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. A Quick Reaction Force in Sangin District

    In this episode of The Spear, we're joined by Gunnery Sgt. Jeff Kurek. One day in 2010, during a deployment in Afghanistan, his squad was designated as the QRF—quick reaction force—ready to respond in case any Marines needed support. When a patrol hit an IED, the call came in and he ...

    2019-09-12

  2. Apaches over Mosul

    In this episode of The Spear, we're joined by Capt. Lucas Gebhart. An aviation officer, he was deployed to Iraq during the Battle of Mosul. That battle involves intense fighting on the ground, but the pace and complexity of the fight was equally intense for the pilots engaged from the air. ...

    2019-08-28

  3. Special Forces on Patrol

    This episode features the first of a two-part conversation with Ryan Hendrickson. In this part, he shares a story from a 2010 deployment. On a mission in a particularly restive part of Afghanistan, Ryan stepped on an IED. Listen as he described that day and the aftermath of an incident ...

    2019-08-16

  4. Reacting to an Ambush in Baghdad

    In 2008, Maj. Emily Spencer was an EOD platoon leader in Iraq. In April, she and one of her teams accompanied a route clearance patrol that was planned to approach Sadr City, a notorious safe haven for militants. As the reached the edge of the dangerous neighborhood, IEDs began detonating ...

    2019-08-09

  5. A Taliban Ambush in Helmand

    In 2008, British Army officer Will Meddings was part of a team deployed in Helmand province, Afghanistan, tasked with partnering with, mentoring, and training Afghan forces. That job brings with it a host of unique challenges, many of which come to the fore when things go badly—like they did for Will ...

    2019-07-17