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Combat Story

Feb 3, 2024

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Today we have our first of a two round Combat Story as we delve into Sam Mackey's extraordinary journey from a rebellious youth to a Navy SEAL and, after retiring with 20 years in the service, to a successful entrepreneur. His early years were marked by selling drugs and legal troubles, finding purpose in a love for boxing and eventually joining the military. This decision, fueled partly by a need to escape legal issues, led Sam on a transformative path of discipline and self-discovery.

Sam's time in the military was challenging yet formative. His first attempt at BUD/S training was unsuccessful, leading to a stint in Italy where misadventures and personal growth went hand in hand. However, Sam returned to BUD/S more mature and focused, eventually joining SEAL Team 8. His first combat experience comes in Iraq, where he first grappled with the harsh realities of warfare with an intense gunfight marking a significant shift from training to real-world operations, highlighting the need for quick, tactical decision-making and adaptability. 

Stay tuned for Round 2 where we cover even more of Samโ€™s time downrange and the entrepreneurial skills he develops in the teams that translate into his current work on Outsider, an outdoor lifestyle brand with high quality products, alongside former NFL QB Jay Cutler.

Many thanks to Ari for connecting us with Sam! And now, please enjoy this inspiring episode with retired Navy SEAL, Sam Mackey.

๐Ÿ‘‡ Show Notes:

00:00 - Introduction
00:31 - Guest Profile: Sam Mackey
01:48 - Start of Interview
05:32 - Fighting Growing Up
10:31 - Legal Troubles
14:17 - Joining the Military
16:50 - Mentors
21:46 - Hello Fresh Ad
23:09 - Taking Accountability
24:03 - Deciding Branch of Service
27:47 - Boot
33:26 - Path to Teams
41:00 - BUDS
49:47 - Time In Italy 
01:01:45 - 2nd BUDS
01:04:29 - West Coast Team
01:15:29 - First Call After Making Teams
01:23:12 - First Time Downrange
01:29:51 - Loadout Advancements
01:32:25 - Feeling Coming Back Home
01:33:08 - Listener Feedback

๐Ÿ”— Find Ryan Online:
- Ryanโ€™s Linktree
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- Send us messages at
- Learn more about Ryan
- Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle
๐Ÿ”— Find Sam Online:
- Outsider

This episode was sponsored by HelloFresh! Go to and use code combatstoryfree for FREE breakfast for life!