The Spear Modern War Institute at West Point

The Spear is a podcast from the Modern War Institute at West Point. It aims to explore the combat experience, with each episode featuring a guest who tells a detailed and personal story, describing the events and exploring topics like decision-making under stress and what it feels like to be in combat.
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Latest Episodes…

  1. Fighting Inside Grenade Range

    In 2012, Capt. Nick Dockery was a platoon leader in Afghanistan. When his platoon was attacked during a mission, an intense fight ensued. Capt. Dockery was recently recognized as the 2017 recipient of the Alexander Nininger Award for Valor at Arms by the West Point Association of Graduates for his ...

    2017-10-05

  2. An EFP Strike and Recovery from the Wounds of War

    In 2007, Col. Marc Hoffmeister was a major on a Military Transition Team advising Iraqi Security Forces when an explosively formed penetrator, a specific and devastating form of IED, hit his Humvee. He talks about the event and his team's performance in the immediate aftermath, along with an incredible story ...

    2017-09-20

  3. In the Pentagon on 9/11

    On September 11, 2001, Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen was a colonel assigned to the Pentagon. Today he's the superintendent of the US Military Academy, and he sat down to share his firsthand experience of the the attacks that day—a day that has influenced the operational trajectory of the US military ...

    2017-09-06

  4. Operation Blowfish

    In 2010, Col. Jonathan Neumann commanded 1/17 Infantry Battalion, deployed in Kandahar province, Afghanistan. Near the end of the deployment, the battalion received intelligence that Taliban forces were massing nearby, intending to try to overrun an American position. Col. Neumann talks through the four-day battle that followed. ...

    2017-08-22

  5. Face to Face with a Suicide Bomber

    On August 16, 2013, Capt. Brandon Thomas was a troop commander deployed to Kandahar province, Afghanistan. That day, during an unplanned halt on a mission, Capt. Thomas and his soldiers were hit by a suicide bomber. In this powerful episode, he talks about that day, the wounds he suffered, and ...

    2017-08-09