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27 minutes | Jun 19, 2018
The story of the slave who survived the Alamo
The attack on the Alamo in 1836 was not a 13-day siege and slaughter as often portrayed in film and television. Don't get me wrong – the defenders of the mission-turned-fortress were killed en masse as Mexican troops stormed the structure. It's just that not everyone inside the Alamo died that day.
35 minutes | Jun 5, 2018
Why Navy SEALs will storm the beaches of Normandy in 2018
Jumping into freezing water is just part of the legacy of being a Navy SEAL. During World War II, the U.S. Navy Combat Demolition Units were just a handful of guys equipped only with a pair of shorts, a knife, and maybe some explosives. But the roots of being amphibious is still close to the Navy special warfare community – that's why they still call themselves "Frogmen." Some 74 years ago, these Navy Combat Demolition Units braved the freezing waters of the English Channel in the predawn hours of June 6, 1944 – not to mention the thousands of Nazi guns pointed at them at the water's edge. They were trained for this. Not necessarily the undertaking of being the secret first wave of invaders of the most fortified positions in the world. No, they were trained to win against any and all odds or obstacles. These men were the precursor to modern-day SEALs, moving to do their part on the beaches before the D-Day Landings. That's how SEAL training works to this day, teaching recruits to overcome the things they think can't be done. Now, in tribute to those few who landed at occupied France well before the rest of the Allies, 30 current and former Navy SEALs, as well as some "gritty" civilians will recreate those NCDU landings. Today's SEAL re-enactors will do a seven-mile swim to land at Normandy, then they'll scale the cliffs on Omaha Beach, to place a wreath at the memorial there. At that point, they'll gear up with 44-pound rucks to do a 30-kilometer ruck march to Saint-Lô. Why? To raise awareness (and funds) for the Navy SEAL Heritage Museum in Fort Pierce, Fla. – and the wide range of programs they offer to support family members of those SEALs who fell in combat, doing things only the U.S. special operations community would ever dare.
25 minutes | May 28, 2018
How going to war brings out the best and worst in people
Our guest Sebastian Junger is not a military veteran. He makes that clear, but he sure sounds like one. Maybe it's because he's seen more conflict than many in the United States military. If there's an expert on modern warfare and the long-term effects of those who live it, that person is Sebastian Junger. He joins us to discuss his new PBS documentary airing on Memorial Day "Going To War" and explains how people transform before, during and after combat.
30 minutes | May 21, 2018
It will make you angry to learn how a veteran lost $100k in benefits
For almost a decade Moses Maddox has built a career helping veterans with personal, academic, and financial counseling. But he didn't become the veterans champion he is today without first overcoming his own transition struggles. Here's how he used his transition experience and knowledge in navigating the VA system to lobby for veterans in DC and take his message to the national level.
31 minutes | May 15, 2018
PTSD is temporary, here are the first steps to defeating it
Our guest, the Director of Innovation and Collaboration for the VA’s Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Dr. Wendy Tenhula joins us for a discussion on identifying and treating mental health issues.
29 minutes | May 1, 2018
How to 'Conquer Anything,' according to a Green Beret
War has a way of shooting holes in your best-laid plans. Sgt. 1st Class Gregory Stube (Ret.) suffered life-changing wounds during the battle of Operation Medusa in Afghanistan in 2006, but using the Green Beret methods he learned in the Special Forces, Stube knew he could conquer anything.
28 minutes | Apr 24, 2018
Combat poetry reveals what life is like on the Afghan front lines
Marine Corps veteran turned poet, and author Justin Eggen brings modern warfare, poetry, and short stories into a beautiful storm that reveals the inner workings of life on the front lines of Southern Afghanistan.
30 minutes | Apr 17, 2018
4 survival skills that will help you thrive in a disaster or zombie apocalypse
The Mandatory Fun crew got their hands on "100 Deadly Skills: Survival Edition" by national bestselling author and Navy SEAL Clint Emerson. Emerson's book is the SEAL operative's guide to surviving in the wild and being prepared for any disaster, but the crew decides that it's the perfect guide against a zombie apocalypse.
34 minutes | Apr 10, 2018
That time Senator Mitch McConnell was fooled by 'Duffel Blog'
Our guest founder and editor-in-chief of our favorite military satire publication Duffel Blog Paul Szoldra joins us for a hilarious discussion about his adventures in military satire. We discuss Szoldra's first book, the funny times Duffel Blog was mistaken for real news, and his new party game "WTF, Over."
64 minutes | Apr 3, 2018
5 insane stories from the life of Britain's most successful double agent
The real James Bond is finally revealed: A few years ago Larry Loftis decided to stop publishing legal articles and work full-time on researching and writing the story of Dusko Popov, the daring World War II double agent who worked tirelessly to keep the Nazis off guard about the upcoming D-Day invasions. That work became his book Into the Lion's Mouth: The True Story of Dusko Popov: World War II Spy, Patriot, and the Real-Life Inspiration for James Bond. Loftis received his undergraduate degree and his Law degrees from the University of Florida. His background in writing stems from his time on the university's Law Review as the Senior Executive Editor and Senior Articles Editor. He is the author of a number of scholarly legal articles. But you'd never know about Larry's background in dry academic writing by reading his book. Into the Lion's Mouth is a riveting narrative that is as unbelievable as it is addictive. Even former CIA director Michael Morrell called it "impossible to put down. The most shocking aspect of this book is that every word in it is absolutely true. With the attention to detail that only a lawyer could bring to researching a book of this magnitude, Loftis poured through thousands of historical documents (including MI5 archives) related to Popov and his missions, even revealing that it was actually Popov's adventures which inspired the many tales of Britain's 007, James Bond. 1. Popov was captured by the Nazis before he became a spy. Dusko Popov was a student in Germany as the Nazis took power and began to persecute the German Jews. No fan of the Nazis, Popov thumbed his nose at the thugs who came to intimidate patrons of Jewish businesses. He was quickly visited by the Gestapo, who imprisoned him and tortured him for information. He was able to escape Germany because of his family's connections. Hermann Göering ordered his release to Yugoslavia. 2. He was recruited by his best friend. Johann-Nielsen Jebsen – known as "Johnny" – went to school with Popov. But Jebsen is from a very wealthy European family with German roots. They met each other at the university of Freiburg but where Popov was expelled from Germany, Jebsen, as a German citizen, was forced to join the Nazi war effort. He joins the Abwehr (German military intelligence) as a spy recruiter. His first recruit is Dusko Popov and the two both became double agents for the British. 3. He warned the U.S. about the attack on Pearl Harbor Popov warned the FBI on Aug. 18, 1941, that the Japanese were about to attack Pearl Harbor. Popov and his MI6 supervisor met FBI officials at the Commodore Hotel and for three hours laid out the entire plan. Popov was in the country to set up a spy ring in New York and recon the defenses at Pearl Harbor. The attack was supposed to be a repeat of the British attack on the Italian fleet at the defended port of Taranto in 1940. The Japanese wanted to know how they could be as successful as they enter the war against the Americans. The reason President Roosevelt never saw the information will enrage you. Check out the book (or finish this podcast) to find out! 4. He was critical to the success of D-Day. The British determined that the best way to keep the Germans off guard on D-Day was to convince them that the invasion would come at Pas-de-Calais, not Normandy. At the risk of his life, with interrogators who were convinced that Popov was compromised by the British, Popov returned to Germany. He gave the Nazis the false information the British wanted them to believe during multiple, marathon interrogation sessions that lasted for hours at a time over a series of days. Popov was the only spy who was interrogated by the Nazis about D-Day. 5. His real-world girlfriend was a movie star. Just like his silver screen counterpart, James Bond, Popov had a slew of women he used for various reasons as a undercover agent for two opposing countries. But his heart belonged to just one – and she was as glamorous as the rest of his World War II life: Hollywood movie star Simone Simon.
22 minutes | Mar 20, 2018
This corpsman wants to keep saving lives with 'Combat Medicine'
When Doc Todd left the Navy after spending three years as a corpsman, he didn’t have any transition assistance or training. He lost friends. He lost Marines. After separating from the military, he saw even more of his Marines take their own lives through substance abuse and suicide. It’s wasn’t the ending he had expected when he joined. He joined the Navy in 2007 after spending four years in sales and restaurant jobs. He wanted to experience some meaningful growth in his life and be part of something bigger than himself. That – to him – meant joining the U.S. Navy. Doc ended up spending the bulk of his time with Marines in “America’s Battalion,” 2nd Battalion 8th Marines. In 2009, he and his Marines were in Afghanistan in Operation Khanjar, the largest aerial insertion of Marine troops since the Vietnam War. Though he experienced his own struggles upon leaving the military, he didn’t turn to music as a means of coping. He actually waited until he had the strength to better express himself instead. Doc Todd in the studio. “Honestly, from an artistic perspective, I didn’t know who I was yet. Or who I was becoming,” Doc says. “I found it very difficult to make a statement musically when I didn’t know what to say.” When Doc picked himself up was when he was finally able to realize his purpose was helping others. Like a true corpsman, he never wanted to stop looking out for others. He saw too many overdoses, too many suicides. He decides to enter the veteran’s space, but to do it in his own way. In June 2017, his album Combat Medicine dropped to widespread acclaim and national praise, not to mention a flood of personal stories from those who listened to it and felt the message. Doc is currently working on a release titled “The Shadow Game EP,” on Runaway Train Records. Mandatory Fun guest: Doc Todd is combat veteran who proudly served our country as a Fleet Marine Force Corpsman (combat medic) in the United States Navy. Since Doc’s honorable discharge in 2009, Doc moved to Atlanta and worked at restaurants and a premier hospital, while he pursed his college education on the G.I. Bill. Doc graduated from Georgia State University magna cum laude with an undergraduate degree in studying Economics and Public Policy in 2014. He then joined Northwestern Mutual where he began to build a financial management practice, before pursuing his music. Doc resides in Atlanta with his wife Abby, two young daughters Savannah and Audrey, and dog Memphis, who Doc rescued shortly after coming home from war. 2017’s Combat Medicine Doc Todd’s Website Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Spotify Pandora Apple Music Amazon
9 minutes | Mar 14, 2018
Introducing This is War
A raw look at the combat and homecoming experience from American veterans who have been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. “This Is War” chronicles the trials of combat vets both abroad and at home. Subscribe today: wondery.fm/thisiswar
45 minutes | Mar 13, 2018
How a comedian can go from Hollywood to Kabul
"It was like walking onto the surface of the moon," Graham Elwood says of his first experience walking off of a C-17 in Afghanistan. His experience was not unlike many of our own first times deploying to a far-off edge of the world. We take a long, long C-17 (or god help you, C-130) ride for seemingly endless hours. There are no windows. The plane is packed. Forget about an in-flight movie or looking out the window. And when you walk off, it's invariably the middle of the night and you and the hundred or so people you're with walk off the flightline in a single file. From there, who knows? There's a good chance the "hurry up and wait" has just begun. For civilians visiting war zones for the first time, it's no different – except they have no idea how to speak the acronym language. "They said 'When your bird hits the LZ, find your POC, they'll take you to the MWR tent then you can go to the DFAC,'" he jokes. "It's like... what are you saying to me right now, man?" Elwood is a Los Angeles-based comedian with appearances in comedy clubs across America, on college campuses, and even CBS' Late Late Show. He's also a veteran podcaster with shows like Comedy Film Nerds, and The Political Vigilante, and he's a co-creator of the Los Angeles Podcast Festival. None of that prepared him for performing for U.S. troops deployed in combat zones. His first documentary, Laffghanistan: Comedy Down Range, is about his first time volunteering to go do just that. It's amazing how fast you can go from playing the Hollywood Improv to playing Bagram Air Base. For someone who admits he's pretty far removed from the Global War on Terror, it all came home to him when went around the small firebases of Afghanistan. It was his first time in helicopters, driving in unarmored vehicles on the ground in Afghanistan, and seeing minefields. It got real for him for him real fast. "What was said to me and what I've said to other comedians," he says. "Well don't go over there if you don't want to be changed. It will change you. You have no idea. This is no joke." Now that Elwood has done a number of these shows and tours around deployed military bases, he looks back at his first experience in this episode of Mandatory Fun. Nothing could adequately prepare him for performing a comedy act in Afghanistan. All the dive bars and sh*t holes he played as a young comedian is the best thing he could do to prepare. He was still freaking out but couldn't help but put himself in the shoes of young troops. "I'm here for two weeks," Elwood says. "and MY family is freaking out. Imagine them and their families and how much they're freaking out." But they quickly realized that they need to be the comics. They were there for a reason: to give American troops fighting overseas a few laughs, a taste of a normal night, and a show to help ease their tension, even if it was only for a short time. Mandatory Fun is hosted By: Blake Stilwell: Air Force veteran and Managing Editor Tim Kirkpatrick: Navy veteran and Editorial Coordinator Orvelin Valle (aka O.V.): Navy veteran and Podcast Producer Catch the show on Twitter at: @MandoFun and on our Facebook group.
32 minutes | Mar 2, 2018
How to survive any dangerous situation with these deadly skills
Clint Emerson is not your average U.S. Navy retiree. He's not your average anything and he never was. That might be why so many Fortune 500 companies want Emerson to not only speak at their corporate gatherings but also teach them how to survive some extreme circumstances. Emerson is a former Navy SEAL and the author of a number of books, notably "100 Deadly Skills: The SEAL Operative's Guide Eluding Pursuers, Evading Capture, and Surviving Any Dangerous Situation." He also wrote "100 Deadly Skills: Survival Edition" and "Escape the Wolf: Risk Mitigation Personal Security Handbook for the Traveling Professional." In his books, he covers everything from making a homemade taser to teaching your children how to handle themselves during an active shooter situation. No one needs to be a sheep among wolves when going about their daily lives – and Emerson wants you to know how to handle yourself. "Violence is not limited to bad guys," Emerson says. "Violence is okay for good people to activate and use against anything coming your way." He spent 20 years in the Navy as what he calls a "violent nomad." But it was a lifelong dream. In this episode of Mandatory Fun, he describes how a chance meeting in an airport with a man who claimed to be a SEAL altered the course of his life forever. But he wants you to be a violent nomad in the same way – he wants to make you self-reliant, able to self-rescue, and help others in any given situation, be they natural disasters, man-made crises, or medical emergencies. And you can do it without hiring him and his consulting firm to show you what "violence of action" means. "This kind of violence of action can save your life," he says. "You just need to know how to turn it on." Mandatory Fun is hosted By: Blake Stilwell: Air Force veteran and Managing Editor Tim Kirkpatrick: Navy veteran and Editorial Coordinator Orvelin Valle (aka O.V.): Navy veteran and Podcast Producer Catch the show on Twitter at: @MandoFun and on our Facebook group.
37 minutes | Feb 26, 2018
5 of the biggest changes coming to the US military
In this episode of the Mandatory Fun podcast, the gang comments on some of the biggest coming the U.S. military will face in the coming days. Because external challenges are easy for a fighting force like ours, the internal struggles are the ones we really want to talk about. These affect not only the troops themselves, but potentially their families, friends, and morale as well. New physical standards for all The recent years have been huge for the military community in terms of change. The most important changes include who can join, who can serve openly, and how they can all serve. Even the service chiefs are trying to understand how this will affect everyone. Chief Petty Officer Selectees from Yokosuka area commands stand in ranks after a physical training (PT) session (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Ben Farone)[/caption] Related: Mattis just finished his review of transgender troops But at a junior enlisted and NCO level, we know we're just going to deal with it, no matter what. Women are going to be in combat, along with transgender troops serving openly. What will the new fitness standards look like? Should there be a universal standard? Mattis is cleaning house The Secretary of Defense, universally beloved by all servicemembers of all branches, wants the military to become a more lethal, more deployable force. To this end, he wants to rid the branches of anyone who is not deployable for longer than 12 months. Defense Secretary James N. Mattis hosts with the Montenegro's Minister of Defence, Predrag Bošković for a meeting at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., Feb. 27, 2018. (DoD photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Amber I. Smith)[/caption] Those numbers are significant, too. Experts estimate up to 14 percent of the entire military is non-deployable in this way, which translates to roughly 286,000 service members. It's sure to make any military family sweat. Okinawa's "labor camp" The Marine Corps' correctional custody units want to open a sort of non-judicial punishment camp on the Japanese island of Okinawa. The purpose is to give commanders a place to send redeemable Marine who mess up for the first time in their career. Brig Marines simulate hard labor during a Correctional Custody Unit demonstration Jan. 12 in the Brig aboard Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Jessica Collins)[/caption] In the military, we joke (sometimes not so jokingly) about the idea of "turning big rocks into little rocks" when we talk about getting caught committing a crime while in the service. No one actually commits the crime they're joking about. But what isn't a joke is hard labor imposed by a military prison sentence. Now even troops with Article 15 can be forced to turn big rocks into little rocks. A new military pay raise Yes, the military gets a raise pretty much every year. Is it ever enough? No. Do they make what they're worth? Absolutely not. Is Congress even trying ? Sometimes it doesn't feel that way. Well, this year they're getting the biggest bump after nine years of waiting. Are they worth more? Of course they are. President Donald Trump lands at Berry Field Air National Guard Base, Nashville, Tennessee on Jan. 8, 2018. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Jeremy Cornelius)[/caption] Marine Corps blues face a real challenge For years (actually, decades), the Marines' dress uniform has been the unchallenged, drop-dead sexiest uniform in the American armed forces. Now they face a usurper that really does have a shot at changing their spot on the top of the ranking. Now read: 5 reasons the USMC Blue Dress A is the greatest uniform of all time Sergeant Major of the Army Dan Dailey salutes the Anthem pre-kickoff during the Army-Navy game at Lincoln Financial Field. SMA Dailey displayed the Army's proposed 'Pink and Green' daily service uniform, modeled after the Army's standard World War II-era dress uniform. (U.S. Army photo by Ronald Lee)[/caption] The Army is reverting to one of its classic uniforms from the bygone World War II-era: the pinks and greens. The decision was met with near universal jubilation from the Army (it was a golden age for the U.S. Army in nearly every way). Now former airman Blake Stilwell demands the Air Force develop its own throwback jersey. Mandatory Fun is hosted By: Blake Stilwell: Air Force veteran and Managing Editor Tim Kirkpatrick: Navy veteran and Editorial Coordinator Eric Mizarski: Army veteran and Senior Contributor Orvelin Valle (aka O.V.): Navy veteran and Podcast Producer Catch the show on Twitter at: @MandoFun and on our Facebook group.
22 minutes | Feb 20, 2018
6 military movies you need to watch in 2018
In this episode of the Mandatory Fun podcast, the crew discusses what military movies veterans need to see in 2018. Since all veterans have their own idea of what makes a good military movie, Blake, Tim, and even the new WATM contributor, Sean chime in what they think makes a solid war film. Is having a war film base on a true story more important than having epic explosions? Or a movie where the real heroes of the day play themselves make for a better cinematic experience? 1. 12 Strong Directed by Nicolai Fuglsig, the film chronicles one of the first Special Forces teams to deploy to Afghanistan after the attacks on 9/11. The SF team joins forces with the Afghan resistance and rides into battle against the Taliban on horseback. 12 Strong brilliantly captures how difficult it is for ground troops to work and fight alongside Afghan freedom fighters against the insurgents due to the language and cultural barrier. The film stars WATM friend Rob Riggle, Chris Hemsworth, Michael Pena, and Michael Shannon. 2. The 15:17 to Paris Directed by Hollywood icon Clint Eastwood, the film focuses on the American soldiers who discover a terrorist plot on a train headed to Paris. Interesting enough, the three Americans who thwarted a terrorist attack play themselves in the film alongside actress Jenna Fischer — and we like Jenna Fischer. 3. Tough As They Come Starring and directed by Hollywood legend, Sylvester Stallone, the film tracks Travis Mills (played by Marine veteran Adam Driver), a quadriplegic soldier returning from Afghanistan after his horrific injury. Back in the U.S, Mills has to reconcile with his stepfather while coping with his new life using prosthetic legs and arms. You may recall that Mills' book was a New York Times bestseller. 4. The Last Full Measure Directed by Todd Robinson, the film showcases a Pentagon investigator who teams up with a few veterans of "Operation Abilene" to persuade Congress to award deceased Air Force medic, William Pitsenbarger the Medal of Honor 35 years later. Pitsenbarger is accredited with saving over 60 ambushed service members in one of the bloodiest campaigns of the Vietnam War. The film stars Sebastian Stan, William Hurt, and Samual L. Jackson. 5. Ruin Directed by Justin Kurzel, the film chronicles a nameless ex-Nazi captain who navigates the ruins of post-WWII Germany to atone for the crimes he committed during the war by hunting the surviving members of his former SS Death Squad. Gal Gadot is rumored to have a role, but additional information hasn't been released. 6. The 34th Battalion Directed and produced by Luke Sparke, the film follows four friends from Maitland, New South Wales who join the 34th Battalion to serve on the Western Front. The film depicts the experiences of the unit, which was recruited in 1916.
43 minutes | Feb 13, 2018
This is why it’s so damn hard to play a veteran, according to an actor
In this episode of the Mandatory Fun podcast, the crew speaks with standup comedian turned actor Tone Bell. Tone isn't a veteran, but as always, there's a connection. On the Netflix show Disjointed, Tone plays a veteran who has served on three Iraq combat deployments and now deals with the everyday struggle of veteran issues. To play the role, Tone prepped for multiple levels of PTS, the process of veteran transition, the culture of cannabis, all while bringing his comedic charm to the character. These hot topics would send the average actor running toward the next potential part, but this comedian believes this role only made him a better thespian. Since Hollywood doesn't have the best track record of getting the veteran characters right, we tend to become very harsh in our criticism — which we're entitled too. "[The role] it took a toll on me as a person in my day-to-day life," Bell admits. Since Disjointed Part:1 debuted on Netflix, Tone has received numerous amounts of support from the veteran community for finally getting the role right and not going over-the-top with his performance. "You just want to get it right," Tone Bell says. "You want people to appreciate it and not go 'bullshit' that's not the way it happened."
38 minutes | Feb 6, 2018
We showed a civilian how to be a vet, here's what we got
In this episode of the Mandatory Fun podcast, we speak with standup comedian turned actor Tone Bell. Tone isn't a veteran, but he plays an Army veteran with multiple combat deployments under his belt and now who deals with everyday veteran issues like PTS and transitioning out of the military on the Netflix show Disjointed. You may remember Tone from a few other shows he's been on like 9JKL, The Flash, Truth Be Told, and Bad Judge with Kate Walsh. Disjointed' s producers and creative minds went to great lengths to develop his character and to get the veteran portion right. One of his character advisors on the show is WATM's resident Green Beret Chase Millsap. In the show, "Carter" works as a security guard in a marijuana dispensary at Ruth's Alternative Caring owned by Ruth Feldman (played by Kathy Bates). To play the role Tone spent countless hours prepping the character by talking with veterans throughout his creative process and combed through the script alongside Chase. In the event, Tone reads a portion of the script where he felt the "Carter" character felt synthetic — he'd immediately voice his concerns with the producers. Tone receives several direct messages daily on social media from veterans who respect how he has portrayed the veterans on the screen. This notion promotes that aspect that showcasing veteran issues in a witty and comedic way is possible without the actor going too over-the-top with their performance. This process unique process of prepping for a role will hopefully create a trend throughout the entertainment space. All of Disjointed's episodes are currently streaming on Netflix — so check it out. It's freakin' hilarious.
37 minutes | Jan 30, 2018
This Green Beret will change what you know about action movies
In this episode of the Mandatory Fun podcast, we speak actor, TV host, and former U.S. Army Green Beret Terry Schappert. You may remember Terry from the popular History Channel show Warriors, and now, Hollywood Weapons on the Outdoor Channel with Israel Defense Forces reconnaissance man, Larry Zanoff. Terry was a Special Forces Team Sergeant who happened to serve alongside WATM's own Chase Milsap. Hollywood Weapons gears up to take on the most insane challenges to tactfully reproduce our favorite action stunts to break the myths that movies want you to believe are humanly possible. From breaking through the glass of a Nakatomi Plaza window in Die Hard to blowing up Jaws' replica Great War shark with a single shoot — this show attempts them all by using only practical effects. "I have to make those real shots, with those real guns, under real conditions." — Terry pridefully states. The show breaks every down using high-speed cameras to catch all the little details audience members often miss as the movie's action sequence fly across the screen. Although the show is entertainment based, the talented and creative minds behind Hollywood Weapons have a unique way to educate their loyal viewers by scientifically breaking down what it would take to pull off our favorite stunts in the real world. Before the show started, Terry graduated from the University of North Carolina Wilmington with a degree in Anthropology, as well as being a classically trained actor, all while serving in the Army. "I remember I had to stop training, so you could go to an audition," former Army Green Beret officer, Chase Milsap humorously recalls.
31 minutes | Jan 23, 2018
This is why your next business book should be a military field manual
In this episode of the Mandatory Fun podcast, we speak with U.S. Navy SEAL veteran turned entrepreneur Eli Crane. You may have seen Eli pitch his business Bottle Breacher on the hit TV show Shark Tank. Eli's appearance landed him a partnership with celebrity businessmen Mark Cuban and Kevin O'Leary. Eli stopped by our show to talk about what military strategies he uses to run his multi-million dollar business. "A lot of the tactics that we use on the SEAL teams actually work really well in business," Eli Crane states. "When you make some of the correlations in battle, you have the enemy, in business, you also have an enemy, but we usually call them the competition." Bottle Breacher is one of the fastest growing veteran owned and operated businesses in Arizona. Eli and his wife Jen dove into the Shark Tank with their sole product of the recycled, authentic decommissioned .50 caliber Bottle Breacher, manufactured in a one car garage. Having enticed Sharks’ Mark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary to invest, today they feature an ever-expanding product line serving customers both domestically and internationally. Bottle Breachers aims to provide the best handcrafted, personalized man-gifts, groomsman gift, and corporate/promotional products on the market. Through their success, Crane's company has donated to over 200 non-profits in the last year alone, providing us the opportunity to support military veterans, active military personnel, first responders, children’s foundations and various other non-profits. "At the end of the day, we do a lot more than bottle openers. What we really specialize in is man gifts." — Eli states. As a kid, Eli always looked up to those who served in the military and decided to join a week after the terrorist attacks on 9/11. On his second attempt, Crane graduated BUD/s with class 256 and then was later assigned to SEAL Team 3 under legendary American Sniper Chris Kyle.
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