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Profiles in Havok
Christopher Paul Meyer
One-on-one, long-form discussions featuring staff, writers and friends of Havok Journal. The show is sponsored by two veterans non-profits: Second Mission Foundation and the Veterans Repertory Theater.
Nov 27, 2023
Israel and Palestine with Charlie Faint
I sit down with Havok Journal owner Charlie Faint to discuss the Israel/Palestine issues and get some recent historical perspective.
1 hr 38 min
Nov 14, 2023
Michael D. Fay
Michael D. Fay is a former USMC Combat Artist with multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mike enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1975 and was discharged in 1978 as an 81 mm mortarman (MOS 0341). In 1978, he returned to Penn State Univeristy and graduated in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science in Art Education. In 1983, re-enlisted into the Marines and served as an avionics technician (MOS 6322) in the Presidential Helicopter Squadron (HMX-1) and Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 365 (HMM-365) until 1993. Fay served a tour on recruiting duty (MOS 8411) and was a recruiter of the year for 1989 and 1990. He left active duty at the end of September 1993. Fay returned to service in the USMCR in January 2000. He was assigned as an official combat artist. He is now retired from the Marine Corps. Fay's artwork is in the Marine Corps Combat Art collection, the National Museum of the Marine Corps and the collection of the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Fay has also had solo exhibitions at the Farnsworth Museum, where he was the target of a protest group. His artwork has been published in Leatherneck Magazine—the official magazine of the Marine Corps Association—and the New York Times. The Guardian called his work "exceptionally moving and thought-provoking", and said, "Over the past decade, Fay has seen action as a war artist with US troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan, but his latest journey was to a military veterans' hospital in Richmond, Virginia. In the resulting New York Times blogs, he relays his meetings with three young men severely wounded in Afghanistan. His account of their injuries and rehabilitation is gripping, but what really deepens the reporting are his drawings, reproduced alongside the articles." Fay has also recorded wounded veterans recovering from their injuries. As part of this work he founded the Joe Bonham Project to document the experiences of the wounded. After retirement, Fay campaigned for enhanced recognition and improved working opportunities for war artists. Fay also uses sculpture. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in Illustration; his thesis was called The Boy Who Drew Soldiers.
2 hr 17 min
Oct 31, 2023
The child of a Ukrainian POW and US Air Force veteran, Michael Bard is an active musician, composer and teacher who resides near Washington, D.C. He has performed as a soloist and with various musical ensembles throughout the United States, Europe, Japan, North Africa, South America, Central America and the Middle East. He has also been featured on various radio and television programs around the world. He has served as Vice President of the Dayton Classical Guitar Society as well as Vice President of the Washington Guitar Society. While pursuing graduate studies at Arizona State University, Tempe, Michael was awarded a full scholarship to study at l’Accademia “Ottocento” in Vigevano, Italy, a school which specializes in the classical guitar music of the 19th century. During that time he also participated in a concert tour of northern Italy and Switzerland. Michael has also performed as rhythm guitarist for Higher Octave/Virgin recording artists Shahin and Sepehr with whom he has toured nationally and abroad. He also appeared on their fourth album “World Cafe” which peaked at #18 on the Billboard charts and was featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered.” As a performer, Michael was chosen by the U.S. State Department to concertize throughout Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bahrain, and the kingdom of Morocco with fellow guitarist Corey Whitehead. Billing themselves as ‘Douze Cordes’ Michael and Corey effectively served as cultural ambassadors, offering diplomacy through music. They were later invited to give more performances in Jordan and Kuwait on a second tour again sponsored by the U.S. State Department. More recently they embarked on an 11 city concert tour throughout the country of Chile, this time as a trio with vocalist Deborah Benner, Michael’s wife & musical partner. Michael has performed for many luminaries and dignitaries including former President Bill Clinton, former Vice President Al Gore as well as various members of royalty throughout the Middle East & South America. His first recorded solo effort entitled ‘Illumination’ features original compositions for guitar and solo piano, blending a soothing mix of of Spanish, Latin, and adult contemporary instrumental styles. His composition ‘Mediterranean Beauty’ for two guitars is published by Lathkill Music Publishers, England. He provided Spanish guitar accompaniment for The Choral Arts Society of Washington‘s award winning NAXOS recording “Celebrating Sacred Rhythms” featuring Ariel Ramirez’ “Misa Criolla” & “Navidad Nuestra.” Michael currently performs & records with Washington D.C. based Latin Rumba-Flamenco group Trio Caliente, which has released 3 albums, performed nationally, and whose music was featured on NBC’s former hit TV show “Smash” as well as E! Entertainment Television Network. Michael holds a Masters degree in music from Arizona State University, Tempe and a Bachelors degree in music from Wright State University, Dayton, OH. Get tickets to Michael's Carnegie Hall concert on November 4, 2023.
1 hr 34 min
Oct 27, 2023
Arriving in the US as a refugee, Ayman Kafel escaped civil wars in both Lebanon and Liberia. Following 9/11, Ayman enlisted in the US Army where he saw combat in Iraq before being forced to medically retire due to service-connected injuries. He continues to serve as a law enforcement officer. A regular contributor to Havok Journal, he is also the host of Project Sapient, a podcast dedicated to law enforcement and military issues. he recently published his first book through the Second Mission Foundation, THE RESOLUTE PATH. RSVP to come to Ayman's book launch and see Ayman in VetRep's immersive performance of THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER
1 hr 48 min
Oct 19, 2023
Episode 117 with former Army combat veteran Dave Campisano, founder of 22 Mohawks. Dave joined the Army in 2001 and served in various light infantry units until his separation in 2016. In 2009, he passed Ranger School and was deployed with the Golden Dragons 2/14In, 10th Mountain Division to Iraq. After his honorable discharge in 2016, he attended Suffolk University in Boston where he majored in Finance and now serves as a Financial Advisor with Northwestern Mutual and a financial planning team based in Wellesley, Ma.He currently lives with his daughter, Isabella, and dog Winston in Millis, Ma. After his separation from the Army, David began to notice that more and more service members were taking their own lives and felt compelled to start the non-profit, 22Mohawks. The main goal of 22Mohawks is to bring awareness to veteran suicide. They sponsor multiple events each year that bring veterans and their families together. Their mission is to create and keep the bond between veterans so that everyone knows that they have someone with similar experiences they can lean on. A big part of that bond and connection is lost after separation from the military and believing fully in their mission to reinforce and maintain that sense of community.
1 hr 44 min
Oct 17, 2023
Michael Devine (Part II)
Episode 116 with former NYPD detective and actor/singer Michael Devine. Mike, a native New Yorker, is an intrepid character actor recognized for his roles as Detective Paul O'Rourke on the Emmy-nominated "The Undoing" (HBO) and James Tech on "Limitless" (CBS). With various guest star appearances on network, streaming and pay cable television, he is no stranger to the camera. His work can also been seen on the big screen in dozens of A-List directed films such as The Wolf Of Wall Street, The Post, The Woman In The Window, Inside Man, etc. When not working on set, Michael is in the recording studio. As an accomplished singer, Michael's first album, "Songs of Valor and Hope," hit #1 in four categories on Amazon. His second album, "Sentinels" has just been released.
2 hr 37 min
Oct 11, 2023
Michael Devine (Part I)
Episode 115 with former NYPD detective and actor/singer Michael Devine. Mike, a native New Yorker, is an intrepid character actor recognized for his roles as Detective Paul O'Rourke on the Emmy-nominated "The Undoing" (HBO) and James Tech on "Limitless" (CBS). With various guest star appearances on network, streaming and pay cable television, he is no stranger to the camera. His work can also been seen on the big screen in dozens of A-List directed films such as The Wolf Of Wall Street, The Post, The Woman In The Window, Inside Man, etc. When not working on set, Michael is in the recording studio. As an accomplished singer, Michael's first album, "Songs of Valor and Hope," hit #1 in four categories on Amazon. His second album, "Sentinels" has just been released.
1 hr 26 min
Sep 19, 2023
Charles Faint currently serves as the Chair for the Study of Special Operations and an assistant professor in the Defense and Strategic Studies program for the Modern War Institute at West Point. A retired military intelligence officer, he commissioned into the military intelligence branch of the US Army through the ROTC program at Mercer University and claims Alabama as his home state. After completing a branch detail to the infantry in the 101st Airborne Division, he subsequently served as an intelligence officer in a variety of units, including the 2nd Infantry Division, the 5th Special Forces Group, the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, and the Joint Special Operations Command. His most recent operational assignment was at Fort Shafter, Hawaii, where he served as the Chief of Intelligence – Plans and Exercises and then Chief of Intelligence – Operations on the G2 staff of US Army Pacific. In addition to his role as MWI Deputy Director, he teaches the Comparative Defense Policy course. During a previous tour at West Point, he was the course director for MX400, the superintendent’s capstone course on officership, for two years. He also instructed international relations, American politics, comparative politics, conflict and negotiation, and intelligence and national policy for three years in West Point’s renowned Department of Social Sciences. He earned his doctorate in business administration through Temple University. He also holds five undergraduate and graduate degrees, the most recent of which is from Yale University. Educated in fields ranging from engineering to communication to international relations, his research interests include special operations, civil-military relations, and small business entrepreneurship. Over the course of his career, Lt. Col. Faint earned the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Bronze Star Medal (4 awards), the Meritorious Service Medal (six awards), the Combat Action Badge, and the pathfinder, airborne, and air assault badges. He has earned seven combat stripes for his service in Iraq and Afghanistan and also served in Egypt, Korea, and the Philippines. Early in his career, he served a six-month peacekeeping tour with the Multinational Force and Observers in Sinai, Egypt, an experience that began a career-long interest in the region. That interest prompted his involvement in the Peace and Dialogue Leadership Initiative (PDLI), a joint Yale/West Point endeavor that selects high-performing students from both schools for a yearlong fellowship that includes two weeks on the ground in Israel and Palestine. Faint was a cofounder of PDLI and served as its security advisor, accompanying the group to the Levant for each of the first five years of the PDLI’s existence. Published in a number of blogs and professional journals, his most significant publication is coauthorship of the book Violence of Action: The Untold Stories of the 75th Ranger Regiment in the War on Terror. He was also the editor-in-chief of West Point’s Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, is the owner of the military-themed blog The Havok Journal, and is the executive director of The Second Mission Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
1 hr 21 min
Sep 12, 2023
Ivan F. Ingraham
Ivan F. Ingraham is a writer, speaker, and storyteller. He served 24-years in the United States Marine Corps, mostly in Special Operations. Ivan is the CEO of Golden Compass, LLC, a leadership consulting company. Read Ivan's work at The War Horse, Task & Purpose, and Havok Journal. Ivan's Amazon author page Follow Ivan here
2 hr 26 min
Sep 5, 2023
Editorial Speculation about the War in Ukraine...and Us
This week, due to our August scheduling mishaps and my innate curiosity, I sat down with myself for a little editorial speculation about the war in Ukraine and the way we in the military/veteran community think about it. Why do so many otherwise knowledgeable folks give Russia any benefit of doubt? Why are we so confused as to why it's worth supporting Ukraine? Why do so many people who never cared about - or actively protested - our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan feel so militant and feverish about supporting Ukraine? Why are we so much more comfortable flying Ukrainian flags now than Afghan - or even US - flags over the past 20 years? I'll speculate on all this and more. The 1980's Called... CNN article Fordham University Veterans Mental Health Summit Second Mission Foundation VetRep
Aug 29, 2023
Episode 111 with Scott Chapman. Scott served in 2nd Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment from 2001-2005. He deployed to Iraq during the 2003 invasion and then to the Afghan theatre 4 times. After the military, Scott worked in the executive protection space and then as an OGA security contractor. Providing security support to the Intelligence community where he deployed 17 times; mostly to the Forward Operating Bases (FOB). He provided security support for Intelligence personnel and operations. Scott continues to work in the contract security area. Many of Scott's articles for Havok Journal have gone viral, including "A Taliban Feast", "Every Day is Sept 12, 2001", "The Last Plane out of Kabul", "Written in Taliban", and "Keep Your Powder Dry". Follow Scott here.
1 hr 58 min
Aug 23, 2023
Poet, musician and former USMC combat veteran Benjamin Fortier has finally published his latest book PHANTOMS, covering his deployment to Iraq in '06-'07. About the book, Sebastian Junger said, "Fortier’s poetry – can I even call it that? - seems to do the impossible: transfer the experience of combat directly into our psyches. PHANTOMS is stunning. If you have never been in combat, you will understand something new and important. And if you have – well, you don’t need to hear it from me. Just take a deep breath and open up the book." Follow Ben here.
1 hr 28 min
Aug 15, 2023
Self-Talk: Was It Worth It?
This week, due to several last-minute guest cancellations, sees me talk with myself about the newly released CDC numbers regarding suicide in 2022 and the way they intersect with the veteran population. While rejecting monocausal explanations, I do speculate and pontificate about some lesser-covered root causes ranging from foreign influence and self-loathing in the veteran community.
Aug 8, 2023
Mike Schropp is a visual artist, specializing in abstract painting and sculpture. Mike is a combat veteran, having deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan with the US Army. Our wide-ranging conversation touches on his artistic process, the unique circumstances of his marriage, his most eventful day in Afghanistan, his adjustment to civilian life, and the rugged independence he has claimed on his artistic journey. Mike was one of the first veteran artists I followed on IG. Yet it still took this long to get him on the show. His work is phenomenal and his personal story of wrong turns, false starts and dead ends culminates in absolutely magnificent artwork. My two cents, but seriously - buy his work before it goes out of your price range. Follow Mike here.
2 hr 17 min
Aug 1, 2023
Scott Cottrell is a retired US Army Colonel. His debut novel, When Chaos Reigns, is available now on pre-order and will be released on Kindle on August 8, 2023. China, Russia, a powerful drug cartel, and a radical Islamic terrorist group form a secret cabal bent on shocking America and her global influence to its core while taking what they want across the globe. With the U.S. President facing impeachment on multiple counts and focused on securing a trade agreement with China without Senate approval, his actions put the Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll at risk and ignite the tinderbox of the South China Sea. Can the web of corruption and deceit created by enemies, foreign and domestic, be uncovered and destroyed in time to save the United States and Western civilization? So well documented in present-day fact,When Chaos Reigns seems too close to reality to be called fiction. A graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, Scott served for 29+ years in the U.S…
1 hr 23 min
Jul 25, 2023
Gina Herrera is a mixed-media artist residing in California. A 25-year veteran of the Navy, Army and Air Force, she received her BFA in Art Education from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. During her studies, she was deployed overseas in support of several war contingencies with the Armed Forces. Once her final tour was complete, she obtained her MFA in Studio Arts from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Herrera has exhibited extensively throughout California and nationally. She has been privileged to receive recognition for her work through various grants and has been published in various media including Peacock TV and Hulu. Follow her here.
2 hr 5 min
Jul 18, 2023
Fred Burton is a former police officer, special agent and New York Times best-selling author. He's served on the front lines of high-profile investigations like the hunt for and arrest of Ramzi Yousef, the mastermind behind the first World Trade Center bombing; the 1988 plane crash of PAK-1 that killed U.S. Ambassador Arnold Raphel and Pakistani President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq; and the search for Americans kidnapped by Hezbollah in Beirut, Lebanon. His best-selling books include his personal memoir GHOST: Confessions of a Counterterrorism Agent, Chasing Shadows: A Special Agent's Lifelong Hunt to Bring a Cold War Assassin to Justice, Under Fire: The Untold Story of the Attack in Benghazi and his fourth book, Beirut Rules: The Murder of a CIA Station Chief and Hezbollah’s War Against America. Burton also consults with Fortune 500 companies on security developments and how to keep their personnel and business safe as the Executive Director of the Ontic Center for Protective Intelligenc…
1 hr 12 min
Jul 11, 2023
Jason Kasper is the USA Today bestselling author of the Spider Heist, American Mercenary, and Shadow Strike thriller series. Before his writing career he served in the US Army, beginning as a Ranger private and ending as a Green Beret captain. Jason is a West Point graduate and a veteran of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, and was an avid ultramarathon runner, skydiver, and BASE jumper, all of which inspire his fiction. Follow Jason here.
3 hr 23 min
Jun 27, 2023
Ryan Stovall is a former adventurer, world traveler, and Green Beret, twice decorated for valor and awarded two Purple Hearts. His poetry, short fiction, and creative nonfiction can be found in numerous anthologies and journals, and on his blog at ryanstovall.com. Having completed one Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree through Fairfield University in 2021, in 2022 he began taking classes towards a second MFA through Lesley University’s low-residency writing program. He recently finished a first draft of a fiction novel, and hopes to have it placed for publication within the next two years. Ryan, a University of Maine alumnus (class of 2018), lives in Phillips, Maine, with his wife and three kids. Black Snowflakes Smothering A Torch is his first book.
2 hr 8 min
Jun 20, 2023
Hollie McKay is a writer, war crimes investigator, and the author of “Only Cry for the Living: Memos from Inside the ISIS Battlefield.” (Jocko Publishing/Di Angelo Publications 2021). She was an investigative and international affairs/war correspondent for Fox News Digital for over fourteen years, where she focused on war, terrorism, and crimes against humanity. Hollie has worked on the frontlines of several major war zones and covered humanitarian and diplomatic crises in Ukraine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Iran, Turkey, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Burma, Russia, Africa, Latin America, and other areas. Hollie was in Afghanistan in the summer of 2021, where she became one of the few western journalists to stay in the country during and after the government fell to the Taliban. She was then the only American journalist to stay behind for the long haul, witnessing the first four months of the new regime. Hollie was then based in Ukraine to cover the leadup and subsequent invasion…
1 hr 13 min
Jun 13, 2023
Elliot Ackerman is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Halcyon, 2034, Red Dress In Black and White, Waiting for Eden, Dark at the Crossing, and Green on Blue, as well as the memoir The Fifth Act: America’s End in Afghanistan, and Places and Names: On War, Revolution and Returning. His books have been nominated for the National Book Award, the Andrew Carnegie Medal in both fiction and nonfiction, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize among others. He is a contributing writer at The...
1 hr 9 min
Jun 6, 2023
Proud theatre geek turned Army Special Forces Green Beret, turned 'Medal of Valor'-earning firefighter and now back to actor, Jeff Bosley is a film and television actor. During his years in theatre performing on stage Jeff's studies focused on The Meisner Technique. As he transitioned to film & television his education expanded to Stanislavski's 'Method' while studying for nearly 5 years at the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Conservatory. He continues to train and study at Strasberg, the American Film Institute, the SAG-AFTRA Conservatory and multiple studios in the Los Angeles area. His current work and projects have earned him major roles transporting him to international movie sets and Cannes Film Festival Screenings. His indie feature film 'Parallax' (which he starred in and produced) has been making the festival rounds for the last several years with 11 awards as of December 2021- including multiple winners of Best Actor, Best Producer, Best Short Film and Best Thriller.
3 hr 23 min
May 29, 2023
As a musician, Tyron McFarlan was almost signed to two major record labels before each opportunity was derailed. As an actor, Ty McFarlan appeared on Dawson's Creek, One Tree Hill Drop Dead Diva, and Army Wives and in addition to many other commercial and TV appearances. But Ty may be best known as the 34th Ringmaster of Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey circus. A native of Columbia, South Carolina, Ty was the son of a career Army warrant officer who went on to became the first black state trooper in South Carolina. Ty himself served 13 years in the Army National Guard rising to the rank of Captain in the Ordnance branch.
1 hr 24 min
May 23, 2023
Master Sergeant Corban Lundborg is currently serving in the Air Force Reserve as a combat photojournalist at the 4th Combat Camera Squadron based out of Charleston, South Carolina. Corban is one of the unit's designated aerial photographers, working as fully qualified aircrew. The unit supports the Department of Defense with frontline imagery in combat, aerial and humanitarian environments. Corban's photojournalism work has been recognized around the world. He earned the title "Air Force Photographer of the Year" in the 2018 media awards and won first place at the 2022 international Best Combat Camera Competition. Corban is now living in Atlanta, Georgia where he creates full time, working on a variety of projects in different mediums, from painting to woodworking. He also leads a creative agency with his wife called CALM Collective, where he works as a creative director and cinematographer. His camera work has attracted top companies and non-profits from around the country, who…
1 hr 27 min
May 17, 2023
Jared Prewitt is a husband, father, Marine, author, carpenter/teacher/coach, and a lover of great stories. He was a Sergeant in the Marine Corps with 1st Battalion, 6th Marines based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. He participated in the Battle of Ramadi as a Designated Marksman from 2006-2007 and as a Squad Leader in the Battle of Garmsir in 2008. After being honorably discharged in 2009 after serving for five years, he moved to Colorado and was married thereafter in 2011. He has a Bachelor’s in Business and a Masters in Writing. He lives with his wife and two kids, a boy and a girl. You can find him bowling, golfing, camping, hunting, or fishing when he’s not around his family. He is the author of the forthcoming book "It'll Buff Out". You can find Jared on Instagram here.
1 hr 53 min
May 8, 2023
Larry Freeland is the author of historical fiction novels Chariots in the Sky and the Patriarch, the first part of the Legacy of Honor trilogy. Larry was born in Canton, Ohio. Since his father was an officer with the United States Air Force he grew up on many Air Force bases across this country. After graduating from High School at Ramey Air Force Base in Puerto Rico, he attended the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida. He graduated in 1968 with a degree in mathematics and a concentration in finance. He joined the U.S. Army and served one tour in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne Division as an Infantry Officer and a CH-47 helicopter pilot. He is the recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross with one Oak Leaf Cluster, the Air Medal, with 10 Oak Leaf Clusters, the Bronze Star, and various other military service medals. Upon release from active duty in 1973, Larry returned to civilian life and pursued a career in the Financial Industry. During his professional care…
1 hr 36 min
May 2, 2023
Carey Kight combines operational military experience with an art school education to run efficient productions. He is an award-winning Executive Producer and Head of Production for integrated advertising campaigns. He currently plays that role at Circus Maximus, AdAge's 2021 Small Agency of the Year (11-75 Employees), GOLD, where they won AdAge's Creativity Awards' Best New Product Launch for King C. Gillette. Previously, he was with Boomshot and 77 Ventures Creative where he was a part of the team that helped develop, create, and launch Anheuser Busch's internal agency, DraftLine NYC. He wrote and produced their first ever Super Bowl ad, a regional spot for Natty Light. Carey got his start in advertising with the old Time, Inc. Studios, now The Foundry @ Meredith. As a member of the United States Air Force, he served in the United Kingdom, throughout Europe, and Afghanistan. He used the Post-9/11 GI Bill to study Film Studies at The Ohio State University and ear…
1 hr 50 min
Apr 18, 2023
Michael Jerome Plunkett
Michael Jerome Plunkett served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. After working in the financial industry for Fidelity Investments and Morgan Stanley for several years he began pursuing fiction writing and acquired his MFA at College of Charleston. He currently works as an EMT. His writing has been published by Coffee of Die (Black Rifle Coffee), Dead Reckoning Collective, and The Havok Journal. Lit of War
1 hr 42 min
Apr 11, 2023
Navy veteran Logan Vath is an award-winning singer/songwriter from Norfolk, Virginia. A Midwest native, he has established himself as a biographical lyricist who finds balance in intricate phrasing and a simple, genuine connection to his audience. His songs have found themselves on Spotify's "Roots on the Rise" and "Fresh Folk" playlists, as well as Apple Music's "Breaking Singer/Songwriter." You can see him live at VetRep's performance of Savage WonderGround: Three Strangers at @principlegallery on April 13 at 6pm (savagewonder.com)
1 hr 23 min
Apr 4, 2023
Michael D. Fay
Michael D. Fay is a former USMC Combat Artist with multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mike enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1975 and was discharged in 1978 as an 81 mm mortarman (MOS 0341). In 1978, he returned to Penn State Univeristy and graduated in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science in Art Education. In 1983, re-enlisted into the Marines and served as an avionics technician (MOS 6322) in the Presidential Helicopter Squadron (HMX-1) and Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 365 (HMM-365) until 1993. Fay served a tour on recruiting duty (MOS 8411) and was a recruiter of the year for 1989 and 1990. He left active duty at the end of September 1993. Fay returned to service in the USMCR in January 2000. He was assigned as an official combat artist. He is now retired from the Marine Corps. Fay's artwork is in the Marine Corps Combat Art collection, the National Museum of the Marine Corps and the collection of the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pennsylvania…
2 hr 6 min
Mar 28, 2023
A Coast Guard veteran and native of Long Beach, California, Reagan Pettigrew found his love for reading and writing while in the military. After his discharge, he began a new life on the road that took him from America to Europe. Suicide In Slow Motion is his breakout novel. From Long Beach, California to the mountains of the Pyrenees in northern Spain, Suicide In Slow Motion takes the reader on a voyage of discovery through Tristan’s eyes, while confronting the horrors of PTSD and delving into the philosophy of self-destruction. It also seeks to answer the question that many veterans ask once they leave the military... what the hell do I do now.
1 hr 32 min
Mar 21, 2023
Neville Johnson was born and raised in South Africa by a Mum who was a Nurse and a Dad who was a Police Officer. This early exposure to a life of service to country influenced his most significant life decisions. Before he started writing, this path took him to the United Kingdom, where he ended up in London as a member of her Majesty’s Royal Infantry. Neville currently resides in New Zealand with his wife and three children. He works at a high school as the Pathways Coordinator, assisting young people in developing essential life skills for their transition into the workforce. His first book, Sangin, Then and Now, is a stoic collection of poetry from a lifelong loyal subject of the Commonwealth. The verses within tell the story of a young man following in the footsteps of his father as we accompany him on a journey to war and back. It is a rationale for the dangers we face in staying in a toxic relationship with professions and landscapes trying to swallow us whole.
1 hr 43 min
Mar 14, 2023
Charles McCaffrey is a Navy Veteran with over 35 years of military, government contracting and small business experience; and is a serial entrepreneur, instructor, mentor and ardent supporter of the military community. Charles serves as the Director of the Veterans Career Program (VCP) at Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) that provides FREE employment support and vocational counseling assistance to ALL veterans, transitioning service members, spouses, and caregivers. Prior to joining PVA in October 2021, he served as the Executive Director of Eastern Market Main Street (EMMS), a nonprofit, and designated DC Main Streets program, dedicated to fostering a collaborative, connected, and competitive business community in the heart of the Capitol Hill neighborhood in Washington, DC. He was on the staff at George Mason University’s Community Business Partnership; and served as Director of the Business Incubation Center (2012-2013) and Director of the South Fairfax Small Business Developm…
1 hr 56 min
Mar 7, 2023
Kacy Tellesen was born in Spokane and raised in Spangle, Washington, a small farming community that clings to the edge of the Palouse. Kacy joined the Marine Corps infantry directly out of high school and deployed twice to Iraq as an Infantry machine gunner with Second Battalion, Third Marines from 2005-2009. He lives in Spangle, Washington with his wife and two children and is currently pursuing a Juris Doctor at Gonzaga University School of Law. Kacy's debut memoir, Freaks of a Feather, has been reviewed and excerpted by Task & Purpose, The War Horse, The Big Smoke, KHQ, and others. Previously, his work has appeared in The New York Times, Zero-Dark-Thirty literary journal, as well as the SOFLETE website.
1 hr 48 min
Feb 28, 2023
Ben Cantwell is a USMC veteran, firefighter and artist from Northern California. His original work reflects his experience as an infantry veteran. Featuring an array of styles, moods and themes, Cantwell’s work is available on custom shirts, playing cards, patches and more. See it here.
1 hr 15 min
Feb 21, 2023
Francisco is a product of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and serves as an editor and contributing writer to Panorama: The Journal of Intelligent Travel. He is an Into the Fire writing retreat scholarship recipient, and a Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Fellow. He is a product of the Writers Guild Foundation Veterans Writing Project, and the Veteran’s Summer Writing Intensive at Marlboro College sponsored by Words After War. He also participates in a Veterans Playwriting Workshop, created by the Theatre Communications Group as part of their Veterans & Theatre Institute, at the La Jolla Playhouse. Francisco’s work has been featured in The Line Literary Review, Hippocampus Magazine, Iron & Air (Issue 41), Wrath-Bearing Tree, Consequence, BULL, Hobart, Construction Literary Magazine, Split Lip, The War Horse, River Teeth: Beautiful Things, Collateral Journal, and the Dominican Writer’s Association. He is also a contributing co-editor in the second volume of…
1 hr 50 min
Feb 14, 2023
Dave Campisano and 22 Mohawks
Dave Campisano joined the Army in 2001 and served in various light infantry units until his separation in 2016. In 2009, he passed Ranger School and was deployed with the Golden Dragons 2/14In, 10th Mountain Division to Iraq. After his honorable discharge in 2016, he attended Suffolk University in Boston where he majored in Finance and now serves as a Financial Advisor with Northwestern Mutual and a financial planning team based in Wellesley, MA. He currently lives with his daughter, Isabella, and dog Winston in Millis, MA. After his separation from the Army, David began to notice that more and more service members were taking their own lives and felt compelled to start the non-profit, 22Mohawks. The main goal of 22Mohawks is to bring awareness to veteran suicide. They sponsor multiple events each year that bring veterans and their families together. Their mission is to create and keep the bond between veterans so that everyone knows that they have someone with similar experiences the…
1 hr 35 min
Feb 7, 2023
Vicki Cody grew up in Burlington, Vermont and graduated from the University of Vermont in 1975, with a BS degree in education. For the next 33 years she was an Army wife, supporting her husband in his career. While raising their two sons and moving all over the United States and overseas, she served as a coach and mentor for Army spouses and as an advocate for Army families. Vicki has received numerous awards for her work on behalf of military families. In 2007, she was written into the Congressional Record in a tribute to her by Congressman Sylvestre Reyes, for her writings about Army life and her contributions to the nation as an Army wife and Army mom. In 2021, Vicki, along with her husband Dick, received the General Creighton Abrams Medal for Service from the Association of the United States Army. She is the author of Your Soldier, Your Army: A Parents’ Guide and most recently, the revised edition, Your Soldier, Your Army: A Family Guide, both of which were published by the…
1 hr 50 min
Jan 31, 2023
Mike Reynolds is an active duty Marine and Marine Corps Combat Artist. With roots at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA while attending some very basic elective art classes; following the attacks of September 11th, 2001, he left college and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. As an Ammunition Technician he has been assigned to 10th Marine Regiment, 8th Marine Regiment, and Combat Logistics Regi ment-35. As a Chief Warrant Officer, he has served with 3rd Supply Battalion, Marine Corps Systems Command, Marine Corps Base Quantico, and as an LDO he currently serves with Marine Forces Special Operations Command. A veteran of OIF, OEF, and OIR he has done his share of creating unit t-shirts and coins, but took a more focused approach to creating artwork in recent years. “A few years after transitioning to the Warrant Officer ranks, I volunteered to assist the annual Warrant Officer Basic Course at Quantico, Virginia. I was was teamed with Staff Platoon Commander and Marine Cor…
1 hr 44 min
Jan 24, 2023
I found talking two Afghan social activist and human rights advocate Crystal Bayat incredibly cathartic - I think during the interview I even called it “medicinal.” I was thinking about why I chose to put it that way, and the best I can articulate it is that for many veterans of Afghanistan and many Afghans themselves, I think there a sort of “trauma bond” has formed - a very intimate relationship forged in the wake of a withdrawal that has been forgotten as quickly as it chaotically occurred. Talking with Crystal was, in some ways, like returning to the scene of the crime. While I was listening to her, it struck me how rarely we hear Americans speak as passionately, sincerely and fervently about freedom and democracy. Crystal truly represents the pro-American, young, educated Afghan that understands and appreciates American efforts – and has been betrayed even more by our withdrawl. Crystal herself is a beneficiary of our war effort. Born in 1997, she spent her life coming…
1 hr 54 min
Jan 17, 2023
No two veteran’s stories are the same. But Torie Fisher’s life is one that a lot of veterans can probably relate to. After a rough initial exit from the military, Torie re-enlisted, found a job she loved…only to again leave the military under less than ideal circumstances. She founded Backward Flag Brewing Company, but very soon found herself struggling as a new business owner, recent divorcee, newly married – gay – there were a lot of big changes all happening at once. It wasn’t long before the temptation to end it all was one trigger squeeze away. Yet Torie dug deeper, quit drinking heavily, focused on her daughter and focused on helping those around her. Arms 2 Artisans, her nonprofit, became a way for her to continue to serve the military community, support her brothers and sisters in arms, and allow her to pave the way for transitioning veterans to become artists, creators, and artisans. Her selfless service extended to becoming a Mental Wellness Director at Recalibrat…
2 hr 28 min
Jan 10, 2023
Angelo T. Robinson
Angelo T. Robinson is an interdisciplinary artist and photographer who lives and works out of Senoia, GA. A self-taught artist, he joined the US Navy in 1992, where he served ten years active duty and four years in the Naval Reserves as a Seabee. Traveling to locales such as Italy, Spain, Turkey, Greece, Africa, France, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Egypt, the Virgin Islands, Israel, and the United Arab Emirates greatly influenced Angelo’s approach to art. The vibrancy, diverse richness and simple beauty of the cultures he experienced are shown throughout his work. His work exudes a level of spirituality and an organic connection with the human condition. This reflects his experiences growing up as the son and grandson of preachers. Angelo’s creations invite the viewer to participate in a physical, mental or spiritual dialogue with what they experience. Deep vibrant abstracts, joyous colorful mixed-media portraits, and majestic sports pieces are brought to life using vivid colors and bold co…
2 hr 29 min
Jan 3, 2023
Steve Callahan is a writer, a poet and a former Marine infantryman. Bursting with creative efforts, Steve runs a poetry site, podcast, and is heavily involved in PB Abbate. As someone who separated from the Corps this past February, Steve’s writing about the Marines, his deployment to Helmand and the psychological peaks and valleys of an infantryman’s life feels very fresh and relevant. In fact, I find that Steve writes about the Marines in a very post-breakup sort of way – a kind of writing loaded with raw, tender-to-the-touch emotions. This is somewhat by design. Steve was a writer from an early age. Much like Jack Kerouac or George Orwell, Steve felt an innate compulsion to shuck the comfortable malaise of young writer for the constant discontent of an adventurer. In Steve’s case, that meant joining the Marine Corps. After a somewhat fulfilling, somewhat demoralizing six year stint, Steve now finds himself tackling his novel, his poetry and short stories with a renewed pers…
1 hr 38 min
Dec 27, 2022
Year-End Show with Charlie Faint and the Havok Journal team
The year-end wrap up with Havok Journal owner Charlie Faint, Editor-in-Chief Mike Warnock, and Marketing Manager Alyssa Sudermann.
1 hr 8 min
Dec 20, 2022
Army combat veteran Christopher Soucy is an actor, puppeteer, director, screenwriter, and playwright living in Savannah, Georgia. He has been writing for stage and screen for over 20 years. Read some of Chris' poetry on the Savage Wonder literary blog here. Chris tweets here. Follow Chris here.
2 hr 6 min
Dec 13, 2022
It is important for veterans' experiential wisdom to, well, not die with them. Passing on the lessons learned - the best practices, the frank admissions, the abject failures - is crucial for both a civilian population that may not otherwise relate AND for the veteran population that does. So it would be a shame not to pick the brain of a man who has operated at the highest levels of the DoD, the most exotic assignments in the USG, and the most adventurous sectors of the private security industry. Dale Comstock is a lot more than the bullet points on his resume. That said, he has a lot of bullet points. Dale served in 1st SFOD-D (Delta Force), 3rd Special Forces Group, and in the 82nd Airborne Division 325th Infantry. He also worked 9.5 years as a paramilitary operative for USG and concurrently worked as a contract security specialist, COO, Vice President, and President for various security companies applying his skills and knowledge on a myriad of security challenges around the world.…
1 hr 52 min
Dec 6, 2022
Chris Sparks is an Army veteran who could speak Arabic, a former police officer and current stand-up comic. More than that, he's an incredibly affable, humble, intelligent and ambitious guy. His documentary Thank Me for My Service: A Veteran’s Cry for Help is a tough watch. It is tough technically – intentionally – and it is tough because of its subject matter – which is Chris himself. The film captures a two-day period this past August when Chris finds himself in a manic state due to the meddling and persistent worrying of his family. Their worry is not without cause – Chris has a TBI and is bi-polar. But Chris’ focus is on developing his one-man live show (of Thank Me For My Service) and he needs a few days of isolation to develop it, but instead has to navigate psychiatrist appointments and arguments. It should be the stuff of comedy – especially since Chris is a stand-up comic. It screams for the irreverence of Jack Nicholson or the fevered outbursts of a young Michae…
1 hr 51 min
Nov 29, 2022
Nicholas Efstathiou is a US Army veteran. He writes horror, paranormal, and strange fiction. He has worked as a bookmobile driver, a librarian, a trashman, a bookseller, and now as a teacher. He has also ghostwritten dozens of popular books. His writing @crossmassachusetts is not for the faint of heart.
1 hr 43 min
Nov 22, 2022
No - you're not crazy, it's a shared episode with the Savage Wonder podcast. Kris is just that interesting. Kristopher Battles is a contemporary fine artist creating artworks in a variety of media which honor the highest traditions of representational art. Battles graduated with a BFA in Painting from Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman State University) in December 1991, and earned his MFA in Illustration from the University of Hartford in September 2013. Originally serving as a Marine Reservist from 1986 until 1996, Battles became a Marine combat artist after reenlisting in 2006, and deployed to Overseas Contingency Operations several times to create art for the United States Marine Corps, serving in that billet until 2014. From 2014 until 2019, Battles served as a civilian combat artist for the Naval History and Heritage Command at the Navy Yard in Washington, DC. Battles is currently the Marine Corps Artist in Residence, on staff at the National Museum of the Ma…
1 hr 18 min
Nov 8, 2022
Lori Butierries is a full-time caregiver to two children with special needs, one child being terminally ill and physically disabled. Lori uses her life experiences and the medical knowledge she gained while serving as a Hospital Corpsman in the United States Navy to help others facing similar hardships. Lori focuses primarily on advocating for and educating others about the special needs, mental health, and veterans communities. Her long-term goal is to reduce the stigma associated with disability by talking about it with people of all ages, thus minimizing the fear and the mystery attributed to the unknown in this regard.
1 hr 57 min
Nov 1, 2022
An Editorial Note
A quick note to keep you all plugged in as we revamp and reload the show. Back next week with Lori Buttieries!
Sep 27, 2022
Tyler Heisey is on his way to certification as a mental health professional and is the founder of Back Azimuth Solutions, dedicated to helping veterans with their individual goals. A former Marine Corps infantryman and combat veteran, Tyler is dedicated to helping guide individuals down a proper “azimuth,” ensuring they identify their true potential in this life and how to truly take charge of their individual lives, despite potential obstacles in life.
2 hr 23 min
Sep 13, 2022
I talk to myself. It's that time of year. Jim Gerghaty on COVID origins.
1 hr 1 min
Aug 30, 2022
Nate Gladdin is the host of the Inheriting Manhood podcast and is an active-duty Air Force NCO with 21 years under his belt.
2 hr 13 min
Aug 23, 2022
Paul Alkoby is a Photographer & Filmmaker currently based in Orlando, FL. "Much of my work is primarily based in the fitness and tactical realms however, I truly believe in creating outside of my comfort zone. Starting as a street photographer, I rapidly realized my passion for using a camera to create images whether still or video. My work has taken me internationally shooting for a wide variety of brands as well as passion projects such as documentaries within the veteran community where my roots are tied. Upon separating from the military, I found myself working in the private sector as a defense contractor which ultimately led me to a path of creativity." Follow Paul here.
1 hr 36 min
Jul 26, 2022
Lee Keith has been a success in everything he has done. From competitive soccer to a stint in the Army to the financial services sector to launching the multi-million dollar clothing brand B.elieve L.ove R.espect and now the cider brand B.elieve L.ove R.elax, Lee has approached each venture with a big heart, a love of his community and an appreciation for the morals and ethics that he was raised with. B.elieve L.ove R.espect B.elieve L.ove R.elax Follow BLR here
1 hr 38 min
Jul 19, 2022
Paul Harrington, Part II
We're back. Sorry for the hiatus. I hate it when podcasts do that, and I became the thing I hated go figure. There are reasons of course, but we've put some plans in place to make sure we never disappear from the face of the earth again. There is a happy accident in all this, however. Our last episode was with Paul Harrington and our first episode back just so happens to feature Paul again as well, so you're getting back-to-back episodes for your binge listening ease. Air Force veteran Paul Harrington is the author of the soon to be released Justice or Not: My Experiences as a State Corrections Officer in New York's Prisons. Paul was injured on the job due to workplace violence - violence committed by another officer. Paul and I discuss the toxicity of working in the prison system, the psychology of working in such an environment for so long and why you never hear of a really motivated corrections officer. Air Force veteran Paul Harrington is the author of the soon to be released J…
1 hr 41 min
May 10, 2022
Paul Harrington, part I
Air Force veteran Paul Harrington is the author of the soon to be released Justice or Not: My Experiences as a State Corrections Officer in New York's Prisons. Paul was injured on the job due to workplace violence - violence committed by another officer. Paul and I discuss the toxicity of working in the prison system, the psychology of working in such an environment for so long and why you never hear of a really motivated corrections officer. Justice or Not Facebook page
1 hr 27 min
Apr 27, 2022
"Miggy" and the War in Ukraine
Scott Faith covers down for me and interviews "Miggy", a Ukrainian still in country about what he is seeing and hearing and feeling while under attack from the Russians.
1 hr 22 min
Apr 19, 2022
Tom Schueman is an active duty Marine infantry officer with deployments to Afghanistan, Australia and a former English instructor at the Naval Academy. He has accumulated a large following through his Instagram account @kill.z0n3 where he touches on the philosophy, psychology, and intellectual framework of the modern day warfighter and the powers that govern him. In addition, Tom is the founder of PB Abbate, one of the most dynamic and impactful veterans nonprofit to emerge in the past year. Tom has also just launched Lethal Minds Journal. He may be moving the needle more than almost any other field grade officer when it comes to bottom-up development of the veteran and servicemember community right now. Have a listen here. Follow kill.z0n3 here. Follow Lethal Minds Journal here. Find out more about PB Abbate here.
1 hr 59 min
Apr 12, 2022
Geoff Dardia couldn’t have been a better guest to have on this week. I realized, after the episode, that we had recorded it on the one-year anniversary of the show. Sure, we had a lot to talk about – Ukraine, the Afghan withdrawl, the state of military readiness in the event of war in Europe…or the South China Sea, the intersection of our kids and military service, but it was great to have Geoff on to discuss since he is exactly the kind of guest that makes Profiles in Havok (and the old Weekly Havok) so popular. In fact, Geoff’s other appearance on the show was on Weekly Havok, so I’m glad we could officially record his “profile”. If you don’t remember Geoff from his previous appearance…Master Sergeant Geoffrey P Dardia is a career Special Forces soldier who helped stand up, and currently serves as the Operations Sergeant for 3rd Special Forces Group’s Human Performance and Wellness Program. MSG Dardia is also the founder and Program Director for 3rd Special Force…
1 hr 42 min
Apr 5, 2022
Ben Buehler-Garcia never served in the military – which is why he supports those who do. For over 25 years he has volunteered with various initiatives to support military families including the Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee, Employer Support of the Guard & Reserve, USS Tucson 770 Club, the Tucson Community Cares Foundation and as the Honorary Commander for the 12th Air Force/Air Forces Southern. But almost a decade ago, Ben took over the still new American Warrior Radio and built it into a platform that advocates for veterans by giving them a platform on both public radio and podcast networks to tell their stories. Ben is a seasoned pro at mining veterans' stories for content that will help bridge the civil-military divide and ensure that veterans' wisdom and experiences do not get memory-holed. In a time when so many veterans are trying to find their voice and when the country is often confused about the warfighter experience, Ben has selfless…
1 hr 42 min
Mar 29, 2022
A long time coming. Finally was able to sit down with JC Glick and Zoom to Zoom with one of the great thinkers and writers at Havok Journal. What a blast. We have more laughs than you would think as we cover everything from the origins of his suicidal ideations to the policy failures in Afghanistan. JC Glick served in two Ranger Battalions as well as Regimental Headquarters and has over 7 years in the Ranger Regiment and over 7 and a half years (90 months) of command time with operational and combat deployments to Haiti, Bangladesh, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He was a Senior Service Chief’s Fellow at Defense Research Projects Agency located outside of Washington DC, as well as serving as the Chief of Future Operations at the Asymmetric Warfare Group (AWG) at Fort Meade, MD. His last assignment was the Director of Victory College at Fort Jackson, leading the Army’s Leadership Development School, Resiliency School and the military’s only Physical Fitness School. In his tenure as the D…
1 hr 57 min
Mar 22, 2022
Havok Journal writer Neville Johnson has lived a life of high adventure. And he has the scars to prove it. Always an articulate, humble, insightful and soulful interview, we start at his childhood in South Africa as the son of a police officer and follow him into the British Army, deployments to Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan and then into the realm of private military contracting in Iraq. I've always been fascinated with the Border Wars and the second- and third-order effects of the end of apartheid and Nev provides a fascinating window into day-to-day life in South Africa before, during and after the vast political changes. But Nev also has an eye for the intimate details, the quiet moments, the key decision points that kept him in the profession of arms for so long. It was a real pleasure to speak with Nev about subjects that so few can speak knowledgeably about. Life by Neville Johnson in Havok Journal Sunset by Neville Johnson in Havok Journal Home Coming by Neville Joh…
2 hr 8 min
Mar 15, 2022
Wesley Morgan is a military affairs reporter who covered the Pentagon for two and a half years at Politico. He previously worked as a freelance journalist in Washington, D.C., Iraq, and Afghanistan, contributing stories to The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Atlantic and other publications. He is an alumnus of Princeton University. In the wake of our withdrawl from Afghanistan, I - like many of you - have done a lot of soul-searching, navel gazing, and head-scratching about the war: our goals, our execution, our exit. That's why I was glad to have Wes Morgan on the show today. Wes is the author of The Hardest Place: The American Military Adrift in Afghanistan's Pech Valley, a book that I place alongside Steve Coll's books and Thomas Barfield's Afghanistan as invaluable contributions to understanding the country and its problem sets. Wes started the book as an embedded reporter in 2010 and continued writing it, traveling to Afghanistan and interviewing folks for the next…
1 hr 26 min
Mar 8, 2022
Tom and Jen Satterly
Command Sgt. Major (ret.) Tom Satterly served in the Army for 25 years, 20 of those years were spent in the military’s most secretive and elite Special Operations unit, Delta Force. As an Operator and CSM, Tom fought in and lead countless high profile military missions including Operation Red Dawn (Saddam Hussein’s capture) and the Battle of Mogadishu (Black Hawk Down). Although the physical, mental, and emotional toll of war had compounded over the years, Tom never faced his Post-Traumatic Stress symptoms and in 2013 he nearly ended his life. Had it not been a text from his now wife, Jen, he would have joined the 22 veterans who commit suicide every single day. The Satterly’s founded All Secure Foundation in August 2017 as a resource library for helping warriors and their families navigate the maze of treatments and modalities of healing from PTS. They have worked individually with hundreds of warriors and their families and soon became more than a referral website but also a p…
1 hr 54 min
Mar 1, 2022
Scott Mann is a professional storyteller. His play Last Out is a full-spectrum treatment of our war in Afghanistan. It is not an anti-war play. It is not a pro-war play. It is simply a play about war and all its complications - the toll it takes on the warfighter; the way it impacts the warfighter’s family - both positively and negatively; the intersection of cultures in this particular war; finding - or failing to find - a strategic equilibrium that worked and was sustainable. It short Scott gives a 360-degree look at the micro and macro implications of the war. It is rare to find a play that feeds both left and right brains, yet Scott managed to write it. More than that, he also starred in the play, along with a cast that includes two other combat veterans. Only the outbreak of COVID stopped Last Out’s tour of 16 cities. But you can’t understand Scott as a warrior-artist until you really understand his warrior path. A career Army officer, Scott retired as a Lieutenant Colonel…
2 hr 17 min
Feb 22, 2022
Toby Harnden's latest book is First Casualty: The Untold Story of the CIA Mission to Avenge 9/11. He is a winner of the Orwell Prize for Books. A former foreign correspondent for the Sunday Times of London and the Daily Telegraph who reported from thirty-three countries, Toby specializes in terrorism and war. Born in Portsmouth, England, Harnden was imprisoned in Zimbabwe, prosecuted in Britain for protecting confidential sources, and vindicated by a $23 million public inquiry in Ireland. A dual British and US citizen, he spent a decade as a Royal Navy officer before becoming a journalist. He holds a First Class degree in modern history from Oxford and is the author of Bandit Country: The IRA & South Armagh and Dead Men Risen: An Epic Story of War and Heroism in Afghanistan. Previously based in London, Belfast, Jerusalem, Baghdad, and Washington, DC, he lives in Virginia. After two hours, we had covered a lot about First Casualty, a little about Toby and we left a lot on the table for…
1 hr 52 min
Feb 15, 2022
My guest this week was Hollie McKay. Hollie has worked on the frontlines of several major war zones and covered humanitarian and diplomatic crises in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Iran, Turkey, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Burma, Russia, Africa, Latin America, and other areas. She has written for Coffee or Die, the Wall Street Journal and many other publications where she has garnered a slew of foreign press and humanitarian awards for her writing. Today, I spoke with her about Afghanistan. She was in Mazar-e Sharif when it fell to the Taliban, she was evacuated by the Taliban to the Uzbek border and she returned a few weeks later to travel throughout Afghanistan for the next three months, capturing aspects of Afghan life and the changing culture and politics perhaps in ways that no other journalist has done so far. There is no one better acquainted with the new normal in Afghanistan than Hollie and I was beyond thrilled to talk with her and press her for details on foreign involvement i…
1 hr 30 min
Feb 8, 2022
I am not exaggerating when I say that High Risk Soldier:Trauma and Triumph in the Global War on Terror may be the best first-person military memoir I've ever read. Culled from Terron Wharton’s personal journal and emails home, it captures so many sights, sounds, and emotions that come with a deployment that you will feel like you’re there – but even more than that, you will also read descriptions that you never have heard articulated so simply and so thoroughly. One example that moved me was: “You never really know how much a situation has affected you until you're no longer neck deep in it, until you're no longer looking over your shoulder, until your mind finally registers "Hey, relax, no one is trying to kill you." You get a massive outpouring of tension... followed by relief... and then followed by guilt. Finally, the strangest thing of all: you start to miss it. You find you feel more awkward back in this alternate reality than in your "normal" world, and you wonder wh…
1 hr 53 min
Feb 1, 2022
When I started the Weekly Havok it was supposed to be a roundtable discussion with the staff and writers at Havok Journal. You probably noticed it increasingly because one-on-one interviews. Honestly, it's just hard to wrangle three guests for a panel each week. That's why it started becoming more "spotlight" episodes where I did one-on-one interviews. So, after a little thinking, we've rebranded TWH into Profiles in Havok - which kind of fits the one-on-one interview theme a lot better. And it will still populate in your old TWH feed, so you can still listen to our old episodes. But I couldn't think of a better guest to kick off our rebranding than Brad Thomas. There are a lot of reasons I couldn't wait to sit down and talk with Brad. I've listened to his rock band Silence & Light's debut album a lot. The battle of Mogadishu had a big impact on both of us - me in high school and him being there. And like him, I was greatly influenced by a lot of early 90's bands. So I had high hopes f…
Jan 18, 2022
Dave Campisano is the founder and president of 22 Mohawks. So it's no surprise we start talking about veteran suicide, the pros and cons of raising awareness about veteran suicide, the "dysfunctional veteran" narrative. But that is only the start. How much does sex and death fuel our life choices? How do you rebound when your hopes and dreams are denied?How did Dave manage to go through Special Forces Assessment and Selection as a junior enlisted soldier in a recruiting battalion? A great time talking with one of the most ambitious and dedicated minds in the veteran non-profit space. Show Notes 22 Mohawks Follow 22 Mohawks on IG
1 hr 47 min
Jan 11, 2022
Spotlight: Ayman Kafel
Ayman Kafel is no stranger to the Weekly Havok, but every time he's been on he's managed to pique my interest with another personal tidbit that I don't have time to dive into during a roundtable discussion. Until now. From a childhood in spent in the Liberian and Lebanese civil wars to combat tours in Iraq to a prolific law enforcement career, Ayman has had an incredibly unique life. In a conversation that veers from the political to the personal to the biographical, we cover everything from the politics of law enforcement to the most fascinating warlord in African history. Show Alibis I didn't plan on talking about longtime Harlem congressman Charlie Rangel during the episode, so I was really going from memory when I said he may have won the Medal of Honor for his actions in Korea. He didn't. He won a Bronze Star with Valor. His famous statement which I paraphrased was, "Since Kunu Ri – and I mean it with all my heart, I have never, never had a bad day." Show Notes Project Sapie…
1 hr 59 min
Jan 4, 2022
New Year, Same Afghanistan
This episode was recorded during the holidays, but no holiday spirit was harmed during the making of it. Well, actually, it was. Driven by a few text messages, I plunge into a recap of the past few months in Afghanistan and what it likely means for the rest of the world. Show Notes Second Mission Foundation Operation Recovery Save Our Allies Pars Equality Center Chinese mines at Mes Aynak
Dec 28, 2021
Holiday Movie - Zulu
Charlie and I end the year talking about Zulu, one of my favorite military movies of all time. If you haven't seen it, you owe it to yourself - and your kids. No, it's not politically correct. But then, what was in 1879? (That's when the Battle of Roarke's Drift occurred. Not the movie. That was 1964. But still not a super politically correct time.) What it lacks in neuroses, it makes up for in accuracy - not so much with the events, although they are largely correct - but in regards to leadership, discipline, and the nuances of life and death struggles. Have a great time overthinking this one with us.
1 hr 5 min
Dec 20, 2021
Holiday Movie - Red Dawn
It's the holidays, well, pretty much. So what, did you think we were going to knock ourselves out? It's not that we didn't want to - there is an AFG-focused episode or four coming up - but for the holidays, we wanted to do something a little lighthearted. Not to mention give you some inspiration for holidays movies to share with the family. Well, maybe. So this week, Charlie and I sat down to talk about one of his favorites, Red Dawn. We talk about its impact, its legacy and we overthink all of the meaning and significance we can find. But it's a good time. Enjoy - and hey, Merry Christmas! Show Notes Havok Journal Second Mission Foundation Veterans Repertory Theater Savage Wonder
Dec 11, 2021
The Army-Navy Game
It is on record. Mike Kelvington predicts: Army 31-17, with Army passing 5 times. Charlie Faint says: Army wins by two touchdowns. Marshall McGurk goes with: Army by 21 points or more. And I said: I was enlisted and can't play in these reindeer games. Now, you're probably thinking that since it was just a bunch of Army types, we must have conducted a very biased episode of the Weekly Havok. Apart from the predictions, I can honestly say no Navy personnel's feelings were harmed during the making of this episode. In fact, everyone went out of their way to talk about the tragic death of CDR Brian Bourgeois, as well as their appreciation for the Air Force on a day that they are generally forgotten. So it was a very genteel treatment of the other services. Show Alibis We did try to get a Department of Navy representative on the show, but it didn't work out and left us to police our own trash talk to the point that it never really came out. Next year, we'll try to work on our Diversity, E…
1 hr 10 min
Dec 7, 2021
The Role of Femininity in the Military
I sat down with Lani Hankins, Lori Buttieries and Dex for a frank conversation about not just women in the military, but femininity in the military - its uses, its problems - and how each of them personally wrestled with it. We cover a lot of ground - the cliquishness of female servicemembers, the need to never be the weakest link, the desire to be held to the same standards. The ladies were articulate, fearless and didn't shy away from their very personal insights and critiques of both themselves and others. This episode has a lot of food for thought, I've found myself thinking about it every day since we recorded. I think this started a much larger conversation. Show Alibis A few times on the show, I've mentioned that I wasn't around females that much in the military. I guess that's generally true - except for one administrative position I held, I was in all-male units. But after this show, I kicked myself for not bringing up some of my experiences with females in the military and…
1 hr 13 min
Nov 23, 2021
Spotlight: Sam Jacobs
A brief summary of this episode
Nov 16, 2021
Spotlight: Daniel Gade
Daniel Gade returned to the show for a spotlight episode about a month ago. As with all spotlight episodes, there's a long flash-to-bang before airing since these are evergreen episodes that we use to cover down on weeks I'm probably too busy with VetRep. Daniel is an American disability and veteran rights activist, political candidate, professor, and researcher. He is a West Point graduate. He became an amputee in 2005 while serving as a company commander in Ramadi, Iraq. Daniel wen't on to serve in the Army until 2017, retiring as a lieutenant colonel. He was the Republican nominee for Virginia's senate race in the 2020 election. Daniel's book Wounding Warriors: How Bad Policy is Making Veterans Sicker and Poorer is out now and available everywhere - it was in pre-order stage when the episode aired, so don't be fooled - it IS available now! Show Notes Wounding Warriors: How Bad Policy is Making Veterans Sicker and Poorer Dan Gade on Twitter
1 hr 54 min
Nov 9, 2021
The Insult and Injury to ODA 3212
James Gordon Meek is an Emmy, SPJ and Overseas Press Club Award-winnng national security investigative reporter for ABC News. Previously he was Senior Investigator and Senior Counterterrorism Advisor to two chairmen of the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security. With LTC Scott Mann he created Task Force Pineapple, an ad hoc group of veterans who evacuated hundreds of Afghans after the fall of Kabul in August 2021. James was my guest this week as we dove into his 90-minute documentary feature "3212 Un-Redacted" which premieres on Hulu on November 11. Due to his heavy promotion schedule, we didn't have a ton of time, so we get right to the point and start pointing figures and naming names. Show Notes 3212 Un-Redacted Task Force Pineapple James Gordon Meek Veterans Repertory Theater Savage Wonder
Nov 3, 2021
What Do You Fear?
Show Notes Project Sapient Havok Journal Veterans Repertory Theater Savage Wonder
1 hr 9 min
Oct 26, 2021
Porn in the Military
This week got a little taboo. There's been a lot of stuff in the media lately about porn - including the resuscitation of the feminist/evangelical alliance against porn - so it made me think about porn in the military. I bounced the idea off of Charlie and Ben Varlese and Chris Otero came on the show to discuss porn in the military. The pros, the cons, the unintended consequences and the way porn intersects with wartime service. Before you ask, yes, we really wanted to have at least one female from the Havok family come on the show, because we felt like it would be a valuable perspective, but we couldn't pull it off in time. But it was a good roundtable nonetheless. And I'm sure we'll revisit a lot of issues raised in the months to come, so plenty of opportunities to get more perspectives. Have a listen here. Show Alibis So what's with joshing Ben about his cyber certificate from Colorado State? The last time he was on, he had everything go wrong with his connection that could happe…
1 hr 23 min
Oct 21, 2021
What Should Masculinity Mean?
A few weeks ago, during our crossover episode with Project Sapient, I got to talking with 22 Mohawks founder Dave Campisano about masculinity and what it means, especially to veterans. I told him we needed to do a show on just that topic, so this was the week. We brought on former Marine and current poet Mason Rodrigue as well as Havok Journal owner Charlie Faint to talk about it. And Dave attempted to be the first guest to do the show from a moving vehicle (no spoilers, but it didn't really work out). But it was a good slightly-more-than-wavetops dive into the subject. There will be more to follow... Show Alibis If you're wondering if we suddenly decided to start publishing these episodes on Thursdays, no we didn't. I'm going to blame task saturation and what turned out to be a false clear memory of publishing it a few days ago. #Facepalm. I really like Mason. (I really like Dave too, but only when he's not driving and I'm not calling him Nate). Would have loved to NCO that dude. A…
1 hr 15 min
Oct 12, 2021
Spotlight: Greg Drobny
Our first ever Spotlight episode shines a light on Havok Journal writer Greg Drobny. Greg is a former Airborne Infantryman, PSYOP Team Chief, political consultant, professional mil blogger, and Code Platoon’s Student Outreach Coordinator. He holds a BA and MA in history, as well as a Masters of Science in organizational psychology. Show Notes Code Platoon Havok Journal Veterans Repertory Theater Savage Wonder
1 hr 50 min
Oct 6, 2021
What Is Your Purpose?
This week, I sat down with Liz DeGraeve, Elana Duffy and Havok Journal owner Charlie Faint to talk about purpose. Liz has shifted from a colorful and accomplished 23-year career in Army intelligence into being a 6th grade teacher. Elana held an Ivy League master's degree before becoming an accomplished combat veteran who earned the Purple Heart and a medical discharge and has leveraged it all to become a successful entrepreneur. And of course, Charlie combines military service, entrepreneurship and scholastic accomplishment. It was a group that seems to have no lack of motivation and purpose - so it was insightful to talk about their missteps, their doubts, and where they draw strength. Show Notes Pathfinder LLC Women in Combat Second Mission Foundation Savage Wonder podcast Veterans Repertory Theater
1 hr 20 min
Oct 3, 2021
Extra Episode - Marvel Meets DC: The Project Sapient/Weekly Havok Crossover Episode
On Monday, September 27 at Clerys in downtown Boston...the Weekly Havok and Project Sapient pulled off a massive 2.5 hour crossover podcast for Project Sapient's Vet2Vet event. Worlds collided. DC and Marvel together. Batman killed Thanos. Epic. There may have been alcohol involved. Big shout out to 22mohawks Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Program and everyone that came out to talk #afghanistan #veteransuicide #ptsd #supportthetroops Show Notes Savage Wonder Veterans Repertory Theater Project Sapient
2 hr 24 min
Sep 28, 2021
Are the Kids Alright?
This week I talked with Charlie Faint and Jeff Marshburn about veterans in education – how education can impact veterans and how veterans impact the educational realm, whether as students or teachers. We talk about the tokenization of veterans, the cognitive dissonance felt by veterans immersed in academic culture and the particular culture of West Point. No, it never devolves into a West Point infomercial, but we were going to have to talk about it a little – Charlie still teaches there and Jeff taught there. Plus Charlie was wearing a very loud Army football jersey and we were recording the episode just before Jeff and Charlie went to the Army-Miami (OH) game, so there was no way we were going to avoid talking about it. Have a listen here. Show Alibis I’m suffering from a severe bout of Alibi writer’s block. I’m sure there are plenty of things I should offer up excuses for, but I can’t think of any, so I’ll settle brevity by stopping here. Show Notes Second Mission…
Sep 21, 2021
What Should the Layman Understand About National Security?
Some weeks, the Weekly Havok isn’t just the name of the show, it’s also the way the show comes together. This was one of those weeks. We threw every hiccup and technical glitch we could at Ben Varlese and Dax Mallory and they kept on ticking. Best of all – thanks to our producer Michael Neal – none of the glitches will even make it into the episode. So you will never know the landmines you dodged in your audio experience this week. Probably good to have a week like this every so often – keeps us humble. But if you think Ben and Dax are good guests, just wait until they do a show where everything goes smoothly. Show Alibis Did I even mention the subject this week? That was the first audible we called on Dax and Ben – getting them to pick the subject about a minute before we started the show. I gave them three choices and they picked the one I could barely articulate, go figure. So I spent the first five minutes of the show trying to figure out what the hell I had signed us…
1 hr 10 min
Sep 14, 2021
What Does 9/11 Mean to You Now?
On 9/11, Ayman Kafel was an American college student of Middle Eastern descent and Marshall McGurk was a second-year cadet at West Point. How they interpreted 9/11 and how they responded to a nation suddenly at war didn’t just take them to the sharp tip of the spear in the War on Terror – it changed their lives irrevocably – but not regrettably. It was a privilege to sit down with these two thoughtful veterans and discuss what 9/11 should really mean for us as we commemorate the original attacks – even after everything that has gone on in the twenty years since. Show Notes High Risk Soldier by Terron Wharton Project Sapient podcast Operation Recovery Save Our Allies No One Left Behind Pars Equality Center Havok Journal Veterans Repertory Theater Savage Wonder podcast
1 hr 41 min
Sep 11, 2021
The 9/11 Special Episode
Consider this the first Tri-Weekly Havok episode. Now, we had a 9/11 episode planned as part of our regularly scheduled programming. But I did this solo recording for two reasons: I really wanted to post something that would go out on 9/11 itself especially on a 9/11 as significant as this one and I didn’t want to detract from our roundtable by diving too deeply into my personal 9/11 experiences. Thanks for indulging me in both the excruciatingly specific details and the vague recollections. Have a listen here. Show Alibis I really dropped the ball on some parts of my 9/11 story, so I’ll try to make amends here. It’s a damn shame since both are positive notes. First, I mentioned that, on September 10th, I was supposed to work the graveyard shift at a law firm – Brown and Wood – which was located on the upper floors of one of the Towers. I also mentioned that I thought of the folks there as the towers were coming down. What I failed to mention was that, days later, I found…
Sep 8, 2021
Extra Episode - Why Should We Still Care About Afghanistan?
We don’t want to bang the drum about Afghanistan to the point it is just white noise. And we have a lot of great guests and a lot of great subjects booked for the Weekly Havok. But events in Afghanistan are unfolding rapidly and with great significance for our national security, the future of the country and the future of terrorism. It’s important to note what’s happening along the way. And if we can do that without detracting from our regularly scheduled programming, all the better. So here’s an extra episode, catching you up to everything Afghanistan-related as of late 07 September 2021. Show Alibis Not much to say here. Still tired, mostly due to keeping up with the roll-out of the new Afghanistan. Hopefully it doesn’t show up too much in the episode. I really tried to keep this episode short and sweet, but it ended up being 71 minutes or so. Oh well, the best laid plans of mice and men… Show Notes Operation Recovery Save Our Allies No One Left Behind Pars Equalit…
1 hr 11 min
Sep 7, 2021
What Is Courage?
There is no way to do justice to a subject like courage in the space of an hour. But there is a way to hit some major wavetops, and that’s what we did this week. Combat vets Dave Hartmann and Douglas Dodge joined the show for a discussion about courage that ranged from the philosophical to the personal. And then Doug talked about Medal of Honor recipient SFC Al Cashe. If you don’t know about Al Cashe, you should. And if you haven’t heard Doug talk about Al Cashe, then you need to. Military guys do a lot of hard, traumatic things. But what Doug and Al Cashe went through is on another level. It may not tell you everything you need to know about courage, but it tells you more than you probably knew. Show Alibis When I’m tired, I don’t get inarticulate, I get overly articulate and end up using polysyllabic words that don’t mean what I mean them to mean. And going into this show, I was tired. Not so tired that it detracted from Doug or Dave or the subject matter, but enough th…
1 hr 14 min
Aug 31, 2021
Veterans and Politics, Veterans in Politics
A brief summary of this episode
1 hr 13 min
Aug 26, 2021
Extra Episode - Everything You Wanted Know About Afghanistan, But Were Too Afraid to Ask
Yes, the show is the WEEKLY Havok, but the nature of this week in Afghanistan made this the first Bi-Weekly Havok episode. I went solo only because I wanted to present some Cliff Notes on Afghan history as well as take a swing at some low-hanging fruit on the social media BS tree and none of our guests needed to be around for that. Fair warning – at the rate events are unspooling at HKIA, this may turn out to be the Tri-Weekly Havok. Show Notes Afghanistan by Thomas Barfield Ghost Wars by Steve Coll Directorate S by Steve Coll
Aug 24, 2021
What Does Our Abandonment of Afghanistan Mean?
Of course we were going to talk about Afghanistan. On the best of weeks, it doesn’t take a lot for me to talk about Afghanistan. Even moreso now. Just for added variety and perspective, we imported two non-Havok Journal folks to talk about it – Dr. Paul D. Miller and “G” an active-duty NSW operator 20 years and 12 deployments into his career. HJ was well-represented with one of our most articulate civilian writers – Dr. Alice Atalanta – who – spoiler alert – bridged the civ-mil divide in an unsparing critique of civilian inattention to Afghanistan. Whether you’re still fuzzy on why Afghanistan matters or if you simply need some catharsis, this episode is going to have something for you. Show Notes Just War and Ordered Liberty by Dr. Paul D. Miller American Power and Liberal Order by Dr. Paul D. Miller Armed State Building by Dr. Paul D. Miller Afghanistan Didn’t Have to End This Way by Dr. Paul D. Miller How to reach Dr. Alice Atalanta How else to reach Dr. A…
1 hr 13 min
Aug 17, 2021
Do Veterans Matter to the Media and Does the Media Matter to Veterans?
Do vets matter to the media and does the media matter to vets? The answer is of course, yes. But in what ways do vets matter to the media? As props? As confirmation of prior biases? And how do vets engage with the media? Does it give a voice to the voiceless? Does the media generate more heat than light in the veteran community? I discuss all this and more with American Warrior Radio’s Ben Beuhler-Garcia, author, columnist, music video director and Warfighter Rights leader Boone Cutler, and Havok Journal owner Charlie Faint. Show Alibis I think it’s safe to say, this was the first episode I didn’t feel needed. Ben is a very experienced host and Boone is a prolific talker. It’s a good thing too. Charlie and I had just recorded the pilot episode of the Savage Wonder podcast (links coming soon!) and my synapses were, frankly, a little fried by the time I hit record on this one. But with pros like Ben and Boone on, it was easy to find grist for the mill and put together a decent…
1 hr 3 min
Aug 10, 2021
How Should Vets Maintain Their Mind, Body and Spirit?
This week, I discussed how vets should maintain their mind, body, and spirit with MSG Geoff Dardia and Meg Kelvington. In my experience, not many of my peers wanted to have conversations focused on the mind, the body, or the spirit. I mean we weren’t in church – or in yoga class. But when you boil down a lot of our conversations, they actually were about mind/body/spirit issues – from dealing with inter-personal issues to fitness regimens to coping with work/life demands. There’s something about the label “veterans’ health” that seems too vague to successfully capture its importance and relevance to current or former servicemembers. I’ll also say that Geoff and Meg have each taken remarkable yet unpredictable paths to wellness. This might be the first episode that actually helped me, albeit unintentionally. There’s no way to do justice to a subject as complex and broad as veterans’ health in one hour. But you might find enough in it to help you too – even if you d…
1 hr 5 min
Aug 3, 2021
What Do Guns Mean to You?
This week Havok Journal owner Charlie Faint steps in to cover for me while I was traveling and wifi was sketchy at best. His guests were Greg Drobny and Kevin Wilson - who moves into the lead as our most regular guest for those keeping score. The topic this week was all things guns, an episode I was sorry to miss. Show Alibis Charlie really stepped up this week. He found out he was solo hosting about three minutes before going live. So the least I can do is fill in a few details, like who, exactly, our guests were. Greg Drobny is a former Airborne Infantryman, PSYOP Team Chief, political consultant, professional mil blogger, and is Code Platoon’s Student Outreach Coordinator. He holds a BA in history, a Masters of Science in organizational psychology, and is currently pursuing an MA in history. Kevin Wilson is a 13 year veteran of the North Carolina Army National Guard where he spent time in Syria blowing up ISIS, as well as Kuwait and Egypt. He also works with Right to Bear, a g…
Jul 27, 2021
Who Cares About the Civilian-Military Divide?
The civ-mil divide is something we kind of always bring up in one way or another on the show. You might even say it’s a large part of why we even do the show. So it was probably overdue for us to do an actual episode about it. I spoke with retired Air Force/Air Guard Chief Master Sergeant Dave Chamberlin, Uriel Epshtein of the Renew Democracy Initiative, and Havok Journal owner Charlie Faint. We talked about what the military and civilian communities can learn from each other, the role pop culture plays in the perceptions/mis-perceptions about the military, and the difference between discipline and repression – and why that may matter in the civ-mil divide. Show Notes McChrystal’s Service Year Alliance Stan Goff Code 1 Maintenance Renew Democracy Initiative
1 hr 5 min
Jul 20, 2021
How Do You Feel About Death Now?
This week I spoke with Aaron Kirk, Dr. Donnelly Wilkes, and Charlie Faint about death – what did they think about it before they joined the military, during their time in service, and afterwards. Sure, it can be a dark subject – it certainly wasn’t hilarious – but it wasn’t as dark and depressing as you might think. It’s a conversation that is serious and positive. I think you’ll come away grateful for everyone’s well-spoken and thoughtful insights. And you will definitely want to buy The Hill and Code Red: Fallujah. Show Alibis Charlie told me it wasn’t noticeable, but I really need to cut down on Dunkin Donuts’ cold brews right before a show. For the first fifteen minutes of the episode, I felt like my brain was about three feet in front of my mouth. I’m now 24 hours caffeine sober and I think everyone I’ve met today thinks I’m angry with them. We’ll see if it’s worth it. Look, veterans are not fabrege eggs. That said, I don’t like being too high on…
1 hr 19 min
Jul 13, 2021
Can the Military Have Intelligence?
This week I talk with Havok Journal owner (and current Army Intelligence Officer) Charlie Faint about all things Military Intelligence. It is an episode born of necessity – we had cancellations and technical issues which meant we had to find something Charlie and I could talk about relatively easily and with little preparation. I think it worked. I know I had a two-track conversation going on – one with Charlie and one with myself to vet my comments before opening my mouth – and I think Charlie probably had one as well. But we stay within the tearlines and hopefully manage to give you all a little insight into the MI world. Show Alibis In the episode, we don’t do justice to all facets of military intelligence. The signals intelligence and analysis aspects get very short shrift. One is difficult to talk about in an unclassified environment and the other is as boring to discuss as it is important to have. I look forward to your hate mail. This episode continues a stretch of mi…
1 hr 16 min
Jul 6, 2021
Are Some Veterans Better Than Others?
This week I talk with Havok Journal’s editor, the elusive Mike Warnock, Havok Journal owner Charlie Faint, and Havok Journal writer Jeff Marshburn who came to us live from the front seat of a patrol car. Just in time for July 4th, we discuss how much it matters to have a combat patch, or a CIB, or be a SEAL/SF-type dude. How much should those kind of credentials matter to another vet? What about to a civilian? Are some veterans better than others? Show Alibis During the show, I tried to tell a story I hadn’t thought about in 20+ years and it showed. I couldn’t remember if it was Damon Wayans or D.L. Hughley that got onstage and lost the room. I remember more now. It was in about 2000, at the Comic Strip on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. It was Damon Wayans who showed up unexpectedly at the club. He came onstage and the crowd went nuts…for about five minutes. Then they saw what all of us comics saw – he hadn’t prepared any material and was just rambling – mostly about D.…
1 hr 18 min
Jun 29, 2021
Tolerance vs. Endorsement
This week I talked with a scintillating, fascinating, and stunningly good-looking guest – myself. I guess that between scheduling mix-ups, sketchy technical issues and general, well, havoc(k), it was bound to happen at some point. So there you go. I make the best of it, subjecting myself to a pointed interrogation about my positions regarding Azerbaijan-based pipelines and a lively debate about macroeconomics and Keynesianism in greater Oceania. That, of course, is a joke – there is no debate about macroeconomics and Keynesianism in greater Oceania. In reality, I use General Milley’s comments about critical race theory as a launching point to talk about tolerance and its underappreciated benefit to pluralism and discourse. And then I spend half the episode on a shameless plug. You’ve been warned. Show Alibis I don’t spend much of the episode dwelling on Milley’s comments because it is simply a launching off point. But I missed a chance to tie his comments into this week…
Jun 22, 2021
How Important is Pop Culture to the Military?
This week, I talk with the witty and erudite Kevin Wilson and Havok Journal owner Charlie Faint about the importance of pop culture to the military. We talk deployment shows, movies and TV that influenced us to join, why The Hurt Locker is so disappointing to Charlie and Kevin. This was a fun one. If you don’t understand pop culture’s role in the military, you don’t understand the military. Have a listen here. Show Alibis A little explainer on this week’s Easter egg. I thought HJ writer Kerry Patton was going to join us. After ten minutes of small talk, Charlie mentioned that Kerry wasn’t going to be there and I realized that Charlie and Kevin had really just been humoring me, waiting for me to start recording. So you missed all the hilarious and insightful comments that usually would make an Easter egg, but that’s why. Show Notes Right to Bear The Hill by Aaron Kirk Second Mission Foundation
1 hr 16 min
Jun 15, 2021
The China Episode
For several weeks, Havok Journal owner Charlie Faint and I had discussed doing an episode all about China – its geopolitical rise, its potential threats and, of course the fallout from COVID-19. Then Havok Journal writers Matt Trevathan and Christopher Otero got into a collegial back and forth on the private Havok Journal writers’ forum about some COVID-19 theories. After hyperventilating that they were wasting a perfectly good opportunity to monetize an argument, I decided this was the week to do the China episode and have them on to discuss all things China. Unfortunately, Charlie couldn’t make it, but even so it was a great show that captures the spirit of collegial debate and discussion that prompted me to start the Weekly Havok. One editorial note - Chris Otero makes many cogent, articulate arguments. Most of them I disagree with, some of them I agree with, and some I just didn’t have time to rebut. Since I already dedicated an entire episode to the various theories, I did…
1 hr 25 min
Jun 8, 2021
A Life or Death Business
This week I talk with Havok Journal owner Charlie Faint and Andrew, a 18-year old firefighter on the East Coast. I know what you’re thinking – how much wisdom, insight and life experience are you really going to get from an 18-year old? I agree – but Andrew is not your typical 18-year old. The story he wrote for Havok Journal was jarring enough that I made the editorial decision to focus on it instead of any topical stuff this week. Your next question is probably about Andrew’s anonymity – how many firefighters hold top secret clearances and need to protect their identities? True, but not many of us have been raised in the age of social media where opening your mouth to discuss anything important – or unimportant – is essentially handing ammunition to the trolls in your life. That said, Andrew doesn’t say anything particularly controversial, but he is very comfortable discussing the nuances of life and death issues. Which reminds me – consider this your trigger warnin…
1 hr 3 min
Jun 1, 2021
How Much Should We Blame China for COVID-19?
How Much Should We Blame China for COVID-19? This week, I talk with Havok Journal owner Charlie Faint and his father, retired Colonel Don Faint about the origins of COVID-19 and how much responsibility China should have for the outbreak and the spread of it. Spoiler alert: a lot. So this was one of those weeks where the subject fell into our lap because this is the week the lab leak theory gained a lot of mainstream attention, and then the guest fell into our lap because Charlie’s dad was in town. It was a pleasure to have Don on, especially because his long and fascinating Army career had absolutely nothing to do with China and he willing tackled the subject with humility and insight anyway. Honestly, I feel that he says more simply and in a few words than I do pontificating and caveating and sidebarring for five minutes. The end result is an episode that goes beyond the mask debate, the school closures, the state guidelines, and focuses on the real villain - the CCP. Show Alibis…
1 hr 12 min
May 25, 2021
Should the Military Be Afraid of Karl Marx?
124 retired flag officers sign an open letter bemoaning the state of the US and its radical turn towards socialism and Marxism. Space Force Commander Matthew Lohmeier is removed from his post for self-publishing a book about Marxism in the military. It’s 2021 - should the US military be afraid of Karl Marx? I talk with retired Army officer and Havok Journal writer Christopher Otero about the threat – or lack thereof – that Marx plays in today’s military. We talked about Critical Race Theory and it’s Marxist origins, we talk about the Constitution, the Civil War, Jim Crow, the Civil Rights movement, we talk about America. I asked Charlie for a guest I could play tennis with, and Chris was that guest. It was a pleasure and I think you’re going to hear just about the best arguments that can be made from both the right and the left. I had never met Chris before, but I had read a lot of his writing. He’s unknowingly been my touchstone at Havok Journal for many the arguments…
1 hr 23 min
May 18, 2021
What Do Pipelines and Rockets Tell Us About Our Enemies?
DarkSide hacks Colonial Pipeline and extorts 5 million dollars, thereby holding large parts of the East Coast gas supply hostage. Hamas rains rockets down on Israel for no good reason. How much is Russia involved? How about Turkey or Iran? Are these standalone stories or are they part of a geopolitical great game? What do pipelines and rockets tell us about our enemies? I discuss all this and more with Havok Journal writer and former Special Forces and DIA officer Richard Liebl and Havok Journal owner Charlie Faint. This episode covers everything from Special Forces humanitarian missions to the two-state solution. Show Alibis I usually record at the office, but my wife was out and I was on childcare duty at home for this one. So, I set the kid up with food and movies and one stipulation – that he not bother me for an hour. And then he almost derailed the episode in the first five minutes by repeatedly barging in on me to fix one issue after another so he could watch Austin Powers o…
1 hr 24 min
May 11, 2021
UFOs, Microwave Attacks, and the Long Con
UFOs. That’s right. This week Havok Journal owner Charlie Faint and his daughter Emily Faint help me dive into the newly released, alarming footage of UFO’s buzzing the USS Russell. That wasn’t the only deeply troubling topic – we also talked about the on-going microwave attacks of US diplomats both globally and, now, in Washington DC. And I also wanted to make sure we covered the leak of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s comments about the killing of Qassim Suleimani and John Kerry’s potential spillage of classified information. With topics like these, it’s hard not to go heavy on the fearmongering. We tried lightening the mood by having Emily on, honoring April’s “Month of the Military Child” two weeks too late. I’m not sure it works - I probably ended up bumming her out about the future of the US, not to mention asking her to pretend she’s an expert on Iranian politics, pulsating sonic attacks, and UFOs (which, to be honest, any 17-year old real…
1 hr 13 min
May 4, 2021
Is the US Losing Faith in the Military?
Is the US Losing Faith in the Military? That was supposed to be the subject this week – and after about 30 minutes, it was. My guests were Coffee or Die Executive Editor Havok Journal founder Marty Skovlund Jr. and Havok Journal owner Charlie Faint. We had a lot of ground to cover with Marty - from the founding of Havok Journal to the latest on his new book - which explains why we took the scenic route to get on topic. But when we got there, we dove in headfirst: why are most parents patriotic up until their kid is about to enlist? Should vets look down on those who never served? How many of the Army’s image issues would be eliminated if we just closed Fort Hood? What is the single best tool to eliminate toxic leadership? Marty and Charlie are at the top of their game and have answers to these and so many more questions. Have a listen here. Show Alibis So I asked Marty about Charlie’s acronym-ization of the “Havok” in Havok Journal. He answered. And then we moved on withou…
1 hr 7 min
Apr 27, 2021
What Crisis Is Going to Blindside the US?
What crisis is going to blindside the US? That is the question I discuss this week with Havok Journal writer and IT expert Matt Trevathan. Matt does his best to shoehorn a cogent discussion of India, China, and Turkey into an hour-long podcast. For my part, I try to go full Foggy Bottom, using polysyllabic words (such as “polysyllabic”) while trying to manage a polished NPR-worthy voice throughout. Does it work? Well, Matt and I had fun. As for the rest of you…you’re gonna be smarter than you were an hour before, possessing just enough knowledge to be dangerous. Or not, I don’t know. You be the judge. Show Alibis You may have noticed we’ve started publishing each episode on Tuesdays. My producer, Michael Neal, was overly gracious with the scheduling early on, taking up his weekend with editing the show. So this evens his work/life balance. So that’s why. Or I have it wrong and Mike was just fed up dealing with my technical mishaps and decided he needed an extra 24 hours…
1 hr 7 min
Apr 20, 2021
Are We Right to Withdraw from Afghanistan?
It’s official, we’re pulling out of Afghanistan. This week, I talk with Havok Journal owner and camo net rolling expert Charlie Faint and the Havok Journal writer formerly known as Log Cinco about whether that is the right move. We scrutinize it from the counter-terrorism angle, the nation-building angle, the geo-political angle, and, most importantly for the guy glaring at me from his refrigerator box, the methamphetamine angle. Talk about Afghanistan withdrawl! I joke because the Afghanistan is too serious an issue to discuss without blowing off some steam. All three of us have done time in AFG and we discuss why the country and its future matters and I feel confident in saying that we will be back there militarily in some form within four years. Why? Well, I guess you’ll have to take a listen. Show Alibis It is true that Cris is our first pseudonymed guest. It is not true that he had to record this from the bottom of a well. But he did have to wear a mask and use a voice dis…
1 hr 15 min
Apr 13, 2021
What Are the Three Best Ways to Become a Failed State?
Americans worry a lot that we are headed towards ruin – unsustainable spending, foreign adventurism, even civil war. How warranted is that concern? I sat down this week with Havok Journal owner Charlie Faint to discuss the three best ways to become a failed state. We take the scenic route to get there, which is very “on-brand” for us. Somehow The Sound of Music weaves its way into the episode…three times. Which may say more about us than we planned to reveal prior to the episode. Crumbling infrastructure, personal terror, lively musicals, this episode covers it all. Show Alibis As you’ve heard me say every week on the podcast, the Weekly Havok is a “roundtable discussion of the week’s events by the staff and writers at Havok Journal.” This week that was still sort of true, it’s just that the roundtable was much, much smaller than normal. No great story behind it, it just became me and Charlie due to the machinations of the scheduling gods. We had a good time, althou…
1 hr 16 min
Apr 5, 2021
What Should the Military Know About the Civilian World?
When fewer than 1% of the country has ever served in the military, it is not surprising that veterans and current military members are acutely aware that they carry a significant and disproportionate burden in the country. This often creates the perception among military folks that the civilian world needs to understand the military better to bridge the civ-mil divide. But this week, we look through the other end of the telescope – what does the military need to know about the civilian world? I was joined by author Dr. Alice Atalanta, Havok Journal writer Kathy Livermore, and Havok Journal Chief Marketing Officer Alyssa Sudermann to talk through the issue. I’m not really sure what happened, but I’m going to try to blame Kathy who was talking about why she and her son started sending Halloween candy to deployed soldiers, got us all interested and distracted and completely jumbled up our structure (“Wait, the show has a structure?” – Charlie Faint). We end up with a very foc…
1 hr 35 min
Mar 29, 2021
Where is Our Next War?
Where is the next war going to be? Havok Journal writer Kerry Patton and HJ owner Charlie Faint came on the show to discuss. We talked about a lot of interesting things - who are the closest friends to the US, is the US racist and how does China conduct information operations - but no one gave me a satisfactory, unpredictable, novel answer about where our next war will be. So, I’ll tell you now - the answer is “Turkey...the Indian Ocean...with a candlestick.” What do you want accuracy or a cool answer? Show Alibis * Yes, the sounds you hear throughout the episode are Kerry Patton’s roosters. We would have featured them more, but they know shockingly little about Sino-Pacific Rim relations. Like most livestock, their expertise revolves around domestic monetary policy. * If I sound like crap during the episode, yes, I recorded the whole episode while in the throes of COVID. I took it as a sign of my evolving self-control that I went through the episode without mentioning it…
Mar 22, 2021
Is the Military Becoming Too Political?
Tucker Carlson. The Guam National Guard. A 60-day standdown so DoD can look for extremists in its ranks. Is the military becoming too involved in domestic politics? Christopher Paul Meyer speaks with Havok Journal writers Steven B. Lewis, Dave Hartman and Kevin Wilson. Show Alibis -- Dave Hartmann hit me up after the episode because he was worried that, in the course of telling us about the virtues of hunting, he had advised us all to "play with our meat." I didn't remember him saying it, and I was kicking myself for missing it. I didn't bother to go back and see if he said it because some things are too good to check. I included his concerns in the intro just to make sure I made the most of the opportunity. For his part, Dave wrote out a full press release to justify his wording: "In my bit about hunting as a hobby, I had a great spiel in mind to speak about how a hobby or pastime with seasonal flow is psychologically good for anyone. Generally, one hunts in the fall. During the w…
1 hr 18 min
Mar 15, 2021
Prince Harry and Aimless Masculinity
Christopher Paul Meyer speaks with James A. Gagliano, Ayman Kafel, and Charlie Faint about the Prince Harry/Meghan Markle interview with Oprah. Where others see the Royals’ soap opera through the lens of celebrity culture, we wonder if Harry is just another military vet without a mission. In true Havok Journal fashion, we use the interview as a jumping off point to talk about toxic masculinity, the loss of purpose, and calls to defund the police. Show Alibis - What I'm about to tell you is something I've never told anyone before. And it is absolutely, 100% true. Ever since I got back from Vietnam, I've been on the run from my former comrades in MACV-SOG. It's a long story that involves heroin shipments, chemical interrogation, and a plot to kill a sitting US Senator. They caught up with me just as I was driving to the studio to record this episode. I used my 5th Dan aikido skills, but there were just too many of them. I ended up locked in the trunk of my car. But since Jimmy Gaglia…
1 hr 10 min
Mar 8, 2021
Let Them Hate, So Long As They Also Listen
In this pilot episode of The Weekly Havok, Christopher Paul Meyer talks to the owner of The Havok Journal, Charlie Faint, and its chief marketing officer, Alyssa Sudermann, about the origin story of The Havok Journal. Havok Journal Violence of Action: Untold Stories of the 75th Ranger Regiment in the War on Terror by Marty Skovlund Jr. "A 'Rip-It Ranger' Looks Back" by Shane Snell "Empty Chairs" by Anonymous "We Are the Useful Idiots" by Alice Atalanta "The Morning After I Killed Myself" by Meggie Royer James A. Gagliano Kevin Wilson Marshall McGurk Mike Kelvington "Stop Thanking Me for My Service" by JC Glick "In the Shadow of JSOC" by Mike Warnock The Second Mission Foundation Savage Wonder