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Combat Story

Mar 18, 2021

John Stryker Meyer was a pioneer in the special operations community who served two tours as a MACV-SOG operator and team leader in Vietnam. John led small covert Spike Teams “across the fence” on clandestine operations into Laos and Cambodia in what many now refer to as the secret war in the Vietnam conflict.

John shares what it was like signing up for this covert world, signing a 20 year secrecy agreement, and how the aircraft that brought him to his first FOB then loaded a small special ops team that was never heard from again.

It was an ominous start, to say the least. In one unbelievable battle, John describes the enemy stacking dead bodies in an effort to get an elevated firing position on John’s team and in another, the enemy uses a tactic where they get so close to the U.S. positions that aircrews won’t be able to drop napalm rounds.

John has three books that chronicle both his stories and those of his fellow SOG operators (listed below) and he’s been featured in various interviews, including several with Jocko Willink, and is currently building his own podcast with Jocko to tell the stories of other members of the SOG community. John and Jocko are also collaborating on a video game based on SOG missions.
It’s amazing John lived through the experiences he shares with us and he’s a living testament to the courage so many showed in Vietnam.

Across the Fence
On the Ground
SOG Chronicles

Show Notes

3:53 - “Pushing things a little bit” as a kid. The book, The Green Berets influenced John’s decision to join Special Forces.
6:21 - How an eye doctor changed John’s life trajectory and sent him from being a pilot to being a SOG operator.
9:51 - Glad he missed the Korean War because it was so hard. Referenced Pork Chop Hill.
12:45 - John’s path from enlisting straight to Special Forces.
14:57 - An “offer” to join the elite.
16:55 - “We go to the safe house that night…” (Reference to MIKE Force  and Project DELTA
27:11 - Description and composition of a “Spike Team” and the “One-Zero” call sign.
44:11 - First contact in Vietnam at “Echo 4”
55:55 - First confirmed kill.
58:10 - What is a “Covey” in this war?
1:07:55 - Blacking out while attached to a rope attached to a helicopter in flight.
1:13:47 - The relationship with the indigenous forces.
1:23:44 - A Thanksgiving mission to find THREE NVA Divisions.
1:42:57 - What did John carry for good luck?
1:43:56 - Would you do it all again?
1:46:34 - Exciting news for what John is working on now, including a new podcast hosted by John to interview other SOG members that Jocko will then share on his social media. Also a video game coming out based on SOG.