CSM (R) James Spencer

Season 1 | Episode 37
2h 24m | Aug 12, 2023

In this episode, we delve into the transformative journey of young Ranger Leaders during the early days of the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT). We explore the revolutionary essence of the 75th Ranger Regiment and how its unique culture nurtures innovation and growth. Our conversation uncovers essential themes that have shaped us as leaders over the years.

Episode Highlights:

  1. Pioneering Beginnings: We kick off by reminiscing about our coming-of-age experiences as fledgling Ranger Leaders at the onset of the GWOT. The 75th Ranger Regiment's groundbreaking approach takes center stage as we discuss its role in fostering a distinct organizational culture that fuels progress.
  2. Learning from Failure: A pivotal aspect we explore is the creation of environments that embrace failure as a means of learning and advancement. We unravel how the willingness to take calculated risks and learn from mistakes contributes to personal and organizational growth.
  3. Fundamentals Breeding Innovation: Our conversation delves into the mastery of fundamentals as a cornerstone of innovation. We dissect how a solid foundation in core skills and principles becomes a springboard for groundbreaking ideas and practices.
  4. Formative Initial Years: Reflecting on the significance of our early years, we underline how these foundational moments shape our trajectory as leaders over time. The importance of these years in sculpting our leadership approach becomes evident.
  5. The Temptation of GWOT: We explore the allure and challenge of being part of the GWOT during its nascent stages. The fear of missing out on the unfolding events of that era is a sentiment we candidly discuss.
  6. Agents of Change: Our conversation shifts to spotlight individuals who played instrumental roles in revolutionizing the 75th Ranger Regiment. Their contributions and influence in shaping the organization's evolution are highlighted.
  7. A Momentous Role: We delve into the profound experience of being a Ranger Platoon Sergeant (PSG), a pinnacle in our Ranger careers. The multifaceted role's impact on leadership development is a focal point of this discussion.
  8. Stepping Beyond Comfort Zones: We share anecdotes about venturing into non-infantry roles or leaving our battalion – instances that pushed us out of our comfort zones and contributed to our growth as leaders.
  9. The DCO 1SG Experience: One of us recounts the experience of serving as the Deputy Commanding Officer (DCO) 1st Sergeant (1SG) and the receptiveness of leaders to new ideas and feedback. This illustrates the Regiment's adaptability and openness to innovation.
  10. Memories of 2/75: We indulge in reminiscing about our time at 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. We dissect the advantages, disadvantages, and unforgettable moments shared with remarkable individuals.
  11. The Humbling Return: The episode takes a reflective turn as we discuss the humbling experience of being selected to return to the Ranger Regiment as a Command Sergeant Major (CSM). The responsibilities and privileges of this role are examined.
  12. Closure of Afghanistan: Our conversation culminates in a heartfelt reflection on being part of the Afghanistan closure. We delve into the myriad emotions, thoughts, and reflections that surround this significant event, including thoughts on the rapid withdrawal.
  13. Closing out 20 years: Explore the intricate process of transitioning from military service to civilian life, discussing the challenges of adapting to new identities, finding purpose, translating skills, and building support networks. We delve into the emotional struggles and triumphs of this journey, offering insights for veterans and those supporting them.

Tune in as we navigate through personal anecdotes, leadership insights, and heartfelt reflections, tracing the evolution of young Ranger Leaders and the indelible impact of the 75th Ranger Regiment.

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