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On this episode of Return to Base, we get N.A.K.E.D. with former Navy SEAL and the founder of NAKED Warrior Recovery, William Branum.
William served 26 years in the United States Navy, where he deployed 10 times as a SEAL. Like many Veterans, when William retired, his years of service caught up to him both physically and mentally. Again, like many Veterans, William self-medicated to turn off the pain and voices. Once he realized it was taking several glasses of vodka a night to fall asleep, he knew there had to be a different way. After trying a bottle of CBD oil, he noticed an improvement in his general well being. This started a journey which led him to starting his own CBD company and getting into the N.A.K.E.D. mindset.
N – Never Quit
A – Accept Failure
K – Kill Mediocrity
E – Expose Fears
D – Do the Work
William Branum and NAKED Warrior Recovery can be found at the socials below.
- William’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/william.branum.712
- NAKED’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nakedwarriorrecoveryCBD
- NAKED’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nakedwarriorrecovery/
- NAKED’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/RecoveryNaked
- NAKED’s YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSfSUXxPWP2-jumVKzQhgNA/featured
- NAKED’s TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@nakedwarriorrecovery
- William’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/william-branum/
Return to Base Podcast Ep. #8: William Branum
Hey, there. Welcome back to the Return to Base podcast. As always, I am your host Cliff Van Rickley, former Green Beret and retired US Army Master Sergeant.
This week’s guest is William Branum. He is a former US Navy SEAL who did 26 years of service to this country. He’s also the founder and CEO of naked warrior recovery, a CBD company focused on the recovery of veterans and first responders. Without further ado, let’s do this.
William, what’s going on man? Aloha.
William Branum 01:00
Just happy to be here. Yes, exactly. Aloha.
How is it in the Aloha State? I heard you guys just got snowed in or something?
It made a big deal about it on the mainland.
We had some pretty serious storms roll through here and I did get a bunch of messages from people and they’re like, can this be real? Snow? Blizzards? Like, really? Yes, it is on the Big Island where there’s a giant mountain out there and you can– And I haven’t done it yet, but you can ski in the morning and surf in the afternoon or vice versa but I could also do that in San Diego when I moved out there.
Yes. Oh, but in San Diego, the difference is you could go over the mountain into the desert afterwards. Used to do that when I was growing up in San Diego. Weirdest fucking place, right? It’s like a– Not quite– It is California but it’s not quite all California in San Diego and then the ability to swim in the ocean, go up to the mountains, fuck off, and then go down to the desert and run around on four wheelers and stuff was pretty cool but it ain’t no Hawaii man.
It is not. [Crosstalk 00:02:07]
And it was fantastic.
Yes. I mean, there are pros and cons to living out here, for sure. You’re on a rock in the middle of the ocean. I mean, technically, Hawaii is the furthest piece of land from any other land in the world.
It’s the most occluded place in the world and you will know it by coming here.
Yes, right. How long have you been in Hawaii?
About eight and a half years.
Are you an avid surfer?
I do surf. Since we moved from the middle of the island to a different part of the island which– Better school districts, better neighborhoods, things like that about a year and a half ago and it’s much harder. In the surf in– On Hawaii in the winter, the North Shore is where it’s awesome and, in the summer, the South Shore. It’s– I used to live about 15 minutes from the North Shore so I could just get up in the morning, roll out of bed, and head down and be in the water in like 20 minutes.
Now, it takes me an hour to get to the North Shore, no matter which direction I go. It’s a great place to live. I can see the ocean from my house. There’s not good surf in that part of the ocean. Yes, I surf– I have– I don’t surf quite as much as I used to just because it’s a little more of a pain.
Yes. Are you in with the locals, man?
You know what? I actually I surf on a stand-up paddleboard, on a pretty small one right. Oftentimes, my– The board I’m standing on is smaller than like the longboard that’s next to me and so as long as I can stand on that and not be a total Kook in the water, I get enough respect. I respect like, it’s just like, as long as you’re cool with the surfing etiquette, no one’s really going to mess with you.
Yes, right and I mean for those obviously we’re not going to post a video of this, but I have video currently when it’s not small man with his muscle. If you got a bit of muscle, they’ll mess with you I guess but if you’re a skinny looking hauli from—I don’t know, I’m trying to serve for the first time on the big waves, then–
They’re going to ask you to leave and really that’s well oftentimes for your own safety.
Yes. Actually, have a friend of mine who went– Actually my cousin in law was in Hawaii and I think– I don’t know, he thought he had the right of way. Maybe he didn’t for a non-local anyways by the time he got to the beach. I mean, it– They surrounded him and stuff and this was this was a long, long time ago that maybe things to change. Maybe people chilled out a bit.
It depends. I think it depends where you go. They’re like you– Yes. It depends where you go, were you an ass in the water?
Eight and a half years on the island and the last year and a half two years has been affected by COVID. There’s some blessing in disguise there as in not as many people are trying to come visit you or–?
Well, yes. It was fantastic unless you went to Home Depot. Living on the island is– On the island of Oahu is like living in LA but on a rock because there’s just so much traffic, so much– So many people and then during the lockdowns, there were no people on the road. I was like, this is awesome. This is great. I love this.
But then I was– We were remodeling this house and going to the hardware store. That’s where the half the island was so I remember going in one day and I was like, nope, the lines were like around through the aisles and like well, that’s just not on the docket trip for today. I’m not standing in line for three and a half hours with a bunch of other people.
Yes. I don’t like standing in line for 10 minute whatever. How many Jesus Christ, how many Home Depot’s can there be on a [Inaudible 00:06:11]? I’m sure there’s plenty but–
There’s three, at least three, and at two or three loads and then there’s some other smaller like hardware, Hawaii, and some other like smaller, like Ace Hardware type stores on the island. There’s plenty of hardware stores.
Yes. I imagine things are pretty expensive, though.
Yes. Pros and cons to living–
Yes. Exactly in paradise. Right? Last year, Sheets plywood [Sysco 00:06:42] was in the mainland, incredibly expensive. I had a couple of sheets laying on my yard, somebody offered to buy them for me and I think it was looking like a skateboard ramp with them for my kids and I was like, I considered it. I was like, maybe.
Living on Hawaii for eight and a half years in paradise. Before that, obviously, you were a United States Navy SEAL and did 26 years in the Navy. How many of those years on the teams?
23, 26. I would have gotten on the teams faster, but I made some tactical errors in my– Getting– Joining the Navy and things like that. I made some tactical errors that landed me on a ship for two years in the Yokosuka, Japan. Yes, it was not an awesome experience but it was experience so I wouldn’t trade it but yes.
All right. 23 years on the SEAL teams. 26 years in the Navy. Thank you for your service, obviously. What year does the company’s– What did– What year did you come in? And what year did you get out?
I joined the Navy in 1992 directly out of high school. I mean, really, I joined the Navy as part of the delayed Entry Program. My– The summer before my senior year and then I graduated from high school and went– Four weeks later went directly into the Navy.
OK, cool and then took off on the fleet for a bit that had been great. [Crosstalk 00:08:17].
That was a great time. It was my fault. I mean, I got to see a lot of the world I got to see stuff that other people don’t get to see but what happened is, I joined the Navy to be a SEAL and I took the screening test in boot camp and I failed it and then I went from boot camp in the Navy, you have to have a navy job in order to advance.
Now, you can go in and become a SEAL and that’s your navy job but when I joined, we didn’t have like the SEAL [Crosstalk 00:08:47] Right? And what we had I was I went to the school to become a gunner’s mate which– That sounds cool. That is not cool. It really what a gunner’s mate is you work on the big guns system or Mr. launchers on that big grey thing that floats out in the water.
That’s a really cool, man.
It’s all about pneumatics electronics and hydraulics and there was one week out of six months that we covered small arms. We didn’t even cover that much and so when it came time to pick orders after– Before we graduated was about four weeks left in the in the course. I was high enough in the class. I could have gone to take the SEAL screening test again, but it was the winter in north of Chicago, and I didn’t really– I was lazy. I didn’t really feel like getting up at like four in the morning to go over, take the screening test again and battling the cold and ice and all that other stuff and so I took a set of orders to go to another school for four more months in Virginia Beach at damn neck and I thought I would go to that school, I would get in better shape and then I would go to BUDS. Right?
What I didn’t know is because I took that school for four more months, I owed the Navy 24 months of obligated service. Oh, so I was like, right. I’m like, two months and I’m like, hey, I want to take the SEAL screening test, I want to go to BUDS and the instructors like, OK, they looked into it, and they came back and they’re like, Yes, that’s not going to happen because you took the school. I said, well, what if I fail out of the school. They said, you’re still going to go to that same job in the Navy, like, it’s tied to this school. I didn’t understand any of that, so I went to the fleet for two years and then when it came time. At the nine-month mark, you call your detailer and start negotiating for your next set of orders and I was like, I’d call mine and I was like, Hey, I’m going to put a package into go to go to BUDS, because I want to be a Navy SEAL and he’s like, that’s great. Great ambition, but I’m not going to release you because you’re NAC, your MOS is too critical to the Navy. I will not release you to go to SEAL training. I’m like, really? Because it’s really hard and maybe I don’t make it, maybe then you get me back.
No and no and so I continue. I pass the screening tests. Actually, the next time I took it, I failed it. I failed to run by like 12 seconds or something silly like that. I took it with a bunch of other guys that were taking, like, they were taking the test for to become a diver, or an EOD guy and I beat them all on pushups, pull ups, sit-ups, the swim, and the run.
I was wearing boots and long pants and because I was so far ahead of everyone else. I was like, little bit arrogant, I guess. Yes, I’m like, I got this and I’m just like, cruising at the end and he says my time and I’m like, what? That’s not that what? And so, I was like, a little bit I’m like, but I beat everyone. It doesn’t matter. Like, these are the standards, you have to you have to meet the standard.
The next time I took it, I left nothing out there. I made sure that I passed it and then I submit my package and do all the medical stuff. I get letters of recommendation, my detailer still says, no. The SEAL detailer says, You have to– Your guy has to let you go and so the Chief of Naval Operations comes to you Yakuza, Japan and he had– He came to my ship, he didn’t go to any other ship. In Japan, he only came to my ship, my little dinky ship and he had CNO’s call, and he gave out his vision of the navy or whatever and I didn’t really listen.
I just waited for q&a and when he asked for questions, I raised my hand was like, Oh, Yes and he called on me and I said, Yes, I joined the Navy to become a SEAL. My detailer won’t let me go because my NEC is too critical. I think I deserve a chance to go and he’s like, OK. He turns to my commanding officer who I told I was going to ask, thankfully and I turned to him and he’s like, is he a good guy? And he said, Yes, he was a sailor of the quarter which is like employee of the month, and he turns back to me. He’s like check, you’ll be in the first class after your PRD and we just plan rotational date and six weeks later, I’m off to California to go to the SEAL Training.
Nice. Explain to people really quick, what is involved in the SEAL? Assessments– Is that what you call? Assessment test?
Yes, they’ve got some fancy word for it now.
It’s swim [Sysco 00:13:26] probably.
Yes, there’s– When I think about it now and I think about like, how low those numbers are and like, really, how did I fail that but really, I wasn’t in shape. I didn’t my mind wasn’t ready for that yet. But if I had prepared for it, I would have passed it in boot camp but so it’s like a 500-yard swim. I don’t know the time. Its maybe like 12 minutes or something. Right? The numbers, I’m going to give you our minimum numbers and if you do the minimum, you’re probably still not going to make it into the program but it’s like 52 Push Ups, 60 sit-ups. It was like maybe six pull ups and then a mile and a half run in boots and long pants.
Now, the goal is when you do the swim very fast, you do 100, 120 Pushups, the same for sit-ups, you try to knock out 20 Pull ups if you can and do the run in whatever like that 12 minutes or whatever it is, in less time than that.
When I hear it now, I’m like really that was it? If that’s not that hard, because when you show up, you take it again and people fail it and so then before you start first phase, you take the new– Well they don’t do it anymore but the new screening tests, the SEAL screening, the SEAL PRT, which is a half mile swim, pushups, pull ups, sit ups, and then a three mile run and it’s all just back to back and you’re always trying to get those numbers on pushups and pull up have like, you know, 120 for each of those in the 20 to 25 range on pull ups, and they’re just strict hang pull ups, then this cross tipping stuff. That not allowed but then you had to pass that before you even started first phase.
It was– The standards are there, and then they increase the standards to make sure that you’re at least physically fit enough to complete the training.
Yes, that’s no joke. For sure. I mean, like you said, when you look back, you’re like, man, I can still pass those standards, like even just getting out of bed after having a COVID or something. Maybe not. I don’t know but, but sounds like to me. It sounds like those things happen for a reason. You found out some stuff at a really early age.
Number one don’t give up on yourself. Right? Keep pushing.
Number two, is don’t do the minimum. Don’t– whatever you got like shitbag it. Right? Whatever.
Yes, and it sounds like I may say, like, sound like you had competence and space but also, you mentioned that the fateful decision really. They had was I’m going to sleep in this one day. It wasn’t worth it. Right?
I mean, that’s part of that’s just being lazy. I mean, you have opportunity, right there. Are you going to take the opportunity or let it go?
Yes. That’s part of growing up, I guess. Right? Myself, I didn’t go to Special Forces selection and I was in the military for geez, eight years these eight years and I talked about going before but I’ve been deploying and stuff and it was like, Ah, I’ll go after this one or– This was never going to last this long but I get what I can and then go to selection. Right? I was one of those things where in the end, I should win a lot earlier.
Yes, but living without regret, at least you eventually did it.
Yes, exactly and I had an unusual experience myself was, I was actually working with Special Forces. I was in a Special Forces unit, and I was deployed two or three times with that Special Forces unit before I actually went to the Q Course. I have pretty good perspective of it all but I don’t know, I just felt like that’s not my time.
I didn’t have much confidence at that time was like, man, I’m not doing the workouts or focusing as much as I need to. I needed time to mature myself but, eventually, eventually, I did and rest is history. It’s not that really, like, it’s history. It’s just, that’s my history is, I took too long to get in but I had a pretty good career.
You– Excuse me– You make it to the SEAL teams, sometime around 1990 or at least a BUDS around 1995?
What are some of the things you learned in in BUDS in the SEAL training pipeline? What’s it called? It’s not just BUDS, right? BUDS is?
Yes, BUDS. BUDS is just the selection process and then after BUDS now, it’s different. When I went through you graduated BUDS. Then you went to the Army Airborne School and learn how to fall down, right?
Right before bedding, the Army has to teach you how amazing it was.
Yes. You have to learn how to fall down for three weeks before they let you jump out of the airplane and then you go to the team, and you show up at the team and you still don’t have a trident on your chest, right? You’re not a SEAL.
It’s not anymore? No.
Now, there’s a new pipeline but that and then you went to SEAL tactical training, and it was run by– You basically show up and they teach you all of the– Guys from all the all the different fields. Well, they do it out it– Actually out it– Because I was an East Coast SEAL for most of my career. They do it. BUDS is out in San Clemente, so that third phase out there but on the West Coast, they were– They would do it out at an island and for like land warfare and stuff like that.
On the East Coast, we did it at Fort. Not pick it for AP Hill, Virginia and but we also went down to Puerto Rico and did three weeks of combat swimmer diving and then we went to Fort AP Hill and that was about a four-month course then you show back up at the team. They put you in a platoon and then you’re on probation for a year. Still don’t have a trident on your chest. You’re still not awarded and then when the team decides that they want to do a trident board then they would bring you in and you would have to do all these– They would test you on your knowledge of being a SEAL, whether it was everything from demo to jumping out of airplanes to, points of performance to putting guns together to loading crypto, programming radios.
It didn’t matter what you did in the platoon how to, maybe they would make you like while you’re saying, points of performance, put together this pile of guns on the– That was in a bucket and like a spread out on the table and looking for safety and just making– Seeing if you’re going to screw up or not and if you actually knew what you were saying, or you’re just trying to blow smoke in their face, the wool over their eyes, you can’t– I mean you can’t fake not knowing something and then if you passed, then you are awarded your trident and then you deployed.
If you failed, you had one more opportunity to take the board and then if you fail, then you were gone. You went back, you went to the fleet, you–
Were kicked out?
Yes, and the program now is you graduate from BUDS and then you go directly into the pipeline. You get one week of static line, and then you get three weeks of free fall– Military free fall from a civilian drop zone in San Diego, then you go up to Kodiak, Alaska.
You learn some navigation, some survival, some over the beach stuff, and then you go out to out to the desert, and you learn land warfare, you learned some CQC, and then you show up, then you get your Trident, then you show up to the team, and you’re just a new guy, and you’re a new guy, as with your trident on but the platoons that I ran, even though the guys were new guys, we– They were treated as– And most of the older guys in the platoons that I ran, they were old school SEALs. They do STT and they had to earn their trident and we had these trident boards for guys.
Even though they already had their Trident, you still got to prove it at the end and it was some interesting challenges and I did have one guy that failed the board and he had some other stuff and we were– They– This was right before deployment and every one of the older guys were like, We do not trust Him, we do not want to deploy with him but I didn’t do the paperwork that was required to get rid of someone and that was a lesson that I learned but by the end of deployment, he re-earned the respect of the platoon and they gave him another board and we started.
For that deployment in 2005, we were in Iraq but the last six weeks, we rotated a different, our sister platoon in and we went to Germany and spent the last six weeks of our event deployment in Germany, going to Poland, we went to. We did a professional development trip out to Normandy, and I had all the new guys sort of run that like planned it there, you’re our tour guide and get to see some old school UDT history out there and just it was a super cool event.
Let’s see, Poland, Germany, Normandy, I feel like we did one other thing on that in those six weeks but on that when we were back in Germany, that’s when the guys did the Trident board again and he passed, he earned the respect of the team and he didn’t get kicked out.
That’s pretty cool. I mean, there’s a little bit of tradition there is– I think this brings up a good point with the time period in which you served in the SEAL teams, right? You have pre 911 and post 911 and Special Forces are pretty similar, where there’ll be times, you’re like, Man, I do not want this dude on my team but if I lose one dude, I’m not going to be able to do anything. Right?
Unfortunately, you become a victim of your success in a way where you’re like, Dude, we have to go, we have to be mission capable and we’ll just train long as best we can and sometimes good results come out of that and other times, you’re like, dude, wish I just left the state back at Fort Campbell, or whatever.
And that’s part of leadership also, is that not everyone is going to be awesome. You’re going to have these like, star performers, and you’re going to have other people that are mediocre, but they have valuable skills. You just have to, like that’s, that’s the Leadership Challenge is find what they’re good at, and then focus them in on that, and then they just become the expert in it and that helps them become successful in whatever. It doesn’t matter if it’s in the military or if it’s in, you know, the corporate world.
Yes, for sure. Pre nine– Excuse me– Pre 911. Being on the SEAL team has been, obviously, a different animal than then after 911. Same for—Obviously, Martial didn’t exist, number one. And the in Special Forces, a lot of training exercise, low intensity conflicts, things like that. Deployments with other armies, other Special Operations units, and I see this a lot, or very similar to what the SEALs are doing. Definitely deployments but a different mindset and talking about your pre 911 what it was like to be a Navy SEAL at that time? I know that from talking to people and from some of the books I’ve read, it’s kind of like, yes, we’re SEALs but everybody was kind of itching like men. Not saying you want something bad to happen but also you want the chance to prove your mettle.
Yes, 100% and pre-911, we did a lot of J sets, we did a lot of training, coalition forces, like exchanging of TTPs. I know SEAL Team Two, they were big into winter warfare, and the European Theater, where they would train with the Norwegians, that was like one of the big trips is going up there to Norway and doing these, like really hardcore wind warfare trips. Teammate was, they also had to, you know, do right on ships. They may have a six-month deployment where they’re on a ship almost the entire time, let’s do nothing, maybe they can work hours.
You work out you like CLE, sleep, eat, sleep, lift, eat, and repeat and so that was a lot of the pre 911 deployments. I remember the first platoon I deployed with to Afghanistan in 2003. They were supposed to be one of those one of those platoons and I remember being I went over as to work in the jock as a, like the LFO and then I eventually went up, he said it for those following along, weaseled my way into going out, like I convinced someone that he shouldn’t like for professional development, he should come in, and he should fill this role that I’m filling, and I will go out and work with the task unit and so that was that was a great learning experience.
I got to see like other leaders lead like good and bad and there was also some guys in that platoon where they were like complaining that they should be doing these other jobs and be doing more hardcore stuff and I was like, bro, you should be you should be grateful that you’re not on a ship right now. Yes, like, like, be happy where you are? Because, like, every deployment before this one was a non-combat deployment. Yes. We would do oftentimes, we call them European vacations because we would go to France and Italy and Greece, Germany, Spain, and would train with all of their special forces, and then come back to– We were deployed to Rota Spain, so that was not terrible. Not living in the barracks.
Yes and we did things to keep our skill sets high and then we come back from deployment and then, you know, go through a workup, which I think a workup in the SEAL teams is very different from what you guys do on an OTA because we have a now we have a very structured deployment or workout where we have like, six months of professional development, we just go to school. Then we have six months of unit level training, where we focus on very advanced skill sets, building the team, then we do six months of pre deployment, like specialty training, more advanced stuff.
In 2005, we got tasked with the mission of PSD to protect the interim government of Iraq. Instead of doing more land warfare stuff or more CQC, or assault stuff, we still did some of that, but we focus more on like, protecting principles and the IPS, high speed driving and then deploy. We were very well trained and capable when we– By the time we do deploy,
Yes, and I got to tell you, I always admired the SEALs training cycle because I’m sure as you know back in the early days of the GE during that two years that you just talked about an ODA was deployed like two and a half times.
It’s like, there’s value in that. You’re getting combat experience. You’re getting out there, you’re learning, you’re working out TTPs you’re building relationships, you’re doing all these other things. You just do are doing it at a lower and you’re learning valuable lessons and you’re keeping the team together for the most part, I think, Yes,
It is as a machine that kind of eats itself. You got to feed the schoolhouse and the schoolhouse is getting bigger so it would be nice to have been able to keep teams together more often but you said it right. So, I saw I know the team’s kind of like selected. Their team chiefs would select your team every deployment, right? Kind of like a draft, right?
That’s the good. Yes. Right. Whereas one team’s not going to get all the star players though. Yes, exactly. On an OTA,
You show up as a team star, if you’re lucky to make the eight or be in position, and you have what you got and you can help get some of those guys out if you don’t want them or we’re kind of ushered them out to a speaker for your career doesn’t really want this other to do. Exactly, man, you’re like getting fat and lazy time to go but Yes, it’s off tempo was crazy back Monday is six months on six months back in the box and not enough time in between, to really train or get better, but to find ways like a force but yes, if I were to bring the forces in– I remember the first SEALs I worked with, they weren’t too keen on this.
This is when basically, we were directed to do partner LED.
SEALs at that time were not very keen on doing partner lead or born internal defense type stuff and whereas we it’s old hat for bird, that’s, that’s our bread and butter is, Hey, man, why would I take a bullet as a number one guy for this guy’s country? Achmed, come here! Man, your number one.
Let’s see how to do this. I have been.
It’s actually funny. Every single mission I’ve ever been on, has been not necessarily partner led, but definitely. We tried to put the locals, the Indians out front and there was only really a handful of times where I found myself at a doorway and I felt the hand squeeze my shoulder and then we’re inside ability really? Oh, shit. Just me and me and drew in this piece. You got to do what you got to do and keep the initiative and keep it fast but yes, man.
I mean, we would be handed the same marching orders, but we would do everything that we could do to carry as many soft dudes as we could with us and as few locals as we could and we wanted to roll big and hard, heavy hand and they were like, oh, no, you can only take four Americans. Yes, but we need these and this and this and the comes guy and the JTAC and American Snipering it in the QRF and like, somehow, we would like pull the QRF into the, into the package somehow. Yes and the number of locals as we went in, because we wanted, like, I mean, we just wanted to go kick doors, and Yes, and find the enemy and so you know, that? I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of Mike day.
Mike was, he was at SEAL Team Four, we came in and we relieve SEAL Team Four but on the very last mission, it was a transition mission. So, some SEAL Team 10. Guys, and mostly for guys just like raise a hand off. Yes, and so there were there were, you know, Iraqis on the OP and, you know, it was Mike and one other American SEAL, and they go in, and the room that Mike goes in, there’s three dudes set up, and they shoot the shit out of him. He’s got shot, I don’t know, like, 27 times or something like that.
Schwedler who went right, he took around in the back of the head. The Iraqis were supposed to, like fill in and they didn’t because they’re like, oh, fuck, and I think yes. They stuck their gun in and kind of sprayed and potentially might get hit by one or two of those rounds but, you know, everyone pulled off target, there was a guy outside that got hit and but that was we use that as like, hey, we like the Iraqis got hot, and they backed out and they didn’t want to do the mission and so we lost a guy and all this other stuff. We were able to use that a little bit as leverage but, you know, that political climate in while, whoever’s in charge. Yes, to make the rules and like approving [Inaudible 00:34:29] and things like that.
Hey, as long as nothing happens, nobody even knows anything, any different, right? But other times, I mean, there are there are definitely questions that get that get answered and need to be or questions that get asked and need to be answered when some something does happen, unfortunately but Yes, it’s–
I talked to some people from time to time about the difference between the SEAL teams and OTAs and, eventually
After 2008 time period, very similar type of operations. This is your partner force. They had SEALs, had to go to village stability operations in Afghanistan, very much ODA type stuff and I got to tell you, I was impressed by the SEALs ability to adapt to that new mission set, started learning languages, which is something that SF prides itself on. Mine was Farsi, by the way, and I don’t know, I’ve still haven’t been Iran.
But I did get to use it in, in in Afghanistan a little bit, kind of picked up Dari with the basis of Farsi, but do you ever get to learn a language, or I suck at languages, I barely can get English out of my mouth. I’ve tried. When I lived in Japan, I tried to learn Japanese and actually, I learned more from my buddy’s two-year-old daughter than I did from the college course that I took, because, you know, she would just repeat stuff over and over and I was like, OK, I know what that means. OK and I would learn through that repetition but, you know, when I would try to sit down and learn it, I was an idiot.
I tell you what? That was hardest part of the entire Special Forces pipeline course for me was language.
I would love to speak other languages. I just suck. Yes, it’s, it’s different. It’s, it’s a lot of work. I mean, it was just so mentally taxing. I felt like I needed, like, six months’ vacation after my four or five months of language school.
Yes, as a SEAL on SEAL teams, obviously, probably deployed. I don’t know, 26 times, 26 years, probably over 10 times deployed.
10 deployments, seven were combat and three were non-combat.
Yes, and you take those lessons, obviously, from your deployments, your positions of leadership, and you have to eventually have to make that decision to leave the military. Right? Or the decision gets made for you for such because before is that is that happened with you?
Yes, so they were my six years. I mean, I was– Yes and so they’re like, all right, your time is up, you got to get out of the way for the new blood to come in and like, Yes, that was actually– That was the hardest. I say that my transition from the military to civilian life is the hardest military mission I’ve ever been on and I’m still figuring stuff out and still—Because when you’re in the military, you have a team, you have, a badass team with a badass mission and purpose and you know what you’re going to do every morning when you wake up, and who’s going to support you and not support you and what you’re going to do.
When I got out, I was like, I don’t know what to do. I had a plan, and it was executing the plan, but I was doing it poorly and, I mean, I can make excuses just like anyone else. It’s hard to do make these connections and build something want to rock in the middle of Pacific Ocean but I did like surfing and so yes.
You were in Hawaii. So, you were off the line SEAL teams, at least?
You’re right. My first SEAL team was a SEAL delivery vehicle. It’s a mini submarine, you get navigator front, and then up to four guys in the back. Yes, and it’s like it is truly the most clandestine method of operating period doing in leadership positions, oftentimes you have to do support your own platoon, your own task unit and I would be on like the dive suit boat. We’re following the SDV on these training missions and there’s a– We– If we operate in the day, we have this big orange buoy that we that STV toes at night, you just have a light that shines up, and you follow that light through the water, it looks kind of alien-ish.
It’s kind of cool but they leave the boat ramp, and they go do a thing and no, Bubbles hit the surface, no, nothing like actions on the objective. No one even knows they’re there. We only know they’re there because we know what time they’re going to hit the target and things like that or they break a chem light and they put the package above the waterline and so that we can retrieve it and then they go back and get in the SUV and then head back home but that is the absolute most clandestine method of operating period but because of that team and the reason that I came out here is they have a very strategic missions that that team does get approved by The President of the United States because they’re strategically important. Yes, and the risk of force is high. Like, if mission failure on that team, there’s you. It’s very bad. I think that, like you said, its super clandestine and the most clandestine, it’s just fucking cool dude but–
I’ve read that it’s not an assignment that most SEALs want, right out of.
No, I was devastated. That was my– I was– I was assigned STB team to on the East Coast team has gone away before graduation from BUDS and I was just– I’m like, I worked all this time to get on a SEAL team and I’m going to go become a diver. I’m just not OK with that but I am being at that team, and we worked in a smaller group. I got opportunities.
I went to sniper school super early, out of my personal team, and I got to go to free fall school super early before other guys generally would get to go. I got opportunities because I was at that team that I probably wouldn’t have gotten at another team, maybe. It was so because I had that qualification early on in my career, when it came time to go to maybe come out here to Hawaii, where the team is, I already had that call. It was an easy transition. I didn’t have to go to SDB School and learn how to drive a boat ride. I knew how to drive the boat. Not well, but good enough.
How do you pass a SDB driving courses?
Just got to do a lot of diving and you do mission planning and you learn how to use the stuff and then you– It’s like flying an airplane. You’re on instruments. Up, down left, right. Yes.
Yes. Except, like you said, you can’t get surface any bubbles. It’s crazy. I imagine that it’s not a safe mode of transport, there’s got to have
A lot of risk and there’s certainly some risks. There’s certainly some risk, you know, eaten by a shark? Well, you’re inside of enclosed. Yes, but it is wet. You’re on paper the whole time. OK, some sort. You’re on scuba, you’re on a closed circuit or a mixed a semi closed circuit, which it monitors like the partial pressure of oxygen, and how much nitrogen is in the system? There it is. Yes. OK. Yes. So that’s one that you like, wear on your back. Full face mask. You can talk yes, and communicate underwater, but really, the guys in the back of the boat, right? Always said, you have no– Your communication was whether you squeeze your buddy or not and there’s no room and your JV are wet and cold. You’re in there. No kidding. You’re packed in like sardines.
Sometimes you have to have someone close the door for you. No way to communicate except through squeezing and you know, one is OK, two is no three is I can’t clear come up five, five feet or so and more. There’s an emergency and the way that you communicate from the guy in the back of the boat to the person in the front is there’s a light there’s a little button right here and that’s how you communicate to the front of the boat. Like on a like an airplane. They call the stewardess. Kind of Yes. If someone can’t clear and someone gives me the squeeze, you know, three squeezes. I hit that light three times. So, they and then they hit it back to make sure that they heard right what I said, and then they’ll come up, you know, five feet and then you know, the guy will give me the OK. So that he you know, he clears and then I’ll do the OK, and then they’ll go back to the depth that they were we’re traveling and then the whole emergency procedures. Right, right. Yes. I’m so much more complicated than a regular land operation. Yes.
I myself never had the desire to go in the water. Underwater. I’m a free fall guy and people ask why I never went to scuba school, imagine going from the top of the food chain to the bottom of the food chain. No, I do not want to go swimming around and dark and cold and that’s just me man. That’s one of the reasons probably many reasons why could never be become a SEAL. Just not into the water. Oddly enough, and one of the first things training missions I did after the Q Course was asset Clemente Island. I spent like three weeks or something out there and we did a
we were doing we’re doing support for mission profile from our dive team and one of the zodiacs completely burned into the Pacific Ocean. What I was like, underneath it. I was I was on the Zodiac or something like or some type of boat in the middle of the ocean and like, Well does that sound? Oh, that sound was a Zodiac hitting the ocean at like terminal velocity. Fast. Yes,
Yes, from like 1212 150 feet or something like that and then the whole ocean was covered in fuel. This is a bad situation that went down those good times they never did. There’s no way anybody will ever get to that the contents of that it’s super fucking deep there, man and you know,
That is the third largest breeding ground for great white sharks in the world. Yes. Out there. All the time. We did swim like so that was like the last four weeks of lives and the first thing they do you get to the island you like unload everything you and they’re like, OK, get in the classroom. Yes, and they show you like a video of Shark Week and they talk about you know, sharks and all this other stuff and now it’s dark and then they like, OK, go get your your swim stuff on and be on the beach in in five minutes and so you’re Yes, you show up on the beach, you have your UDT life jacket on and we’re all thinking like, they’re just kidding. They’re we’re not really doing this. They’re just messing with us. No, no, you go do like a one-mile ocean swim, and what you know, with your Chem light on so they can see you and I’m just like, that’s the fastest swim that anyone does in all of SEAL training. Yes, and then you’re like, I need to get out of here. That place.
That place is freaking awesome, though. What an awesome training ground. I mean, other than, you know, there’s nothing to do except hang out to salty crab and go to the PX.
Right? We didn’t get any of that when I was. We lived in our barracks in our little compound and Yes.
Funny story is we, my team said we’re going to go use the Mk 19. At this range on the south part of the island on the southwestern part of the island, there’s like there’s a range where you’re, you’re kind of up on the ridge, and you’re supposed to have the rounds land, kind of in this estuary area. It’s like a small golf and the SEAL, who’s detailed out there on those like rain to your doorstep and he said, A buddy of mine is staying the night they’re on a yacht, right in that Cove. OK, by the time you get there, they’ll be gone. Right? We show up, they’re not gone, and we don’t have a lot of time. We’re up there, you know, 500 600 feet above this bay, or Cove and then the other thing he said was if they’re still there, just like fire around into the, you know, onto the beach or near the beach. I don’t know if he was joking or not but the decision was made. Let’s wake the students up
are our weapons guy. It’s like, alright, I’ll put a couple rounds on this beach and, you know, from 500 feet. Maybe the aims a little bit different anyways. Yes. Round hit the beach. Boom. The second round it in the water a little bit. You know, this guy.
I mean, it wasn’t super close. Yes, it wasn’t super close but I’ve never seen a boat of that size. You know, it was like a yacht moving. A they, you saw people coming out of the hole halfway dress, like pulling up everything they could and in taking off versus like, oh, man, that had to scare the shit out of them to wake up. Yes, I mean, I’ve never been in a boat when there’s been an explosion nearby, but I bet you it’s not very, very fun but screaming. So, we talked a little bit about kind of that that moment in history that shaped all our lives, I think,
which was September 11 and, you know, I, I always tell people, I want everybody remembers where they were mostly and so where were you? And how did how did you feel about that? How’d you react?
I was at Camp Atterbury. In there. I was teaching so I was teaching sniper school at the time, and I happened to be the senior instructor on the ground. So there were guys that were senior to me like the OSI of the course but he was out doing some other stuff in California and so I was a senior guy, and then we’re heading to the range listening to the radio and they started talking about, you know, the Twin Towers and the attack back in the 90s and where someone like, you know, al Qaeda essentially like Yes, a, a, a truck full of explosives at the base of the tower.
You know, I think it went low water. It made some damage but not, you know, certainly didn’t take the building down that had been repaired and that was maybe, I don’t know, 510 years before, it seems like 93. Right? Something like that. I don’t really remember but, um, and then, you know, they started talking about planes flying into the tower. Yes, what is going on? So, we, so I, you know, said, Alright, hey, we’re going to not go to the range right now. Let’s go check out what’s going on, on the news and then we’re like watching planes fly and people like, what do we what do we do? And I’m like, Ah, hold on, let me make some phone calls because, you know, even though I was the senior instructor, we had student instructors that were more senior to me. So, but I’m like, I’m, and they’re asking me and I’m like, really? You don’t know? Yes. Help a brother out here. Yes, and so I called back and they’re, like, continue training and then, you know, eventually, we started deploying over to Afghanistan. Yes,
Continue training, because you’re going to, you’re going to need that little bit of extra training and, you know, the world changed.
Quite immediately. You know, I’m myself, I was in the army in Germany and pretty bizarre, same story is how you start hearing things about the Twin Towers.
I think I turned on television and my first response was like, what type of idiot flies a plane, yes, into the World’s Trade Center? How do you? How did that happen? What was this person doing accidentally, you know, and it was only when I think when I turn on the television, the first thing I saw was the second plane hitting the other tower and I was like, oh, OK, so it’s real now? Yes, that’s real. I think my plan at that time was to do a few years army get out. So that changed dramatically. Did you have plans at that time to make it a career? Or did that shape the rest of your decision making process?
I mean, I don’t think I thought career, but I didn’t have a plan to do anything else. Like, I was fine. I was enjoying what I was doing, you know, you know, again, purpose and mission and all this other stuff and that’s what I wanted to I wanted to be part of, from my childhood, I always knew I wanted to be part of some sort of, I wanted to be a commando and you know, but I didn’t know what a SEAL was back then because we, you know, I had four channels, you know, growing up, you know, certainly no Internet back then. No cell phones, no, nothing and someone told me, I was in the boy scouts and someone, you know, he was like, hey, I want to be an F 14 pilot, and I want to be a Navy SEAL. I’m like, Well, I know what an F 14 pilot is. That sounds pretty cool, but I don’t know what a Navy SEAL is. Like, they’re Commandos, they jump out of airplanes, they do all this cool stuff and they scuba dive and work their work. It is a small team, and they’re, you know, this elite, Special Forces Group.
I’m like, That’s what I want to do also and so that’s how I ended up in the Navy, because I did not want to join the Navy. Right? Most of my family had been in the Navy. There was a Naval Air Station in Meridian, Mississippi. OK, Yes. So, there was a naval air station there and there were these, you know, young kids right out of boot camp, walking through the mall, just acting like a bunch of idiots looking like, like, like, like, we all do. Yes. Going through their, you know, go into their, their, their a school to learn how to do their navy job and, you know, they’re, they’re a bunch of 80 I’m like, I will never be one of those guys. Well, I was one of those guys. 100%. I try not to be as big of an idiot, but it certainly was. Yes, let me get some money in your pocket. What else are you going to do? All right.
Yes, so. So, September 11, obviously, a profound impact on on everybody’s decision. Mostly it was some people said they made some people’s careers. I guess I’m going to see this, sir. I don’t think any of us suspected at that time. It would be 20 years, but but it was and so eventually your, as you said, told to go home, pick up your stuff and get out of the Navy and what was your What was your transition like?
So, I plant so my last three years I worked on I worked in the acquisition shop and my job was geology. It does a good job. I didn’t like I was forced detailed to the headquarters. I did it there and then, you know, I, I was the guy who did the procurement and the r&d for all of the like body armor, cold weather, clothing, combat uniforms, helmet, you know, acquisition, and, you know, communications equipment. So, I was in that was the only active-duty SEAL that ran that, that piece of it from the headquarter side, right and so, so I had that experience of three years of doing that job and then I eventually like my last few years, maybe I went to the kind of headquarters here in Hawaii. I did that job again, but I also did the– We have the system called the ODR system operational deficiency report.
Basically, if we have– If we needed specific technology to do the mission. If we have some sort of deficiency, that doesn’t allow us to be operationally effective, then you submitted this, like, it can come from the, from the most junior guy in a platoon and it goes all the way up to the admiral and, you know, it gets kind of adjudicated and voted on through from the CEOs to the Commodores up to the up to the admiral and so we had a stack of these OTRS, from the from the SEAL team that no one had done anything about some of them or underwater communication or creating some a beacon that the technology doesn’t exist, it can only be in this certain wavelength of light so that it can’t be like a dome, it has to be in like a halo form and all this other stuff.
And so, I took a stack of those OTRS in my job became like the Science and Technology Director to go and find we have a problem and I went and found solutions and what I did is I went and found vendors who could potentially solve the problem, and once they gave me a plan, then I could go find money and so I went and found $16 million in like two and a half years of other people’s money to help solve our operational efficiencies and I’m just going to take that and transition that to the to the outside world and be a Consultant.
Yes, exactly and let’s say you have a technology that you maybe want to, present to the military, I can find you a military organization that may need that technology, that capability and then in order to bring it up to primetime so that it actually supports an operational need. I have this Rolodex of people where I can get money. Well, when I started presenting myself as a consultant, people were like, yes, we don’t want to talk to you. We don’t like consultants. They just pretty much steal, they take but they don’t give and I’m like, but I’m not that guy. I’m like, whatever, like, OK, well go sell this thing and if you sell enough of it, we’ll pay you for it. I’m like, I’m not doing that either and I don’t think your thing works.
We can talk about it. I also have, I’m able to sell things to the government. I had some– Created some stuff and won some contracts to help pay the bills but it was a grind, and I didn’t want to do that piece of it. Yes, I wanted to help companies, like create new technologies and I didn’t do great there and so what eventually happened is, I’ve been in the military a long time. I got some baggage. Don’t call it PTS, or anything else. I got baggage from work. I got baggage from toxic relationships, and I tried CBD about a year after I got out and CBD helped turn down the noise in my head, because pretty much my nightly routine was several glasses of vodka to turn that noise off, that I can stop these conversations, and it helped turn that noise down.
That could have a little bit better self-talk, a little bit better sleep and I didn’t notice anything right in the beginning but what I noticed over that month of that first bottle of CBD that I tried is, I say water boils at 212 degrees, I was probably living at 210 degrees. It didn’t take much of a trigger to push me over to that boiling point and what I noticed is I went from like, 210 to two five to 200 to 195 to 190.
I got out of the red zone and more into like an orange. It wasn’t quite too yellow but and then I’m 100% disabled through the VA which means I’m 250% and they don’t even have all of– They didn’t even register all of my stuff. I didn’t submit all this stuff and so I got a lot of aches and pains and whatever and I noticed that like these sharp pains that I have, they were– They’re less and so I found CBD after about a month of taking CBD.
OK, it wasn’t like I didn’t notice it in the beginning I noticed it like at the end and then what I noticed it because things started coming back. I’m like, Oh, I haven’t had that. That pain that issue for a long time and then I was like maybe it was the CBD. And so are saying you were taking CBD. Yes, and then you ran out the bottle or something. Yes, ran out. I didn’t think much about it my god expensive like I go down that road and then I then the pains and the noise started coming back. Yes, like I’m like having less control of my own thoughts. I’m having some of these pains are coming back sharper than they were, you know, moving. They just were so I was like maybe it was a CBD maybe not maybe placebo who knows. So, I tried a different brand and I had similar results.
Then I was at a at a business conference trying to figure out like my own. What the hell I’m doing? Yes, and I met someone and about But I’m very interested in the CBD world and I met someone there that was in the CBD industry and they were actually taking kinesiology tape, you know, like rock shape and things like that and they’re infusing CBD into the tape and so you get like that, that topical CBD infusion through the tape through the application of that tape and the tape is still holding things the way that it’s supposed to, you know, supposed to hold it and so I like tracked her down and I was like, Hey, you’re the CBD girl, right? And she was like, yes, can you back off.
They’re crazy and as I said, I’m interested in the CBD world. I was really hoping that maybe she would hire me, and she was like, so you want to do a to b, b to b, b to c, and like, I want to do CBD and so after a little bit more, she was like, why don’t you start your own CBD company? I’m like, I don’t, I don’t know how to do that. Right? It’s like, you’re a Navy SEAL? To figure it out. I was like, oh, man, can I have my man card back, please and so she, you know, helped educate me a little bit on the industry and I started digging into and I found out that the industry overall is extremely dirty. It’s starting to clean up now, but you know, the FDA has gone out and done tons of spot checks and they found that most CBD products more than 70% they either didn’t have CBD, and they had high levels of THC above that legal limit of point 3% or less.
They had heavy metals, toxins, mercury, arsenic, lead, things like that in them. People take CBD as, like, as a medicine, I’m using air quotes here but if you’re using, you’re taking something as a medicine, you don’t want to be putting a bunch of poisons in your body. Yes, what my new mission was, was to start a CBD company that that had the highest quality CBD in the market, and we’ve achieved that and then our other goal was to is, is really to address veteran’s suicide.
Our mission is 22 to zero because 23 veterans take their lives every single day, we’ve lost more veterans to suicide than we have in 20 years of sustained combat and my dad, I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was– He was in a podcast with two other SEALs and it just came out of my mouth like yes, my dad also killed himself. He’s a veteran, one of those and I didn’t like even to put any of that together until that that one moment. That made that mission even more important for me.
I talked about CBD as a modality and so our mission again is to provide the highest quality CBD that we possibly can but as a modality to help prevent veteran suicide but the other piece of it that I’ve kind of talked about a little bit is changing your mindset because, you know, like I said, transitioning from the military was the hardest, you know, military mission I’ve ever been on. I’m still on it, I’m still figuring it out but at least now I have mission and purpose and you know, I’m building teams around me You know, I have coaches and other people that help guide me along my along my path.
Name of your company is My Naked Warrior Recovery employer and for those who nobody really can see this but me because I can see him on the zoom, but he does have a shirt on the says get naked, which I kind of want where do I get one of those like a walk around like the beach in the sea?
I actually have a website for apparel specifically, and it’s a good warrior apparel.com or you can go to my website NW dash recovery.com and there’s a thing that will take you it says apparel and it’ll take you to that other site. Infused with CBD, right? It is not CBD infused with fucking cool is what? Exactly and so get naked is really talks about a mindset and people have asked me like, what does that mean? And like it says about mental health and so it really gets their attention. I mean, when you say get naked, people like what? And so it’s really about mental health, but it’s also I talked about changing my– Taking control of my own thoughts and then, you know, I’ve taken my 26 years of service and sort of, you know, created this acronym of naked and really naked stands for never quit, and never quit like drunk, you know, don’t stop trying to quit smoking or drinking or whatever bad vices you have never quit on yourself, never quit on trying to improve your life.
If you’ve started something that’s really hard, that’s probably a good thing. Keep going, like Don’t quit on it, like, create these small victories and so, so the N stands for never quit a is accept failure, because failure has been the greatest, you know, teacher of my life, you know, I wouldn’t trade the failures that I have for $100 million, because then I wouldn’t be the person that I am. Yes, because I only have that experience through the failures that I’ve, you know, experienced the case kill mediocrity because we’re surrounded by mediocrity every day, how easy is it to get stuck scrolling through your phone and doing like, nothing making excuses to not say or not do something and so the key is to kill mediocrity, the E is expose your fears and so and I don’t mean you know, lions and tigers and bears, I mean, those deep dark noises, those voices that live in the back of your brain, those thoughts that you have, that you don’t really want to tell anyone about?
Yes, the only way that you’re going to get control of those is you have to expose them and whether that’s like, maybe you have low self-esteem, maybe you take you know, take a jujitsu class, and because you’re going to, you’re going to, you know, maybe you’re, you’re kind of beat up bullied as a kid, when you take those classes, you’re going to learn some self-defense, you’re going to learn to be more confident, you’re going to be forced to fight someone every single night that you go to class, and that’s going to expose those fears and now you’ll be able to control those fears, and those fears will no longer control you but it’s not like a one trick pony, you get to continue to do that, you know, I, you know, have a one of my business coaches, and he’s also a friend of mine. He says fear does not exist on paper and so when he’s driving along, and you know, he’s successful with the, you know, in the, I don’t know, nine, nine digit entrepreneur, you know, in with A, B, A, B behind it.
Yes and so he still has stress and anxiety and things that, that that really, like, take control of him and so what he does, is like, if he’s like driving along, and he’s got all this noise in his head, he’ll pull over to like us to a Starbucks, you’ll get a coffee, he’ll sit down with a pen and a piece of paper, and not on your phone, a pencil and piece of paper and he’ll write out everything that’s bugging him and once he writes it out, like, he’s like, and you read it, you’re like that, really, that’s what was bothering me.
Like, that’s so insignificant in the world of whatever but, you know, he says, Fear does not exist on paper and so maybe you write those things that are like you don’t want to share, and you share it with yourself actually, in the world, you know, I talk about fear is like a vampire, it sucks the life out of you. That’s what your nose it sucks, life, lives in that deep, dark place in the back your mind, vampires live in the darkness and the way you kill a vampire is you expose it to sunlight and the way that you kill those fears and take control of them as you expose them.
That’s my two cents on exposing your fears because if you don’t, once you expose them, you will be able to control them, and they will no longer be able to control you because we let fear control us all the time and they do the work. You know, we’re surrounded by instant gratification all the time with Netflix and YouTube and you know, you can order ice cream in like 30 minutes or less from Amazon and so we have, we get this dopamine effect of instant gratification, but when you know, kind of going back to like the never quit is it’s supposed to be hard. Not everything is supposed to be easy. Technology has made our life very, very comfortable and when we become super comfortable, then we lose.
We lose the appreciation of doing hard work and that reward at the end of the day, you know, you’ve heard that thing, the saying that Rome wasn’t built in a day, but I guarantee you it was built every single day, as it became an empire. Yes, and so that’s sort of the that’s the do the work that we have to do, and you know, I say that, you know, there’s a saying in the in the SEAL teams, it says earn your Trident every day. I didn’t have that mindset. When I joined when I graduated SEAL training. I was like I graduated the hardest military training in the world. How you know, life is going to be good but they you know, in the SEAL teams, we don’t look at it like that.
I learned very, very quickly that you know, much of it. Yes, you’re expected to perform better today than you did yesterday and that’s why we say the only easy day was yesterday and it took me a while to figure that out, but you know, but that’s, that’s really doing the work. It’s never quit accept failure, kill mediocrity, expose your fears, and do the work and I only have a website and I have another website, I got lots of websites to share with you. If you go to the website, it’s the number five, five, SEAL secrets.com Five, SEAL secrets.com Put your name and email in there, I’ve got a PDF, it’s about eight pages, it’s got some cool photos, and it kind of breaks down each one of those too. You know, and just to kind of share a little bit about that piece of it and I use CBD it was a modality to help turn down the noise and then using this other kind of changing your mindset is sort of the other the other piece of it to help us get to this 22 to zero but I shared this this document with a buddy of mine and he was going through kind of a little bit of a hard time with is the CEO of a company that he was working with tonight.
I shared the document, he printed it out it pasted it up on his wall and the next Monday he went in and had a meeting with the CEO, and he went in he started just like this. I’m afraid that I am going to not be able to perform at the level that you think I can perform. So, it totally like, he went in and took charge and raid and his CEO was like, whoa, hold on Tiger. Why? Number one, why are you being honest? Number two, why are you saying you’re afraid? Number three, like, what, what the hell is going on and so because it was supposed to be like a strategy meeting, and so he just sort of like, he’s like, Listen, my buddy sent me this document, he said, expose your fears.
I’m exposing my fears to you, I’m afraid that I will not be able to perform at the level that I should be able to perform, because of this, this and this and so we need to address these things in order to, you know, to meet the goals of the company and so the CEO was like, can you share that document with me, and I guess he shared it with several other people in the company and so they’re kind of changing the, the shift of the company and I’m looking to go back and do some public speaking and maybe some coaching with that company to kind of like, change mindset in the workforce change mindset in the in the organization. This is something else that I’m doing as well.
I’m starting to there’s a CBD, modality, as you said, a modality explained by modality is so mad.
Modality, it’s just like, it’s a, I don’t know, like Webster’s Dictionary, but like, you know, ibuprofen as a modality, um, you know, the delivery mechanism. Yes, and so it’s, it’s a piece of the puzzle, it’s not the whole puzzle, like, it’s just a piece to get you where you’re going, you know, your car is kind of a modality to get to work, or get done whatever. CBD was a modality to help reduce stress and anxiety in my life, turned down some of the noise, decrease some of the pains that I have and, and, and so it worked like that but once I was able to kind of be in charge of my own thoughts.
Well, then I needed to figure out what I needed to think about, like change your mindset, don’t be a victim, be a victor. So this, you know, it’s very easy for people to get– Go down this rabbit hole of like, woe is me or whatever, then you need to learn how to take charge of your life take charge of those thoughts in your and your brain, you know, we came from, you know, being in the military, where we’re part of this great organization to what do we do now? Yes, and so it’s, it’s really about changing your mindset, and taking charge of who you are and what you’re going to do. So, it’s multifaceted,
Your whole– There’s no magic out there. There’s no, there’s no, you know, nothing cures anything, you know, CBD, you know, people claim that it can cure all these different things. It doesn’t actually what CBD does, it supports your endocannabinoid system, which is a giant neuro receptor system that’s connected to every other system in your body and if one system gets out of whack, then it can pull other things out of whack and that’s kind of like you know, chronic illness and inflammation and things like that. So, CBD has been shown to reduce chronic inflammation. It’s been shown to help with sleep, you know, improved quality of sleep, and it supports those that endocannabinoid system, so your body makes endogenous cannabinoids and now I’m just I’ve written it a lot of times, but my spelling is. So, you make these endogenous cannabinoids, you know internally, but you don’t make enough it doesn’t support the endocannabinoid system enough.
CBD, I call it like a super multivitamin for your endocannabinoid system. So it’s it, it goes in and it helps support and brings everything back into homeostasis, brings it back into balance and so when you have that mechanism happen internally your body just starts to heal itself the way that it’s designed to do and that’s why like people like oh, it cured my cancer killed my whatever and it CBD didn’t cure any of it. It was it supported your body in such a way that your body was able to, you know, get rid of the you know, heal itself.
Let’s talk about CBD really quick. CBD is what at its base level? It comes from the cannabis plant?
CBD known as marijuana, particular strand of marijuana or cannabis.
It does come to the cannabis plant but there’s– It comes from the hemp plant. The difference between hemp and marijuana you have the two plants sitting next to one another you can’t really tell the difference unless you’re an expert and some are taller.
Joint or whatever it is and one make sure they get better.
Just get in and in 2018 Congress passed the farm bill which the Farm Bill made hemp legal and hemp I guess the definition of hemp is you know it maintains all the natural cannabinoids of the of the plant but the molecule THC, it is bred to only have point 3% or less in the dry weight of the plant of the molecule THC. That made CBD legal because CBD comes from the hemp plant and CBD oil there’s like It’s like everywhere you look now you see like CBD shops on every corner.
It like all over the place and shout out to kill Cliff, CBD kill cliff.
CBD oil is extracted from the leaves and flowers of the hemp plant. OK and so you take that oil, and it has you know over 120 minor cannabinoids and terpenes. Terpenes are essential oils, and they do different things inside the inside the human body in supporting so one of the terpenes is called pining light from the pine plant and it’s a powerful neuro protective. That’s some of the you know, like one benefit that you get from pining there’s other terpenes that help with focus and energy and things like that, but you know what we do is there’s still the stigma of of THC out there in the world. I don’t have a problem with THC, but I still maintain my top-secret clearance, I still do have a W two job that requires me to have a security clearance. So, I do get drug tested.
I take a lot of CBDS, I take a lot of my CBD, and I’ve never had any issues on that side of it but you know, but you know, the, the, the kind of CBD that we sell is a broad spectrum. So there’s three main categories of CBD, you have a full spectrum which has all the minor cannabinoids and terpenes from the hemp plant to include that that that small amount of THC, you have a CBD isolate where they isolate that molecule CBD and get rid of everything else and then they put that into like a MCT oil or an olive oil or a hemp oil or something like that and they sell it, which is the lowest quality of CBD and then you have because you’re missing out on all the minor cannabinoids and terpenes that, OK?
It’s just that one single molecule. There’s OK, like I said, 120 ish, different other minor cannabinoids, like CBD, CBG, CBN, THC, and many, many others and then all these essential oils that come from the hemp plant, they’re kind of all mashed together and so when you take that you get sort of the synergistic effect inside the body. The primary product that we sell is a broad spectrum. So, you still have most of those minor cannabinoids and terpenes from the hemp plant, but we remove that molecule THC, just because people have a stigma about it, right?
It’s a little bit more expensive to do that but we do it because they’re like I get people asking me all the time about drug testing and things like that and I can’t say that you’re not going to pop positive on a drug test because I don’t know what else you’re doing in your life. Right What I can say is that I take a lot of my brand of CBD and I have zero issues ever I’ve been like pay for my own testing off to the side just to like you know, I’m trying a new product a new a new formulation that may have something you know some other stuff and so I you know, I take a bunch of it and I go pay and get and get a drug test to make sure that it’s not showing up in my in my system as an illicit product.
We talked about this before we started recording here but one I think common thing you hear is that CBD is so big feel CBD it’s out there in like he said there’s various levels and qualities of it, but I had heard that without some THC that the benefit of CBD is I don’t know, restricted or reduced or whatever and you say that that’s actually a misnomer. That is
That is false. That’s that is marketing. That is that is a false statement. It is um what they’re really referring to is it this was like kind of early marketing in the early days is like a full spectrum product versus an isolate. Right not very many very few companies do a broad spectrum like we do. So, they’re saying that our full spectrum product that has trace amounts of THC is better than that CBD isolates that doesn’t have any THC in it. It doesn’t but it also doesn’t have all any of the other minor cannabinoids and terpenes in it.
So, they’re making that comparison they’re not you know, they’re saying that you need the THC and the people that are selling a CBD I say, we have we have we’re THC free. They’re totally true. They’re it’s two extreme sides of the spectrum and we’re in the middle but we’re more on the on the closer to the we’re closer to the full spectrum than the isolate, where we just removed that molecule of two So you lose some other small things along the way but you can add other terpenes and minor cannabinoids back into the back into the system back into the oil.
Yes. What are some of the hang-ups that people have around? I don’t know, starting to take or trying CBD oil?
It took me more than a year to try CBD after I got out of the military because I’m a child of Nancy Reagan’s war on drugs just say.
Yes, yes. Right.
That’s that. Yes, exactly. There’s that’s out there, that there’s still the stigma. Even though many states have legalized it, it’s still like, THC is still illegal. Federally, and just it comes from the marijuana plant. Well, it doesn’t. I mean, there are companies, you know, part of it, especially in the early days, they were just using marijuana, and then extracting the oil and then call it that CBD oil. When you got various qualities out there, we make sure that we have the highest standard really in the in the marketplace, and even the biggest companies that name brands that you might see, we have higher quality than the than they do because of our testing protocols.
We test the oil when it comes out of the plant to make sure it is what it is has what it says it has and then we test the final product and most companies don’t test that final product, making sure that no contamination or nothing happened along the way, we want to make sure that what we say is on the bottle is actually what’s in the bottle.
Yes, so we test that final product, and we have lab testing, you know, we, I don’t think I have any, I’ve got a little here. So put a QR code on every product so that you can see you can scan it look at the lot number and see exactly what’s in the product that you’re taking.
Interesting and one of the things so I do know, correct me if I’m wrong, but as far as I know, the Department of Defense, active-duty military are not allowed to take CBD products currently. Is there anything being done there?
Yes, it’s it that is correct. Together. I was doing something that Tulsi Gabbard from Hawaii was something forward that basically, it was in the national defense strategy, something that basically was trying to because it was the Secretary of Defense that made that policy and basically, it was from Congress. It didn’t. It didn’t pass for whatever reason, one Senate House, however, that all those politics work. It said something to the effect of the SecDef does not have the authority to not allow servicemembers to use hemp-based products. It was something like that.
Yes, and so CBD is a hemp-based product, but I think probably, that was put in place because, you know, in 2018 2019, it became like the Wild West and like I said earlier, like companies had like, higher than the legal limit of THC of that point. 3% Because they were using actual marijuana they had, you know, guys are popping positive on, you know, drug screenings because they took CBD, maybe they did, maybe they just said they took it. I don’t like I don’t know, but I guess it happened enough times that they just said no.
Can you be– Let me let me rephrase my question. Is there testing that can prove that you’ve taken high quality CBD oil without THC?
They would have to test you for CBD specifically. Right? Right and that’s probably pretty expensive happening. I mean, they’re already you know, they do nine or 12 panel tests, but they’re testing for illicit product, THC opioids, meth, whatever and so they’re not testing for CBD because no one really cares. Unless they’re like, they respect you and they’re like, Oh, we’re going to bust you for whatever. No, it’s Yes, no.
Another question on CBD, had there been any studies that would disprove or prove any type of performance decline or cognitive decline? Because there’s no study out there that says that CBD like makes you stone or do you write like a right
Now? Yes, it works on a different pathway. So right, we’ll just compare THC and CBD. So, I made those two molecules work. Remember I talked about the endocannabinoid system a little bit earlier, and you have these CB one and CB two receptor. CB one receptors are kind of central nervous system, brain things like that. What T C does, when you take it goes in and it binds to those CB one receptor and when it binds to those receptors, that’s what causes this euphoric state of being high. If you were to take you have maybe you have a bad trip on THC, and I’m speaking anecdotally because I’ve never done this, but if you this is what the science says right if you have a bad trip, you know, you take a bunch of CBD, the CBD will come in and it will uncouple that THC molecule from the CB one receptor and bring you back down off that high.
The opposite. Yes, in support of that. So, CBD is more of a protectant and filling in you know, the gaps that that you need, where THC is more it works. I mean, it does help with pain and it does help with all this other stuff and like, this is getting a little nerdy but like it membrane on the like the way that they discovered this endocannabinoid system is back in the 90s. Scientists put a radioactive isotope on a THC molecule and you know gave that to a person and then they were able to track where it was going and what it was doing because they want to figure out like what is this THC have to do with like, you know, medical marijuana like Yes, how’s it supporting the body and through that’s how they found this, you know, endocannabinoid system and the endocannabinoid system. You know, like I talked earlier, it’s connected to like every other system in your body, your, your central nervous system, your respiratory system, your endocrine system, your digestive system, your immune system, it’s connected to everything.
Like I said, when one thing is out of whack, that can make other things out of whack and that’s kind of the chronic disease and taking CBD helps bring everything back into balance and that’s kind of the I go from like nerd to bro science. Now like it, but there’s probably already just the kind of like, answer that question a little more. There are because CBD was a class one drug up until the end of 2018 and I think actually Mississippi State or Ole Miss, they, they were doing some testing on, you know, the cannabis plant, because they had all those that that paperwork done through the DEA.
Now, there are 10, there are studies coming out every day, like people send me questions, and I just get on PubMed, and I Google kind of what the question is, and PubMed is just, it’s an open source, public, you know, database of publications for medical research, and nothing goes on PubMed until it’s it’s peer reviewed several times and then it’s, you know, it’s uploaded to the system and so I’ll get on there, and I’ll look up things for, you know, everything to do with CBD, you know, from sleep from stress to, you know, curing stuff or whatever and the data really shows, there’s, I have seen a study where it shows like, small amounts of CBD can actually give you energy where oftentimes people take CBD for sleep and so I actually have an energy drink. It’s a powder that has 12 and a half milligrams of CBD in it, and about 75 milligrams of caffeine and so what you actually get from that is you get more of a, a focused energy.
I use it as a little bit of a workout, but I also use it as a nootropic air quotes and most of the feedback that I’ve gotten is, you know, I got a feedback from one person, that she’s able to get off of her Adderall by using your CBD, like she’s able to have the focus that she needs during the day, but not the jitters at night and so you don’t get like a crash like you do from caffeine and things like that. CBD will help kind of level out that, you know, the spike and crash of caffeine, and a little more sustained focus, so it can help with, with things like that.
Is this available at your website now?
And you might have mentioned it before, and we’ll definitely put in the show notes but what does that website again?
The website is nw-recovery.com. You can also type in naked where recovery.com but I changed it from naked worry recovery, because maybe people don’t want to write naked into their search engine. I don’t really know why but I was like, wait, wait a minute, maybe I don’t. Yes, so you can write naked worry recovery. Right and it’ll it will go to the website and
The products that you’re talking about are all just available online, or do you have them in some stores or they’re primarily online?
There are some jujitsu studios, some gyms in the area. There’s a CrossFit gym in and North Carolina that carries it there’s some gyms in California that carried as well. Utah, there’s some places there but Yes, for the most part, it’s primarily online and right now we’re having pretty smoking deals for veterans and first responders or have you known of service if they just reached out to me and like, you tell me they’re a veteran first responder, something like that. I give them a 30% discount for you for life.
I’m not going to give you the discount code on here, because I don’t want everyone to have to pay the bill. Yes. I mean, this discount code is good for life and Yes, everyone, again, my goal is to support veterans and support everyone, but, you know, I understand the financial situation of some people out there and CBD is not a cheap product. I want to make it as, as easy to get as possible.
That’s really going to be man and, and really appreciate, you know, doing something for the mission to, to reduce that or in suicide to prevent that, or a suicide or something like that, you know, a lot of people can obviously get behind, you mentioned also your whole mindset of, hey, get naked and you mentioned that you do speaking events, or you’re looking to do a new speaking advanced?
I’ve had some companies bring me out to really talk about this get naked mindset. I’ve also got some courses that I’m building like really to focus on leadership and also to focus on life transitions. We’ll call them life transitions and really, a lot of likes, I’m breaking down really military mission planning process, Yes, into more of a civilian type. Understanding, because we have, we have life transitions all the time, you either you, you, you get married, you get divorced, you have a child, you buy a house, you sell a house, you have a death in the family, you have like, a global pandemic, like there are these weird, you know, transitions out there, and, and people, you know, they we’ve got kind of a plan, but no one ever practices, the plan and I think that was something that really came from, from being in the SEAL teams and being in the military is doing that that rock drill doing that dirt dive doing that.
Yes, like you practice the mission before you actually go do the mission, you know, because things are going to happen that you didn’t really plan for and oftentimes the bad stuff happens during those transitions like transitioning from, from the vehicle, you know, to patrol to, to the to the building, transitioning through the building, like things are things happen there, maybe nothing happened on target, we’re transitioning from the building back to the vehicle, then we get ambushed, then, because we’ve made some noise, and you know, people knew we were there and so now we have to, we have a plan.
Well, we can’t use that plan but now we were able to modify the plan because we knew what you know, what was going to happen, what could have happened, and we did that dirt die. We did what if, and so we’re able to change the plan, change the route to get out and avoid being ambushed too badly.
Yes. For civilian listeners out there, what we’re talking about generally is contingency planning, which, you know, it’s why in my position, people always asked me, you know, what, what administrator, people think, what do military people think? And I have to remind people that people in the military are just like everybody else. We’re just regular folk, regular folk man. I googled the same shit that everybody else says, If I need to buy a house, I find my house exactly the same way. The difference is, probably 90% of people in the world have never done something really hard, where I don’t mean that they haven’t been. I’m sure everybody’s done difficult things, but they could stop.
Whereas people in the military and athletes and things get to that point where their body their mind is telling them to stop but people from athletes’ people from the military and not just special operations but the all over the Moser zone an option?
Man, this suck, but got to keep can’t– Never quit. Right?
And also, people don’t really look at contingency planning. Right? This is my plan, man and what happens if what happens is this happens? Well, I don’t know. I haven’t really thought about that and obviously, that puts yourself at a very vulnerable state and, man, this is we’ve been going on going on for a while and I could talk about stuff with you all day, but I always like to bring up is there’s the military is full of a lot of boredom. Right? A lot of fun.
A lot less fun than boredom, but there’s always is a bit of funny PG 13 to read it RL care like that. What’s that story from your career? Where something embarrassing or like, oh, man, that’ll happen there. Oh, that’s a good question. I mean, think about that for a second. Yes. We had a, another SEAL on a while back who his story was, they had some neoprene like UDT under shorts or something and everybody was just peeing themselves but the P I’d like stayed in the shorts in like, make like rotted their flesh and so when they went to the bathroom, it was like, ripping off layers of skin. That’s a primer.
I don’t think I have anything like that. I mean, I have had to pee myself.
More than once you went 26 years. I’ve been embarrassed.
No, not at all. I just think everything is a competition in the team. Yes. If you especially like, the higher you go in the in that sort of competition realm. Like if you watch out early, it’s not as big of a deal but as you kind of like, oh, Yes, now it’s like, OK, who’s going to be the mom and who’s going to be the dad and like this, like, you know, maybe me and like, the OYC way I want that one but I was like, I was sure started making excuses right away. I’m like, bro, I’ve been on like, riding a desk for the last two years. Like what I like, making excuses. They’re cheap parts. I’m like Yes, you know any. Like, there are there are many and you just like, I just wash them. Wash them off as best I can. I try not to think about them too much because I don’t like.
I hear that and by the way, the answer is always the NCO is the Father and the honest answer is I had I was like, this is I do not want to be called mom for the rest of this like workout. LSCs you might be called stepmom. I guess because most of my C’s are temporary help man.
Yes, right. It’s different in the SEAL teams like once you once you’re in your you stay as an officer in the in the SEAL teams unless you decide to leave it up to like, four or 50, 70, 90. Yes, even on a on a platoon. You can be so as it Oh, one through oh three, you’ll be you can be in a military and that’s it. OK, are you become a task unit commander, so you’re still tactical? And then from there? You’re in staff roles, but you’re still you’re part of the team. You’re like, yes, that’s good. You don’t go to the valley. You don’t go to the regular navy. You just say like soft stuff.
Yes, same with SF, unfortunately, our officers or fortunately, depending on which would be it. They leave very little team time these days, unfortunately, 18 months sometimes. Then there—They’re just a Staffy dude. So, a William, I really appreciate your time and, and it’s just, it’s good to connect with other veterans, especially once you have a positive mission out there. Everybody don’t ever. Don’t forget this. Never quit accept failure, kill mediocrity, expose fears, and do the work. I really liked that mantra. You know, I was thinking of, I don’t know, maybe I’m hungry but as you were talking about, about all of that, especially do the work is so when you do it yourself, it means so much more. I don’t think I’ve ever had a steak at a restaurant is good as a stick as a steak of metal. Yes, and like when you put in the hard work, it’s just so much more rewarding.
That’s the real gratification. It’s not the instant gratification, it’s still Yes, gratification from actually doing the work. Yes, and these, this this mantra, or I guess I would call it is so applicable to so many things.
If you’re here an athlete or a stay-at-home mom or a student, I think this is a mantra that that is applicable and if you get nothing out of this podcast, except for you know definitely most of you probably want to become SEALs now. Is that this mantra of never quit accept failure, kill mediocrity, expose fears and do the work and that’s what it’s all about.
Thank you. Yes, man.
I love getting naked. Not to get naked versus I get off this call but appreciate your time and hopefully we could do this again sometime.
Yes, for sure. If we got more to talk about, I’ll try to come up with some funny stories next time.
There you go. Yes. William Branum. Perfect. There you go. All right, you made it. Thanks for joining us on this episode of return to bass, brought to you by veteran life.com. That, of course was William Branum, that’s B-R-A-N-U-M Naked warrior recovery. I think that was a really good discussion about CBD oil. I learned a lot of things about CBD that I did not know before and to be honest, really got me interested and perhaps using CBD as a way to cope with some of the different physical pains and things that I deal with on a daily basis.
If you haven’t already, please subscribe to our podcast using whatever podcast service you listened to us on. We’d really appreciate it. Visit VeteranLife.com when you get a chance, read some of our blogs, make some comments, and share it with your friends. Until next time! Have a great day.
This is RTB signing off.