Nov. 14, 2022

Episode 124: Ryan Rogers “Lions of Marjah”


This week in the studio a US Marine that gave 11 years of his life to the Corps. During his years of service he served on 5 deployments with 1 trip to Iraq and 1 trip to Afghanistan. Although he has been an Infantryman, All Marine Boxer, and Combat Instructor at the School of Infantry, during this conversation tonight we are going to focus on his time as a Squad Leader in the Battle of Marjah, the injuries both physical and psychological that he received, and what it takes to dedicate your life to veterans and transitioning troops to make sure that they land on both feet upright upon their entry back into civilian life, where far to often we hear that these Marines and soldiers lose focus, passion, and a mission to live their life by. My guest this week will tell you how after reading Marcus Lutrell’s book he turned his daily notes into this fantastic 1st hand account of his time with the Lions of Marjah both good and bad. It is my pleasure to introduce former United States Marine and host of the Choices not Chances Podcast…Ryan Rogers.

INTRO and OUTRO music written,performed, and provided by the band Rattle Root. Check them out below.

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Transcript

Ryan Rogers Profile Photo

Ryan Rogers

Author / Father / Husband /Speaker

Ryan N. Rogers served with distinction for almost 11 years in the United States Marine Corps, serving on 5 deployments, including one to Iraq and once to Afghanistan. From humble beginnings born and raised in southern Ohio. My father was a businessman and his mother stayed at home raising me and my three other brothers. When we were young, sports and competition were held in high regard. My Dad always impressed upon us the power of competition growing up. Not standing for poor sportsmanship and bullying. Most times he was either the head coach of “said sports team” or at least an assistant coach. This did not afford my brothers and me the ability to slack off. At least not without repercussion. The catalyst for my service in the USMC was solidified on September 11, 2001. I was a freshman in high school when they wheeled in a box T.V. and we watched the second tower get hit. We watched, as American citizens jumped from extreme heights to their deaths, just to escape the fire and hell, that others were succumbing to. The feelings and calling that ensued following that day in history set me on a path to the middle east. From that day forward, I wanted nothing more than to become a Marine and serve on the front lines with my brothers. Dealing out American resolve and revenge for the acts in 2001. Enlisting shortly after high school graduation, I was on my way to a whole new life. I went to boot camp in September of “04” and then to SOI. Following the School of Infantry, I checked into theBasic Security Guard school in Chesapeake, VA. Following this school, I was assigned to the 3 rd F.A.S.T. (fleet anti-terrorism security team) Company. I rotated into one of the most senior platoons, due to 2 drug pops. My roommate Eric Chavez and I were the replacements for these poor souls. I checked in just after the platoon conducted a refuel de-fuel mission for nuclear submarines, and we were working up for a deployment to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Following the GTMO deployment, we rotated into southeast Asia as a quick reaction force QRF for all the embassies in the Area of Responsibility. We would be the first on the scene likely if something happened at one of the embassies in the region. Not long into the deployment Hezbollah and Israel got after it. We were activated and conducted a noncombatant operation with members of the Marine Expeditionary Unit that was afloat for similar reasons. We conducted one of the largest NEOs in modern day. Next, I checked into the 3 rd Battalion 2 nd Marines, Lima Company. I was promoted to Corporal and took command of my first squad. I learned the ropes of leading a squad on our following deployment to Iraq. Not much of a kinetic fight, but great IED and patrolling experience. Following this deployment, I tried out for the All-Marine Boxing team. I made the team and fought for the Marines for almost 10 months. I went 5 and 1, with one no-contest.
Following my bid on the boxing team, I re-enlisted for an OPFOR bonus (operational forces) and was assigned to 3 rd Battalion 6 th Marines, Kilo Company. As a Squad Leader in the Second Platoon, we
invaded the Taliban stronghold of Marjah and fought hard for the entirety of the pump. Detailed in the
book Lions of Marjah. After Marjah, I was a combat instructor at the school of infantry where I began to excel professionally and struggle personally. I retired medically on the last day of 2014 with a severe TBI
and bilateral hearing loss, among other things. Since retirement, I have earned an AA with honors as well as a BA in Homeland Security (Magna Cum Laude). I also released my war memoir “Lions of Marjah” and started the Choices Not Chances Podcast. I have recently made multiple trips to Camp Lejeune to conduct PMEs on my book and to deliver Keynote speeches to the active-duty Marines. I also train Police officers on the east coast from Carolina to Ohio -Critical Intervention Training (CIT). In this training, we cover PTSD and how to de-escalate situations. My entire platform, from the book to the podcast and the speaking events is to better the warfighter. Not only are the warfighters currently in uniform but in the ones of past battles, there is much to be learned. The idea is to bridge the military
and civilian divide, by sharing stories and successes from the front. As well as show the transitioning Marines how not to become stuck.