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Combat Story

May 29, 2021

Today we have a unique episode where I (Ryan Fugit) share my own combat story as SOB Tactical founder and retired Delta Force Sergeant Major John “Shrek” McPhee interviews yours truly.   

Do not be fooled, however. Although John helps me tell my origin story growing up overseas, and going on to be an Apache helicopter pilot and CIA officer, we hear more amazing insights from John’s career as well.  
In this episode, John and I talk about combat, losing friends, growing up, and swapping stories about our experiences as a pilot and Delta operator that many outside the profession have never heard...such as ‘flying the bag’ and the ‘Mr. Goodbar’ test. John even takes a moment to put on a sweater that used to belong to Saddam Hussein.   

I hope you enjoy this wide ranging, real, and whiskey-filled interview as much as we did.

Show Notes

0:00 - Intro
1:21 - Episode preview
2:12 - Let the games begin
3:29 – Talking about whiskey
6:25 – Why Combat Story?
9:46 – Ryan’s origin story
14:00 – The little guy in southern Africa
15:44 – Living in Pakistan in the middle of the Gulf War
24:30 – Ryan’s experience with Channing Tatum aka Chan Tatum aka Magic Mike
26:10 – The problem with social media
25:06 - People don’t understand the premise of the American life.
30:10 – Keeping in touch with others
34:57 – “How great you were today, tomorrow they don’t need you.”
37:17 – The unfortunate truth
37:55 – The D-Day Jump
41:56 – “I believe we’re in the longest peace this planet has ever seen post World War Two.”
49:07 – What it’s like learning to hover
57:30 – Inherently dangerous training. “Injuries and loss happen every day, no matter what your level is.”
1:12:35 – Air Medals for ground guys.
1:19:21 – Importance of flexibility. “Flexibility makes you a formidable enemy.”
1:23:05 – Flying the “Bag“ and teaching yourself how to fly with one eye.
1:27:37 - The “Mr. Goodbar” Test at Delta where “If you do what has been taught to you, people won’t fight you when you walk out.“ John and one-on-one situations.
1:34:30 – Performance-based unit and how “Nobody cares as long as you’re doing your job in combat.”
1:40:20 – Ryan’s worst near-death experience story
1:47:50 - Defining failure, “acceptable failure,” and how “Wisdom is knowing better.”
1:48:51 – “You should be making mistakes. Mistakes teach you what works, what doesn’t. You got to make mistakes.”
1:55:27 – The Saddam Sweater
2:13:50 – Near death experiences. “You’re supposed to live through this near-death experience and feel like every day is a gift, but it’s not—it doesn’t feel that way.”
2:16:43 – John’s near death experience. “Never do a shoot behind, except when you have to.”
2:24:03 – “The unit in training will always give you scenarios that can’t be solved.”

Find John and Ryan Online:  

Instagram -
Instagram @combat_stories
SOB Tactical -
Booze N Views -