Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Combat Story

Nov 25, 2023

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's Combat Story: Training Dogs for SEAL Teams and Founding the Warrior Dog Foundation🎙️

Today we have the second portion of a two-part crossover Combat Story with former Navy SEAL, NY Times Best-Selling Author, Trikos Founder, and founder of the Warrior Dog Foundation: Mike Ritland. Many will, of course, know Mike as the host of the long-running Mike Drop podcast. I traveled out to Texas to interview Mike in-person and then he returned the favor. 

For those who missed part one, Mike described growing up in Iowa and, while still undersized, was bullied at school and had to sit in the same class as his attackers. He vowed to never let that happen again and immersed himself in a Karate Kid-like experience in the martial arts studying under an old school sensei who helped send him on his path to the Teams. In the Teams, Mike would largest operation in the history of Naval Special Warfare when SEAL Team 3

Mike would contract an illness that would take him out of the door-kicking side of the teams but also allowed him to follow a passion training dogs for west coast SEAL teams. He followed this path to build a successful business in Trikos training working dogs for clients and creating the Warrior Dog Foundation, among other ventures.

Mike has done so much to find purpose and continue serving after hanging up the uniform in a way that will, undoubtedly, be motivating to people seeking their own purpose and next chapter. With that, please enjoy this episode with Mike Ritland.

👇 Show Notes:

00:00 - Introduction
01:04 - Guest Profile: Mike Ritland
02:09 - Interview Begins
02:14 - Background of Navy Seal Dogs book
3:55 - Aftermath of Oil Rig Operation
13:36 - New Mission Cycles
15:52 - Gulf War Veterans for Iraq War
20:36 - First Leave and Becoming a K-9 Trainer
25:54 - Contracting Fungal Lung Infection
 30:36 - Interest in K-9 Handling
32:51 - Mentors and Experience in K-9 Training
43:19 - Human and Dog Psycology
50:03 - Proudest Accomplishment
53:53 - Biases Against Former Warrior Dogs
57:16 - Sentimental Items
58:11 - Would You Do It All Again?
01:01:04 - Downtime
01:08:05 -  Listener comments and shout outs

🔗 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

🔗 Find Mike Online:

- Warrior Dog Foundation

- Navy SEAL Dogs: My Tale of Training Canines for Combat
- Mike Drop Podcast