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Combat Story

Oct 15, 2022

Today we hear the Combat Story of Derek Nadalini, who spent decades in the Army with both Ranger Battalion and 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment - Delta, better known as The Unit. This is one of the most interesting interviews we’ve ever done.

Derek deployed countless times beginning in Afghanistan in 2002 and conducted HVT operations, hostage rescue (including the rescue of Roy Hallums), ran low visibility and sniper operations, and eventually volunteered to execute singleton missions.

After leaving the service, Derek went through a painful and long process to manage traumatic brain injury (TBI). Despite those challenges, he would go on to help sell the company Spatial Networks (earning what he aptly refers to as his “Business Ranger tab”), became a certified life and wellness coach providing pro bono support to Veterans, and is now the Director of Outreach and Development at MusiCorps, which is a music rehabilitation program that helps wounded warriors play music and recover their lives.

Derek is easily one of the most accomplished people we’ve had on the podcast and I hope you enjoy this funny but also very personal experience and highs and lows of the elite as much as I did.

Find Derek Online: 

  • MusiCorps
  • LinkedIN
  • The Warhorse

Find Ryan Online:

  • - Ryan’s Linktree
  • - Merch
  • - Instagram @combatstory
  • - Facebook @combatstoryofficial
  • - Send us messages at
  • - Learn more about Ryan
  • - Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle


Show Notes: 

  • 0:00 - Intro 
  • 0:31 - Guest Introduction (Derek Nadalini) 
  • 2:07 - Interview begins 
  • 6:41 - Growing up with a father  who is a Vietnam combat veteran. 
  • 13:38 - Early musical influences
  • 21:17 - How music and creativity are useful in the service 
  • 23:28 - Choosing to join the military and why the Army
  • 31:06 - Where were you on 9/11?
  • 35;57 - Leaving The Battalion and becoming a  member of General Dell Dailey's staff in Afghanistan  
  • 41:10 - Experiences while in a coveted General Staff position 
  • and story of leadership lessons learned 
  • 49:46 - Balancing OTC with having a family 
  • 54:16 - Roy Hallums rescue mission
  • 1:02:00 - Combat Story - a weapon malfunction 
  • 1:09:26 - funny story of launching first grenade in combat 
  • 1:14:43 - Why selection is so tough and how the training show up later 
  • 1:16:21 - Most dangerous ops doing low visibility work as a singleton  
  • 1:22:32 - Discovering a traumatic brain injury. (TBI)  
  • 1:38:32 -  Life in the private sector and missing the mission 
  • 1:42:53 - Going to Berkelee and starting MusicCorps
  • 1:55:46 - Tattoos 
  • 1:57:31 - What did you carry into combat?
  • 1:59:02  - Would you do it again? 
  • 2:01:23 - Listener comments and shout outs 

This video covers the following subjects:

  • - 1st SFOD-D Operator
  • -  Delta Force 
  • - Sniper Ranger Battalion 
  • - MusiCorps
  • - Traumatic Brain Injury
  • - Derek Nadalini 

If you would like to learn more about 1st SFOD-D Operator, Derek Nadalini I suggest you look into our various other video clips:


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