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.

Nick Rahn spent six years in the US Air Force as a member of the Security Forces, which included four deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Nick is also a mixed martial artist who has fought in multiple tournaments and competitions.

This is a raw, intensely personal conversation in which Nick opens up about a lifetime of highs and lows, from family trauma to IED patrols and discovering a soldier who had committed suicide on base, to a loss of purpose after leaving the Air Force, culminating in his own suicide attempt. From that abyss, Nick emerged with a sense of purpose in the service of others, got back into MMA and founded Warriors Next Adventure.  WNA provides multiple avenues for veterans to heal, get involved with charitable projects and rediscover that sense of camaraderie and purpose that they had during their military service.

KR Paul joins the show. Kay is active duty US Air Force, having initially joined the reserves in August of 2001. Kay’s Air Force career has taken her on multiple deployments throughout the world and taught her invaluable lessons along the way…such as how to play Crud, hunting zombies with JTACs on Guam, the elastic definition of ‘acquiring more food’, and the resilience that comes with falling down a hole and climbing back out. In addition to all that, Kay is the author of the urban fantasy, “Pantheon.”

To learn more about Kay and her work, check out,
https://authorkrpaul.com

Mike Camarillo joins the podcast. Mike spent 12 years in the US Navy as a K-9 Handler. Upon leaving the Navy,  Mike began a 21-year career in law enforcement across multiple agencies,  including serving in the executive protection unit assigned to the president of the Navajo Nation.

Since 2003, Mike has been riding with the Navajo-Hopi Honor Riders, a group of motorcyclists who honor military members and families through motorcycle escort services and volunteer community projects.

Ryan Casperson joins the show. Ryan spent 4 years active duty in the US Army and is currently in his 7th  year in the California National Guard. He is the Commander of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Associate Chapter (CVMA) 33-2, based in Stockton, CA.

While on active duty, Ryan was a wrecker, or what he describes as a “tow-service for the Army.”  While on deployment in Afghanistan, Ryan had some memorable experiences, including hanging in a truck off the side of a cliff, being mortared a few times and eating lamb chops at a Polish Forward Operating Base. Back home, Ryan continues to serve in the CA National Guard and through the CVMA. Ryan’s chapter is involved in many local charitable projects, including a homeless veteran’s outreach program, memorial rides, and Christmas/New Year’s giveaway for veteran families in need.

Daniel Charles Ross spent seven years on active U.S. Army duty, mostly as a long-duration undercover Military Police Investigator, serving five years in Germany in two trips. Dan has been a senior enlisted Navy Journalist since October 1986, with deployments to places such as Manila, the Philippines; Germany; and New Orleans covering Mardi Gras. Dan retired from the Navy Reserve in July 2010 as a Chief Petty Officer. Most of his civilian work life was spent on staff at and for magazines. He was an Associate Editor at AutoWeek; the Detroit Editor at Popular Mechanics; and the National Editor at both Motor Trend and Car and Driver.  Dan is the author the military thriller ‘Force No One’ and the upcoming ‘Force Majeure’.

You can find out more about Dan and his order his books at:
https://genuinedcr.com/

Naval aviator, author and film producer Paco Chierici joins the show. Paco spent twenty years in the Navy, flying the A-6E Intruder, F-14A Tomcat and the F-5 Tiger II. Paco deployed to combat zones from Somalia to Iraq and was stationed aboard carriers including the USS Ranger, Nimitz and Kitty Hawk.

In his career, Paco has accumulated over 3,000 tactical hours and completed over 400 carrier landings.  In addition to being an aviator, Paco also is the author of the novel, Lions of the Sky and the producer of the award-winning naval aviator documentary, Speed and Angels, available on Amazon Prime.