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The Unconventional Soldier Profile

The Unconventional Soldier

English, Cultural, 1 seasons, 58 episodes, 2 days 18 hours
About
”Letting the guest tell the story”. A military podcast by former soldiers from the British Army’s long range Surveillance and Reconnaissance Patrols unit. Our first series covers the inception of the unit with its founder Major General Anthony Stone CB, the selection of the soldiers, the unique ”stay behind” role during the Cold War, the multiple operational tours they deployed on over the last 40 years finishing on an interview with the current serving officer commanding the unit. In subsequent series we have set ourselves a wider remit and cover first hand accounts of past conflicts from World War 2 to the War on Terror and everything in between . All our podcasts finish off with book & film reviews and recommendations. We normally upload a monthly episode (sometimes more). Available wherever you get you podcasts from. Also on YouTube.
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S4 #057 Artillery Gun Raids On Op GRANBY (Gulf War 1991)

CONTENTThe guest today is former soldier Kev Brain who joined the Royal Artillery in 1975 completing 22 years service with the colours. He deployed on multiple operational tours to Northern Ireland and also on Operation GRANBY better known as the first Gulf War in 1991 as a Sergeant Gun number 1 in charge of a M110 203mm howitzer specifically built for general support and counter battery fire. He describes his career in the lead up to the deployment and what it was like to take part on the gun raids so effective at depleting the Iraqi artillery assets. In these raids, a battery would move forward to preselected positions near the enemy, fire a predetermined amount of rounds at selected targets, and move quickly back to avoid counterfire. These raids not only kept pressure on the enemy, but also afforded great live fire training, particularly gunnery and movement, which would be needed later to support the ground attack and the rapid advance into Iraq
16/02/202443 minutes 48 seconds
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S4 #056 7 Minutes To Midnight - Series Intro

CONTENTThis is a mini series covering parts of the Cold War we find interesting and will run in tandem with the Unconventional Soldier podcast. So why the title Seven Minutes to Midnight? The Doomsday Clock was a symbolic measurement that represented the likelihood of a human made global catastrophe in the form of a nuclear exchange between the global superpowers.  In 1947 at the start of the Cold War it was deemed to be at 7 minutes to midnight, this naturally changed as the world lurched from one potential disaster to another.  In 1953 it went to 2 minutes to midnight when tests were carried out on hydrogen bombs and 3 minutes to midnight in 1984 as the US and Soviet relations reached its lowest point. The Cold War eventually led to the collapse of the USSR but events of and from that time still dominate the global stage today. WHERE TO GET OUR DESERT ISLAND DITS BOOK CHOICESMost of our book recommenda
29/01/202447 minutes 17 seconds
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S4 #055 Catherine Leroy - Close Up On War

CONTENTThe guest today is award winning author Mary Cronk Farrell. On this pod we will be discussing her book "Close Up On War" about the life of Catherine Leroy a French photographer who travelled to Vietnam at the height of the war where she made a name for herself in a male dominated environment. Bold, determined and cool under fire Catherine accompanied marines and soldiers into the dense jungle, waded through rice paddies and parachuted with them into combat despite being told she didn’t belong in a man’s world. A world in which shared the discomfort and dangers of the soldiers she photographed and where she was wounded and captured by the NVA. Catherine saw more combat in Vietnam than any news photographer of any gender. Her photos captured the human face of war and she was published in Americas leading newspapers and magazines forcing Americans to confront the human cost of war. Based on Catherine’s personal correspondence Mary’s book C
15/01/20241 hour 22 seconds
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S4 #054 Learning From War

CONTENTThe guest today is the Cognitive Marine a serving USMC officer currently stationed in Okinawa who previously appeared on podcast #039. On this episode we discuss how past and present wars influence thought on the way battles may be fought in the future. Subjects include: Okinawa, Singapore and Menorca.Ukraine & Russia.Israel & Gaza.The influence and development of his Cognitive Marine Instagram account.His book choice on Desert island Dits is 2034: A Novel of the Next World War by Elliot Ackerman & Admiral James Stavridis. WHERE TO GET OUR DESERT ISLAND DITS BOOK CHOICESMost of our book recommendations can be bought via the Unconventional Soldier Bookshop. 10% of each purchase supports the pod and helps independent book store
28/12/202355 minutes 57 seconds
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S4 #053 Mountain & Arctic Warfare Cadre Return To Top Malo House

CONTENT The guest today is former Royal Marine and member of the Mountain and Arctic Warfare Cadre Nige Devenish. Nige was my guest back on podcast # 046 when we discussed his career in the cadre and their part on Operation CORPORATE during the Falklands war in 1982.  On this podcast we talk about his recent visit to the Falklands, his first since his deployment, with other cadre veterans to lay a memorial stone at the site of the battle for Top Malo House.  We discuss the battle in detail and his thoughts on the other battle sites he visited.  We also talk about the contribution made by Falkland islanders to the campaign and what the island is like today.  I would like to thank Traighana Smith News Editor at Falklands Radio for providing extracts of interviews conducted by the station with former Cadre veterans.   DESERT ISLAND DITS BOOK CHOICES Most of our book recommendations can be bought via the Unconventional Soldier <a href='https://uk.bookshop.org
14/12/20231 hour 7 minutes 45 seconds
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S4 #052 Zero Risk

CONTENT The guest today is Tony Loughran a former Royal Navy Commando medic now a global risk specialist, with over 30 years international experience as a safety and security professional. On this episode we discuss: His time in the senior service, deployments and attachments with the Royal Marines Mountain &amp; Arctic Warfare cadre. His 14 year stint as Head of International Risk at the BBC in London where he pioneered a safety culture in the news business adapting the skills he’d acquired in the military to the needs of journalists at the sharp end. How he established his own security consultancy company business, Zero Risk International. Tony is a published author and we finish off with his book Zero Risk. DESERT ISLAND DITS BOOK CHOICES Most of our book recommendations can be bought via the Unconventional Soldier <a href='https://uk.booksho
28/11/20231 hour 6 minutes 31 seconds
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S4 #051 Guns, Rockets & Training For War

CONTENT The guest today is Neale Smiles, a former Gunner now working in the defence industry.  Neale often posts his thoughts on military matters on LinkedIn and it was one on the future of the Royal Artillery that got my attention. In it he stated that: “when you aren’t equipped or established to fight in the traditional combined arms manner you have to change”  In this episode Neale will set out the changes he feels the Army and specifically the Gunners should make and we discuss: The current state of the Army. How the army should train and the use of simulation. Future soldier concept and the shift from close to deep battle. Moving close support artillery to the infantry to be owned by the infantry and how that would look. The RA to be a missile only deep effects organisation <li styl
30/10/20231 hour 30 minutes 19 seconds
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S4 #050 From Sandhurst To Brigade Command

CONTENT The guest today is David Montgomery who was born and raised in East Africa.  After graduating Exeter University he joined the Army and served for 28 years before retiring in 2000 after commanding 7th Armoured Brigade. David co founded Benchmark Search in 2002 where he is MD of a company which provides candidates for the defence, security and other markets.  On this episode we discuss his army career, his time at MOD and issues with procurement, operations in Kosovo, transition to civvi street and what attributes make soldiers good and bad employees in the business world and also what he thinks the future holds for the army.  DESERT ISLAND DITS BOOK CHOICES Most of our book recommendations can be bought via the Unconventional Soldier Bookshop.  10% of each purchase supports the pod and helps independent book stores on line sales.  My choice was <a href='https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/161859830-
15/10/202348 minutes 34 seconds
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S4 #049 The International Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol School In The 1980s

CONTENT The guest today is Kim Read a former member of the "stay behind" Special OP Troop.  This unit was tasked with conducting operations against the Soviet Army if they had crossed the inner German border during the Cold War when they would engage the enemy with the long range guns of the British Army. We covered a bit about the school on pod #005 but a few listeners have requested more detail.  So here it is.    DESERT ISLAND DITS BOOK CHOICES Most of our book recommendations can be bought via the Unconventional Soldier Bookshop.  10% of each purchase supports the pod and helps independent book stores on line sales.  My choice was Longitude  by Dava Sobel and Kim's was Mawson's Will by Lennard Bickel . "BUY ME
27/09/20231 hour 2 minutes 52 seconds
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S3 #048 We Were Blackwater

CONTENT Our guest today is Barrie Rice, former soldier, security contractor and author.  Barrie joined the New Zealand infantry in 1985 aged 22 where he spent 3 years before passing selection for the New Zealand SAS.  He went on to serve 7 years with the unit specialising in one of the squadron's boat troops.  On this episode we are going to be discussing his military career and time as a security contractor in Iraq with Blackwater Commercial, a subsidiary of the US private security company Blackwater, that he helped set up.   DESERT ISLAND DITS BOOK CHOICES You can buy this week's book recommendations via the Unconventional Soldier Bookshop.  10% of each purchase supports the pod and helps independent book stores on line sales.  The teams choices were The Greatest Raid St Nazaire, 1942: The Heroic Story of Operation Chariot by Giles Whittell and <a href
28/08/20231 hour 9 minutes 30 seconds
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S3 #047 Veterans’ Army & Aid To Ukraine

CONTENT Our guest today is Ryan Yates a former soldier from 4/73 (Sphinx) Special OP Battery the British Army's Long Range surveillance and patrols unit.  On this pod we discuss Ryan's time in the military from passing the STA patrol's selection course in time for his 18th birthday to completing two tours of Afghanistan and his post military career as a security contractor working in hostile environments.  Ryan also talks about how his own struggles with PTSD led him to create Veterans' Army to assist former service people by providing a resource for veterans all over the UK.  It is also place where they can learn about life after service and how to navigate through it in a positive manner.  Ryan also tells us how he provides much-needed aid to war-torn Ukraine. From delivering vital body armour and medical supplies to navigating the complexities of a conflict zone.  The Veterans' Army website is here.  DESERT ISLAND DIT
16/08/20231 hour 12 minutes 19 seconds
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S3 #046 The Royal Marines Mountain & Arctic Warfare Cadre

CONTENT Our guest today is Nige Devenish, a former Royal Marine and member of the Mountain and Arctic Warfare Cadre. Nige served 22 years with the Marines, 8 of those in the Cadre and its successor the Brigade Patrol Troop.  He was also the last Cadre Sergeant Major and the first CSM when it became the Brigade Patrol Troop (BPT) in the early 90s.   On this episode we are going to be discussing the history of the cadre from their creation in WW2, their role as the Brigade Recce Troop in the Falklands and how the unit developed into the BPT then the Surveillance and Reconnaissance Squadron.  DESERT ISLAND DITS On Desert Island Dits the teams choice of books were Mission France: The True History of the Women of SOE by Kate Vigurs and <a href='https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58018876-mountain-commandos-at-war-in-the-fa
27/07/20231 hour 46 minutes 26 seconds
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S3 #045 Stay Behind OPs & Ukraine

CONTENT Due to the train strikes we were unable to attend the Army v Navy rugby match at Twickenham so decided to record this episode instead.  No guest this month just Colin and Kev discussing the possibility of using Cold War "stay behind" OPs prior to the Russian invasion in the current war in Ukraine.  We also talk about the possible use of STA patrols in future peer on peer conflicts.  For this episode we used two articles published on the Wavell Room website as part of the discussion, and also as a source of quotes, to illustrate our points.  Both were written by a serving Gunner officer Captain Simon Middleton and can be found here Rise of the rocket launcher: The end of the armoured division and here Rise of the rocket launcher 2: Lessons from Ukraine.   SOCIAL MEDIA Check out our blog site on word pr
12/07/202350 minutes 20 seconds
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S3 #044 The Royal Ulster Constabulary GC

CONTENT Our guest today is today is Andy who served in the British Army and the RUC as a uniformed officer then, after passing an intensive selection course, with E4A the RUC unit tasked with covert surveillance operations during The Troubles. On this podcast we discuss his Army and police careers, the operational life of a police officer in Northern Ireland and the surveillance and intelligence war against terrorism.   The RUC paid a heavy price with over 300 officers killed both on and off duty and four killed in friendly fire incidents.  In addition in 1999 it was reported that 70 had taken their own lives.  Many of the 9,000 officers who have been injured live with a legacy of handicap and suffering. This duty was recognised in 1999 when the force was awarded the GC to honour the courage and dedication of police officers and their families.  This is the highest honour  conferred on civilians taking precedence over all medals except the VC. Over the ye
27/06/20231 hour 16 minutes 46 seconds
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S3 #043 Chennai Prisoner

CONTENT Our guest today is today is Nick Dunn.  One of six former British servicemen who spent 4 years imprisoned in India for a crime they didn’t commit. Each day they lived in appalling conditions with poor food and the ever present threat of violence.  They were providing security against Somali pirates for a merchant ship off the Indian coast in October 2013 when they were falsely accused of being illegally armed in Indian waters.  In this podcast we discuss his service with the Parachute Regiment and his arrest, trial, imprisonment in Chennai jail and the battle to secure his release for a crime he didn't commit. Nick is also a published author and his book “Surviving Hell” recounts his experience imprisoned in Chennai.  You can follow him on Twitter @NickDunn1986. DESERT ISLAND DITS On Desert Island Dits our guest's choice of book was anything by Lee Child an author whose books he read while in prison.  The teams' book choices this week was Ron Kovi
28/05/20231 hour 5 minutes 33 seconds
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S3 #042 The Band That Went To War

CONTENT Our guest today is Brian Short a former member of the Royal Marines and author of “The Band That Went To War: The Royal Marines Band In The Falklands War”.  On this episode we are going to be discussing his career in the band, their part in the Falklands campaign, the Provisional IRA bombing of Deal barracks and his book which is available on Amazon and in a number of book stores.  Follow him on Twitter @FalklandsMusic1. DESERT ISLAND DITS On Desert Island Dits the teams choice of books were Company K by William March and Saving Justice: Truth, Transparency, and Trust by James Comey  our guest's choice of book was Yuval Noah Harari's Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind.
20/05/20231 hour 7 minutes 33 seconds
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S3 #041The Indian Army Staff College Course

CONTENT Our guest today is John Holden a former British Army Officer who attended the Indian Army Staff College course over the period May 2002 to May 2003.  The course is designed to prepare officers by giving them the skills they need to address future security and defence challenges at home and abroad.  We cover why John wanted to study in India, course content, mountain warfare, legacy of Empire, cultural differences and the Indian Army in WW2. DESERT ISLAND DITS On Desert Island Dits our guest's choice of book was The Operators: Inside 14 Intelligence Company - The Army's Top Secret Elite.  The teams' book choices this week were Robert J McMahon's The Cold War: A Very Short Introduction and James Holland's <a href='https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28936153-burma-
26/04/20231 hour 14 minutes 15 seconds
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S3 #040 Tom Satterly Delta Force Operator

CONTENT Our guest today is retired Command Sergeant Major Tom Satterly, a former Special Operations soldier, who served 25 years in the US Army the last 20 of those in Delta Force referred to as “the unit” by those who pass its arduous selection course.  As an Operator and CSM, Tom fought and led countless military missions across the world. Tom is also a published author and his book “All Secure”, which we discuss in the pod, is a blunt and honest look at life as a unit operator and the toll it took on him both professionally and personally.  On this podcast we cover the creation of the unit and how soldiers are selected, Operation GOTHIC SERPENT in Mogadishu in October 1993, operations in Afghanistan/Iraq and dealing with PTS.    Tom and his wife Jen established "All Secure Foundation" in August 2017 initially as a resource for helping special operations soldiers and their relatives deal with PTS. They have gone on t
27/03/20231 hour 39 minutes 12 seconds
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S3 #039 The Cognitive Marine

CONTENT Our guest today is the Cognitive Marine a serving USMC officer.  On this episode we are going to be discussing the future structure of the USMC, why we fail to learn from past conflicts, leadership responsibilities, advice for young marines, service self harm and suicide, war in Ukraine and use of social media to educate your command.  All opinions expressed on the podcast are those of our guest and not the USMC.  Follow him on Instagram at The Cognitive Marine.    DESERT ISLAND DITS On Desert Island Dits our guest's choice of film was Shawshank Redemption and his book choice was Gates Of Fire by Steven Pressfield.  The teams book choices this week are <a href='https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24737123-letter-from-america?from_search=true&from
25/02/20231 hour 25 minutes 58 seconds
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S3 #038 Licking The Taliban’s Flip Flop

CONTENT Our guest today is James Lee who served 24 years in the Royal Logistics Corps and is the author of “Licking The Taliban’s Flip Flop” about his 6 month tour of Afghanistan at Kandahar airfield where he worked as a movements controller.  He left the Army in 2013 and now runs his own flying business.  On this podcast we will be discussing his military career, what inspired him to write a book, where that title came from and how he ended up from dealing with passengers at air heads to teaching people how to fly.      DESERT ISLAND DITS On Desert Island Dits our guest's choice of film is Gone With The Wind and his book choice was "anything" by Spike Milligan.  The teams book choices this week are Picking Up The Brass by Eddy Nugent and <a href='https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42277869-taking-on-gravity?from_search=true&from_s
28/01/20231 hour 12 minutes 24 seconds
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S3 #037 Royal Engineer’s Search Teams (REST)

CONTENT Our guest today is a former Sapper who joined as a boy soldier and finished his service as a Late Entry officer.  The Royal Engineers help the Army to live, move and fight by increasing survivability, mobility and counter-mobility.  On this pod we will discuss each of these topics but the main focus will be on REST and EOD as this is where he spent the majority of his career.     DESERT ISLAND DITS On Desert Island Dits our guest's choice of film is Ice Cold Alex and his book choice is Arrows Of Fortune  by Tony Deane - Drummond.  The teams book choice this week is The SS: A Warning From History by Guido Knopp. SOCIAL MEDIA Check out or blog site on word press Uncon
30/12/20221 hour 20 minutes 54 seconds
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S3 #036 Chinook At War

CONTENT Our guest today is  Liz McConaghy who spent 17 years flying as a crewman with the RAF Chinook fleet.  She was the youngest aircrew member to deploy to Iraq and the only female on the Chinook wing for 4 years.  Liz completed 2 tours of Iraq and 10 deployments to Afghanistan.  On this podcast we discuss flying on operations in both those theatres and what it was like to be on the Medical Emergency Response Teams (MERT) that recovered wounded soldiers from the battle space back to Camp Bastion. Liz talks about the problems she encountered post tour including PTS and being medically discharged from the RAF.  Finally we discuss her book "Chinook Crew "Chick"", why she wrote it and how it helped her recovery.   You can follow Liz on her social media accounts on Instagram chinookcrewchick and on Twitter @chinnychick.  Her book can be bought via her publisher Pen and Sword books or on Amazon. DESERT ISLAND DITS On Desert Island Dits Liz's choice of
11/12/20221 hour 22 minutes 22 seconds
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S3 #035 US Army 75 Ranger Regiment

CONTENT Our guest today is Zach Allred a former US Army Ranger who served with the 75th Ranger Regiment.  This Regiment is a lethal, agile and flexible force, capable of conducting many complex, joint special operations missions. They are the US Army's premier direct-action raid capability. Each of the Ranger battalions is always combat ready, mentally and physically tough, and prepared to fight globally.  Their capabilities include conducting airborne and air assault operations, seizing key terrain such as airfields, destroying strategic facilities, capturing or killing enemy combatants and reconnaissance.  On this episode we will cover the unit’s history from the revolutionary war to the present day.  We also cover its current role, selection process  and discuss some of its operational deployments.  Finally we discuss Zach's transition to the civilian world and his company Rockwell Designs.  Check out Za
28/11/20221 hour 5 minutes 32 seconds
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S3 #034 Royal Navy Clearance Divers

CONTENT Our guest today is Jim a former Royal Navy Clearance diver.  On this episode we will cover the unit’s history from inception in WW2, its current role, selection process, diving technology and operational deployments. DESERT ISLAND DITS On Desert Island Dits Jim's choice of film is Grosse Pointe Blank and his book is Death of a Hero: Captain Robert Nairac, GC and the Undercover War in Northern Ireland by John Parker.  The teams book choice this week is The Last Dive: A Father and Son's Fatal Descent into the Ocean's Depths by Bernie Chowdhury and film choice The Silent Enemy SOCIAL MEDIA<
27/10/20221 hour 17 minutes 49 seconds
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S3 #033 Post Conflict Reconstruction & Dealing With The Aftermath

CONTENT Our guest today is Matt Harding a former officer who served in the Royal Artillery.  We talk with Matt about his Army career, his deployment to Bosnia and the impact operations in that country had on him.  We finish off with how he dealt with what he saw in the Balkans and his work with charities such as Pilgrims Bandits.   DESERT ISLAND DITS On Desert Island Dits Matt's choice of film is Highlander and his book is The Times Complete History of The World.  The teams book choices this week are Afghan Napoleon by Sandy Gall and The Wall Rome's Greatest Frontier by Alistair Moffat . SOCIAL MEDIA Follow us on so
27/09/20221 hour 8 minutes 50 seconds
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S2 #032 22 SAS Operation CORPORATE (Falklands 82)

CONTENT On this podcast we discuss operations conducted by 22 SAS on Operation CORPORATE in 1982.   Our guest is Nick who was in 1PARA when he applied for selection in 1980.  He passed the course at the age of 22 and spent the next 18 years on operations and exercises around the world with the Regiment.  Nick talks in detail about the SAS in action on South Georgia, the raid on Pebble Island and operations around Mount Kent in the push towards Stanley.    DESERT ISLAND DITS On Desert Island Dits Nick's choice of film is The Hangover and his book is Penal Company on The Falklands by Phillip Neame.  The teams book choice this week is Across An Angry Sea: The SAS In The Falklands War by Cedric Delves. SOCIAL MEDIA Follo
28/08/20221 hour 17 minutes 32 seconds
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S2 #031 From Terror To Triumph

CONTENT On this podcast we discuss the book “Terror To Triumph” with the author Chris who served as a sniper in Ramadi and Fallujah in Iraq in 2005 and 2007.  He then retrained as a UH-1 crew chief/door gunner and completed a tour of Helmand province in that role in 2010.  The book outlines his tours in both countries and subsequent adjustment to the civilian world including dealing with PTSD.  It is the story of how he and his family went through each deployment, dealing with trauma and death before finding success against the odds. Chris's book is available through Amazon and Audible and he will shortly launch his own web site www.terrortotriumphbook.com GUEST Chris Whittemore USMC retired. DESERT ISLAND DITS On Desert Island Dits Chris's choice of film is 13 Hours and his book is <a
27/07/20221 hour 17 minutes 13 seconds
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S2 #030 Naval Gunfire On Operation CORPORATE (Falklands 82)

CONTENT On this episode we discuss 148 (Meiktila) Commando Forward Observation Battery Royal Artillery during Operation CORPORATE better known as the Falklands war.  After the Argentine invasion of the Falklands, 148 deployed to the South Atlantic where it operated alongside both the SAS and SBS in order to direct naval and artillery gun fire.  Their unique capabilities were invaluable and 148 teams engaged Argentine positions in support of every major British assault. GUEST Our guest is Brum Richards who served the majority of his military career in 148 whose naval gunfire role can be traced back to The Combined Operations Bombardment Units (COBUs) that provided fire direction for ships in shore bombardment in World War 2.  On Op CORPORATE he deployed as Naval Gunfire Liaison Officer on board several Royal Navy warships and offers a unique perspective on the campaign. SOCIAL MEDIA Follow us on social media and don't forget to like, share and leave
28/06/20221 hour 21 minutes 35 seconds
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S2 #029 Brum Richards Commando Gunner

CONTENT On this episode we discuss 148 (Meiktila) Commando Forward Observation Battery Royal Artillery between the early 1960s and the Falklands War in 1982.  The unit is specially qualified in calling artillery, naval gunfire and airstrikes to support 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines and UK Special Forces. They are experts in covert insertion, patrols behind enemy lines, concealment, encrypted communications and battle damage assessment in all environments.  Members of 148 Battery took part in operations in the Malay Peninsula 1963-66, Borneo 1963-66, the Radfan in 1964 and in Aden at various times between 1960 and 1967. It was  scheduled for disbandment when Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands in April 1982 but its performance during the war essentially stopped this in its tracks. GUEST Our guest is Brum Richards who served the majority of his military career in 148 whose naval gunfire role can be traced back to The Combined Operations Bombardment Un
15/06/202257 minutes 32 seconds
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S2 #028 The Battle Of Hondeghem 27 May 1940

CONTENT On this podcast we discuss one of the lesser known rear guard actions on the retreat to Dunkirk that allowed so many troops to get to the beaches and their subsequent evacuation back to England.   This is the Battle of Hondeghem which took place on the 27 May 1940 when K Battery Royal Horse Artillery engaged lead elements of 6 Panzer Division halting them at the village in vicious street fighting and firing their 18 pounder guns at ranges of under 100 yards. The battery suffered heavy losses, with 'F' Troop alone losing 45 men out of 63. However, they were rewarded with Major Hoare winning the DSO, Captain Teacher the MC, Battery Sergeant Major Millard the DCM, and Gunner Kavanagh was honoured with the MM. In addition three men were Mentioned In Despatches.  In recognition of their gallantry the unit was awarded the honour title Hondeghem and K (Hondeghem) Battery is still on the order of battle in the Royal Artillery today. GUEST Our guest
26/05/20221 hour 6 minutes 46 seconds
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S2 #027 1 Royal Irish Operation HERRICK (Afghanistan) 2010 Part 2

CONTENT This is the second part of our podcast with Adam Lyle - Stirling who served as an infantryman in the British Army from 2001 to 2012 first in 2 Princess of Wales Royal Regiment (2 PWRR)  then in 1 Royal Irish Regiment. Adam completed operational tours in Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan finishing his service as a Sergeant.  We continue to talk to him about his tour of Afghanistan in 2010 with 1 Royal Irish. Adam talks in detail about several contacts he was involved in, leading and managing soldiers on operations, dealing with the mental pressures of command and the psychological impact of a highly kinetic tour on his soldiers.  Finally we close the discussion with his thoughts on the withdrawal from Afghanistan and the PTSD and suicides many suffered from when they got home. On Desert Island dits Adam's book choice is Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.  His film choic
27/04/202249 minutes 33 seconds
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S2 #026 1 Royal Irish Operation HERRICK (Afghanistan) 2010 Part 1

CONTENT Our guest on this podcast is Adam Lyle - Stirling who served as an infantryman in the British Army from 2001 to 2012 first in 2 Princess of Wales Royal Regiment (2 PWRR)  then in 1 Royal Irish Regiment. Adam completed operational tours in Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan finishing his service as a Sergeant.  On the first of a two part podcast we talk to him about his tour of Afghanistan in 2010 with 1 Royal Irish. Adam talks in detail about several contacts he was involved in, leading and managing soldiers on operations, dealing with the mental pressures of command and the psychological impact of a highly kinetic tour on his soldiers.  Finally we close the discussion with his thoughts on the withdrawal from Afghanistan and the PTSD and suicides many suffered from when they got home. On Desert Island dits Adam's book choice is Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.  His fi
20/04/202256 minutes 28 seconds
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S2 #025 The Borneo Graveyard 1941 - 45

CONTENT Our guest on this podcast is John Tulloch who served in Vietnam with the New Zealand Army and later transferred to the British Army. John advised and instructed on the British Army’s Jungle Warfare Instructors’ Course (JWIC) in Brunei and supported major jungle exercises in Belize.  Retiring from the Army in 2003 and becoming a MOD Civil Servant, John continued to instruct on JWIC until May 2015. John was honoured with the MBE in 2003 and the Royal Artillery Medal in 2011.  An author of several articles about the Vietnam War and Borneo, he also gives talks on these subjects to the military, history groups and schools. Since retiring from the Civil Service in 2015, John began writing ‘The Borneo Graveyard 1941-1945’, the product of 12 years of research. This is his first book. THE BOOK Borneo, the land of the head hunters, was a World War II graveyard for POWs, internees, locals, Javanese and Japanese. John's book follows the raising of five Royal
28/03/202256 minutes 45 seconds
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S2 #024 An ANZAC FOO In Vietnam Part 2

CONTENT This is the second part of our podcast with Vietnam veteran John Tulloch.  If you have listened to the first part of this podcast (#023) you would be advised to do this first.   DESERT ISLAND DITS Johns choice of book on desert island dits is The Old Man And The Sea by Ernest Hemingway and his film is The Longest Day.  The team's choice this week is Delta Four: Australian Riflemen in Vietnam by Gary McKay and Britain's Treasure Islands: A Journey to the UK Overseas Territories by Stewart Mcpherson. A complete list of the books we have reviewed with our guests can be found here. SOCIAL MEDIA Foll
28/02/202244 minutes 51 seconds
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S2 #023 An ANZAC FOO In Vietnam Part 1

Our guest on this podcast is Vietnam veteran John Tulloch.  John's military career began in 1965 and he was commissioned into the Royal New Zealand Artillery (RNZA) in 1966. John developed his jungle warfare expertise whilst serving in Vietnam with 161 Battery from July 1968 to July 1969 as a Forward Observation Officer (FOO) nowadays referred to as a Fire Support Team commander. John transferred to the British Army and Royal Artillery in March 1973 and completed two tours in Northern Ireland , followed by a two year secondment to the Sultan of Oman’s Artillery in 1978. In 1994 John began as a visiting advisor and instructor for the next 21 years on the British Army’s Jungle Warfare Instructors’ Course in Brunei. He also supported major jungle exercises in Belize for 10 years. Retiring from the Army in 2003 and becoming a MOD Civil Servant, John continued to instruct on Jungle Warfare Instructors Course until May 2015.  John was honoured with the MBE in 2003 and the Ro
21/02/202245 minutes 40 seconds
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S2 #022 Fuelling The 21st Century Soldier

Our guest on this podcast is Ali Macdonald Co-founder & CEO - Resilient Nutrition who served in the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, the HAC and the London Scottish. On this episode we discuss a short history of rations in the British Army, how modern nutrition techniques are influencing training and feeding of soldiers both in camp and in the field.  Finally we look at how intelligent use of appropriate nutrients assists not only those in the military but endurance sports athletes. You can find Ali at: www.resilientnutrition.com  and on Instagram @resilientnuts.  We finish with Ali's book choice on Desert Island dits Team Of Teams New Rules Of Engagement For A Complex World  by General Stanley McChrystal.  His film choice is The Bourne Identity.  The teams book choices this episode are <a href='
30/01/20221 hour 16 minutes 53 seconds
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S2 #021 Soldiers On Film

Our guest is Army veteran Simon Vincent.  On this episode we discuss the war films we rated back in the day when everything was on VHS.  Some golden oldies and a few lesser known (in our eyes) classics. If you have enjoyed the podcast we would really appreciate a review especially on Spotify or ITunes. You can follow us on social media on the following platforms and don't forget to like, follow, share.  Instagram @the_unconventional_soldier_pod. Facebook @lateo82.  Twitter @TheUCS473. Download on other platforms via Link Tree. Email us: [email protected].  This episode brought to you in association with ISARR a veteran owned company.
29/12/20211 hour 45 seconds
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S2 #020 Non Military PTSD

Our guest is Chris Harvey who served as a reserve STA patrols soldier in the Honourable Artillery Company (HAC).  On this episode we discuss non-military PTSD from Chris's very personal experience. How is non-military PTSD (also known as Non-Combat post-traumatic stress disorder) different from the PTSD we most often hear about related to military combat? The reality is, it's the same disease, the same symptoms, the same debilitating condition. The precipitating traumas, specific symptoms and severity of symptoms may be different, but millions of both veterans and civilians live with PTSD. Individuals may develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder when they experience, witness or learn about an event involving actual or threatened death, sexual violation, or serious injury. Non-Combat PTSD can affect all ages, genders, income levels, ethnicities and lifestyles. We finish with Chris's book choice on Desert Island dits <a href='https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17172402-am
30/11/20211 hour 9 minutes 41 seconds
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S2 #019 Andy Kirkpatrick Mountaineer Part 2

This is the second part of our podcast with mountaineer Andy Kirkpatrick.  If you haven't already download "S2 #019 Andy Kirkpatrick Mountaineer Part 1" first.    Follow us on social media and don't forget to like, follow, share and leave a review. Instagram @the_unconventional_soldier_pod. Facebook @lateo82.  Twitter @TheUCS473. Download on other platforms via Link Tree. Email us: [email protected].  This episode brought to you in association with ISARR a veteran owned company.
02/11/202158 minutes 53 seconds
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S2 #018 Andy Kirkpatrick Mountaineer Part 1

Our first civilian guest on the podcast is Andy Kirkpatrick.  Described by John Humphreys as the Ranulph Fiennes of British climbing.  He’s a professional mountaineer, award-winning writer, film maker and host of the Psychovertical podcast. Andy has climbed all over the world but is viewed as an expert in big wall climbing having summited El Capitan over 30 times including 5 solo ascents and two   one day ascents.   Andy was kind enough to email and tell us he enjoyed the pod and it got us thinking how much small unit, dismounted soldiering and climbing had in common.  Both involve highly trained individuals capable of operating equally well on their own or as part of a team. There is also the need for focused training, the honing of skills, an obsession with gear, great photos in inaccessible parts of the world and the discomfort of wet/dry drills before getting in or out of a sleeping bag.  We finish with Andy's book choice on Desert Island dits <a href='https://www.
26/10/202158 minutes 20 seconds
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S2 #017 The Honourable Artillery Company (HAC)

Our guest on this pod is Steve Kiely who served 20 years as a reserve soldier in the HAC rising in the ranks from Trooper to Captain.   The HAC is the Army Reserve’s Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Regiment and exists to support the Regular Army on operations.  They work closely and train with two paired regiments; 5th Regiment Royal Artillery and 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery in order to provide the reserve support to 4/73 Battery in the STA patrols role and airborne trained soldiers for 7 RHA.  On this pod Steve discusses the history of the HAC, the reserve STA patrol selection process, training, the attributes required of a reserve forces soldier and deployed operations. We finish with Steve's book choice on Desert Island dits The Falklands War by The Sunday Times Insight Team.  His film choice is
27/09/20211 hour 8 minutes 59 seconds
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#016 The Role Of STA Patrols Now & In The Future

Our guest on Pod #016 is Scott the serving Officer Commanding 4/73 (Sphinx) Special OP Battery. On this episode we talk about his unique journey to head up the Army's STA patrols unit from the ranks of the Royal Military Police's Close Protection Unit where he carried out tours in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Being selected for commissioning as an officer and attending the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst.  Finally passing P Company in order to serve with Airborne Forces before he completed the STA Patrols Selection course for his first tour with 4/73 as a Troop Commander . Scott then covers the role of the unit today including operational commitments, training and selection in order to deliver surveillance, reconnaissance and joint fires in high risk environments.  We then move on to discuss the future of STA patrols in a shrinking Army with increasing demands.   We finish with Scott's book choice on Desert Island dits <a href='https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/
30/08/20211 hour 13 minutes 15 seconds
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#015 Operation HERRICK (Afghanistan)

Our guest on Pod #015 is Jon Deninson a former Troop Commander and Battery Commander of 4/73 Bty when they deployed on multiple Operation HERRICK tours in Afghanistan.  On this episode we talk about Jon's first tour of Afghanistan in command of an STA Fire Support Team as part of the 3 Para Battle Group on HERRICK 4.  We also discuss the various roles the unit subsequently carried out including Brigade Recce Force, Theatre Surveillance Troop and operations conducted as a dismounted recce platoon. These roles often involved close combat with a determined enemy and a small unit of 55 men suffered 3 killed in action and 10 wounded in action, several with life changing injuries, over this period. We finish with Jon's book choice on Desert Island dits Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel's Targeted Assassinations by Ronen Bergman.  His film choice is<a href='https://www.imdb.c
27/07/20211 hour 25 minutes 35 seconds
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#014 Operation TELIC (Iraq)

Our guest on Pod #014 is John Holden.  John was a Troop Commander and then OC of 4/73 Bty when they deployed on Operation TELIC in Iraq.  On this episode we talk about the near disbandment of the unit due to obsolesence and how they carved a new role in the operational battle space that later helped define the STA patrols concept  for the future. We finish with John's book choice on Desert Island dits Stalingrad by Anthony Beevor.  His film choice is Tumbledown.  The teams book choices this episode are MI9 by Helen Fry and  <a href='https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1232210.Accidental
27/06/20211 hour 6 minutes 24 seconds
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#013 A Few Good Men

Our guest on Pod #013 is Danny Kay.  On this episode we talk with Danny about the contemporary STA patrols selection course and how it changed in the early 90s to accommodate the move from the Cold War "stay behind" role to meet new operational challenges.  We also discuss the attachment of chief instructors from 22 SAS and how they influenced training over the years.  We finish with Danny's book choice on Desert Island dits Operation Snakebite by Stephen Grey.  His film choice is Saving Private Ryan.  The teams book choices this episode are 18 Platoon by Sydney Jary and SAS Phantoms Of The Jungle by DM Horner. <p style="text-ali
26/05/20211 hour 17 minutes 34 seconds
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#012 The Long Range Desert Group

Our guest on Pod #012 is Tim Miller who completed a tour as BC of 4/73 Bty.  On this podcast we discuss why he joined the Army, his time with the unit and the challenges he faced in keeping STA patrols relevant in an ever changing world.  The main focus of the episode is on the Long Range Desert Group.  A specialist unit who pioneered long range operations in that difficult environment and were much more than a taxi service for an embryonic SAS.     This episode is a precursor to a future pod on STA patrols in Afghanistan where they carried out some of the longest desert patrols since WW2.  We finish with Tim's book choice on Desert Island dits Undercover War by Harry McCallion.  His film choice is Where Eagles Dare.  The teams book choices
26/04/20211 hour 27 minutes 54 seconds
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# 011 The Balkans

Our guest on Pod #011 is Lee Chapman. On this episode he discusses joining the Army in the mid 1980s and deploying to his first Unit 50 Missile Regiment Royal Artillery.  This specialist Regiment was capable of firing the Lance mobile tactical surface to surface missile to provide nuclear fire support to the British Army of the Rhine during the Cold War.  Lee was a member of the Special Defence Group, a specialist unit unique to 50 Missile Regiment, whose role was to provide ground security for the nuclear weapon system.  Its NCOs were fully qualified infantrymen trained at the School of Infantry in Brecon.  The main part of the podcast discusses the deployment of STA patrols to the Balkans during the 90s and their involvement in the campaigns in Bosnia, Kosovo and Macedonia.   We finish with Lee's book choice on Desert Island dits P
26/03/20211 hour 11 minutes 25 seconds
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#010 73 (Sphinx) Special OP Battery, Operation GRANBY (Gulf War 91)

Our guest on Pod #010 is Chris Lincoln-Jones.  Chris was the Battery Commander of the then 73 (Sphinx) Special OP Battery when it deployed on Operation GRANBY, better known as the first Gulf war.  He describes the deployment of the unit, the training in theatre and its role as part of Divisional recce attached to 16/5 Lancers during the 100 hour ground war.  Chris also covers his time in 3 Commando Brigade in 148 (Meiktila) Battery, a specialist Naval Gunfire Support Forward Observation unit within 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery. We finish with Chris's book choice on Desert Island dits Firing Line by Richard Holmes.  His film choice is Eye In The Sky.  The teams book choices this episode are If I Die In A Combat Zone  by Tim OBrien an
24/02/20211 hour 20 minutes 32 seconds
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#009 3 PARA Mount Longdon Operation CORPORATE (Falklands 82) Part 2

On the second part of this podcast Jimmy Morham recounts the bloody battle for Mount Longdon and the recovery back to the UK following the Argentinian surrender.  He then moves on to the lessons learned from the war and how he applied them to the training environment of the STA Patrol's Selection Course. On desert island dits Jimmy's choice of book is Three Days In June by James O'Connell.  His film choice is Tunes Of Glory Colin's pick this week is Red And Green Life Machine: Diary Of The Falklands Field Hospital by Rick Jolly.  Kev's choice is Wingate and The Chindits: Redressing The Balance by David Rooney. Find out about the current serving unit
29/01/20211 hour 16 minutes 31 seconds
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#009 3 PARA Mount Longdon Operation CORPORATE (Falklands 82) Part 1

On this episode we talk with Parachute Regiment Veteran Jimmy Morham who came to the Special OP Troop from 3 PARA in the late 1980s as the chief instructor on the patrols selection course.    Jimmy covers his motivation for joining the Parachute Regiment and his 22 year career as an Airborne soldier.  We then move on to Op CORPORATE and discuss the invasion of the Falklands, how 3 PARA prepared for the deployment and the equipment and weapons systems they had at that time.  Jimmy recounts the voyage south and how they prepared for war on board and at Ascension island where rehearsals for amphibious landings were conducted and weapons testing carried out.  We then move on to the amphibious assault on the Falklands itself. Finally the move out from the beach head, conducted as an advance to contact, and the legendary tab across the island is discussed.  Jimmy then describes the preparatory operations conducted around the area of Estancia House and we finish off Part 1 of
23/01/20211 hour 11 minutes 34 seconds
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#008 Books In My Bergen

We love a book on the podcast so if you are wondering what to do with those Amazon vouchers this is the episode for you.  In a break from the normal format we talk about our books of choice with guest Simon Vincent. Along the way we discuss how the need for hunting hawks led to the Islamification of a part of Pakistan, Spike Milligan's PTSD, a bank robber's escape from Devil's Island in French Guyana, the myth of the invincible German soldier, Vulcan raids in the Falklands, an Irish woman's travels through Afghanistan, British POW in the Second World War, the pioneering plastic surgeon Archibald MacIndoe who saved the lives of Allied fliers in the war and how legendary SAS soldier and mountaineer Brummie Stokes helped Simon with a medical lesson on cold weather injuries.   On desert island dits Simon's choice of film is The Great Escape Find out about the current serving unit at <a href='https://apply
27/12/20201 hour 16 minutes 11 seconds
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#007 Operation Banner (Northern Ireland) & PTSD

On this episode we talk with Neil Hogg about the British Army's Operation BANNER which ran from 1969 - 2007.    300,000 British troops served in Northern Ireland during this period with more than 20,000 deployed at its peak.  In the first part of the pod we cover a brief history of the troubles, the effectiveness of the Provisional IRA, how we trained for a 6 month tour and what it was like to conduct operations in Londonderry during the late 1980s. In the second half Neil discusses in public for the first time an IRA ambush in which the vehicle he was travelling was struck by a roadside IED killing two soldiers Steve Cummins and Miles Amos.  He then gives a powerful and moving account of his subsequent battle with PTSD. On desert island dits Neil's choice of books are Tornado Down by John Nichol and Dirty Work by Glen McNamara. 
16/12/20201 hour 18 minutes 24 seconds
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#006 From Special Op Troop To 4/73 (Sphinx) Special OP Battery

On this episode we talk with David Jones a Troop Commander in the 1980s who came to the Special OP Troop from 148 (Meiktila) Commando Forward Observation Battery.  A specialist Naval Gunfire Support Forward Observation unit within 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery of 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines David covers the Troop Commander’s perspective of the unit including how the Troops in 32 and 5 Regt were organised and tasked, the pressures to get more volunteers through selection, the widening of recruitment and the attachment of SAS Captains to the Troop.  We will finish off with how two separate troops were brought together to form firstly 73 (Sphinx) Special OP Bty and finally 4/73 (Sphinx) Special OP Bty. On desert island dits David's choice of book is a two part series by Tim Cook At the Sharp End: Canadians Fighting the Great War 1914–1916, Volume One, and: Shock Troops: Canadians Fighting the Great War 1917
25/11/202050 minutes 41 seconds
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#005 International Long Range Recce Patrol School, SERE Training & BRIXMIS

Our guest on Pod #005 is Pete Walsh.  We talk to Pete about joining the Army in 1978 and subsequently volunteering for the Special Observer selection course in 1982.  In this episode we cover mandatory training and other courses conducted in the 1980s at the International Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol School which was the centre of excellence for the training of Special Operations Forces in Germany during the Cold War. Pete also discusses Survival/Evasion/Resistance/Escape (SERE) training which was mandatory for all STA patrol soldiers as part of their selection and looks at it's origins in the Korean war.  In the final part of the podcast the team talk about BRIXMIS in the isolated city of West Berlin.   We finish with Pete's book choice on Desert Island dits The Battle Of Long Tan and film <a href='https://www.imdb.com/title/tt007965
27/10/20201 hour 5 minutes 6 seconds
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#004 Mexe Hides, Observation Posts & Patrol Equipment

Our guest on Pod #004 is Sammy Nicholls.  Kev and Colin talk to Sammy about joining the Army in 1980 and subsequently volunteering for the Special Observer selection course in 1984.  In this episode we cover the challenges of siting and digging in large underground hides known as mexes and the forward deployment of two sub surface observation posts (OPs).  Sammy describes the routine in the Mexes and OPs which was for a period of up to three weeks until such time Soviet forces has passed over or supplies had expired.   Patrols would then conduct a long exfiltration over a number of days back to friendly lines.  Also covered is the patrol equipment used at the time including optics and weapons.  We finish with Sammy's book choice on Desert Island dits Battle Scars by Jason Fox. And film The Great Escape. Recommendations fr
05/10/202056 minutes 27 seconds
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#003 First Selection & Training

Our guest on Pod #003 is Iain Strachan.  Kev and Colin talk to Iain about joining the Army in 1979 and volunteering for the first stay behind Special Observer 22 week selection course at the height of the cold war in 1982.  We cover the content of the course, the type of person required and the backgrounds of instructors from units such as the SAS, Commando and Airborne Brigades and Iain discusses SAS legend Geordie Lillico who was an instructor on course 1.  Later on we find out about the  Danish Jaeger Corps selection which he undertook as part of an exchange programme and digress to the legendary Rhodesian Selous Scouts. In the second half we take a look at Exercise LIONHEART which was the largest field-training exercise for the British Army since 1945 wi
28/08/20201 hour 18 minutes 13 seconds
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#002 In The Beginning With Major General A Stone CB

Our guest on Pod #002 is Major General Anthony Stone CB the founder of the Special Observer concept at the height of the Cold War. The "stay behind" Special OP Troop consisted of selected soldiers in 6 man patrols whose task was to dig in large underground hides known as "mexe" shelters along the inner German border. They would then allow the main Soviet forces to pass over them before deploying to two smaller OPs where they would engage the enemy with the long range guns and rockets of the British Army. General Stone talks about his time in civvi street working in a bakery, as a budding motor racer and finally a potential architect. How he decided to make a career in the Army first joining the ranks of the Royal Engineers for basic training before heading to Sandhurst and commissioning in the Royal Artillery.   We discuss the legendary WO1 John Lord the first Regimental Sergeant Major of 3 Para and the first Academy Sergeant Major at Sandhurst, P Company, the Malayan
30/07/20201 hour 17 minutes 57 seconds
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#001 Setting The Conditions

Meet your hosts as they grapple with new technology and attempt to master the challenges of podcasting.  Follow their journey to covert Surveillance & Target Acquisition (STA) patrols via the jungles of Central America, the Far East, Canada, Denmark, Northern Ireland and Germany.  Along the way they will discuss the merits of 58 pattern webbing, jungle soldiering, Aussie ponchos, hammocks and Assam tea in a tin.  For the cultured they will review two films "Platoon" and "Paths of Glory" and try to win you over with a couple of classic book recommendations "The Cauldron" and "Quartered Safe Out Here". Follow us on Instagram "the_unconventional_soldier_pod" and Facebook "The Unconventional Soldier Pod" (search for @lateo82). Email us: [email protected] This episode brought to you in association with ISARR a veteran owned company.   
17/07/202019 minutes 48 seconds