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Combat Story

Aug 6, 2022

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Today we hear the Combat Story of Kristen Murdock, who spent 13 years in the Navy as a Naval Intelligence Officer from an Aviation Squadron off a carrier to Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU).

[Check out our Patreon page for more images of Kristen and for an upcoming Q&A with Ryan]

Kristen spent most of her military time deployed around the world and focused primarily on intelligence in the Middle East, South Asia, North Africa, and the Horn of Africa, including deployments at the strategic level with joint staffs to the tactical with SEAL Team 3 and DEVGRU.

After her time in service, Kristen transitioned thanks to a phenomenal program designed for Special Operations service members and support staff called The Honor Foundation which helped her find her next career in Silicon Valley working in the Trust and Safety space at Facebook and, most recently, Twitch, as a senior leader.

Kristen narrowly avoided be kicked out of the Naval Academy and had her dreams of flying shattered at the last moment but ended up hustling to find a more rewarding path in Intel that serves as a great lessons for those still rising through the ranks and I hope you enjoy her insights into the shadowy world of intel at a Tier 1 unit as much as I did.

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- Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle

Show Notes

0:00 - Intro
00:41 - Guest introduction for Kristen Murdock
6:05 - Reality check from an active duty father and aviator at Dover Air Force Base
12:17 - Avoiding the use of Intel “Jedi mind tricks” on regular people
12:38 - What is the “2” in military language (S2, N2, J2, G2, etc)
15:54 - Going to the US Naval Academy and almost not making it
25:00 - Losing your ‘dream’ career and finding your true path
30:27 - Unfortunate advice from another officer to a woman in service
32:27 - Arriving to your first assignment as the intel officer on a carrier
42:22 - Running intel at SEAL Team 3
45:02 - Strategic work as an intel officer and preparing “The Book”
49:47 - Doing time with DIA to get broader intel experience
53:48 - Detailed to a Special Forces Team (ODA) and then sent to support ISAF ( the International Security Assistance Force)
55:19 - Supporting General Stanley A. McChrystal ( and General Michael Flynn while meeting tribal leaders like Karzai
1:03:01 - Learning of the deaths of Brendan Looney and Travis Manion (
1:05:28 - Working threat finance as an intelligence officer and the skills it teaches you
1:08:30 - Getting to SEAL Team 3
1:15:55 - The weight of giving intel to a team of operators and how much confidence you need to have
1:17:19 - Walking past the memorial for a fallen friend (Brendan Looney) at SEAL Team 3 HQs
1:18:28 - The transition to Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU, also known as SEAL Team Six)
1:20:43 - Had a great experience with all the Team guys
1:22:19 - Transitioning out of the military and into Tech with Facebook (now Meta) and then on to Twitch
1:30:18 - What did you carry with you on deployments?
1:31:12 - Would you go back and do it again?
1:32:55 - Listener comments and shout outs.

Thanks for listening ya’ll! Stay safe.

The video is all about special operations and special operators and intelligence officers and the intelligence profession. If you want to learn more about special operations and intelligence, you can click:

This video is describing what it takes to be in special operations and make it in Intelligence but also try to cover the following subjects:

- What are special operations?
- Combat Story
- Navy SEALs
- Combat Operations
- DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency)
Have I responded to all of your questions about what are special operations and what is intelligence?
Individuals who searched for Kristen Murdock and intelligence also searched for Navy SEALs and intelligence officers and we have interviews with many Navy SEALs and former Intelligence Officers at, including those in Naval Special Warfare Development Group (or DEVGRU), which many people refer to as SEAL Team Six, and with the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency).

If you would like to learn more about the intelligence profession or SEALs, look into our various other video clips: