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GRP 100-War Dogs:The Story of a Special Missions Operator


GRP 100-War Dogs:The Story of a Special Missions Operator


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GRP 100- For the 100th episode of the Global Recon Podcast we have an extremely special episode. On with us is retired Special Missions Operator Dave Nielsen. Dave served first with the 75th Ranger Regiment and then went into a Special Missions unit as an assaulter, dog handler, and sniper. His story was featured in the HBO documentary released on the 13th of this month called "War Dogs" executive produced by actor Channing Tatum.

This documentary shows the story of three dog handlers and their canine counterparts from the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). It's a raw, realistic view of what it's like going into combat with these warrior dogs and what its like post-military. Dave talked about his combat jump into Panama in 1989 as a young Ranger. He shared stories of his dog "Pepper" who was killed while rooting out an enemy from a sewer hole in Iraq on the banks of the Tigris River. They searched for her all night but had to leave once the sun was coming up as they were in enemy-held territory. We talked about the mindset required to pass selection for special operations, and the mindset required to surmount any obstacle in life. Enjoy. RIP Pepper. 

0:00-Episode overview

3:48-Episode introduction with Chantel Taylor

17:33- Introduction to Dave's career in the Army. Combat jumped into Panama with the 75th Ranger Regiment in 1989. 

22:12-Military Working Dog Pepper

55:54-Mindset and passing selection. Fear of success 

1:03:00-SOF K-9 Memorial

Here is the link to the SOF K-9 memorial page ran by Dave's wife Laura, and a former unit operator:


Here is the link to the full documentary:

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HP Lefler:


Chantel Taylor:


Music provided by Carson Aune: "A soldiers Best Friend"