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Combat Story

Aug 27, 2022

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Today we hear the Combat Story of Jake Wood, a former University of Wisconsin football player who enlisted in the Marine Corps and fought in both Iraq and Afghanistan as a Marine Rifleman and Sniper. One of the key moments that led him to the Marine Corps was the death of Pat Tillman, the legendary NFL Safety who walked away from the League and joined the Army after 9/11, eventually being killed while serving as a Ranger in Afghanistan.

Jake found himself leading Marines at the very front end of the “Surge” in Iraq and the bloodiest year of the wars, stepping into a kinetic environment only weeks after arriving in the theater. He was then in Helmand Province in Afghanistan as a sniper.

Only two months after leaving the Marine Corps, Jake went on to found the humanitarian support organization Team Rubicon after hastily organizing what he describes as a “Motley Crew” of veterans and doctors to help the people of Haiti after the devastating 2010 earthquake. He recently created another charitable giving business called Groundswell which seeks to democratize philanthropic giving.

In 2018, Jake was awarded the Pat Tillman ESPY for service (, bringing his story full circle from Tillman’s death that propelled Jake into this life of service. I hope you enjoy this unique and insightful interview with someone who played football at the highest level and then selflessly decided to put on a different uniform to help others as much as I did.

Find Jake Online:
- Instagram @jakewoodtr
- Twitter @JakeWoodTR
- Team Rubicon
- ESPY Pat Tillman Award

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
0:27 - About our sponsor, Aura
2:28 - Guest Introduction (Jake Wood)
4:22 - Interview begins
5:00 - Football's influence in life and position played
13:23 - Family history and a perspective on a college campus protest in March 2003
17:30 - The significant events and people like Pat Tillman which lead to joining
23:36 - Funny recruitment stories and why Marine Corps Infantry
28:22 - Training with Pugil sticks in bootcamp as an elite football player
31:16 - Getting out of the training pipeline
and into a Marine Rifle Platoon
37:58 - First "boots on the ground" moment in Iraq and first time taking mortar fire
40:27 - Combat Story - Driving into IEDs while in Humvees
49:59 - The bloody realities of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
53:25 - Combat Story - Injuries and booby traps during the bloodiest year of the Iraq war
1:00:14 - What do you tell your family?
1:01:23 - Marine Sniper School experience
1:03:13 - Combat Story - The tough operating environment in Afghanistan
1:08:54 - How snipers desensitize themselves
1:10:52 - Combat Story - Taliban attack and tending to injured civilian children
1:12:36 - Transitioning out and how Team Rubicon Disaster Response started
1:21:34 - Groundswell
1:25:48 - What did you carry into combat?
1:27:33 - Would you do it again?
1:29:04 - Accepting the Pat Tillman award
1:30:24 - Listener comments and shout outs

The video is all about Marine Sniper from D1 College Football, Jake Wood. If you want to learn more about Combat Story, you can click:

This video covers the following subjects:

- Marine Sniper from D1 College Football
- Marine Sniper
- Marine Scout Snipers
- Team Rubicon and Groundswell Founder

January 12, 2010. A 7.0 magnitude earthquake shakes Port-au-Prince. In moments, hundreds of thousands were injured, infrastructure and buildings were destroyed, and countless were made homeless. In the days following, many traditional aid organizations were slow to establish relief efforts, citing dangerous and unstable working conditions. Troubled by the scenes in Port-au-Prince and the lack of proper aid, two Marines, Jake Wood and William McNulty, decided to act. Gathering supplies and volunteers, the small group of veterans, first responders, and medical professionals deployed to Haiti in the days following the earthquake.

If you would like to learn more about Marine Sniper from D1 College Football, Jake Wood I suggest you look into our various other video clips:

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