Shawn Ryan Show #005 Navy SEAL / K9 Dog Trainer Mike Ritland (PT1)
this episode of the sean ryan show is brought to you by simply safe we took a guided missile cruiser jumped on that and hauled ass all the way to bahrain we were in bahrain for a little bit and then we were scheduled to go do some other shit and then that’s when the coal got hit good afternoon ladies and gentlemen a total of six sets of remains have been found on board the coal during the course of today hey everyone it’s 2020 and the need for security is increasing every single day simplisafe is monitored by professionals 24 hours a day seven days a week they will call the police if necessary it’s super affordable 50 cents a day there’s no long-term commitments and the best part it ship right to your front door the first thing i did was beef up all of the entry exit points starting with the main entrance i used the doorbell cam to catch porch pirates trust me there’s a lot of people that want to grab my package the next thing i did was use the window and door sensors on every opening window on every opening door throughout the office i used the motion sensor to track motion if the motion sensor is triggered it alarms my phone i get a notification i know if something’s moving i use the glass breaking sensor on all the windows if the glass is broken it notifies my phone it alarms the base station and notifies everybody that there’s been a break-in for the interior i use the simply cam it’s triggered by motion there’s a carbon monoxide detector there’s a smoke detector there’s a freeze detector that you can put on your pipes there’s a panic button for when i get scared and there’s a water detector that’ll let you know if your washer is overflowing or maybe there’s a flood all of which will notify my phone if there happens to be a problem if you want to boost your security whether it’s home at the office or anywhere else go to simplysafe.
com ve oh by the way you’re also supporting the sean ryan show so thank you simply safe for supporting the show and you all be safe as you’re walking you could actually see a fucking dungaree and a boondocker from about the knee down hanging out of the out of the fucking where now it’s the ceiling it was a floor and now it’s ceiling somebody’s fucking leg just hanging there we had a 60 gun and a couple of snipers and a law rocket clint emerson and i actually were the two guys that zeroed in on him and fucking just swarmed him and backed him up and he was like oh shit you know mp5s down his fucking throat and i mean just the the smell of of 19 semi submerged blown up dead bodies trapped in a fucking boat the bodies were in there so you had a fucking navy seal operator quit on target in the middle of a fucking operation all of a sudden all fucking hell breaks loose like gunfire just erupts and it’s every fucking wear like an iraqi flag like coming down and crushing the fucking skull apart fucking insane i mean you kicked the fucking goddamn war off welcome back to the sean ryan show this is episode 005 we’ve brought you a very special guest but for starters i want to thank everyone who’s become a member and is supporting the show on patreon you’re going to see the benefits of that support we’ve hired an entire film crew and we’re hoping they stick around i would also like to thank all of you who took the time to go over to itunes and leave us a review we now have 5 300 reviews on itunes we continue to be a top 100 show in the category and that’s because of you if you haven’t done that yet please go to itunes leave us a review type in a word even if it’s just one word that’s what we need to make this show rank and lastly ladies and gentlemen every single guest that has been on this show is the definition of an american hero we want to bring these heroes the most exposure possible we want to take this show to netflix i’ve posted a link i put it at the top of the comments click the link request the sean ryan show hit submit that lets netflix know who we are let’s take this thing to the next level which brings me to my next guest 005 ladies and gentlemen he is a world renowned k-9 trainer he trains dogs for the seal teams for the swat teams and just about every other government agency you can think of he’s been on the new york times bestseller list three times he is a veteran powerhouse that i personally look up to he was on the initial invasion of iraq he responded to the uss cole we’ve broken this into two different shows the first part all of his combat time as a seal the second the life of a canine warrior overseas in combat what those dogs go through and what they deal with when they come home ladies and gentlemen i’m very proud to bring you my next guest mr mike ritland mike john svegatum to the sean ryan show uh did i butcher the shit out of that i’m not is that a norwegian fucking that’s my best attempt to say welcome into dolly okay where the fuck did you learn to golly i learned tagalog at north island naval base or naval air station i guess and it was after my it was after a deployment uh and it was during the whole force 21 thing and uh so our platoon got back from deployment like in mid-february or so and uh and we weren’t forming up until the following january because of the whole reorganization bullshit and so it was kind of like everybody had to go find shit to do uh i had re-enlisted prior or on that deployment for arabic but when we got back and then all of the shuffle and reorg stuff this was right before 9 11 was that uh they said turns out you guys are now a southeast asia platoon you’re going to guam in the philippines so you’re not going to arabic you’re going to tagalog and i was like but i it’s in my contract i re-enlisted for fucking arabic they’re like yeah tough shit you’re not going to take alex so i uh i spent about i think it was five six months of all day every day monday through friday like that was my job me and uh there was i don’t know seven or eight other other other people mostly team guys there’s a couple other i don’t know why who the fuck they were why they were in there but um yeah we sat there all day every day from this uh older uh filipino lady that was teaching us fucking tagalog and uh of course like the the true team guys that we are we you know contour into teaching us all the shit that she wasn’t supposed to teach us the important stuff in making her blush and feel uncomfortable how do you how do you say ass fuckery in in tagalog can you teach us how to say that but uh yeah so that was the that’s the story behind it we did end up going to guam uh and and then ultimately to the philippines uh for about six weeks which was which was neat at the end of that i wouldn’t say that i was fluent in it but i was i was conversationally like for basic conversation i was pretty close to fluent yeah as long as it’s been i uh you know it’s i i have forgotten a lot of it you know i could probably pick it back up in a matter of weeks if i if i really tried but uh a lot of it i don’t remember but you never knock the dust off see if it’s still there no not really i mean once in a while like you know i’ll run into somebody that’s that you can tell speaks it by you know their their accent or they tell you they’re from you know wherever and i’ll string together some bullshit and then they’ll laugh and you know because i probably butchered half of it yeah or insulted their mom or whatever but uh but yeah no that’s i mean where you’re gonna use it in texas right yeah well man i’m really excited about this and uh i’ve been wanting to have you on for a long time and i think we canceled two or three times but i just want to say i am fucking ecstatic that you’re here uh sitting in that chair and um props to you man you are a great role model for people and uh and i think you’re a huge inspiration for guys that are are starting businesses that are coming home especially in the veteran community in the combat uh spec ops guys coming home and i mean you’re one of the guys that honestly that i really look up to in the business world um you’ve kept your business all class you know and uh a lot of these vet companies it’s all fucking tits and ass and and uh fuckery and and that’s all cool but when your entire model is based off of that i mean we’ve seen it you they come and they go and uh you’ve been in business for quite a while and it’s stood the test of time and you just continue to grow and and uh i think anybody that’s in the business world especially the guys uh coming back they got a great example uh by looking at what you’re doing and uh it’s fucking amazing what you’ve done and um i can’t wait to dig into it yeah so i almost don’t even know what to say to that other than i i appreciate it very much it uh it’s you know certainly not anything that uh that i feel like my level of competency has contributed to it i think i’m just stubborn and and have uh you know tried to always do the best i can with what i have and and look at it from a long game standpoint um but you know i i would say you know i feel feel that exact same way about you and yours you know i mean it’s it’s really neat to see uh you know guys that i know and trust and and like um you know doing well and being successful and trying new things you know you’ve really set the bar uh at such a an immediate or or early phase with with your show and it’s just to me it’s it’s really neat to see i love seeing guys that i know love trust and and like succeed so uh hats off to you right back i appreciate it oh well thank you man yeah well uh i always kick this thing off and i i love to give presents so if you look yeah right over there some johnny carson shit right there hey you know any guesses well i see my book in there so uh is that your i wanted that was just a recommendation i thought you might might like to read that i know the guy that wrote it yeah who’s this asshole that’s fucking classic there’s two other ones that guy wrote but uh they’re believe it or not they’re fucking hard to come by on amazon yeah i know i still haven’t arrived i i must admit i have cracked into these and uh jesus christ they are good everybody that says they’re the best they’ve had i was like yeah whatever they’re fucking gummy bears but uh on the no bullshit these uh these are phenomenal fucking gummy bears thank you those will be gone before i leave here probably right on oh the ass blaster now that is the ass blaster 4000 before the so that’s fucking great god damn so the next time we all run out of toilet paper you’re good to go you know but that’s fucking great for others i’m sure there’s some people that are like the fuck does that mean that didn’t watch our uh uh our fucking quarantine zoom call that we all had but uh that’s fucking great man i love it that’s why i’m gonna roll the clip right now from that video so uh for those of you that don’t know here it is you have two ass blasters sean we did that’s the first thing i did when i saw there was no shit paper i was like all right we’re good he mike he actually sent me the link for like the homemade bidet thing oh yeah bro maybe maybe i’ve been watching too much porn during this quarantine but ass blaster means something totally different can i crack into these now or what if you want to i’m going to open them i need to eat them on camera even so uh i checked out your wikipedia page there’s some uh interesting shit on there so they give you credit for kind of starting the epstein didn’t kill himself really yeah oh there you didn’t know that i didn’t know that yeah that it’s right there on uh i think second paragraph so i also for sure didn’t kick that shit off you know what joe rogan did did he to my knowledge well they gave you creates on your wikipedia page so you want to make another statement because uh his uh right-hand woman is uh just got picked up i’m i’m assuming maxween maxine giswell didn’t kill herself either but not yet yeah it’s uh it’s amazing what do you think she going to make it to court um yeah i think so with her i think it’s maybe a little different in that i think they have far less on her obviously they have enough to arrest her and all that but i don’t think it’s as slam dunk probably as it is uh with with epstein so i suspect that with the you mean she for sure has dirt on people but i think it it seems like from everything that i’ve heard preliminarily is that it’s more like he said she said it doesn’t seem like they have near as much of a case against her again not that they don’t have one but um so i think it’s largely going to depend on how that that shakes out i think you know she’s probably not in in as much danger as he was but you never know i mean i don’t you know pretend to have uh any any knowledge of the inner workings of that whole you know fucking clown show so um i will say this like if something did happen and the country doesn’t fucking explode because of it then we’re fucking doomed you know i mean so i do find it odd that they sent her to uh the exact same fucking place i saw that you know i couldn’t believe that shit either yeah so um yeah i mean i don’t know if that’s like rubbing our face on it or what but i i honestly thought that was a fucking meme when i saw that but um so yeah i don’t know i i’m still fucking surprised that that’s on the wikipedia page i didn’t i didn’t know that but yeah you have to check it out there’s some interesting shit on there maybe i don’t want to look at it yeah but um all right well i did a lot i honestly i thought you’re gonna be really easy to research because there’s um so much information out there on you and uh it turned out to be the exact opposite there’s so much information out there on you that i just uh i wish i could have covered it all but i i couldn’t and uh i wish i could have you here for a fucking week uh to dig into that head of yours but so i think we’re gonna break this up into two podcasts actually i’m gonna do uh this one uh which will be all your personal stuff and then the next one to be um all the dog stuff which is um you know phenomenal information and uh but i just kind of want to start with uh you know quick overview of your childhood i know you grew up in iowa and um but just to brief over you overview of your childhood and and uh we’ll kind of go from there so sure so i was born in northern iowa uh in the late 70s and uh you know it’s weird looking back on it now i think a lot of people have uh feelings of nostalgia towards their childhood kind of almost wherever they’re from because that that’s what they know that’s their childhood or whatever but for me it’s become increasingly so that way with the things that are going on now like i find myself kind of longing for that 80s childhood of no cell phones no internet you know riding your fucking bikes everywhere watching macgyver knight rider a team rambo playing guns fucking listening to ac dc and fucking guns and roses and it was just like life was so much fucking simpler and not just because we were kids um you know just i think america was a much simpler place i think the world was a simpler place that way i think it’s one of the double-edged swords to the internet but uh growing up in in that environment was um it was just a really neat time and place to to be at you know the the town that i’m from waterloo is is not a big town but it’s not you know a town of 300 either there’s you know 60 or 70 000 people and and so you have kind of all the amenities that you would like but it doesn’t have that big city feeling you know you can drive 10 minutes in any direction and be out in the middle of fucking corn fields or uh you know be you know isolated and away from everybody and whatever so it’s a pretty slow paced area it’s not too dissimilar to where you’re at here in terms of kind of the pace at which people operate and how they take care of things and how they treat each other and what have you so i i liked that growing up um but it was just just a fun time to to be a kid you know i swam competitively i had two older brothers a younger sister and uh our family you know it’s weird it was like uh fucking leave it to beaver honestly um i mean my parents never fought to this day i’ve never heard my parents argue not one fucking time so they’re still together they’re still married they’ve been married for almost 50 years and uh you know i’ve never heard them raise their voice at one another not once you know never never argued about anything never fought about anything uh you know they get along great and they they had a uh and i will say as a father um you know i look to them uh you know honestly in awe at this fucking point you know now that i have kids that are teenagers and i don’t know how they they parented the way that they did um they did a far better job than i’m doing for sure um it’s just you know i marvel at their ability to um be strict enough to to raise good kids that are well behaved but not so strict to where your kids are doing shit despite you you know um and and that’s what i’ve i’ve kind of struggled with but uh you know so looking back on that aspect of my childhood my parents were fucking amazing my family was amazing um you know the school system in which i grew up in was was mostly good high school had had some bumpy parts how big was uh your class graduating class graduating class i think was just shy of 400 maybe the the school itself had i think 2 2500 is a pretty big school um but the in at that time it was you know the early 90s 92 to 96 is when i was in high school and uh you know race relations then were fairly tense kind of similar to where they’re at now they got better and then now they’re worse it’s fucking weird that way but my my high school there’s there’s only two two uh public high schools in my in my hometown there’s east and west and uh the east side of town is is more predominantly black and the west side of town is more predominantly white um there’s a river the cedar river that splits the fucking town in half and uh or thereabouts and so there was a lot of bussing yeah that was you know a time in in different states were experimenting with you know busting a bunch of kids from one side of town to the other side and vice versa and so there was there was a fair bit of that going on and it just caused fucking problems um you know there was there was like i said some racial tension that was pretty significant rodney king riots uh when they happened is when i was a freshman in high school and uh there was a you know some some rioting that happened in our high school where i got the fuck beat out of me um you know but uh and so my high school experience you know that’s a elementary and junior high was was pretty uh pretty fun to look back on high school i i didn’t particularly fucking enjoy it was uh it was kind of a mess i was glad to be done with it you know well on just about every everything i’ve researched you always bring up an incident that happened in high school and correct me if i’m wrong but uh it’s one of the things that actually uh it was a major motivator for you joining the seal teams if i remember correctly and uh so what kind of happened there i know you got fucking jumped yeah so um i i was a freshman in high school and i was fucking small um i was five foot four and 105 pounds it was a friday and uh it was during the swim season and as a freshman swimmer they do these initiation they did they probably don’t do them anymore because i’m sure it’s considered hazing or something fucking dumb like that but um you know we had to do stupid shit like where wear your speedos over your clothes you know and wear goggles and you know just dumb little things like that on fridays they would fuck with you and make you wear stupid shit or or whatever and um but my second oldest brother was a senior when i was a freshman so we went to lunch together he had a had his license and drove my my dad’s car um to uh to lunch we came back we were running a little bit behind in true fashion my second oldest brother love you jake but let’s be honest you’re always fucking a little behind yeah is that the the halls were relatively empty and and it was a three storied uh high school and so i came back and i was on the third floor i was running down a hallway and i remember a good friend of my dad’s actually was a chemistry teacher and he was he like nodded you know tipped his cap or whatever to me as i was running past and kind of shook his head like you know there’s fucking george’s son running behind you know laughing or whatever and i went open these two double doors to go down a set of stairs all the way down to the first floor because i was going to spanish and as soon as i swung the door open i was like holy shit and as i’m getting ready to step down the the first step uh i just see just boom i just get fucking blindsided and there was two two single file column rows of uh there’s probably between 40 and 50 black students that were you know taking up the entire stairwell because there was that many of them running up and they were just running through the hallways beating the fuck out of anybody that was white and they were you know throwing trash cans through fucking windows and knocking uh water uh or drinking fountains off the fucking wall i mean just trashing the place and beating up white people oh so this was like they were fucking kicking the shit out of everybody everybody yeah it wasn’t just me it was me it was like a race riot almost there was a bunch of people that got fucked up oh fuck and so i start walking there i start running down the stairs and again i you know it was like running a gauntlet i mean textbook gauntlet scenario i’m i’m trying to make my way down and as i’m going it’s just you know they’re all taking their fucking turns while they’re running up and i’m running down and you know luckily they didn’t stop and corner me and you know i mean they probably would have fucking beat me to death honestly but um i i managed to make it all the way down just again getting pummeled the whole way down by the time i got down to the bottom um you know every time i got hit again i was a little fucker and so i i’d run in it was a brick wall uh you know going down and so the whole right side of my face was all fucked up the whole left side of my face was all swollen and fucked up and i kind of stumble into spanish class and the teacher uh the teachers at that point they they knew what was going on and even then like our administration and the staff they were scared of like they didn’t know what to do you know like they didn’t want to stop them because you know they would probably be considered racist um you know and they didn’t want to discipline them so nobody got in trouble at that point there were no security cameras either back then um that so they didn’t do shit you know they did absolutely nothing about it you know and i stumbled and i sat down and i’ll never forget um you know i was sitting there and there was three or four black guys that came in came in several minutes after i did breathing heavy i knew they were they were in on it and uh you know just that that was a very pivotal moment for me for a couple of reasons um number one was that the way that my dad responded to it was not what i expected looking back on it i thank fucking whatever universal power you believe in that he handled it the way that he did uh in much more of a tough love scenario and that a lot of parents and i think even putting myself in his shoes would you know storm down to the fucking high school and demand some sort of consequence and and that action be taken and whatever and he didn’t have the you know i’m scared policy at all it was life’s not fucking fair people are gonna fuck with you people are gonna are gonna do mean shit to you and you’ve gotta figure out how to fucking deal with it i know you’re fucking scared you probably don’t want to go back you’re going to go back tomorrow and you’re going to face whoever the fuck did it and you’re going to deal with it sure you know and uh you know for me like at the time i was like what the fuck you know i was like why are you not going and fucking doing something about it and and again i looking back on it now i’m i’m really glad that he handled it that way because it forced me to do that you know it it it was the shit or get off the pop moment for me as a 14 year old of realizing that you know if i can’t fucking figure it out like nobody else is going to hold my hand and make sure that that everything is fucking perfect you know and and for me that was especially going into the community of naval special warfare that was a an incredibly valuable fucking lesson i learned at that age that you know don’t don’t depend on any motherfucker else yeah you know to to make sure that uh your shit’s taken care of you you figure it out you know and uh so um i was the other kind of part of that i think that was pivotal is that the the motivation that that just instantly fucking instilled in me was huge you know like that i was already a pretty competitive athlete and and you know i hated to lose and i you know i worked really hard at sports and everything that i gave a shit about i i was really you know hyper competitive but this took it for sure to the next level you know because i just kept thinking about that and even there were times like in hell weekend and buds training where where i kind of flashed back to that if i was you know wavering a little bit and motivation or whatever like that the second i thought about that it was just i was right i was fucking pissed and i you know it put me right back on track of saying fuck that damn like i’m going to do this you know does that still fire you up to this day fuck i haven’t thought about it since the last time somebody asked me about it i mean it’s for sure not something i think about anymore and haven’t for a while but but early on as a young young man kind of coming into manhood it uh it absolutely was impactful that way yeah how did uh how did that how did that uh create the motivation for you to go into the seal teams so i i wouldn’t say that that that necessarily motivated me to do it it for sure played a role um it was a combination of that uh coupled with just being a competitive swimmer growing up being pretty pretty competent in the water and just being drawn to to military service because of my grandfathers both of them were in world war ii and and i was always really fascinated by by their service and that generation and that war and was kind of a history geek that way uh growing up and and i was just always always kind of motivated to want to do something like that and and for me it was you know i read a popular mechanics article and and saw this story of of uh who the navy seals were in conjunction with watching the movie with charlie sheen in and i was just like man these guys sound fucking awesome so you know all of that kind of combined was was really what what drew me into into doing it and i i spent you know the last several years i was in high school being pretty laser focused on doing nothing but but that damn what uh so i know you uh enlisted or signed up in the delayed entry program at 17 and then uh went into eight and at 18.
what what year did you join 96. so i graduated high school i was still 17 when i graduated so i i did the delayed entry program right at graduation i didn’t turn 18 until later that summer and then i went to boot camp you know two weeks after i turned 18.
but the hardest thing for you at buds san clemente island no shit unquestionably yeah why is that it was it was el nino it was a summer hell week i actually went through hell week it was my it was my 19th birthday um i want to say two days after we finished l week and uh but so that was in july right it’s fucking warm and then going out to san clemente island in february january february it was an el nino winner to boot so uh just kind of extreme weather conditions it’s cold as fuck and uh i just you know it’s kind of like all the things that i’d read and whatever was that you know that’s where you actually learn stuff and you know you get to fucking blow shit up and shoot guns and you know patrol and kind of start to learn real frog man shit and uh jesus christ we went out there and it was like the staff just hated us like the third phase godrej just fucking murdered us over and over yeah part of it too was that i got rolled i started with 214 and i got rolled uh six days before they went to san clemente island oh damn and so i then i got rolled back spent you know seven weeks and fucking roll back land and then joined up with 215 day one of third phase and so you know that certainly didn’t help uh you know enjoying it but yeah just you know they they fucking hated us and uh i mean we got about two and a half hours of sleep every night there and just got the fuck beat out of us non-stop you know so uh i didn’t make it easy on myself either i uh there was one night where we patrolled uh we we did a a patrol gig where it was you know cold and rainy and you know cactus and it was just miserable and we got back at like two in the morning and uh admittedly it was a total shit bag move on my part like we get back we’re in the armory cleaning guns and and taking care of our shit and me and two other guys ran to the fucking galley quick to get like hot chocolate because we were just fucking freezing right so while we’re in there uh i don’t even remember what fucking instructor it was walked in there while we were fucking getting hot cocoa while everybody else is cleaning their shit you know and so of course he’s like you’ve got to be fucking shitting me you know he’s like out on the fucking beach now you know and so we run out there and dude i’ll tell you it was probably the worst beating of of my entire time at buds is that they took our our m4s and broke them down in the to the lowest fucking impossible we completely broke them down and put them in five-gallon sodasorb buckets that were half full of sand and salt water oh shit and buried them in there and and made us fucking and beat us while they were doing that we had to disassemble them and it was like buddy carries down to the beach fucking surf torture back push-ups monkey fuckers jumping jacks buddy carries you know just it was like three hours of just getting the fuck hammered out of us all because of you well because of me and the two other guys it was three of us and uh and so they they took all three of our guns right and put it in one bucket right so i mean down to the fucking seer the firing pin you name it all all the way fucking down three weapons in in a bucket full of sand and salt water and after several hours of getting the shit beat out of us hand us the bucket and we’re like we’ll see it fucking zero six for for a weapons inspection shit and uh so you know we stayed up the whole rest of the night you know we’re sitting there hands all fucked up and frozen you know digging through you know pouring shit out on the on the grinder with flashlights trying to find our shit because they they made us sift through it there before we could take it back and uh it was fucking miserable but the whole island was that way for us i mean it was just it was like a non-stop kicking in the dick the whole time we were there and it was cold i mean the water was like 48 to 52 degrees the whole time we were there and it was just it was shitty but yeah what was the rest of the class doing when you guys were getting your ass beat they uh finished cleaning their weapons and went to bed so yeah i mean we like we’re as we’re getting the fuck beat out of us we see them you know trickling out of the fucking armory after all their shit’s done hitting the rack you know and i mean we deserved it like it was again it was a good lesson learned like even though like we were just gonna run and grab hot cocoa bring it back and try to warm up while we were doing our shit it was like just got caught at the wrong place the wrong fucking time and it happened to be i think it was a warrant officer was one of the more senior guys walked in and was just like hell no you know he kicked the door open and just fucking trashed us but damn so moving on past buds um you checked in to what team so i checked i went to uh went to fort benning for jump school first uh we went there right after we graduated before we even went on leave so went straight from graduation fort benning jump school uh then we had 30 days leave and then i checked in to steal team three you stayed at team three the entire time until you became an instructor what was going on at that time period so this was you know before 9 11.
i mean this was uh i graduated uh from buds in february of 98 and so uh you know it was still you know bill clinton was still fucking president um you know funding was not great uh morale was okay and uh you know it was kind of the old school 80s and 90s teams back then still you know in terms of the way the teams were structured you know seal team three was the the centcom or or desert warfare platoon you know team five was jungle i’m sorry team one was jungle team five was korea and cold weather um you know and so we all kind of had our niches if you will uh you know we were the only ones that were our our working uniform was desert camis you know of the whole community we were the only ones wearing desert camis back then and so everything was kind of structured toward desert everything i mean whether it was reconnaissance stuff or uh you know you name it is that everything was kind of geared towards long range desert type of operations and went through sqt and uh you know did the whole back then it was six months of uh of getting your all of your qualifications done once you know once you graduated you had that probationary period and so it took a while to get your tried and you have to take a chief’s board and they fucking grill you for for hours and ask you every question under the book and uh just it was a pretty painstaking process from the time you graduate buds until you actually got your trident it was almost a year so i kind of prefer it that way i think it did a better job at kind of policing the the new guys coming in and making sure that uh that they kind of earned their trident the right way that’s my take on it of course i’m a little biased but um yeah so i checked in there and and uh jumped into a platoon and uh it was an arg alpha platoon which is an amphibious readiness group um which means we were on a ship we had an almost two year workup and then a six-month deployment and we spent a lot of that time on on ships so i actually spent a a pretty significant amount of time on a lot of different navy navy ships which at the time kind of sucked but i’m glad i did because it was good experience you know getting to you know most team guys now i’ve never been on a fucking boat if you came in you know in the last 15 years you know you probably have never even been on a fucking ship i’m one of them yeah the only time i’ve ever been on one was doing vbss training which for those of you that don’t know that’s uh boarding ships and uh taking them down and um but so that’s a rarity nowadays but uh rewind in just a little bit um you would mention that uh you really liked hearing the stories of your grandparents serving world war ii if you could serve in any war and uh to include um you know the ones you did serve in would you have changed it is there any particular uh war that you would want to serve in i mean part of me says uh world war ii just because of the the gravity of of the impact that it had on the entire planet yeah to me that that were uh not that afghanistan wasn’t justified uh but it just seems more more justified yeah you know uh like the entire fucking country was behind it and there there is a part of me i think that is almost jealous of of that time in our nation’s history where i mean literally it was like 9 12 yeah you know but for five fucking years straight you know um and so to me like that kind of jumps out as being maybe it’s over romanticized because you know the way that the press was back then was very different and very filtered and the american public did not have access to a lot of the same things that it has access to now as it relates to what goes on in war and things of that nature but i still just think that you know there was there was a pretty clear-cut line in the sand of good versus evil or at least it sure fucking seems that way more so than it does now even you know to him um not that fucking terrorists aren’t aren’t evil it’s just the those lines seem a little muddier now and again maybe it’s because we’re we’re living in it and yeah world war ii we’re looking back and we’re a part of it but uh it just seems like such a such a powerful moment in in mankind’s history yeah i think that would have been one would have been pretty neat to be a part of yeah as fucked up as it sounds it’s it’s uh for united states modern day history that was definitely our high point and uh it seems like it’s been kind of uh slowly you know watered down yep ever since um that point in time but uh moving past that a lot of times guys have like an area of operation or or something that they that where they want to serve uh did you guys have dream sheet when you were coming out or yeah we did i actually picked steel team two was my number one choice uh seal team eight was my second choice and team three was my third so i did get one of my choices but um i i you know i think a lot of us i i know for for my class or at least that kind of era it seemed like the instructors played a huge role in inspiring guys where to go what they wanted to do like we all wanted to really emulate the cadre especially our third phase guys but most of the the steel cadre when i was a student were east coast guys for whatever fucking reason um and so you know most of us picked east coast teams because you know they they talked fondly and talk shit about you know west coast hollywood fuckers and whatever and so uh yeah i mean we all kind of picked that but there was an element of even back then this was you know prior to 9 11 there was something about team three and then just the whole middle east fucking component that that uh was intriguing to me and so that’s why i put it on the list also but well fucking worked out i mean out of all the teams uh you know minus dev grew but to my knowledge it seems like team three probably throughout the uh at least the earlier years in the war um got the most experience yeah yeah i mean we were just you know again like with most things right place the right time and you know to be the team that kicked the iraq war off uh you know the operation that we did with the goplatz and the manifold metering station i mean the entire all of seal team three did did an operation together you know it’s never been done before or since yeah you know so to have you know all all fucking every platoon at seal team three on one singular huge fucking mission at once was pretty fucking cool but we’ll get into that in a minute but um why why team two that was yukon correct yeah it’s just uh you know again like eucom is europe for those of you that don’t know a bunch of uh a bunch of the first phase instructors were team two guys um and a couple of our third phase instructors that uh that just you know really uh had a huge impact on me were team two guys also and so i think you know as a fucking 19 year old and just that was very impressive i was like fuck these guys seem like badasses and have cool stories i want to go where they went you know it’s really that simple but i was at eight and then went to two oh yeah yeah yeah but um all right so you’re at team three and um what was the check-in process like for it were they welcoming or did they fucking hate your guts it was actually it was kind of underwhelming uh i i was expecting it to be more prevalent than it was i think you know they were all busy and it was kind of three sheets of the win so it was it was a lot of like this is the fucking seal team like where is everybody you know like everybody was fucking gone like training and i actually had uh when i was home on leave i got a call from master chief huey who uh al huey’s son who camp al huey which is uh you know the camp that the the san clemente island compound is named after was it’s his son was a master chief of team three crusty old fucking guy he he actually called me on leaves like you are you fucking coming and i was like what you know i was like i have 30 days leaves i don’t give a fuck get over here just like okay so if i can i was like i guess i gotta go and i go and check in and even then like he wasn’t there like finally you’re here like he just called the whole list of guys that you know that were gone was like fucking get your ass here you know and like sqt was was starting up and so they were just like we you know there was very little of it uh i mean they fucked with us a little bit of like you know the the um the training cell guys would pull us in the office and be like sit down you know you’d sit down and be like no not there get out you know just fucking with you like that and like fill out your your school’s request sheet and you better have underwater knife fighting and fucking basket weaving on there you know and we’re just like okay and it’s like not even a real form you know like they’re like just stupid you know new guy on the job type shit that they would fuck with us but uh there was a little bit of that but otherwise it was really like i was just like jesus christ like what what are you guys doing you know and so there wasn’t you know a bunch of cool stories about all all sorts of crazy shit like a lot of guys have it it was very like i said underwhelming and i i was only there for a matter of of a couple of days and then started sqt which at that time uh it was stt seal tactical training and it was uh basically all similarly it was it was right as they were starting all of of the new buds uh graduates were going through stt together whether you’re going to an east coast team or whatever because right before that you actually did st at your own team like each team ran their own little stt where their training cell guys you know on top of training the platoons would train the new guys and put them through a little pipeline with just a handful of them as you can imagine that’s not not really efficient or effective but there were some some pros to it i think but so we were one of the first full full class you know all buds graduates irrespective of team that you’re going to to go through stt together uh on the west coast and then once we finished that then we went back to the team and then it was more more structured but you know then i’d been through through stt and was assigned to a platoon and so i kind of jumped jumped right in there fairly quick and and we got started but uh i don’t know what it was like for you as a new guy for me you know in the late 90s as a new guy in a steel team non non-wartime uh was fucking brutal yeah um you know and having an almost two-year work workup i mean we got the fuck hazed out of us all the time oh shit oh yeah we got i mean fucking taped up and the shit beat out of us and mini blast machine getting electrocuted i mean fucking you name it like we got we got fucking hammered all the time because they were bored you know and we had a long time together so how many new guys were in there with it half the fucking platoon there was eight of us no eight eight new guys yeah yep damn glenn glenn doherty was one of them uh you know so you know there’s a million fucking stories with him uh god rest his soul it’s actually his 50th birthday today but uh yeah so eight of us and uh it was the one i guess benefit to that is there was so many of us it was harder for them to to haze all of us they’d have to get us you know one or two at a time because if all all eight of us were together they they’d have a hard time a hard time with us that way but but uh you know i will say this i mean again it’s kind of like the the speech that my dad gave me about going back to high schools at the time it was kind of miserable and sucked but looking back on it i don’t think you could pay um to put yourself in a better circumstance as a young man you know to be surrounded by barrel chested fucking pipe hitters that teach you how to be a fucking man you know and how to handle things and how to live your life and how to get things done and how to adapt and how to you know not make fucking excuses and how to hold you accountable and really you know teach you how to how to fucking kick ass you know i mean you just to me i wish every fucking young man that as a 19 and 20 year old you know had the ability to be surrounded by 180 fucking guys like that the way i did i mean i’ll i will be forever grateful that that i was able to finish growing up in the seal teams you know my parents laid a great foundation and did a stand-up job the seal teams absolutely fucking finished finished their job and and uh you know i would would not not be where i’m i’m at today and nowhere near it had it not been for those guys i mean they really fucking showed me how to how to do it yeah i’m right there with you um i mean that’s definitely a fucking lost art these days and uh if it teaches you anything accountability and if you’ve in fucking consequences which uh are few and far between uh these days hard to find people to take accountability and uh the consequences are fucking so minimal now that uh i think it’s ruined entire generations i agree and it’s it’s also motivated slash inspired me to try to be that for whoever i can uh you know male or female there’s you know in the canine world there’s a lot of you know female potential canine handlers or people that have questions or whatever and you know writing the books uh you know has had a tremendous tremendously rewarding impact on me also that way and getting letters from people like hey i read your book and i just you know i i joined the air force and i you know i’m slated to be a handler and you know it’s because i read your book and but you know whatever like to me to to be able to do anything even remotely close to what you know the generations before us did did for us in the in the seal teams you know if i can accomplish a fraction of that i’ll i’ll be glad that i at least was able to do something yeah because if if people don’t take the time if they’re selfish with their time and just focus on them and and not try to put that back into the following subsequent generations then then we as a nation are completely fucked so yeah i would definitely um agree with that um so kind of moving past check-in and uh your beginning time there what what year was that what year did you finally check in 98 98 what was your first real op first real app was uh was the uss cole no shit yeah so you went for what two years before you did anything real yes i mean so you know when i checked in like i said we had a two i mean it was like a 22 month work up right so you know we were training for almost two years before we deployed and then when we deployed we deployed on the uss duluth uh part of an an amfib deployment so there’s a big group of amphibious ships you know all leaving from san diego steam all the way to the middle east and sit there for six months and come back and uh we flew actually on a fucking c130 from uh from san diego to hawaii hung out in hawaii for a few days met the ship there did some training and flew from hawaii to kwajalein guam and then ultimately hawaii or australia and spent about a month in fucking australia which was awesome for all the reasons you can probably imagine and uh what is a bunch of board team guys do in australia everything you can think of we actually did a bunch of dumb shit uh we had a couple days up we were training with uh the norforce guys the northern northern forest guys up and we were in darwin which is the outback i mean it’s not like the rest of australia it’s much more you know the mick dundee fucking uh you know outback type of type of experience but it was still neat uh but we had a couple days off and we we actually told our officer in charge that we were just going to go camp at litchfield national park which was like an hour away right there in the outback and we jumped on uh qantas airlines and flew all the way to the fucking gold coast without telling shit uh without telling him and and flew there there was four of us i think and uh dove on the fucking great barrier reef uh and pub crawled like for three days just we were staying in hostels and scuba diving and getting shit-faced and just just totally fucking going nuts you know and he thought we were camping an hour away and we were like a fucking five-hour flight but but uh anyways we came back had a good time and then uh ended up going from there we took a guided missile cruiser jumped on that and hauled ass all the way to bahrain we were in bahrain for a little bit uh and then we were scheduled to go do some other shit and then that’s when the coal got hit good afternoon ladies and gentlemen a total of six sets of remains have been found on board the cold during the course of today we are working to identify the remains and to contact the next of kin of those individuals and that notification and identification process continues as we speak my prayers are with the families of those killed and injured and with all the brave men and women in uniform who serve our country every day around the world so we jumped on the uss tarla and steamed down to um to the coal and then we sat on the coal for two fucking months rewind real quick how uh how much no how many days passed between when the coal got hit and you guys arriving on the coal it was like a day and a half two days i mean it was quick how fucking fired up were you guys to do that fired up i mean it was it was nerve-racking and fired up at the same time uh you know jumping on a ship that’s doing 12 miles an hour kind of it’s almost like the austin powers where he’s getting ready to run the guy over and he sits there screaming for fucking two minutes like uh you know there was an element of like jesus christ we need to get there you know and uh it was a few days um you know it wasn’t as quick as you know jumping on a plane and being there that day but but you know they weren’t hanging out like dogs balls for too too long but um yeah it was it was nerve-wracking because again this it’s hard to even put people in that frame of mind of this was still before september 11th you know so um knowing that you know i mean even the name osama bin laden like it was like who yeah even then it’s like al qaeda what the fuck is that you know like i i had a little bit more inclination on who they were and what they were about because i was the intel rep for the platoon and we were going to the middle east so i i was a little more red in than most people but but it still it wasn’t obviously anywhere near like it is now and so it was a bigger deal in that respect and that yes the us warship that suicide bombers fucking pulled a tug laden with explosives alongside and blew themselves up interestingly they tasked a guy to uh to videotape that whole fucking thing and uh and he fell asleep and didn’t get it on film you know the propaganda wing of al qaeda i mean i think they i don’t know if they executed him but you know it came out years later that they had actually tasked a guy to get that on film i kind of wish they had you know maybe maybe that’s a just a creepy thing to think but um you know for for their uses you know the propaganda tools are pretty powerful but uh and that killed like uh 15 19 19 sailors and then uh a lot of casualties yeah and it was it was fucking creepy uh for us because coming on board you know obviously the crew was to say that they were rattled as a fucking huge understatement yeah you know uh because the the goal of of the entire mission was to actually sink that fucking ship you know it wasn’t just to bomb it and the whole reason that we were there was because they threatened to to sink it you know they came came over the open airwave marband radio uh and threatened the captain and they were like you know this is fucking al-qaeda your ship is not leaving our fucking harbor you know we like we will sink it or whatever the fuck they said something to that effect and so that’s why we went down there and so we sat there for two months and from sundown to sun up every fucking night we had two uh ribs two boats you know floating around with a couple guys on and then we had a 60 gunner and a couple of snipers and a law rocket uh guy on the bridge of the ship uh kind of keeping you know overwatch and we were out on the boats and there was there was a number of times where small boats would come you know test test the perimeter and see what they could get away with and whatever and we were always right there never mixed it up with them but a couple of pretty you know fairly close calls where um you know if if things had gone maybe a little different it probably would have would have gone pretty bad for for the boats that were trying to come come any closer but any shots fired nothing at least nothing from any of the boats i was on and i don’t recall any any of the other guys having any there was a couple of close calls where again it was like you know they went a little too close and guys would get and haul ass out there and you know maybe draw down on them or the fucking um you know 50 cal guys on the rib fucking yeah like hey motherfucker you know or whatever but so they they never really tried anything past that because i think they knew you know that it wasn’t gonna fucking pan out well for him but where it was fucking creepy was um going inside you know the first couple days we were there we actually you know we stayed on board the coal and you know they had 19 empty racks well guess where we fucking slept you know so we’re sleeping in these sailors bunks that were just fucking blown up you know and like you know there’s uss cole fucking coffee mugs with fucking like powder blasts on them in the galley and uh you know people’s personal effects and you know a lot of the crew like you know you’re laying in some dude that you know the the the rest of the room is is fucking devastated and you’re like laying in his bunk jerking off you know i’m kidding but uh but they’re looking at you you know they’re just they’re looking at you like what the fuck you know like they just can’t can’t wrap their mind around it you know and it was we didn’t know any of them so it was just very different for us coming on board but but uh you know it was a powerful fucking moment for us because um it was the first you know kind of like holy shit you know yeah this is a shit just got real a real fucking deal and they’re testing the water and and so uh there was also uh the the stench from uh you know being in 94 degree fucking water salt water you know and having now a ship that has no running power on it uh in terms of ac and stuff you know i had flood lights and and stuff in some of the barracks rooms on enough generator power but nowhere near enough because of the damage to the ship to actually keep it cool and so uh i mean just the smell of of 19 semi-submerged blown-up dead bodies trapped in a fucking boat you know in that kind of water and that kind of heat day in day out for a couple of months was fucking brutal uh and they were the bodies were in there so yeah they couldn’t get them out there was one instance where from about the knee down uh in in the galley so the the witness reports were when the uh when the the blast hit it hit during lunch and it was right at midships which is where the galley was located in that that area and so everybody that was in there said that it was like a fuck the floor was like a fucking sine wave like the floor went like that you know metal floor moving like a fucking wave from the blast and so there there was a section of the of the ship where the floor became the ceiling and it just fucking meshed up and that was it and there was one spot where as you’re walking you could actually see a fucking dungaree and a boondocker from about the knee down hanging out of the out of the fucking where now it’s a ceiling it was a floor and now it’s feeling somebody’s fucking leg just hanging there uh you know right there fucking playing his day and then the other 18 people were you know in different parts of the boat fucking mangled and and uh dead just sitting there fucking rotting but fuck man so you get um damn how long uh how long were you guys on there two months two that boat sat in that uh harbor and and aiden for two fucking months two fucking months yeah so you can imagine like the smell didn’t get any fucking better and then and the bodies were there the entire time yeah what um how did you guys get the boat out so the the uss marlin spike which was a floating dydrock came from louisiana and came all the way out and it took you know between spinning them up and outfitting it to accommodate the coal and all that it took two fucking months to get there 63 days and uh they came about 12 miles off the coast and then they took uh tugs and bumper boats and shit and and drug the coal out to it and uh and then it’s the way the the floating dry dock works is it’s this monster fucking boat right and it has the ability to sink itself they drag the boat on and then it raises back up and so you can google pictures of marlon spike and cole and you’ll see this fucking ship that has a uss warship that looks like it’s a fucking toy on it it’s that much bigger you know so it it fucking dry docks the the coal on a boat and then it’s steamed all the way back to louisiana damn took him a couple years to uh completely re-refurbish the ship but they did they completely repaired it and to my knowledge it’s actually back out back out at sea and doing deployments again but uh one thing while it was being drug out there because it took you know a couple of days you know because it was the one thing it was it was severely listed i mean i don’t know how the fuck it didn’t sink honestly i mean i think it speaks volumes to the crew for doing such a good job uh damage control wise of having all their ducks in a row and handling their processes the way they were supposed to because they kept the the boat from sinking it’s a monster fucking hole in it and uh so it took them forever to drag it out well while it was being drug out we actually got spun up to do a ship boarding you know we we had thought like finally you know 63 days of night after night fucking guarding this goddamn thing you know it’s it’s dragging out and now we can kind of relax well on its way out there was a fucking boat hauling ass straight towards it you know that that our ship picked up on the radar so they spun us up we get all our shit on hop in the ribs go fucking assault this uh this little miniature fucking tug tanker thing that uh was it turned out it was just bringing oil um out out to the marlin spike i guess there was you know they didn’t deconflict or whatever but there was a yemeni uh army officer with a with a fucking beretta on board and then the rest was just a crew and of course we assaulted it like like it was al qaeda coming back to fuck you know we almost shot and killed the fucking yemeni guy because he uh he kind of had an attitude and started to put his hand on his fucking pistol and uh clint emerson and i uh actually were the two guys that um zeroed in on him and fucking just swarmed him and backed him up and he was like oh shit you know i had mp5s down his fucking throat and uh and he got his hand off his gun immediately and decided he didn’t fuck around but uh so yeah once we finally got that done um then we we actually did a follow-on op with uh because of that is so at the time uh you know u.
s ships were pulling in everywhere and that’s that’s what was happening with the coal in yemen as they were just pulling in for a resupply and so once that happened the u.s navy said no more resupplies anywhere other than dubai they’re actually jebel ali which is just south of dubai and so we went to dubai we jumped on a usns fucking merchant marine ship and hauled ass to to dubai and we were in plain clothes relaxed grooming standards fucking cover stories the whole bit uh and every fucking navy ship that came in we would uh dive on the tugboats and ensure that uh that they didn’t have any bombs on them or explosives or whatever went through the whole warehouse personnel pallets we had a sniper over watch on one of the towers i mean we had a whole fucking thing going on of uh of every time a ship pulled in we made sure that that shit wasn’t gonna happen so we spent about a month in dubai doing that do you remember what your cover was it was fucking lame it was just like we were government contractors doing like electrical work or something stupid like that it wasn’t anything fancy of course if we were out in town we were a fucking american rugby team or whatever yeah yeah well uh did you you know yemen is uh yemen is a uh very fucked up place and uh i deployed there uh several times and uh you know probably doesn’t mean shit to you but i got to see where the you know coal happened i used to drive by it every fucking day oh shit yeah yeah and um and uh me and glover had a couple incidents there and uh there was always shit going on in uh in yemen especially in ayden did you guys get to go out in town at all or no we uh we were on the ship or in that port area and that was it okay so we had very limited uh exposure experience to any of the actual local populists i mean a little bit from you know people coming and checking it out or you know interacting with people on on board or whatever i do remember just kind of flashed in my memory you know at that time i was i think i just turned 21 um right before we deployed on that and uh so you know as a 21 year old like i’m still pretty young you know by parent standards and whatever and so anyway on a sat phone i scared the shit out of my parents uh you know because they heard about it in the news and they and they knew i was overseas and they hadn’t heard from me in a while and all of a sudden i call them and my dad like had gone home like he’d forgot something and went back you know after lunch and went back into the house and uh you know because even this was before really people everybody had cell phones uh and so i called him on a sat phone at the house phone and he picked up and he hadn’t heard from me in weeks i was like guess what i’m standing he’s like where was like on on board the fucking uss cole half sunk in the water he’s like what he’s like jesus fucking christ like you know he’s having a heart attack like what the fuck are you doing there are you okay and all this other shit and the but yeah it’s just one of those moments where uh almost like fate like he i wouldn’t have gotten a hold of him otherwise but uh you know i had had the opportunity to call him and that was just kind of neat we look back on that and laugh once in a while but yeah you know um just backtracking a little bit more too uh even though there was no shots fired um just for the audience i think that always kind of surprises me because there hasn’t been shit going on you know and uh you spent two years at the fucking team preparing to go to war and uh and uh like when i showed up we knew what we were gonna do and there was nothing going and then this happens which you know gives you the adrenaline and uh and and i’m assuming the entire platoon was hungry as fuck to get some action and i guess where i’m going is the discipline that it takes to not shoot a potential threat when you know you can fucking get away with is uh i it’s it’s uh there’s something to be said about that you know and a lot of units don’t have that fucking discipline and and uh that’s one of the things that separates uh special operations units from conventional units so i just want to kind of uh reiterate that or bring awareness on how much fucking discipline that actually takes i mean well yeah i appreciate it i think and i agree i think half of it uh is what you’re talking about in terms of you know having clear thinking you know not overly aggressive people you know knowing when to use aggression how to apply it and also when to turn the fuck off when it’s appropriate when it’s not uh you know and being clear-headed to know the differences is uh necessary but i also think there’s an element of leadership that exists at least within our chain of command at that time it did where we knew absolutely what the fucking right and left flank were it was you know there was a hero here is our fucking bubble and nobody comes inside that i don’t care if they’re five inches from it you don’t fucking engage them you know and so they they were smart enough to to see and test you know our perimeter and see you know if we go here what happens if we go like and so we would ratchet it up where you know if they were getting close we’d we’d start heading that way you know and they’d get to a certain point and they’d fucking full throttle it out to the edge and so that you know they honestly like a fucking dog that is testing a goddamn electric fence you know that’s basically what they were doing and so you know they they were measuring our response uh as it relates to to their behavior and and figured out how far they could get and what we were going to do and that yeah there were a couple of times where uh you know we made it abundantly clear like any fucking further in in your your fucking history yeah and i think they just recognized that and decided you know what we’ll live to fight another day and and this isn’t worth it yeah i mean even just the revenge factor you know i mean fuck you’re eating chow with fucking yeah decaying legs hanging through the ceiling and uh you know which are americans and uh and uh our brothers and sisters you know that are servants so uh fucking kudos to you man and your team and clint yeah i i think you know it’s funny i i talked a little bit about this with uh nick and remy talking about race and and policing and not to get too off on a tangent but the i think the the one of the starkest contrasts between the us military and u.
s police forces is is that is that you know it’s there’s elements of police and granted not all of them there’s plenty of them that aren’t that way but there i i think that there are too many holdovers of when things happen you know there’s times where cops get away with shit that they probably shouldn’t you know and there’s almost never a time where that happens in the military yeah you know like you fuck up this miss like the top gun code you fuck up this much you’re gonna be flying a rubber a cargo plane full of rubber dog shit out of hong kong right cause you know you fuck up that much and you’re gonna be breaking big rocks into little rocks at level and we’re worth and everybody fucking knows that yeah you know and so to me like that’s the that’s really the secret sauce it’s not even in selection or training or whatever that’s going to take years of revamping and billions of fucking dollars in funding it’s like have an accountability system so stringent that that people know absolutely like you you fucking this is okay this isn’t okay have the leadership you know with enough directive and balls and ability to communicate what you know the the black and white contrasted right and left flank are so that guys understand what the fuck they’re allowed to do and what they’re not allowed to do you know and i think the military just does a way better job at that yeah well um let’s take a quick commercial break and uh when we come back we’ll move on this episode of the sean ryan show is brought to you by vigilance elite patreon vigilance elite patreon is how you support the show it also has an entire library of tactical training and behind the scenes footage of the sean ryan show go to vigilanceelite.
com click the training tab it’ll take you right to vigilance lead training on patreon get a subscription support the show thank you let’s get on with it all right mike so we’re back from the break we were just in yemen uh uss cole and uh you said you were there with clint emerson so i just happened to have uh clint on the line here so that’s fucking great hey clint how’s it going man hey how you guys doing doing pretty good uh so i got your buddy mike ritlin here and he was just talking about uh boarding a uh small boat and uh shoving some mp vibes in somebody’s face so i wonder if i get you guys to kind of uh relive that yeah i’m all for it all there’s only one part of that i remember and that’s grabbing his nuts when it was all over with that wasn’t that fun were they were they uh do they have bigger nuts than mike does mike big balls ritland yeah they were they were uh you know i don’t remember you know size consistency um whether they were firm or uh soft but uh i just remember that was the highlight of the whole thing was grabbing his nuts and saying hey wasn’t that fun i actually do remember that yeah we were just getting like we were on the the loading bay or whatever uh you know like where you climb back up on the ship and i was like what the fuck are you doing so that’s no shit he’s not even joking he did grab my fucking life in some of those serious situations with humor you know i tend to uh kind of laugh when i get nervous and so uh i think it only gets worse over time at least for me with uh just stupid antics to kind of lighten up sometimes the most serious moments oh you grabbed mike’s nuts yeah i grabbed his nuts since that wasn’t that fun oh shit i thought you grabbed the uh yemenis nuts the yemeni guys after the yemenis guy decided he didn’t want to uh play then i was like oh well i’ll just play with mike instead i mean i don’t know how deep you guys have gotten into it for me you know um i’ve told people time and time again if there’s one thing that’ll take your your level of uh patriotism up a couple of notches is rolling up on a uh a really advanced destroyer like that listing in a uh in a yemenis harbor you know it was like holy shit you know this is uh this is actually real and there’s that little overwhelming feeling like wait a minute these guys are this capable um you know it was a it was just a surreal uh experience uh when we when we first arrived there so and then everything after that was uh without a doubt kind of first time for a lot of stuff and you know we were all just figuring it out as we uh as we moved along well yeah i was telling him especially because it was pre-911 you know so just the the mentality of the seal teams and the country and and the world at that point was was very different and so it was even more impactful that way uh you know not that it wouldn’t be if it happened today again but it just because it was so out of the blue and and you know al qaeda was was not a household name at that point the way that it is now and and it uh yeah the the crew was pretty rattled and we were all kind of sobered up real fucking quick coming from bahrain hanging out fucking off you know on the tail end of a month in australia doing the same shit it was kind of a slap in the face of like hey this is pretty fucking serious how bad did you guys want to go back to australia once you uh we’re on that ship for about a month yeah yeah when we uh we ran we’re running out of food and mike mike’s memory is far better than mine he’s had to remind you some of this and then i go oh yeah but like you know food wise i mean we got down to these uh rations that you know basically said you know what was it said mike just stamped on there like for animal use only or something we’re eating that said for veterinary and military use only so yeah yeah that’s what it was the fucking animals i guess but nice yeah well uh we’re gonna wrap this up here real quick but you got anything to say to clint oh just uh you know keep it keep it clean over there and then i’ll be i’ll be home soon okay i miss you honey you take care careful coming home right on man well hey clint thanks for the call man and uh we got to get you on here oh yeah i’m standing by been waiting all right you guys take it easy and uh yeah wear your mask wear your gloves put your butt plugs in place all right dog plug is in place be safe man all right bye-bye yeah it’s classic well fuck man if i would have known uh you guys were uh together then they’d have been playing a little better but yeah i was going to bring him with but uh you know he didn’t want to announce it on the show i guess the cat’s out of the bag now that’s cool man that’s cool that you guys got that history yeah but uh so anyways let’s just keep moving forward um so we’re out of yemen and uh i kind of want to get to uh the invasion or the oil rigs um which everyone’s first i’ve heard you talk about both of them and uh in one of your books and i heard you talk about the oil rigs uh in one of your books and um and the invasion on several different podcasts but uh i’d like to go in depth with whichever one of those came first yeah so the the deployment that the coal was on uh was prior to the iraq invasion deployment and and it was uh you know we did the did the cold war in dubai for that you know month or so and then uh scattered around a little bit after that and then made our way back home got back in february platoon didn’t start up until that following january we got home in february of 2001 though so i you know i went and did a couple different schools went to tagalog we were slated to go to southeast asia which we did but then 9 11 happened and i actually did a six week exercise in in jordan right after 9 11 which was treated much more differently than just an exercise because of what happened they almost kind of treated it like a kind of a forward staging area in case they wanted to you know send some guys straight straight from there so we we took that exercise quite a bit more serious also uh ended up not doing anything other than just working with uh jordanian special forces uh and seals there and then ultimately platooned up uh did about a year work up and then deployed uh we still originally went to southeast asia we based out of guam went to the philippines went to singapore went to thailand and then kind of got the hey we’re we’re going to be moving you over to kuwait iraq is probably going to happen you know because we deployed in uh october uh september october of 2003 uh two rather and uh so early 2003 they said you know hey we’re sending you to fucking kuwait and you guys are going to stage out of the kuwaiti naval base uh in case our act kicks off which we expect it to you know and so at that point you know we didn’t have any of our desert anything like we had to have all you know shits shipped over and we’re painting guns and rob and peter to pay paul trying to get desert stuff together and uh went over to kuwait and we staged out of there for about six weeks and uh you know hearing the the stories of the staging for the bin laden raid is actually kind of similar in that we had you know a solid almost two months and we had the the whole oil platform staked out uh in the fucking sand uh you know because it was 1600 meters long which i don’t think people realize how big of a fucking target it was 16 football fields um you know that this whole target consisted of that we had to take down and so we practiced you know the actions on the objective uh for that over and over and over for six fucking weeks before we hit it you know shit yeah so we were you know to say we were you know from a cqb and room clearing standpoint our platoon was as well as as any fucking seal platoon could have been you know he has had every fucking detail contingency at all all of it was mapped out for the most part the where it was a little shaky was the the intelligence coming in for for that mission was and i was the intel rep it was not not very easy to corroborate what what was accurate or what we thought was accurate or not because it was very conflicting some reports said you know there’s a handful of people on board and uh you know there’s basically there’s no intelligence that indicates that there’s going to be any resistance on one end of the spectrum on the other end of the spectrum there’s over 100 people on board it’s rigged with explosives they’re going to clack it off the second you guys fucking step on in every fucking thing in between you know so there was there was a lot of conflicting intelligence do you have any idea how many different sources they were running for that or uh it was mostly four which i i can’t name which which four but there were there were four that we were working with predominantly and even within those four um it was changing you know one day it would be this then it’s like no there’s more people now there’s less people there’s they’ve got you know anti-aircraft uh artillery pieces on board they have fucking you know there’s we see there’s there’s pipes rigged with explosives my uh my aoic the assistant officer in charge are second in command and i jumped on a helicopter and flew above it hanging out the fucking window taking pictures with our most powerful digital cameras at the time which you know again this is 2003.
yeah a lot of technology has has transpired since then so it wasn’t great and it was super fucking overcast so we didn’t get great intel but it was kind of a neat uh you know a neat uh op that way and that it was you know a little bit of a an offshoot from some shit that we would normally do but so we took a bunch of pictures of that came back and really ultimately determined that there there are at least a few dozen people on board and we’ve had multiple reports that that there are explosives on board and that there’s a good chance that you know certain pipes are rigged to blow if we try to take it down you know so that’s that was kind of you know the the final picture that was painted uh for us as as we were getting ready to take this thing down now at the same time there was a manifold and metering station uh on the coast which was about 25 miles away from from where the the goplat was and all of the rest of seal team 3 was tasked with taking that down at the same time there was a problem with you know this 26 miles of pipeline uh they’re 48 inch pipes and there’s four of them and they’re filled with oil so if they were to to blow you know either end or the pipes yeah and and that amount of oil spilling it would have been like 30 exxon valdez spills worth of oil in the in the in the gulf and we would have been you know the bad guy because it was our fault and blah blah blah so it was imperative that the entire team was you know working in cahoots with one another to be able to take all of it down at the same time yeah which as you can imagine is a is a hell of a logistic undertaking yeah um but so we managed to uh you know we get ready to do it we took mark fives out for four ways uh and the ribs followed us so we were hanging out in the mark five just kind of relaxing and once we got about uh i don’t know three or four miles out maybe we jumped in the ribs and and got all of our shit on and and uh got ready to go i mean we were basically stacked on the ribs you know fucking rock and rock ready to go and uh haul ass up there and we we had practiced diving we had practiced fast roping ultimately we ended up just taking a boat and fucking hauling ass up jumping off the boat and just taking it down in kind of a swarm type of fashion climbing up yeah i mean basically just jumping off the boat onto the lowest platform okay you know and then taking it down bottom to top now at one end there was a birthing section and the rest of that 1600 meters there were little stations every you know couple hundred yards uh you know where there was you know a little office or you know kind of a building that you know was an observer observation uh deck or something like that for the ships pulling up or whatever but the the majority of the concentration of people and things that we were worried about were at the birthing at one end so we jump on board um real quick let me interrupt you so how many different uh elements are there between the pipeline and the and the platforms um i mean it was really all one big fucking thing so okay um you know it was like uh i mean it was almost kind of it kind of looked like a long tanker in and of itself but it could accommodate up to four oil tankers two on each side at the same time and load them with oil and the reason why there was significance uh strategic significance is that that it was that uh oh uh what was it uh mabot and chaos it was the the minnehal bakker oil oil terminal was the was the name of the facility how the fuck i remember that i don’t know but uh so four tankers would come up there and that’s where saddam was uh you know fighting or or uh going against the embargo and smuggling oil even though you know there were sanctions against his country to be able to sell oil that’s where they were doing it from was from that that terminal the the chaos the core alemaya uh oil terminal was completely empty and then the grom guys took that down at the same time that we were doing it but they we we knew that there was nobody on there and that’s the the target they just wanted to make sure it was secure so nobody could come on and fuck with it um so we uh we jump on board and uh there ends up being i want to say uh 26 um you know in whatever you want to call them uh enemy fighters on board that were a mixed bag of um iraqi intelligence special republican guard navy you know and kind of a handful of other people that just had different roles in in saddam’s military there was a couple of navy divers and there were a significant amount of explosives on board and and they they uh through interrogations afterward actually revealed to uh to the interrogators that um that they were they were instructed to um you know put put the explosives all over the pipes and put them in certain places and then blow it when we came on board um but so they uh we’re expecting you guys yeah because do you think it’s because of the helo up for pulling surveillance no i think it was two reasons is that you know the helo op we were at like i mean we were stupid high we were you know almost 02 levels or close i mean we were thousands of feet above and i don’t think that that tipped them off we we took it down in the first first gulf war and from a strategic standpoint um you know it was kind of a no-brainers that they knew it would because that was the only uh operational oil terminal that that iraq had at the time in the gulf that they could load tankers with oil so it was kind of they just they knew we would we would come secure it it was saddam’s goal again learning well after the fact that like we anticipated that it was his goal to to blow that and frame us or pin it on us for you know having a huge ecological disaster um you know because we fucked with it just like that you know they did with the kuwaiti oil rigs in the first gulf war of setting them on fire they wanted to accomplish that same thing so it was it was a pretty high value strategic target for sure and uh but we managed to get on board without most of them knowing anyway is that you know most of them were asleep uh and so you know we we didn’t really have any resistance in terms of them firing or putting up a huge fight there were some of them that were hiding or that were you know locked in different rooms and we went through and breached all the fucking doors uh shotguns with no ear pro and you were the preacher i was one of them yeah shane and i were the two shotgun breachers so we breached a fuck ton of doors caught guys in rooms um you know and a lot of them had guns and then whatever we just we were very fortunate in in uh you know we were able to capture you know 20 27 26 prisoners and uh and you know not have any any casualties on our end whatsoever so holy shit 27 fucking prisoners yeah um did you say you rolled up in a rib we did yeah okay so rib is kind of like those either don’t know it’s uh looks kind of like a zodiac which is a rubber boat but it has a metal bottom and uh a lot of times they have a canopy over the it’s a center console yeah but um and then uh i’m just curious it’s kind of a weird question but uh what were you guys wearing were you wetsuits or it was all flight suits and mp5s i mean oh shit that’s like old-school recruiting video yeah shit yeah mp5 were you guys running optics uh just um what was it uh it was the trijicon the reflex reflex sights on pretty much everybody’s rig yeah damn yep and you know and again that you know that that uh platform there was was appropriate because it was you know mostly metal uh everything i mean fucking everything was made out of metal close quarters um you know so yeah mp5 is a uh you know even looking back on it i i would use those again i mean what we were wearing i think was was the right call for it uh we did have body armor and helmets on but we had a classic visit board search and seizure uh you know type of kit and and set up time say that again was it at night time yeah it was it was uh it was probably around midnight one o’clock somewhere in there uh and it took us about four and a half hours to secure the whole fucking thing uh obviously most of that time was down at the birthing area dealing with all the people i mean we hog tied them and put fucking sandbags over their heads and corralled them all into one area and some guys were crying some of them literally shit themselves and pissed themselves you know some of them were were you know in a man pile to begin with all fucking all over each other and like what the fuck but uh yeah it was a filthy fucking birthing area as you can imagine you know out out that far with no no real resupply other than kind of the bare necessities so um but you know ultimately they you know we were able to get on there before they they could do anything they didn’t blow anything up and uh and we managed to capture all of them so how many uh how many operators were there there was uh i think 31 or two of us we had a uh we had an sdv platoon with us uh also so it was two two seal platoons did they roll in in the uh with the sub or were they on his uh ribs so they they did a an op um on or with an sdv that uh you know prior to that uh from an intelligence gathering standpoint to try to you know fill in some of the gaps also um and and really weren’t able to provide much much more intel than than we already had you know they weren’t able to confirm you know any of the the suspicions of you know pipes laden with explosives or anything because ultimately there wasn’t you know they had the explosives on board but uh but they weren’t they weren’t rigged uh the way that they would have needed to have been to actually blow everything up when we stepped on so they got fucking lazy huh well hi you know there was one guy that made a comment in the post interrogations that said uh you know they told us to to do that but we all kind of looked around and realized like well what the fuck are we supposed to do then you know we’re 25 miles off the coast with no boats and you want us to blow this up like well that’s going to fuck us up too so i think that’s probably most of why they didn’t do it is they didn’t want to turn into fucking suicide bombers you know wow they’d have blown themselves up but i’ve never heard that before everybody’s always uh seems to be um pretty willing to volunteer for that yeah you know again i think uh you know when you’re talking regular iraqi military even the special republican guard guys um it’s more mafia style than it is you know hard-line islamic terrorist you know so um in dealing with with the actual iraqi military most those guys have no interest in in dying you know so um or or are scared of it at least enough to not do something like that but yeah were the uh prisoners pretty compliant or yeah they were scared shitless yeah you know they they didn’t uh didn’t really fight at all i mean some of them a little bit of scuffle here and there but uh it you didn’t get the impression that they wanted a fight that’s for sure were you guys on uh running nods you were white light i mean there was enough light there already that uh we just didn’t need them uh we did have white lights and there were parts of the birthing where where we used it like some bathrooms that were dark or uh you know some sections of it that were you know lower lit that we that we white lighted a little bit but i mean then uh not even all of us had fucking nods uh you know in in terms of you know a two two uh or a binocular setting like i had a fucking i think it’s what is it a pbs 14 uh the monocular fucking yeah you know i had to do some driving with with a fucking monocular for for a while you know so we were i think under outfitted a fair bit but damn it’s fucking crazy how far uh yeah everything’s come you know relatively short amount of time yeah i mean there were you know once we went in country we were in uh in four humvees none of them were armored uh two of them didn’t even have fucking doors on them you know so the two that did they were those just thin skin like vinyl doors that we hung body armor on the fucking doors to give us something something extra like we’d throw our body armor on the fucking you know out the window and over the door to give you some kind of fucking protection on the doors but damn dude yeah um so is that where that up ended or yeah so we we finished that and then there was a kind of a turnover team uh there was you know interrogators and i think a marine fast uh group came on to basically you know hold it for however long until they brought you know i don’t know contractors to operate it or what but yeah we just we took it over and when we finished it was right at when the sun was coming up and so uh our replacements showed up on a hilo and we jumped on uh on back on the ribs and then ultimately we loaded the ribs onto a fucking fast cat like a big fast catamaran and rode that back to uh back to knb kuwaiti naval base so we get back there do the whole debrief thing and then at that point i mean that’s basically what started the war right that happened the night before the invasion so we went from kuwaiti naval base up to uh ali assaleem air force base in the northern part of kuwait and uh loaded all of our shit up we had to steal the humvee from the air force because we only had three of them and it was green so like overnight we had cans of paint and a couple of paint brushes and our new guys fucking hand painted a green humvee tan and uh we loaded all of our shit up in it and then drove across the border up and drove all the way to nazarea in in one one fell swoop um well before we uh before we go there i want to go back uh so that op that we just discussed uh correct me if i’m wrong but was that your first interaction with uh taking something down with dogs no um we didn’t have dogs on that at all you didn’t have dogs okay no the the the first time there was even uh mention of them was towards the end of that deployment up in the northern part of the country into crete there was a marine contingent that had an explosive detection dog by where we were at okay so um yeah so we uh so we ended up going up to alias lim and end up uh there was the 15th marine expeditionary unit um was taking some pretty fucking heavy casualties in nazarea along a main supply route a lot of the uh saddam fedeen guys were heavily concentrated in nazarea and uh they were given given them all all they could fucking deal with and so mattis who was the ceo of the first marine division at the time asked commodore harwood if he would uh let some of our guys come up and ambush the ambushers that were fucking with his supply route so we went up into nazareth and spent a couple weeks there disrupting every fucking thing we could uh and we spent kind of a blue gold we spent that time doing kind of a blue gold thing with another platoon from team three and so we would go out one night and and do operations and they would be our qrf and then the next night we’d flip-flop we did a couple of a couple of ops where we went out together and you know we would drive or they would drive you know and kind of all go out as a group we hit a train station as a group that was one of the times where i had to drive on nods uh totally dark for like three and a half hours on the insert and we pull up and hit the train station we establish a perimeter and whatever and it was on that was the first mission where we found actually found like uh cbr that you know chemical biological radiological suits and two pam chloride pens and bags of white powder and all kinds of like chemical weapon uh training suits and and a bunch of shit in there uh that we turned over and and never heard anything more about it what was the puffer frappe like the uh pucker factor language yeah i mean when you’re coming across that shit you’re just like holy fuck you know like are we stepping into a fucking you know cachet of goddamn you know chemical weapons or what the fuck is this you know so um but so we spent two weeks there just again trying to disrupt operations spent a lot of time um you know blowing up fucking like we we’d find caches of uh of weapons of of uh you know crates of rpgs you know shit like that uh we had some uh we had a uav guy at the time that that program was just kind of starting to come online and so it was a team guy uav operator that went with us and we’d launch it from the humvee and it was awesome because like we would drive along and it would be up above and you know at a certain level on the ground unless you kind of really know what you’re looking at you can’t tell if that’s a real fucking plane or a uav if it’s high enough right so you could draw out you know the fucking insurgents because they’d start shooting at it you know and so we we would use that as much as a fucking decoy as we would uh you know actually getting the real-time intelligence of of what’s ahead is that you draw out people start shooting at it and stuff so um you know we would uh you know spent like i said spent a couple weeks just doing tit for tat trying to disrupt the network of people that were fucking with the with the convoy routes for the marines and uh seems like we did at least an adequate enough job to to keep them from getting fucked with anymore so what was the resistance like were they pretty dedicated or no it was real mixed most of it was you know again this was at the start of the war so i think just my kind of assumption was that they didn’t really understand it was kind of like the guys in yemen is that it was more like testing what they could get away with or not so it was much more cat and mouse kind of shit you know um and and because of that i think you know they they based a lot of what they did after that as you know teams came in and established fobs and whatever is that you know that kind of set the tone i think for what they knew they could start to get away with or not how much of a fight they could put up with before they had to uh you know retreat or bound back or or bad ass and live to fight another day you know so um a lot of it was you know and for us too some of it was us feeling them out you know is you know if we shoot through these windows and we take fucking shots from from here you know how we how we respond what does that dictate you know in terms of their response and you know whether or not we use the uav if we you know blow up caches do they come to see what the fucking explosion was if you know if we blow up like we blew up vehicles um you know or shot water tanks like we’d come across little areas that uh that we knew you know people had just been there like there was fresh food and little like almost campsites at different checkpoints and places you know or you know you’d take shots from somewhere and you’d go check it out and then they would leave and you’d find you know crates of fucking ammo and aks and and rpg rounds and fuel tanks and and vehicles and shit and so we would swoop in there and just place fucking standard charges on everything and just blow the fuck out all of it you know and then sometimes we would we would probe in further sometimes we would go back and see if they would come back it was just it was a lot of that kind of you know back and forth cat and mouse bullshit of figuring out you know what the fuck they’re gonna do based on what we do and vice versa yeah but you got i’m so you guys were fucking engaging uh in in some cases yeah you know it it was pretty light though you know it was very um but i guess i would call it it was more um reconnaissance driven you know on both ends you know both in fire and effect and everything else but um it wasn’t until we went up to the northern part of the country where it was a legitimate fucking like holy fuck gun fight um you know where there was bullets flying every which god damn direction um you know into the humvees and right past your fucking head and in the ground next to you and i mean it was it was like kicking over a fucking hornet’s nest when we when we went up there but between nazarea and the northern part we did hang out uh we were in baghdad we took down a scud base that was fucking awesome which was pretty neat especially growing up you know in the first gulf war and seeing you know how big of an impact scuds had on uh everything and you know so this was the the iraqi army’s main stud training facility base uh and there you know i took pictures of of uh they had murals these crazy like anti-american murals that had all sorts of twisted shit like they’d have like a blond-haired blue-eyed muscular guy on his knees with his hands behind his back and like a muscled out iraqi looking guy with his shirt off with an iraqi flag wrapped around the american’s neck like choking his eyes until they’re bulging out and falling out of his head and no shit you got pictures of this i do i’m gonna put them up yeah on screen like a skull painted like like an american flag with a fist painted like an iraqi flag like coming down and then crushing the fucking skull apart just weird shit like that you know and uh like but you know again thinking of it like if you were to go to you know nab coronado and like that’s what it was like they had these crazy anti-american murals like all over the base you know it just was weird but you know people don’t fucking realize how anti-american it was over there and how much they wanted to fuck us up and yeah and in afghanistan too i remember seeing the rugs with uh did you ever get those they had the little prayer rugs with the twin towers oh no i never got those but yeah they had rugs with twin towers on them and it had the plane uh the planes crashing into the fucking twin towers they used to prey on them okay and uh yeah but anyways yeah it’s it’s weird to see that i mean when you’re in you know foreign country and you’re on military bases you know basically fighting fighting their military and taking their their facilities down seeing that shit it again it’s kind of like the the same sentiment as being in the cold is that it makes you realize exactly that is like these people fucking hate us like it’s ingrained in their culture it’s you know uh pervasive in their military like it’s just uh it’s ever present you know so uh similarly there is that you know as soon as we would roll up a lot of times they would just bag ass and you know they’d take pot shots and it’d be a little bit of back and forth but they they ultimately didn’t want to fight a whole lot um that was in the northern part of baghdad so we spent you know some time in baghdad doing a few different things um like that and then went up to the northern part of the country and and for reference um the the entire iraq campaign originally was supposed to be i want to say it was the it was the third armored division um and the first armored division were supposed to come together yeah basically the third aed was supposed to come down out of turkey and take mosul and to creed and uh even the the sunni triangle and then ultimately um set up shop on the northern part of baghdad the first armored division was supposed to come out of kuwait and do the same thing go through nazarea and you know end up at the southern part of baghdad and then that was going to be like the meeting point where they kind of crushed baghdad together from the north and the south at the same time and so you had a shitload of of army troops that were on ships going through the fucking straits that were gonna go through turkey and turkey at the last second decided you can’t use our fucking country to assault iraq from like right before we were supposed to launch it so you know in in true murphy’s law fashion it was all right well i guess you know change of plan we’re going to go south to all the way to fucking the turkey border and so it was the first ad in the first marine division you know about half of the the amount of troops is we had planned on using and just swept from the southern uh border all the way to the northern border so it was literally it was like a front line just moving you know similar to you hear shit about world war ii and you watch you know documentaries on this front was here and whatever it was very much old school conventional military planning that way and front lines and whatever and so we uh we’re with the the first marine division specifically with the 15th marine expeditionary unit most of the time and we would go ahead of their convoys and scout out bridges and routes and make sure areas were were cool for them to to come through or whatever and so that’s most of what we did uh you know from from when we left nazareth moving up north as we accompanied them and just kind of did that were you stealing shit humvees pulling reconnaissance for them you weren’t in low pro vehicles or anything like that nope shit humvees with fucking no armor jesus christ dude that’s fucking ballsy yeah yeah yeah no and and you know and also mind you we were going ahead of where the armor was you know so you’ve got these front lines of you know tanks and labs and lars and all this you know heavy fucking shit and we’re in these thin-skinned fucking humvees with nothing but small arms and a couple of gust-off rounds fucking driving 20-30 miles north of of where the fucking most northern american troops are at scouting out their fucking routes like a bunch of dumb asses damn um you know and we just uh yeah we just fucking pulled it off you know i mean did you guys get uh hit or no nobody’s no there really weren’t any ieds any ied threats there were you know pot shots here and there you know similarly like people trying to figure out i mean it was almost like hiding in plain sight is that it was so unexpected that it was kind of like catching them with their pants down because they’re just like are those our guys or who like yeah they would never expect four humvees by themselves you know to be 20 miles fucking north of where american forces are at so i think a lot of times they’re just kind of looking around not knowing what the who the fuck we were uh which is dumb you know on our part but uh but anyway so that’s what we did how far ahead are you uh how far how far ahead of the uh the marines were you it depended you know dependent on on the route the terrain how you know what direction they were going you know we did it multiple times and we would usually do it at night i mean we always did it at night five minutes out 24 hours out no i mean it was it was usually a few hours you know so if you got into a tick and you took some heavies you’re looking at two hours fucking time before anybody’s coming to get your ass on the ground yes the one the one saving grace that uh for sure made us all feel better about it was we had a uh an air force fucking um cct guy with us as well as our calm guy was fucking shit hot and we did have a dedicated fucking ac 130 above us that uh if we needed and we did we called them in once and those motherfuckers were on station i’m not shitting you in like 45 seconds no shit just they were fucking right there you know so it was awesome i’ll get to that in a minute but uh so yeah we had had them on the line you know basically accompanying us when we were doing it most of the time or at least to my knowledge um who knows maybe our roic and aoic just said that to make us feel better fuck i i don’t know but but like i said we did have to call on once and they were right there so i’m assuming it’s legit but um as as the uh you know baghdad falls and so now it’s like okay well uh you know this is the kind of that was the big push that we were worried about um now it was we’ve got tikrit and mosul tikrit is saddam’s hometown so uh we end up with the entire first marine division right it’s like 25 000 fucking troops and it’s a couple miles of tanks and lavs and lars and you know fucking humvees and you name it yeah as far as you can see all the way forward and all the way behind you i mean miles of convoy and steel team three echo platoon right 16 fucking team guys and 25 000 fucking marines so we’re uh convoying up to tikrit and the we’re planning on taking it down the next day so it’s getting to be nightfall we pull up and we’re on the southern edge of the city and it’s basically we’re on this main highway that runs into town and then there was like a you know a commuter ring kind of road that went around the city and we stopped at that intersection and when we pulled up there was uh you know a number of head shed marines that were sitting there kind of planning out the next day and when we pulled up to kind of dirt dive the next day’s uh operations with them you know the first thing we asked was like hey did you guys fucking secure this area like have you probed out and oh yeah everything’s fucking good okay so we pull our humvees up and you know like a bunch of assholes take our boots off and fucking start eating chow and fucking white light head lamps on and you know like we’re on a fucking snr mission at forder when in july you know like just totally fucking no no discipline you know really because again we’re like do with 25 000 marines and they you know like they’ve been here for the last two hours like i think we’re good right no so we’re literally like maps on the hoods fucking talking over what we’re gonna do and they’re saying you know tomorrow we’re gonna have uh you know this fucking group take this part this group take that part uh you know seal team three echo you guys are gonna come in from the east with with this group and you’re gonna you know circle up and take this route and hit the fucking palace and take it down as we’re planning this all of a sudden all fucking hell breaks loose like gunfire just erupts and it’s every fucking wear i mean you know there’s explosions and looking back on it now the road that we were on in that ring there was a kind of a little nest of of trees and then a tree line that followed that road heading east and uh there was a group of insurgents that were in that fucking tree nest literally probably 20 yards from where the fucking convoy paralleled just sitting there fucking ski masks trench coats aks fucking a little you know cached nest of fucking stuff right behind that they had a couple of vehicles with a couple of technicals that had anti-aircraft fucking pieces on the back and the and the beds of the trucks were filled with fucking shells and so um what ended up happening is two marines walked out into that field to take a shit and fucking literally bumped into a group fucking all on their knees in the dirt fucking dirt diving how they were gonna ambush us uh so these guys you know like hey well you know not the most brilliant fucking plan but like they walk out and they startle them instead of just fucking shooting them right there while they’re not paying attention like they confront them these guys jump up and fucking zipper the fucking marines up and that kicks off now marines are fucking shooting at them they’re shooting at us and and we’re caught between both the insurgents and the marines fucking shooting at each other shit and so there was a marine at4 round that hit one of the fucking technical trucks and it blew up and again we had no idea that the guys were there or that the trucks were there at the time were sitting there just i mean i jumped in into the front seat i’m trying to throw my fucking shit on and i mean there’s rounds coming in the fucking dash zipping past my fucking head you know hitting the fucking engine compartment hitting the dirt right outside where my feet are at i mean hitting the fucking windshield you name it all over the fucking place and uh and so you know we get all of our shit on we get into like a lazy l ambush facing the contact to try to figure out what the fuck’s going on because we also know hey there’s fucking blue forces right there like what the fuck is going on and so um when that at4 round hit that technical with all the rounds in it well it sent you know dozens of fucking anti-aircraft rounds scattered half detonated all over the fucking place and they start blowing up sympathetically like and intermittently making us all think that you know there’s this monster force ambushing us right because all we see is you know it’s like artillery’s fucking going off and so we get on our fucking night vision and we start to identify you know what’s what and there’s a fucking dude that’s like um he’s probably 25 30 yards away crouched down um a ski mask on trench coat fucking ak and he’s just like sitting there crouched down just kind of turning his head looking like this cool as a fucking cucumber he doesn’t have nods at that point uh most of our guys did and uh and so we get them on we get in this l-shaped ambush we deconflict with the marines we all had suppressors on so they they actually didn’t even realize we were taking care of that guy and then the nest behind him but um so most of our guys fucking engage this dude what was interesting is uh there was six or seven of us i think that all took shots at basically at the same time fucking center mass and and drilled him and that motherfucker dropped his gun and ran for probably 50 or 60 yards before he fell down and fucking died what um this happens a lot what kind of rounds were you agreed to fucking marines you know uh we had that same shit happen uh to us and it still blows my mind that after all the after-action reports that were coming out that we didn’t fucking change from green tip because it was just zipping right through yeah and uh a lot of times guys didn’t even know they were being fucking shot yeah i don’t know the case for 300 blackout yeah but especially a fucking 124 grain not a not a 205 grain but um but anyway so so we end up neutralizing that guy he goes and there was there was some interesting things uh once you know everything fucking dies down uh the two marines that got zippered up one of them i think ended up dying the other one got medevaced out and and was actually saved by he had like a fucking tom clancy novel shoved down his in between his flak jacket and his fucking chest and one of the rounds fucking stopped halfway through the fucking book um and had like his half of his ass shot off too like he took an ak round in his ass and blew you know most of his ass cheek off but our our corman fucking helped him out and got got them as as patched up as they could and what have you but uh upon further investigation once we got the marines to stop shooting the sympathetic detonations from the uh um from the technical fucking artillery pieces stop going off and we kind of get in a in a leap frog forward moving through the the area where we were ambushed from in this nest and similarly like these guys were set up for um you know several days worth of food and you know lots of ammo and you know explosives and fucking um rpg rounds and all sorts of shit but when we finally came across the one the one guy that uh that we shot and took off running he had uh some really weird fucking personal effects he had absolutely no identification on him whatsoever like not a wallet not a driver’s license nothing you know no no papers whatsoever but he had on like a fucking john wayne gun belt like a legitimate like something you would buy out of a fucking store like a toy and it was a plastic fucking pistol in it you got to be shitting it he had a toy plastic pistol and a cheese dick fucking john wayne gun belt he sure as fuck had a real ak uh and when we found the ak and looked at his hands uh this was totally by fucking luck but both of his hands had bullet wounds right through the meat of his hands and both the pistol grip and the forward grip of the ak had had bullet holes and blood on the fucking gun where he dropped it and took off running i mean i mean again totally by accident but shot the fucking gun out of his hand and uh and then he had uh a number of rounds in his fucking chest cavity uh but was again he was about 60 yards away yeah you know when we actually found him so needless to say after that um you know trying to get some sleep and get ready for the next night wasn’t the easiest thing i mean at that point again there’s no fobs like the entire time we were there we were either sleeping in little two-man tents that we brought with us most of the time we would just throw a ground pad underneath the fucking humvee and sleep under it you know and then that’s how we slept 90 of the time and so no different there same same plan moving forward we’re going to take down the palace the next day and take down the entire town of tikrit with you know 25 000 fucking marines and so we did and uh we got up at sunrise fucking you know just a mass swath of fucking us forces swept through the entire town of tikrit and took the whole fucking thing down in a matter of about a half a day damn and uh there were there was resistance there were pockets uh here and there it wasn’t you know saddam’s last stand by any stretch i think again is that you know they were they knew how outgunned they were you know they put up fights and tested certain areas here and there and got handily defeated uh pretty quickly and decided you know we need to figure out a more guerrilla warfare insurgent style tactic if we’re going to have any fucking you know potential success against these guys and so you know there again there were pockets of resistance there were gunfights here and there some rooftop shit here and there uh so we go to the palace and and same thing like it took us a couple of hours to take that down um and uh and you know it was just i mean that’s about a fucking episode in and of itself in terms of just what the palace was like i mean it was just the the opulence that existed in that fucking place was was of biblical proportion i think it was just crazy the amount of fucking nice shit in there i mean from the the hand hand inlaid tile ceilings to fucking everything’s made out of gold to you know marble floors marble pillars fucking you know you had gold soap dishes and gold toilet brushes and i mean it’s just it was fucking nuts before we go into that uh and i can’t wait to get there i’m just curious like um so you guys had pretty fucking shitty little living conditions sleeping under fucking humvees and yeah no i mean no no running water but what i’m curious about is uh the morale i mean you guys were working your ass off and it was high we were fucking loving it you know because it was it was like it was finally the fucking big show you know because uh we were at team three when 9 11 happened we didn’t go to afghanistan and so and then they’re like yeah afghanistan’s going off but you’re going to the fucking philippines like are you fucking kidding me yeah you know so then iraq kicks off and we finally you know we trained for almost two months to hit one fucking target where we take down fucking you know 26 27 dudes with you know very little resistance and so yeah it’s like now we’re finally fucking doing it you know it’s it’s fucking crazy because you take the gunfight out and uh you know i’m betting that morale would have been at an all-time fucking low and uh you know i’ve heard you say it a hundred million fucking times about you know a dog’s not happy unless he’s working and you direct uh you relate that directly to humans and you guys are doing exactly what the fuck you are trained to do and if i was a betting man and i am i would bet that there is nowhere else in the world you would rather be than ducking down in a ditch taking gunfire and fucking returning it and yeah yeah it was it was the the finally you know feeling you know so um it was a neat and it was it was really neat from a historical standpoint and that it was it was a very tangible um existence in terms of the front lines and you know the the historical i think relevance of of what we were doing and where and when you know just it was it was the initial invasion of of the iraq war it’s fucking insane i mean you kicked the fucking goddamn war off yeah that’s yeah that was pretty neat pretty fucking badass yeah just you know again it was right place the right time and uh you know so yeah we we enjoyed it it was uh it was a neat time to be there for sure but yeah one thing i didn’t mention is we actually had a platoon member quit uh after after the go plat though to not to counter that thought process but just to uh to make people realize like you know even even in those circles there’s there’s people that decide you know what this isn’t fucking for me we had a guy that uh yeah he even leading up to the gold platt it was his first platoon and he was fucking scared and uh and was basically like hey at what point is this just fucking too dangerous and we’re not gonna do it and we’re like it’s not motherfucker we like we have to fucking do this you know like yeah i know that the last report i gave you was that there’s 115 people on board and and there’s four 48 inch fucking oil pipes rib rigged with explosives to blow up when we step on board but guess what we’re still going on it so you know grab a hold of your nuts and and that’s what’s happening and he froze uh like when we got on there i remember i in fact that the very first uh room that i entered on there was a fucking dark ass bathroom and he was uh we went through like this small little corridor and then he was supposed to be the number one guy and he froze right in the fucking doorway and i grabbed him and fucking just threw him to the fucking side and and me and the the two guys behind me finished clearing that bathroom i mean he was like a deer and a headlights just completely fucking frozen you had a fucking navy seal operator quit on target in the middle of a fucking operation yep and uh so our roic grabbed him and just said get in the fucking back and hold rear security and stay with me i mean at that point he was a fucking liability a huge liability he might as well be a fucking prisoner yeah and so he stayed in the back fucking you know scared out of his fucking mind and uh and then when we got back um you know like i said we went right up to aliasalim air force base we were getting in our vehicles you know getting ready to fucking go go into iraq to drive across the fucking border into iraq loaded down to the gills to go ambush the ambushers so to speak in in nazarea and he and he stood there right there and said i can’t do it it’s like i can’t i’m sorry guys i can’t fucking do it holy shit it’s like i got a wife i want to have kids i just i’m sorry i can’t fucking do this and we were all like you motherfucker he was a 60 gunner for us too and so and so no shit and and this guy is now a team guy i think he’s still on on active duty so i’m not going to mention his name but as a fucking uh as no no not this guy the guy that i’m mentioning now uh so he he left he went home and fucking got out uh you know separated and was fucking done um i’ll get to him in a minute the guy we had an intel rep right this guy’s an is3 like 20 21 years old he’s been through fucking boot camp and and is school and has been an intel guy for you know group one or whatever the fuck for a couple of months and and he’s at that same base and i’m not shitting you this dude’s like i’ll fucking go and we all kind of looked around and we were like you know how to fucking shoot a saw he’s like nope you’re like well here’s the fucking belt and here’s the trigger you’re fucking coming back holy shit and we drug a fucking is-3 that hasn’t been through buds hasn’t been through sqt hasn’t been on a fucking range with us hand him a fucking a saw and we go in country with him and he fucking accompanies the whole goddamn way and he and i actually sat on the rooftop i talk about this in in the trident book sat on the rooftop of saddam’s palace and almost got fucking mortared that’s a whole nother story but but this guy again and he ended up going through buds after that he came came home after that deployment because he stayed after we left because he was on a different rotation did his fucking pull there went to buds graduated and has been a seal for the last fucking 20 years i think i know this fucker yeah uh was he uh of russian descent but i don’t think so maybe okay yeah i don’t think so i’ll i’ll tell you his name off camera maybe you know him but uh fucking great dude you know i mean he’s talking about balls of fucking steel like doesn’t even know what he’s doing he’s like fuck it i’ll sit in this fucking spot with a gun out the window and yeah he fucking went with us that’s awesome yeah he went with us uh you know for for i mean he went with us on the uh to take the palace down too you know i mean he sat in the fucking back right uh or no sorry the back left fucking window with a saw out the fucking window pulling fucking vehicle security while we were driving through the town to get up to the uh to get up to the palace damn yeah kudos to that dude yeah fucking great great fucking dude but when we ended up getting back uh nobody would talk to the guy that quit and i mean nobody would even fucking look at him you know he tried to hey guys fucking welcome back and he was still at the team for like i don’t know 10 days a week two weeks maybe something like that while he was out processing or whatever and and nobody would even fucking look at him you know wouldn’t talk to him nothing yeah i i say i almost feel bad i don’t i still don’t fuck that guy yeah i mean he fucking left us and he can go fuck himself yeah and i have no doubt that uh you know he’ll spend the rest of his life living in a world of regret for doing that but he should yeah you know so that’s uh i’ve never seen that fucking happen not well i have seen that happen but not in uh not in a unit like the fucking seal team yeah never not once yeah wow so uh the palace so the palace um the palace again it was uh it was everything you would think you know in terms of just how how it was made and how fucking big it was and and the the attention to detail that was put into constructing that fucking thing was mind-boggling now did you get any uh souvenirs by chance there there were no souvenirs to be had ah yeah zero so all right uh it’s completely empty nothing to it nothing to see here nothing to see here and uh there so i mean in all seriousness it was mostly vacated uh in that you know that was while it was his hometown uh it was not a palace that he spent a lot of time in so it wasn’t like filled with saddam’s personal effects like like the baghdad palaces were there was stuff in it but not again not like he was living there all the time like the ones that he did in baghdad but um i know uh i mean i don’t there was a lot of good shit in some of those palaces like so i’ve heard yeah but uh yeah so the uh yeah the palace was it was again it was uh in in terms of actually taking it down it took a couple hours it wasn’t you know some heavily guarded fucking institution at that point it was that part of the town was a ghost town again i think there were there were indicators that um you know that people had been there recently just like a lot of the other places but had just left and you know thinking of it now and looking back on it is that you know to have a a crew of uh you know almost 30 000 us soldiers many of whom in armored vehicles rolling up towards you know how i don’t care how many of you are there are in a palace like they’re either going to knock the palace down or you know whatever like you’re not going to stand a chance and so i think the pockets of resistance that we did run into were you know we either caught them off guard or they were just seeing you know how how hard we would fight back or go after them or whatever but there weren’t these like epic fucking four-hour gun battles you know they were they’re shots here and there and it was no uh you know no real fucking dug in and you know pulling fucking grenade pins and dragging people out of out of buildings it just wasn’t that you know for that but uh once we secured the palace though then we kind of set up shop there and at that point like we were finally done moving through the country you know we we had spent that entire time in country constantly you know bumping forward and coming back and bumping forward and coming back moving our way from from the the southern edge of the country all the way to the north so i mean in that respect it was kind of neat to have fought our way the entire way of the the entire fucking country uh during that initial invasion period but um but once we got to the palace and took it down and set up shop there then we were we were static and that’s where we were the static for the most and for the longest and so we started doing like some sniper overwatch shit we’d go out in town from there and uh you know and set up similar operations of of kind of what we were doing down in nazarea uh and in the southern part of baghdad of just kind of going out getting our own intel and figuring out what the fuck’s going on and if if anything was to be had or to be done then then we did it but um there was a 24 7 watch on the rooftop um because it was the highest point in the city and i remember the air force had bombed the shit out of the uh the airfield in tikrit which underneath it had a cachet of i wouldn’t even call it a cachet i would say it was a weapon storage facility of you know mute like legit airplane munitions and big fucking explosives and so at night time because they bombed it you know all the stuff was going off sympathetically for like fucking two weeks you know shit was blowing up non-stop and if you looked at like thermal or uh or even on night vision like it looked like you were staring at uh the surface of the sun during like a solar flare flare-up you know it was just like shit was blowing up fucking non-stop all over the place yeah so it was almost like watching this crazy fucking you know uh apocalyptic you know fireworks show yeah but as we’re fucking around and me and this guy that you know again was the is that that accompanied us uh we’re sitting there and all of a sudden just off to the left and probably five or six hundred yards away you see three little flashes of light i was like did you see that and he’s like yeah it’s like the fuck was that he’s like i don’t know and all sudden straight south of us about 300 yards boom boom boom and it was like and we both kind of look at each other then you see three more blips and then about fucking 200 yards south of us fucking three big explosions and then three more blips and then now it’s just fucking south of us three more big explosions and we’re and as soon as we look at each other like dude we got to get the fuck off this rooftop yeah just as we’re starting to go bail down all of a sudden on the other side of i can’t remember if it’s the tigris or the euphrates whatever the fuck river that that his palace is on in tikrit all of a sudden from the other side of the river it sounds like um a fucking transformer is having a seizure right like optimus prime is fucking getting his ass pushed in i don’t know like it’s this weird fucking rumble and whiz and fucking metal moving and and then you just here like and all these flashes of light from across the river and where those three blips came from just fucking decimated we didn’t even know they were there there was an army uh counter artillery battery across the fucking river set up with their fucking whiz-bang goddamn satellites and whatever the fuck else and and it it took three iterations for them to pinpoint where they were and then they just fucking nailed them we had no comms with them like i said we even know they were there geez i mean i wouldn’t be fucking sitting here 100 if they hadn’t been there because we i mean we couldn’t have got off that rooftop the way it was situated in the way that we were up there would have taken us probably 30 40 seconds to even get just on the first part of the stairwell to get down off of there and and we’d have been fucked yeah you know but yeah just one of those fucking lucky moments i guess but a lot of those yeah damn well um let’s go back to uh c-130 and uh scuds yeah so where the c-130 came into play was was during that uh that ambush that i spoke of um our combat control and uh coms guy got on the radio and had had a c-130 on station fucking right away during that um the downside was is is for that specific scenario while it was awesome that they were right there where the contact was coming from was 25 yards away it was just way too fucking danger close to doing anything about it so we we weren’t able to to use them in in that scenario but they were there you know and there were a lot of other times where when we were out and about if we had run into anything like that and not had 25 000 marines with us we would have been able to use them i think probably a little more effectively but there were just too many fucking blue forces everywhere for them to be able to engage comfortably especially then yeah you know but um where were you guys marked with or were you marked were using strobes uh if i remember correct i think we were just using little fucking uh squares of fucking ir tape on our helmets like that’s a super old school yeah oh damn yeah yeah i mean again at that time like a lot of the the mechanisms and and kind of uh protocols put in place were put in place because of how little were there when it first started yeah you know so well just for the audience the reason i asked that is because um that’s how air deconflicts that’s how they know where the good guys are is they have a ir strobe that blinks on top of their helmet or um on the vehicle or wherever and uh so that is how air assets like a c130 knows where the good guys are and um that way they can be sure they’re shooting the right fucking people and uh not their own so to not to just have some glenn tape yeah um is uh that that’s that that could go bad pretty easy yeah our comm guy may have had a an ir strobe and a fucking an island or something or not has a little bit of a fucking uh green beam peck five or so i mean i don’t know something i just you know i wasn’t the comms guy and so i i don’t know what the fuck they had or didn’t have i just remember i i think we all had gun tape on our helmets you know that yeah well let’s move on yeah so from there we spent uh several weeks into crete uh again just basically you know solidifying our presence there um which was uh you know the the start of setting up forward operating bases and and the way i understand it is that that um that fucking palace ultimately ended up being like a state department office or an intel building or something like that and i think is still still manned by u.
s forces today i i believe but so we basically just kind of handed it over to them and then from there made our way back down to baghdad and at that point uh seal team five was coming in to relieve us uh you know at that point we had been on deployment for eight months and uh and so steel team five came in and we did you know about the most half-assed turnover with them because it was uh it was just a quick turn and burn like we didn’t have hey this is the fob we’ve been in for the last six months and here’s all of our target intel you know packages or whatever we there there weren’t any you know we we had just finished basically taking the entire country over and so it was like okay now you guys uh you you’ve got it high five and and that was it and uh and so from there we made our way back down to kuwait and then flew flew commercial air out of kuwait back to back to the united states but damn yeah so i’m that was a uh a rough but a good deployment and you guys didn’t take uh no no casualties no no uh we had you know one guy got got injured uh and it was nothing serious it was it was during the go plat actually he fucked his hand up on uh during i think it was breaching one of the the doors and windows is that he fucked his hand up fairly fairly well i mean he stayed for the rest of the deployment but that was it uh you know i everybody had you know little things here or there but nothing nothing that was uh you know deployment ending so yeah we were pretty fortunate you know we’d been in a number of gunfights uh had had you know taken a number of enemy fucking kias with us and uh and had no no real fucking problems of of any of our guys other than the one that quit it was the one casualty we had i guess but yeah but uh but yeah we were pretty fortunate so damn i can’t believe that fucking guy quit yeah that’s uh yeah wow that’s that’s weird i mean i i actually got a message from him not not that long ago on instagram i didn’t respond um but it was just like you know hey it’s good good to see you’re doing so well fucking cheers or whatever and i was just like fuck this guy man it was just like i had that same reaction that i did you know when i first saw him when we came back i was like dude fuck you wow you know just to fucking reach out but yeah i mean i you know i i can’t put myself in his position but i wouldn’t i wouldn’t reach out to me if i if i was that guy like i would i just wouldn’t do it you know but i mean i don’t know how you don’t feel you know the amount of shame to just say like i’m not gonna fucking talk to these guys you know i don’t know but probably his way of trying to make good in one way or another but um well fuck man um let’s uh let’s just take a quick commercial break and we’ll pick up on uh coming home all right i hope you guys are enjoying the show i think this is a pretty good one hit pause go over to vigilance elite.
com pick yourself up one of these sweet shirts and if you’re lucky maybe these hats will be in stock too all right so we’re back from the break and you just had a eighth month deployment that was fucking completely full of action uh you kicked off the war in iraq which is something we said about that for sure that’s fucking incredible and uh so now you’re coming home and uh let’s go there what are you doing when you get back so it was a quick uh transition really i mean i when i got home um it was it was kind of surreal and that you know there especially then there was no transition time you know so it was literally like when i was i mean i remember actually getting pulled over my parents came to surprise me uh you know to welcome me home and to my wife at the time um and and them uh you know i spent the first you know night with the wife and then the next day my parents you know surprised me at the house and then we all went out to dinner and on the way i got pulled over um i don’t remember what the fuck for but you know the cop you know was giving me shit about either my license was fucking expired or one of the tags was or whatever and you know i was like 36 hours ago i was in fucking baghdad and like now you’re pulling me over because it was like i just got home from an eight month fucking deployment or whatever he was super understanding but it was that moment that it kind of hit me it was like there should be a better process for integrating back into civilian life after a deployment you know i know that there is now uh at least it’s better to to what i understand but um you know for me that it was weird going from from that environment just being shit right into southern california civilian fucking life you know and having a couple weeks leave and then i had to check into uh sqt steel qualification training as an instructor because my my time at team three was up so it was it was a quick turnaround there wasn’t a lot of fiddle fucking around which i think ultimately was good is that i didn’t have you know a bunch of time to just fucking sit around that couple of weeks was filled with doing shit around the house because having been gone for eight months and we we owned the house it was an older house i’d shit to do around there and then get ready to check in to ask ut and and my plan from there was to screen and hopefully go to to dev group and um when i was about seven or eight months into being an instructor um i developed valley fever which i’ve talked a little bit about it’s a lung fungal lung infection where it spreads through your your lungs like mold and i lost about 40 percent uh my lung capacity and so i was on convalescent leave for about 10 months and then from there it was basically they the infectious disease captain at balboa tried to medically retire me at that point and i had a meeting with him and i just said you know hey my first child is on the way i don’t have a college degree i was planning on staying in and and going this route uh can we fucking figure something else out like i don’t i don’t really want to get just medically booted out of the fucking navy all of a sudden and uh so you know he said well you’ve got to go somewhere where you’re not around lung irritants you know for for a while for a couple of years and try to let your lungs heal up as best they can and i was like well fuck everything we do is irritating to our lungs you know so yeah the only other place to go where you know it was minimal uh exposure to lung irritants was being a buds seal instructor and so the master chief at uh at sqt and the master chief at uh at bait on the basic side got together and just worked a fucking deal to send me over there and i spent my last three years there i got got a college degree um had both my kids and uh and then fucking jump ship out of there while i was there uh is when i you know really focused heavy on on dog training uh you know from the end of the deployment to iraq to when i was first kind of exposed to them during that time being sick i you know was like set on convalescent leave for almost a year with a lot of free time to focus on training and things of that nature and then while i was an instructor uh kind of got got to where uh i was working a little bit with the west coast uh canine guys and uh went to some training with him and was offered a position there as a handler and then turned it down and got out and started my own company and that’s where that’s where that kind of all started but what did the uh what did the lung disease would where did that come from do you know or uh my best assumption is uh is nyland because it was uh just based on the incubation period and and kind of where they caught it uh it was determined that you know yeah i got i picked it up somewhere out there but yeah i bet that was uh so you you went to you went to training and then you wanted to fucking screen to go to damn neck to go get some more and then and then you find out that’s uh slim to none chance yeah yeah i mean you know from the guys that i knew that um that i’d done platoons with or knew from the community that had gone there and done well and talking with them about it you know it seemed like and i think for a lot of them too it seemed like what you thought the seal teams would be before you joined it was more like dev group than the regular seal teams were not that there wasn’t good shit going on in different pockets of the seal regular seal teams but you’re always kind of hamstrung by the influx of of new new guys in your platoon kind of resetting that that lower standard right out of the gate every platoon you know so you just can’t you can’t grow that much i think in a regular sealed platoon the way you can at damn neck and so my thought process was if i go to sqt as an instructor because my time at three is up i could use that as a springboard to still be you know within the kind of relevant scope of tactics and training and teaching uh you know the guys getting ready to go to seal teams and and while i’m there screen to go to dev group i could get in in good shape and it’s one thing i will say the time spent in iraq um you know did wreaked havoc on on all of our physical conditioning because of the the conditions were so dire i mean we were eating two mres a day and that was it you know no weights and no fucking you know it was wearing wearing kit around and whatever but it was you know like fuck i dropped about 30 pounds and was in pretty bad shape physically at the end of that and uh so i wanted to you know again get in really good shape and get ready to screen and then and then go but at least while i was doing something still somewhat relevant or felt more relevant in the community while i was getting ready to do that but then once i picked that up it threw a wrench in fucking everything so [Applause] well i mean it definitely i mean would you say it turned into a positive yeah i you know i i look at it and even you know when i was at the crossroads of whether or not to get out or stay in and be a handler that was a tough really tough decision because um i wanted to be a handler it was a fucking a really kind of enticing and attractive offer to to stay in and do that where i struggled with that is in twofold is that physically i knew that that i was not at the capacity uh that i was used to operationally physically is that i honestly i was fucking scared that uh that i wouldn’t be able to fucking operate at a level i needed to to not be a fucking liability to everybody else uh you know to be at a point where your lungs are fucked up enough in the seal teams to get offered a medical retirement you know that doesn’t happen for a fucking chest cold yeah you know so um for me to be at that level i i was scared slash worried that i wouldn’t be able to pull my fucking weight and i didn’t want to be that fucking guy that you know people have to make accommodations for yeah so that was part of it the other part was uh just realizing that you know from an impact standpoint uh i’ve always tried to look at every decision i make in the long game of most bang for your buck uh in terms of what impact that’s going to have on my life big picture that’s why i joined the seal teams that’s why i you know took the route that i took it’s that’s ultimately why i got out as i felt that you know if i imported dogs and trained dogs and handlers and you know was was a trainer at the mpc command on the west coast and you know all of the other things that i’ve done to me that’s going to have a much broader reach and impact than me with one dog going overseas doing deployments you know so um it was a for sure a tough decision like i said but ultimately between those two factors it just seemed at the time like it made sense and you know i’m absolutely glad that i did i you know i wouldn’t change anything i wouldn’t be where i’m at now uh had i done done it different you know and i i am really happy with uh with how my life’s turned out so um you know i think it was for the best but yeah i mean well i definitely would say he made the right decision considering you know you got dogs at the teams and agencies all over the fucking world and and uh so you’re definitely making the aim uh major impact but um so so um how was uh did you hit any like real dark spots coming home from that being addicted to combat or any of that you know i never did i never you know it’s one of the things where i’ve seen a lot of guys that i know really well and respect the hell out of have a lot of fucking trouble with things um i i never did you know it never there was never a time where i felt like uh you know either i was missing out or that i felt bad about any of the things that we did or or saw or or whatever it just you know i don’t know why like i don’t know if i’m fortunate if i’m fucking oblivious if it’s a combination of the thing i really have no no grasp of why um you know i i again whether it’s things that you saw or did or whatever or the missing that you know being in camaraderie and feeling like you know you’re not in the fight anymore or whatever i think for me i i would count myself as uh really fortunate in that i i was able to transition into a career that still had a lot of adrenaline in it you know when you as you’ll find out here shortly is when you jump in a bite suit and have a dog fucking coming after you like that that will give you the same fucking rush that a lot of things that we’ve done in the seal teams will do for you being around high drive dogs that make your asshole pucker when you just clip a leash to them and they look at you like fucking you know you want some chief you know they give you that look and it it’s exhilarating for sure plus you know coming back as a trainer for the west coast multi-purpose canine program a couple years after i got out like i was working with guys that i was that i had been in with guys that i was instructors with guys that i’d you know been to war with like it was it was really the best of everything you know it’s because i was doing what i was passionate about in the dogs so being able to select dogs from anywhere in the world uh you know of the highest caliber and working with guys that i know love and trust and consider brothers in arms and and marrying those two things up together and sending them overseas to to operate you know to me it’s like how do you fucking get any better than that yeah you know so um there’s no question that played a huge role in me never sinking into that you know kind of depressed like fuck i’m not part of the community anymore or you know i’m i’m not associated with it with the teams or i don’t feel like i’m a seal or whatever like i just whether it’s that or working with police departments and you know swat teams or uh you know taking in retired warrior dog foundation dogs or whatever like i still feel like i’m still kind of part of it enough you know for me to not just just not have that feeling of darkness or depression with it did you have any uh it sounds like you pretty much stepped out and i mean it doesn’t sound like you had a whole hell of a lot of down time when you did get out and so did you kind of step right into your business uh not exactly uh there was about a about a year period um that i did a little bit of contract work uh here in the states teaching basic pistol and rifle um to some army guys as a war fighter focus contract through a company in arkansas i did that for about three or four months and uh and then transitioned into a job at exxon mobil as a drill rig supervisor company man for uh for about six months uh where i went to uh uh i was the the drilling rig supervisor on a fucking on a natural gas rig in northern colorado for two weeks on two weeks off and uh you know my experience with uh with oil rigs at that point had been taking them down that’s that was my knowledge of a fucking oil rig so i had no no fucking clue what i was doing but exxon takes a neat position and they hire the type of person that they want and then they teach them what they want to know and they’re very very good at doing that but at any rate i did that for about six months and then there was a security supervisor walking through doing rounds uh and kind of got all the the specs on everybody who was there and he he came to me he’s like what the fuck are you doing here you know and i was like i mean i didn’t hire me you guys hired me to put me here you know and he’s like you should be working for me and in security do you want a job and you know being a security advisor i was like yeah you know so i i went and tried to do that that was an executive position and uh you know for me i i realized very quickly that that was not my fucking cup of tea they wanted to send me to papua new guinea to work on this multi-billion dollar natural gas pipeline project between china papua new guinea and australia implementing security protocols into this pipeline project being built and once i started kind of looking at what they were trying to do and and the security protocols that they wanted to implement i realized some changes needed to be made and they didn’t want to hear what my changes uh they had no interest in what my opinions were they just wanted me to do what i was told and for me at that point i was at the point where i had my dog business about ready to to start anyway i’ll be the first to admit i mean my entire plan the whole time with taking that job was a springboard out of the military while i was setting the dog business up so you know my intention was never to be there for very long anyway but at that point it just made sense to to bail out anyway it was a little earlier than i wanted to in terms of you know my kennel facility wasn’t built i just had a couple of slabs thrown down with some cheese dick kennel paneling up and and so the you know for the first uh year or so uh you know my kennels were pretty pretty rough elementary uh kennels with not a lot of uh creature comforts but uh you know like with anything that’s how you start and you build from there and and uh that’s that’s how i did that and then started the business right after that so not a lot of down time but i i didn’t start the dog business right away i did that for you know about 10 months 11 months all right well uh you know uh we did have a conversation the other night about uh about boozing and and uh you know shit like that and uh so and uh i kind of want to revisit that here uh because this part helps a lot of guys um but we both i think were i mean i definitely was a full full moon fucking alcoholic raging uh alcoholic bar fighting and uh ruined all my relationships whatever i’ve said it a million times but uh how long after you left did you kind of uh i mean kick that you’ve kicked it now and uh that’s not fucking easy to do yeah i mean so for me i would say it never seemed like it was uh a problem for me in terms of of it causing causing any issues is that what i found for me was that if i casually had a drink which is typically how i’ve always been i’ve never been a big drinker but you know in getting out what i found myself doing was you know especially like in the wintertime and living out the kennel facility and you know having a fire going is like most nights i’d want to have a glass of bourbon and then it was i found myself like every night wanting to do that and and for me like that was enough for me to say i know where this is going to lead like i never you know would get drunk oh okay or you know it was never a problem like that it was it was more of a i can see this pattern in going from you know having a couple drinks a month to a couple a week to now i i i just like subconsciously find myself having a glass of bourbon every night you know after dinner or whatever and to me that that’s when it was like i i know i’ve seen too many guys go down this fucking path and i know you know i have a very ocd personality that way or addictive personality whether it’s chewing tobacco or cigarettes or you know fucking fast cars or whatever is that you know when i do something like it’s just you know it’s it’s never enough you know like if i’m driving a certain car or whatever like it feels fast and then it doesn’t and then i need something faster and then that’s cool for a little while and then it feels normal and then now i you know need faster and it’s that way kind of with everything and so again i think just seeing so many guys go down that path for for me was enough just for me to realize that it would turn into that if if i didn’t just stop doing it and so that’s why i mean it’s been i mean even i mean i’ve been out for over 10 years now and uh you know i just i mean i can say probably in the last eight years seven years maybe you know i just i haven’t i haven’t drank hardly at all you know it’s a couple times a year and that’s really about it yeah you know so um but my my personality is very much that way i think where again i just feel very fortunate in that you know the things that i’ve allowed to to become addicted to you know are mostly uh chewing tobacco which you know we talked about that i haven’t done that in a few years because it was causing problems with my mouth um you know sweets same thing it’s like i just don’t keep them in the fucking house as an example i open this this is gone yeah so you know i had a whole fucking bag of gummy bears sitting here like you know sweets and nicotine and caffeine you know things like that i i know how i am with stuff like that and i if it’s there i will fucking take it so i just stay away from the things that i know if you do consume a lot of that it’s going to cause serious fucking problems i just stay away from it entirely so you just you know you do not know moderation no yeah i mean not with the things that i enjoy it’s like i just i want as much of it as i can fucking get you know so um so yeah i just for the things that i know that if you take that it’s going to cause life-changing implications i just fucking stay away from it all together you know including fucking booze but that’s some fucking discipline do you think uh you replaced that with with uh with your business do you know moderation when it comes to business yeah i would say there’s probably a healthy or a hell in a healthy nut and maybe not the right word to use a heavy dose of that and that uh i you know i don’t take vacations i don’t take time off i get you know a lot of people that are close to me regularly tell me dude you need to take a fucking vacation or like you need to take some time off you need to find something to you know to to relax and and put that uh you know turn turn the fucking business mind off and and work on nothing for a little while or whatever you know so uh have you been i’m curious because i have that problem but uh have you found any success in fucking turning it off not really what i have found is uh at least for me and maybe i’m lying to myself you know of course i’m a little biased and thinking maybe i’ve struck a decent balance and you know i work out i swim and i like to i like to drive you know like that’s kind of a good decompression or go to movies which even that hasn’t hasn’t happened in a few months now with everything being fucking close but uh or you know good a good meal out to dinner similarly you know those two things have kind of been turned off the last few months but to me instead of trying to carve out days or a week of time to to relax and vacation and get away from you know running my dick into the ground business-wise um i i take shorter breaks because for me it would it would be almost torturous for me to go on a vacation where like my phone was off for a week like i would probably lose my fucking mind yeah you know uh because i’d constantly be worried about well you know what if something happened out of the kennel with one of the dogs or one of the employees or one of my client dogs what if there’s a problem like it’s just not not being able to be gotten a hold of is is a kind of a problem for me mentally i think um just because there’s a lot of people that depend on me you know and it’s not uncommon to get a call at any fucking time of day by you know a client that has a question about a dog not necessarily a problem but maybe the dog got hurt and they don’t know what to do you know whatever it is um you know or with with my kids uh you know or my ex or whatever is that i just i kind of always have that um almost panicky feeling of you know if i just unplug and nobody can get a hold of me there’s there’s too many people that depend on me that i don’t want to fucking let them down you know and so uh one of the downsides of having a kennel with fucking almost 30 dogs in it is that is that you kind of feel indefinitely chained to the kennel in a way and that you know it’s it’s always there you know if the employees decide you know i’m fucking tired of this you know you’re you’re one person being tired of cleaning up dog shit away from needing to be out there doing it day in day out you know so it just makes it really hard for me to to completely unplug so for me again the kind of way that i’ve kind of tried to take the middle ground with that as is movies and driving and working out and swimming and you know just taking maybe a half day here or a few hours to go fuck off and do whatever i want or whatever and try to mix that in a few times a week but yeah that’s uh that’s sounds like pretty sound advice maybe i should fucking take it but uh i mean had it not been for uh you know business and your passion with dogs do you think uh the drinking would have been a different story probably i think i’d be a fucking miserable rich if uh if i hadn’t started my own business and and done what i’ve done if i had to work for somebody else doing some some other fucking job or like stayed at exxon i can’t even fucking imagine how how just much of a miserable piece of shit i would i would be to be around if if that was the case i mean i’m a big i’m a big enough pain and it has to be around as it is right um you know so yeah i think i think a lot of things probably would have would have panned out pretty shitty had i not uh you know followed what what i’m passionate about and for anybody listening like i can’t stress that enough you know is that money isn’t going to make you happy stuff doesn’t make you happy fucking women don’t make you happy drugs won’t boos won’t fast cars won’t uh all those things you know may be satisfying here and there or you know augment your life to a certain extent the only thing that’s going to truly make you fucking satisfied and happy is is if what you do is something you truly fucking believe in yeah you know because if it’s not you’re going to be fucking miserable your whole goddamn life you’re going to be chasing the next fucking thing the next paycheck the next job the next gig the next fucking chick whatever is that you’re you’re never going to be satisfied and never going to be happy if you don’t if you don’t strongly believe in what the fuck you’re doing yeah and i i can’t can’t fucking stress that enough yeah i definitely would agree with that i think uh i think starting a business has actually probably saved a lot of lives because it uh it becomes especially for guys like us coming home uh it it becomes the new addiction that never fucking ends and uh and it’s it’s a uh you know it’s a positive addiction because you uh you have fucking purpose now and uh i’ve seen a lot of guys to include myself that have uh pulled themselves out of pretty deep rut and uh once they kind of get going in their business and they see that holy shit this is possible they see guys like you uh you know who started at the ground level um it’s like i said at the beginning of the show it’s fucking uh it’s very inspiring and uh so i would encourage anybody you know who’s in that fucking rut too that’s listening to consider becoming an entrepreneur yeah and uh making something of themselves but yeah i mean you know to me if uh if you don’t i mean you can almost guarantee being fucking miserable you know yeah and if you think about you know every great product that’s ever been made every you know big fucking decision that ever fucking panned out right or uh you know any any moment in history that was worth fucking writing down right is that prior to that there was a choice to be made and and there was a bold fucking choice to be made that somebody said you know what i’m going to grab a hold of my fucking nuts and i’m going to goddamn do this and they went and did it you know and had they not you didn’t it would never have become a historic event yeah you know that shit doesn’t happen by accident it doesn’t fall in your lap you know you don’t just walk out the door going for a fucking stroll and shit like that happens like you got to fucking get after it uh and and a lot of times it is fucking scary you know a lot of times there is no guarantee you don’t know what the fuck’s gonna happen next and you can’t control a lot of the intangibles that are gonna add stress to your life but you know if you believe in what you’re doing and you give it everything you have that fucking struggle will fuel you uh you know to be successful and ultimately to be fucking happy with whatever it is that you’re doing right on the money man um did you were you always in texas did you start your business in texas i did yeah i you know growing up in iowa went to san diego and was on active duty there the whole time and then as as i was getting out moved to to the kennel facility property where where i’m still at i i have a different residence that i live in that’s not co-located with the property anymore but but i own both of them and and uh yeah i’ve been here ever since so it’s been 12 years and almost 12 years now and on so how did trico start tricos was her first company correct dragons was actually my second company is your second company it is yep so the first company i started i’m not going to mention the name of it i i had two business partners one of which was a ranger uh one of which was a seal and it was kind of the perfect trifecta on paper in terms of you know i had the dog knowledge and contacts within the industry uh one of the other guys had a lot of high level government you know connections and and contacts and and knew all the right people in the right places and then the last guy was uh was an officer this is a seal officer that you know was a it was a pretty decent business mind and had some good connections in you know investment banking and hedge fund managers and and startup funding and shit like that and so you know again starting out it was like this is a perfect fucking relationship you know we’ll do dogs and contracts and you know we kind of have all bases figured and ended up having a falling out i i’m not going to get into all the details it was a pretty shitty fucking scenario for me and and the other guy um you know the the third party uh just frankly fucked both of us over and uh and so at that time uh basically fucking disbanded a bunch of shit happened and uh and i just had to completely fucking start over after you know building a seven-figure dog company in a matter of a few years holy shit and having to completely fucking start over so trichos is 2.
0 so when i talk about you know picking your fucking nuts up and and just doing it and not letting anything discourage you i don’t say that from a perch of not having been through any of that you know and at that time i mean i was coming back from the west coast with about twenty three hundred dollars in in my bank account and a brand new fucking jeep grand cherokee that i leased like a fucking idiot uh with no job and no fucking company and absolutely no revenue coming in going back to a family of of four with two young fucking kids a mortgage the whole fucking ball of wax and no goddamn idea how i was gonna fucking make it a good friend of mine uh who we went through we went through buds uh with together um and a guy in in colorado that uh i will say his name because i i would not be where i’m at without him his name is and uh you know he he in conjunction with my buddy sean both of them uh you know i kind of told them what was going on because just coincidentally he wanted to buy a dog from me he wanted a personal protection dog and uh and harvey was his business mentor and so um you know just coincidentally at that same fucking time you know he was just like hey i want to get a dog how’s things going whatever i was like dude fucking terrible it’s like here’s what happened he’s like jesus fucking christ he was like let me you know let me talk to harvey let me see what’s up and and uh so they basically helped me get get started uh you know to at least get the business formed and help with uh with some you know startup funds and and uh you know buy buy some dogs and start selling them and just you know at that point it was it was just me doing it but you know so the work had now tripled um you know but there was at least you know some some assistance and you know to this day had it not been for for his help i there’s no way i would have made it i don’t think you know yeah so but uh so he helped me out to get back on my feet get started and then i just ran with it from there and uh you know here we are if i can eight years later yeah and uh and it’s you know back far more successful than my first dog company and it’s and it’s just just me that owns it you know so um without a doubt the you know the trials and tribulations and and difficulties that exist uh you know are not unique to just you i don’t mean you i mean anybody that’s listening that thinks like hey i got fucked over or whatever like you know there’s always a fucking way you can figure out you know way around it there’s somebody that you know that can help you or even if it’s just having to rely on you and getting a second fucking job or doing something else you know while you set that business up or or whatever uh there is always a way you know that you can get to where you want to be and ultimately fucking be successful if you just never fucking give up you know i’ll be the first to admit like there were times where uh it was a fucking struggle you know it was putting bills on credit cards and fucking moving money around from this credit card to that credit card because it was a lower interest rate or what it was a zero interest for three months and so you know i put three credit card balances on this one because it was a lower interest rate i mean there was several years of of it being that fucking tight you know and and not knowing you know how i was going to make fucking shit happen this month and next month and then that’s the that’s the rub with owning a business you know it’s not a guaranteed paycheck and not only is being an entrepreneur not for everybody fuck it’s not for most people yeah you know because that stress of never really knowing you know if you’re gonna fucking make it that month that usually is is present for a while before you get to a point where you’re financially can kind of take a breath and say you know even if i didn’t have money coming in the rest of the year we’d still be just fine like it takes a while to get to that fucking point you know and so um you know to me that again the lesson is just no matter how bad it seems just don’t fucking stop just keep grinding it out and and and that is the one the one thing that i’ve noticed in in all the people i’ve met in the last you know 12 years of owning my own business and networking and selling dogs to incredibly fucking successful people and and that’s the one common denominator with all of them is that you know they’ve all been through bankruptcies and nasty divorces and getting fucked over by business partners and losing everything and having to start over and the one fucking thing that all of them have in common is they just never fucking gave up you know and they fought with everything they had all the fucking time when they were when they were struggling and when they were down yeah you know i wasn’t expecting to go down this road at all but i’m glad we did and uh you know i mean you mentioned that nothing fucking falls on your lap and uh you know uh a lot of people you know they they they see where you’re at now or you know even me they see they think they see where i’m at now but this shit’s fucking hard you know and uh you get a lot of though oh that must be fucking nice shit that shit but uh you know they didn’t see the fucking sacrifices that you made to get there they didn’t see you know everybody’s getting fucking paid from your business except you and uh and uh i could totally fucking relate to that i mean shit i’ve been vigilance elite’s been going for five years and i just took my first fucking paycheck ever uh last week yeah well congrats goddamn thanks but um but uh yeah you know it’s it’s easy uh for people to um write it off and and say oh i can’t fucking do it or you know that guy’s fucking you never know what the fuck’s going on behind the scenes yeah and uh and uh you know i said it once i’ll say it again like it’s it’s it’s awesome to see how i i didn’t know that you got fucked over like that and to start all over from scratch and to see where you’re at now i mean i think a lot of people would probably be jealous but i think it’s just fucking incredible you know and i appreciate it i uh like i said you know to me i i see some of that sometimes of the underhanded fucking comments of you know must be nice you know something as dumb as like posting a picture of of a inexpensive stake or something like well i wish i could afford that or whatever and it’s like yeah if you’ve got the time to to post that yeah then you then you don’t you’re not working hard enough yeah like if you’ve got enough time to sit on your phone on a fucking social media platform and bitch on somebody’s feed about how you can’t afford something you’re then you’re fucking wrong good you know then you’re not working hard enough like you shouldn’t be on your phone bitching about how you can’t afford something if you can’t afford something that you want to buy yeah you know so i i can’t stand that shit me neither but but it’s there and it’s always going to be there and to me it’s just important to to ignore it uh you know and let let your success do the talking a and and if there’s any wrongs that have been done i mean to me there there is no fucking better revenge than success yeah you know i don’t need to fucking say anything to the people that either doubted me or tried to fuck me over or or even still to this day you know don’t like the fact that that you know the success that i’ve had that i’ve had and and uh you know i don’t i don’t need to argue with them about it i’ll just keep doing it you know because it’s fucking pointless and it’s counterproductive so um but yeah i hear you 100 yeah i mean maybe if you get off your fucking ass and do something you could afford the fucking stake but um moving on with your business uh there seems to be what i’m learning is there’s turning points in business and uh i’m kind of wondering if you’ve had turning points and i’m what i want to know is was your book a major turning point for your business where you felt like maybe you cleared a hump and took it next level yeah you know strangely enough not really i think most people would probably assume that and and i certainly understand why and and i think you know to a large extent i would have thought that it would have felt that way more than it did it really didn’t it was cool um you know it was a great experience but in terms of like all of a sudden feeling like wow i made it you know even even hitting number four on the new york times bestseller list what does that really fucking get you nothing you know if that’s not accompanied by you know a revenue stream that’s recurring that you know gives you the ability to to have the freedom and flexibility to retire early or uh you know invest in somebody else’s business or whatever then what good does that ultimately do if being an author isn’t really what you do for a living yeah you know so it really doesn’t mean a whole lot uh as far as you know the the reality or the tangible application of writing a book that that does really well that way so when it’s with a major publishing house also similarly monetarily is there’s not there’s not a lot to that for the author really no you know if you self-publish you know and and you know you’re making 97 cents of every dollar that’s spent on that book then that’s a different story but when you’re making 15 cents you know of every dollar spent on that book then it’s very different so um you know what i would say is that in this i think that this kind of really highlights my my point of tenacity as it relates to business is that there wasn’t any one like no shit turning point even being on 60 minutes like there was a nice little bump of interest and whatever same with the book same with you know different interviews that have come along you know or big uh magazine articles that i’ve been in or whatever you know it gives you a little a little bump but that swell goes away real fucking quick you know and so to me what what it’s been is just it’s been a nice natural fucking linear progression um and there there hasn’t been like a holy shit here’s where i’m now over the hump it just it just kind of eventually got to that point for me okay um and and in a large part because i just kept kept doing it you know um once i got to this point i would i would take you know some of the the revenue from from this stream and try to create another one and some of them have completely bombed you know there’s been products or services or things that i’ve said hey let me try this i’m gonna dump a bunch of time and money and resources into trying this for a little while and it just doesn’t fucking pan out um there’s been there’s been a number of them you know you can’t let that get you down you’re not you’re not going to knock everyone out of the fucking park i think business is largely about base hits just like the fucking game of baseball is i mean everybody wants the grand fucking slam but base hits and rbis and shit like that are what win the game you know and and just being consistent and and in a steady state of of moving forward and pushing and driving and and and going for the the small wins you know if all you ever do is swing for the fucking fences i think as i know you can attest to you’re probably going to strike the fuck out you know so um yeah just it’s been it’s been that natural progression pretty much the whole way but slow and steady wins the race yeah uh well i mean your books were they were all best sellers correct yeah and uh so i mean did did you feel like a huge maybe it didn’t benefit you that much financially but uh did was that a huge uh did you get a great sense of accomplishment after that first one i mean to a certain extent yes um like i said i mean for me the way i looked at it is just it was an honor to to have that as an accomplishment you know and so for a little while it was kind of that like holy shit like i’m a new york times best-selling author that’s fucking weird to even say that yeah you know and then the second book the same thing and then the third book the same thing you know so yeah to have three new york times best sellers is even more fucking weird um but again i’ve always you know with most things like that i’ve always kind of tampered my enthusiasm with what does that really fucking translate to you know and if it doesn’t translate to anything that that i can tangibly fucking wrap my arms around then i’m not going to spend very much time dancing in the end zone over it you know yeah and i really feel that way with with everything is is that you know take the wins but use what you get from that to you know now help you try for the next one uh within reason i mean to me you get to a certain point and you know i’m certainly not um you know in a position where i’ve not you know enjoyed things or treated myself in in certain ways i mean you you can’t just put every fucking dime back into the business for the rest of your life and i mean to me like what’s the fucking point yeah you know but to me you shouldn’t start treating yourself until you’re at a point where it really fucking makes sense to you know there’s there’s a difference between uh being able to buy something and being able to afford something you know and i think you know once you realize where that fucking contrast is where that that line goes from yeah i can actually afford this that’s when you you start you know whether it’s buying a watch or a car or a fucking new house or you know whatever it is like you know enjoy the fruits of your labor and hard work just don’t be a fucking idiot about it you know yeah well i mean you know you know what’s cool about the books and and everything you’ve done is i mean you’re you’re this is important to me and uh i’m sure it is to you too but i mean your name is fucking stapled i mean you it will always be out there forever you know and uh there’s not a whole hell of a lot of people that can fucking say that so uh i think that you know uh is uh very self-gratifying uh to know that when you’re gone your fucking name is going to yeah but um but and yeah so i i think that that’s shit’s fucking cool as fuck man but uh how did uh how did you kind of start with business and i mean it seems like you have kind of uh fuck i can’t even count all the components uh of your business but you’ve got teamdog.
pet which is a training online training you’ve got troy cos which is the uh real training and products correct yeah then you have the mic drop podcast which is a fucking huge success and also a staple that will always be there and you have the warrior dog foundation so am i missing anything uh i’m a dad you know to me that’s a that’s a big part of my life and uh and something that you know is as hard as it is and has been it’s uh something that i i take very serious and and have a lot of pride in in seeing the kids grow and and uh hopefully turn into productive members of society you know so uh but yeah i mean that that other than that you know on the bit that’s more on the personal side but on the yeah on the business side that’s that’s pretty much everything i mean i’m always you know thinking of new uh avenues or revenue streams whether it’s products or product based business with you know implementing new things into the team dog training site or adding another product or you know things like that but to me i feel like i’m kind of at a point where i mean i don’t want to say i feel like i i kind of have it figured out but i i at least feel more comfortable in what i’m doing and i don’t get up every day thinking just like holy fuck i’m overwhelmed and i don’t know which god damn direction is up i don’t feel that way anymore i feel like i’m in a pretty good rhythm and and the the different uh components of my business are all operating fairly efficiently and and successfully uh but i also feel like i’m you know that’s about as much as i can fucking handle too you know there’s not really a whole lot more i i can add i mean and the bitch of it for me i think is i have a lot of good ideas but i’m i’m realistic to the fact that i can’t implement any of them without just half-assing the shit out of them and ultimately them them not working there’s times even right now where i feel like i probably have more things going on than i should yeah and and feel a little behind the power curve scheduling-wise on a pretty fucking regular basis but yeah i think uh i don’t know maybe part of that might be uh i think some of us uh with our background we kind of create that pressure because we work well under pressure um subconsciously yeah um but but uh you know where where did you start you started with three dogs the second time around uh correct and you said uh your friend helped you and you got three dogs oh well so i got a few dogs i don’t remember even exactly how i think it was maybe five but um you know it was it was a combination of doing of three main things which was breeding importing dogs for whether it was police departments military groups or personal protection candidates uh clients rather and then the actual physical hands-on training whether it’s you know doing seminars or working a contract for you know police military what have you so that was kind of the those were the main three things that i that i started working on and then and then shortly thereafter the book opportunity presented itself um you know and that’s when i you know tried to capitalize on that and did and then you know years went by and the warrior dog foundation was a component you know early on then too but but that was not something that i came up with it was just um there was a couple of dogs that needed a place to go and nobody would take them uh and they were you know tier one fucking pipe hitter dogs that had been on a number of deployments saved a bunch of fucking dudes lives um you know and i was like well if nobody takes them what the fuck is going to happen they’re like well we’ll probably put them down and i was like fuck you send them i’ll take them you’re not having them um but uh you know so because of that you know i was pretty singular focused on you know from a from a business standpoint all service-based industry stuff you know it all required my fucking time yeah you know and so after years of that of of and this was probably the the hardest lesson i learned the the no shit hard way was that you know not only people talk about time being money and and fuck you time is way more valuable than money yeah you know because you can’t make any more of it you know the time that you and i are spending that’s gone you know today is gone you know tomorrow when it’s done it’s gone like you can’t reinvest it you can’t make more of it you can’t give something to your kids uh you know so because of that you know i got to a point where i was like i’m gonna wake up when i’m 60 years old scrubbing dog shit off of fucking kennel walls you know road tripping seven fucking ass eaters from you know texas to fucking new york or whatever um just running my dick into the ground and i’m gonna wake up and my life is to be behind me financially in the same fucking boat i am now if i don’t do something different yeah and that’s when it was okay i need to figure out how to have a more product based at least equilibrium business-wise there’s always going to be a service component to what i do whether it’s you know protection dog or a seminar or a fucking phone consult i mean whatever like people are going to take my time up but it can’t be just that yeah and so i’ve kind of crossed over into the more mainstream that’s where teamdog.
pet really comes into play is that that’s for your average everyday dog owner as well as you know a lot of the products that i have the dog crate the collar and leash the cbd oil that food and treats they’re all you know for your average everyday dog owner and so um it’s it’s kind of you know heading into that that realm of uh you know where you know it’s a product it’s a tangible product that people can buy and and they don’t need my fucking time to to do it you know and so i’ve kind of spent a fair bit of time bolstering that and trying to get that to where it’s a much more uh relevant uh aspect to the business speaking of team teamdog.
pet and uh i’m getting ready to dive into that as soon as you leave with tony yeah but um how many how interactive are you in that and how many videos are in there how much content yeah is in that uh is in that portion of your business which is which is uh for those of you that don’t know it’s online dog training again teamdog.
pet and uh it’s all mike yeah so really what it is is that you know the the last book that i wrote teamdog you know it’s the the video representation of that uh and so all of the concepts that i talk about and the reason why it’s called team dog how to train your dog than abc away is not to teach a labradoodle how to be a fucking bite dog it’s the the reason that the seal teams have and this is my bust for you know being this complicated in a fucking book title that that was a lesson learned is i shouldn’t have gone that deep in it because most people don’t give a fuck but uh is that you know that the seal teams have the reputation they have not just because seals are good operators you know they’re if you think about all of the other components that go into seals being good operators it’s a hard selection course it’s crazy fucking consistent training and lots of it it’s good funding it’s great fucking intelligence assets it’s high speed equipment it’s great fucking leadership it’s all of these other environmental factors and intangibles that you know all in conjunction set us up for success to be as as good at at what we do as we are and with training a dog it’s no different is that if you just focus on training you know you’re really cutting yourself off at the heels it’s what do you feed the dog how much mental engagement do you interact with the dog what is their body composition are they a fat fuck are they malnourished uh are they getting enough sunlight you know are you utilizing the different tools that they have genetically to aid in your training i.
e you know a dog that could fucking care less about a tennis ball then you shouldn’t be using a tennis ball to train the dog if the dog likes attention versus not liking it you know it has high food drive versus not all of these different things that kind of go into it are what contribute to you being able to teach your dog whatever the fuck you want relatively easy and pretty quickly and you know so i i found myself having a lot of these conversations with people you know at speaking events or you know what wherever i was going traveling people say oh i have a dog that’s doing this you know how the fuck do i fix that you know and there’s not it’s kind of like saying hey i’ve got a fat gut like what what crunch can i do to fucking fix my abs like well it’s not it’s more in the kitchen than it is in the fucking crunch honestly like and with training it’s that same way like there’s not this magic bullet little technique that fucking fixes everything it’s like you’ve got to put the time in be consistent and set all of the other intangibles up for you to be successful or for the dog to be successful for you to be successful training the dog and so that’s what it is in terms of how interactive i am i get in in the message boards uh every every monday morning and i answer questions sometimes depending on my schedule i may pop in throughout the week here and there that you know grab a question here there but most of the time it’s it’s monday mornings it’s 99 bucks for unlimited access to all the content there’s about 900 minutes of videos right now and i just finished filming a puppy series and a couple of uh adult supplementals that that are going to get added here shortly and my goal is to you know is to just you know drop in new new content you know when it when it makes sense when when i need to regularly uh so that there’s kind of a fresh and steady stream of uh you know of new new things for people to watch um the the goal with it and it meant it may sound like you know pie in the sky or you know unreasonable but is really is to transform you know western society and in terms of how they communicate with their dogs you know is that there are so many dogs out there that are just poorly trained or completely fucking untrained and where it where i take it personal is is the shelter stats is that you know 3.
3 million dogs every year are surrendered to shelters that’s a lot of fucking dogs um about 800 000 of them are euthanized every year that comes out to over 2 000 dogs every fucking day in this country are getting the blue juice damn you know over 2 000 fucking dogs every fucking day are put to sleep in this country and most of them not all but most of them are because of we teach them inadvertently behaviors that we don’t like and condition them to do things that make them a pain in our ass throw them in a fucking shelter and they end up getting fucking killed for it and and to me that’s a shit fucking deal on on human beings part and so you know if i can reach you know the the bulk majority of the 90 million dog owners in this country that that you know could use a little bit of assistance and help and teach them how to do it themselves you know not that you need to you know go spend fucking five thousand dollars on a board and train and have a professional trainer train your dog yeah there are cases where that makes sense and i recommend it but for most people uh you can do it yourself and frankly you should do it yourself you know it’s it’s good from a discipline standpoint it’s fantastic from a relationship standpoint with the dog because now he’s going to view you as this is the motherfucker that trained me not this is the guy that’s upkeeping the training that some other asshole did it’s that you know this guy taught me every fucking thing i know you’ll be proud of it your dog will will think of you higher for it uh and your life will be much easier with with all your dogs uh you know that way because of it so i i really do you know it’s not just a fucking business idea for me you know for me i truly want to help uh you know get that number of of 2000 plus dogs every day being euthanized down to you know as close to zero as possible yeah um and i think you know it starts with with you you know starts with with you as an individual of you know putting the fucking time in you know being dedicated and being consistent and giving enough of a shit to try to train your own dog and learn how to communicate with him because it’s not complicated it’s it’s really simple stuff it’s just most people are lazy and consistent and just don’t know any better 2 000 dogs a day that’s uh that’s pretty disheartening yeah you know i mean the good news is is that you know if you do the math on that that’s two and a half million that aren’t but but the problem is is that you know what and what you don’t want is is for that two and a half million to be a considerable contributing factor to the to the 3.
3 the next year and so the dog is in a fucking hamster wheel turn style revolving door in and out of a shelter because people don’t know what the fuck they’re doing and create more problems and then you know the dogs in and out with three or four different owners over a couple years and then ultimately gets euthanized because everybody does the same dumb shit with them um you know so to me when you actually look at those numbers and realize like that’s a lot of fucking dogs being killed every single day and there are some of them uh you know admittedly that that’s probably the better option is is euthanasia but i will say that it’s it’s a fraction of the number that actually are euthanized you know most of them didn’t start out that way they weren’t abused they weren’t fucking abandoned you know they were they were owned by people that just didn’t know what the fuck they were doing and it was a dog you know it probably has some thin nerves and is maybe a little environmentally weak and uh and when you couple that with inconsistent confusing uh unclear communication that’s a recipe for fucking disaster yeah and that’s that’s unfortunately where a lot of dogs end up you know in that position because of damn is uh did that play a role in in you starting the uh warrior dog foundation um sort of i mean in in a manner of speaking in terms of you know i i didn’t i didn’t want the same fate especially for dogs that have served this country yes absolutely and that it was born out of necessity is that you know there is no federal funding for retired working dogs whether it’s military police you name it you know customs border patrol there there is no fund set up no grants no facility that they can go to there’s no canine va there’s nothing you know and and so if the handler doesn’t adopt the dog out then the dogs get euthanized would you say the majority of handlers do adopt the dog they do yeah the overwhelming majority do that’s good you know for those of you listen and say hey i want to adopt one of those dogs i i love you for for wanting to do that uh realize though that you know of the 50 or so thousand working canines in this country at any given time um you know 49 000 and change are adopted to their handlers and those are the dogs that you’re that you’re thinking of when you say i would adopt one of those dogs the dogs that we get are the dogs that their handlers can’t take or won’t take or that even get washed out before they’re even of a retirement age because they’ve bit too many people too many times and just have too many fucking issues for that department to deal with and realize for a department to get to the point where they’re going to wash a dog that they’ve got tens of thousands of dollars plus a handler salary and all the equipment and a couple years of their time into like they’re not going to get rid of that dog at the drop of a hat you know it’s got to get to a point where that dog is such a liability to where it’s it’s uh you know it’s better for them from a live a liability mitigation standpoint to get rid of the fucking dog even if it means euthanizing it than it does to keep it on board those are the dogs that we get okay so these aren’t the dogs that like oh i’ve got you know nine grand babies and four chihuahuas and i’d love to take one of these dogs and got you know again bless your heart but you know these dogs are are nasty frankly i mean uh two of my three kennel staff have been bit like put in the hospital bit in the last fucking week and a half you know by two different dogs and that happens you know fairly regularly you know um so these dogs are are used to doing that they’re very confident and comfortable fucking people up uh and they enjoy it frankly most of them you know and so um you know we’re we’re taking them understanding that that liability a exists and b that that it’s our job to try to rehabilitate that out of them to the best of our ability and with some dogs we’re successful you know there are dogs that we get in that we manage to spend you know several months with or even you know over a year in some cases and get them to a point where we can actually rehab them uh sufficiently enough to live a normal house life you know in a civilian home and we’ve got a number of dogs we’ve done that with we’ve got a lot of dogs that we’ve not been able to do that with that you know we’re we’re just basically a sanctuary for them and give them an opportunity to to live out their life uh you know in dignity and grace as best as we can um you know to to avoid having to just put them down like like they were going to i remember being at your place what uh i think we’re going on two years when i came down to do your podcast and uh and you showed me you know the dogs there and and uh i never had the opportunity to work with a dog like that but to see um to see it’s fucking eerie going in there you know i’m not gonna bullshit you i’m not used to that uh being around them and um and we’re gonna get into a lot more of this dog uh psychology and and kind of what they go through with their training and and uh what they’re actually capable of tomorrow but um when we do part two but that was a real fucking eye-opener for me because i was the asshole that you talk about that’s like oh yeah if a dogs fucking bite me i’m just gonna punch the shit out of it and get it off me and and the minute we walked in there and i saw those um those dogs which uh you know probably seen more fucking combat than me and you both um i i was uh i came to the realization that uh yeah that’s not gonna happen so yeah um and uh you know and and and you know it’s fucking crazy is is to know uh you know those dogs have done more than 99.
9 of the people in this fucking country yeah that um sit at home and enjoy their pretty little fucking lives and uh and then for you to say that they’re getting euthanized after services yeah it’s criminal yeah you know and uh so i mean i mean that’s uh again that’s fucking amazing that you started that and and uh and uh i can’t fucking wait to breach into that subject tomorrow um with the word dog foundation and everything that those dogs do because it’s it’s it’s remarkable for sure yeah but um but uh well mike i kind of want to wrap this up for now um and then we will pick back up tomorrow and it’s going to be all dogs but um you know if you don’t mind giving us your handle on the ig and youtube and your websites sure so uh on instagram just at m ritland the biggest thing is go to microlyn.
com or teamdog.pet that’s the online training that i encourage everybody to sign up for if you have a dog twitter it’s same at mritland mike ritland on facebook two websites are again micritlyn.com and tricos.
com that both of those websites you can you can get all the things that i have going on including stuff on mic drop podcast you know all the products that i have dog sales speaking engagements you name it uh warriordogfoundation is warydogfoundation.
org and again you know we’ve got 26 dogs right now i’ve got another one coming tomorrow and one or two more coming in the next probably month so no federal funding i can’t thank you know those who have already supported enough for your support but also realize that you know not there there are no days off and taking care of them it’s a 24 7 gig and we constantly have dogs coming in so any any support from from folks out there is uh greatly appreciated and that’s that’s the gist well i think you’re going to be getting a lot of support after this podcast and uh for those of you that do have pets that are dogs go to teamdog.
pet and uh by the time this episode airs i’ll already be deep in the middle of it and uh probably talking all kinds of shit to mike on uh why i on uh on uh how much my pets have improved so and uh donate to the water dog foundation if uh what he just said isn’t enough then uh i guarantee you part two of this podcast will uh strum your fucking heart strings and force you to open those wallets and fucking make a donation like you should so um with that being said mike you’ve got a hell of a fucking story man and um um i really wanted to cover your story and uh not the dog story yet because i haven’t heard i haven’t heard it and i don’t think anybody’s heard it and i just i mean you’re a fucking lawyer and your story is fucking incredible and everybody that comes here um you know just like we were talking downstairs a lot of people don’t think that you know that their story measures up to some some of the other guys but i’m here to tell you that your fucking story uh definitely measures out so i appreciate it very much and i can’t thank you enough for having me in the you know the show that you’ve created in such a short time is nothing short of fucking mind-boggling so i couldn’t be prouder of you and happy to see you not just the success you’ve had but continue to just blow it out of the fucking water i can’t wait to see where it goes so i appreciate both yeah thank you man amen pick it up tomorrow all right you