13 minutes | Jul 26, 2018

Ep 8: Tip of the Spear, Mike Spann (CIA)

They’re known as the tip of the spear. Trailblazers we ask to go in first. Highly trained. Fearless. When America was attacked on 9/11, we needed those trailblazers on the ground in Afghanistan to find those responsible and stop their reign of terror. Johnny Micheal “Mike” Spann was one of those who dared to enter that rugged and strange terrain. The CIA paramilitary officer and former Marine had received extensive training in intelligence gathering, unconventional operations, and combat leadership. When one references “boots on the ground,” Spann was one of the first pairs of boots. As the first combat loss in Afghanistan, his name resonated with many Americans in those early days of the war on terrorism as they wondered what lay before them. How long would America fight in Afghanistan? How much blood and treasure would be required to end that evil? Mike Spann grew up in Winfield, Alabama. He was a curious child often found with his nose in encyclopedias. He loved all things military and history but especially became fascinated with the Marines. He covered his walls with posters of the Few and the Proud. When his family moved, the posters came down but went right back up in the next house. As he matured he’d set one goal after another such as earning his private pilot’s license at seventeen years of age. He attended Auburn University, excelled academically, and earned a degree in Criminal Justice. He still longed for that military experience. His father gave him pause since he had become a husband and father. Mike replied that if he didn’t go now he never would. Fulfilling those early dreams, he attended officer candidate school and became a United States Marine Corps officer. **** Listen to the rest of this amazing story on the podcast
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