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GRP 93- It’s with great reverence that I introduce our guest for this week’s podcast. Mark Donaldson is a retired Australian Special Air Service Regiment trooper and recipient of the Victoria Cross. The Victoria Cross is Australia’s highest award for most conspicuous bravery, or some daring or pre-eminent act of valor or self-sacrifice, or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy. It’s the Australian equivalent to our Medal of Honor. 

We discussed Mark’s early life and motivation for joining the Army as he experienced a traumatic event with the loss of his mother at the age of 19. We discussed how one can turn a tragic event into a motivating force. We discussed the mindset required to train for and get selected into a Special Operations unit like the SAS, and how that same mindset can help surmount obstacles in life. We discussed leadership, the bottom-up approach, and the changing strategy and role for western forces in Afghanistan. This is part one of the interview. The second part will be released within the coming days. 

Three U.S. Army Special Forces Green Berets have been killed in action this week while on patrol through western Mali, in Niger. We’d like to send our deepest condolences to the friends, teammates, and family of these fallen warriors.

0:00- Episode Overview

6:36:00- Motivation to join the Army, and later the SAS. Using the loss of a loved one to drive you forward in life.

15:51:00- “The best way to honor my mates is to come back and live a good life”-Australian WW1 veteran

28:19:00-The mindset required to make it into Special Operations and surmount obstacles in life. Training for selection. 

57:06:00- The bottom-up approach. Leadership and team building. “I’m the guy on the ground I decide what I drop”-British Special Boat Service JTAC to brigade command over the radio
1:09:00- The evolution of the strategy in Afghanistan and the changing role of the special operations units. 

This episode is sponsored by Abes Baumann a law firm that provides legal services and fights for the rights of disabled veterans. To learn about what they can offer you visit

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