CSM ( R) Jesse Navarro

Season 1 | Episode 36
2h 38m | Jul 29, 2023

CSM ( R) Jesse Navarro delves into his life as a Ranger, taking listeners on an emotional journey from his motivations for joining the military to his struggles during and after his service, ultimately finding purpose and meaning in the post-service life.

The episode begins with Jesse reflecting on the profound impact of mentors who guided him towards the right path in the military. He talks about his decision to join 3/75 instead of 2/75 after completing the Ranger Indoctrination Program (RIP), which earned him the amusing nickname "Momma's Boy." As a young private in the Ranger Regiment, he shares stories of camaraderie and pivotal moments that contributed to their unit's success.

An essential aspect discussed in this episode is the urgency of capturing Ranger stories. Jesse emphasizes that these stories must be preserved, as they hold valuable insights and experiences that may disappear with the passing of a Ranger.

As Jesse progressed through the ranks and became a senior non-commissioned officer (NCO), he navigated the complexities of balancing military responsibilities while also grappling with the impact it had on his family life. He candidly shares the challenges and sacrifices associated with leadership in the military.

The conversation then shifts to the intersection of passion and desire among Rangers, leading to tough decisions that leaders must make in the best interests of their fellow comrades. Jesse offers unique perspectives from his time leading the Dog Program, illustrating how such experiences can transform one's understanding of the Ranger Regiment.

Recounting his first combat jump and deployment to Afghanistan, Jesse reveals the anti-climactic nature of the experience, which almost drove him to leave the Ranger Regiment. His plans to attend KAG Selection were altered due to the unexpected invasion of Iraq, leading him to be part of the lead effort for Haditha Dam.

Throughout his career, Jesse encountered leaders who left a lasting impression, showing him the importance of possessing common sense as a virtue for senior leaders. He attributes peer-to-peer mentorship as a key factor in surviving the challenging environments they faced.

Jesse's journey is not without its trials and tribulations. He opens up about dealing with the devastating loss of teammates and how it affected him emotionally, despite his ability to typically shut off his emotions.

The episode concludes with Jesse candidly discussing his struggles during and after serving in the military. He highlights the significance of finding purpose, keeping the mind engaged, and reconnecting with family in post-service life.

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