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Combat Story

Jul 9, 2022

Today we have a special Combat Story that takes us from commanding in bloody fighting in Vietnam to some of the seminal moments in our military’s Special Operations history, all courtesy of retired colonel Keith Nightingale.

Keith served two tours in Vietnam, one as an adviser to the Vietnamese where he learned jungle warfare from one of the most interesting and lethal characters in country, followed by taking command of an infantry company in the 101st that had just been wiped out, literally, hours earlier.

Keith was a founding member of the 1st Ranger Battalion when it was created by Gen Creighton Abrams in 1974-later commanding both that battalion and the Ranger brigade. He then gives us a fly on the wall perspective of the Desert One catastrophe and the subsequent birth and creation of what we know today as JSOC, to include why we have DIA, 160th, Delta and more.

We even touch on Keith’s time as the DoD lead tracking down none other than the Drug Kingpin Pablo Escobar.

Keith has gone on to write three books, “Just Another Day in Vietnam”, “Phoenix Rising: From the Ashes of Desert One to the Rebirth of U.S. Special Operations,” and “A Soldier Looks Back: Memories and Reflections of a Combat Veteran, from Normandy to Afghanistan.”

This was a memorable Combat Story that gives us a look inside some of the most significant moments that created the modern US military we all know and love today.

Find Keith Onine:
-Facebook Col Keith Nightingale
-Keith’s books

Ryan Online Information
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- Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle

0:00 - Intro
0:45 - Guest Introduction (Keith Nightingale)
2:17 - Interview begins
2:40 - What he did in the army
3:24 - how the military was “in his DNA” and being the first officer in the family that served as a career
7:30 - Getting orders to go to Vietnam and the most influential person in helping become a battlefield leader
18:10 - Combat Story #1 - first contact in Vietnam
24:59 - A “karmic” approach to combat learned in Vietnam
26:57 - Combat Story #2 - a long night in Vietnam
36:03 - Going back to Vietnam with Delta company
43:14 - An intense training in leadership
46:27 - Combat Story #3 - First time in the field with Delta and his leadership strategy for low morale
56:43 - The founding of JSOC and 1st Ranger Battalion
1:05:43 - Combat Story #4 - Operation Eagle Claw
1:32:57 - Tracking down Pablo Escobar
1:40:42 - What did you carry into combat?
1:41:54 - Would you do it again?
1:42:53 - Listener comments and shout outs