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ON TIME, ON TARGET: Special operations military news and straight talk with the guys in the community. Hosted by Army Ranger/Green Beret Jack Murphy. As seen ranked #1 in Apple Podcasts government category.


    • Oct 16, 2021 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekly NEW EPISODES
    • 1h 9m AVG DURATION
    • 293 EPISODES

    Listeners of SOFREP Radio that love the show mention: sofrep, jack murphy, drago, webb, delgado, sof community, spec ops, throat punch, mike ritland for president, best military podcast, benghazi, bravo zulu, scotto, navy vet, good trash, also a good, military news, things military, never served, character and integrity.

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    Latest episodes from SOFREP Radio

    Episode 582: John Pomfret, Award-Winning Journalist and Author, and Fred Hart US Army Officer

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 16, 2021 64:04

    In this week's episode SOFREP senior editor and SOFREP Radio host Steve Balestrieri talks with John Pomfret and Fred Hart about how Polish spies saved Operation Desert Storm. John is an award-winning journalist and author. Among other publications, he has worked for the Associated Press and Washington Post eventually becoming the editor of the Post's weekend opinion section. He has written and worked extensively on China. His latest book is the upcoming From Warsaw with Love: Polish Spies, the CIA, and the Forging of an Unlikely Alliance. The book tells the unlikely story of how Poland saved Operation Desert Storm and the first Gulf War.  As the U.S. was planning Operation Desert Storm, six American officers became trapped in Iraq. If the intelligence they carried were captured by the Iraqis the upcoming operation could be doomed. To rescue the officers the CIA turned to Poland, famous for its excellent spies. Fred Hart was one of the six trapped U.S. officers and he recounts to Steve the exciting events that led to their escape.   Join us for a gripping episode of SOFREP Radio with John Pomfret and Fred Hart and discover the unknown story that determined Operation Desert Storm. Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 581: Jay Collins, Special Forces Veteran and Candidate for Congress

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 2, 2021 78:11

    On this week's podcast episode SOFREP senior editor and SOFREP Radio host Steve Balestrieri along with SOFREP Editor-in-Chief Sean Spoonts talk with Jay Collins. Jay is a Special Forces combat medic veteran and Republican candidate for Congress with Florida's 14th Congressional District. Jay Collins spent two decades as a Green Beret and deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. In the fight, he lost his leg. Nevertheless, he recovered, returned to active duty, and tremendously served in the Green Berets for nearly six more years. Jay's Special Forces Selection was unique. He was part of the infamous Ice Storm Class of November 2002, one of the very rare occasions when SERE school had to be shut down. The experience of Selection imparted Jay with the valuable lesson of leaving things better than how you found them. In sharing tales of Special Forces classes with Jay, Steve recounts a hilarious story of Green Berets pretending to be NASA candidates. After all, everything can happen in Selection. Jay also shares the awesome story of how he performed surgery on his own arm during deployment. Since Jay is running for Congress, the conversation also turns to politics. Jay usefully reminds the audience that what unites us is less than what separates us. America will only be strong and healthy through unity. That is, after all, the American way. As Jay says, it's not about the red nor the blue; it's about the red, white, and blue. You can find more about Jay Collins's campaign at   Join us for another exciting episode of SOFREP Radio with Steve Balestrieri and Sean Spoonts! Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 580: George Hand 'Geo', Author, Former Delta Force Member, and Dear Friend

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 25, 2021 64:14

    On this week's special podcast SOFREP Senior Editor and SOFREP Radio host Steve Balestrieri talks with George Hand IV, better known as "Geo" among his many readers and fans. Geo was a member of 1st and 7th Special Forces Groups before joining the tip of the American military's spear, the Delta Force. Geo stayed in the Unit until his retirement from the Army. His civilian career has taken him to many places from working for the Department of Energy in the Nevada Desert to tracking down human traffickers to writing for such sites as SOFREP, WE ARE THE MIGHTY, Sandboxx, and contributing expert commentary to Business Insider. From traversing Morocco on camelback to visiting Auschwitz to training SEALs on breaching techniques the interview is filled with exciting details of Geo's military and civilian life. Steve and Geo also talk about Geo's book Brothers of the Cloth. The book is a collection of short stories from Geo's days in the Unit. The stories focus on and memorialize Geo's brothers in Delta Force making Brothers of the Cloth perhaps the definitive account of life in Delta Force. The book is elevated by Geo's inimitable writing style, which accentuates both the lighthearted and the more poignant moments of the stories. You can visit Geo's website at Join us for a very special episode with a dear friend. Thank you, Geo!   Editor's Note: We would like to apologize to our listeners as, due to a production issue, small sections of the interview have an echo. But don't worry! You'll be able to hear Geo loud and clear throughout! Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 579: Chris Wallace, Host of Fox News Sunday and Author of 'Countdown bin Laden'

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 17, 2021 37:10

    On this week's podcast episode SOFREP Senior Editor and SOFREP Radio host Steve Balestrieri talks with Chris Wallace the host of Fox News Sunday and the author of the recently released book Countdown Bin Laden, the Untold Story of the 247-day Hunt to Bring the Mastermind of 9/11 to Justice. Chris Wallace's book details the 247-day hunt for the head of al-Qaeda after the CIA located the courier that he was using to communicate with his operatives around the world.  Talking to Steve, Chris Wallace highlights the contrast between the bungled handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal and the events at Kabul Airport with the series of successes that led to tracking down, positively identifying, and eliminating Osama bin Laden. In recounting these, Chris's book is a celebration of American capabilities. As Steve says, the hunt for bin Laden is a case study of everything going right. Chris relates how Rob O'Neill, the veteran SEAL Team Six who took out bin Laden, told him that it was a "one-way mission;" the uncertainties were just that many. As Steve points out, the book can be considered a historical thriller. Although we know the ending, this doesn't detract from the tension that the participants in the events felt. And through Chris Wallace's expert writing the reader feels the same tension. Chris also emphasizes how tracking down bin Laden became a top priority for President Obama, despite common perception. Nevertheless, the book isn't only about the operational aspects of the mission. It also portrays the emotional impact it had on the families of 9/11 victims. This is done by telling the story of New York police officer Jessica Ferenczy, whose fiancee was a NY City police officer killed during 9/11.   Join us for another episode of SOFREP Radio with Steve Balestrieri and Chris Wallace and find out the process that led to this highly recommended book. Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 578: Colin Cahoon, Author and Veteran Army Helicopter Pilot

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 4, 2021 53:06

    On this week's podcast episode SOFREP Senior Editor and SOFREP Radio host Steve Balestrieri talks with author and helicopter pilot veteran Colin P. Cahoon. Before becoming an author, Colin was an Army officer and pilot of UH-1 and OH-58 helicopters in which he accumulated more than 1,000 flight hours. Steve talks with Colin Cahoon about his latest book Mended Wings: The Vietnam War Experience Through the Eyes of Ten American Purple Heart Helicopter Pilots.  Colin talks about his inspiration behind Mended Wings and his wish to honor the Vietnam War era helicopter pilots and all that they gave to the next generation of helicopter pilots. This was Colin's first non-fiction book, nevertheless, the jump from fiction to non-fiction was made easier through the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots' Association (VHPA). Through VHPA, Colin was able to locate Vietnam-era Purple Heart pilots and tell their stories for posterity. Colin also talks about the strong cohesion of the aviation units and the particular experience of Vietnam veterans that set them apart from others. Mended Wings is an incredible page-turner about a group of heroic aviators and their accomplishments. You can order the book here. Join us for another episode of SOFREP Radio! Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 577: Kevin Higgins, Retired Special Forces Colonel

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 28, 2021 77:41

    On this week's podcast SOFREP Senior Editor and SOFREP Radio host Steve Balestrieri speaks with his former Green Beret commander in Panama and Special Forces Colonel (Ret.) Kevin Higgins. Colonel Higgins is a subject-matter expert on Latin America, so the two talk about Special Forces operations and involvement in Latin American from 1962 to the present day. Colonel Kevin Higgins recounts his professional history and deployments in Latin America while interconnecting his narrative with the development of American foreign policy in the region. Join us for another enthralling and informative SOFREP Radio episode.   Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 576: Tom Spooner, Former Delta Force and Co-founder of Warriors Heart

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 20, 2021 56:47

    On this week's special podcast SOFREP senior editor and SOFREP Radio host Steve Balestrieri talks with Tom Spooner former Delta Force member and Co-founder of Warriors Heart. Warriors Heart is an organization, which provides healing from a variety of issues, including PTSD and drug problems, for veterans, law enforcement agents, and first responders. Yet, its approach is unique. At Warriors Heart healing is achieved communally and holistically; and not in a clinic, but at an idyllic ranch in Hill Country, Texas. In 2006 Tom suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) which went undiagnosed. His condition deteriorated eventually forcing him to retire from the military. He talks with Steve about his journey to overcome his TBI and how his commitment to the welfare of the troops led him to eventually create Warriors Heart in 2016. Since the organization's creation Warriors Heart has treated 2,000 men and women. Tune in to another informative episode of SOFREP Radio. You can find more about Warriors Heart, including how to attend or donate at their website at   Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 575: Pete Blaber, Former Delta Force Officer, Author, and Leadership Expert

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 14, 2021 63:15

    On this week's podcast SOFREP senior editor and SOFREP Radio host Steve Balestrieri speaks with Pete Blaber, Former Delta Force officer, author, and leadership expert. During his career as an officer in special mission units, Pete Blaber would keep notes and write in order to learn and improve. Nevertheless, as he explains, during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the U.S. did not appear to be learning anything on a foundational level. So, after retiring from the Army in 2006, Pete decided to use his writing skills and try to fill the gap. The results were his two books: The Mission, The Men, and Me, and the latest, The Common Sense Way. In The Common Sense Way, Pete talks about what common sense really is and how it is linked to good leadership. As Steve says, we all recognize what common sense is but each of us would give a different definition of it. After all, good leadership transcends field and sector. From engaging our neo-cortex to the contagiousness of survival instincts and the benefits of speaking calmly, the lessons found in The Common Sense Way are not only applicable to leaders in both the military and corporate world but to everyone. Finally, Pete underlines how former Delta Force member George Hand (better known to his fans as Geo) with whom Pete served, epitomizes common sense. And he also shares some valuable and entertaining stories to illustrate that. If you are interested you can purchase Pete Blaber's The Common Sense Way here and you can connect with Pete through his website. Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 574: General Don Bolduc

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 6, 2021 45:07

    On this week's podcast SOFREP senior editor and SOFREP Radio host Steve Balestrieri speaks with General (Ret.) Don Bolduc. General Bolduc served as Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force commander and in 2012-2013 as Commander of the Combined Joint Special Operations Component in Afghanistan where he logged 10 deployments and started the Village Stability Operations program. He was then the commander of Special Operations Command Africa. Steve and General Bolduc discuss the state of affairs in Afghanistan and how we've come to this point. They also talk about PTSD and the silent toil it has enacted on our troops. Further, General Bolduc bewails the current politicization of the military, and especially its top leaders, and the deeply divisive political environment plaguing the United States. The general also talks about his decision to become a police officer in light of the shortage of officers in New Hampshire. General Don Bolduc is now running for New Hampshire State Senate. To learn more about his campaign you can visit the general's website here. Join us for another episode of SOFREP Radio. Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 573: John David Mann, Writer and Co-author of "Steel Fear"

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 30, 2021 40:10

    On this week's podcast episode SOFREP Managing Editor Sean Spoonts sits down and talks with best-selling writer and Steel Fear co-author John David Mann. John Mann is a very prolific writer having penned 28 books on business and leadership. He is also a close collaborator of SOFREP founder Brandon Webb. Starting in 2012 with Red Circle, John and Brandon have worked together on six books. John talks about their latest book, Steel Fear. The book was inspired by a series of molestation incidents, which took place on board the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln, during the early days of female sailors being allowed to serve on board U.S. Navy ships. The serial molester was never caught. This gave the idea to Brandon of creating a book about a serial killer on board an aircraft carrier. To accurately represent and convey the image and feel of a U.S. aircraft carrier to the average reader, John, with the help of Sean, had to extensively research aircraft carriers for a number of years. And thanks to Sean's help he also got to visit the USS Lincoln where he received a great welcome. Further, John talks about the creative challenge of giving enough information to the reader while not giving away too much. Fans of mysteries and thrillers will know that this is a difficult balance to strike. Join us for another entertaining episode of SOFREP Radio as we delve into the backstage of a military thriller's creation. If you are interested you can purchase Steel Fear here. Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 572: Ramon Castro Continues His Fight

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 23, 2021 31:04

    On this week's episode, SOFREP senior editor and SOFREP Radio host Steve Balestrieri catches up with Marine Corps veteran and founder of American Veterans Homefront Initiative Ramon Castro in his journey along the southern U.S. border. Ramon is walking the length of the U.S.-Mexico border to raise attention to the very important issue of foreign-born American military veterans being deported after their service comes to an end. Many of these veterans suffer from PTSD or combat-related injuries. Nevertheless, they have no access to Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare services. As a result, their suffering intensifies. American Veterans Homefront Initiative calculates that thousands of foreign-born veterans have been deported since 1996 when legislation changed. The issue hasn't been addressed by any of the administrations since. As Ramon specifies, this isn't a political issue but an American one. By some estimates, the number of green card holders in the U.S. military could be as high as 90,000-100,000. These men and women face the prospect of deportation after their green card expires. President Biden has said that the issue is a priority for him. His administration has issued a statement saying that they will look into the problem, yet, so far, nothing has happened and the deportations continue. You can find more about the cause and ways to contribute by visiting American Veterans Homefront Initiative's website at SOFREP will continue to be in touch with Ramon as he brings awareness to this very important issue. Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 571: Mindy Kotler Smith, American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor Memorial Society

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 18, 2021 56:18

    On this week's special podcast SOFREP senior editor and SOFREP Radio host Steve Balestrieri talks with Mindy Kotler Smith of the American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor Memorial Society. Steve and Mindy talk about the Prisoner of War (POW) experience and the ordeals POWs underwent in the Pacific Theatre during World War II. Perhaps the most well-known is the Bataan Death March. The Death March has gone down infamously in history for the cruelty of the Japanese captors and the resilience of the American and Filipino captives. Nevertheless, there were many other lesser-known similar events such as Corregidor and Palawan Massacre. As Mindy Kotler Smith says, death marches and cruelty by the Japanese in the Pacific were systemic, and contrary to later Japanese claims, they were not isolated incidents.  The American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor Memorial Society was founded in 1946 by Sam Moody. Moody was a POW who had survived the Bataan Death March and then had to endure slave labor in mainland Japan. Moody understood that the only ones who could really connect to other POWs were POWs themselves as they had undergone the same hardships.   Tune in to a somber and revelatory SOFREP episode.    Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 570: Ramon Castro, President of American Veterans Homefront Initiative

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 9, 2021 18:52

    On this week's special podcast SOFREP senior editor and SOFREP Radio host Steve Balestrieri talks with Marine Corps veteran and founder of American Veterans Homefront Initiative Ramon Castro. Ramon is walking the length of the U.S.-Mexico border to raise attention to the very important issue of foreign-born American military veterans being deported after their service comes to an end. American Veterans Homefront Initiative calculates that thousands of foreign-born veterans have been deported since 1996 when legislation changed. The issue hasn't been addressed by any of the administrations since. Ramon Castro also discusses his motivation for tackling this problem, which, for too long, has not received the attention it should have. Fortunately, Ramon's walk has drawn the attention of politicians at the local level. President Biden has said that the issue is a priority for him. His administration has issued a statement saying that they will look into the problem, yet, so far, nothing has happened. Join us for another episode of SOFREP Radio and help bring to light an issue that casts shame on America. The veterans who have served the United States should be naturalized and not brushed under the carpet. You can find more about the cause and ways to contribute by visiting American Veterans Homefront Initiative's website at Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 569: A Double Dose of SOFREP, July 4, Prizes and More Prizes, and Free Fox Nation!

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 2, 2021 74:39

    On this week's special podcast SOFREP senior editor and SOFREP Radio host Steve Balestrieri is joined by SOFREP Managing Editor Sean Spoonts and they bring you a plethora of goodies. July 4 is upon us. Steve and Sean recount memorable July 4 celebrations they've had around the world and how their British friends treat the day.  But we want to make this July 4 especially memorable for our veteran and active-duty friends. So, in celebration of July 4, SOFREP has partnered with Fox Nation bringing you one year of Fox Nation for free!  Fox Nation has a very strong patriotic programming that will appeal to anyone from the history buff to the wilderness enthusiast. Scroll to the end to find more information and sign up. But there is more.  Join SOFREP between July 1 and September 30 and get the chance to win fantastic prizes including an iPhone 12 Pro, a Galaxy S21 Ultra, and two must-have everyday carry items, the Emerson Commander knife, and Surefire's E2D Defender Ultra flashlight. You can find more information here and here.  Tune in to a celebratory episode of SOFREP Radio.   This July 4, SOFREP has partnered with Fox Nation. From July 1 to July 4, if you are a veteran or on active duty, you can get an entire year of Fox Nation for free! Yes, you heard that right. One year. For free. Just click on the link below to sign up. Sign Up Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 568: Spencer Coursen, Author of "Safety Trap" and Professional Security Expert

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 19, 2021 62:10

    On this week's podcast SOFREP senior editor and SOFREP Radio host Steve Balestrieri talks with Spencer Coursen author of the Safety Trap and professional security expert. The two discuss personal security and safety and how we can achieve them in our everyday lives. After all, an informed society is a safe society. Spencer highlights the important difference between safety and security and how a wrong perception of the former may lead to a compromise of the latter. He points out that probably the most dangerous time during a security event is not at its beginning but at its end. This is because as an event unfolds the window of opportunity to escape gets smaller while the confidence of the attacker increases. Further, Spencer explains how regardless of circumstances, the number-one factor of target selection by a perpetrator is the likelihood of success. Perpetrators will go after the weakest. Therefore, the more you're promoting your protective posture the least likely you'll be made a target. The pair talks about the five Ds of home security: Deter, Detect, Deny, Delay, Defend Importantly, Spencer explains why "sheltering in place" and "run-hide-fight" approaches in many cases don't make sense. Nevertheless, his message isn't that we should live in constant fear, but that we should be vigilant and aware. SOFREP recently reviewed The Safety Trap and highly recommends it to our audience. You can purchase the book here or at your favorite bookstore. Tune in to a very informative and eye-opening episode of SOFREP Radio. Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 567: Dan Schilling, Author and Air Force Special Operations Veteran

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 5, 2021 48:16

    On this week's podcast SOFREP senior editor and SOFREP Radio host Steve Balestrieri talks with Dan Schilling Air Force Combat Controller (CCT) veteran, author, and holder of the Guinness World Record for the most base jumps in 24 hours with 201 jumps. Dan talks about his unlikely path from an Infantry grunt to becoming an Air Force Combat Controller and about his unit's unique characteristics. In his words, Combat Controllers don't only kill bad guys but also save good ones. A prime example of this took place following the devastating Haiti earthquake of 2010 when Air Force Combat Controllers increased the capacity of Haiti International Airport by 1,400 percent thus allowing for a tremendous increase in incoming aid. Dan highlights the traits of social adaptability and malleability that characterize the unit. The two also talk about Steve's work with CTT in Latin America and the famous jumping incident involving a pair of cowboy boots and a gold motorcycle helmet. Dan also talks about his new book The Power of Awareness. The book aims at helping people with no military background avoid dangerous situations and protect themselves. It teaches what situational awareness is and how people can get back in touch with their intuition — which can save their life in a hairy situation. For the book, Dan interviewed CIA officers, police detectives, and operators and incorporated their knowledge. Click here to learn more about The Power of Awareness and download Dan's situational awareness exercises. You can purchase the book here or at your favorite bookstore. Don't miss another informative episode of SOFREP Radio. Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 566: Special Forces Colonel Mark Rosengard, Director of Task Force Dagger

    Play Episode Listen Later May 29, 2021 67:13

    On this week's podcast SOFREP senior editor and SOFREP Radio host Steve Balestrieri talks with Green Beret and Retired U.S. Army Colonel Mark Rosengard. Among other commanding roles, Colonel Rosengard served as the director of Task Force Dagger, the Special Forces unit and first American element in Afghanistan after 9/11. Colonel Rosengard was also the group deputy commander for 10th SFG and served in a number of countries. He finished his military career as chief of staff of SOCCENT.  Colonel Rosengard talks about the first days in Afghanistan post-9/11 and how, despite a multitude of challenges, Task Force Dagger succeeded in its mission.  He discusses the efforts to gain the trust of local warlords against the Taliban and how the American Special Forces had to negotiate and tread the differing and shifting allegiances of local and regional groups. All the while Task Force Dagger was hampered by a lack of intelligence and the technological limitations of the era, but received the support of a number of Afghans. Finally, Colonel Rosengard explains the difference between federal security and local autonomy and how the U.S. failed in understanding the importance of the latter for the Afghans. A better understanding of local autonomy could possibly have led to a stabler and safer Afghanistan both for the locals and the U.S. Tune in to another episode of SOFREP Radio and discover what America's finest faced to protect our way of life immediately after 9/11. Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 565: Pete Hegseth, Fox & Friends Co-host, Author, and Veteran

    Play Episode Listen Later May 24, 2021 61:03

    On this week's podcast SOFREP Senior Editor and SOFREP Radio host, Steve Balestrieri is joined by Fox & Friends co-host, author, and veteran Pete Hegseth. In a wide-ranging discussion, Pete talks about his path to journalism and his subsequent interactions with his former teammates. They also discuss Pete's political plans, his books In the Arena and American Crusade, and his adventurous swim across the Hudson River with 30 Navy SEALs. The two also touch upon America's foreign policy and the need to counter an ever-assertive China. In discussing the current state of American society, education, and the divisive ideas permeating large sections of the country Pete offers his views on how America can move forward and overcome its current state. Steve is then joined by SOFREP Managing Editor Sean Spoonts. The duo discusses their favorite Fox Nation programs and offers recommendations to our listeners. Tune in to another episode of SOFREP Radio and remember from May 24 to May 31 Fox Nation, in partnership with SOFREP, offers a free one-year membership to active-duty servicemembers and military veterans.  Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 564: Jonathan Hancock, Creator of "Bastards' Road" and Marine Veteran

    Play Episode Listen Later May 21, 2021 60:52

    On this week's podcast SOFREP Senior Editor and SOFREP Radio host, Steve Balestrieri talks with Jonathan Hancock a Marine veteran from 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment – The Magnificent Bastards – who walked 5,800 miles across the United States to visit fellow Marines and Gold Star families in a journey of healing. Jon's trek across the country and his interactions with the veterans, Marines, and Gold Star families was filmed, at first by himself and then by filmmaker Brian Morrison who joined him on the road. The footage became the critically-acclaimed documentary Bastards' Road. Steve and Jon talk about Jon's career in the Marines, his service with the 2/4 during the bloody Battle of Ramadi in 2004, his amazing journey across the United States, and the positive impact it had on those around him. Tune in to a sincere and entertaining episode of SOFREP Radio. Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 563: Michelle Black, Author of "Sacrifice, A Gold Star Widow’s Fight for the Truth"

    Play Episode Listen Later May 9, 2021 52:34

    On this week's podcast SOFREP Senior Editor and SOFREP Radio host, Steve Balestrieri sits down with Michelle Black the author of Sacrifice, A Gold Star Widow’s Fight for the Truth. Michelle Black's husband, Bryan, was a Green Beret and one of four American soldiers killed in an ambush in Niger in October 2017 by ISIS terrorists. Steve and Michelle talk about her husband's life, the events leading up to the ambush, its aftermath, and the investigation surrounding it. Michelle and the families of the other team members were offered inaccurate and, in some cases, untrue accounts of the events that transpired on that day and leading up to the ambush. Her desire for truth led her to interview Bryan's team members and piece out the true story. And in the process, reveal the Army's ugly underbelly.  Tune in to an intimate, honest, and revealing episode of SOFREP Radio. Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 562: "Reveal, the Hunt for Bin Laden" Debuts on Discovery Channel

    Play Episode Listen Later May 2, 2021 51:51

    In this special episode of SOFREP Radio, SOFREP Senior Editor Host Steve Balestrieri speaks with Clifford Chanin the Executive Vice President and Deputy Director for Museum Programs of the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. They talk about the museum's collaboration with Discovery Channel on the upcoming documentary Revealed, The Hunt For Bin Laden. The show follows the 10-year effort to find Osama bin Laden. In cooperation with the 9/11 Memorial & Museum’s access to American intelligence and military personnel, the documentary reveals how President Barack Obama ordered the SEAL raid on Bin Laden's compound in Pakistan without being certain that was even there. The filmmakers interviewed President Obama, CIA Director Leon Panetta, mission commander Admiral William McRaven, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and, perhaps for the first time, the clandestine military planners, intelligence analysts, and members of the assault force, that pulled off one of the most stunning missions of the Global War on Terror. Revealed, The Hunt For Bin Laden debuts on the Discovery Channel Sunday, on May 2 at 8 p.m. Eastern and 7 p.m. Central time. Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 561: Special Forces Legend, Rick Lamb

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 23, 2021 128:44

    In this week's episode of SOFREP Radio, Senior Editor Steve Balestrieri talks with Rick Lamb.   The word "Legend" gets thrown around a lot but in Mr. Lamb's case, it is entirely apt. He joined the Army in 1978 under contract to become an Airborne Ranger directly and over the next 26 years, Rick served in both the 1st and 3rd Ranger Battalions, the 3rd, 5th, 7th and 10th Special Forces Group, retiring as a Command Sergeant Major. He also seemed to be a part of every significant combat operation of the late 20th century the Army was involved in including: Operation Eagle Claw (Iranian Hostage Rescue Mission); Operation Just Cause (Invasion of Panama); Operation Gothic Serpent (Task Force Ranger in Mogadishu); Operations Restore, Uphold and Maintain Democracy (Invasion of Haiti); Operations Joint Forge and Joint Guardian (Bosnia and Kosovo); Operation Enduring Freedom (Horn of Africa); Operation Iraqi Freedom. After retirement spend another 12 years working for U.S. Special Operations Command as a civilian culminating in a position as Operations Officer in the Center for Special Operations. Rick is a Member of the SOCOM Commando Hall of Honor, the Ranger Hall of Fame, and a recipient of the SOCOM “Bull” Simmons Award. He is the present Director of Military Relations for the Global SOF Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit works to build and grow an international network of military, government, commercial, and educational partners to advance SOF capabilities in confronting global and networked threats. If that is not the definition of a "Legend" then no definition for it can exist. Don't miss this episode of SOFREP Radio with Steve Balestrieri. Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 560: Lt. Col. Dennis J. Blasko, Expert on China

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 9, 2021 68:43

    In this episode, Senior Editor Steve Balestrieri joins our resident expert on the Chinese Army, Mr. Dennis J. Blasko. Dennis served 23 years in military intelligence and as a Foreign Area Officer He served in infantry units in Germany, Italy, and Korea and in Washington at the Defense Intelligence Agency, From 1992 to 1996 he was an Army Attaché in Beijing and Hong Kong. Mr. Blasko is a graduate of the United States Military Academy and the Naval Postgraduate School. He is the author of numerous articles and chapters on the Chinese military, along with the book "The Chinese Army Today: Tradition and Transformation for the 21st Century", second edition.   Join us as we discuss emerging trends in the People's Liberation Army of the Chinese Communists on this episode of SOFREP Radio with Steve Balestrieri. Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 559: Brad Thomas, Ranger, Delta Force and Heavy Metal

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 2, 2021 66:15

    Brad was with the Ranger Battalion at the Battle of Mogadishu in October 1993 and went on to spend 12 years with Delta Force. Now retired, he's killing it music with a band of veteran musicians made up of veterans, "Silence & Light." Brad is an accomplished guitar player and composer. These guys are putting out albums and donating the proceeds to veteran's charities too. Brad and his brother veterans are still serving and now SOFREP Radio has the pleasure of serving Brad and his story up to you. Don't miss this podcast. Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 558: Dr. Chloe Carmichael, Author of 'Nervous Energy'

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 26, 2021 47:51

    This week on SOFREP Radio, we welcome Dr. Chloe Carmichael, author of Nervous Energy: Harness the Power of Your Anxiety. All of us are familiar with the feeling of anxiety, but we typically see it as something bad, something to be avoided. But not Dr. Chloe. She believes that the first zing of anxiety is actually a biological gift passed to us from our early ancestors. The jolt of anxiety is actually energy, kind of like the kick from a turbo charger. By harnessing that energy, we can push past the stagnation of anxiety and perform beyond our limits. Don't miss Dr. Carmichael's ingenious take on anxiety, her methods for how to turn it into a part of your everyday arsenal, and a breakdown of her new book. About the Nervous Energy: Harness the Power of Your Anxiety Many people reach success by deliberately being their own worst critic and obsessively double-checking their work; or by pushing their feelings aside. This strategy is seductive because it does work, at least up to a certain point. The problems arise once you advance beyond school and early career stages. The higher you climb, the more complex projects and issues in your life become. Meanwhile, you may have become so good at putting your emotions aside in certain situations that it’s hard to reconnect with them. This is when the old tools no longer suffice. The "somewhat OCD" tendencies we pride ourselves on, or rather, the “Nervous Energy” we possess, can become mismanaged, and lead us down a rabbit hole of excessive self-criticism, anxiety, and pessimism. In Nervous Energy, Dr. Chloe Carmichael outlines nine tools with step-by-step instructions that can help you harness your Nervous Energy in order to live a more productive and fulfilling life. If managed correctly, the nervous energy that some people label as anxiety can actually be a source of stimulation, productivity, and fulfillment―and Dr. Chloe Carmichael has tried and tested methods for making this happen. If you've ever felt a sense of excess energy that you didn't quite know how to direct, or felt that your creativity and motivation was being drained by constant analysis paralysis, Nervous Energy is for you.  “Anxiety and stress are the number one epidemic of modern civilization. Frequently, stressed people find themselves at the pinnacle of success at the cost of unhappy lives, fractured relationships, and unhealthy bodies. Their energy is wasted even though they may have an excess of it. If 'high energy' people learnt to harness their energy to go beyond reactive responses to modes of intuition, creativity, and emotional resilience, they would achieve even more by doing less and be happier and healthier. This book offers the tools they need." - Dr. Deepak Chopra, MD, New York Times bestselling author of The Seven Spiritual Laws of SuccessAbout Dr. Chloe Carmichael Dr. Chloe Carmichael graduated with honors from Columbia University and holds a doctorate from Long Island University. Her private practice focuses on stress management, relationship issues, self-esteem, and coaching. She is also a former adjunct college professor, yoga instructor, psychologist for the New York College of Podiatric Medicine, and co-chair of a committee for the New York Junior League. She has been published in various academic journals, and has been featured on VH1, Inside Edition, ABC Nightline, and other media. She lives in New York City. Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 557: James Rosone, Air Force Interrogator, DoD Contractor and Author

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 19, 2021 57:13

    This week on SOFREP Radio we welcome former Air Force interrogator and prolific author James Rosone. Rosone served six years in the Wisconsin Army National Guard as a member of the 1/126th Field Artillery Battalion. He left the National Guard in 2002 to pursue a career in the Air Force. It was during his time in the Air Force that I deployed to Iraq for the first time. Rosone served nearly three and a half years in Iraq both as a military member and then as Department of Defense and Department of State armed contractor. During his ten years in the military and eight years as a Department of Defense and Department of State contractor, he fought and hunted down Islamic extremists throughout the Middle East, Eurasia, and Europe. James has served in the J2 and J3 commands for US Central Command, US European Command, and US Special Operations Command in Florida and Germany, advising commanders on a variety of identity intelligence and biometric issues. He holds a Master of Science degree from the University of Oxford as well as an MBA. He's written technical articles for European journals and advised numerous European leaders in the fields of identity intelligence and biometrics. But like so many veterans, Rosone came away from his service with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In this unique episode, we discuss Rosone's own battles with PTSD and hear about how writing has become a tool for healing. Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 556: Gary Powers Jr., Son of the U-2 Spy Plane Pilot and Author of 'Spy Pilot'

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 12, 2021 55:05

    This week on SOFREP Radio, we are pleased to welcome Gary Powers Jr. Gary Powers is the son of Francis Gary Powers, the U-2 Spy Plane pilot who was shot down over the Soviet Union in 1960 during a reconnaissance mission. Growing up, Gary never really knew the historical importance of the U-2 Incident or what his father really did. It wasn't until his death in 1977 that Gary started to untangle the myths from the truth and learn about his father's military history. In this scintillating episode, Gary Powers Jr. unpacks his father's legacy, the Cold War and his book Spy Pilot: Francis Gary Powers, the U-2 Incident, and a Controversial Cold War Legacy. More About Gary Powers Born June 5, 1965, Gary holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy, a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, and a Master’s Degree in US History. Gary is the Founder and Chairman Emeritus of The Cold War Museum located at Vint Hill, VA. He is the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee for the Cold War Theme Study which assists the National Park Service to identify historic Cold War sites for preservation. In 2015, he consulted for a Steven Spielberg thriller, Bridge of Spies, about the 1962 spy exchange between KGB spy Rudolph Abel and CIA U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers, Sr. Gary is the author of Letters from a Soviet Prison and Spy Pilot. He lectures internationally, appears regularly on news broadcasts, and is married with one son. Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 555: Jack Devine, 32-Year CIA Veteran and Author of Spymasters Prism

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 5, 2021 85:05

    This week, we are excited to welcome Jack Devine back to SOFREP Radio. With a career in the CIA that spanned more than three decades, Devine knows more about the American intelligence apparatus than most today. From the Iran-Contra affair and undermining the Russians in Afghanistan to serving as CIA’S acting director of operations and associate director of operations in the mid-1990s, Devine is a spy’s spy. Since his first appearance on SOFREP Radio in 2017, Devine has been hard at work. He brings to this week’s episode a deep dive into the history of U.S.-Russian espionage, which has shown remarkable strategic consistency on the part of the Russians even as the tools of spycraft (especially cyber) have evolved since the Cold War. With this issue very much on the minds of our national security and policy professionals, our media, and informed members of the public, Devine’s new book, Spymasters Prism: The Fight Against Russian Aggression is a timely and informative look at the ongoing spy-vs-spy struggle through the eyes of someone who was intimately involved. Read the full review of Spymasters Prism on SOFREP here. Based on personal experience and exhaustive research, Jack Devine builds a vivid and complex mosaic that illustrates how Russia’s intelligence activities have continued uninterrupted throughout modern history, using fundamentally identical policies and techniques to undermine our democracy as recently as the 2016 Presidential Elections. Don’t miss this important episode that will change how you think about espionage, our enemies and the future of America.  Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 554: Sean "Buck" Rogers, Former Green Beret and Author of 'Rising Above'

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 26, 2021 66:19

    This week on SOFREP Radio we welcome former Special Forces Green Beret Sean "Buck" Rogers. Sean Rogers join the military at the age of twenty-one. After a serious injury during Ranger selection, he changed course and went on to Special Forces. As a Green Beret he served two combat deployments to Afghanistan. When his military service was complete, he returned to serve his community as a member of the Denver Police Department. Always challenging himself, Sean earned a master's degree and committed himself to running ultramarathons. Today, he uses his experience to help the next generation of Special Forces hopefuls through his podcast, The FNG Podcast, and his YouTube channel, FNG Academy This week, Sean also tells us about his new book, Rising Above: A Green Beret's Story of Childhood Trauma and Ultimate Healing, which was just released. About Rising Above: A simple car accident changed the path of six-year-old Sean Rogers’s life forever. His single mother checked into the hospital as a vibrant young woman and checked out as a full-blown opioid addict. From that day forward, Sean’s life became a silent nightmare of abuse, neglect, chronic hunger, and slow, helpless withdrawal from everything and everyone he loved. In Rising Above, Green Beret Sean Rogers chronicles the toughest battle of his life: the long, painful fight to confront his darkest fears and reclaim his life. After struggling as a young man to accept the raw trauma of his past, he eventually learned to understand and embrace it, ultimately using it to become an elite Special Forces operator. Through this profoundly honest and inspiring memoir, Rogers explores what it means to make the pain of your past work for you, showing you how to harness the truth of your own reality and take control of your destiny. Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 553: Jessica Donati, Wall Street Journal Reporter and Author of 'Eagle Down'

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 19, 2021 51:09

    This week on SOFREP Radio we are thrilled to welcome Jessica Donati. Donati covers foreign affairs for The Wall Street Journal in Washington DC, and has reported from over a dozen countries in the role. She joined the paper as the bureau chief in Kabul in 2015, and lived in Afghanistan for over four years. Previously, she worked for Reuters in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, covering both the conflicts in Libya and Afghanistan. Her work on a series on the war in Libya was chosen as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting in 2012. In this exclusive interview with Jessica Donati, we dive into her new book, Eagle Down: The Last Special Forces Fighting the Forever War, and hear first hand accounts from the Special Forces battlespace in Afghanistan. In her new book, Eagle Down: The Last Special Forces Fighting the Forever War, Jessica Donati takes readers into the lives of U.S. Special Forces on the front lines against the Taliban and Islamic State, where a new and covert war is keeping Afghanistan from collapse. In 2015, the White House claimed triumphantly that “the longest war in American history” was over. But for some, it was just the beginning of a new war, fought by Special Operations Forces, with limited resources, little governmental oversight, and contradictory orders. Through successive policy directives under the Obama and Trump administrations, America has come to rely almost entirely on US Special Forces, and without a long-term plan, is failing to stabilize Afghanistan, undermining US interests both at home and abroad. Eagle Down is a riveting account of the heroism, sacrifice, and tragedy experienced by those that continue to fight America’s longest war. Don't miss this poignant, timely episode of SOFREP Radio. Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 552: Former Navy SEAL Team Two Commander and Author Mike Hayes

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 12, 2021 57:35

    This week on SOFREP Radio, we're proud to host Mike Hayes, former Navy SEAL and commander of SEAL Team Two. Mike Hayes has lived a lifetime of once-in-a-lifetime experiences. He has been held at gunpoint and threatened with execution. He’s jumped out of a building rigged to explode, helped amputate a teammate’s leg, and made countless split-second life-and-death decisions. He’s written countless emails to his family, telling them how much he loves them, just in case those were the last words of his they’d ever read. Outside of the Navy SEALs, he’s run meetings in the White House Situation Room, negotiated international arms treaties, and developed high-impact corporate strategies. Over his many years of leadership, he has always strived to be better, to contribute more, and to put others first. That’s what makes him an effective leader, and it’s the quality that he’s identified in all of the great leaders he’s encountered. That continual striving to lift those around him has filled Mike’s life with meaning and purpose, has made him secure in the knowledge that he brings his best to everything he does, and has made him someone others can rely on. In his new book, Never Enough, Mike Hayes recounts dramatic stories and offers battle- and boardroom-tested advice that will motivate listeners to do work of value, live lives of purpose, and stretch themselves to reach their highest potential. You won't want to miss this straight talk with Hayes, exclusive glimpses into the book, and a handful of stories from his time in the Navy SEALs and beyond. Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 551: Col. Michael Leonard, USAF Pilot and Author of 'An American Combat Bird Dog Pilot'

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 5, 2021 64:27

    This week on SOFREP Radio we're excited to welcome our guest, Col. Michael Leonard (ret.), US Air Force pilot and author of the new book An American Combat Bird Dog Pilot: From the Battlefield of Vietnam and Beyond. In this exclusive interview with Leonard, we get a first hand account of his adventures, from his days before the military right on through to his years as an executive working for companies like the Ford Aerospace and Communications Corporation and Lockheed-Martin. Of note is Leonard's recounting of close calls as a O-1 Bird Dog pilot in Vietnam. As a Forward Air Control, or FAC, Leonard was often the only link between ground forces and friendly artillery fire. In his little fixed-wing plane, Leonard had to circle over hot battlezones, dodging enemy anti-air and small arms fire while calling in coordinates on enemy locations. Don't miss this glimpse into the world of the Bird Dog pilots of Vietnam; a job that consisted of “long hours of sheer boredom, interspersed by moments of stark terror.” About Col. Michael Leonard (Ret.) Leonard is a retired Air Force officer and highly experienced global business executive. He was a USAF Command Pilot with a military career spanning 20 years, including 2 combat tours to Vietnam in 1965-1966, and 1969-1970. Mike spent 4 years flying the VC-140B Special Air Mission aircraft during his time with the 89th Military Airlift Wing, the “Home of Air Force One”. His combat decorations include 3 Distinguished Flying Crosses, 9 Air Medals, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.   About the Book An American Combat Bird Dog Pilot is a compelling look at the life and times of a member of the Silent Generation. In it, Michael Leonard recounts flying a small, unarmed USAF spotter plane — called an O-1 Bird dog — near ground level risking life and limb just feet above the jungle canopy. Leonard and his Bird dog were the turkey in the proverbial turkey shoot. The recollection of the life and death struggle on Thanksgiving Day in 1969 with North Vietnamese forces hell bent on capturing or killing the crew of a downed chopper near the Cambodian border is about as hairy as it gets. Then the final straw — and the catalyst for the book — which took place more than 40 years later; Leonard made contact with one of the crewmembers from that chopper. Surviving combat instilled a chameleon-like sense of innovation in Leonard and a kind of ‘challenge accepted’ attitude you might expect from someone used to taking risks and operating on a wing and a prayer. An American Combat Bird Dog Pilot is now available in ebook and paperback versions. Don't miss this thrilling tale of an untold side of the war in Vietnam and hair-raising stories from a life just feet above the treetops. Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 550: The Secret CIA Mission to Hunt Down bin Laden With the First Predator Drone

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 29, 2021 71:02

    In this exclusive interview, Alec and Mark — alongside Michael Marks, who captured their story — pull back the cloak on the origins of the operation to build, test and field the first Predator drone and recall what it was like to view, for the first time, a live feed of a target area through the eyes of a UAV. Not only did the pair lead the clandestine mission, they actually put eyes on Usama bin Laden in Afghanistan — through the Predator — before the 9/11 attacks. After 39 months of back and forth with the CIA and DoD Publication Review Boards, their manuscript has finally been fully cleared for release. Their tale is chronicled in their new book, Never Mind, We'll Do it Ourselves. With commentary from Charlie Allen former Assistant Director of Central Intelligence, Lieutenant General John Campbell, USAF (Ret) and USAF Lieutenant Colonel Gabe Brown, survivor of the Battle of Robert’s Ridge, this book will introduce you to the unlikely team of patriots, innovators and rule-breakers who defied the odds to relentlessly prosecute America’s most pivotal mission. A testament to the accuracy of this book is that the CIA fought for almost four years to prevent it from ever being published. Don't miss this first hand account of the early days of the CIA's mission to track Usama bin Laden, the start of the War in Afghanistan and the legacy of the Predator Drone in modern warfare. Want to get SOFREP on your phone? Download our free mobile app for Apple and Android devices. Subscribe to get access to our podcast, SOFREP Radio, our library of veteran-authored books, and our exclusive Team Room Forum.  Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 549: Sergeant Major of the Army Michael Grinston

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 22, 2021 51:12

    This week on SOFREP it is our esteemed honor to host Sergeant Major of the Army Michael A. Grinston. For the uninitiated, the sergeant major of the Army is the most senior enlisted member in the United States Army and reports directly to the Army Chief of Staff. As the sergeant major of the Army, Grinston is the Army chief of staff's personal adviser on matters affecting the enlisted force. He devotes the majority of his time traveling throughout the Army to observe training and interact with Soldiers and their Families. He sits on a variety of councils and boards that make decisions affecting enlisted Soldiers and their Families and routinely invited to testify before Congress. SMA Grinston is the public face of the U.S. Army's Noncommissioned Officer Corps, representing the NCO Corps to the American people in the media and through business and community engagements. While SMA Grinston holds a lofty office, he is no stranger to life as a grunt; Grinston has held every enlisted leadership position in artillery, ranging from cannon crewmember to command sergeant major. In this episode of SOFREP Radio, SMA Grinston pulls back the veil on the modern army, lending his decades of insight to everything from army-wide readiness to preparing the force for the future of war. But make no mistake, this is no discussion of policy or theory. SMA Grinston answers questions about the deaths at Fort Hood, military suicide and mental health, and even the controversial basic training 'Shark Attack' technique. Don't miss this exclusive interview with the U.S. Army's most senior enlisted member, SMA Michael Grinston. Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 548: Jacob Sotak, SOFREP Editor in Chief

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 15, 2021 49:18

    Jacob is a U.S. Army veteran who served in Afghanistan in the early 2000's as part of a Civil Affairs team. After his service, which included a stint at the Presidio of Monterey Defense Language Institute where he studied Arabic, Jacob relocated to New York City. In New York he worked for the New York Times and several other companies before joining forces with SOFREP as Editor in Chief. In this sit down with Jacob, we hear some stories from OEF and how he came to lead the team at SOFREP. Moreover, we get a glimpse at where SOFREP is headed and how the publication will refresh itself in the new year. Be sure to tune in as we put Jacob on the hot seat! Editor's Note: This episode was recorded the morning of January 6th.  Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 547: Editor's Round Table Featuring Steve Balestrieri, Sean Spoonts and Jacob Sotak

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 8, 2021 70:52

    This week on SOFREP Radio we decided to shake things up a bit. While we had a standard-issue podcast lined up for you, we thought we would take a moment to discuss the events that unfolded in Washington D.C. on January 6th — and the aftermath — in a segment we're calling Editor's Round Table. SOFREP contributor Sean Spoonts, Senior Editor Steve Balestrieri and Editor in Chief Jacob Sotak dive into the protest-turned-insurrection and try to answer some of the questions banging around the internal channels at SOFREP. What actually happened?Is what we witnessed sedition, or the impassioned outcry of American patriots? Who is responsible for the actions of the mob that entered the Capitol building? And what does this moment mean for our national security?  Like so many Americans who are struggling to wrap their heads around the events that unfolded, our editorial team has more questions than answers. But, despite our differences in opinion, we believe the only way to approach clarity is through discussion and the sharing of differing perspectives. We hope this first foray into the Editor's Round Table helps start a conversation among our listeners and, if we're lucky, sheds a little light on what we believe hangs in the balance. And, in the name of discussion, we extend to you an invitation: Send us your thoughts at What did we miss? What do you think about the events of January 6th? Editor's Note: This conversation was recorded on January 7th. At the time of recording, President Trump had not released his video statement acknowledging the event and committing to a peaceful transfer of power on January 20th. Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 546: Delta Force CSM Tom Satterly (Retired) and Jen Satterly

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 2021 58:50

    We are honored to host Command Sergeant Major (Retired) Tom Satterly and his wife Jen in this very special episode of SOFREP Radio, and the first of the new year. Tom served in the United States Army for twenty five years. Not long after joining the Army in 1986, he passed the Special Forces Q Course and became a Green Beret. By 1991, Tom had moved to Delta Force where he served for the next 20 years deploying on countless missions across the globe. Most notably, Tom served in Somalia and fought in the Battle of Mogadishu — the longest sustained firefight in military history since the Vietnam War — which was depicted in the oscar-winning 2001 film Black Hawk Down. But for all Satterly's combat missions, his struggle with depression, pain and PTSD was the battle that nearly broke him. It was Jen who spotted something wrong and saved Tom from a suicide attempt. Tom's battle with PTSD took on a new light, and together, Tom and Jen started the All Secure Foundation, a non-profit organization that works to support struggling servicemembers and families and equip them with the tools and skills to emerge from their individual battles stronger and more resilient. In this episode, Tom and Jen discuss his deployments, his struggle with PTSD and their ongoing mission to end veteran suicide. This episode is not only the story of the Satterlys, but also a reminder to the families and friends of servicemembers and veterans; our fighting men and women need our support and resources like the All Secure Foundation — among many others — are out there to help, as Tom and Jen so poignantly remind us. We at SOFREP hope this episode encourages you to reach out to veteran or servicemember in your life and remind them they are not alone. Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 545: Joe Kent, Special Forces Veteran and Gold Star Husband

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 25, 2020 55:02

    It's Christmas Day and we are honored and humbled to bring you an exclusive interview with veteran Joe Kent. Kent is a former Army Ranger who went on to join Special Forces Fifth Group where he logged eleven combat tours in Iraq and elsewhere. Kent rose to the rank of Chief Warrant Officer before leaving the SOF community. In addition to his decades of service in U.S. Army Special Operations, Kent is also a Gold Star husband. His wife, Shannon Kent, was a U.S. Navy intelligence operative who was killed while serving in Syria in 2019. In this very special episode of SOFREP Radio, we talk with Kent about his service in Iraq and Yemen, hear his thoughts on the missteps the U.S. has taken in the wars in the Middle East, and share in remembering the heroic service of his wife. Here is a recent video about Kent's experience and his stance on the 'Endless Wars.' We're honored to have Joe Kent on this special Christmas episode; his story and his service is emblematic of the kind of selfless service carried out by so many in our armed forces and Special Operations units. Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 544: Bing West, Former Assistant Secretary of Defense, Author 'The Last Platoon'

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 18, 2020 46:38

    This week on SOFREP Radio we were joined by Bing West, Marine Force Recon veteran, former Assistant Secretary of Defense to the Reagan administration and prolific author. In this episode, West walks us through his latest book, The Last Platoon, and talks about the Corps, the war in Afghanistan and much much more. Read our full review of West's latest book on SOFREP. About Bing West During the Vietnam War, he was a platoon leader in Force Recon leading over 100 combat patrols. When his tour (66-68) was completed, the Corps asked him to write a guide for Marines coming into the country. The guide was titled Small Unit Action in Vietnam and the military published over 100,000 copies of it. Bing West spent time in Afghanistan with Marines on the ground when he was 70 years old. Afterward, Bing served as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs in the Reagan administration. His son, Owen West, was also a Marine officer in Force Recon. Owen later became the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict under General Jim Mattis with whom Bing has co-authored a book. Bing has authored 10 books centering on the Marine Corps. Many of them are about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan where he made about 40 trips and spend time on the battlefields and with Marines in the field. Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 543: Jeff Nyce, 30-Year SWAT Veteran and Author of 'Failure's Not an Option'

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 11, 2020 78:42

    This week on SOFREP Radio we welcome Jeff Nyce, an over 30-year veteran of SWAT — 1981 to 2014 — who held the roles of operator, team leader and commander. Nyce completed over 4500 raids barricades with Montgomery Country SWAT during his time in uniform.   Nyce participated in some of the most highly publicized events in law enforcement history, which generated national and even international attention, including the takedown of the DC snipers. He also involved in a hostage rescue incident by a lone-wolf domestic terrorist who the FBI determined was “the first suicide bomber with hostages in the United States” at the Discovery Headquarters Building in Silver Spring, Maryland, and the capture of a violent group of serial bank robbers featured on John Walsh’s America’s Most Wanted. At the height of his career as a SWAT commander, Nyce was struck down by two diseases that at the time were deemed terminal with no available cure: multiple myeloma cancer and cardiac amyloidosis. Doctors told him that he had less than two years to live—at best. Nyce prepared for what would be the greatest fight of his life. He overcame many obstacles, including “coding” in 2013 during a stem- cell transplant that required chest compressions and saline to bring him back to life and then a stroke precipitated in 2015 by the chemotherapy he was undergoing to forestall the myeloma and amyloidosis. To get through, Nyce applied lessons learned from his years in SWAT: “Never complain, never quit, and the mission comes first. Failure’s not an option as it relates to the mission.” Nyce's mission was simple: survive. Eight years have passed since his initial diagnosis, and Nyce is still alive and in remission. By all medical accounts, Nyce has defied the odds. Nyce's memoir, Failure is Not an Option consists of three elements: high-profile SWAT operations; his medical journey; and lessons on fitness, diet, and drug routines that have helped Nyce manage these medical obstacles and improve his quality of life. Don't miss this great episode of SOFREP Radio.  Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 542: Mike Sarraille, Retired Navy SEAL, Author of The Talent War

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 4, 2020 66:28

    Mike Sarraille is the CEO of EF Overwatch, an executive search firm and talent advisory, and senior leadership consultant with Echelon Front. He is a former Recon Marine, Scout-sniper, and retired US Navy SEAL officer with twenty years of experience in Special Operations, including the elite Joint Special Operations Command. Sarraille is also the author of The Talent War, a mandate for harnessing talent in business to achieve growth and hit targets: "In this hypercompetitive business environment, the war for talent has never been more important, nor more complex than ever. Of 800 CEOs and 600 other C-suite executives polled in 2019, the overwhelming majority cited the ability to attract and retain top talent as their number one concern. "You need to attract and retain the best talent for your organization to win, but without the right strategy or mindset, you won’t be able to compete. After all, your PEOPLE— not your product or service—are your strongest competitive advantage. "The Talent War explores how U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF) assess, select, and develop their world-class talent. You’ll learn how to adopt a talent mindset, the single greatest weapon you can possess in the war for talent. When your organization reflects this mindset, you will hire, train, and develop the right people, and put them in the best positions to make decisions that allow you to retake the advantage and win the war." Don't miss this episode of SOFREP Radio. Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 541: Sam Culper, Former Intel NCO and CEO of Forward Observer

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 27, 2020 49:55

    This week, SOFREP Radio Host Steve Balestrieri sits down with Sam Culper, CEO of Forward Observer. Forward Observer is an Intelligence services company specializing in threat intelligence, trend analysis, conflict monitoring, and applied intelligence training. Culper started Forward Observer in 2012 when he transitioned out of the military intelligence community. He began looking at unrest in the United States and started to see indicators of low-intensity conflict — from both the left and the right — and began to track those indicators much like a military intelligence cell would. Culper and his team at Forward Observer use evidenced-based reasoning and structured analytic techniques to think clearly about the future of American conflict. They work to challenge status quo thinking about instability, collapse, systems disruption, and conflict through weekly analysis and intelligence reporting. They have a proven track record of offering high level, accurate insights and perspectives. Listen in this week to increase your situational understanding, make better decisions, and reduce your uncertainty about the future. Don't forget to check out Forward Observer, here. Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 540: Kevin Maurer, Acclaimed Journalist and Author of 'Rock Force'

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 20, 2020 44:04

    This week we rolled back the clock with journalist and author Kevin Maurer as we talk about his most recent book Rock Force: The American Paratroopers Who Took Back Corregidor and Exacted MacArthur’s Revenge on Japan. Corregidor, as known as “The Rock” or the “Gibraltar of the East” was the scene of one of the worst defeats in American military history. Corregidor was the largest of four fortified islands protecting the mouth of Manila Bay. It had been fortified prior to World War I with powerful coastal artillery. It was relatively small, just 3.5 miles long and 1.5 miles wide at its head, and only two miles from Bataan. Its widest elevated area, known as Topside, held most of the fort’s 56 coastal artillery pieces and installations. A labyrinth of tunnels connected the gun emplacements that housed 1,000 troops and a hospital. After the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and invaded the Philippines, Corregidor came under siege from December 29, 1941, through April 1942. After the fall of Bataan, the Japanese landed troops on Corregidor. The bloody fighting continued until May when General Jonathan Wainwright, who commanded the American and Filipino forces after General MacArthur’s evacuation, surrendered. By late 1944, the war had turned and MacArthur was leading a monumental, but unnecessary, campaign to retake the Philippines. Thus, retaking “The Rock” was of huge symbolical importance to the Americans. Rock Force has been called a "genuine, compelling and utterly riveting" account of the harrowing fight for Corregidor in a way that "captures the language and trappings of World War II." It's truly a must-read for any history buff. Maurer is a very experienced author. He spent time embedded with Special Forces operators in Afghanistan and with the 82nd Airborne. He also co-wrote the book No Easy Day with Navy SEAL Mark Owen that recounts the raid that took out Osama bin Laden. So, he knows how to tell a military story. Don't miss our full review of Kevin's book Rock Force on SOFREP. Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 539: David "Bull" Gurfein, CEO of United American Patriots

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 13, 2020 82:01

    This week we're honored to host Lt. Colonel David "Bull" Gurfein, CEO of United American Patriots. For the uninitiated, United American Patriots is military advocacy group that works to defend service members accused of crimes while in service. UAP works with professional fundraising organizations to generate contributions for each service member, and uses those funds for attorneys’ fees, court costs, for family members to travel to the penitentiary and/or court hearings, and, for those released from confinement, UAP funds reintegration efforts like vocational training, psychological counseling, and offers stipends for housing and necessities.   Over the past thirteen years, UAP’s sponsorship has helped dozens of combat Service members defend themselves at trial, upon appeal, and before military boards to upgrade discharges, thereby positioning these warriors for successes in civilian life. Most recently, UAP has helped raise awareness about the MARSOC 3, and assisted in the parole and release of 1SG John Hatley. Lear more about UAP's mission, HERE. About Lt Colonel Gurfein Lt Colonel Gurfein enlisted in the Marines at 17, completed Boot Camp at Parris Island and went on to become the Honor Graduate from Officer Candidate School, Meritoriously Augmented as a 2nd Lieutenant out of The Basic School, and served as a Marine Corps Infantry Officer. With 25 years of service, he retired as a Lt Colonel after leading Marines operationally and in combat around the world - From a Rifle Platoon in the jungles of Panama; to a Mortar Platoon across the deserts of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait; to a Rifle Security Company on the fence-line at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; to a team of Future Operations Planners in the mountains of Afghanistan; to a Special Operations Task Force during the initial assault into the cities of Iraq; and as a Congressional Liaison on Capitol Hill for both the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, and the Marine Special Operations Command. LtCol. Gurfein also has extensive business executive management experience in diverse highly-competitive industries. To include as the CEO for ArmorSmith, defense technology; SVP and Partner with Holden International, business development consultants; VP for The Venetian and The Palazzo, five-diamond resorts in Las Vegas; National Sales Manager for MV Sport/Weatherproof, emblazoned sports apparel; COO for TeleVend, e-commerce start-up; and Associate with Goldman, Sachs & Co, Wall Street investment bank. In 2016, LtCol. Gurfein ran for U.S. Congress in NY’s 4th District and was endorsed by 5 parties (Republican, Conservative, Independence, Tax Revolt, and Reform). Although he lost, with over 40% of the vote (120k votes) he did far better than most expected he would as a first-time candidate in a predominantly Liberal Democratic district. LtCol. Gurfein received his MBA from Harvard Business School and BS in Speech Communication and Political Science from Syracuse University. Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 538: Gretchen Smith, Veteran, Founder of Cod of Vets

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 6, 2020 46:47

    Today we sit down with Gretchen Smith, founder of Code of Vets. With Veterans Day right around the corner, we thought it was high time we talked about Code of Vets, a non-profit organization which works to raise money through small personal donations and deliver it directly to veterans in need. Code of Vets is a 501c3 that exclusively uses social media to raise donations and awareness for veterans in crisis and/or in need. With more than 340,000 followers just on Twitter (they have a following on Facebook as well), Code of Vets has raised over $2MILLION in two years to help thousands of veterans with suicide prevention, housing, food, clothing, medical and transportation just to name a few — with only 2% operating costs — nearly every penny that came in went right back out to veterans. Veterans receive near immediate care/assistance upon request because of their unique platform. Code of Vets has caught the attention of celebrities and public figures alike including Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Sidney Powell, Larry The Cable Guy, Oak Ridge Boys, Scott Baio, Herschell Walker and Charlie Daniels. The inspiration for Code of Vets came from Sgt. Danny E. Smiley, Gretchen's dad and Airborne Angel. He was a Bronze Star Medal recipient, a 100 percent disabled Vietnam Veteran - exposed to agent orange. He lost his battle with PTSD at age 57. Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 537: Eric Davis, Former Navy SEAL Sniper, Author and Leadership Trainer

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 30, 2020 46:30

    This week, we welcome back to the show SOFREP friend and SOFREP Books author Eric Davis. Eric Davis is a former U.S. Navy SEAL and decorated veteran of the War on Terror. Eric has been recognized as one of the premier sniper instructors in the U.S. military and has served as a Master Training Specialist at the SEAL sniper school. Eric spent years developing, writing and executing curriculum for the SEAL Teams. By leveraging his expertise in the development of systems, structures, processes and practices Eric was instrumental in significantly reducing the failure rate, of Naval Special Warfare’s internationally recognized Sniper course. Since departing from the SEAL teams, Eric has worked in corporate performance, sales and leadership training bringing an unprecedented amount of innovation, efficiency and structure to the domain of business and personal performance. In his new webinar course, Eric shares his experience as a Navy SEAL instructor and help you apply three core lessons to life and breathing through to the next level. Tune in to learn about the webinar and Eric's 'Tribe 215.'  Learn more here. Eric is the author of "Raising Men: Lessons Navy SEALs Learned from Their Training and Taught to Their Sons" and "Habits of Heroes: Being the Hero in Your Own Life" Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 536: Donnie Edwards, Legendary NFL Linebacker and Founder of Best Defense Foundation

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 23, 2020 58:39

    For many, Donnie Edwards is known as a gridiron grinder. A fourth round draft pick out of UCLA who played for thirteen seasons on the NFL — eight with the Kansas City Chiefs and six with the San Diego Chargers — Donnie earned a reputation for doling out hit and having hands. During his time in the NFL he logged 23.5 sacks and 28 interceptions, just nine short of the NFL record for most interceptions by a linebacker. But for all his football fame, Edwards has come to be known in veteran and military circles for his veterans organization, The Best Defense Foundation. The Best Defense Foundation's main focus is brining closure to WWII veterans by returning them to the battlefields where they once fought. Edwards and his foundation have helped hundreds of veterans return to battlefields from Normandy to Iwo Jima, some of whom had not set foot in those places since the war. The Best Defense Foundation has also added to its mantle a mission for Special Forces soldiers. Dubbed simply the Transition Program, Edwards and BDF reintegrate SOF soldiers by "combining concepts from the battlefield with ideas forged on the gridiron" through "unique retreats that preserve bonds of brotherhood while providing tools and services that equip and empower our veterans to move forward." Tune in to this week's episode to learn more about the Best Defense Foundation and hear tales from the ground from gridiron great Donnie Edwards. Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 535: Paul Bruno, Historian and Author of 'The Original Jeeps'

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 16, 2020 53:40

    This week we welcome historian and author Paul Bruno to the show. Paul is an early Jeep historian who has just released a new book with MFM Publishing called The Original Jeeps, the true story of how the US Army created the Jeep some 80 years ago. He has spent more than 20 years researching, writing and studying early Jeep history. He visited key sites in this story, including the United States National Archives, and combined his knowledge of project management and history in his first book, Project Management in History: The First Jeep, published in 2014. The Original Jeeps further tells the story of early Jeep history and continues his journey into the depths of this important inspirational work of human ingenuity. Any historian, automotive buff, Jeep fan, or World War II enthusiast will love what he has to say. Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 534: Jay Dobyns, the Federal Undercover Agent Who Infiltrated the Hell's Angels

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 9, 2020 56:40

    In this week's episode we rolled up our sleeves with Jay Dobyns, a tough-as-nails undercover federal agent who served for twenty-seven years before retiring in 2014. He achieved worldwide notoriety as one of history's most daring undercover operators during high-octane missions targeting America's violent crime. Often playing the role of a shrewdly-calculating hitman or mob debt collector infiltrating scores of deadly criminal enterprises while living among street and prison gangs, anti-government extremists, gunrunning groups, drug traffickers and organized crime members, bomb builders, home invasion robbery crews and "murder-for-hire" suspects. A defense attorney once described Jay as: "...a government-trained ‘Predator’ repeatedly sent on seek and destroy missions in search of drugs, guns and violence, with instructions to succeed at any cost and without regard for the agent himself or those he crosses paths with.” Jay is perhaps best known for his landmark effort against the notorious Hells Angels. He was the first-ever lawman to defeat the gang’s multilayered security measures getting inside to become a member of their legendary Skull Valley charter. Jay's book about that investigation - No Angel, My Harrowing Undercover Journey to the Inner Circle of the Hells Angels - is a New York Times and international bestseller. His follow-up book - Catching Hell, A True Story of Abandonment and Betrayal - is a bestselling memoir that details the events of his life and career. Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 533: Javier Peña and Steve Murphy, the DEA Agents Who Took Down Pablo Escobar

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 2, 2020 70:02

    During his heyday, Pablo Escobar and the Medellin cartel were pushing an estimated 70-80 tons of cocaine into the U.S. every month. DEA agents Javier Peña and Steve Murphy were stationed in Colombia and were assigned to take down Escobar and the Medellin cartel. Many Americans had no idea who Murphy and Pena were until the Netflix series “Narcos” was released. And although the series, like all Hollywood films, took some liberties with the true story, it finally brought Murphy and Pena to the forefront. The DEA agents worked in Medellin out of the police force base and were part of the Search Bloc (Bloque de Búsqueda), the CNP’s Special Operations unit in charge of the search for Escobar. The task force also included members of Delta Force, Navy SEALs, NSA, and CIA. It was the CIA that both Murphy and Peña remember as being as much at odds with the DEA as it was with the cartel. Learn more about your ad-choices at

    Episode 532: Kristofer Goldsmith, Founder and President of High Ground Veterans Advocacy

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 25, 2020 55:55

    Kristofer Goldsmith is the chief investigator and associate director for policy and government affairs at Vietnam Veterans of America, a congressionally-chartered veterans service organization. There he has been leading efforts to study the targeting of troops and veterans online for the purposes of fraud and disinformation campaigns by foreign entities. Kris's policy portfolio at VVA centers around "New Veterans," covering a broad range of issues from healthcare to education, and military personnel policy to post-service employment opportunities for veterans. He is the founder of High Ground Veterans Advocacy, a small nonprofit organization which trains veterans to engage successfully with government on policy changes meant to improve the lives of servicemembers, veterans and their families. Learn more about your ad-choices at

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