Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Combat Story

Sep 3, 2022

Today we hear the Combat Story of Joe McNamara, a former Marine Corps officer who experienced a unique kind of violence from his time on campus at Virginia Tech during the horrific 2007 shooting to leading Marines in combat in Afghanistan.

After leaving the service, Joe founded a leadership development company called Impact USA that trained both elite athletes and private sector leaders. Impact was recently acquired by Mike Sarraille’s Talent War Group, where Joe is now a partner and Chief Revenue Officer.

Many will recall a fantastic interview with Mike (episode 70, the former enlisted Marine who went on to Force Recon then served as an officer in SEALs and, eventually, Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU). The fact that someone like Mike who went through that crucible of leadership experiences went on to acquire Impact says a lot about what Joe does to develop leaders.

This episode dives between combat experiences and the leadership lessons we can apply to our lives, from the foxhole to athletics to the office. In fact, Joe answers two questions I’ve always had: how do you create a sense of shared adversity in a corporate setting and how do you find time to train corporate leaders without taking them off operations for a full six to 12 months the way the military does it.

I hope you enjoy this Combat Story with a battle hardened Marine Corps officer and some of the tangible leadership lessons we can all apply from his experiences as much as I did.

Find Joe Online:
- LinkedIN
- Instagram @joe_mcnamara_
- Impact Leadership

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
0:35 - About our sponsor, Let's Get Checked
1:57 - Guest Introduction (Joe McNamara)
3:46 - Interview begins
5:13 - Childhood and path to the military
10:04 - Support for Combat Story brought to you by Manscaped
11:24 - Somber stories of courage and leadership from the school shooting at Virginia Tech
22:08 - When certain experiences harden you emotionally
25:10 - The most impactful leadership advice from Marine Corps mentors
30:40 - Training and what it was like in Afghanistan with insane amount of IEDs
40:31 - Being in a leadership role at 20-21 years old and the most important attribute in leadership
44:12 - Combat Story - What it is like as infantry men when your vehicle gets hit by massive IED
53:47 - Combat Story - First time someone in his platoon was hit while on foot
1:00:24 - What an "XO" is in the military and what the role entails
1:04:24 - Combat Story - How leadership planning and drills show up after a mass casualty event
1:14:29 - Formative Company Command time at Paris Island
1:24:55 - Where the idea for Impact Leadership came from
1:28:10 - Replicating shared adversity and military training in corporate sector
1:36:03 - The biggest challenges seen in corporate leadership
1:39:55 - What did you carry into combat?
1:40:39 - Would you do it again?
1:43:26 - Listener comments and shout outs