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Combat Story

Oct 28, 2023

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This is part one of one of our best Combat Story’s with former Force Recon, Scout Sniper, and Marine Rifleman AJ Pasciuti. He recently retired from active duty and decided to pass on lucrative post-career defense contracting roles to, instead, continue serving in the name of several fallen Marines by running for public office in his hometown of San Jose, California.

AJ left northern California as an 18 year old in response to 9/11 with little military family background and an immigrant’s mentality having never touched a weapon and would go on to be a lethal sniper and Force Recon Marine, eventually instructing at the Scout Sniper school and helping to evolve the Marine Corps’ fundamental education system when he retired as a Chief Warrant Officer 3 (Gunner).

He would go from city life to Iraq in OIF I crossing the berm with Third Battalion, Fifth Marines Regiment, of the First Marine Division; then, as a sniper in Fallujah, he would find himself in a building providing overwatch for Marines when a SEAL named Chris Kyle happened to occupy the same building as AJ and Chris’ sniper teams competed to keep the Marines safe as they cleared the battlefield. He would later find himself fighting in Ramadi in 2005/2006 with another team of snipers. 

This is a two-part interview with AJ. Stay tuned for our part two with AJ and his story of hunting, trapping, and killing Iraq’s most lethal sniper: Juba (personified in the film American Sniper); and AJ’s story of losing his best friend in combat as a result of a coin toss.

AJ’s reputation speaks for itself and his perspective on service and overcoming odds is simply inspiring. His take on what “Service” truly means will have you looking for ways to do more in your own community and lives. With that, please enjoy part one of one of our best Combat Story episodes with Force Recon Marine AJ Pasciuti. 


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- Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle
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- Washington Post article on Juba


Show Notes:
0:00 - Intro
01:03 - Guest Introduction (AJ Pasciuti)
02:56 - Interview begins
03:40 - Military connections and Childhood
10:25 - Boyscouts
14:45 - 9/11
18:20 - First Deployment and Choosing the Marine Corps.
21:15 - Life if not the Military
24:04 - AUSA Ad
25:59 - First time outside the wire
33:25 - First time in contact
41:57 - Calling home
44:48 - Second Deployment and Sniper Indoc
53:50 - Nutrisense Ad
55:05 - Ricky Jackson
01:00:00 - Fallujah Pt.1
01:14:50 - Sniper Instructor
01:17:32 - Fallujah Pt. 2
01:26:47 - 3rd deployment 
01:31:18 - A difficult situation
01:35:17 -  Listener comments and shout outs