The Half Percent Podcast is a show that delves into the lives of the men and women who choose a career in the armed forces. Each show is an interview with a member of the military, whether active duty, reserve or veteran. We dig into the background, motivation, personality, and job (and some crazy stories along the way) of an individual who has chosen to serve in one of the branches of the armed forces.
A Decade in the British Royal Navy-Imprisoned in Zimbabwe and First Casualty-The Untold Story of the CIA Mission to Avenge 9/11
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
Contraband in the Caribbean, Frozen Hills in Korea, Boiling in the Desert-6 Years in the U.S. Air Force
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 GWOT, 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.
You can follow Rydelle's journey on Instagram: @what_it_is_rydelle
15 Months in Sadr City, Filming in Afghanistan and the Philippines and Helping Veterans Stay Active
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
Also check out these veteran owned/run charities and organizations that Will is involved with:
https://www.legion8.org (honoring 8 soldiers Will served with who died during combat operations)
Alpha Elite Performance:
Green Beret Foundation:
'Mutant'-A Marine in Ramadi, Fallujah, Afghanistan and His Journey Back from Darkness.
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 TBI, 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 I'm grateful to D.M. for taking a chance and sharing his story.
Follow D.M. Scott on Instagram @_havewaveswilltravel_
Learn more about One More Wave: https://www.onemorewave.com
23 Years as a Navy SEAL and the Naked Warrior Mindset.
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. A career in the SEAL teams left William with numerous injuries, both physical and psychological, and those injuries were having a negative impact on his life. This led to William developing the Naked Warrior Mindset. Drawing on a career of the most intense training and operational tempo at the tip of the spear in special operations, William started Naked Warrior Recovery, a company dedicated to developing premium products to support physical and mental recovery through innovation and excellence.
Find out more about William and Naked Warrior Recovery:
Black Hawk Down, Delta Force and Rocking Out and Giving Back with Silence and Light.
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 GWOT. 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. Silence and Light is dedicated to helping veterans and their transition into civilian life, with 100% of the proceeds from album, single and apparel/swag sales going to the Marine Raider Foundation and Warriors Heart. This was a fascinating and wide ranging conversation where we covered everything from Brad's perspective on Black Hawk Down, to what it takes to make it to Delta Force, to the formation of Silence and Light and the artistic quest for perfection. Brad's passion for helping the soldiers he served with (and veterans in general) and making kick-ass rock n' roll, is inspiring comes through loud and clear in this conversation.
To learn more about Silence and Light, please check out:
To learn more about the Marine Raider Foundation, please visit:
To learn more about Warriors Heart, please visit:
I listen to a lot of podcasts. Following and unfollowing as my taste changes. I found this podcast because someone I am familiar with went on it. I have it a listen. As a veteran myself, it was great to listen. No spin or agenda. Just veterans telling their stories. You can tell Mr. Plosser has a deep respect for the military and his guests. The stories are unfiltered and true. Such a great place for vets to tell there story. Thank you for doing this podcast.
Listening to some of these heroes restores your faith in this country. If these are the folks who will lead the future we will be ok.
Nick was kind enough to include me on this podcast though I don’t come close to belonging in the same conversation with many he has interviewed.
Retired from active duty a really long time ago but Nick’s easy interview style helped me remember so much. Loved sharing my story but more importantly love hearing from some true warriors and patriots.
Nick is a Natural!!
I’ve told my story many times but Nick was such a natural at his insights and questions, that it brought my story alive in an energized way. Completely enjoyed the show and have already recommended several veterans who I think would be fantastic guests. I am looking for big things from Nick in the future..maybe team with Joe Rogan? :)