Team Never Quit
Team Never Quit
Marcus Luttrell
Each week join Retired Navy SEAL and Lone Survivor Marcus Luttrell, Morgan Luttrell, and Producer Andrew Brockenbush as they’ll take you into the "briefing room" to chat with incredible guests who share their greatest never quit stories. This humorous, heartfelt, and entertaining podcast is changing lives and has become a beacon of hope and resilience to those who are facing the impossible. One of the best ways we can support our community is to share their stories so that we might inspire others to Never Quit.
Benjamin Sledge: Award Winning Author of Where Cowards Go to Die and Combat Wounded Veteran
In this week's Team Never Quit Podcast, Marcus has 11-year combat veteran and Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient, Benjamin Sledge in the studio. Benjamin served in Iraq and Afghanistan, earning 2 Army Commendation Medals. He lost his best friend in combat. These days, Benjamin is a viral writer, graphic designer, and author of Where Cowards Go to Die where he reveals a brutal portrait of war and the cost of returning to a country that no longer feels like home. He travels around the country educating businesses, non-profits, and churches about veterans’ mental health issues. In this episode you will hear: I got to see the best and worst parts of war. Often times we were the first ones in the door, so we either made friends or got shot. I was 21 when I first got to the battle, thinking “I literally have no idea what I’m doing.” There’s a very distinct smell to death. It’s like rotting meat dabbed with knockoff CK1 cologne. Many combat veterans don’t necessarily come home with PTSD; it’s moral injury. It’s the physiological damage that occurs when you violate your sense of right and wrong. Seeing death from that close does something to the mind. It became a real struggle point for me. When I first got home, they didn’t know how to handle me, because I didn’t know how to handle myself. I was drinking myself silly, so I could get the images out of my head. The strangest thing happened to me – I found myself missing war.  My wife left me while I was in Iraq. War really is a spiritual experience. What does it look like to live a courageous life and carry that into career and family relationships – Never give up, never accept defeat, and never leave a fallen comrade behind. Inside every man, there’s both a warrior and a poet. Support Benjamin Website: Book (Where Cowards Go to Die): Facebook: Instagram: Twitter: Support TNQ
Nov 30
1 hr 10 min
Mike McCastle: Extreme Athlete, Performance Coach, World Record Holder, 12 Labors Project
The ultimate tour de force of human strength, endurance, mental toughness, and unyielding perseverance. That's what this week's Team Never Quit Podcast guest, Mike McCastle is. Listen in as Mike and Marcus engage in a discussion about Mike's seemingly unbelievable feats he refers to as "labors". Endurance athlete - yes; Multiple world record holder - you know it; In-demand performance coach - for sure; Motivational speaker - of course. After serving 11 years in the U. S. Navy, he founded Twelve Labors Project, a charitable initiative driven by a mission to redefine the limits of human potential while inspiring others to elevate beyond their perceived capacity for greatness. Mike is perennially challenging his own physical and mental limits, and he's not anywhere near done yet. In this podcast, he reveals his upcoming 9th labor, and it will blow you away when you hear it. Mike's 8 charitable labors he has accomplished so far include: A 50k run while wearing a 40lb vest for Cancer Research. A 13-mile, 250-pound tire flip for wounded veterans. A Rope Climb that equaled the height of Mount Everest - 29,029 feet in 27 hours for Parkinson's Disease Research. Breaking the Guinness World Record for 'Most Pull-ups in 24 hours after completing 5,804 pull-ups, while wearing a 30-pound pack to represent the heavy burden of the wounded warrior. Pulled a Ford F-150 pickup truck for 22 miles in 19 hours across Death Valley to raise awareness for Veteran Suicide. Ran 20 miles per day for 100 consecutive days to heighten awareness of the Veteran Suicide epidemic. Pulled a full-size pickup truck for 10 miles through the Arctic Circle. Broke the world record for the longest full-body submersion in ice (2 hours and 40 minutes). In this episode you will hear: I basically grew up in a cornfield. I went to BUDS (Navy SEAL Training) and blew my knees out. Then I needed to re-find my purpose because my one-man pity party wasn’t working for me. My dad’s Parkinson’s started to progress, and one day I came home and he was on the floor. He had had a stroke.  I decided to take care of my dad and stop the pursuit of sports. But in my mind, I quit. You can fool other people, but you can never fool yourself. Things that pull you away from your purpose are those are things behind the doors in your hallway of life. You’re tested, dragged through the fire, and you feel like you're cursed but you still have a choice.  If you put all your eggs in one basket and when it gets taken away from you, you’re left with nothing. Then who the hell am I? I needed to find my purpose again. That’s how The Twelve Labors Project got started. I wanted to create a physical manifestation of the message I wanted to deliver. It’s not a weakness to be vulnerable. Finding your purpose in life requires risk. I don’t give a shit about records. What I care about is “Is this going to deliver my message?” “Are people gonna remember WHY I did it?” Reality isn’t what happens to us, it’s our interpretation of what happens to us. We're all writing our own stories. You cannot only come back after failure, but you can come back stronger after failure. My father always said, "You suffer more in imagination than you do in reality." Finish what you started. If you're gonna do it, go all the way. We're all the heroes of our own story. You go through the crucible you come back, and you share the lessons learned. The reward for finishing a labor is the next labor. The internet is undefeated. Our time on this planet is very limited. The things we do echoes through eternity from the lens of your loved one. The only goal for my son is to leave this world a better place than he found it, like I hope I am doing and I hope that everyone who hears my message does. Follow Mike Follow TNQ:
Nov 23
1 hr 19 min
Travis Osborn: Airborne Ranger and Green Beret Medic who treated Marcus Luttrell in ORW Rescue Mission
This week, the Team Never Quit Podcast presents an extraordinary man with an extraordinary military resume. Travis Osborn served as both an Airborne Ranger and a Green Beret in 17 tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, and was awarded the Bronze Star for heroic and meritorious service 15 times. Travis played an integral part in the rescue of Navy SEAL "Lone Survivor" Marcus Luttrell. As an 18Delta Special Forces Medic, he treated Marcus while awaiting extraction from an Afghan village. Listen in as Travis chronicles Marcus’ rescue, and the horrific conditions they had to endure to achieve it.  In this episode you will hear: • When we got the call, we knew it was abnormal, and something was up – out of the norm. • In the briefing, we were told that we had four SEALs on the run, a helicopter down, and we’re going in. • We decided to put boots on the ground – whatever it takes. So our guys came up with a plan, and we stole some trucks from the marines.  • By the time we left, we had 120 people and 50 donkeys headed up the side of the mountain. • None of us had ever worked together before. • [Marcus]: “That’s what showed up to get me out of there.” • We walked almost straight up a mountain for the next 3 days. • We climbed 5,000 feet the first day and only walked a distance of 2 kilometers. • It’s the most ass kick I’ve had in a long time. • It was walking straight up shale, and every type of boots were cut. • There’s a lot of ridiculousness in these situations. • About halfway thru the village and from within a crowd of people, I looked and saw a really tall Afghani and saw that he he had tattoos. • “You must be Marcus.” “Fuck yes, I am…” • “We’re here to get you home.” And he said “Yeah, I’m just ready to go home.” • [Marcus] “When they showed up, the literally looked like death.” • We just recued a fuckin’ American. We walked in with a bunch of donkeys on foot, & found this guy in the middle of nowhere. • To treat him, I threw him into the first thing I could find – it turned out to be a donkey pen with 10,000 years of donkey shit in it. • The next time I see you is gonna be on Oprah. • When you’re in mission mode, you don’t mentally unpack. You put all that shit in the deep freeze, then it takes a while to unpack it because it’s all at the bottom of the freezer.
Nov 16
1 hr 55 min
The Story of Navy SEAL Michael A. Monsoor w/ Mike Sarraille & Rey Baviera
This week’s Team Never Quit Podcast guests, Mike Sarraille and Rey Baviera bring a gut-wrenching, firsthand account of their collective 35 years of military service as Navy SEALs - most notably witnessing the valor and heroism of fellow SEAL Michael A Monsoor, who willingly jumped on a grenade to save those around him. While the story is heart-wrenching, it is equally heart-warming to know the source of “Mikey's" character and moral fabric. Michael A. Monsoor When US Navy SEAL Michael Monsoor sacrificed his life by throwing his body on a live grenade to save his comrades during Operation Iraqi Freedom, he inspired thousands around the world and reminded us that freedom is never free. On September 29, 2006, Michael Monsoor and three SEAL snipers watched vigilantly for enemy activity from their rooftop post in Ar Ramadi, Iraq. When a grenade thrown from insurgents bounced off Michael's chest, he could have escaped. Instead, he threw himself onto the live grenade, shielding his fellow soldiers from the immediate explosion. Michael died thirty minutes later, having made the ultimate sacrifice. Defend Us in Battle is cowritten by Michael’s father George Monsoor, who is himself a Marine veteran, and Rose Rea. It also includes a foreword by Dr. Donald C. Winter, former Secretary of the Navy. Through interviews, military documents, and eyewitness accounts, the authors detail Michael’s remarkable military career and devotion to God and others. The book highlights how Michael prepared for this selfless act all his life—a life that will inspire readers to have a similar generosity of heart. Michael grew up a quiet boy in California, but his childhood of asthma and being bullied made him a staunch defender of justice and passionate about never quitting. It was because of that passion that he achieved his dream of becoming a Navy SEAL and saved numerous lives throughout his deployment. In addition to the Medal of Honor, Michael received a Silver Star, a Bronze Star Medal, and the Purple Heart for his years serving his country. But his greatest legacy is in the hearts of those he inspired to live, and even die, for the sake of brotherly love. “Michael Monsoor was an exemplary SEAL—a man of great integrity, a skilled warrior, and a loyal teammate. That loyalty led to his willingness to sacrifice his life for his teammates.” —Dr. Donald C. Winter (Secretary of the Navy, 2006–2009) Mike Sarraille  During his 20-year military career, Mike Sarraille served as a Recon Marine, Scout-Sniper, and U.S. Navy SEAL Officer. Much of his career was in the Special Operations community, including the elite Joint Special Operations Command. He now works with small businesses and Fortune 500 companies on the principles of leadership, teamwork, entrepreneurship, and living a life of balance and purpose. Rey Baviera  Rey Baviera served almost 15 years in the SEAL Teams, with multiple deployments and operations in violent urban environments in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also worked as an intelligence and targeting officer at the Special Operations Command Pacific. He co-founded VTH Consulting, with the intent of bridging the gap between medical providers and veterans, helping veterans fight for the VA disability claims they morally, ethically, and legally deserve. May the memory of Michael Monsoor never die. Purchase the book honoring “Mike” - Defend Us in Battle, wherever books are sold: In this episode you will hear: Not all Marines are equal, just like not all SEALS are equal. Performance comes into play. Rey: I had no direction, and I joined the military because I had made a promise to my brother. Mike: I’m standing in for Rose Ray who wrote the book Defend Us in Battle alongside George Monsoor, Mikey’s father. My second time in Ramadi, I fired my weapon for the first time. You don’t really know what you’re walking into until guys start getting wounded,. Shark base [one of the places we slept] was once of Saddam’s vacation palaces. We had tents in there. We had to take bottled water showers. Mikey spoke thru actions, not words. It’s highly competitive in the SEAL teams in a good way. With each mission, we learned more lessons. When you step into combat, there’s an inter-service rivalry. But eventually you get past the butt-sniffing phase. But when we mesh together, it’s amazing what we can do as a team. The longer you sit in a position, you lose relative superiority, and the momentum shifts, because you’re static. It’s different than training when you know it’s a live grenade in front of you. Mike did not hesitate. He went right down on it. What came next was brutal. While the SEAL teams may have trained Mike, his character and moral fabric who he was was given to him by his family. His family is like nothing you’ve ever seen before.
Nov 9
1 hr 30 min
Jariko Denman: Retired Army Ranger, Senior Content Production Manager at Black Rifle Coffee Company
From 15+ years as an Army Ranger to deploying in Iraq and Afghanistan 15 times, to becoming a film military advisor, and now Senior Content Production Manager at Black Rifle Coffee Company, this week’s Team Never Quit Podcast guest, Jariko Denman, has lived a very interesting life. After 54 months of combat experience as part of a Joint Special Operations Task Force, Jariko speaks with Marcus about what it was like to be on the ground at HKIA during the American withdrawal from Afghanistan. While he has retired from active duty, Jariko still leads quite an adventure, such as joining with a team of guys who will be skydiving in each of the seven continents over seven days. In this episode you will hear: Wherever something’s happening, I just don’t want to miss out. As a retired guy, I have a lot of freedom. My dad talked to me like a drill sergeant would talk to you, so I had a certain amount of bandwidth. Ranger school sucks, but it’s kind of a speed bump – you just gotta do this to move to the next level. In a 90-day rotation, we’d do 120 raids. We’re locusts. We just come in and destroy. When I got out, I never really decided to do anything. I just rode the wave. As a technical advisor for film, I have the freedom to say, “Screw your movie. I’m not gonna be a part of it.” If there were 2 job offers and 1 was a rad action movie and 1 was a true story, I’d do the rad action movie because it’s more fun. A true story takes the creativity out of it. I didn’t plan on going to Afghanistan for the shit show withdrawal. My function turned into me getting to the gate and plucking as many people out as I could. I had to ask myself: What am I doing here?” Being there in a whole different context was so weird. Coming up soon, me and a team of guys are skydiving in each of the seven continents in seven days.
Nov 2
1 hr 20 min
Colin O'Brady: American Professional Endurance Athlete, Motivational Speaker, and Adventurer
This week’s Team Never Quit Podcast guest, Colin O’Brady, could be classified as an over-achiever by most standards. As a passionate outdoorsman, his adventurous life took a turn for a worse when he suffered a tragic incident in Thailand. While he was fire jump roping (yes, a rope on fire), the rope got caught around his legs, causing severe burns on over 25% of his body. The burn wounds were so critical that doctors told Colin that he would probably never walk normally again. But Colin was too full of ambition to let his trauma slow him down. His mother challenged him to set a goal for himself and he decided that he would compete in a triathlon. After a year and a half of intense rehabilitation and training, Colin competed in the Chicago Triathlon. He not only competed, but he won. Since then, O’Brady has raced in 25 countries on six continents over six years. As if that weren’t enough, Colin’s biggest claim to fame is that he became the first human being to walk across Antarctica solo entirely on human power. No sled dogs, kites, or powered machines. He consumed 8,000 calories a day while burning off 10,000 calories a day. Colin gained 20 pounds of muscle to prepare for the trip. Colin O’Brady became The Impossible First, which was the name of his amazing attempt to achieve the unachievable. In this episode you will hear: While I like being around people, there’s something beautiful about solitude. I had parents who always gave me positive reinforcement. When we don’t know exactly how we’re going to get where we’re going, you’ve got to create your own reality over time. We’re the net product of the 5 or 10 people we spend the most time with. I started out with a curiosity for nature and adventure in my own back yard. Fun Scale: Type 1 Fun:  Laughing, watching a great movie, dancing, drinking a cocktail on a beach while watching the sunset. Type 2 Fun: Is not fun when it’s happening, but a week later you’re telling your friends that it was epic. Type 3 Fun: Is not fun when it’s happening and it’s not fun afterwards. For me, Type 2 Fun is most gratifying. In Thailand, I saw these guys jumping a flaming jump rope, and because I’m 22 years old, I had to try it. I tripped, the rope wrapped around my leg, and I caught on fire. I jumped in the ocean to extinguish the flames, but not before 25% of my body was severely burned. My Doctor said “You’ll probably never walk again.” The emotional trauma was intense, but my mom would come into my room with positivity, and have me set life goals & accomplishments. I call it “a possible mindset.” My mom was a positive influence on me throughout my entire life. All of us as humans have reservoirs of untapped potential to achieve extraordinary things. My body can always handle more. My mind is stronger because of my previous traumas. I’m lit up. I have this aliveness inside of me. Sometimes, you make decisions when you’re 22 years old – Then you wake up and you’re 65 years old and still on that same path. My childhood dream was to climb Mount Everest. What is your Everest? If you’re not on the path that YOU’RE meant to be on, then you’re not living with integrity with yourself. What I was really fascinated about crossing Antarctica is that it had never been done; it was a world first. I couldn’t call up anyone to ask how did you make it? Most people are stuck in what I call the zone of comfortable complacency.
Oct 26
1 hr 18 min
Ben Kesling: The Wall Street Journal Correspondent, Former Marine Corps Infantry Officer & Author of Bravo Company
Understanding war and the never-ending effects it has on veterans coming home from it is what this week’s Team Never Quit Podcast guest, Ben Kesling, lives to convey. After having joined and served in the Marine Corps as an officer in Iraq and Afghanistan, Ben went back to school to become a journalist and put his war experience to use reporting for the Wall Street Journal as a foreign and combat correspondent. Because of his experiences, Ben has a unique perspective on the effects of war and spends his time focusing on veteran n affairs and domestic security issues. Ben also authored the book, Bravo Company, telling the inside story of the war in Afghanistan through the eyes of the men of one particular unit, whose war didn't end for those soldiers when they came home. Bravo Company follows the men from their initial enlistment and training, through their deployment, and on to what has happened to them in the decade since. An interesting side note: Ben Kesling is a two-day Jeopardy! champion. In this episode you will hear: To know that you’re talking to someone who’s been there and understands what you’re dealing with opens up a whole world. Being in Iraq and Afghanistan helped me immensely because I was able to see those things and understand what soldiers were dealing with. In my book, Bravo Company, I wanted to tell their story. I didn’t want to tell my story. When you go to the VA, you’re treated as an individual, and we almost forget that we were part of a unit. The reunion that Bravo Company did brought them all together to remind them that they are members of a team. Strength to the group brings strength to the individuals. One thing we can do for each other is to have graciousness and empathy. We all carry the same weight, though some are more publicly known. There’s the trauma we go through just by living our lives. [Melanie]: That’s why we started Team Never Quit. It’s persevering through hard times. No man is an island. We’re not doing this on our own. You need people around you who love and care for you and to call you out on your bullshit. A burden is not a curse. It’s what life gives you. It can be a curse and a blessing. Anytime we try to do something by ourselves, we must remember we’re members of a team. [Marcus]: The irony of life: Some people will have a skillset that you won’t possess. Thru my book, I hope that people who have never served can understand what it’s like to be in combat.
Oct 19
1 hr 7 min
Jason Koger: First Bilateral Arm Amputee in the World to Receive 2 Bionic Hands & Author of Handed a Greater Purpose
ATV riding on the family farm sounds like a lot of fun - until you strike a live, fallen power line. This week's Team Never Quit Podcast guest, Jason Koger, shares his unbelievable account of the near-fatal injuries he suffered as a result of such an accident. Waking up after 3 days in a coma, Jason's life was forever different, as both of his arms had been amputated below the elbow to save his life, and the first thing he wanted to do was to hold his two daughters in his arms again. In short order, Jason taught himself how to drive again, and went on a turkey hunt and deep-sea fishing. Within a year, he was fitted with prosthetic arms and relearned the essentials of life, including how to feed, dress and bathe himself.  These days, life is back to “normal” for Jason and his family. He has a new son and has taken on the mission of encouraging other amputees. Jason’s goal in life to use his story to help others. In this episode you will hear: My arms are body-powered. They basically work off of a cable. When you move your opposite shoulder from your amputation, you’re basically pulling a cable to the opposite hand.  My cousin said it looked like the Fourth of July was coming off of me. He thought I was dead. It basically blew my left thumb off. In the helicopter, they cathed me, and my urine looked like Dr. Pepper. By the time I made it to the hospital, they had to immediately amputate to save my life because my kidneys were shutting down. The surgeon said it looked like a shotgun had gone off inside of my arm. The electricity pulled all my tendons off. We’ve always had faith. When I woke up from a three-day coma, I had no idea they had amputated. When my dad says it’s gonna be possible to get through it, it’s gonna be possible. I told the doctor, “I gotta be able to hold my kids. That’s all I care about.” He said he’d make that happen. I’ve always been a strong-willed person. I want to do things myself. I don’t want someone doing things for me. Eventually, my insurance company said yes to two bionic hands. My goal was to be the best prosthetic user in the world. I got a call from CNN, asking if they could run my story. Then amputees all over the world started reaching out to me.  I told my wife I think this is my calling - to help others. I want veterans and non-veterans to know there’s a way to live. 95% of being a successful amputee is mental attitude. The hands have an Apple app. My hands know where they are in space at all times. The hardest day I ever had was the first day I was home, because one of my girls laid on my lap. My brother-in-law bought me a shirt that read: “Look Ma, No Hands.” I wrote my first book: Handed a Greater Purpose. You can live life to the fullest, no matter what you go through. 
Oct 12
1 hr 5 min
Stephanie Herzog: Board Member for Cure Rare Disease, Working on Finding Cures for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy for Her Son Max
When a rare genetic disorder hits home, it takes someone like this week’s Team Never Quit Podcast guest, Stephanie Herzog, to help find strategies to cure it. The Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) diagnosis of her son, Max, was the driving force to connect her with Cure Rare Disease, who is currently developing life-saving therapeutics in collaboration with the world’s leading academics, clinicians, regulatory experts, translational experts, and manufacturing experts. Stephanie serves as a board member. The organization’s ground-breaking research is bringing to fruition the potential for permanent muscular regeneration, which was, at one time, science fiction. In this episode you will hear: When we learned about our son’s condition, we put together a golf tournament to raise funds because it was A: Our only option, and B: Our best option to cure our kid.  80% of boys with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy have a gene deletion in the dystrophin gene. Max has a duplication of the dystrophin gene. In what should be the best time ever with your child, that’s when we find out he has this horrible disease. We had like a funeral in our house for like a month.  The weight of his future was heavy. Our team, through Crispr technology, hope to edit Max’s gene mutation. 6 years ago, this was science fiction. Boys usually get diagnosed between the ages of 4-6. They lose their ability to walk between the ages of 10 and 12. They usually lose their battle in their early 20s. They’re literally knocking out the gene duplication along a string in his DNA on the cellular level. Using the Crispr technology, the muscle cells are auto-correcting, producing dystrophin on their own. You wonder: “How am I going to live with this? And you do.” Faith is everything. You need somebody to pray to. When the going gets tough they have prayer.
Oct 5
53 min
Tracy Walder: Former CIA Staff Operations Officer and FBI Special Agent, Turned Educator, Author of The Unexpected Spy
What’s the difference between a professor of Criminal Justice and an undercover CIA, and FBI counterintelligence agent? In the case of this week’s Team Never Quit Podcast guest, Tracy Walder, the answer is Nothing. They‘re the same person. Listen in as Marcus & Melanie Luttrell discuss Tracy’s first-hand accounts as a CIA officer and FBI field operative – fascinating stories. She successfully hunted down terrorists around the world using aliases and had face-to-face discussions with President Bush and General Colin Powell. Yet, she shares her experiences in a genuine, unexaggerated, and engaging manner. Tracy is the author of The Unexpected Spy, and has appeared on numerous national programs, and has written several national security pieces. In this episode you will hear: I was born with a developmental disability called Hypotonia. (Low muscle tone). It has no cure. I didn’t roll over until I was 1. I didn’t walk until I was 3. I attended USC for free since my dad was a professor there. The CIA polygraph process was annoying. All the questions were very frustrating. One session was 8 hours long and another was 3 hours. My job was to try to get as much information as possible on terrorist training camps. I served in 13 countries. I once had a meeting in the trunk of a car. Having Bin Laden in our sights at one time and not being able to do anything about it was really upsetting. My boss at the CIA was the best boss I have ever had in my life. My target was a guy named Zarqawi who founded ISIS. Zarqawi became enemy number one. That meant going overseas. My job was to manipulate people to give me information. It worked well for me. I worked with SEAL Team 6 a lot. I left the CIA because I didn’t want to live overseas anymore. I was totally burned out. As part of the CIA, you are not entitled to the same benefits as veterans, like mental health care.I love the counter-terrorism mission.
Sep 28
1 hr 2 min
Load more