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.
Brought to you by Modern War Institute at West Point of The Spear

Latest Episodes…

  1. A Helicopter Mission During the Invasion of Iraq

    Col. Phil Ryan is an Army aviator who has spent much of his career in the Army's most elite, special operations aviation units. In 2003, in the first days of the invasion of Iraq, he was a pilot in the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, part of a fourteen-helicopter mission ...


  2. Drafted Twice: From the NFL to Vietnam and Back

    In 1968, after one season as a professional football player, Rocky Bleier was drafted by the Army and sent to Vietnam. During a firefight, he was wounded twice. In this episode, he shares his story of combat, recovery, and ultimately his return to the NFL, where he had a successful ...


  3. A Medal of Honor Recipient's Story

    In this episode, MWI's Maj. Jake Miraldi is joined by retired Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta. In 2010, he became the first living recipient of the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War. Listen as he describes the 2007 mission in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley, and the actions for which he received ...


  4. Never Leave a Fallen Comrade

    In this episode, Col. Bill Ostlund tells the story of what he calls the most honorable mission he took part in over more than three decades of Army service. When a soldier from an adjacent battalion, Staff Sgt. Ryan Fritsche, was reported missing in action after a firefight, Col. Ostlund ...


  5. Nerve Agent Attack in Britain

    In March 2018, after a dangerous nerve agent was shockingly used in the British city of Salisbury, authorities looked to the armed forces to play a role in the response. Maj. Clodia O’Neill was part of that response. An engineer officer in the British Army, she explains the mission that ...