35 episodes

Real combat stories from the military's elite.

This podcast highlights the courageous, outrageous, crazy, and surreal experiences veterans recall from their toughest days in the foxhole, cockpit, and front lines. We interview JTACs, Special Operators (Delta), Special Forces, Jet Pilots, Combat Aviators, Infrantrymen, Marines, and vets from over 50 years of combat experience.

Interviews touch on the toughest missions these vets faced, how they handled them, their first combat experiences, how they found their way to the military, and how they managed after leaving the combat behind.

Combat Story Ryan Fugit

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

Real combat stories from the military's elite.

This podcast highlights the courageous, outrageous, crazy, and surreal experiences veterans recall from their toughest days in the foxhole, cockpit, and front lines. We interview JTACs, Special Operators (Delta), Special Forces, Jet Pilots, Combat Aviators, Infrantrymen, Marines, and vets from over 50 years of combat experience.

Interviews touch on the toughest missions these vets faced, how they handled them, their first combat experiences, how they found their way to the military, and how they managed after leaving the combat behind.

    Combat Story (Ep 34): Kevin Flike | Special Forces | Green Beret Foundation | Wounded By War | Purple Heart

    Combat Story (Ep 34): Kevin Flike | Special Forces | Green Beret Foundation | Wounded By War | Purple Heart

    Today we hear the Combat Story of Kevin Flike, a former Green Beret and Purple Heart recipient who served multiple deployments, including two to Afghanistan.

    Kevin was shot in the abdomen during his second deployment and took years recovering from the associated physical and emotional scars and has shown that it is possible to not only fully recover from such an injury, but to thrive.

    He is a graduate of the MIT Sloan School of Management and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, sits on the Board of Directors at the Green Beret Foundation, is a sought out motivational speaker, and shares his story of perseverance through a blog and outreach series called Wounded by War, which includes a documentary on his recovery.

    Kevin was recommended to me by Beau Wise, a former guest on the show who lost two of his brothers to the war in Afghanistan, one of whom knew Kevin. Kevin and Beau have become like brothers. I hope you enjoy this inspiring insight from the brink of death to tremendous success as much as I did.

    Find Kevin online:


    LinkedIN https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinflike/
    Instagram @woundedbywar 
    Wounded by War www.woundedbywar.com

    Find Ryan online:


    Follow on Instagram @combat_stories  
    Email ryan@combatstory.com
    Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus
    Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle


    #greenberetfoundation #specialforces #kevinflike #veteran #combatstory #army #specialops #specialoperations

    Show Notes


    0:00 - Intro
    1:04 - Guest introduction
    2:38 - Person in common: Beau Wise (as viewers will recall from a previous interview who was the sole survivor of three boys in the Wise family to make it home from Afghanistan).
    21:03 - Decision to enlist out of college via the 18X program.
    32:52 - Kevin’s strengths and perfect fit with the Green Berets.
    34:50 - Learning to manage expectations when teaching, fighting, and working with others.
    39:38 - Combat Story #1: Afghanistan (Kunduz) 2010.
    46:11 - Combat Story #2: First firefight.
    54:27 - How to process the “addiction” to war looking back now.
    59:55 - Combat Story #3: The mission that led to Kevin’s significant injury.
    1:09:55 - What goes through your mind when you’re shot and think you might die.
    1:15:06 - Wounded By War (www.woundedbywar.com)
    1:20:05 - Motivational Speaking to companies, communities, schools and the Green Beret Foundation
    1:21:50 - What did you carry with you into combat?
    1:22:40 - Would you do it again?

    • 1 hr 23 min
    Combat Story (Ep 33): Jon Macaskill | Navy SEAL | Commander | Men Talking Mindfulness | Entrepreneur

    Combat Story (Ep 33): Jon Macaskill | Navy SEAL | Commander | Men Talking Mindfulness | Entrepreneur

    Today we hear the Combat Story of Jon Macaskill, a retired Navy SEAL Commander turned mindfulness and meditation teacher.  He spent a career in the Navy’s Special Warfare and military Joint Special Operations communities and served in Iraq, Afghanistan, off the coast of Somalia, and in Panama.

    One story that Jon shares in this episode and which shows the burdens and gut wrenching aspects of combat, was his association with Operation Red Wings, which many will recall from the book and movie Lone Survivor.

    Jon is a Naval Academy graduate, holds a Master’s degree from the Naval Postgraduate School, and, since retiring, runs a consulting business that brings mindfulness and meditation to high performing teams to aid in dealing with stress, anxiety, and depression, all while increasing focus, creativity, and productivity.

    He shares the benefits and opportunities both on the show and on his own podcast, called Men Talking Mindfulness, which, as Jon described it, is what happens when you combine a Navy SEAL and modern day Hippie!

    I hope you enjoy Jon’s honest, humble, and challenging Combat Story as much as I did.

    #combatstory #SEAL #NavySEAL #specialoperations #specialwarfare

    Find Jon online:


    Website: https://macaskillconsulting.com/
    LinkedIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonmacaskill/
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mindfulfrogman/
    Instagram Men Talking Mindfulness: https://www.instagram.com/mentalkingmindfulness/


    Find Ryan online:


    Follow on Instagram @combat_stories (https://www.instagram.com/combat_stories/)
    Email ryan@combatstory.com
    Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus
    Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle


    Show Notes


    0:00 - Intro
    0:55 - Jon Macaskill’s bio and guest introduction
    2:00 - Interview begins
    17:30 - SEAL competition at the Naval Academy
    24:55 - Something most don’t know about BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL Training)
    33:02 - Being an Officer in the SEALs
    40:07 - Combat Story #1: Deployment to Afghanistan
    51:03 - Combat Story #2: Operation Red Wings and the Lone Survivor connection. LinkedIN article on this event that's well worth the read: https://thriveglobal.com/stories/this-is-why-i-meditate/
    1:00:50 - Managing trauma, guilt, depression and finding meditation and mindfulness
    1:15:48 - Common difficulties for people new to meditation
    1:18:13 - How to find Jon online
    1:20:27 - The coolest thing Jon did as a SEAL (leaving a submarine on an SDV - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SEAL_Delivery_Vehicle)
    1:22:14 - What’s one thing you carried with you on missions?
    1:23:45 - Would you go back and do it all again?

    • 1 hr 25 min
    Combat Story (Ep 32): Yonel "Yogi" Dorelis | CSAR Pilot | DFC (V) | 370+ Lives Saved | 5.5K Hours

    Combat Story (Ep 32): Yonel "Yogi" Dorelis | CSAR Pilot | DFC (V) | 370+ Lives Saved | 5.5K Hours

    Today we hear the combat story of Yonel “Yogi” Dorelis, a retired and long-time helicopter pilot who served in the Marine Corps, Navy, Army, and Air Force.

    While in uniform, Yogi flew a variety of aircraft and mission profiles, but spent a considerable amount of time flying Combat Search and Rescue for the Air Force in the HH-60, including early in the war in Afghanistan. In fact, during this time, Yogi earned a Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) with V Device for his life saving efforts in Operation Anaconda, a mission that’s near and dear to my heart because I later went on to serve with several of the Apache pilots who were there at the time.

    Beyond earning the coveted DFC, Yogi also accumulated 5,500 hours of flight time, approximately 500 of that in combat. He’s credited with saving 70+ military lives and approximately 300 more in his civilian flight career as part of an EMS crew, which he does to this day.

    It was a blast to sit down with another aviator and a CSAR one at that, where it remains clear that no matter what airframe you flew, all pilots experience similar mishaps, near death experiences, laughs, and red tape along the way. I hope you enjoy this Combat Story as much as I did.

    Connect with Ryan Fugit:


    Follow on Instagram @combat_stories (https://www.instagram.com/combat_stories/)
    Email ryan@combatstory.com
    Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus
    If you'd like Ryan to interview you for the show or to have him interview a family member or friend in private (not for the show) just to have their story on the record for future generations, email him at ryan@combatstory.com.

    Find Yogi Online:


    IMDB - https://www.imdb.com/name/nm6260186/
    Instagram - @yogifly60_ydorelis https://www.instagram.com/yogifly60_ydorelis/
    LinkedIN - https://www.linkedin.com/in/yonel-dorelis-93982919/

    Acronyms and Terms used in the show:


    CSAR - Combat Search and Rescue.
    Dustoff - Another name used for Army Medical Evacuation or MEDEVAC aircraft.
    ETL - Effective Translational Lift. This is the point at which an aircraft basically takes flight.
    FLIR - Forward Looking Infrared. One method of seeing in the dark that uses differences in the temperature of objects as opposed to amplifying ambient light (which is what Night Vision Googles do).
    Autorotation - A fun and scary flight profile that’s practiced regularly by all pilots by which you either simulate or truly kill engine power and, which descending out of the sky, maintain a minimal amount of drag to slow your descent created by the main rotor blade and then, when very close to touching the ground, pull in a bit of collective to provide a slightly softer landing.
    Mustang - A term to reference an officer who was enlisted before becoming an officer.

    Show Notes


    0:00 – Intro
    4:05 – “I knew from an early age, I wanted to be a pilot and a military pilot.”
    36:29 – Hovering and possible advantages as a fixed wing pilot
    44:06 – Being stationed in the Philippines and trying to land on a ship at sea
    1:21:24 – Operation Anaconda
    1:36:57 – The importance of leadership
    1:40:30 – Would you go back and do it all that again?
    1:41:03 – “I missed the people, the mission, and that sense of doing something that means something.”

    • 1 hr 45 min
    Combat Story (Ep 31): Robert Keller | Delta Force | Green Beret | Ranger | Gamut Resolutions

    Combat Story (Ep 31): Robert Keller | Delta Force | Green Beret | Ranger | Gamut Resolutions

    Today we hear the combat story of Bob Keller, a retired Special Missions Unit (Delta Force) operator who spent his entire military career in the Special Operations community. Bob began his career as a U.S. Army Ranger and Special Forces Green Beret before transitioning to the Unit.

    Bob spent several years as a professional golfer before finding his calling as a soldier. As an operator, he was in more than 400 engagements and 1,000 missions in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other undisclosed locations.

    After retiring, Bob founded Gamut Resolutions, a tactical and practical shooting program that uses the Ready-Up training methodology to help students survive any situation. He also oversees a charity that provides elite shooting courses to police, for free.

    In this episode, Bob provides fascinating insight into the confidence, training, and experiences of a Tier 1 operator. I hope you enjoy this Combat Story as much as I did.

    Find Bob online:


    Instagram - @kellergamutresolutions https://www.instagram.com/kellergamutresolutions/
    Facebook - GamutResolutions https://www.facebook.com/GamutResolutions/
    Website - www.gamutresolutions.com

    Show Notes


    0:00 - Intro
    1:02 - Guest Introduction and Bio
    2:00 - Interview Begins
    4:50 - Relearning how to shoot after years of advanced and elite training
    7:06 - Gamut Resolutions and the training classes that Bob references throughout the interview
    10:45 - Where did your competitive nature come from?
    12:01 - Life as a professional golfer.
    13:43 - The decision to move into the military.
    18:01 - “That was my passion.”
    18:26 - Why was a Guard Special Forces unit so special?
    21:49 - Combat Story #1: Running to gun fire. “Getting shot at isn’t scary, it’s exciting.”
    25:01 - Everyone at the Unit is like this…
    25:36 - “You can’t train liking to get shot at.”
    32:17 - What would other operators say was your biggest strength?
    34:26 - Confidence for a Tier 1 operator.
    38:40 - Combat Story #2: On the Ladder. This story is fantastic.
    45:30 - The first time I realized “I could actually die.”
    59:12 - Combat Story #3: Complacency and grenades.
    1:03:44 - Combat Story #4: Shooting between your legs.
    1:08:29 - Advice to a new soldier: “Don’t ever say I quit.”
    1:10:37 - Advice to those who didn’t serve but still want to give back. Special Operations Care - Fund (https://soc-f.org/) and the Gamut Initiative (this is Bob’s charity organization which will be online again shortly).
    1:15:04 - Gamut Resolutions and what’s coming with more CQB and fellow Tier 1 guest coaches. Also, Range Werx is a range shooting facility in Florida (find more at https://gamutresolutions.com/ and http://rangewerx.com/).
    1:17:08 - What did you carry with you into combat each time?
    1:18:27 - Would you do it all again? A bit of a surprise.
    1:20:22 - How important your spouse and family are to your success.
    1:22:09 - Golf. Then and now.
    1:23:56 - How to share your own story.

    • 1 hr 24 min
    Combat Story (Ep 30) + SOB Tactical: John "Shrek" McPhee (Rd 2) & Ryan Fugit | Delta | Aviator | CIA

    Combat Story (Ep 30) + SOB Tactical: John "Shrek" McPhee (Rd 2) & Ryan Fugit | Delta | Aviator | CIA

    Today we have a unique episode where I (Ryan Fugit) share my own combat story as SOB Tactical founder and retired Delta Force Sergeant Major John “Shrek” McPhee interviews yours truly.   

    Do not be fooled, however. Although John helps me tell my origin story growing up overseas, and going on to be an Apache helicopter pilot and CIA officer, we hear more amazing insights from John’s career as well.  

    In this episode, John and I talk about combat, losing friends, growing up, and swapping stories about our experiences as a pilot and Delta operator that many outside the profession have never heard...such as ‘flying the bag’ and the ‘Mr. Goodbar’ test. John even takes a moment to put on a sweater that used to belong to Saddam Hussein.   

    I hope you enjoy this wide ranging, real, and whiskey-filled interview as much as we did.

    Show Notes


    0:00 - Intro
    1:21 - Episode preview
    2:12 - Let the games begin
    3:29 – Talking about whiskey
    6:25 – Why Combat Story?
    9:46 – Ryan’s origin story
    14:00 – The little guy in southern Africa
    15:44 – Living in Pakistan in the middle of the Gulf War
    16:41 – “These bodyguards pulled me out back and put a gun to my head.”
    24:30 – Ryan’s experience with Channing Tatum aka Chan Tatum aka Magic Mike
    26:10 – The problem with social media
    25:06 - People don’t understand the premise of the American life.
    29:30 – “Don’t even share with me. It’s not that I don’t want to know. I do, but I know anything in my head can be gotten out.”
    30:10 – Keeping in touch with others
    32:21– “I’ve tried to be the better friend, the better dad, the better buddy, the better Ranger buddy, the better Green Beret.”
    34:57 – “How great you were today, tomorrow they don’t need you.”
    37:17 – The unfortunate truth
    37:55 – The D-Day Jump
    41:56 – “I believe we’re in the longest peace this planet has ever seen post World War Two.”
    49:07 – What it’s like learning to hover
    57:30 – Inherently dangerous training. “Injuries and loss happen every day, no matter what your level is.”
    1:12:35 – Air Medals for ground guys.
    1:19:21 – Importance of flexibility. “Flexibility makes you a formidable enemy.”
    1:23:05 – Flying the “Bag“ and teaching yourself how to fly with one eye.
    1:27:37 - The “Mr. Goodbar” Test at Delta where “If you do what has been taught to you, people won’t fight you when you walk out.“ John and one-on-one situations.
    1:34:30 – Performance-based unit and how “Nobody cares as long as you’re doing your job in combat.”
    1:40:20 – Ryan’s worst near-death experience story
    1:47:50 - Defining failure, “acceptable failure,” and how “Wisdom is knowing better.”
    1:48:51 – “You should be making mistakes. Mistakes teach you what works, what doesn’t. You got to make mistakes.”
    1:49:24 – Ryan leaving the military
    1:55:27 – The Saddam Sweater
    2:13:50 – Near death experiences. “You’re supposed to live through this near-death experience and feel like every day is a gift, but it’s not—it doesn’t feel that way.”
    2:16:43 – John’s near death experience. “Never do a shoot behind, except when you have to.”
    2:24:03 – “The unit in training will always give you scenarios that can’t be solved.”

    Find John and Ryan Online:  


    Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/sobtactical/
    Instagram @combat_stories https://www.instagram.com/combat_stories/
    SOB Tactical - https://sobtactical.com/
    SOB TV - https://watch.sobtactical.com/
    Booze N Views - https://watch.sobtactical.com/booze-n-views

    • 2 hrs 34 min
    Combat Story (Ep 29): Jeff Morris - Infantry Company Commander | Author | Legion 8 | OIF x 2 | BSM V

    Combat Story (Ep 29): Jeff Morris - Infantry Company Commander | Author | Legion 8 | OIF x 2 | BSM V

    Today we hear the combat story of Jeff Morris, a former Army Infantry Officer who commanded soldiers in Iraq over two brutal deployments fighting on some of the most well-known and infamous streets of Baghdad.  

    NOTE: Stay tuned after Jeff's Combat Story to hear a Combat Story from one of our listeners!  

    Jeff was an Infantry Platoon Leader on Haifa Street in downtown Baghdad from 2004 to 2005 with 1st CAV where his Platoon of 34 men were awarded 27 Purple Hearts. He describes a significant battle that he was a part of on September 12th, 2004, in which two Silver Stars were awarded and he received a Bronze Star w/ V Device.  He was then a junior but highly respected Infantry Company Commander in east Baghdad during the Surge from late 2006 to summer 2007, again with 1st CAV, where he lost eight men during fighting that saw almost every Bradley and M1 tank assigned to his unit destroyed by EFPs.  

    Jeff went on to document these experiences in his book, “Legion Rising: Surviving Combat and the Scars it Left Behind” and established the Legion 8 Foundation to honor the lives of the eight men lost under his command. The Legion 8 workout is also a Hero Workout of the Day (WOD) done at hundreds of CrossFit gyms around the country.  He has previously been featured on other podcasts, including Mike Drop with Mike Ritland. I hope you enjoy this inside look at the burden of command in Iraq and Jeff’s combat story as much as I did.  

    Find Jeff online: 


    Instagram @jeffrmorris 
    Book Legion Rising 

    Show Notes


    0:00 – Intro
    4:26 – The book, “Black Hawk Down.”
    7:07 – The desire to be a SEAL
    11:36 – “If it doesn’t make sense, don’t do it.”
    13:00 – Jeff’s childhood
    16:59 – The desire to serve the country
    18:46 - “After I stood up for myself and took that challenge on, I wanted more.”
    19:30 – The fastest guy in school
    22:22 – “Boys do what they want to do. Men do what they have to do.”
    28:37 – “You can’t go and create a leader of men and women in 14 weeks.”
    31:03 – The role of a Platoon Leader
    35:48 – The Bradley Military Vehicle
    40:40 – Battle of Haifa Street
    49:24 – The beauty of war
    53:00 – The breezeway grenade
    54:19 - “There’s a fine line between valor and stupidity and just plain luck.”
    56:25 – Communicating in Battle
    58:53 – September 12, 2004 (The Haifa Street Incident)
    1:00:41 – Coming back to base
    1:02:01 – Jeff’s Second Deployment
    1:04:46 – Quotes from other podcasts about Jeff
    1:05:55 – Building Camaraderie
    1:12:50 – How having a child changed Jeff’s way of thinking
    1:14:05 – The difficult mission
    1:16:01 - “You know in that environment that you’re probably going to lose somebody.”
    1:18:24 – Losing comrades
    1:21:21 – Taking the dangerous route
    1:24:18 – “I’m making decisions that are putting other people’s lives at greater risk.”
    1:26:26 – “I’ve never had a positive thing happen in my life that came from me sitting around, waiting for somebody else to make a decision.”
    1:29:12 – The Catalyst to turn things around
    1:31:54 – “There’s no background music playing in combat.”
    1:33:39 – A conversation with a Vietnam War Veteran
    1:36:37 – The Man in the Arena
    1:38:00 – Would you go back and do all that again?
    1:41:48 - NEW FEATURE: A New Listener's Combat Story from Yonel Yogi Dorelis

    • 1 hr 53 min

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