By Global SOF Foundation

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The Global Special Operations Forces (SOF) Foundation is a non-profit focused on building a global SOF community-- and SOFspot is our podcast! Join GSF Director of Marketing Chelsea Hamashin, with President Stu Bradin, COO Meaghan Keeler-Pettigrew, and the team as we talk to SOF legends, discuss relevant technologies, and look at the ever-changing battlefield. Don't forget to subscribe so you don't miss an episode.

Episode Date
The History of BELSOF

Two Belgian SOF Operators tell the story behind their Special Forces Group and Special Operations Regiment, diving deep into their roots in WWII. From the Battle of the Bulge to the Beaches of Normandy, learn about how Belgium's most elite soldiers earned their berets, impacted the war, and became the units they are today.

Belgium Museum Recommendation from Rick Lamb (After Corona):

Belgium CDO Museum Recommendation from BELSOF Operator:

Corporate Partner Highlight: Huntington Ingalls Industries:

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Mar 20, 2020
A Seat at the Table

Get an inside look at our February SOF Imperatives Forum--specifically the panel on the Role of the Assistant SECDEF for Special Operations / Low-Intensity Conflict (ASD SO/LIC). Moderated by Catherine Herridge of CBS News, she spoke with three former ASD SO/LICs:

  • Michael Lumpkin
  • Brian Sheridan
  • Mark Mitchell

See what they had to say about the need to elevate the ASD SO/LIC to an Undersecretary position based on their own experiences with the role.

See our Op/Ed on the topic:

Corporate Partner Highlight: Allies, Inc.

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Mar 09, 2020
Serving as an "Ordinary" Citizen

Jim Hake, the CEO and Founder of non-profit Spirit of America, joins Chelsea and Steve to talk about his organization. Inspired by the events of 9/11, Jim founded SoA to help support the American mission in countries around the globe. He calls himself an "ordinary citizen," but we think you'll agree he's much more than that!

From baseball equipment to veterinary training, SoA uses its "venture capital model" to take actions that build global relationships with agility and flexibility.

Learn More About Spirit of America:

Corporate Partner Highlight:

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Feb 19, 2020
The Terrorism Threat Picture

This episode features the "Future of Terrorism: A New America Assessment" panel from the September 2019 SOF Policy Forum in Washington, DC. Panelists Melissa Salyk-Virk and David Sterman talk about their findings around the increase in drone attacks, issues in the Horn of Africa and Yemen, and the impact of different ideologies both within and outside of the U.S.

To learn more, make sure you check out their full assessment:

And don't miss our upcoming SOF Imperatives Forum in DC:

Plus, our Corporate Partner Highlight, Peraton:

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Feb 04, 2020
Do Something That Matters

Chelsea and Steve sat down with six active duty soldiers at U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) from Special Forces (SF), Civil Affairs (CA), and Psychological Operations (PSYOP). We discussed joining the Army, differences between conventional and SOF service, and what opportunities ARSOF holds for female soldiers. Thanks to our participants: Ben, Garrett, Rihanna, Kiel, Doug, and Angela!

Learn more about USASOC:

Global SOF Partner Highlight: BlackFish

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Jan 17, 2020
Deep Behind Enemy Lines

Chelsea is joined by GSF President Stu Bradin to talk with LTC (Ret) Jimmy Reese. Reese talks about his unconventional path in the Army that ultimately led him to Delta Force, Operation Anaconda, and becoming an entrepreneur after retiring from Active Duty.

Partner Highlight: The Range Complex

Learn More... Stu references Peter Blaber's Book on Operation Anaconda (and more), which is called, "The Mission, The Men, and Me: Lessons from a Former Delta Force Commander":

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Dec 18, 2019
Armed with Opportunities

LTC Rick Woolshlager is the Commander of the U.S. Army's Special Operations Recruiting Battalion--and he's the guest on this episode of SOFspot! Chelsea met with him at Ft. Bragg to learn about the Army's in-service recruiting team and the many career fields that are available in Army SOF. We talk about opportunities for women, what you should know before you separate from active duty, and if Hollywood has had an impact on recruiting.

Learn More About Army Special Operations:

Global SOF Corporate Partner Highlight: Peraton

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Dec 11, 2019
I Served With Great Soldiers

Chelsea and Rick were honored to chat with MG (Ret) Ken Bowra, an American Special Forces hero who's service goes back to the Vietnam War. MG Bowra talks about serving with the MACVSOG-- Military Assistance Command - Vietnam, Studies and Observations Group.

He discusses different tactics used during recon missions, the importance of different types of equipment, and the brotherhood he had with the indigenous troops. It's a very interesting conversation that dives into the real experiences of a Special Forces soldier in Vietnam.

Read the MACVSOG Presidential Unit Citation:

Global SOF Partner Highlight: Axiologic Solutions:

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Dec 05, 2019
Evolving SOF Leadership

Please note: The statements and opinions of the speakers in this episode are their own. They are not speaking on behalf of the U.S. Government.

This episode comes from this year's SOF Policy Forum in DC, which was held on 18 SEP 2019. We're bringing you a panel called, "Does SOF Leadership Need to Evolve to Win the Future Fight." It features:

- MAJ Nicole Alexander, an Operations Officer in the U.S. Army
- LTC Kevin Trujillo, a National Security Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School
- Col Meghan M. Ripple, a Senior Military Evaluator for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Director, Operational Test and Evaluation
- MSgt Michael W. MacKay, Enlisted Leader, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command

And it's moderated by Lyla Kohistany, President and Co-Founder of PROMOTE.

Global SOF Foundation Partner Highlight: Akima

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Nov 26, 2019
The SOF Comms Arsenal

Global SOF President Stu Bradin sat down with three experts from the SOF Communications (Comms) Community to talk about their careers in the field, the SOF comms "boom" when everything changed, and what they think the future will bring. Our three commo guests are COL (Ret) Joe Tragakis, SGM (Ret) Arthur "AC" Coley, and CPT (Ret) Rob Keeler.

GSF Corporate Partner Spotlight - AirScan:

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Nov 12, 2019
Fight for the Budget

This episode features Lt. Gen. (Ret) Tom Trask, former Vice Commander of USSOCOM and current member of the Global SOF Advisory Council, along with GSF President/CEO Stu Bradin. They talk about the past and future efforts of the GSF on Capitol Hill, including our platform document--the SOF Imperatives-- and our new partnership with Navigators Global to further our efforts to educate Congressional Staffers. 

Plus, it's our first ever Video Podcast... so you can watch along here: 

Take the SOF Imperatives Survey:

GSF Partner Highlight: ATN Corp

Register for the Demo Days (and Modern Warfare Week):

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Oct 23, 2019
Listening in on al-Qa'ida

We sat down with AQ and Islamic State expert, Dr. Nelly Lahoud, for a deep dive into the now declassified documents recovered from Osama Bin Laden's Compound in Abbottabad. Dr. Lahoud took us through what she learned from personally translating and analyzing all 6,000 pages of these documents, from the impact of drone strikes to the relationships between AQ and other terrorist organizations in the region. Spoiler alert: many widely accepted ideas may not be correct...

Episode Links:

- Dr. Nelly Lahoud's Books
- Martha Crenshaw's "The Causes of Terrorism"
- Modern Warfare Symposium
- GSF Partner Highlight: Air Center Helicopters

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Oct 18, 2019
Don't Call For The Medic

This is our second episode with Dan Irizarry, an expert in Tactical Combat Casualty Care. In part two of the conversation we discuss what Dan sees for the future of SOF medicine, the Alan Babin Rule, and freeze-dried plasma. Listen and learn with Dan Irizarry!

GSF Corporate Partner Highlight: Aero Pioneer Group

Alan Babin on the Gary Sinise Foundation:

Stop the Bleeding:

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Oct 09, 2019
Tactical Combat Casualty Care

Stu and Chelsea of the GSF met with Dan Irizarry, an expert in Tactical Combat Casualty Care. We had such a good conversation that it was worthy of two episodes... this is Part 1. In this episode we discuss NATO SOF medics, the crazy advancements in simulated training, and tourniquets... lots of tourniquets. Listen and learn with Dan Irizarry!

GSF Corporate Partner Highlight: AC4S

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Sep 25, 2019
Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda

Ranger Rick and Chelsea talked to Bryce Mahoney of the Darby Project--a non-profit that connects, educates, and empowers Army Rangers to lead the way in their communities. We talked about everything from finances to being a "Ranger Always" to ways anyone can support an active duty military member throughout their transition. It's a good listen whether you are, were, or have never been active duty... so please enjoy our 20th episode!

Learn more about The Darby Project:

Participate in Run Ranger Run:

Learn more about our highlighted Partner: COMSAT

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Aug 26, 2019
You Can't Keep Up with Belgium

The former SOF members of the GSF Team--Stu and Rick--talk with Chelsea about the GSF's 4th Annual Symposium in Europe. This event is taking place in Brussels, Belgium, a hub for EU and NATO special operations. We talk about key speakers at the event, why it's important to convene the local community, and what we're most excited to see happen in this vibrant European hub. We hope to see you there!

Learn more about the Symposium in Belgium:

GSF Partner Highlight: Spectra Group UK

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Aug 22, 2019
Uncomfortable in Transition

At the 2019 Ranger Rendezvous, Chelsea and Rick had the chance to talk to Marcus Hull and Steve Berry of the Three Rangers Foundation. It's a great organization that supports Veterans in many ways--from mentorships to transition support to mental fitness. This episode hits on a lot of real issues and will resonate with anyone who has served (and especially anyone who has transitioned from active duty service)!

Learn More about Three Rangers Foundation:

Learn More about GSF Partner MarkLogic:

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Aug 15, 2019
Unbroken Chain of Army Rangers

The GSF's Chelsea Hamashin and CSM (RET) Rick Lamb had the opportunity to attend the 2019 Ranger Rendezvous at Ft. Benning this July. They sat down with US Army Ranger Veteran Tony Mayne to talk about what the Ranger Rendezvous entails, what it means to current and former Rangers, and even hit on some Army history! 

Learn More about the 75th Ranger Regiment:

Check out the Modern Warfare Symposium:

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Aug 09, 2019
Law Enforcement: Continue to Serve

Chelsea and Ranger Rick set a GSF Podcast record by hosting 6 guests from the Pasco Police Office, including Sheriff Chris Nocco. Pasco PD is spearheading efforts in Florida to recruit and employ former Special Operators, and they are piloting programs to expedite the qualification processes. We also discussed Human Performance, the mirrored camaraderie between Special Ops and Police Units, and what about the job is most fulfilling to each guest.

More about Pasco PD:

GSF Partner Highlight: Insitu

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Jul 25, 2019
Credits from Experience at Norwich

Chelsea was joined by GSF President Stu Bradin and Norwich University's Bill Clements, who is both the Dean of the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies and the VP of Academic Affairs. Norwich University has a long military tradition, from being the birthplace of ROTC to its present-day programs that provide school credit for experiential learning for current and former SOF. Listen and learn (and then learn some more!)

More about Norwich's Online Programs:

Corporate Partner Highlight: Excelitas

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Jul 17, 2019
Cities: A System of Systems

In this episode our team sat down with MAJ (Ret) John Spencer, the Chair of Urban Warfare Studies at the Modern War Institute and Co-Director of the Urban Warfare Project. We talked about what makes Urban Warfare so different, the lack of true training facilities for this terrain, and how SOF can lead the charge on improving preparedness for the Urban Battlefield.

Link to Referenced Concrete Article:

Corporate Partner Highlight:
Northrop Grumman:

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Jul 10, 2019
Everybody Wants Those "Cybers"

Chelsea and Meaghan had a great talk with LTC Natalie Vanatta of the US Army Cyber Institute. They hit everything from how cyber fits in to special operations to resiliency in the cyber domain to the future threat landscape. It was an interesting discussion, whether you're a cyber pro or a "newb."

Learn more about the Army Cyber Institute:

GSF Corporate Partner Highlight: Oracle

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Jul 02, 2019
Realities of Space Conflict

In today's "Space Jam" episode, two Space Professionals joined Chelsea and Steve to talk about the realities of Space Conflict, touching on everything from the competitive advantage in space to the impacts of SpaceX, to the inspiration of pop culture on space exploration.

Thank you to the two Space Professionals who joined us: US Army Col Dennis Wille and Carissa Christensen, the CEO of Bryce Space and Technology.

Highlighted GSF Corporate Partner:
BAE Systems:

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Jun 24, 2019
Failure of Imagination

In this episode Meaghan, Chelsea, and Steve team up to talk to Nick Rasmussen, a Senior Director for National Security and Counterterrorism Programs at the McCain Institute and former Director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). We discussed many facets of counter-terrorism (CT), from having the "imagination" to prevent attacks, the importance of using technology to become more efficient at CT, and the importance of working with Partner Nations to effectively fight terrorism.

GSF Corporate Partner Highlight:
Cubic Corp: 

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Jun 13, 2019
The New Great Game

Members of the Global SOF team sat down with The Honorable Sharon Burke, a senior advisor at New America and former assistant secretary of defense for operational energy. We talked about the challenges of the thawing operational environment in the Arctic, the various competitive spaces around natural resources, and worldwide effects of climate change.

GSF Partner Highlight: Cisco
Learn more at:

Thanks to New America for facilitating:

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Jun 07, 2019
Rethink our National Security

Meaghan Keeler-Pettigrew and Steve Jones from the Global SOF team sat down with Congressman Seth Moulton to discuss his views on the U.S. Defense Strategy, ranging from how the budget should be allocated to cyber warfare to the approach to global defense organizations like NATO. See what the Congressman, who is running for the Democratic Nomination for President, has to say in this week's episode.

GSF Partner Highlight: PAE
Learn more at:

Thanks to New America for facilitating:
Learn more at:

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Jun 03, 2019
A Totally Different World

Chelsea was joined in today's episode by the GSF's "Ranger Rick" Lamb and Colonel Magne Rodahl, a Norwegian SOF Officer, to talk about the Telemark Raid of WW2. This mission was primarily conducted by Norwegian SOF, so we talk about the raid's significance to the war, some of the heroes who contributed, and the importance of allies.

So jump on the lift and ride with us up this mountain of a story.....hint: skiing is involved! 

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Apr 23, 2019
Unify Across Party Lines

Today's guest was The Honorable Jim Locher-- a man who played a leading role in the Goldwater-Nichols Act, the Nunn-Cohen Amendment, the Bosnia Defense Reform Commission, and so much more. He sat down with the GSF's Chelsea Hamashin and Dr. Keenan Yoho to discuss these massive undertakings throughout his career and how he worked across party lines to make things happen. 

Enjoy this talk with Mr. Locher, which we are releasing on the 32nd Birthday of US Special Operations Command due to Mr. Locher's role in its establishment.

Want to learn more? You can buy Mr. Locher's book, "Victory on the Potomac," here:

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Apr 16, 2019
Maintain Diverse Talent

Meaghan and Chelsea sat down with Lyla Kohistany and Ashley Sogge from PROMOTE, an organization that focuses on inclusive leadership and maintaining the diverse talent within a SOF workforce. We learn why they started PROMOTE, their process in working with SOF units, and the results of their workshops--even when they get weird! If you'd like to learn more about PROMOTE, check out the links below!

Read their latest Article: Dispelling the Myth of Women in Special Operations
Visit them Online:
Contact them: 

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Apr 08, 2019
Grow through Failure

Small businesses are a crucial piece of the defense industry puzzle, especially in the Special Operations domain. In this episode, we had a good discussion with representatives from two of our Small Business Partners-- Lori Larsen of Celestar and Garth Arevalo of Lukos. We talked everything from the pains and perks of running a small business to how to get your foot in the door with special operations.

Learn more about our guest companies:

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Mar 15, 2019