Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Combat Story

Aug 13, 2022

Join our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter ( to get a short email from Ryan for people who love and support our veterans, service members, and their families. It has info on a significant event in military and/or intel history, a funny military joke, an update on a current event I'm following, something I'm doing that week in my life, a book I'm reading, a look at an upcoming interview, a reflection on a past episode and more!

Today we hear a Combat Story from a long-time Combat Story listener Christian Holloway, a former Marine who was part of the initial invasion into Iraq, fought in both Fallujah I and II, and was one of the first Marines in what we now know as Marine Special Operations Command or MARSOC.

[Support us on Patreon and get exclusive content and insights at]

Christian was just 18 years old when he crossed the line of departure into Iraq for the initial invasion alongside M1A1 tanks in his Marine Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV).

He was then clearing buildings on foot in Fallujah alongside his Marine brothers, was among the first to see the effects of IEDs and what later became a very common and lethal enemy TTP, and was then in the elite special operations community training foreign militaries as a force multiplier.

Since leaving the military, Christian continued to train service members in Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape (SERE) as a contractor and now hosts a financial information program on YouTube.

This is a great Combat Story that follows the path from the tactical perspective of the Marine infantryman to the strategic MARSOC operator and I hope you enjoy his humble insights as much as I did.

Find Christian Online:
-Instagram @chris.holloway_fi

Find Ryan Online:
- Ryan’s Linktree
- Merch
- Instagram @combatstory
- Facebook @combatstoryofficial
- Send us messages at
- Email
- Learn more about Ryan
- Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle

Show Notes:
0:00 - Intro
0:44 - Guest Introduction (Christian Holloway)
1:59 - Interview begins
2:40 - Growing up in Texas
7:31 - Why Marine Corps and recruitment story
10:44 - Training and preparing for deployment only 4 months after after boot camp and school of infantry
17:13 - Preparing for first deployment invading Iraq at only 18 years old
20:48 - MOPP levels and the nuclear, biological and chemical threat
24:53 - Combat Story - Engaged by an artillery unit and the invasion of Iraq
33:10 - Combat Story - An armor to armor engagement
55:27 - Combat Story - 48 hour engagement
1:18:01 - almost dying in Baghdad
from celebratory fire
1:21:03 -Fallujah 1 fighting the insurgency and the first in incorporation of IED tactics
1:35:52 - Combat Story - a very persistent engagement
1:56:24 - Joining what would later be known as MARSOC and the intense training course
2:24:42 - Transition to contractor
2:27:42 - Refelctions on being in combat at 18 years old
2:30:45 - Personal Finance YouTube channel
2:37:19 - What did you carry into combat?
2:39:08 - Would you do it again?
2:40:21 - Listener comments and shout outs