82 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

    • History
    • 4.9 • 494 Ratings

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. 80): Green Beret | Sergeant Major | Australian SASR Exchange | Talent War Group | Josh Johnson

    Combat Story (Ep. 80): Green Beret | Sergeant Major | Australian SASR Exchange | Talent War Group | Josh Johnson

    Today we hear the Combat Story of a long-time Green Beret, combat veteran, and retired Sergeant Major Josh Johnson.

    Josh spent multiple years downrange in Iraq and Afghanistan, many with 1st Special Forces Group, in combat where he led from the front but also spent years teaching other Green Berets and partner forces.

    [Support us on Patreon and get exclusive content and insights at www.patreon.com/combatstory]

    Josh was selected as an Exchange Officer to the Australian Special Air Services Regiment where he trained and fought alongside our very close Australian brethren. In his last two years of service, Josh focused specifically on leadership development and training.

    Since leaving the service, Josh has continued training and developing leaders, this time with Mike Sarraille’s Talent War Group where Josh is a Partner and Senior VP of Leadership Development.

    I hope you enjoy this interesting and wide-ranging Combat Story as much as I did.

    Find Josh Online:
    -LinkedIN https://www.linkedin.com/in/joshuafhijohnson/

    Find Ryan Online:
    - Ryan’s Linktree https://linktr.ee/combatstory
    - Merch https://www.bonfire.com/store/combatstory/
    - Instagram @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory
    - Facebook @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial
    - Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial
    - Email ryan@combatstory.com
    - Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus
    - Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle

    Show Notes:

    0:00 - Intro
    0:41 - Guest Introduction (Josh Johnson)
    1:36 - Interview begins
    3:29 - His time fighting alongside the Aussies
    8:11 - Growing up in small town in Utah and having a dad in military
    18:41 - How he found himself on the SF track after National Guard and being an MP
    30:24 - Funny story about robbing a Bosnian bathroom
    32:32 - Selection experience in 1999 and where he was when 9/11 happened
    34:56 - Combat Story #1 - Operation Enduring Freedom – Philippines and his first time getting shot at
    46:33 - Combat Story #2 -A multi-hour gun fight and getting hit with RPGs in Afghanistan
    58:34 - Combat Story #3 - Stories of men getting shot next to him
    1:09:35 - Experience as an ODA working with ranger battalion
    1:19:18 - Transition to Talent War Group
    1:25:42 - Benefits of vets in corporate America and unique challenges they face
    1:31:24 - What did you carry into combat?
    1:35:20 - Would you do it again?
    1:39:20 - Listener comments and shout outs

    To learn more about a Green Beret In Combat, learn more at: https://www.combatstory.com/

    The video is all about a Green Beret In Combat but also covers the following subjects:
    - Green Berets Overcoming obstacles
    - Special Operations
    - Special Operations combat
    - Exchange programs with the Australian SASR and UK SAS
    - Multi-hour gun fights

    Something I noticed when I was looking for information on Green Berets In Combat was the lack of details.
    _________________________
    Follow our video clips about Green Beret In Combat and various other similar topics on:
    Facebook: a href="https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial"...

    • 1 hr 41 min
    Combat Story (Ep. 79): SAS Operator (Australian & New Zealand) | Tier 1 | Entrepreneur | Podcast Host | Joe Hotai

    Combat Story (Ep. 79): SAS Operator (Australian & New Zealand) | Tier 1 | Entrepreneur | Podcast Host | Joe Hotai

    Today we hear our first Combat Story from a member of our close partners in New Zealand: Joe Hotai. Joe successfully completed not only the New Zealand SAS Selection and Training Course, but then (likely because he enjoys pain) also went on to complete the Australian SAS Selection and Training course. Joe then served in combat with the Australian SAS in direct action operations.

    [Support us on Patreon and get exclusive content and insights at www.patreon.com/combatstory]

    Since leaving the service, Joe overcame a childhood fear of putting himself out there and has created two podcasts (the Epich Podcast which explores people making a positive change in the world - and which he has graciously invited me to be on - and the Move Sweat Suffer Podcast which promotes a more healthy way of life).

    Joe has also co-founded the Mill Gym in Australia and is the founder of Zero Alpha, which puts on ultra endurance events combining some of the experiences from his time in Special Operations, and is also a consultant. His YouTube channel is full of pragmatic workouts that remind me of Pat Mac!

    Joe has an incredibly humble persona with a great sense of humor. In fact, he’s described himself as ‘imperfect, annoying, and striving to improve as a husband, father, and human being on a daily basis.” I hope you enjoy this interview of highs and lows and overcoming difficult situations from someone at the forefront of the Special Operations community, as much as I did.

    Find Joe Online:
    - Instagram @joehotai
    - Podcast Epich Aotearoa https://www.epichpodcast.co.nz
    - YouTube https://www.youtube.com/c/joehotai1936
    - Move, Sweat, Suffer YouTube https://www.youtube.com/c/movesweatsuffer
    - Zero Alpha https://www.zeroalpha.co.nz/
    - Burpee Wear https://www.burpeewear.com/
    - LinkedIn article: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/putting-myself-yourself-out-joe-hotai/

    Find Ryan Online:
    - Ryan’s Linktree https://linktr.ee/combatstory
    - Merch https://www.bonfire.com/store/combatstory/
    - Instagram @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory
    - Facebook @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial
    - Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial
    - Email ryan@combatstory.com
    - Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus
    - Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle

    Show Notes:
    0:00 - Intro
    1:07 - Guest Introduction (Joe Hotai)
    2:31 - Interview begins
    2:55 - Growing up in New Zealand and family dynamics
    19:30 - The impact of not having a dad as a child
    26:00 - Desire to join the military and special forces specifically
    31:15 - Lacking confidence to speak up and a moment in basic training when he found his confidence
    39:15 - If not the military what would you be doing?
    47:29 -Experience with both New Zealand and Australian SAS selection and qual course
    1:08:56 - The type of operations that come down the Australian SAS vs. New Zealand SASbr...

    • 2 hr 23 min
    Combat Story (Ep. 78): Ukrainian Marine | Recon Commander | Come Back Alive Foundation Leader | Taras Chmut

    Combat Story (Ep. 78): Ukrainian Marine | Recon Commander | Come Back Alive Foundation Leader | Taras Chmut

    Today we have a more timely Combat Story where we sit down with the head of the Ukrainian Come Back Alive Foundation, Taras Chmut. Come Back Alive provides financing for purely defense initiatives and since 2014, it has provided nearly 1000 thermal imaging devices and over 250 UAVs in addition to material support, technology, and training for the forces fighting the Russians on Ukrainian soil.

    Before stepping up to lead this organization, Taras was a Ukrainian Marine rifleman on the front lines in 2015 and then a commander of a reconnaissance unit with UAVs and signals intercept capabilities providing a better picture of the battlefield mainly near Mariupol (which we’ve heard so much about today).

    This, like our interviews with Aiden Aslin and Sergey Dyadkin, help shed light on what’s actually going on in this Russian invasion and give each of us a way to do something about it, this time in terms of providing support to this important foundation, which you can do at www.comebackalive.in.ua.

    We’ve conducted much of this interview through a translator named Alexander and I hope you appreciate this inside look from Kiev as much as I did.

    Find Taras Online:
    -Website https://www.comebackalive.in.ua/
    -Twitter https://twitter.com/BackAndAlive @comebackalive
    -Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TarChmut
    -Instagram https://www.instagram.com/taras_chmut/

    Fine Ryan Online:
    -Ryan’s Linktree https://linktr.ee/combatstory
    -Merch https://www.bonfire.com/store/combatstory/
    -Instagram @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory
    -Facebook @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial
    -Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial
    -Email ryan@combatstory.com
    -Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus
    -Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle

    Show Notes:

    0:00 - Intro
    0:34 - Guest Introduction (Taras Chmut)
    1:54 - Interview begins
    2:26 - The meaning of his name and what it was like growing up in Ukraine
    6:24 - Early interest in aviation
    7:59 - Where he was in 2014 when he considers the Russia -Ukrainian actually started
    11:12 - Path to the military
    14:31 - Time with Ukraine Marines and trying to stop Russia from invading
    21:18 - Transition to UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) platoon commander
    26:52 - The types of missions he was doing with UAVs
    31:47 -The Come Back Alive Foundation than and now
    37:48 - Opinion of Zelenksy and the future of Ukraine
    39:30 - What are you most proud of from the Come Back Alive Foundation?
    41:46 - Listener comments and shout outs

    • 43 min
    CS 77: Navy SEAL to Astronaut | CEO Medal of Honor Museum Foundation | Space Walker | Chris Cassidy

    CS 77: Navy SEAL to Astronaut | CEO Medal of Honor Museum Foundation | Space Walker | Chris Cassidy

    Today we have a Combat Story first with our first Astronaut who spent over 377 days in space and completed 10 spacewalks (where he’s actually out in space in nothing but his suit): Chris Cassidy. Before he joined NASA, Chris was a Navy SEAL and was one of the very first sent into Afghanistan in 2001 after 9/11.

    There’s very little Chris has not accomplished. He attended the US Naval Academy, received a Master of Science in Ocean Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and has two Honorary PhD's.

    As a SEAL, Chris earned a Bronze Star with Valor and a Presidential Unit Citation for combat in Afghanistan. He was NASA’s 14th Chief Astronaut, which is the head of NASA’s Astronaut Corps and is the principal advisor to the NASA Administrator on astronaut training and operations.

    Chris is incredibly humble given his accomplishments and it’s no surprise he is now President and CEO of the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation, where he’s leading efforts to build out an iconic Museum for MOH recipients, a Leadership Institute, and a Monument on the National Mall.

    I hope you enjoy this view from Space from such a down to Earth man as much as I did. Special thanks to previous guests Darrell Utt and Mike Hayes who helped us connect with Chris.

    Find Chris Online:
    -Instagram @astro_seal
    -Instagram @mohmuseum
    -MOH Museum Donation www.mohmuseum.org/donate

    Find Ryan Online:
    -To support Combat Story and get exclusive content, head to Patreon www.patreon.com/combatstory
    -Ryan’s Linktree https://linktr.ee/combatstory
    -Merch https://www.bonfire.com/store/combatstory/
    -Instagram @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory
    -Facebook @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial
    -Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial
    -Email ryan@combatstory.com
    -Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus
    -Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle

    Show Notes:

    0:00 - Intro
    1:05 - Guest Introduction (Chris Cassidy)
    2:31 - Interview begins
    8:10 - Childhood and interest in military
    19:18 - Path to SEAL Teams
    25:20 - About his first SEAL Team, an underwater vehicle team
    29:30 - Where he was when 911 happened and how SEAL Team 3 reposnded
    38:19 - Combat Story - First time leading troops into an engagement
    42:07 - Combat Story - Aha moment while on a mission in the caves of Afghan-Pakistan border
    46:56 - Team dynamics in a small unit like a SEAL Team
    52:09 - Leadership and the danger of complacency and overconfidence
    54:24 - Transition to NASA
    1:04:53 - First flight expereince as an astronaut
    1:13:15 - First spacewalk experience
    1:17:56 - Story of a hairy experience during a spacewalk mission
    1:30:14 - Feeling privileged to do the work and the long-term fatigue that can happen
    1:31:53 - National Medal of Honor Museum
    1:40:56 - Dealing with setbacks along his path
    1:43:05 - What did you carry into combat/space?
    1:44:21 - Would you do it again?
    1:45:46 - Listener comments and shout outs

    • 1 hr 48 min
    CS#76: Afghan Female Special Operator | Female Tactical Platoons (FTP) | Farida Mohammadi

    CS#76: Afghan Female Special Operator | Female Tactical Platoons (FTP) | Farida Mohammadi

    Today we have a unique Combat Story and our first ever with an Afghan Special Operator, Farida Mohammadi, and one of her American trainers Taylor Holliday. Farida was a member of the elite Female Tactical Platoons (or FTPs which numbered fewer than 35) that we heard about in episode 68 with former Ranger Battalion operator Patrick Kinsella.

    Farida, like all FTPs, had to pass a rigorous special operations selection process and were trained in CQB, a variety of firearms, and tactics, just like their male counterparts. She then went into battle alongside Rangers, ODAs, and Afghan Special Forces to give you an idea of the level of expertise required.

    We’re also fortunate to have Taylor here to share parts of her story as a Cultural Support Team member (the FTP trainers) who not only trained women like Farida but who also went on the objective with Special Operations units.

    Taylor is a part of Sisters of Service, a non-profit formed by fellow CSTs to help evacuate Farida and other FTPs out of Afghanistan after everything fell apart and help them resettle in the US. It’s a selfless organization and I hope by the end of this interview you’ll find a way to contribute to their cause (and help women like Farida who were taking out HVTs in Afghanistan and now need to find a better life here in the US).

    I hope you enjoy this very special Combat Story with two very special operators as much as I did.

    #military #veteran

    Find Farida and Taylor Online:
    -Politico Article on FTPs: https://www.politico.com/interactives/2022/afghan-women-soldiers-taliban-us-refugees/
    -Sisters of Service Website: www.sistersofservice.org

    Find Ryan Online:
    -To support Combat Story and get exclusive insights, head to Patreon www.patreon.com/combatstory
    -Ryan’s Linktree https://linktr.ee/combatstory
    -Merch https://www.bonfire.com/store/combatstory/
    -Instagram @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory
    -Facebook @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial
    -Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial
    -Email ryan@combatstory.com
    -Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus
    -Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle

    Show Notes:

    0:00 - Intro
    0:54 - Guest Introduction (Farida Mohammadi and Taylor Holliday)
    2:24 - Interview begins
    7:37 - Growing up in Afghanistan with school 2 hours away, working on farm, and experiencing the Taliban
    12:29 - Things Americans may not know about Afghanistan
    15:02 - Why Farida joined the military even though it is not expected for women
    18:21 - The type of work and missions FTPs would do
    24:19 - Farida’s first combat experience as an FTP
    27:28 - Taylor’s first combat expereince as a CST, serving women and children, and being nervous searching people
    31:17 - Combat Story (Farida) - Being shot at by both Taliban and Afghanistan National Army while not having any ammunition
    34:17 - Combat Story (Taylor) - Waking up to a firefight at the compound
    36:30 - The burden and pressure of training FTPs to go into very dangerous missions
    38:59 - The evacuation of Afghanistan
    45:05 - Sisters of Service - Why they started and the work...

    • 1 hr 2 min
    CS#75: The Real 12 Strong Green Beret | Horse Soldier | Special Forces HoF | Author | Bob Pennington

    CS#75: The Real 12 Strong Green Beret | Horse Soldier | Special Forces HoF | Author | Bob Pennington

    Today we hear a Combat Story that I’ve been looking forward to for years. As many listeners know, I closely followed the war in Afghanistan immediately following 9/11 and revered the Green Berets who rode into combat on horseback to take America’s fight to the enemy.

    [Call to Action: Please refer your friends to www.trustsafetyinstitute.com if they're looking for high paying jobs where they can still help people and fight bad actors.]

    Today we hear from one of the very few men who was there, one of the Horse Soldiers as they’ve been called: Bob Pennington.

    Bob spent more than 30 years in the service, much of that with Special Forces, including kinetic operations in the Gulf War to one of the first teams on the ground in Afghanistan and more. He’s a Distinguished Member of the Special Forces Regiment and in the Georgia Military Veterans’ Hall of Fame.

    He and his Horse Soldier teammate Mark Nutsch have just released a book about their experiences in the days after 9/11 titled “Swords of Lightning: Green Beret Horse Soldiers and America's Response to 9/11.” And if his life can’t get any better, he and Mark are also principals in the company that produces Horse Soldier Bourbon.

    I hope you enjoy this inside look into what happened from 9/10 (the day before the world changed) through the some of the first operations on the ground in Afghanistan (and enjoy some of Bob’s celebrity moments given his representation as a key role in the movie 12 Strong) as much as I did.

    #military #veteran #greenberet #horsesoldier

    Find Bob Online:
    -Instagram - Horse Soldier Bourbon @horsesoldierbourbon https://www.instagram.com/horsesoldierbourbon/
    -Bob’s Favorite Charities: Tunnels to Towers https://t2t.org/ and Land of the Free Foundation https://www.landofthefreefoundation.org/

    Find Ryan Online:
    -To support Combat Story and get exclusive insights, head to Patreon www.patreon.com/combatstory
    -Ryan’s Linktree https://linktr.ee/combatstory
    -Merch https://www.bonfire.com/store/combatstory/
    -Instagram @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory
    -Facebook @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial
    -Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial
    -Email ryan@combatstory.com
    -Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus
    -Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle

    Show Notes:

    0:00 - Intro
    0:42 - Guest Introduction (Bob Pennington)
    2:07 – Thank you for supporting The Trust & Safety Institute
    2:45 - Interview begins
    4:02 - Meeting Chris Hemsworth and Michael Shannon for the 12 Strong movie
    7:40 - Growing up with a father in the military and early interest in Green Berets
    13:32 - Starting his career in Ranger Battalion after college
    24:37 - Being a Warrant Officer in SF community
    34:51 - Combat Story - Experience in the Gulf War
    50:10 - Where he was when 9/11 happened
    59:48 - Mindset at the time of 9/11 and being one of the teams picked for the mission in Afghanistan
    1:12:45 - Combat Story - First operations on the ground in Afghanistan
    1:38:31 - Swords of...

    • 1 hr 58 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
494 Ratings

494 Ratings

ATuorto ,

Good Content

I really like that you’ve made a commitment to getting Vietnam Vets on here. No offense to modern warfare, but these VV deserve their place in the sun and there are less and less of them every year. There’s time to get to the Iraq or Afghanistan stories, now should be the time of the Vietnam Veteran.

tararogers ,

The Best Podcast!!!

I am not in the military but love hearing these stories. I look forward to each one. Absolutely fantastic and can’t thank everyone who serves enough. God bless and thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Quitabustr ,

Excellent

One of the best Podcasts you’ll find!!

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