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Combat Story

Nov 6, 2021

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Today we hear the second part of Ray McPadden’s Combat Story. Ray is a former Army Infantry Officer who survived four brutal deployments. In Part 1, we covered his time with 10th Mountain in the Korengal Valley, a notoriously violent part of Afghanistan. [You can find Part 1 at or]

In Part 2, we pick up just after Ray returns from 16 months as a Platoon Leader in Afghanistan. He immediately goes to ROP (the Ranger Officer Program) to be assessed for the Ranger Regiment.
In this interview, Ray provides some incredible detail about the types of missions and decisions soldiers have to make within the JSOC community and the stark differences between the special ops and conventional military in terms of resources, equipment, aviation, personnel, and more.
For those who want to know what it was like to roll out on a multiple hit night in Iraq with JSOC, this interview will make you feel like you’re inside the Stryker and on the objective. If you want more, check out Ray’s great book - We March at Midnight.
I hope you enjoy this second round of Ray’s combat story as much as I did.
Find Ray Online:

Instagram @raymcpadden1
Book We March at Midnight

Find Ryan Online:

Follow on Instagram @combatstory
Follow on Facebook @combatstoryofficial
Send us messages at
Learn more about Ryan
Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle

Show Notes

0:00 - Intro
0:46 - Guest introduction
1:50 - Interview begins and returning from the Korengal Valley
8:15 - Did you get treatment for PTSD after the first deployment
13:00 - Coming straight back from combat to Ranger Officer Program
20:25 - Interesting model in the Ranger Regiment
27:57 - What’s a Ground Force Commander
30:08 - How hard is the Ranger Officer Program
33:43 - The Darby Queen
43:30 - Arriving to 2nd Ranger Battalion
46:52 - Big Boy Rules
50:57 - Combat Story #1 - Running ops Day 1
55:23 - JSOC Mission Briefs in combat
1:11:19 - Combat Story #2 - Hasty follow-on operation
1:18:45 - Couldn’t sleep post-mission
1:23:56 - Combat Story #3: Tier 1 HVTs operating in difficult spaces
1:45:28 - Combat Story #4: The reality of warfare and children on the battlefield
1:53:38 - Why choose the title “We March at Midnight”?
1:56:25 - What did you carry with you into combat?
1:59:25 - Would you do it all again?
2:01:28 - Listener shout outs and comments