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Combat Story

Apr 13, 2024

Today we have a once in a lifetime Combat Story with one of the few living Medal of Honor recipients from the war in Afghanistan: Earl Plumlee. Earl was a Marine infantryman, Force Recon team leader, and Special Forces Weapons Sergeant in the pre- and post-9/11 era.

Earl would deploy multiple times with the Marine Corps and the Army, to include combat deployments with Force Recon and a historic deployment in 2013 with the his ODA where he would earn the Medal of Honor. 

In this episode, we touch on both of Earl’s Recon deployments but spend a considerable amount of time walking through the battle in which he earned the Medal of Honor and in which his fellow Green Berets earned other medals for valor. It’s an amazing story to hear firsthand that includes a coordinated and lethal attack of a US installation in Ghazni, Afghanistan; suicide bombers; injured Americans; and several Green Berets who had never fought together operating as one element to repel the attack. 

Earl’s work during this assault is amazing and almost impossible to imagine he didn’t get more gravely wounded. He had over 300 rounds of enemy fire directed at him from very close range, dozens of grenades lobbed his direction, and suicide vests detonating meters away.

He now speaks out about civic duty and service and provides motivational and public speaking for customers around the world. Please enjoy this selfless story of a rare and living Medal of Honor with Earl Plumlee.

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🔗 Find Earl Online:
- Guest Speaker Website
- Instagram earl_plumlee_official
🔗 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

Join hundreds of others with our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter ( to get a short email from Ryan each week about the show, life, and the military.

👇 Show Notes:
00:00 - Introduction
01:02 - Guest Profile: Earl Plumlee
02:25 - Start of Interview
02:33 - Life As Medal of Honor Recipient
07:02 - Childhood
12:38 - Military Family History
14:07 - Deciding to Serve
16:33 - Recruitment Story
22:26 - Basic
24:58 - Mad Rabbit Tattoo Ad
26:22 - Graduation from Marine Corps.
31:14 - First Time Down Range
39:14 - S.E.A.R. School
39:42 - New Guy In Recon Unit
43:04 - First Time Outside The Wire
45:08 - Give Legacy Ad
46:30 - Formative Moments
53:38 - Losing Teammates
55:35 - Hindsight Advice
59:49 - Second Deployment
01:0:52 - Second Deplyoment Difficult Moments
01:01:52 - Special Forces
01:07:21 - First Special Forces Deployment
01:12:36 - Having Kids At Home While Deployed
01:14:25 - Medal OF Honor Story
02:06:58 - Battle Afterthoughts
02:16:49 - Sentimental Items
02:17:35 - Would You Do It All Again
02:19:33  - Listener Feedback