JB Spisso spent 26 years in the US Army, including a decade in special operations with the 75 Ranger Regiment. In a career that began with being among the first on the ground jumping into Panama and ended with a deployment to Afghanistan, Spisso has seen the Army go from the end of the Cold War to the height of the Global War on Terror. Spisso held multiple leadership positions in the Army during his career, including a stint at West Point.  Upon retirement, Spisso entered the leadership/mentorship space as a consultant and founded JBS Leadership Consultants. In that capacity, Spisso has worked with businesses, executives and sports franchises at the highest level, including teams from the NHL, NFL and NCAA. Spisso is the author of Warrior Leadership: Steps to Success for Leaders on the Ground.
To learn more about Spisso, order your copy of Warrior Leadership and to contact him, please visit:
https://www.jbsleaders.com

 

Maury Abreu spent 4 years in the US Marine Corps, including a year-long deployment in Iceland and being selected as a Close Combat Instructor. Maury then took a job as a corrections officer with the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Shortly after 9/11, he began working for a government agency training individuals who operate globally and independently without backup, specifically in extreme close quarters combat and counterterrorism. Maury is the CEO and founder of Omega Protective Concepts, a company which teaches individuals  comprehensive skills for self defense and success in violent encounters of all kinds. The son of immigrants, Maury speaks with passion and conviction about his family, the opportunities that America and the Marine Corps gave him, and how the Corps set him up to navigate and succeed in life.
Learn more about Maury and Omega Protective Concepts:
https://omegaprotectiveconcepts.com

Toby Harnden spent a decade in the British Royal Navy, deploying Internationally multiple times, retiring from naval service in 1994. A graduate of Oxford, Harnden embarked on a career in journalism that has spanned three decades and sent him to 33 countries while working for The Daily Telegraph and Times of London. While posted in Belfast, Harnden covered the Irish Troubles and from those experiences, he wrote his first book, Bandit Country: The IRA and South Armagh (1999).  From 1999-2003, Harnden was the Daily Telegraph’s Washington bureau chief and was in D.C. on 9/11. He covered the Iraq War and later Afghanistan and from 2013-2019 was Washington bureau chief for The Sunday Times of London.  His second book was Dead  Men Risen: The Welsh Guards and the Defining Story of Britain’s War in Afghanistan (2011). Extensive research and multiple trips to Afghanistan led to his most recent book, First Casualty-The Untold Story of the CIA Mission to Avenge 9/11 (2021). This is the incredible story of the first Americans airlifted into the mountains of northern Afghanistan in October of 2001, linking up with the Northern Alliance and taking the fight to the Taliban, culminating in the Battle of Qala-i-Jangi, where America suffered its first casualty in Afghanistan, Mike Spann. Harnden takes us through the riveting story of the political machinations of Washington immediately after 9/11, the initial CIA advance teams, Green Beret ODAs and the various warlords and ethnic groups that made up the Northern Alliance.  Harnden also details his own fascinating career, from dealing with the IRA during the Troubles, to being detained by the Mahdi Army in Iraq, to being imprisoned in Zimbabwe.

You can learn more about Harnden and his books at: https://tobyharnden.com/
Follow Toby on Instagram: @tobyharnden1

Rydelle Nelson spent 6 years in the U.S. Air Force, with deployments across the globe.  Rydelle’s service ran the gamut, from 15 months in the desert in support of the Global War on Terror, to Korea (where he had to navigate a frozen hill in the middle of the night to the chow hall-not always successfully) to Key West working on drug and human trafficking interdiction in the Caribbean. Along the way, he took advantage of his leave and visited dozens of countries.

Currently completing training to obtain his pilot’s license, Rydelle plans on reenlisting in the Reserves or National Guard. Rydelle speaks movingly about what his service meant to him, the friendships he made with fellow service-members and how it expanded his view of the world, America and his place in it.

Will Jones spent 4 years (2004-2008) in the US Army, with 2 deployments to Iraq. Will’s second deployment was a 15 month hitch to Sadr City, Baghdad, where he and his fellow soldiers faced the Madhi Militia. After completing his service, Will came back home to Los Angeles, entered UCLA film school, and later took trips to Afghanistan and another film school in the Philippines. Will is an inferno of positive energy and he speaks frankly about some very dark times (as well as some very humorous ones), during his time in the Army. Will now devotes his time to helping veterans stay engaged, in shape and with a sense of purpose, with weekly beach workouts, rucking, boxing and numerous charities.

You can get your daily dose of inspiration by following Will on Instagram: @boomitsyourboywilljones

D.M. Scott spent 12 years in the Marine Corps, with deployments to Iraq twice (Ramadi, Fallujah) and Afghanistan. While in Iraq, he earned the nickname ‘Mutant’, for surviving multiple mortar and IED blasts, apparently unharmed.

But time would reveal deeper wounds in the form of traumatic brain injury, and D.M.’s road to recovery was a bumpy one that took him to some dark places. D.M. shares his road back to recovery through therapy and the restoring power of the ocean and surfing with the veteran non-profit One More Wave. This is a raw, revealing and inspirational conversation and we’re grateful to D.M. for taking a chance and sharing his story.

William Branum spent 26 years in the U.S. Navy, 23 of those as a SEAL. He deployed multiple times to Iraq and Afghanistan in the GWOT, and spent the last three years of his active duty service helping the SEAL teams acquire the funds and gear they needed to stay at the cutting edge.

William takes us through the grueling process of what it takes to become a SEAL, and the many important life lessons that he learned and skills he developed that we can all benefit from.
After retiring from the Navy, William jumped into the entrepreneurial world, starting his own consulting firm.

Brad Thomas spent 20 years in the U.S. Army, first as a Ranger and later as an operator in Delta Force, the Army’s Tier 1 special missions unit. Brad was deployed to Somalia and was on the ground in Mogadishu for the incident which became known as “Black Hawk Down.” Brad would later earn his way into ‘The Unit’-Delta Force, and go on to participate in some of the most consequential missions in the Global War on Terror.  

A lifelong musician, Brad continued to play guitar  throughout his military career and as he was getting close to retirement,  linked up with former Nirvana and Soundgarden guitarist Jason Everman, who had become a Ranger and a Green Beret.  Along with Tyson Stahl,  Fred Cowell, and Brandon Lundeen (also veterans), they formed the band Silence and Light.

Brian Andrews and Jeffery Wilson join the show. Both veterans of the U.S. Navy, Andrews was  a nuclear submarine officer and Wilson a combat surgeon who deployed multiple times over his fourteen year career with an East-coast based SEAL team. Together they form the writing duo of Andrews and Wilson, best selling authors of the Tier One Series, Sons of Valor and their latest release, Dark Intercept.

We cover what it’s like patrolling the depths of the ocean in a nuclear submarine, the mindset and leadership culture of the Navy SEALs, how Andrews and Wilson decided to team up as co-authors and some great details of their various stories and characters.

Colonel Dean Rondeau (Ret.-U.S. Army) joins the show. Rondeau’s Army career spanned 38 years (17 active duty, 21 Reserve/National guard), and included multiple international deployments to Panama, the Balkans and 2 deployments to Iraq (OIF). Rondeau’s unique career saw him enter the Army as it was transitioning from the Vietnam era, and retire well into the Global War on Terror.

Multilingual, Rondeau served as an Intelligence Officer, Civil Affairs, Airborne, Infantry and more. This was a fascinating, wide ranging discussion and Rondeau’s insights on leadership, the lessons of history, granular details of Iraqi society and culture, warfare and much more are thought-provoking and refreshingly direct.

Adam Martin joins the show. Adam spent 6 years in the US Army as an MP, including a 15 month deployment to Iraq. Adam’s unit was responsible for escorting and guarding convoys on the road from Kuwait to Baghdad was under constant attack from IEDs, RPGs and small arms fire. Adam gives a riveting account of his deployment, including a split-second decision, narrowly avoiding a massive IED.

In his civilian career, Adam has done virtually every job in law enforcement has to offer, including  corrections officer, patrol, narcotics, firearms instructor, to name a few. Adam is also the founder and frontman for the southern rock band, Blackbird Anthem. Blackbird Anthem is based in Florida and Texas and plays across the country at festivals, veteran events, traditional venues, and more. Their new album is out now, Whiskey Confessions.

LT. Arabia Shanklin (active duty-US Navy), joins the show. A graduate of the US Naval Academy, Arabia’s first tour was as a Surface Warfare Officer on the USS Simpson, where she deployed twice to the Mediterranean and Arabian Gulf.  After the Simpson was decommissioned, Arabia was assigned to the USS Whidbey Island, where she served as the Command Training Officer and Legal Officer. She later served as Flag Aide to the Commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 3.  Arabia’s naval career has taken her on deployments to the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Western Pacific, Indian Ocean and Arabian Gulf.  In addition to her Naval career, Arabia is an actress and model, having appeared in films, TV shows and commercials and in Vogue magazine. She is also one of the twelve servicewomen selected to be painted as part of Proudly She Served, which highlights women military veterans and their service and raises awareness of the challenges many women face when transitioning to life outside of the military.

Learn more about Arabia and Proudly She Served: https://www.proudlysheserved.com

We diverge a bit on this show from the military to the intelligence world. J.T. Patten has spent a career working for various government intelligence agencies. He was a counterterrorism intelligence advisor and worked with the military special operations community in support of national defense and policy. J.T.’s areas of expertise include Iran and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Qods Force, cyber insider threat detection, transcontinental financial crime, and for Irregular and Unconventional Warfare strategies in counterterrorism, intelligence collection, and social network disruption.  On top of it all, J.T. is also the author of multiple military/espionage thrillers, including the Task Force Orange series  and Sean Havens Black Ops novels. His latest book is Shadow Masters.

You can learn more about J.T. at:
https://jtpattenbooks.com

Retired Lieutenant Colonel Oakland “Oak” McCulloch spent 23 years in the US Army, holding numerous leadership positions in the Infantry and Armor branches.

McCulloch’s service took him around the globe,  including Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia and Iraq as a General’s Aide-de-Camp, support operations in Bosnia as a Congressional Liaison Officer, a peace keeping deployment to Kosovo as an Operations Officer and as an instructor at the Australian Command and Staff College.

Dave Rogers spent 22 years in the US Navy. From a small town in Massachusetts, Dave’s decision to join the Navy would take him around the globe, from the Balkans to the Middle East, to Israel and even a trip to the Vatican to shake hands with Pope John Paul II. Along the way, Dave was lucky enough to gain pearls of wisdom from his superior officers, and later to pass along that wisdom to sailors under his command in a truly fulfilling and meaningful Naval career.

Eddie Molina joins the podcast. Eddie spent a decade in the New Jersey National Guard and was deployed to Iraq, where he was stationed at Camp Cropper, the holding facility near Baghdad International Airport where high-value detainees were kept. Among those detainees was Chemical Ali, Tariq Aziz, and many other prominent Baath Party members.

Eddie is now a feature writer for several online and print media publications, including The Blue Magazine, SOFREP, Law Enforcement Today and Police1. Eddie also authored a book, A Beginner’s Guide to Leadership, available anywhere you purchase books.

Captain Tammie Jo Shults (US Navy, Ret.) joins the podcast. Tammie Jo was a Naval Aviator from 1985-1993 (active duty) and until 2001 in the reserves. During her naval career, Tammie Jo earned her wings in the T-34, then as a flight instructor for the T-2 Buckeye, later qualifying in A-7 Corsair II and EA-6B Prowler and eventually becoming one of the first female naval aviators to qualify in the F/A-18 Hornet.

After retiring from the Navy, Tammie became a pilot for Southwest Airlines, where she flew the 737 until her retirement in 2020. On Flight 1380, from New York to Dallas in 2018, an engine fan blade failed and led to fuselage damage and rapid decompression at 32,000 feet. Due to Tammie’s (along with first officer Darren Lee Ellisor) calm, steady and heroic actions, the flight was able to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia. For her actions, Tammie was recognized by Congressional resolution and visited the White House to meet with then-President Trump.

James Karp is a former US Marine, French Foreign Legionnaire and current archaeologist. James deployed to Iraq during the early stages of the war and participated in the 2nd battle of Fallujah. After the Marines, James enlisted in the French Foreign Legion. After retiring from military life, James started SV Chasing Horizon, a group of veterans who help other veterans  reconnect and regain a sense of purpose by organizing short and long-term sailing excursions, dive training and other ocean related activities.

Follow James in Instagram @julesduiburg

Linda Maloney spent 20 years in the US Navy, first as an enlisted air traffic controller and then as a Naval Flight Officer, flying both the A-6 “Intruder” and EA-6B “Prowler.” In 1993, Linda became one of the first women in US history to join a combat military flying squadron. Linda received a distinguished air medal for combat, awarded for flights flown over Southern Iraq in support of the no-fly zone during her deployment to the Arabian Gulf.

Another first for Linda was being the first woman to eject from a Martin Baker ejection seat from her A-6 aircraft in 1991 over the Atlantic Ocean, an experience she takes us through in detail. After retiring from the Navy, Linda worked as a defense contractor and authored Military Fly Moms ~ Sharing Memories, Building Legacies, Inspiring Hope,  a biographical collection of the inspiring true stories and photographs of seventy women who shared the same two dreams—becoming aviators in the military, and being moms.

Kini Cole spent 6 years in the US Marine Corps as a Recon Marine, 4 1/2 years with the NYPD and has been in federal law enforcement for 25 years.

In addition, Kini is also a 3-time IBJJF World Champion, a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Professor and an instructor at South Florida Tactical Athletes, a company that prepares candidates for Special Operations Selection Courses in all branches of the US military.