How the Gurkha warriors of Nepal became so feared - We Are The Mighty
Podcast

How the Gurkha warriors of Nepal became so feared


Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Stitcher | Spotify

The Gurkha warriors of Nepal are fearless soldiers who famously serve in the British and Indian militaries. Their reputation for bravery, fighting ability, and heroism dates back to the Middle Ages.

Staff Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw of the Indian Army, once said, “If a man says he is not afraid of dying, he is either lying or is a Gurkha.” A fitting statement for a force who’s motto is, “better to die than to be a coward.”

Don’t miss this episode about Gurkha badassery!

Hosted by:

Selected links and show notes from the episode

Music licensed by Jingle Punks

  • Step Off-JP
  • Heavy Drivers-JP
Podcast

How post-9/11 vets are bringing new life to the American Legion


Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Stitcher | Spotify

In this episode of the Mandatory Fun podcast, Blake speaks with Army veteran Jennifer Campbell who is currently the Second Vice Commander of the American Legion Post 43 in Hollywood, Ca.

Recently, Jennifer and the commander of Post 43, Fernando Rivero were featured in a Wall Street Journal article about how they engineered a plan to bring some fresh energy to the post.

The young veterans of the post managed to fuse and honor old military traditions with the new generation of combat veterans.

Related: The real-life dictator who ruined his country and became a cannibal

In this episode, we talk on a wide-range of topics including:

[1:05] Jennifer states why she decided to join the Army after growing up in a Navy family.

[4:00] We talk about the path on how to join the leadership of an American Legion.

[9:50] Insightful advice for other post-military organizations that are struggling to stay afloat.

[11:23] Jennifer briefly explains “Operation the First Reformational Congress” is all about.

[15:30] We get an update on the modern and exciting renovations legendary Post 43 is getting.

[17:00] The new post modifications features a new state of the art one of these…

[18:30] Jennifer makes a list of all the film productions and celebrities associated with the post.

[20:20] Jennifer tells us the spooky inside history that happened in the historic legion.

Also Read: How to see those never-before-published ‘Terminal Lance’ comics

Hosted By:

Podcast

How playing cowboys and Indians prepared this commander for war


Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Stitcher | Spotify

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.

Related: How to stay fit and not get fat after you get out of the military

How the Gurkha warriors of Nepal became so feared

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.

Also Read: Dale Dye wants to make this epic World War II movie with veterans

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

Articles

These simple luxuries can make your next deployment tolerable


Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Stitcher

In this episode of the Mandatory Fun podcast, Blake, Tim, and Chase speak with stand-up comedian Mitch Burrow about what simple luxuries we wished we had while on deployment.

Mitch is a Marine Corps veteran that served in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. He then started a career in manufacturing before realizing that it sucked. Now, Mitch has found his true calling in acting silly on a stage in front of strangers on a nightly basis.

Related: Dale Dye wants to make this epic World War II movie with veterans

Being forward deployed without the amenities that service members are used to from back home can suck. While some military branches have chow halls with an all-you-can-eat menu, others are forced to eat highly-processed foods from heavy duty plastic bags — a.k.a. MREs.

Although we wish for the most part that our livelihood will remain the same while on deployment, it’s the simple things service members miss the most.

Also Read: This is how drunken shenanigans influence pilot callsigns

So what unique and simple amenity would Marine veteran and stand-up comedian Mitch Burrow liked to have had while deployed? His answer was simple.

“A data plan.” — Mitch

To follow Mitch or check out one of his shows visit his website: Mitchburrow.com.

Hosted By:

Blake Stilwell: Air Force veteran

Tim Kirkpatrick: Navy veteran

Orvelin Valle (AKA O.V.): Navy veteran

Chase Millsap: Marine veteran

Articles

Officers and enlistees confess the best and worst about each other


Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Stitcher

Historically, the military has relied on clearly defined boundaries of acceptable interaction between the officer and enlisted ranks to maintain good order and discipline.

It is a long-standing custom that dates back hundreds of years and has proven itself effective time after time. But not everyone feels it’s a custom worth holding on to.

“I think there should not be a difference between officer and enlisted ranks,” said former Air Force officer Shannon Corbeil. “I believe we should all reach rank based on experience and accomplishment.”

On the other hand, Chase Millsap — another former officer — believes the military should maintain its course because officers bring leadership experience accomplished through higher learning and training.

Also read: 7 tips for getting away with fraternization

However, Blake Stilwell and Tim Kirkpatrick — two former enlistees — argue that the stupid partying and immatureness is what officers experienced during college.

In this episode of the Mandatory Fun podcast, two former officers and enlistees confess the best and worst about dealing with each other while in active service.

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

Guests:

Chase Millsap: Army and Marine Corps infantry veteran turned Director of Impact Strategy at We Are The Mighty

Shannon Corbeil: Former Air Force intelligence officer and We Are The Mighty editor

Music licensing by Jingle Punks:

  • Goal Line
  • Heavy Drivers
Podcast

Let’s talk about America’s rocky ‘frenemy’ relationship with Russia


Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Stitcher | Spotify

America’s relationship with Russia wasn’t always as bad as it is now (or was during the Cold War).

Thanks to help from Czarist Russia, for example, England had a tough time controlling the colonial rebellion during the Revolutionary War. And who can forget the alliance with Stalin during World War II?

In this episode of the We Are The Mighty podcast, our hosts explore the on-again, off-again relationship with the Ruskies.

Hosted by:

Selected links and show notes from the episode:

Podcast

How Navy corpsmen and Army medics work together on deployments


Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Stitcher | Spotify

Rivalries are nothing but tough brotherly love between military service branches. Sure, we give each other a hard time. But put us on any mission together, and we become an unstoppable force.

Related: 5 key differences between Army medics and Navy corpmsen

Army medics and Navy corpsmen are a perfect example of service branch cooperation. When they work together, they save lives.

For this episode of the Mandatory Fun podcast, we invited former Army medic Ruty Rutenberg to chat with our resident Corpsman about deployment responsibilities. Tune in to learn the differences between their jobs on the field and in garrison.

Disclaimer: Let’s be honest — we only work so well together because we’re secretly trying to outdo the other side.

Hosted by:

Tim Kirkpatrick: Navy veteran and Editorial Coordinator

Orvelin Valle (AKA O.V.): Navy veteran and Podcast Producer

Guest:

Ruty Rutenbert: Army veteran

Music licensing by Jingle Punks:

  • Goal Line
  • Heavy Drivers
Podcast

Sebastian Junger talks war, vet reintegration, and what’s wrong with America


Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Stitcher | Spotify

New York Times bestselling author Sebastian Junger dropped by We Are The Mighty to discuss his latest book “Tribe.”

Here’s what the publisher says about the book:

Through combining history, psychology, and anthropology, “Tribe” explores what we can learn from tribal societies about loyalty, belonging, and the eternal human quest for meaning. It explains the irony that—for many veterans as well as civilians—war feels better than peace, adversity can turn out to be a blessing, and disasters are sometimes remembered more fondly than weddings or tropical vacations. “Tribe” explains why we are stronger when we come together, and how that can be achieved even in today’s divided world.

Hosted by:

How the Gurkha warriors of Nepal became so feared

Selected links and show notes from the episode

  • Sebastian Junger’s new book “Tribe” is nothing short of a lesson for all Americans
  • [00:40] Sebastian Junger’s motivations for writing TRIBE.
  • [02:05] Why humans are drawn to communal living and tribal affiliation.
  • [04:15] Examples of tribalism in modern communities.
  • [06:05] How do we live in a modern society and retain some of the cohesion that comes from hardship and adversity.
  • [07:15] How mandatory national service could unify America.
  • [09:00] How Bowe Bergdahl and the financiers who caused the great recession harmed America.
  • [11:05] The difference between war trauma and personal alienation for troops reintegrating into society.
  • [14:00] The dangers of over valorization.
  • [16:20] Why no one else could have written this book other than Sebastian Junger.
  • [20:00] Sebastian Junger clarifies the use of “tribe” as used in his book.
  • [23:15] The feelings associated with coming home and leaving for deployment.
  • [25:25] What it takes to be accepted into a tribe.
  • [26:15] Sebastian Junger’s thought about practicing tribalism.
  • This celebrated war correspondent nails the reasons why soldiers miss combat
  • Sebastian Junger nails the reason why young men want to go to war

How the Gurkha warriors of Nepal became so feared

Music licensed by Jingle Punks

  • Goal line
  • Heavy Drivers
Podcast

That time Sen. Mitch McConnell was fooled by ‘Duffel Blog’

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Stitcher | Spotify

You might think that, somewhere along the way, someone in the staff of a senior senator from Kentucky would have figured out what Duffel Blog really was. Instead, in 2012, a concerned constituent actually had the Senator’s office send a formal letter to the Pentagon concerning Duffel Blog’s report of the VA extending benefits to Guantanamo Bay detainees.


What Duffel Blog is, on its face, is a satirical news website that covers the military. At the very least, we all laugh. We laugh at the brave Airman who sent his steak back at the DFAC and the Army wife who re-enlisted her husband indefinitely using a general power of attorney. We laugh because the stories’ absurdities are grounded in the reality of military culture.

Duffel Blog and its writers are more than brilliant. What it does at its best is play the role of court jester – delivering hard truths hidden inside jokes. In the case of Senator McConnell’s office sending a letter of concern to the Pentagon over a Duffel Blog piece, the site was hammering the VA, equating using its services to punishing accused terrorists in one of the most notorious prisons in the world.

We laugh, but they’re talking about the VA we all use – and we laugh because there’s truth to the premise.

Paul Szoldra is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Duffel Blog, former Military and Defense Editor at Business Insider, and was instrumental in the creation of We Are The Mighty. He’s now a columnist at Task & Purpose.

How the Gurkha warriors of Nepal became so feared
Szoldra speaks the the Got Your 6 Storytellers event in Los Angeles, Calif.
(Television Academy)

Speaking truth to power is not difficult for Szoldra, even when the power he speaks to is one that is so revered by the American people that it’s nearly untouchable by most other media. We live in an age where criticizing politicians is the order of the day, but criticizing the military can be a career-ending endeavor. You don’t have to be a veteran to criticize military leadership, but it helps.

“If you go back on the timeline far enough, you’ll find a lot of bullsh*t,” Szoldra says, referring specifically to comments made by generals about the now 17-year-old war in Afghanistan. “And I have no problem calling it out, highlighting it where need be.”

Szoldra doesn’t like that the top leadership of the U.S. military exists in what he calls a “bubble” and can get away with a lot because of American support for its fighting men and women — those fighting the war on the ground. Szoldra, who left the Marine Corps as a sergeant in 2010, was one of those lower-enlisted who fought the war. When he writes, he writes from that perspective.

How the Gurkha warriors of Nepal became so feared
Szoldra as a Marine in Afghanistan
(Paul Szoldra)

“If we’re talking about sending troops into Syria… I wonder what does that feel like to the grunt on the ground,” Szoldra says. “I don’t really care too much about the general and how he’s going to deal with the strategy, I wonder about the 20-something lance corporal that I used to be trying to find IEDs with their feet.”

His work is thoughtful and, at times, intense, but always well-founded. Szoldra also does a semi-regular podcast with Terminal Lance creator, Max Uriarte, where they have honest discussion about similar topics. Those discussions often take more of a cultural turn and it feels more like you’re listening to Marine grunts wax on about the way things are changing – because that’s exactly what it is, with just as much honesty as you’d come to expect from Paul Szoldra and his ongoing body of work.

How the Gurkha warriors of Nepal became so feared
Szoldra and Max Uriarte record their podcast.
(After Action with Max and Paul)

If you liked Szoldra on the show, read his work on Task & Purpose, give After Action with Max and Paul a listen, and get the latest from Duffel Blog. If you aren’t interested in the latest and just want the greatest, pick up Mission Accomplished: The Very Best of Duffel Blog, Volume One at Amazon.

And for a (potentially) limited time, you can get the Duffel Blog party game “WTF, Over? The Duffel Box” by donating to the game’s Kickstarter campaign.

Resources Mentioned

3 Key Points

  • The very best of Duffel Blog
  • The times Duffel Blog articles were mistaken for real news
  • Duffel Blog’s new party game

Sponsors

  • Audible: For you, the listeners of the Mandatory Fun podcast, Audible is offering a free audiobook download with a free 30-day trial to give you the opportunity to check out some of the books and authors featured on Mandatory Fun. To download your free audiobook today go to audibletrial.com/MandatoryFun.

Mandatory Fun is hosted by:

Catch the show on Twitter at: @MandoFun and on our Facebook group.

Articles

What we learned from working with Iraq and Afghan locals


Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Stitcher | Spotify

Green on blue attacks — used to describe attacks by Afghan soldiers on Coalition forces — are one of the many dangers our troops in the Middle East face every day.

These deadly morale-sapping attacks are difficult to predict and leave lasting negative trust issues between the locals — and American forces. As many as 91 incidents resulted in 148 Coalition troops killed and as many 186 wounded between 2008 and 2015.

Related: How Navy corpsmen and Army medics work together on deployments

In this episode of the Mandatory Fun podcast, Marine infantry officer turned Army Green Beret Chase Millsap, and our Navy corpsman smartass Tim Kirkpatrick share their experiences working with the locals. Millsap with the Iraqi Police and Kirkpatrick with the Afghan National Army. As you’ll listen, their experiences differ.

Hosted by:

Tim Kirkpatrick: Navy veteran and Editorial Coordinator

  • Twitter: @tkirk35

Orvelin Valle (AKA O.V.): Navy veteran and Podcast Producer

  • Twitter/Instagram: @orvelinvalle

Guests:

Chase Millsap: Army and Marine Corps infantry veteran turned Director of Impact Strategy at We Are The Mighty

  • Twitter/Instagram: @cmillsap05

August Dannehl: Navy veteran, Chef, and show producer

  • Twitter: @ChefAugust37

Music licensing by Jingle Punks:

  • Goal Line
  • Heavy Drivers
hauntedbattlefields

Spooky military ghost stories and urban legends


Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Stitcher | Spotify

There’s a lot of death in the military; that’s what happens in wars — people kill each other. Whether it’s by partaking in the fighting or as a result of collateral damage, it is inevitable.

According to popular myth — mostly what we’ve watched during all those Halloween specials — people become ghosts by suffering a violent or unfair death. By this reasoning, bases and battlefields are gold mines for spooky military ghost stories.

Join us for a ghostly episode of the We Are The Mighty podcast where we explore the lost souls and vengeful spirits roaming military bases and battlefields in the afterlife.

Hosted by:

• Logan Nye: Army veteran and Associate Editor

• Blake Stilwell: Air Force veteran and Senior Contributor

• Tracy Woodward: Benevolent smartass and Social Media coordinator

• Orvelin Valle (AKA O.V.): Navy veteran and Podcast Producer

Subscribe: iTunes | Google Play | StitcherMore Subscribe Options

Selected links and show notes:

  • The 5 best military ghost stories
  • That time US soldiers pretended to be vampires and ghosts to scare the hell out of the enemy
  • A bunch of US troops think they saw Bigfoot in Vietnam
  • The 6 craziest military myths
  • 5 wild conspiracy theories that turned out to be true
  • [02:00] Logan’s Stonewall Jackson hometown ghost story.
  • [06:50] General Henry Harley “Hap” Arnold’s haunted house at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
  • [09:50] The reason why there’s a lot of military ghosts stories at the Air Force museum.
  • [10:55] The military ghost story about the “Hop-along,” a Korean/Vietnam era H-19 Sikorsky helicopter whose seat is still stained with the blood of the pilot who died in it.
  • [14:30] The ghost story about the B-29 Superfortress “Bockscar” that dropped the second atomic bomb — “Fat Man” — over Japan during World War II.
  • [15:30] The ghost story about the B-24 Liberator downed over North Africa.
  • [16:20] The Nazi ghosts roaming the Air Force museum.
  • [17:45] The ghost story about the B-24 Liberator “Strawberry Bitch.”
  • [20:00] The dreadful feeling visitors get around the “Prisoner of War” exhibit at the Air Force museum.
  • [22:50] The urban story about aliens at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
  • [30:05] The ghost story about “Mad” Anthony Wayne.
  • [37:15] The never ending battle at “Little Big Horn.”
  • [39:50] The ghosts haunting Warren Air Force Base.
  • [41:45] The ghosts haunting the USS Hornet, an old Navy aircraft carrier turned museum.

Music license by Jingle Punks

  • Heart Beats 1
  • Grave Hunter 001
Podcast

What every boot needs to know before partying in the Middle East for the first time


Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Stitcher | Spotify

If you’ve ever moved to a new city or transitioned to a different school as a kid, you may have experienced culture shock. The ordeal could be disorienting, but it probably wasn’t long before you made new friends and adjusted to your environment.

Now amplify that times 100, that’s what it’s like for some troops visiting foreign countries for the first time.

In this episode of the We Are The Mighty podcast, we discuss why partying in the Middle East is so darn hard.

Related: These comedians entertain troops worldwide with the ‘Apocalaughs’ tour

Hosted by:

Guests:

Music licensed by Jingle Punks:

  • Goal Line
  • Tribal Line
  • Private Dick
  • Dance Party
  • Looks That Kill
  • Istanbul Nights
  • Freaky Funk
Podcast

Why a new sidearm replacement is a big deal to the troops


Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Stitcher | Spotify

Firearms technology has advanced by leaps and bounds over the last 20 years. While civilians and law enforcement have taken advantage of new designs, the military hasn’t been as quick to adjust.

In this episode of the We Are The Mighty podcast we discuss the military’s plans to find a pistol replacement, the role of today’s battle rifles, and why ammo matters.

Hosted by:

Guest:

  • Christian Lowe: Executive Editor at We Are The Mighty
    • Christian is a veteran reporter and digital editor with nearly 20 years of experience covering the U.S. military at home and abroad. He deployed six times to Iraq and Afghanistan as an embedded reporter and has covered all the services in the conflict zone, on base and in halls of Capitol Hill and the Pentagon. Christian worked previously at Army Times and Military.com as well as a stint in the firearms industry as Editor in Chief of Shooting Sports Retailer and Tactical Retailer magazines. He’s a competitor in IDPA, USPSA and 3-Gun Nation.

Selected links and show notes from the episode:

Music licensed by Jingle Punks:

  • Off Switch
  • Downtown Dollar