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The Indigenous Approach

Author: 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne)

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Welcome to The Indigenous Approach, a podcast where we examine the role of the Nation's Premier Partnership Force across the competition continuum - from cooperation to conflict, and everything in between.
62 Episodes
The Science of Fighting

The Science of Fighting


SSG Thomas sits down with SFC H.E., SPC Lat, and SFC T for a conversation on the art of fighting and how to maintain your peak performance. SFC H.E. is the senior combatives instructor for the 95th Civil Affairs advanced skills detachment. SPC Lat is an amateur boxer and public affairs Soldier for 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne).  SFC T is a MMA champion and communications sergeant for 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne). 



Master Sgt. Chris Copper, Master Sgt. Jim Rooney, and Sergeant First Class (Retired) Bill O'Brian discuss transition from military service to civilian life. Navigation from military service to civilian life can be a struggle for some, and this discussion will hopefully enlighten those who need guidance and direction moving forward. Your transitioning phase will be determined by what you want out of it.
In this episode, Staff Sgt. Thomas sits with Major Christopher Pierce, Performance and Wellness Sleep Program Manager  and Mr. Ryan Carroll, HPW Coordinator,  to discuss how the lack of adequate sleep can affect mental health, physical fitness, and critical thinking.  They also discuss programs and technologies utilized within 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne) to monitor and optimize sleep habits.Major Pierce is also author of "Self-Health Andragogy: Self-Directed Learning Approach to Mental and Physical Self-Care." His book can be found on Google books or Amazon.If you have suggestions for topics or guests please let us know through the survey link below.1SFC(A) - Indigenous Approach Podcast Survey ( 
In Part 2 of this two-part series, Master Sgt. Chris Copper returns with  Maj. Larry Royer, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) behavioral health officer; Master Sgt. John, Team Sergeant from 19th SFG(A); and Georgia Harrison, United States Army Special Operations Command HPW Suicide Prevention Coordinator to have a candid conversation on issues that are affecting the force today. 
In Part 1 of this two-part series, Master Sgt. Chris Copper returns with  Maj.  Larry Royer, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) behavioral health officer; Master Sgt. John, Team Sergeant from 19th SFG(A); and Georgia Harrison, United States Army Special Operations Command HPW Suicide Prevention Coordinator to have a candid conversation on issues that are affecting the force today. 
In today's episode, we bring on the LREC program managers and a current Special Forces officer to discuss the command's language and culture program.Francis "Rusty" Restituyo is a retired Green Beret and is the LREC Director.Jorge Sanchez is a retired Green Beret and runs the Advanced Language Training portion of the LREC.Scott McDonough is the program manager for Yorktown Systems Group, the company that manages the contractor and database portion of the LREC.Ian Edgerly is a former PSYOP officer and is the program lead for the Regional Expertise and Culture part of the LREC.MAJ Tim Ball is a current Special Forces officer and a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. He wrote an article in War on the Rocks in May of this year about our language program, available here:
In Part 2 of our series on Resistance, we examine what Resistance looks like in the INDOPACOM AoR with the past, present and future commanders of our forward-stationed battalion in the region.Guests for this episode:Lt. Col. Erik Davis is the current commander of 1st Bn, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) in Okinawa, Japan.Lt. Col. Ron Garberson works in the Operations Directorate at Special Operations Command - Pacific (SOCPAC) and is the next commander of 1st Bn, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) in Okinawa, Japan.Col. (Ret) Dave Maxwell is a senior fellow at Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, and was commander of 1st Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group from 2000 to 2002. He's instructed at the National War College and Georgetown University. With over 20 years of service in the Indo-Pacific, he's an expert on the subjects of SOF and resistance.*To join the conversation, navigate to the 1SFC CAG page on the SIPR portal, where you will find a button for the CDR's Blog*Links for this topic: Gene Sharp’s “From Dictatorship to Democracy” Revolutionary and Insurgent Strategies (ARIS) Project: Operating Concept (ROC):
In this episode of the Indigenous Approach, we are joined by Dr. Sean McFate, author of the 2019 book The New Rules of War. Sean is currently a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council and a professor at National Defense University, Georgetown University, and Syracuse University. We discuss with Sean the role of SOF in Irregular Warfare and Strategic Competition. 
The Chief

The Chief


1st Special Forces Command Chief of Staff, COL Pat Nelson, joins the conversation to speak on his 30 plus years of military service, his transition from the 75th Ranger Regiment to an SF Commissioned Officer,  and his top priorities and objectives as the new 1st SFC Chief of Staff. 
Author and Historian, Marc Leepson, joins the Indigenous Approach to discuss his 2017 biography, Ballad of the Green Beret: The Life and Wars of SSG  Barry Sadler: From the Vietnam War and Pop Stardom, to Murder, and an Unsolved, Violent Death.
Creative Connections

Creative Connections


1st Lt. Rodney Walker, 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne) Chaplain Lt. Col. Brandon Moore, and Deputy Command Chaplain Maj. Colt Randles discuss creative ways to strengthen marriages through communication and the seven principles for making marriage work.  This conversation explains that even though marriages may be shaky or successful, it could always grow stronger.Links mentioned in the podcast:Created for Connection: The "Hold Me Tight" Guide for Christian Couples Hardcover - October 4, 2016 by Kenneth Sanderfer and Dr. Sue Johnson EdDHold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Loveby Dr. Sue Johnson EdD, Apr 8, 2008"Growing Through Adversity" premiere - release of the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps' first Strong Bonds film l Article l The United States ArmyLinks to film and road map are in the article.Discover Your Love Language - The 5 Love LanguagesChapman, G. D. (2010). The Five Love Languages. WalkerThe Gottman Institute l A research-based approach to relationshipsGottman, J. (2000). The seven principles for making marriage work. Orion.
SGT Rudi Horvath

SGT Rudi Horvath


SGT Rudi Horvath joins the Indigenous Approach to help mark the 70th anniversary of 10th Special Forces Group. Rudi was one of the "Originals" from 1952, and helped forge the Special Forces community into the premier partnered irregular warfare force it is today. 
In this episode , we speak to Dr. Keith Adkins - the son of Medal of Honor recipient , CSM Bennie Adkins who was bestowed with the prestigious award in 2014 for his display of valor during combat operations in the Vietnam War in 1966. 
In this episode, we take a bit of a deep dive into the world of Robotics and Autonomous Systems and we explore where the nexus is between Robotics and Army Special Operations. Our guests for today's episode:Jason is an Operations Planner in the USASOC G3 Counter Weapons of Mass Destruction Division and the USASOC ARSOF Robotics Division’s Subterranean Robotics and Autonomous Systems Manager.  He works alongside CWMD planners to develop Robotics and Autonomous Systems solutions for close, confined spaces with fouled air and other environments that challenge life support.Dave is a Special Forces Major who works in the USASOC Combat Development Directorate and is focused on mobility. He’s USASOC’s touchpoint with the Army’s Next Generation Combat Vehicle Cross Functional Team and the Army’s Robotics Requirements Division. MAJ Corey Wallace is an Armor officer and is the Robotic Combat Vehicle Requirements Lead at the Next Generation Combat Vehicle Cross Functional Team.Book Recommendations from our guests:Lean Product Playbook - Dave OlsenKill Chain - Christian BroseArmy of None - Paul ScharreThe Innovator's Dilemma - Clayton Christensen 
In this episode, Sgt. 1st Class Jake Braman sits down with Brig. Gen. Derek Lipson to learn more about our DCG-S and to get his thoughts on where the command is heading.Brigadier General Derek Neal Lipson was commissioned an infantry officer in 1990, following his graduation from Midland Lutheran College, in Fremont, Nebraska, where he received a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. He completed the Special Forces Qualification Course in 1994.Brigadier General Lipson commanded at all levels within 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne), culminating as the Group Commander from 2015-2018. Non-combat deployments included Colombia, Bolivia and Grenada, and he responded to numerous natural disasters in the South East United States, to include Hurricane Katrina.Brigadier General Lipson has deployed multiple times, serving in Afghanistan in 2002, as the    Advanced Operations Base Tikrit Commander in Iraq from 2006-2007, the senior advisor to Iraqi Special Operations in 2008, Special Operations Task Force – North Commander in Iraq in 2010, senior advisor to the Afghan National Army Special Operations Command, 2nd Brigade in 2014 and as the Special Operations Command Forward – Central Africa Commander in 2016. Following Group Command, he served as the Team KSA Commander in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia from 2018-2020.Before being named as the Deputy Commanding General Support, 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne), he served as the Deputy Commanding General U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School.  He has also served as a Special Assistant to the Director of the Army National Guard in Washington, D.C.Brigadier General Lipson is a graduate of the Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, Command and General Staff Officer Course, and the U.S. Army War College. He holds master’s degrees in Adult and Continuing Education from Kansas State University and in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.His awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star with three oak leaf clusters, Defense Meritorious Service Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters. He has been awarded the Combat Infantryman, Military Free Fall Parachutist, and the Senior Parachutist badges.Brigadier General Lipson is married to the former Jennie Engelhaupt. They have two daughters and two grandchildren.
Personal PMCS

Personal PMCS


Command Sgt. Maj. Ted Munter joins Master Sgt. Chris Copper, the 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne) Human Performance and Wellness Senior Enlisted Leader, and Master Sgt. Geoff Dardia, the 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) Human Performance and Wellness Senior Enlisted Leader. They discuss the importance of not waiting until the last minute to perform proper maintenance on the most crucial piece of equipment, oneself.Links to the programs discussed:Intrepid SpiritSTAR ProgramPREP
In this episode recorded off-site in El Paso, TX, Maj. Dan Lessard sits down with three guests to discuss the command's newest directorate - the Special Operations Forces Training and Experimentation Center located at White Sands Missile Range, NM. Using the training areas provided at WSMR and nearby Fort Bliss, TX, SOF-TEC provides more than 2 million acres of training land, access to the nearby population centers of Las Cruces and El Paso, and the capability to replicate the real-world multi-domain conditions our forces will face in the modern operational environment.Col. Theodore Unbehagen is the inaugural director of SOF-TEC. Chief Warrant Officer 5 Scott Gronowski is the Command Chief Warrant Officer at 1st SFC (A).Sgt. Maj. Gregg Kibbee, from our G37 Training Office, has seen this training center through from its inception to its activation.SOF-TEC was officially activated at White Sands Missile Range on Mar. 8, 2022. See the following article for additional information: experimentation_center_activated_at_wsmr 
1st Sgt. Nick Harmon, the 1st SFC (A) HHC 1SG, sits down with Master Sgt. Chris Copper for an honest conversation about team dynamics and culture from the perspective of two former Special Forces Team Sergeants.
In this episode we talk with Travis and Blake, two 18D Special Forces Medics who conducted an emergency, double above-the-knee amputation on a surrendering ISIS-K fighter at an outpost in Afghanistan in 2020.Col. Jamie Riesberg, the 1SFC(A) command surgeon, joins us for the episode's introduction to put this procedure in context.Our 18D Special Forces Medics receive an extremely high level of training in both the classroom and in trauma centers to prepare them for the rigors of austere medicine. *As a fact-check, the 18Ds consulted with the Director of Clinical Services at Criag Joint Theater Hospital rather than the CJSOTF surgeon. The CJSOTF surgeon was alerted to the surgery plans, but did not provide consultation on the surgery procedure itself.
In this episode, Chaplain (LTC) Brandon Moore and COL Jamie Riesberg sit down with NYT bestselling author Dr. Lisa Miller to discuss Spiritual Fitness and its importance for both our force and the Nation more broadly. Lisa Miller, Ph.D., is the New York Times bestselling author of The Spiritual Child and most recent book The Awakened Brain.  She is a professor in the Clinical Psychology Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. She is the Founder and Director of the Spirituality Mind Body Institute, the first Ivy League graduate program and research institute in spirituality and psychology, and has held over a decade of joint appointments in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical School. Her innovative research has been published in more than one hundred peer-reviewed articles in leading journals, including Cerebral Cortex, The American Journal of Psychiatry, and the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.  Dr. Miller is Editor of the Oxford University Press Handbook of Psychology and Spirituality, Founding Co-Editor-in-Chief of the APA journal Spirituality in Clinical Practice, an elected Fellow of The American Psychological Association (APA) and the two-time President of the APA Society for Psychology and Spirituality. A graduate of Yale University and University of Pennsylvania, where she earned her doctorate under the founder of positive psychology, Martin Seligman.
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