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Venezuela matters more to the average American in their daily lives than unrest in Iraq or Afghanistan. Anti-US sentiment abroad is one thing, Anti-US sentiment in a nation rich with oil and ties to Russia within missile range of US soil is another. Just ask John F. Kennedy.

  • 3 min read

One thought I had while transitioning was how easy life was going to be with a “normal” job. Just go in around 8 or 9 in the morning, hang out for a few hours, make some low stress decisions, and leave everyday to go home. Sounds remarkably easy compared to operations tempo when you are in country. This should be a walk in the park, right?

Far from the only African country subject to this kind of interest from the East, CAR is a prime example of the campaign from the Kremlin. Thierry Vircoulon, a CAR specialist at the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI) think tank has called the CAR "a state on its knees, which is for sale. The buyers are the emerging powers (like) China, and an old power, Russia, on the comeback trail. The West is no longer a buyer - it's the 21st century, and the colonisers have changed." 
  • 2 min read

“There are two kinds of Marines in Recon,” a friend said, “Swim Team members and Barfighters. You my friend, are a Barfighter.” I looked back quizzically. He continued.

“Swim Team guys are tan, they’ve got cool tattoos, they’re in awesome shape, and they blow through hard training without sweating. They look like recruiting posters and they’re all about the badges and medals.”

“And Bar Fighters?” I asked, bemused.

“Bar Fighters maybe don’t look the best with their shirts off. They may not out run or out swim anyone. But you know in a bar fight you don’t have to look behind you to see if he’s backing you up. You know when a guy is about to break a chair over your head, a Bar Fighter will take that guy down.”

Mental toughness is what makes champions.

That’s what we’ve all been taught anyway. It seems like everyone believes that “tougher” is better. Leaders and coaches are always preaching about how to develop mental toughness and how people need to “toughen up”.

I think there is a huge misconception out there. If you have the wrong idea about mental toughness, your thoughts and actions towards developing it can actually be harmful.

  • 4 min read

Being a law enforcement officer is one of the most rewarding careers out there. As law enforcement officers, we have the ability to positively impact so many lives on a daily basis.

The sad reality, however, is that not every life can be saved and not every problem can be solved. And just like anyone else, cops have people at home relying on them to be dad, mom, brother, sister, husband or wife.

  • 7 min read

When I was a senior in high school I was dead set on joining the army and heading to basic training as soon as possible after graduation. My Dad, a retired 1SG who joined during Vietnam to see the world told me "the army will be there, take your summer and backpack around Europe. You may never get the chance to again". He told my brother the same thing. Neither of us listened.

  • 7 min read

By this point in my life, I have spent a significant amount of my life in Africa and the Middle East in support of the Global War on Terror (GWOT). I have done so in a variety of capacities that encompass a lot more roles than the “Call of Duty” image that Joe Taxpayer has of United States Army Special Forces.


While “Direct Action” is certainly a mission of Special Forces, it’s really justone of five primary missions that often take a lot more of our focus than just “putting warheads on foreheads.” In particular, Foreign Internal Defense and Unconventional Warfare require very diplomatic and relationship-centric approaches to be successful. These tactical requirements often result in genuine and truly caring relationships.

On these more diplomatic deployments, I have forged some truly meaningful and lifelong friendships. In fact, we call each other “brothers.” We get together any time we have a chance, and when we talk on the phone my wife rolls her eyes, knowing that it might be a while before I hang up.

That brothers in combat develop such strong bonds is hardly shocking. But what may surprise you is that many of these friends aren’t from my detachment or even Americans.

  • 5 min read

As athletes who push ourselves, we all know what it feels like to be out of breath. Bent over, hands on knees, gasping for air, trying not to choke on the sweat and snot dripping down our faces…

There’s so much more to being out of breath than just the overwhelming feeling that Death is trying to start a casual conversation with you. Breathlessness, also called dyspnea (pronounced: dispnia) for my fellow nerds out there, is a complex set of symptoms that can be broken down into three dimensions: work/effort of breathing, air hunger, and chest tightness. Breathlessness as a whole has both sensory and affective components. The sensory component of breathlessness refers to how you would characterize the intensity of what you’re feeling, and the affective component refers to how you would characterize your emotional response to it.

  • 10 min read

We really like the grunts around here. Apparently SECDEF Mattis does as well. The eternal problems of resource allocation for and combat effectiveness of these combat soldiers are pretty well addressed here. 

What if after decades of neglect, these problems truly WERE addressed? The War God himself, seems primed to address that with the Close Combat Lethality Task Force. We aren't holding our breath, as the wheels turn slowly at Department of Defense, but this is certainly a start. 

  • 1 min read

Getting that grip strength down, pushing your heart rate through the roof, and building some nasty traps are some of the major benefits to doing heavy farmers carry. But many of us are limited to our heaviest set of dumbells or kettlebells to run this movement. I personally got tired of stacking 2 or 3 kettlebells in each hand to get to a heavy farmers carry, so I decided to do something about it. I browsed the internet in search of a set of farmers carry handles to stack plates on, but have trouble paying $180 or more for a decent set. So I went ahead and designed my own set for less than $100. Here is what you will need to do the same.