How playing cowboys and Indians prepared this commander for war
In this episode of the Mandatory Fun podcast, Blake speaks once again with Jimmy Blackmon, the author of Pale Horse, a book about his time commanding an Army aviation task force with the 101st Airborne Division at the height of combat in the Afghan War.
The book is set in the very valleys where the 9/11 attacks were conceived and where 10 Medals of Honor were earned.
These are the stories of the pilots behind the lethal Apache helicopters who strike fear into the heart of their enemies as they work with medevac crews who risk their lives to save their fellow troops.
Jimmy was also in the area when Pvt. Bowe Bergdahl decided to go for a stroll in Afghanistan.
In this episode, we talk on a wide-range of topics including:
- [1:45] Jimmy humorously explains why he decided to join the military.
- [5:50] How growing up in Georgia prepared Jimmy for a career in the Army.
- [7:55] This is how playing Cowboys and Indians as a child helps develop skills for combat operations.
- [11:45] Jimmy compares his life as an enlisted soldier to growing up in Georgia.
- [13:45] The difference between situational awareness and situational curiosity.
- [15:05] The combat rules of flying vs. the combat rules on the ground.
- [17:15] The most challenging aspect of war according to a pilot.
- [24:30] How pilots develop skills to read the enemies' intention from high above.
- [27:50] How the enemy uses their terrain and weather to combat allied forces.
- [30:10] Jimmy's coolest memory from the battle at Observation Post Bari Alai.
- [35:00] What Jimmy's been doing since exiting the military.
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