In this podcast we explore the relentless pursuit of excellence. Glorious Professionals is hosted by former Green Beret Jason McCarthy and presented by GORUCK. Jason is joined by his wife Emily - a former CIA case officer, and Richard Rice - 30 year Veteran of Army Special Forces.
Jimi talks about the early days of CrossFit and gives his secrets for building and shepherding communities particularly as part of a growing business. Jimi talks about the unique, hands-off, grassroots franchise business model which relies so much on a quality product with communities built around real meaning.
Episode 023 is Part One of Jimi Letchford’s conversation with Jason and Rich about his life in service. Jimi is the former Director of CrossFit International and a Marine Infantry Officer. This episode focuses on Jimi’s early life and career in the military. He explains how wrestling and a well-placed jet led to the Naval Academy, and then injury and a chance meeting turned his career to the Marine Corps and becoming a Lieutenant in the Infantry and leading at the tip of the spear in Iraq.
For Episode 022, Jason and Emily talk with Chad Malone about his experiences as a Black man growing up and living in America, raising his own children in Washington DC, and his perspective on the current race-related uprisings. Chad is open, educated and candid not as the voice for his community but as one who has struggled to find his voice and now uses it to tell his and his family’s stories as a window into broader Black communities and experiences.
Ben Bunn joins Jason and Rich in studio at GORUCK HQ for Episode 021. Ben was the last person anyone would have pegged as a future Green Beret. From High School pranks to thoughtful, strong leadership in his hometown communities, this “Team Room style” conversation covers his life of service in and out of uniform, entrepreneurship and life as a small business owner, and listening, training and dealing with challenges and the changes of the present moment with honesty, bravery and hard work.
Senator Joni Ernst joins Jason and Emily for a conversation focused on service for Episode 020. Senator Ernst is the first woman to represent Iowa in Congress and the first female combat Veteran elected to the United States Senate, and recent author of "Daughter of the Heartland." She shares some of her story and perspective with an emphasis on bridging divides and “serving this great country” and communities in whatever capacity because the US is "a nation worth serving."
Marjorie K. Eastman joins Emily and Jason for Episode 019. Marjorie served as a US Army Intelligence officer and commander, and she wrote “The Frontline Generation: How We Served Post 9/11”. The conversation covers her enlistment and two combat deployments; breaking ground for women in the Army; dealing with loss and challenges — at home and abroad; defining herself in authentic leadership with her signature smile; and what she believes those who serve bring home to their communities.
Cadre DS, aka Dan Skidmore, is back with Jason and Rich in Episode 018 to talk about training. The previous part of the conversation (Episode 017) covered DS’s history and high level of physical preparedness as an Air Force Combat Controller. In this part, he dives deeper into how he trains, the origins of becoming a coach while on deployment in Afghanistan, his methods of inspiring more people to be active together and get ready for anything, and the GORUCK Sandbag and Ruck Training program.
Cadre DS, aka Dan Skidmore, joins Jason and Rich for Part One of their conversation for Episode 017. This ep focuses on DS’s history and he discusses how he used his physical fitness and readiness as a baseline but Special Operations requires so much more to be a valuable member - and leader. He talks candidly about his development as a person and professional, his triumphs and the setbacks which he turned into opportunities for learning.
For Episode 016, Jason and Rich talk to Cadre Will Hinkson about going through transitions, perceptions versus reality, and the importance of finding an individual “why.” Will discusses his life as a Reconnaissance Marine, security contractor and successful business owner. He reveals what his veneer of success and relentless pace was covering, however, and his wake-up call and transition to a more fulfilling, meaningful life as a business consultant and dive team member on Force Blue.
Chris Voss, the former lead international kidnapping negotiator for the FBI, author of the best-selling book “Never Split the Difference”, founder of The Black Swan Group, and currently THE Negotiations expert on MasterClass joins Jason and Emily for Episode 015. From the streets of Kansas City to NYC, the Philippines, Georgetown and quarantine, his stories and life lessons are in the true spirit of Glorious Professionals.
“If not me, then who?” - 1stLt Travis Manion, USMC
Ryan Manion, President of the Travis Manion Foundation (TMF), joins Emily and Jason on Episode 014 to tell the story of TMF -- a non-profit her mother started after the passing of her brother Travis in Iraq on April 29, 2007. Ryan also co-wrote “The Knock at the Door” to navigate loss due to any tragedy, and the book and this episode focuses on her journey to "struggle well" and not waste a day.
On Episode Lucky Number 13 is Lieutenant General (Ret) Kenneth Tovo, a Green Beret who most recently served as Commanding General of the United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) before retirement in 2018 after 35 years of military service. General Tovo joins Jason and Rich to dive deep on his hard-won lessons of leadership, particularly through a gripping oral history of a quintessential Green Beret mission: Operation Viking Hammer (aka "Ugly Baby") at the outset of the Iraq war in 2003.
The mission of a U.S. diplomat in the Foreign Service is to promote peace, support prosperity, and protect American citizens while advancing the interests of the U.S. abroad. For Episode 012, Jason and Emily are joined by Ambassador Elisabeth Millard, a career diplomat in the Foreign Service who most recently served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. Her life and career exemplifies the servant leadership at the core of what this podcast is all about.
Coco Tang has traveled the world as a Nationally Registered Paramedic and a DOD-trained Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) instructor, and she is currently on contract working the night shift in New York City treating COVID-19 patients. She joins Jason and Emily to talk through her ground truth at the COVID epicenter, her unique perspective as a Chinese American, tales from her trips abroad, and what drives her to serve and help in some of the most challenging spots around the globe.
Jason and Emily are joined by expert Linda Mansolillo to talk about disaster preparation - be it wildfires, earthquakes, hurricanes, or a global epidemic. Linda is a biotech strategist with 24 years of military service, currently a medical officer in the Air Force Reserve, and is also a mom. Through projects like LadyBugOut she focuses on bringing disaster preparation and implementation strategies home to our primary community - our families - and most especially our children.
Dr. Rajeev Ramchand joins Emily and Jason on Episode 009 to help us understand the COVID-19 pandemic better using an epidemiological lens. Their conversation covers the basics of epidemiology, the data we have and how to make it better, historical comparisons, and what most concerns him moving forward -- namely this is only a “trial run” pandemic and we need to shore up our public health infrastructure and personal communities to deal with the next ones.
In episode 008 of Glorious Professionals we welcome former Quiet Professional (aka Green Beret) Brent Cooper in to talk about failure and not quitting, the sum of a team being greater than its parts, and how his unique life experience and passion brought him to be Executive Director of the Green Beret Foundation (GBF). From childhood through his first experiences in the team room and “one of his top three moments in life,” his stories are of putting in the work to meet his own standard of excellence.
US Congressman Michael Waltz from Florida’s 6th District (NW coast covering just south of GORUCK HQ through Daytona and the Palm Coast) joins Jason and Rich for Episode 007. The Congressman is the first Green Beret to serve in Congress, a 20-year combat decorated veteran and current National Guardsman. He brings the perspective of a servant leader at both the tactical and the strategic levels with deep conviction in the importance of service, communication and boots-on-the-ground information gathering.
Episode 006 of Glorious Professionals focuses on community building. Blayne Smith joins Jason and Rich to have a conversation about cultivating, deepening and maintaining interdependent relationships - on the battlefield, in the office, and around your neighborhood. And perhaps in online "communities" too. Maybe.
In Episode 005 of Glorious Professionals, Jason and Rich bring Cadre Surfhog (aka Sean) into the garage to talk about his most recent deployment in Iraq and bringing the “deployment mindset” to home quarantine -- most notably the importance of adaptability when the abnormal becomes normal. You can’t dictate events/atmospherics but you do dictate your response.
Dr Angel is a Special Forces Medic (18D), 7th SFG (A) turned ER Doctor and just is coming out of his battle with COVID-19. Jason and Dr. Angel talk more in depth about his symptoms and recovery. Dr. Angel offers his advice - as one who has survived - on how you can prepare your body to fight the infection (stay hydrated!); some home care regimens and helpful items to have on hand; and warning signs that you - or a loved one - need to see a doctor or head to the ER.
Rich has had a very storied career and shares his tales with humor and knowledge born of reflection - so much so that after an hour and a half of incredible conversation we barely got out of Vietnam. He not only tells some great war stories but talks about how he processes them and about the power and importance of tribal mentorship and that storytelling to keep him alive.
In our second episode of the Glorious Professionals Podcast, current head of Travel and Women's for GORUCK, Emily McCarthy talks to Richard and Jason about her professional journey and how she wound up as a new CIA Case Officer drinking cola with Sudanese Rebels, among many other stories of adventure through service.