’m just seeing hundreds and hundreds of bullets and tracers coming green tracers criss-crossing inside the aircraft so hearing tracers criss-crossing inside the aircraft there she just explained to everybody that doesn’t know what that means that’s insane that means that enemy bullets in Vietnam the the Americans and used red tracers and the enemy used green tracers and unfortunately it’s not really like that anymore everybody uses red tracers and and I that was what was like for us and in Iraq and I had some guys hit me up and said it’s the same thing to have to understand very rarely would they see green tracers but for enemy tracers to be criss-crossing inside of your helicopter and this is a Huey right yeah this is not a small this is this is not a big aircraft this is a tiny aircraft you’re hacked in there so four rounds to be criss-crossing inside that thing green tracers that is completely insane I was thinking that myself it’s a little voice in the back of my head is saying yeah you know this is crazy not only that but I am NOT happy I mean

this is my first mission and I’m gonna die on my first I mean you know what kind of deal is this I came over here to do something so that little voice is going on back there and the other one this is this is like 15 seconds into your first mission yeah I mean it’s right there ricochets going all over the place from from the the covers and things and you know I the other guy is rolling around screaming holding his leg and you know the blood squirting around and you’re also hearing this metallic clang just clang clang with the bullets hitting the helicopter and you know you you’re thinking to if this thing is going to go down we’re going to end up in this bomb crater right there so all of that’s going on I finally managed to get the other magazine you know in so then I can start to shoot at you know the muzzle flashes that I’m seeing and you know the second time I go to reload I was a little better with that one got it in there a little faster the aircraft starting to really vibe right now because he’s trying to lift up you know out of that little hole in the canopy so I’m thinking at least we’re trying to start up but this stuff is still coming it’s still hitting us and you’ve got to you know covers making more raids and now what’s also happening I can’t really see it but the a1e Skyraiders that are out there on station with us they give us some protection they’re starting to drop 500-pound bombs just a little ways from us because those little dance crew Hut’s that I saw out there as we were spiraling in turned out to have tanks underneath them so they had just put that stuff around and make them look like a you know a little hoots but really it was tanks that when the tank started moving you know the sky Raiders went after them and so you got all the bombing and strafing of those guys going on you got the gunships hitting all sheeting all around us we’re trying to come out and eventually we managed to get up out of that hole the fire just shifted now the tracers going up but as we pulled away from it then you know that fire stopped because now the Cobras really opened up you know on the ambush site and I look across at sergeant deck setting over on the other side and he looks at me with a big grin on his face and giving me a thumbs up I don’t think Oh what’s wrong with this guy so I mean he was so excited I mean he thought that was the coolest thing and I’m saying I mean almost died this was my my first time I experienced a level of fear that I didn’t know existed I mean I tried to imagine a lot about you know what’s it like you know when people start shooting at you know of course she’s gonna be a little anxious so what is it gonna be I had no clue I couldn’t even imagine a level of fear like that but you know fortunately I was able to control that part of the fee I could still shoot it didn’t stop me from returning fire and doing what I needed to do but yeah it scared me having noticed two weapons right next in my head I mean my high-frequency hearing was steadily going away permanently getting burned you know with with the muzzle flashes coming out of there killed my first two people for sure the guy down below and the first guy shot that it’s in the tree because I saw him come out I know I took those two out and I hit several others saved the first Americans life because if he had fallen in the crater it had been gone a second later and we’d have both jumped in that crater and we were both being gone that’s bad tactics on their part right they should have held for another two seconds they should have had a ground I would have been seven able to possibly damage the helicopter and yeah yeah so you know earn my combat infantryman’s badge yeah you did I had a had a whole series of first that occurred right here and you know survived that and you know a couple of minutes later I’m thinking man we got out of that and I looked down and here comes a stream of tracers coming up out of a 51 caliber or something they were trying to hit the helicopter they were you know ways farmers but still I think it’s not over yet I mean we got to get out of here and get back and I told the door gunner I said you know we got to go straight to the hospital you know we got to drop this guy off he’s got to have a medical attention right away yeah so we did that we dropped him off then we went back to the launch site to drop the team off but then I asked sergeant deck I said um I’m just curious how many

magazines did you fire when we were back there and he said I emptied five I had had the six put in I was getting ready to start on that through two fragmentation grenades and a smoke grenade and and then he said lieutenant you need to practice so you get faster reloading when people are shooting at you are you gonna die that’s it okay I’ll practice yeah because when you talk about the fine motor skills disappearing but if you practice them all the time you’ll be able to maintain them to some degree yes there won’t be as good but they’ll be better yeah you know and that’s part of the problem with training you you train you train to get a good sight picture sight alignment and all that and you squeeze the trigger and hit your your target that’s not cheating back out yes and then you know you get in a firefight like that and your stress level skyrockets and when it does you can’t see the sights on a weapon I mean you trained to use those sights and now let’s say you your vision changes as the stress goes up you can’t focus on the sights so you can’t you can’t do it to what you trained you can’t reload the way you train you trained to turn sideways and shoot and all of a sudden when all the steps is coming at you your body your brain takes over and says face the enemy then you just got your body’s going to turn you toward the enemy so you got a trained cheetah at the enemy you got a trained to shoot without aiming so to speak now I had been through a pretty extensive course on something that we call quick kill where we train to shoot from the hill and we started with BB guns and shot it a little Tirra silhouettes on a two-by-four shooting from the hilt with a BB gun until you could knock them all down and then we started throwing discs up in you know three inch discs up in the air and you shoot with a BB gun too you could hit that moving disk and then the disk would get smaller and smaller and then we would go on to a course where the targets popped up and it is live fire in terms of you know you’re using your weapon and shoot from the hill and get so you can hit all the targets so we practiced a lot and with the teams that I had I just drilled it in their head you’ve got to be able to shoot without aiming you don’t have time to bring up and try to look through a sight it’s happening too fast you’ll be dead before you can get it up there so there are a lot of techniques that I had brought in that I had learned before I got there and then you know kind of developed across time and always trained the teams do this do it like this that’s quick one of the NCOs had told me one night at fubar he said you can’t hesitate there’s no hesitation you got to understand lieutenant where you’re going everybody is the enemy you don’t have to worry about shooting a friendly by mistake they’re all enemy and the person that Chiefs first has the highest probability of surviving pull the trigger and never ever shoot anybody less than three or four times and if he still moves you shoot in three or four more times there’s no one shot and moved to the next guy you make sure they go down you know so that was kind of a strategy I adopted and practiced to be able to do that and I can I can go from the safety position on the selector switch it’s a fully automatic faster than most people can pull the trigger with with the safety already off I used to practice that I used to practice it going down I also discovered that without ak-47 as soon as they start to shoot after you the barrel Rises if they don’t hit you for that first or second round if you can get down you got a chance to survive and I used to practice shooting on the way down put silhouettes out hit them all before I hit the ground as I’m going down I didn’t see that magazine so kind of getting off track you know that’s that’s actually right on track the so you come back from this first mission what was your what what are you thinking now you got to be thinking yourself there’s no possible way I’m living through this well actually the way my mind works I was critiquing what should we have done what should we have trained on beforehand what did we do there were we prepared for an ambush like that was there anything else we we could have done so I was playing you know through our preparation play in my and online

through what we actually did what could we do differently next time so in my mind you got to get better every time every time you do something you need to be better than the last time that you did it you need to understand it’s gonna you’re gonna always have to adapt whatever you plan you’re gonna have to adapt and you know war is just it’s not predictable is the predictability is that it’s gonna change yeah you know and you got to be able to do that and do it on the fly yeah that I had I was telling you I had just had a guy on the podcast hasn’t come out yet but I had a guy that was he went in to go he’s a Marine he went in the Guadalcanal Tarawa Saipan and Tinian got wounded and taro got shot while he was still 500 meters from the beach trying to get across that that he’ll that they were walking through but you know we had that discussion around you know always thinking it’s like nothing will happen to me and I was used the example of like I always think if if I’m on a commercial airplane and it crashes I’m gonna live like I’m gonna figure out a way and I’ll do a good freefall position and I’ll look scan and find a pool somewhere or whatever was there it was there any of that because it seems to me like that kind of operation right there you got to look at that and say even if even if you have the attitude of it’ll happen to someone else when you’ve got green tracer coming through your craft that might change even my mind and start thinking okay probably not going to probably not going to make it through this yeah you think that and I’ve had I’ve used up more lives than a than a cat you’re just hearing that time period used up nine lives that night I never thought that I would those two minutes I never thought I’d see my 21st or 22nd birthday started no way you just can’t get there okay you know you you got to a point where you said okay I’m probably not gonna make it yeah but my attitude is I’m gonna take as many of you with me as I can you might get me but you’re gonna pay for it I’ll be really upset if you knock me off with the first round and I don’t get a chance to get some of you but you better you better do it quick because I want to take as many as I can with me because I’m coming mm-hmm okay so you guys get back from the from that mission you guys do a good debrief you’re going through all the points of what you thought you could do better you’re wondering who is who was the person that came up with the idea of doing these night inserts and maybe if the last light inserts aren’t the best I don’t know because that’s another thing you don’t really know yeah you know it seems to me like if you drop a daisy cutter’ and the enemy at least goes says themselves well they drop the daisy cutter’ they must have done that for a reason let’s go surround it I mean why would you drop a 2,000 pound one two thousand pound bomb here on a Ridgeline yeah and not doing anything else unless you’re coming yeah well is she gonna come please drop 15 of them to give to make the enemy have to spread out a little bit not put their entire force surrounded this one crater yeah there are a lot of things like that I thought about you know once he got back you know I was making a list unfortunately I shared some of my list with the commander of the camp he was excited and telling me I told you we could get you out you know we put you out there we’re gonna get you out at work right and I say I saw I think we share some thoughts with you uh unfortunately I probably had talked to mr. Jack Daniels two months before I had that conversation and I shared a little too much of my thoughts he wasn’t exactly you know happy some of the things I had to say because it reflected on him too I still think they’re right you know you put ones like you said you put one day’s gutter out here you know why don’t we put up a flag for everybody coming here soon you know all right sir then what’s the next mission looking like oh I see then I think the next one the next one we actually had to spend the night so we did a lot a lot of planning and at this point you know sergeant deck starting to listen you know I’ve got more credibility now I’ve been shot at and you know we did okay so we we put a lot more planning into it a lot more rehearsal into it and went in got on the ground uneventful and when you would get on the ground you would you to move 100 meters or so into the jungle you would stop set

up a security perimeter and then you adapt you listen do you hear any bad guys what do you hear you got to adapt to the sounds of the jungle first because the last 45 minutes an hour all you’ve heard it says wah wah wah for the helicopter and you know so you’ve had a temporary threshold shift in you here and you can’t hear as good you can’t smell is good because you’ve been smelling the jp4 and the helicopter all the way out there so you have that security halt and you adapt to the sounds what’s out here what are you here what do you see in my case I was very fortunate that I had spider senses so to you know I didn’t quite have Spyder hearing after that first little episode but I still I still have the rest of it I mean I I could smell you in more than one case I sniffed out an ambush I could smell them I could smell their body odor I could smell what they had to eat I knew they were up in front of us I could just feel things like that so we had that we sent in team okay we had a code word that we just transmitted that meant you know one of them team okay moving north moving whatever directions was this a daytime early more first light insertion I was late afternoon yeah it wasn’t the last light thing again you know so we had time to to move for a ways and then you know eventually stop you know for the night and typically what we would do is do like we call it a fishhook you’d move along a little ways and then you would make a turn and you would come back down 50 meters or so so if someone was tracking you you’d hear them go by because they were following your trail and I would put very quickly I learned to put out what we call tow poppers it was a little small anti-personnel mine plastic and you know I had c4 in it it would take your leg off or most do you leg if you stepped on it and I had a lot of experience in the wood which I know how people are gonna track you I know where they’re going to walk I know where they’re going to step and particularly if there’s a log for someone they have to go across they’ll always step right on the other side of it and that’s where I’d put it you know I put it right where they’re going to step my cover it back up and sometimes I put my foot just a light footprint on top of it and then if they came you’d hear that thing go off and you knew you got one and he was probably gonna die he’d bleed to death because they didn’t have hospital anything out there so you had him and if he was just leading a larger group I typically they would open fire they didn’t know where you were they just start spraying the woods but you know you’re way back here and they’re up in front of you now so that gives you a chance to decide if you’re gonna move out or not so anyway we set up and the jungle the jungle just swallows you as it starts to get dark it just closes in all around you and if you’re under you know double canopy jungle it gets dark fast if you’re under triple it’s pretty dark during the daytime but at night you can’t see anything it’s just totally dark and I was thinking as it was getting dark and you know at first I thought I’m a little nervous because I can’t see even though I had just you know had tremendous night vision like an owl but I couldn’t see and I thought that they can’t see either and the difference is between us and them is we’re not moving they have to move without making any noise and if they make any noise we know where they are we know they’re out there so what I did was I created for me a 4d bubble around me so I would just start with whatever direction I was facing and then what’s out there what sounds do I hear what bugs do I hear what noises do I hear and I take the next quadrant the next quadrant until I had going all the way around so I knew the sounds and all four quadrants and then I would raise it up because up above you I mean you got birds you got monkeys you got different things that are happening in the trees different sounds up there and you you incorporate all this together and now you’re used to a particular level of

noise and each one of these quadrants and then the sound of silence was the trigger I you know to where I could actually wake up if any quadrant went quiet it would wake me up if anybody moves and one of those quadrants the bugs in that area will stop chirping they will just get quiet all of a sudden and if they get quiet something is out there and that that alerts you either you know where they’re coming from and it might be a tiger you know it might be some other large animal but something just stopped them scared them so I said you know the darks my friend they can’t see me and I’ve got area weapons out there claymores I can set off the Claymore if they see a big ball of fire and I take out a bunch of people but they don’t know where I am and then you know the next level of the frag grenades you throw a grenade big ball of fire a lot of fragments but they don’t know where it came from so you still don’t see as long as you don’t pull the trigger on the weapon they don’t know where you are so I decided this is this is pretty cool when it gets dark yeah that’s all I’ll find you if you’re up here how long would it take when you guys would settle into a perimeter how long would it take for the noise the silence that you had created to to escalate again to normal jungle levels within 30 minutes that’s up once everybody’s down and and the rule was once you’re down you’re down you do not move again until morning because anybody moving is a bad guy and we wouldn’t we would all precision ourselves so that you know I could reach echo over here or the guy on the next side I mean to wake him up or alert him something was happening and that goes arms so big I can’t really do this but if I could have your arm if you want to wake somebody up without terrifying them grab them right there and just slowly squeeze if you just slow the squeeze like that what you’ll see is their eyes start to open up and they just come to and you know when we trained to do that so people knew if you get squeezed you open your eyes that’s the only thing you would start listening what are you here and it might be your turn to be on guard or it might be there’s any me out here well that’s crazy I just got chicken skin from that I can only imagine how long what would you guys do 50% security and 50% sleeping what’d you guys do last night didn’t really need it yeah sometimes we drop down to 30% but I mean I know teams everybody goes asleep but I not not with me I’m not going there somebody’s gonna be awake and we’re here and you know sometimes you had to sleep you would you wouldn’t sleep on top of the ridge you had to get off on the side and you try to get into a thicket you try to get into a steep area so you learn to sleep straddle trees so you straddle it so you won’t slide on down the hill at night it’s a little uncomfortable at first you go get set up right but once you do you know you can sleep like that keep your arms to your rucksack because you wanted your rucksack to go with you if you had to leave in a hurry your load-bearing equipment never came off the weapon was always fastened to you with a cord that went through a snap link on the shoulder your load-bearing gear you’d have it laying across your lap so you know you could put your hands on it real easy and turn it and shoot it as yeah if you had to you had your knife where you could access that you know easily quietly in case you needed some and then nobody mood and then that first overnight mission that you did what was what was the purpose of the operation and we were going to find us relatively small it’s hanging in size element okay and there’s how many of you guys mmm this mission is probably seven so there’s 70 you looking for five hundred enemy North Vietnamese regulars one of the things I think I know it sounds a little crazy one is they just a lot crazy one of the things you have to understand about a SOG team is SOG teams were small but they carried a really big

stick given the stick might be 30 minutes away before you could use it and sometimes our but man you had a big stick because if you engage the enemy as soon as you submitted the word prairie fire over the radio everything flying within range of that team was diverted everything any aircraft that had ordnance on any mission that was going on was set aside it all came to you it was unbelievable I mean I had a I had a mission one time where I had 14 covers in RB waiting on their turn to come in because I had to bring them in and between the l4s that were coming in and the sky Raiders that would come they were all I mean it was just unreal you know what would show up once you got in trouble yeah I guess that that is the security blanket although bad weather then you’re in trouble nighttime you could do a few some at nighttime but you know we didn’t have the night vision the aircraft didn’t have the technology that they have today so the night time was a problem for him you could do something called combat sky spots where the elf force could come in and and and drop 500-pound bombs but they were doing it based on radar so you had to start them like 2500 3000 meters away and bring them in because you didn’t know where they were gonna land they would be somewhere you know and in that circle but you had to let something hit and then start to work it so yeah the night time you know could be a problem yeah you got you got a book here you mentioned it really quickly it’s called the stress effect and it’s it’s about leadership and decision-making but you have some some stories in it that are that are worth talking about I want to read one of them right now so it says for almost two years I’ve been training to lead a Special Operations team into combat during those two years I’d successfully completed US Army Ranger School Special Forces training become a member of the most elite military force in the world when I got to base camp in Vietnam 1968 I erected a six foot tall two-by-four board in the dirt and wrapped hemp rope around the top eight inches of the board to provide a striking surface every day in camp I pounded the striking pad with my fist and my feet continuing to improve my accuracy and power I had been trained in Ranger and Special Forces a hand-to-hand combat and it earned a black belt in the Korean martial art of Taekwondo I’d become an expert with all Special Operations weapons as well I quickly found myself so you guys you had some introduction to two martial arts mm-hmm and they were teaching you guys some striking capability did you guys learn any grappling at all yeah I mean you did that in Special Forces and in Ranger School you did you know the military version of a hand-to-hand but I had trained in you know Taekwondo when I was in college I broke my hand one night in a little pub and I thought there’s got to be a broke your hand on a pub or now you broke on a pub attendee there was an attendee that ran in the ran into my hand and broke it and I was thinking there’s got to be a better way than this you know I’ve seen these guys jumping around doing kung fu or whatever on movies so I I found this tak mando place you know right off campus there and I and I said you know I need toughen up a little bit I’m tired of you know getting hurt right on back to the book I quickly found myself deep inside enemy territory leading my elite team of three Americans and four mercenaries on a classified mission every human within a hundred miles was the enemy the temperature was 110 degrees the humidity was a hundred percent the salt from our own perspiration constantly burned our eyes mosquitoes swarmed each of us carried 35 to 40 pounds of ammunition grenades and water on our load bar bearing harness and a 75 pound rucksack on our back no one wore an armored vest or a helmet because these would add too much extra weight and would be too hot we were operating under triple-canopy jungle that allowed very little light to come through and no air movement it rained every day everything was wet the bushes in the ground were covered with small leeches that began to move up and down frantically when they sensed our body heat thinking they would have a meal soon they attached themselves to us without our noticing them the next day we would find them on our faces chest arms and legs filled with blood and the size of our the end being the size of our thumbs the physical and mental stress was very high this type of

mission required complete silence no talking for days just handed arm signals or notes there could be absolutely no noise while moving we were traveling along at a snail’s pace of a hundred yards an hour every step in every foot placement warp leap pre-planned toe down first then slowly the heel this technique was designed to muffle the noise of any small branches that might be broken if we accidentally placed our weight on them each team member had an area of responsibility for maintaining vigilance as we moved we were always looking for booby traps ambushes enemy personnel poisonous snakes and tigers we couldn’t forget the 500-pound hungry Tigers we knew a North Vietnamese Army force was very close to us we just didn’t know exactly where we spent most the day moving up to the top of a ridge one step at a time without making a sound just as we neared the top the point man signaled to us to halt to get down he could hear a large group of enemy soldiers just over the ridge our hearts began to race and a journal and spiked our seven-man team was about to come face to face with over 180 trained North Vietnamese Army soldiers our stress level soared and our attention became focused we knew everything we we knew everything could literally explode at any second the closest help was an hour away we could make no mistakes we could not be discovered I moved forward into a position to observe the enemy soldiers who were less than 40 yards down the other side of the ridge from our location they appeared to have finished eating and were getting ready to move up the ridge towards our location I signaled the team that we needed to move quickly although the ground was muddy slippery and steep we tried to move as quickly and quietly as possible he was going to be very difficult to avoid contact with them and contact would be deadly I was about 20 feet behind the point man moving deliberately tightly gripping the handle of my car 15 machine gun with my right hand while using my left hand to steady myself by grabbing bushes as I moved it started to rain hard making it even more difficult to get us help if we were discovered we could hear the enemy talking on the other side of the ridge then out of nowhere I was hit so hard from the high side of the ridge that my weapon was knocked out of my hand and my feet left the ground and I was falling backward down the side of the steep Ridge instinctively I grabbed my attacker as I fell and took him with me my stress level was so high that all my hand-to-hand combat training automatically kicked in as I tumbled down the incline in the rain and mud I literally ripped my attacker limb from limb biting pulling and breaking any part I could get my hands on I used every deadly move I knew and actually heard the sounds of bones breaking although the entire event lasted only a few seconds it appeared to pass in slow motion a stream of thoughts and questions went through my mind where did this guy come from how did I miss seeing him does he have a knife how can I get my knife is he alone will he call his comrades before I can silence him then it was over as quickly as it began we will wedged hard against a large tree that’s large tree that stopped our tumble down the ridge the impact momentarily knocked the breath out of me the attacker was not moving apparently I was the winner all my hand-to-hand combat training had paid off looking up the ridge I saw some of my team members looking down at me with sheer horror and shock on their faces it must have been almost as terrifying for them as it was for me I thought everyone’s life hung in the balance but I had won the fight mano a mano I had saved the team as I begin to untangle myself from my attacker the world suddenly came back into focus now I had the same horror and shock on my face as my team members did I had just used all my expert hand-to-hand combat techniques on a banana tree in that part of the world worms eating around the bottom of the banana trees which weakens them and caused them to fall without warning I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time and be blindsided by a falling banana tree fortunately two components and to this event ultimately saved us first I was hit so hard and unexpectedly that my weapon was knocked out of my hand preventing me from firing at the tree and giving away our position second it was raining so hard that the enemy soldiers did not notice the commotion we completed our mission and returned to Vietnam unharmed except for my ego I have heard however that banana trees in that part of the world still tremble at the mention of my name embarrassing yeah stress levels oh so high it just you know you’re locked loaded you ready to go and something triggers you and you go for it you know you react it was just just the the instinct somebody had me and it was me

or him and you know I just unleashed everything I go ahead until I killed a banana tree Hey yeah I can walk by one today even in other countries and he trembled they know they know they know the legend is real yeah you can see their little uns turn and watch me to make sure I go on by it is amazing you know the point of you telling that story talking about stress and and you know I I one thing that I noticed about it is when we are anticipating something oftentimes we will we will see what we are anticipating so when we are predicting enemy combat then that’s what we’re gonna see and you have another great vignette in here about a shooting that took place in New York and it was you know a guy that was standing in the stoop of a doorway and the police officer see him and he looked kind of suspicious and eventually well when he moved they said oh he’s trying to run from us so now they draw their weapons and the next thing he does is reach into his pocket they started shooting and once one person starts shooting they all start shooting and they end up putting 40-plus rounds in and or into the guy and into the surround a guy you know cuz they didn’t they didn’t shoot very accurately but you know it turns out that the guy was just a normal citizen that fit the description of you know fit the description of a person that had conducted some crimes in the area but you know it wasn’t like he was it wasn’t like a specific description I think it was like as a black guy in this neighborhood Oh looks pretty close but what they anticipated seeing and what they got kind of mentally ready for and then he makes a move to get away from them in their mind he’s making a move to get away from them in his mind he’s just trying to get out of the way who knows what these cops are doing but they can’t be after me and then the next thing is they’re yelling at him oh I better get them some ID so he reaches into his pocket what do they think he’s reaching for they’re anticipating he’s reaching for a weapon so they kill him so that’s a great lesson learned and you know you talk a lot in the book the stress effect about you call it awareness being aware of what’s going on I always use the word detachment being detached from all the chaos and emotion and how what a great power it is to have that you know it’s the same word or different word same meaning the awareness that you talk about but that exam right there what you’re anticipating there’s a good chance that what you’re anticipating you’re gonna see you’re gonna see regardless of what reality is yeah it’s not a banana tree North Vietnamese soldier highly trained and skilled and he’s trying to take me out and doing a good job because I’m falling backwards I can’t shoot him and yeah I mean in the story you’re talking about as they approach him and start shooting you know the two first two guys to get that get there one starts shooting and what happens is some of the bullets they hitting on you know different parts of the stoop there and start to ricochet back that’s right in their mind he’s shooting at him I mean the bullets had coming back out him you think he’s shooting the the other guy with him trips on the steps and falls so his partner thinks Manny they hit him he’s down the other two were up there they think he’s down and you know they all just continue to shoot and an innocent guy so we we see what were you expecting you have to be careful with that then it happens you know it happens all the time when there’s dremen starts flowing you’re gonna do a lot of things that you need to keep it under control and in their wife I’m part of it probably getting off track here but some of it is practice practice practice you know go through the immediate action drills you keep doing it and doing it and doing it now one of the things I used to make my guys the practice that they really didn’t like was when we’ve gone on a mission because you’re going to be out there for so long you the one zero cared a medical kit so I have a medical kit with me everyone there carried it came in a can back then just a little can about that big around you had it taped on the back of your well gear and had a bag of ringers solution and a blood expander you know because when you when you get hit most of the time what you die of from a gunshot woman is you believe to death you can’t get the blood you know stop to you in time so we all carried a bag of ringers solution so you know you could get an IV right there on the spot you know my thinking was especially

after the first incident when I having trouble getting the magazine in the weapon I don’t want one of my guys trying to put that needle in my arm in that condition and he’s jabbing all over my arm and I’m laying there bleeding to death I need the blood so I said okay guys here’s what we gonna do we have a little practice so I had been over to the dispensary and I had gotten some needles and I brought him over and I said we’re gonna practice putting the needle in each other mm-hmm so that you know we’re getting shot at you’ve done it before it won’t be the first time that you’ve tried to put a needle in the vein they did not like them that guy’s okay now swap partners theirs do it again let’s do it again and every so often we would go through that drill let’s practice that’s right because open and you can you know you don’t want to have never tried to open I can before when somebody’s shooting at you and your buddy is bleeding to death you you have to been through the whole process let’s do it well these lessons that you learned that you passed on I mean everything from you know getting on the ground and and patrolling 100 meters than waiting that’s that’s what we were trying now I will say that once you got night vision things are different cuz you didn’t need to wait a half an hour delay your night vision adjust you could you could go but you know we used to we used to do the same thing we used to get give each other IVs with Redlands flash line that night underneath the poncho because that’s what you’re gonna have to do and and so those are the kind of things that you have to train you have to train and people that think that that that horrible thought that creeps in your mind that well when the time rises when the time arises I’ll know what to do that is not the truth right there I got a quick question for you how did you get the name dynamite was that your nickname did they assign that to you because I’m surprised at this point your nickname wasn’t but a tree fort fortunately you got your codename on day one and so after we got the briefing they’re denying and then you know we had to select a code name I wanted Ranger Ranger was already taken so they said here are some others and I saw dynamite and I said you know I I really do like to blow things up I’m small and you know dynamite probably works for me I mean I believe my neighbors windows out when I was a teenager one time with a rocket that exploded on the launch pad I didn’t intend for that to happen but you know I was always blowing things up so and then when I was there in Southeast Asia okay I blew things up all the time I blew bridges up I blew up all kinds of things I always carried a lot of demo with me good good nickname and that was your callsign – is that your callsign when you’re in the field did you know and well it would be my callsign if I was wounded or something like that God but call signs that we use they’re always three-letter groups okay got it all right you you mentioned in your notes here that you gave me an operator you guys hit with you guys got hit with gas yeah that was uh that had to be unexpected I was still with Dex team yeah we we had planned and rehearsed for everything and we went in it wasn’t a hot LZ or didn’t appear to be we didn’t roll any fire going in I we got off the aircraft the aircraft you know took off we’re on the ground and all of a sudden you know we couldn’t see you couldn’t breathe this stuff is coming across the LZ and you know we’re coughing and gagging because we didn’t have masks with us masks we’re like helmets and flak jackets that’s extra waste you got to carry and unless we were intended to use gas we didn’t carry it because it was just very very rare that the NVA would use gas and in this case we’re on the LZ here comes the gas we’re not prepared for it we had to call you know for the aircraft to come back and get us out and it creates a real problem for pilots if they don’t have masks and now all of a sudden they’re getting all of the the gas coming in you know it’s hard for them to see the instrument panel to be able to fly you know what they came back in and and they got us out it was it wasn’t a pleasant experience and it was one of those things we didn’t plan part you know because it was it was such a rarity we just didn’t do it I was surprised we went through a gear list with tilt and they always carried a gas mask and of course because they always carried a gas mask you know how many times they came across I think the number was zero Murphy’s Law yeah you

know a lot of times we would carry gas canisters we’d carry regular you know like a CFCs grenade but we’d also carried that the CS rounds for the m49 the 40 millimeter so we could shoot those but if we carried ICS or the the grenades then you know we cared the masks too but it was the mass were because we were going to use them and you know if you use – you better have a mask are you gonna be as bad off as the other guys goes without fail the winds kind of change and it’s gotta come right back on you and you’re in trouble Murphy’s Law you got over you got another note in here about a mission it says tree roots this was I think this this was my last mission with Artie Alabama with wood deck and we had gone up we made the little fish hook we came back it was early afternoon and we’re gonna take a break for a little while so we had but I’d claymores I had put a toe popper out and there are some strange trees in that area I’m still not sure what they’re called but they almost looked like Rockettes with fins the roots kind of came out and I mean it kind of you know they grow up the tree maybe t feet or so and they come out like fins all the way around so we were taking a break so I thought you know I’ll just lay down between you know these roots and I you know you won’t be able to see me because I’m kind of down in there and that’s where I’ll take my break and then we hear the tow piper go off I heard that loud scream and soon as the tow Piper went off it’s just as barrage of ak-47 fire coming some of it you know in our direction some of it in other directions they didn’t know exactly where everywhere but in that first barrage coming through I had three a.k rounds come through the road on my left side right across my shirt I had just exhaled and through the road on the other side if I had had just inhale it would taken the top of my chest off when it came by so he just grazed me you know coming across and that’s it they probably should get out of here so got the briefs are not providing any you know actually cover for me just a little concealment so I jumped around behind the tree and you know we set off the claymores had a full fledge firefight going on and eventually he had to work gunships and things and get extracted but one of the things that I also did was he got another taste of the impact of adrenaline because when I came out from behind a tree I had taken my arms out of the straps on the rucksack so I had to grab it was my hand I grabbed it with my left hand you know and it weighed probably 75 pounds but I’m not a big guy but I’m tossing that 75 pound rucksack around like it’s a pillow and you know it’s going to go with me as we fight our way you know down the ridge and toward the LZ but I paid for it you know later on you know after we got extracted to realize I had pulled most muscles and my shoulders because the muscles wasn’t designed to handle that much weight but I had so much adrenaline pumping pumping through our system yeah yeah so as soon as you guys get contacted as soon as that those rounds start coming here calling prayer our emergency prioritize and then how long has it taken before aircraft show up on station usually you’ll have something within 30 minutes that you might be able to work a gunship or something like that but for the extraction ships it might be an hour depending you know on how far in there you are and it might be longer than that but if you had bad weather nobody’s coming I think I say you know they can’t find you how good was the weather prediction at that time you know if you guys will you guys able to look out in a day and say like hey there’s gonna be storms moving through here tomorrow we at the different CNCs we had our own Air Force meteorologists that track the weather gave brother weather briefings you know two or three times a day you know to the command group the teams would give them we would get them before we would go out so that we would know kind of what they expect and you know we didn’t launch unless the weather looked

like it was going to be good you know for the insertion because you didn’t want to get out there and all of a sudden you couldn’t use the assets that you had with you so but still it’s kind of like today the best weather predictions that are made are the ones the day after you know we can tell you what probably happened yesterday or at least with a high probability of what happened yesterday but the weather change you know it’s a where we were north most of the time is a rain forest I mean he’s got rain so it’s gonna read every day it’s gonna rain and the clouds would roll right down on top of the the and just totally conceal it conceal the ridgelines they’re not only or you under triple-canopy jungle alight now you’ve got a cut of cloud cover over I mean up above that they can see fine but they can’t see where you are they can’t you know you fire the flyer flares out they won’t see him it’s there in the clouds is is it always the one zero that’s carrying the radio and talking to the aircraft or the who usually was doing that for you I know that tilt said he did it he would be like yep I’m gonna talk to the aircraft most of the time I carried the radio I mean you had you had a guy yeah one of the three Americans was supposed to be carrying the radio usually the one too if he had a one too but I carried mine almost all the time and but even if I didn’t care it I wanted to talk so bring it bring it over here I want to tell them you know what I need to have done so you know that gave me another 25 pounds plus depending on how many batteries I carried more weight to go in my rucksack and that’s if we used you know the PRC 25 or seven years Alvin but I think tilt mention that one point we had a commander take over CCN who said you’re going to carry the KY 38 secure radio which the PRC 77 was about 25 pounds and then it had to connect into the KY 38 which was the the same squares but but thicker you know and they had to fasten together so some people would stack up on a rucksack one under the other most people were wearing the 77 in the back and and 38 in the front to help you balance you know going up and down the hills a good theory but you know I to me and my experience said the more you can look like an empty pair of fatigues laying on the ground the greater your chance of survival when somebody’s shooting at you so the more stuff you put on your chest around your waist that raises you up in the air makes you more so I mean I get my rucksack shot up all the time I’m a heavy laden earring bullet citizens in through the rucksack because it was sticking up you know about me but when you put that KY 38 on your chest that pushes your body up another six inches in the air so now the chances of you getting hit instead of the rucksack go up so I didn’t like to carry it I want it used it a few times I mean it it had a pretty high malfunction rate and then because it’s not just on you you got to make sure that their aircraft that you’re trying to talk to is running their encryption everybody has doesn’t have to have that same encryption which is an interesting story would make it to you a little later about that but yeah it was a pain but I wanted to talk on the radio and you guys did I know till they didn’t carry like a belt-fed machine gun in there elements I think he said they never did which to me was surprising because like you talk to Vietnam say oppa tunes and even like my SEAL platoons in Iraq we carried as many belt-fed machine guns as we could like we wanted to have massive firepower but I guess for you guys the jungle the way it was too much my my team carried one I named 16 machine gun him sexes are heavy they are having indeed my team carried one one time because I thought it would be cool I carried the machine gun because I thought man the firepower I’ll have with this thing yeah I can show those guys on the other side here what war is all about and we

made contact and I opened up with that baby and I learned a lesson really and it made sense you know when it happened because we always teach you got to take the machine gun out ships you fire to wherever that machine gun is take that Joker out and that’s what they did and all of a sudden everybody’s shooting yeah I mean this stuff is just coming in on me and it’s just eating everything up and I’m getting behind the tree and keeping my head around I’m shooting the machine gun around the side of the tree but I can’t really see what I’m doing but I couldn’t take my head around there they’d take it off and so after that mission I said that’s enough of that I mean I’m not carrying right there now when you know when we put team if we put two teams together to make what we call the spike team you know where we were going in with with the intent of engaging the enemy and not running then we would care you know to em 60s at least and then you know when you care in the m60 everybody on the team has to carry m16 ammo I mean everybody’s got it at least 100 brown belt William you know plus the machine gun is carrying all that extra weight and so I mean it’s it doesn’t just weight down the machine gun it’s everybody on the team now it’s still gonna carry all those 40 millimeter you know grenades with them for the m79 you still got to carry that you still got to carry you’re actually claymores you got carry all your mission equipment and now I’m giving you another 15 20 pounds of machine gun ammo to carry along with you you know there’s only five or six of you if the weight just goes up so fast that we didn’t do it yet I guess another now that I’m sitting here thinking about it the fact that you guys were in generally enclosed terrain pretty tight it wasn’t like you needed massive cover fire to cover ground to put you know you could didn’t have to fire maneuver because you take three steps and almost on the enemy can’t see you anymore so that that makes a little bit of sense – what was your op temple-like you know we’re talking about these missions how often were you guys going out that’s an interesting story and the it varied by team and like well and in the 12 months that I was there I went out 18 times which was waiver yarn way beyond what an officer led team would do I don’t know that the other teams were going out that frequently you know and that shorter period the paper that you signed when you joined solid said you know live volunteer to go anywhere to do anything for six months or six missions whichever comes first got it at the end of the six missions or the six months I’ve got to say I volunteered to do it some more so you had just you know a little safety valve in there to give you a chance to kind of wake up and say this is not a smart thing to do and and here’s my ticket to do something different right well that’s like sort of like the bombers in in World War two that had to do 25 missions over Europe and if they did 25 then they then they could go and do something else go home right most of them didn’t make it but yeah that’s pretty telling when they say that you only have to complete six missions that doesn’t sound like a big deal you must be thinking yourself if they only want me to do six of these things they gotta be pretty if I only have to go out six times in six months I mean I’ve got a good deal you know the grunts are going out do you everyday and fighting you know or doing something or being exposed and no so you had that and remember that SOG missions a SOG mission really is an out of country mission you know as tilt says across the fence you go into another country when you see the casualties you know the ki AES of SOG at least in the beginning they also had South Vietnam mmm that’s not where we go so you were good you’re going out but in between those missions you might do something in-country Lynne then black one of tilts big buddies they were on the same team and stuff for a while in was a you know or just the unbelievable one zero and he and I kind of became friends and in between missions we would do things like why don’t we take some where guys tonight and let’s go or the marble mountain set up an ambush I guarantee we’ll get somebody let’s go do that what about tomorrow afternoon you want to take some of our guys let’s go search some of the caves and more marble

mountain those Joker’s are in there which is that’s fine you know so we would we would do a lot of things like that just for fun so to speak but you know because you know compared to the regular mission I mean this is a no brainer you just go where there an issue some people you know you catch them in the cave and I was there 240 miles deep in Cambodia alone and when we you know we we can be back in time for lunch so and then you had you know marble mountain the two combat outpost teams would rotate up there you had to keep you know two teams up there all the time so in between missions you know they you might go up there for a week or two weeks at a time and then come back down and start mission proud you know for another mission and to go back out so it wasn’t like you were just sitting around in between the missions you were always doing something place you’ve done a lot of training and preparation for the next mission that you had coming up so you see stayed pretty busy how long would it take you to brief a mission when you were going on we might start with the initial briefing as a day briefing this is what we’re going to go to do is we’re we’re going to go do it and depending on what the mission was I might say okay so we’re going to go over until a place that was called monkey mountain we’re going over to monkey mountain because it’s a good place over there for us to rehearse the actual mission the raid the ambush whatever it was we’re going to do we can go over there and get in some you know realistic rehearsals so we might go spend a few days over there just doing that and we while we’re there we rehearse our oral in procedures put in claymores where they would put them I would put the team in a different place every night so that you going to do okay let’s look at the terrain we’re in now what’s the most likely approach is why do we need to defend the claymores where did we put the tow poppers what’s our avenue of egress how do we get out of here if they come at us from this direction of this direction where did we go and where’s where the closest tells these that we’re going to go to and how do we get there everybody needs to know that you know whether you’re American or indeed you’ve got to know where he is you gotta know how to get there and so we would we would do the training like that but particularly mission specific for what we’re coming up on and then as you got closer you get much more specific and then when you got to the launch site you would have the mission briefing where your air assets would be there so the pilots who are going to fly your insertion and gunship pilots Air Force representative for the AU unease that we’re going to be there they’ll force that we’re going to be there you know so you would have the big briefing there that everybody would agree on everything and make sure you had all the call signs and everything down and continue to see actions the Covey said anything about him we’d always have a covey out there for the forward air controller that we could talk to you and could look down and tell us what you know he was seeing might be able to see the bad guys coming to us or whatever and get more assets for us so it was a it’s a big deal I mean because you you might have four gunships to to 481 each guy Raiders two to four L fours you’ve got cubby you’ve got the insertion ships that you’re going in with you’ve got trailing ships in case those get shot down that are flying empty so they can drop down and and pick you up sometimes you might have a ship with the medics in it because you’re expecting casualties you know so it was a it could be a big air show sometimes going and fit in if you were going if you’re going to North Vietnam you had to have the off force you know I mean it was just required for the mission some of the others Laos Cambodia you could go without the health force and you just use the honey Skyraiders but if you’re going north vietnam you better have the health force with you because they could send a MIG down there ask people if they wanted to so you had to worry about you know air cover as well as hitting big targets and l4 you know you can get your attention real fast and the sky Raiders you know do too because they they’re they fly low slow and they’re carrying their own weight and ordnance and they can put it right next to you you tell them where you want that 20 millimeters hitting 10 feet over there and right along beside you or whatever their ordnance they’re carrying you get your attention I mean

those jokers are good all right so you so how many missions did you do with RT Alabama four and then after that did you get the up check from deck to to become a 1-0 yes so I had gotten that I mean already I had it before we did the four but we knew that fov one was going to close down and when it closed down the teens were going to get scattered around so I knew I would get a team but I would get one somewhere else so we just stayed together you know for those four missions and then when we moved when I moved to D name to CCN then I took over RT Michigan and our team Michigan was the one that had I don’t remember who the one zero had been on that one but Eldon Bardwell was the one one on that one so I I took over over that and you know you know the Gaza he was late at the time hey you just back for things yeah I mean that he was already a legend well he he already had a good reputation good reputation you know so we got along well because I had to ask about him because I didn’t write you know he was a different camp I didn’t know about it so I had asked about him and everybody had talked to you said man you know this guy was good he had he been asking everyone else about you to ask you about me he don’t and I said what they tell you he said well I talked to you know sergeant Jones and you know it was impressive because he said and you know I had total faith in him he said Thompson is the only lieutenant I’ve ever met that you could give a map and compass to and he could tell you where he was and he can navigate you to any place he wanted to go and he said you just don’t find lieutenants like that so he said I was good enough for him if I knew where we were yeah so isn’t it surprising that that that would be a skill that’s so needed and and that people didn’t actually have it sometimes it’s crazy and these days well you know kids kids are relying on the GPS yeah and they forget about some of those land nav skills and it always cracked me up because they’re now there to a point where they really rely on the GPS I don’t know their pace count and you know I’d be walking on a training operation you know say okay you know just not even thinking about looking at a GPS because I did a map study didn’t know where we’re at and those younger guys know they just they just don’t have this cut not all of them of course you know we still get some guys that great at it but it’s just a different time so you take over this uh you take over this new team you got bars well which I’m sure you heard me talking about it with tilt but but you know he was when I was a young officer I just got picked up for Commission and I went to Germany and he was the guy in charge over there and so and my boss who was a outstanding guy who was a great mentor to me but he he would kind of tell me you know about about the old man he said bar as well said this bar as well said that you know so that was pretty neat for me to make this connection and here you are sitting to here that uh actually he he was your he was your one one yeah and he I mean he was very knowledgeable very good and I you know I was impressed with him right from the beginning I thought I mean this guy was good and you know when when we went out on an operation he’s this cool and calm you know when his shooting started I mean he was good but I mean he had he had experience I mean he was a case I was the team there the siege of Khe Sahn I mean he was he was there I mean where they just got hammered for you know several weeks there he was you know they were that Special Forces detachment he had recruited actually had recruited some of the team members that we had and this was a yard team they all liked him they all had a lot of respect for him and you know he was a support guy I just never thought then you know where he would end up I figured you know he if he doesn’t get killed he’s probably going

to be somebody at some point but I didn’t expect to see him and I guess it was in the in the late 70s I saw him at Fort Bragg know I guess it was in the 80s I saw him at Fort Bragg and he was a captain mm-hmm and I’m thinking you know how can you be a captain huh you know I’m a major you respect for the last time I saw you then now you’re a captain and and I I thought that was great so we hung out a little bit he was in Delta or her so we chatted about you know Delta Force and all that kind of stuff and you know we had some good times over there together at Bragg and then I guess you know the next time I actually saw him he was a major he was that come in and going through the command and General Staff College and I’m thinking I’m about to get promoted I’m still a major – I just got doing this and you know then the next thing he’s a lieutenant colonel and then the full colonel and you know ends up a Major General and he just he’s just constantly going and everybody kept telling me get out of Special Forces Special Forces is a kiss of death or an austere you stay in Special Forces you’re not going anywhere he did it I mean not only did he did great on that tour with SOG he did a second tour he ended up come and not just being in Delta he came back and commanded Delta Force and then overall Special Operations and all this kind of stuff I mean just unbelievable do you notice any qualities I mean you said you looked at him and you were like oh yeah this this guy will do well if he lives was there any qualities that stand out you know if they’re if they’re if you’re a young enlisted guy in the Army right now or in any branch and and you said yourself you know I want to be a good soldier is there anything that you noticed about them that you would give us like guidance to young young trooper out there mission focus you tell them this is what what you need to do or where you need to go I’m he’s gonna make it happen cool calm he was a smart guy I mean he didn’t brag about it when you talk to him just very humble and but you could tell I mean he’s smart mm-hmm I mean he’s thinking about what you’re saying and what he comes out with and when he makes recommendations and talks about things and you need to be listening because he’s thought to step through no but no fear from a combat perspective I mean if the bad guys are coming he’s gonna take him out and you know demonstrated that you know on several occasions with me demonstrated it later on I think you got I think he got hit the next mission after he was with me but he had put on ak-47 vest you know a song got shot and gunshot at Jackson or something yeah magazine you know he poked through nothing like a little hole in him but it didn’t go all the way through but and then he you know on another mission he got shot a couple more times and another mission he b40 rocket hit the team everybody responded he had a piece of shrapnel go into his cheek and kind of lodged behind his eye you know so he’s bleeding like a stuck pig and you know the bad guys had come in and you know he takes out 20 of them because he’s got a RPD you know the the Soviet kind of a light machine gun and he he just taken people out right and left you know the whole everybody wounded including him that’s that’s what he did the only general on record that for a personal firearm carried an ak-47 ak-47 he’s walking around as a general officer and instead of having that little pop gun on his hip he’s got an ak-47 slung over his shoulder and he’s telling you know his deeds and by guards and if we get in trouble you don’t worry about me said you guys take care of yourself I’ll take care of me you know just down real out stab a baby you know we we spend a lot of time up on a marble mountain together just with the rotation and stuff so we we spent time there you

know so we’d have those little fights most nights the bad guys trying to come up and get us that snipers had shoot at us just before dark there was one cave opening that was almost on our level I don’t know 50 meters away from us that if they work their way up to that opening they could shoot just about into us at night I’ve got videos of that cave and you can see how the marble it’s just chipped off all round the opening of that cave where we were shooting out of midnight you know when they’re up in there that stuff so we did a lot of stuff together and it was a good relationship so one of the one of the things you got in here in your notes is um you guys did a mission RT Michigan and you guys inserted into the into the Laotian border with 101st airborne it sounds like a pretty good trick you know kind of a it was kind of a when when he told us what they wanted us to do I felt the sounds like Ranger School this is exactly a scenario in Ranger school what they tell you they wanted you so we this was going to be a walk-in mission so we would start on the Vietnam side of the border and we would walk over and allow stew into the area they wanted us to go to and they wanted us to do that from position where the hundred and first was currently located so there was a battalion from the 101st that was set up right on the border and so they coordinated to have us have our team but on steel pots all that kind of stuff come on those the resupply helicopters we came in with a resupply like we were you know new troops coming to be there when we jumped off and and then they they put us in inside the perimeter but but in a section and said you need to dig in you know and all the little guys are looking around saying what you need to dig a hole Fox over to get in a fighting position and the responsible we don’t do so I don’t yeah you need to dig I mean we’re out here with people they only got no bullets going everywhere you need to dig in so it was a good thing we did it goes and it got a little hairy you know it was nice to be able to get down in a hole and then I met with with a company commander and patina leaders and their forward to observer and I gave them our plan you know here’s what we’re going to do but what shocked them was I said okay these coordinates I want you to pre-plan that as an artillery target and here’s the name of it and I want one here and here and here and these are the names all I’m going to do is call that name out you know target Roger I’m not gonna give you coordinates saying you’ve got to have that already planned when I say Roger I expect the artillery I never had artillery before so this was great we’ve never in range of artillery and all of a sudden that guy did I plan I planned that stuff all over the place and saw the what we did the next morning was at first light we went down to the stream with the water resupply team they go down and fill all the canteens and things up and bring them up so we went down with them dressed like the hundred and first when we got down there you know we changed into our Batman suits and gave them they all want some flak jackets and all that stuff and they threw them in bags and carry them back up and we just you know went on across the river and the jungle they’re on a mission so hoping that the bad guys thought you know nobody had come in that way so went out on our mission there was a there was a hatchet for spittoon that had been inserted you know much further out in the valley but we we went in and I mean it was it was just you know different and a cool way to do something and and you know when we got in contact I mean when I I called for those targets they put it right on so that was a cool thing it was interesting that we had barge well and the one team that was on the team with us we had a little disagreement about our exact location you know I’m telling

those two no I’m telling you we are right here nice and no you’re 200 meters off I said there’s no way so anyway we in contact then I told him I said you know if we where I am or where I’m saying we are there’s a fork in the stream and there’s a little foot bridge going across one right out there about 150 meters in front of us there’s a road and there’s a stream out here I said you know I’ll take you down here Twila we’re doing we made contact and we had to come out on strings so when you’re live without your first time coming out on strings no oh okay so you’re picking us up and they couldn’t see me because here in front of me but I’m reformed there right there you’re right it’s shot but you’re like hey I was right ten digit grid coordinates and they were right on you know so what are you were you were you just using pace Cal and use the pace catch a train I you know I’d spent a lot of time in the woods growing on so I and and particularly in the dark I love Dart I can I can feel the change in the train I know if I’m going uphill or downhill if I’m on a little side whatever so I would take the section of the map that I thought we were going to operate in I just memorize it did you guys have one to 50,000 maps or there one to 24 yeah they were well we had both but what we depending on the distance that we were gonna go to her but I could just I mean usually we didn’t go very far you know so you can memorize if you’re used to doing that the section of the map I could see it in my mind you know when we’re moving you know where we were any what the pace counts where I knew quite the terrain should look like you know where we were I had Jack point set up that you know if we’re here we’ll see the US if we’re here we’ll see this so I could track it plus I used the pace count so I I knew where I was out there and that was one thing that I I thought it was critical because eventually you’re gonna have to call for help and you need to be able to tell them where you are and under triple-canopy jungle you’re not shooting Asmus to hilltops and things like that i mean you got to know where you are on the ground because you know the topology and what it feels like what it looks like and how far you’ve gone and the skill set that I had no no more important piece of information on the battlefield than where you are you don’t know where you are it doesn’t matter where the enemy is because you can’t call for fire you can’t maneuver on but you know where you are when you guys were well you guys just getting overwhelmed is that why you guys had to come out all the strings on that one yeah how big was the enemy force to think that you rolled into in your notes here you said lots this has lots of NVA I typically use the term lots meaning you know 100 or more so how did you guys stumble across them what I I’m sorry where’d the contact come from like what did that contact start like it really started because headquarters decided they needed to resupply us because they wanted us to stay longer and I was saying no don’t don’t bring a helicopter right here and hover over our position don’t do that yeah you got to get resupplied and they did it anyway and so you know once you have a chopper hovering above the canopy they’re dropping stuff down through it the bad guys coming they’re all over the place anyway so there must be somebody down there if nothing else they’re going to go get whatever fell out of a helicopter and they did they came down there and they were so kind of you know messed up the afternoon in terms of what we plan to do you know but but we got out in the pits and extraction on strings through you know double canopy the jungle is rough but you you’ve been dragged through the limbs of the trees there’s treetops the aircraft will always start to to go forward and then you’re being drug through them and well they want to get the hell out of that fire right yeah because they’re getting shot at they don’t want to stay there long you’re getting shot at and it’s hard for you to shoot because you’re twisting and turning and hitting leaves and you know now they’re behind you and it’s hard to shoot that way and you know they’re only going to take maybe four

people at a time out anyway so that means you’ve got another chopper coming in the bad guys know you’re going out on strings down and you got another aircraft coming in to pick up the rest of the team yeah I’m the team leader I’m always first off first one on the ground last one on the ground yes I’m coming out with that last aircraft I’m the last one you know to come up off the ground and you know they’ve got you pretty well zeroed in by them even though you know you’re starting with some gunships and style but you know the pilots don’t like stay in there and then but then they get over the in this case you get over that anti-aircraft fire I mean all of a sudden weird 7,000 feet freezing AGL huh Nazi level AGL hanging on the end of a rope covered in sweat and I’m freezing to death and I’m looking up you know and I was I’m swinging back and forth so my rope is rubbing back and forth on the edge of the for the helicopter here we got a long ways to go and it’s starting to fray the Rope up here and you know are we gonna get to a place they can set us down before that thing break sort of all right so that runs you around the level up a little bit and you know place you shivering and then you know after about 30 minutes if your legs are asleep you can’t walk because it’s cut the circulation off so even when you get to wherever they gonna set you down you can’t stand up they have to come out and get you and pick you up and put you in the helicopter so it’s another day at SOG huh I know you did a snatch mission you mentioned in these notes you did a little a little you set up and set up the ambush tried to capture someone it doesn’t seem like you mentioned a couple times you weren’t very successful at capturing people yeah together is this how you got your second nickname terminator you know if they don’t cooperate you know sometimes they get terminated you know in this one I mean we we had rehearsed we had practice and one of the techniques of the prisoners snatch is if you have a trail that’s people are going to move up and down in small groups you practice setting up an ambush that has a dead spot in it so in the in the middle of the ambush usually no one’s going to fire into that zone the claymores are angled out so that it creates a dead space there you put a big block to see for there that you’re going to designate or detonate it’s the same you know same time you set off the clay everything’s going to go out at the same time and everybody’s firing and you know the what happens is whoever’s lucky enough to be standing in that dead spot then you get hit with a bullet but the concussion from that c4 stuns them yeah and you know we practiced so it’s stuns them and then I’ve got a guy with me that’s designated as thumper all right so his he and I are going we’re coming out of the bush as soon as that stuff goes off and then dumpers job is to see this guy standing there County days and just take him down you know dump him in the head and he hits the ground I’m gonna hit him in the thigh with the morphine Tourette so I’m gonna pump him full of morphine and then he’ll do whatever we say he’s just calm and but in this case we ended up killing that guy how many at this point you’ve done however many missions had you guys taking me casualties in your teams yet yes but I took most I mean a lot of people got hit I didn’t have anybody kill on one of my teams until I got to party Virginia you know the point man was killed a lot of people were wounded right after I left Virginia on their next mission they just got hammered and lost some people Americans got shot up really bad both critical so they were through with song but at this point you’ve been used you you’re being continuing to be pretty lucky yeah it is people ask me all the time I walk you

know how do you survive that so I see you I’ll be lucky I mean and you call it lucky and all the guide you can call it whatever you want but there’s some kind of intervention that prevents you from getting it you can’t sit in a helicopter like that first one with that many bullets crisscross and in there and not get hit you know and I like a fraction of a second between me being hit and you know the other American being hit on those kids I mean I had just pushed back when I gotta pull the trigger miss me hit the other guy and that happened on a regular basis where you know I when I go speak a lot of times people if it has a this kind of flavor to it if they say something about you know being in Special Forces or something it’s not unusual for people to come out to me and say I really thought you’d be taller and I say if I’d been taller I’d be dead I’m alive because I’m not tall my head has been creased so many times I just wouldn’t be here so then did you would DeBarge well took over for RT Michigan yeah eventually we got to the point where I mean boy boy was ready he could have taken over before me but so we got to the point we were I had to leave to go do something different and I tell him he’s ready he can do this he’s a spec for ya with all those asses all that responsibility and somewhere in there you got a five I think but yeah but if you if you were to go back and look at sog 10.11 would people do that and it used to be that neurologists thought that your prefrontal cortex over here where you make decisions but it’s also the part that controls risk-taking they used to say yeah it fully matures somewhere around 18 to 20 years old and now we know most people don’t material about 28 to 30 years old so what’s hasn’t really men that don’t don’t men reach that level of maturity a little later a little bit the women had a little behind but in in terms of the SOG leaders most of them had not definitely had not matured and I don’t mean you dated the person was immature and he’s telling that part of the brain that controls risk-taking so you’re young you think you’re bulletproof you think you can do anything you think you’re going to live forever man this is a cool thing to do there’s a SOG mission so I think there’s something there I just haven’t hey time to explore it well there’s something there might be that the guys that are 30 years older like I’m not doing it like the guy that told you don’t volunteer for SOG because they’re saying yeah the survivability is not high I’ve got a good I’m not gonna do it yeah but the young kids are all right they’re all in yeah how old was bars well how old were you at this point barge will barge well I was about four or five months older than Blairsville how old were you mm-hmm when Bardwell came along since 1969 you’re 20 to 22 at 46 yes yeah I just become 22 which I didn’t think I would make and I thought for sure I won’t seize 20 20 30 because I mean we’ve obviously skipped over a lot of yeah stuff here we’re used a lot of cat lives but yeah I mean we were just a few months apart and turn well every single one of these operations just about you’re gonna use a certain number or few outlives did you ever go on an operation where you didn’t get contacted by the enemy no if you if he count the gas mm-hmm then no we might contact hundred percent you’re gonna get into contact with the enemy all right what was Operation Shiloh all about and is this where is this why you left RT Michigan yeah okay so you called away from RT Michigan they need somebody

to do operation silent what was that all Mack be SOG and somebody higher up he decided that they needed to stop the influx of supplies and and troops coming down from the north and it was a place called the media pass big deep valley but there was a point where really narrow it up and the banks were really steep and high and you know so it they had to funnel through that pass with their trucks and people and whatever to come on down into the south and you know you send a forward air controller out there I mean they see it so they they pull off and they hide because they know that forward air controller has a bunch of elf fours over here in orbit just waiting on him to find a target and they’re going to come in so they somebody came up with the idea what if we put a team out there up on the ridge of on the crest of that valley looking down and and they’ll be able to see far enough that when they’re coming they can call and say okay they’re on their way scrambling you know get to elf or out here and they all four can be on I’m like a chicken on a gene Berg and just eat them up you know so they decided let’s do this mission will sneak people sneak a team out here put them on a ridge but I’m set up there and and just interdict this place like crazy but it has to be a super team has to be officer led has to all the Americans have to be approved by by name by the President to do this because of where it is and what they’re going to do so they they needed somebody a 1-0 officer who could take over a team that we had there and you know lead it and they put me on it I wasn’t happy about leaving Michigan but I thought wow this sounds cool until I learned more about what they were going to do and I went on a visual recon that went out and rode with the forward air controller why he was putting in air strikes with without fours and I’m looking at this place and I’m thinking there’s got to be somebody up here there’s not a high ground they’re not leaving this place undefended yeah and when I brought that up they said no if there’s nobody there they we never receive any far from that area and I said if you don’t want people to know you’re there you don’t shoot at them so there’s some I’m sure there’s somebody there and anyway so I I had some disagreements with the people down in Saigon about that and I had to go back and forth on a lot of briefings about the mission but and we took the other team there I took the team and we trained and we’d go to mucky mountain and we practice all the staff and our surveillance techniques and we had star-like scopes we had long-range lenses on our cameras and all the state-of-the-art binoculars we had a plan that said and I thought it was funny that we gonna drop parachutes out in an area over away from there with blocks of ice in them so the parachutes will open just saying hang in the trees the ice a mill so when the when the NVA go over there you know they’ll think we parachuted some people then and they moved out because they won’t see anybody I’m saying they’re not stupid anyway so for four weeks we get ready to go do this thing and then finally somebody listened and said no call it off we’re not going to do it and he’ll talk to you and one of your podcast about where he had this special mission that he had to have an officer with him yeah later on after I left it came back up again he decided to do it and they put an officer with his team and said you guys are going to do it and they were out on the helipad with the rotors turning and when the mission got called off because they discovered there were a bunch of people there and if they had put either one of those teams in and when we lost how about dick meadows now legend now this is all he’s alleged at this time oh yeah yeah I mean everybody already knew Meadows had been he got to the point where he’d done all this super-secret of stuff and they said okay

we’re gonna give you a choice you can we can promote you to sergeant major or we can promote you to captain which one do you want and he worked out a deal that says if you promote me to captain then I get to state you can’t you can’t force me out I get to stay in until I can retire you know as an also whatever rank I get to yeah so anyway so he’s the this is I don’t know if this is the army or if it’s just Vietnam I think it’s a little bit of both that kind of thing just doesn’t happen anymore where they take a guy like that go hey we’re gonna either promote you to the senior enlisted side or make you a captain which one do you want yeah that’s epic yeah medicine was an epic yeah I mean so you know I came back from a mission and I was told that we got a new company commander and he wants to see you as soon as you get cleaned up so I got in to see him that night it was probably 2200 and actually he was the quarters were it was a Quonset hut with the wall I was on one side of he he was on the other side I go over and report to him and you know he told me good job and all this stuff I’ve been looking at your record and he said effective right now you’re the Recon company XO but I don’t want to go out of team and he said you can keep a team I don’t care about that but you the XO and you’re gonna help me and he said to start with tomorrow morning we’re gonna have a meeting with all the Americans in recon company one at a time because I’ve been going through the records and I think the some of them’s beret has gotten a little too heavy for him and we’re gonna send them back to the Train tomorrow they don’t need to be in sauk they can go play with Special Forces but they’re not going to be in SOG what do you mean he said there are people here who were not going out on missions very often and going out on missions and every time they get shot off the LZ they never actually complete a mission so you know those people need to go somewhere else and we need to replace them and Metis is a hard dude I’m hard and you can tell when he’s talking to you he is this serious a heart attack so he said here take the stack of files with you go through them tonight tomorrow 700 you know they’re gonna start coming in you know the Recon orderly room and I’m talking you and I gonna have a talk with so you tell me which one you think you need to go home so we met him in there the next morning and you know I’m looking at the list that he’s the stack he’s got the plants that stand back I said we’re not gonna have anybody left and he said I don’t care if we have to you and I will lead all the missions you know in my heart’s not beating at this point because I’m hearing how serious he is in his fours he said we’ll do long yes sir we’re gonna be kind of busy but anyway you ain’t gonna set him a whole home but he he sent a lot of people backed in the train that day put him he’d stolen you helicopters leaving this afternoon beyond it and he started shuttling people back down there you know if you had been you know dragging your feet finding where he’s not digging on missions you were sick you’re you were whatever and you get shot off the LZ I mean he looked at you know over the period of time you had been there how many missions had you been on how many times have you been in contact how many days have you been on the ground and all the kind of stuff and you know he had his own little equation and you know these people needed to find something else to do I mean he was hard in big-time Ranger special-ops mindset and he started looking around right away I said things here we got to clean up we should have a nice isolation area when a team gets a mission you go into isolation that’s the way it’s done Special Forces that’s the doctrine and we’re not doing it why would we not do that here a lot of things like the training you know he don’t mean list the

next morning he said to you meet me down on the beach the next you know tomorrow on the beach puts us right outside the concertina so I made him down there and he said we’re gonna go for a little run you know considerably older than me at that point so we take off down the beach at about a seven-minute pace and I’m thinking of homing count lion would been running I mean I’m starting to you know suck a little wind in here and this Joker’s not slowing down so when we get about the two-mile point you know I thought I said sir I’m gonna I’m gonna go ahead and turn around here and go back and take care of some things you do that lieutenant I’m going to keep running and he kept going and I’d look back at once a wild he disappeared out of sight down the beach and he’s by himself and he’s unarmed and you know later on he came back I mean physical fitness was a big thing for him you keep your body sharp you’ll keep you mind sharp and you know we started to having PT in the mornings for the teams that were not out in the field things like that you made a lot of changes how did that affect the attitude around the camp thanks to you after his house cleaning at the beginning everybody else’s yes sir whatever you want I mean we need to do those stuff when we need to do it right and you know he was out there I mean everybody knew I mean he’s the guy that would say you’ve been out twice to get a prisoner I’m going with you this time and show you how to get one and he’s going and get one and bring it back I mean whatever the mission was he’d good to it and then say now I want the rest of you do it that way whatever you say so he said you can keep a team but here’s how we’re going to start we’ve got a group coming over the first group in Okinawa we’re sending people over temporary duty had sent four teams of Americans over and he said I want you to train them that when they get here you get with them and their teams and you put them through some training on how to run these operations and what to do and then I want you to go out with them with each team you take them out you walk right alongside you know the one zero I guess we call that skin in the game yeah we’re gonna trade up and then you’re gonna go with them yeah and you know when you get a team that you think is ready to go you tell me will sign a mission to them and you take the next team he’s the snakebite teams it’s all started so you know I was going out on a regular basis with these guys you know particularly once I got them trained and you know we were going into the Marine Force Recon area of operations they would put their teams out there within two or three days you know they get run out and we were going out and we’re the objective is at stage seven days we you know we’d eventually make contact sometimes we make contact before that but it was a live fire and she backed target kind of certification so can you lead her team out against real bad guys and and get shot at and do it right and then I give them the check mark they then they get a SOG mission so those are the elephant Valley operations yeah is that what those are so you had an AO that was a little bit calmer it was a little bit closer well had some real bad guys this is just like the ultimate in training operations because it’s actually real yeah the target shoot by I mean and we had several of them wounded you know from going on those emissions but you know they always did a great job I mean when they were there they did a great job so he kept me busy with that but so I was technically still going out with teams I wasn’t happy about it I said I’m real solid machine I don’t it does even count as your sovereigns no just those are just day-to-day stuff you go do you know trying to kill while you’re doing it yeah you just can’t either and you know ironically enough that was very similar to what it was like you know when I came home and went to the Ranger Department became a ranger instructor that’s what I did I was walking along you know with a team of Ranger students grading and evaluating the patrol leaders so he said the targets in sheep back so that’s a little bit of a

difference yeah and then when did you take over RT Virginia was that your next it was at your next one zero yeah we finished with the snake bites and he said okay I got one more mission for you before you get your real team back again and he said we’ve got a team that we want to convert over to Vietnamese led team so it’s going to be a team that’s going to operate with no Americans on it we’ve got Vietnamese army captain that’s coming in here so he’ll be the team leader and we’ve got RT Virginia who hasn’t nobody right now and so I want you to train them with him and then you can you know take him out on a mission and make sure he does okay and if he does okay then you know he will take over the team and he’ll they all start getting you know SOG missions so as soon as I got with the team they were saying no no we don’t want Vietnamese captain I don’t know there was just something about them we bonded very quickly and then they started saying we want you I said it can’t be me it’s got to be this guy so we’re gonna go train and and they were good and I liked them we got along well but they did not like the captain in the end and meadow said okay you take the team you know you spent all this time with him you take him and go with him and then what were those missions then you started doing it Zog my selections yeah because they were good and how many times did you go out with with Artie Virginia a bunch I know I have to go and count him now but yeah I mean that was the last team you know that I was one zero and so these missions are the same you know you’re going deep in enemy territory across the fence as tilt says inserting and trying to do recon trying to find intelligence trying to plant sensors and trying to avoid hundreds if not thousands of and MVA and sometimes sometimes you went out looking for a large unit that was the mission you go find them and once you find him dan you’ve got them located though you bring the world I mean you introduce them to you know what we call later chalk and all I mean you bring all this stuff home because they can’t get away once you know where they are so those some of those were just straight-up Patrol to contact you’re gonna go in there they’re gonna patrol till you find some enemy and then you’re gonna call the fighter you go do that and I think we we I had an in-country mission with Virginia but I think the first outer country was what we sometimes called a suicide mission we put in two teams once we got on the ground we’d separate for you to be called in the suicide mission is a real statement about base hello so we would separate this should be called the guaranteed death mission but okay we’ll go with it suicide mission and and one team would be the the real team that was going to stay out there the suicide team would be the one that was going to go make contact as soon as possible go find them pounce on them do as much damage as you could bring in the world get extracted and go away but the other teams still out there and nobody knows that they’re out there now they think you know that was who got extracted with so you know it was again so we went out and you know sure enough it didn’t take us long to to find you know a patina or so of people and you know so we’re online and we opened fire on them I mean we would normally just start out like that but I could see him and you know I started shooting at him they started shooting back and it was funny that what happened we were online and as soon as all the the bullets started coming back it was sweep they were all right here with me and I’m what are you doing and I said spread out you can’t be here with me I mean you know one be forty take us all out and that’s you know so I had to smoke them a little bit and tell me spread back out dispersion is what we call that and we’d also say don’t bunch up yeah and I would think about the psychology of what makes people bunch up like that and part of it I think is just fear and like you want to be next to someone else you want to have your buddy

and so as soon as a bullets start flying it’s like I’m gonna get next to you because we’ll be together and I feel better when we were together and the other thing I think it’s just communication people want to hear what’s happening people want to know what’s happening and so they figure well the boss is right there I’ll go get with the boss that I’ll know what’s happening and then that’s whatever everyone else on the team thinks the next thing you know you’re too close yeah they knew I had the radio so were you the suicide team were you the assault team and that someone else was there were suicide team you know so we we hammered that group which grew once we started hitting them you know we just kept bringing in enough airpower to eventually we suppressed it enough that you know we could get extracted but so that was but we’d already we had been in contact once before the end country mission but yeah I mean yeah that was a little issue but we got that resolved you maintain dispersion and falling whatever their immediate action drill was but they were a good team I mean they they reacted normally very well under fire and were those were those Vietnamese Vietnamese yeah so with that you wrap up with RT Virginia and you get some R&R and you actually have a document that you gave me about about this R&R in Oran or if you don’t know his rest and recuperation and we’re actually going to cover that on the next podcast so thanks for coming on and we’ll people will fill these people in on this insane operation that is titled rest and recuperation so thanks for coming out thank you for having me all right on to the next one thank you and with that mr. dick Thompson has left the building and once again it is an honor to be able to sit down with such incredible men and do have the opportunity to hear and to preserve their stories and their lessons and it’s actually crazy for me to be sitting here and and to have this opportunity and to be able to share it with anybody that wants to hear it anybody that wants to learn so I am very thankful for this opportunity and one of the things that allows us to do what we’re doing here is you because by listening you can take these lessons and apply them to your life and make yourself better and if you want to help us while you make yourself better and it seems like it would be a good thing to me okay we could you can help us help you help us help you you know what movie that’s wrong yes I do what see feel like you know know where he’s from I do I just recalled it lay it on me Jerry Maguire interesting doesn’t seem like the type of movie that you’d watch oh yeah I guess it doesn’t really seem but maybe it was just a movie that was so popular that at some point watched it on the create gotcha cool well help me help you help me help you a little bit more dramatic unless yes help yourself that’s kind of the real deal right so what are we doing to help ourselves Jiu Jitsu anti-stress activity I was in the locker room good point not necessarily changing in the locker but I’m talking to one of my many friends in a locker room and when you think about it jujitsu is like the most efficient one and off efficient work but it’s like it’s exercise competition friendly and how should I say what do you call aggressive aggressive but like what’s like beneficial competition you know how there’s like unhealthy hell we’ll just say hello competition exercise healthy competition so there’s social element to it these are all things that you get out of it therapy physical and mental by the way and stress relief stress which we didn’t really hit it on this initial podcast but dr. Henry Thompson also known as dick Thompson who we just spent time with his book is called the stress effect and it talks about stress and I concur that Jiu Jitsu is a stress

reliever yeah big-time yeah it’s kind of like um like you get small levels of stress in jujitsu to the point where it doesn’t feel like stress button technically it’s stress just like exercise you know like the stress is your muscle yeah exactly right so yeah so it that’s I think that’s sort of how it works mentally physically you know a little bit of stress on there and then boom the result of that stress is no stress yeah way it goes you know when we’re doing you just do what do we need ease and rash guards that’s the uniform for lack of a better term what kind of gives beginning one hundred percent or hundred percent merging these hundred percent yeah making the best geese in the world yeah factually made in American America yeah from American from American ingredients ingredients the masked peace that is the key yeah yeah everything else to also you know shirts and jackets and joggers jeans I saw you in jeans for the first time I think ever when I don’t know it was like we were going somewhere oh yeah Washington representing big time yeah I look good I felt like I look good yeah I’m not gonna ask your opinion on that matter nonetheless yes I was representing big time um with my American geez American denim you’re from dirty shirt as they say on the last jeans joggers supplements joint warfare I’m back on discipline that’s like two weeks or anything like and I don’t they don’t you you know you sometimes you slip off for whatever reason you run out whatever yeah subscription yeah I’m not even get a subscription yeah so you can get a subscription that way you don’t run out you can go on to origin main dot-com and you can subscribe so that every whatever monthly you get your you get your resupply you know and that way you don’t fall off the train yeah and you save money to cheaper oh yeah and that’s like there’s certain things in life that are like that where like you eat them or use them or whatever like every day and to go on especially if they say money to go on those little subscription it’s just it’s a that will improve your efficiency in your life one less thing you have to think about oh yeah and it just comes and don’t like that disparaging notes just not disparaging it’s just despair yeah that despair that moment you know it’s gonna be three days yeah even if I FedEx it you know they gotta get the order yam no subscribe exactly right so what supplements to it weren’t fair krill oil these are for your joints and general health really curcumin that’s general health right there also discipline and discipline go finally I got the jack dock Jack savage savage that’s Dakota Myers signature signature signature drink I like it it’s comin done a side-by-side comparison you know as far as like which one I prefer but it I won’t be surprised if that is my favorite one Oh your new favorite yes because your old favorite was Tropic Thunder topic thunder yes the lemon lime was kind of too basic to be my favorites to find so great that’s weird because the basic one that you’re over there disparaging no no no no lemon line is my favorite at this time well you’re a simple person you know I get it in a good way my wife kind of curiously asked me she was like how many of these can I drink a day because it turns out my wife is really into their disappoint couple yeah so yeah so anyways I’m thinking four cans is around the limit per day yeah I’ll be drinking I’ve done three and I’m great yeah nope you know holic cuz like if you drink even like a coffee scenario where you did you get to a point where you drink too many coffees and you’re like I don’t feel good anymore you’re weird or offer what a fidgety you know all these little symptoms you know I’ve never actually taken a complete sip of coffee in my whole life no kidding yeah I don’t like the smell of it which means I don’t like I don’t even have people go well haven’t you ever tasted it I’m like well I’m I suppose at some point I’m guessing I put a little sip into my mouth but even the smell alone I smelled it was like a no like this yeah what about um coffee like flavored like it don’t like coffee ice cream but I did yes okay but even then you know sometimes there’ll be some kind of special treat like some kind of a weight this tiramisu you know what tiramisu is doesn’t that have some coffee flavor in it okay well it seems to to me but I don’t like it no no that’s the only one tara misu yeah that’s that one dessert that’s it’s sort of like takes some

skill to make and if it’s on the menu at a really nice restaurant sometimes I’ll have a little scenario happen but I get my tiramisu partially and this is sort of a rationalization partially because well what I tell myself is like well you know I I kind of need to see what it tastes like because there’s there’s some tiramisu one of the best things I’ve ever tasted in my life was Tara masu it was in Canada at this little Jeremy Stephens sister got done cutting weight we went to this out we went to the yeah weighed in and we went to this Italian place homemade Italian place and the guy fed us so much food it was just I was sick how much food we ate and then he goes I’m making you my term stern I said yeah no no my guys I’m making it for you you know I’m just I’m gonna do it you just be quiet so it took like 40 minutes mm-hmm he like made it yeah he brings out you know you know once you’ve eaten a lot you still think you can eat more but then after like 15 minutes are like no I can’t so he was like 40 minutes so now I’m just thinking myself I cannot eat anymore yeah he brings out this tara misu newzik and he I forget what kind of actually had but he had an accent it was either French or Italian I think it was French but you know he just put it in front of me and I ate I took a bite and it was the it was definitely one of the best things I’ve ever had dang that’s saying a lot because it’s one thing it’s like you’re hungry and the first time you had it has an impression and imprinted in your brain but you’re like basically the worst conditions to have that that mean it’s so good oh yeah dang because everything else was good too so anyways maybe a medium need to make a Tara masoom Molk as if that’s even a thing but wait what is – is there a thermos you like a flavor I don’t know and I got is research I know I got to do research so you know what that means got eats of North Terrace so speaking of MalK you can get milk that’s protein it’s another dessert which is as good as tara misu sure it’s as good as 94% of tiramisu c-couldn’t there’s only 6% of Tara mysteries that are mind blowing the rest of them you know they’re okay is it because of the coffee I have no idea I mean I went any idea what’s in tiramisu I don’t know what it is but it tastes good in 6% situations Mulk 100% please good how this last night speaking milk I ran out of milk so do I just be a savage and put water in it because it wasn’t that serious keep in mind and this is literally true ahead I was eating steak rice broccoli and those sort of it yeah what did you eat or whatever yeah I need a little something right girl is but here’s the thing when you eating steak rice broccoli you don’t need additional protein necessarily unless the steak is small I get it but at that moment you don’t necessarily need it I just wanted it but I’m out of milk so you see my conundrum right here is it kind of not worth it kind of situation but I found some you know the one in the can the operated milk you know that thing you ever tasted yeah yeah Brett doesn’t taste good yeah it tastes pretty wack actually but you put it in the milk it makes it like more oh it was good it was surprising really good yes it was like it was like the same deal that dessert a little bit extra creamy I put some peanut butter in it too it was a dark chocolate one so yes mall you are correct 100 B little I’ll stop going to be little the other day you know I said you know I’ve only actually had the darkness Mulk a couple times you have yes and he said you gotta try it again it’s really good and so I went home and I was like okay I’m gonna have I’m gonna have the dark darkness it’s good that’s my main jam right now Oh darkness you yeah so all I’ve kind of disparaged that flavor a bit oh yeah well you know everything else is so great and then there’s chocolate the darkness now I’m sort of thinking I underestimated the quality and the taste we have the darkness okay so you get milk you can also get strawberry milk and chocolate milk for your kids war your kid milk so that they’re healthy for the strawberry one I’m not saying do this mm-hmm but do this just try it how about this just try it add a half a banana in it just do that my port back did I tell you my daughter the other day she sent me she’s in college and she sent me a snapchat yeah sure yeah yeah all good yeah well yeah that’s that’s closed scenario with the fam oh closed circuit I got you and anyways cuz she’s a 18 year old girl she sent me a snap of her of her shake and it said it said you could you could just know exactly what it said it said literally a peanut butter chocolate milkshake that was the text written and then she called

me because I don’t really check snap that often of course I don’t think I’ve got it live for notifications but then she said you know she sent me a text check your snap and I said why what is everything okay you know really just made the best it’s literally so anyways I think it’s complete hilarity not 99% 100% hilarity how witnessing second hand by the way you navigate your way through the current trends of eighteen-year-old snapchat lingo scenarios that’s very funny yeah and I’m sure I’m not the only one yeah also Joe Kuwaiti let’s not forget about the junk away you know you once you kind of deadly fall that weight or whatever we tend to forget where you know how you got there so let’s just not forget that yeah and plus winter is here kind of sure seto fall ya fallish but what that means is warm drinks there’s one do others to drinks to drink warm milk warm sure like chocolate mole where your kid milk is better warm interesting yeah and I did that I a while ago right when the work he came out it’s better one or you can drink it jakka white tea warm it’s good if you haven’t been yes you can get all these amazing I shouldn’t say amazing amazing is one of those words that it like it started off as a joke because people we’re amazing but Bradley you’re not amazed by this just say good or whatever in unless those jokes oh I’d say it as a joke mocking or no you’re serious yeah you know how it rolls into your normal lingo after all it did that anyway these items to keep you on the path help yourself help others all that origin it’s Rehana also chuck was this door called choco store so you go to chuckles TOCOM what can get their rash guards rash guards this is like representative of the path you’re on the path you represent on the kind of like if people know if you listen and you know you see somebody representing in the wild right you know they’re on the path 100% oh yeah even at the gym I’ll see people yeah well there’s a lot of people wearing the rack guard here at our gym yes I wanted this oh yeah and to me that tells me how to present like you know when uh when I see somebody that’s wearing you know that’s representing big time I just give them like a little head a little something yes sir I need to yeah because it’s not it’s not acknowledgement its unification right yes like I’m with you yeah we’re together oh yeah we’re in this fight oh yeah I feel it two men and I think that’s a common thing you know like I’m sure Pete could tell you too like a fuse at the post office or wherever and he sees like somebody with the you know there’s some orange boots on or something like this you just kind of look at him look at the boot to me like yeah you know yes you know t-shirts truckers hats beanies hoodies what else good stuff cows on there we replaced some stuff yeah it’s just go coaster calm if you like something came in get something represent good spot forget about this podcast if you want to listen to it and when you want to know when it comes out then you can subscribe to this podcast wherever you subscribe to podcasts which is a good call because echo doesn’t think you’ve subscribed to it yet I actually don’t think that okay there you go I think I survive really do you say it anymore no well you know I think people subscribe no it’s a cool reminder you just got trapped it’s a cool reminder yes wherever you listen to podcast yes subscribe if you would if you want fully also speaking of subscribing it’s another podcast that people seem to like mmm called grounded keeps you grounded kind of jiu jitsu a theme it’s not it’s not really a jiu-jitsu thing it kind is it’s just more what exploring certain elements of life in a little bit more loose way I guess yeah that’s a good way of talking about it yeah it’s just kind of a little bit more mellow version if the geo podcast yes just kind of talk about stuff but when you listen to it like you it kind of feels like the feeling right because you have a certain experience when you listen to pocket the feeling you get because I listen to it I don’t get feelings for going we it’s kind of like okay a conversation going on about a certain thing and you kind of want to chime in more like that’s how I

feel you know like like when elicit it’s like a conversations going on kind of with you it’s what it feels like no no that was my one of my prelim experiences with it nonetheless called grounded podcasts same deal on uh you know iTunes Google Play all that stuff also the word hit but guess mm-hmm don’t forget about that one though the young ones and don’t forget about that one’s eyes and we have two in the bank I got one more to prep and we’ll get another three warrior kid podcasts out there so working it and then don’t forget about the warrior kid soap from Irish Oaks ranch calm if you’re going to support a warrior kid it’s a good way to do it he’s running a business at age 13 no big deal yeah with legitimate products by the way because it’s one thing again I said this for like you know how your friend or your neighbor whoever they give you the soap wrapped in the little decorative plastics ribbons you know that soap not really but well they’ll do it from time to time and they’re like hey here’s your gift item you know so it’s like cool to him but yeah you would think but it’s not real so it’s real soap technically but like you use it and you’re like bread this isn’t for use this is like a decorative piece you put on the sink on the side or something like that it’s like that’s what it is this one shaped like a claymore mine or something usually it’s shaped like a turtle shell or like a you know raindrop I don’t know a bruised tank typically no less Jacko’s soap the one the eight inmates it’s like good you it’s soap so like you use it you’re supposed to use it’s not water it’s not a wall hanger it’s not a decorative piece got it’s functional as you say it’ll help you also YouTube channel if you’re interested in the video version of this podcast you know if you have a smart TV like hanging in your wall and your gym and your or in your house whatever your office whatever you want to play the spot guest boom put on the youtube version I say that does I hear that people are doing that I’ve seen videos of people doing that means it’s pretty cool plus you can see echoes videos that he well it’s up for debate whether he goes overboard or not I think something that’s clearly that it has gone I think they’re like like what do you call borderline pushing the envelope I see the perfect amount of modulation with fire explosions sound effects and gel oh yeah check that out we also got psychological warfare if you need a little mental support that’s me giving it to you through your mp3 platform then there’s flipside canvas calm this is visual support run by my brother Dakota Meyer who’s making graphic art representation of the path cool stuff check that out flipside canvas calm okay we got some books number one the stress effect look we got two more podcasts with dick Thompson he wrote a book we’ll cover in the third podcast but it’s called the stress effect if you want to get ahead you can order it now we’ve got it listed on the website why smart leaders make dumb decisions and what to do about it the stress effect so check that out of course we also have leadership strategy and tactics which is my new book coming out January 14th I was flipping through the index it’s a heavily indexed book so that you can quickly find what you’re looking for but it’s pretty cool when you when you are looking through the index here’s some here’s some things communication with bosses forms of complaints complex problems compromise condon calmness comes to countenance tension confidence construction sites contingency planning counseling countenance it’s got some it’s got some very interesting topics all about leadership check that one out then of course there are the warrior kid books one two and three to get kids on the path we got Mikey and the Dragons for the littler kid teach that kid to overcome fear we have the discipline equals freedom Field Manual the first field manual about how to be on the path if you want to know about workouts there’s a bunch of workouts in there for you if you want to know about martial arts there’s a bunch about martial arts in there if you want to know about food it’s in their sleep it’s in there all that stuff’s in there and then there is the thoughts from me and and then there’s extreme ownership and the

dichotomy of leadership these are the two leadership books that I wrote with my brother life babban and if you need help with your leadership you can check those out there’s also a tional on front this is our leadership consultancy and what we do is solve problems through leadership go to a salon front calm for that if you want to get some of that training online check out EF online you don’t need someone from echelon front to show up at your business to give you the instruction you can get it from EF online online training interactive online training then we have the muster the next muster is in Sydney Australia which is happening now this is probably already done so look at extreme ownership comm for details of the forthcoming musters in 2020 and then we have EF overwatch and EF Legion this is where we are taking folks from the military and placing them into civilian companies that need leadership and if you want to continue to hear from us then you can interact with us on the interwebs and dick Thompson is on Twitter by the way he is at HP s underscore CEO and he also has a website HP sis sys comm that’s high performance systems that’s his company so if you want to check out or you want to interact with dick Thompson credible human being check them out and then also we are on Twitter as well we are an Instagram and we are on ye olde phase and boudic echo is at echo Charles and I am at jackal Wellington thanks once again to dr. Henry dick Thompson for sharing his wisdom on this program today and more important thanks to Colonel Thompson for his service and sacrifice to protect freedom and democracy around the world for his whole career and thanks to the rest of our military men and women that are out there today doing the same for us now and to all the police and law enforcement and firefighters and paramedics and EMTs and dispatchers and correction officers and Border Patrol Secret Service and all first responders thank you for protecting us here on the home front and everyone else out there we all want to do better everybody wants to be better everyone talks about becoming better but I’ll tell you right now it doesn’t just happen in fact it will not happen on its own it will not happen on its own you have to make it happen you have to lead yourself you have to make yourself better by attacking everyday in spite of whatever challenges you face every day go out there and get after it and until next time this is echo and Jocko out