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Combat Story

May 21, 2022

Today we hear a Combat Story that I’ve been looking forward to for years. As many listeners know, I closely followed the war in Afghanistan immediately following 9/11 and revered the Green Berets who rode into combat on horseback to take America’s fight to the enemy.

[Call to Action: Please refer your friends to if they're looking for high paying jobs where they can still help people and fight bad actors.]

Today we hear from one of the very few men who was there, one of the Horse Soldiers as they’ve been called: Bob Pennington.

Bob spent more than 30 years in the service, much of that with Special Forces, including kinetic operations in the Gulf War to one of the first teams on the ground in Afghanistan and more. He’s a Distinguished Member of the Special Forces Regiment and in the Georgia Military Veterans’ Hall of Fame.

He and his Horse Soldier teammate Mark Nutsch have just released a book about their experiences in the days after 9/11 titled “Swords of Lightning: Green Beret Horse Soldiers and America's Response to 9/11.” And if his life can’t get any better, he and Mark are also principals in the company that produces Horse Soldier Bourbon.

I hope you enjoy this inside look into what happened from 9/10 (the day before the world changed) through the some of the first operations on the ground in Afghanistan (and enjoy some of Bob’s celebrity moments given his representation as a key role in the movie 12 Strong) as much as I did.

#military #veteran #greenberet #horsesoldier

Find Bob Online:
-Instagram - Horse Soldier Bourbon @horsesoldierbourbon
-Bob’s Favorite Charities: Tunnels to Towers and Land of the Free Foundation

Find Ryan Online:
-To support Combat Story and get exclusive insights, head to Patreon
-Ryan’s Linktree
-Instagram @combatstory
-Facebook @combatstoryofficial
-Send us messages at
-Learn more about Ryan
-Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle

Show Notes:

0:00 - Intro
0:42 - Guest Introduction (Bob Pennington)
2:07 – Thank you for supporting The Trust & Safety Institute
2:45 - Interview begins
4:02 - Meeting Chris Hemsworth and Michael Shannon for the 12 Strong movie
7:40 - Growing up with a father in the military and early interest in Green Berets
13:32 - Starting his career in Ranger Battalion after college
24:37 - Being a Warrant Officer in SF community
34:51 - Combat Story - Experience in the Gulf War
50:10 - Where he was when 9/11 happened
59:48 - Mindset at the time of 9/11 and being one of the teams picked for the mission in Afghanistan
1:12:45 - Combat Story - First operations on the ground in Afghanistan
1:38:31 - Swords of Lightning book backstory and information
1:43:42 - Horse Soldier Bourbon
1:49:42 - What did you carry into combat?
1:52:05 - Would you do it again?
1:54:11 - Help connect those who served with meaningful and great paying jobs after service
1:56:49 - Listener comments and shout outs