David's Top JCOC Experiences, No. 6: Checking Out the Army Special Forces at Fort Bragg

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The Joint Civilian Orientation Conference is designed to give non-military members a deeperunderstanding of what the U.S. Armed Forcesdo and what they are -- their capabilities, culture, history, and more. It's a fascinating program, and DavidGardnerwants to share with his listeners a few things he learned from it. In this segment of theRule Breaker Investingpodcast, he discusses how he learned a lot more about what our elite soldiers do -- and can do.

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A transcript follows the video.

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This podcast was recorded on Aug. 24, 2016.

David Gardner:

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No. 6: Number six was that on Thursday of last week I had the opportunity to spend a full day at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. This was with the Army Special Forces. The U.S. Army has many capabilities we saw on display. Our day kicked off after a briefing from Gen. Kenneth Tovo, who oversees the United States of America's Special Operations Command.

We were escorted outside to stand in the square just outside that central Fort Bragg building, and we saw members of the Black Daggers Army Paratroopers drop down, right in front of us, with perfect landings. But really what jumped out to me, most of all that day, was an opportunity to watch U.S. Special Forces practice and train the equivalent of assaulting a building if there were a terrorist in that building. Seeing how they land.

This was all real life, here in a Black Hawk helicopter. This was a demo that included real bullets and real bombs. Landing on the building and dropping off the guys. This 12-man team -- and yes, they pretty much are all men, although women are now allowed in. It's been opened up so that women can try out and become part of the Special Forces. I don't think anybody has, yet, but I'm sure that barrier will be broken at some point.

These guys (each of whom has a specialist role in the 12-man team) cross-train so that they're all capable of doing medical procedures. To see how they do what they do. If you've seen the movie Zero Dark Thirty about the bin Laden takedown, you know how these guys operate and what it sounds like and what it looks like.

They told us the only difference between what we saw that afternoon and real life is that it was being done in the afternoon. The Black Hawk helicopter pilot would normally be using night vision and it would all be done under the stealth of darkness. But in this case we were able to watch it in the light of day, and hear how they communicate with each other, and the work that they do.

They simulated one casualty -- a guy who needed a tourniquet. He was not killed. He was just badly damaged. They actually had, again, a real Army Special Forces guy have an IV put in him, bleeding, so it was all real. It was simulated, but very real for him. It was amazing to watch that as well as an urban assault, where we stood up above a facility looking down on a room. It was kind of a top-down view.

Again, I can't help but think of video games. It's like you're playing the video game of a top-down view of a building watching Special Forces move through it. Again, this was with live ammo and real bombs, so that's why we were up above it and had to be off to the left (not the right) for one particular room so we didn't get hit by shrapnel.

But seeing the work that those people do (for them not every day, but often multiple times over the course of their military deployment) was eye-opening and something that is really, truly, I think, keeping us safe in the United States of America every day. Ways that we don't even fully know or can appreciate. I'm going to be mentioning, at the end, a conversation I had with one Special Forces soldier to give an example of that. Suffice it to say that that was number six.

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