November 12, 2020
Podcast Show Notes: Ep. 34: SAS Selection & Other Stories
Podcast Show Notes
Date: November 12 2020
Title: SAS Selection & Other Stories
Guest(s): Jason Budd
Show Link: Watch YouTube Video Here or Listen to the Podcast Here.
Blog Link: You can find our Blog post for this Episode Here.
Brief Summary of Show:
In this episode, we sit down with Jason Budd and discuss how he got into the British Army as a Canadian, his experiences doing SAS selection and more.
If you have a story that would be of value to the Silvercore audience, or know someone who does, email us at [email protected]. We would love to hear from you!
Topics discussed in this episode:
- Intro [00:00:00 – 00:01:41]
- Getting into the British army [00:00:00 – 00:09:25]
- Working as a civilian in Europe [00:09:25 – 00:12:31]
- Enlistment & training [00:12:31 – 00:16:45]
- Friends & accents [00:16:45 – 00:18:48]
- Sick mom & final exercise [00:18:48 – 00:21:58]
- Skiing for the British Army [00:21:58 – 00:25:34]
- SAS Selection [00:25:34 – 00:28:33]
- The hills, testing & beacons not working [00:28:33 – 00:36:22]
- Accept your own risk, selection periods & process [00:36:22 – 00:44:09]
- Flagged OI1 & Tour to Afghan [00:44:09 – 00:51:29]
- Administrate yourself, skiing Mount Hector & listening to your inner voice [00:51:29 – 01:03:02]
- Outro [01:03:02 – 01:03:44]
Explore these Resources
In this episode, we mentioned the following resources which may be beneficial to you:
- Silvercore [00:00:10] [00:00:21] [00:00:24] [00:00:31] [00:01:10]
- British Army [00:00:50] [00:01:21] [00:01:50] [00:03:03] [00:12:07] [00:15:14] [00:17:56] [00:18:01] [00:18:31] [00:22:15] [00:25:21] [00:25:28] [00:27:46] [00:41:05] [00:41:11] [00:41:46] [00:43:48] [00:53:01] [00:53:37] [01:00:18] [01:03:19]
- SAS [00:00:53] [00:06:54] [00:06:56] [00:07:06] [00:07:15] [00:07:23] [00:07:28] [00:14:10] [00:25:55] [00:27:14] [00:27:50] [00:27:53] [00:27:54] [00:42:18] [00:42:26] [00:43:22] [00:53:06] [00:53:49]
- RCMP [00:02:47] [00:06:44]
- Canadian Forces [00:02:52] [00:13:35]
- Wainwright [00:02:56] [00:03:03] [00:03:27]
- Petawawa [00:02:57]
- Shilo [00:02:57]
- Seaforth Highlanders of Canada [00:03:31] [00:04:00] [00:08:04] [00:15:39]
- Commonwealth [00:04:31] [00:04:39] [00:05:18] [00:05:34] [00:07:03]
- Royal Marines [00:04:44] [00:07:52] [00:50:42]
- Parachute Regiment [00:07:50] [00:13:30] [00:13:32] [00:13:39] [00:13:58] [00:14:16]
- Royal Green Jackets [00:07:53]
- Cameron Barracks [00:08:22]
- Inverness [00:08:23] [00:08:47] [00:08:48] [00:11:14]
- Army Foundation College [00:14:26]
- Edinburgh [00:14:29] [00:14:39] [00:22:58]
- Glencorse [00:14:38]
- Pentlands [00:14:40]
- ITC Catterick [00:15:58] [00:17:08] [00:19:55] [00:26:24] [00:30:22] [00:38:32] [00:59:42]
- Black Watch [00:16:51] [00:17:33] [00:21:45] [00:27:21] [00:53:45] [00:58:48]
- RGBW Regiment [00:16:53]
- Dundee [00:17:13] [00:17:21] [00:17:31] [00:17:37] [00:17:40] [00:17:44] [00:17:47] [00:17:49]
- Glasgow [00:18:43]
- Darlington [00:20:21]
- Heathrow [00:20:27] [00:40:11]
- Aviemore [00:23:47] [00:23:49]
- Val-d’Isère [00:24:12]
- All arms Infantry Skills Course [00:25:50] [00:38:18]
- Hereford [00:26:41]
- Elan Valley [00:30:51] [00:31:19] [00:31:35]
- Special Reconnaissance Regiment [00:41:47] [00:42:12] [00:42:24]
- Mount Hector [00:54:38] [00:54:59] [00:56:41]
- Arc’Teryx [00:55:02]
- Camelbak [00:56:11] [00:56:13]
- GORE-TEX [00:57:05] [00:57:11]
- Gavin de Becker [00:59:34] [00:59:36]
- The Gift of Fear [00:59:38]
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Travis Bader: [00:00:00] I’m Travis Bader and this is The Silvercore Podcast. Join me as I discuss matters related to hunting, fishing, and outdoor pursuits with the people in businesses that comprise of the community. If you’re new to Silvercore, be sure to check out our website, www.Silvercore.ca where you can learn more about courses, services, and products we offer. As well as how you can join The Silvercore Club, which includes 10 million in North America wide liability insurance to ensure you are properly covered during your outdoor adventures.
[00:00:43] With remembrance day upon us, I felt this was a fitting episode to release. I speak with a good friend about how, as a Canadian, he joined the British army, his experiences doing SAS selection and more.
[00:00:58] So I’m sitting down with Jason Budd. Jason, I’ve known you longer than I haven’t known you. You were over here in the office and we’re looking to putting together some navigation courses that would be of value to the Silvercore members and to the general public and I figured while you’re here, let’s just jump on the podcast here cause you’ve got a really interesting background. You did a little over 10 years in the British army,
Jason Budd: [00:01:22] Actually just short of 10 years Trav.
Travis Bader: [00:01:24] Just short of 10 years.
Jason Budd: [00:01:25] But, you know, 10 years.
Travis Bader: [00:01:27] It felt like longer.
Jason Budd: [00:01:28] Yeah. I always said it took two weeks to get in actually, this is back in 99. So they, it was like a fast track program.
Travis Bader: [00:01:36] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:01:36] But then I said it always took me 10 years to get out.
Travis Bader: [00:01:40] I love it.
Jason Budd: [00:01:40] Yeah.
Travis Bader: [00:01:41] Now, the fast track program. So you’re a Canadian citizen and born and raised in Canada and you ended up over in the British army.
Jason Budd: [00:01:50] Yeah, I guess my background prior to that was like, we actually met when we were in cadets.
Travis Bader: [00:01:55] That’s right.
Jason Budd: [00:01:55] And it was, I think, a Vernon camp.
Travis Bader: [00:01:57] That’s right. I remember that.
Jason Budd: [00:01:58] I was in Alpha companyand you’re in the rifles with Patrick Golden.
Travis Bader: [00:02:02] It was actually Alpha company, then Bravo company, and then over into a rifle company. I worked my way through. I was like, man, I have this brand new rifle company, I want to be there. And so I worked my way from each one over the course of a week until I got into the rifle company.
Jason Budd: [00:02:16] Into the rifle. And then Patrick and I were best friends back then and you were friends with him and that’s how we.
Travis Bader: [00:02:21] That’s right.
Jason Budd: [00:02:22] We connected.
Travis Bader: [00:02:23] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:02:23] That was like, what year in 92?
Travis Bader: [00:02:26] Oh, yeah, bout that. Going back a bit.
Jason Budd: [00:02:28] Yeah, 91, 92.
Travis Bader: [00:02:30] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:02:30] So I started in cadets and then 17, I joined the reserves and then I kinda like on and off became what we call, I guess full-time reserves.
Travis Bader: [00:02:39] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:02:39] Without committing to being in the full-time. And then I think at 20, I knew that I wanted to, of all things join the RCMP or the police, and I wanted to do something different than just join the Canadian Forces. And I looked at where mostly Canadian bases were.
Travis Bader: [00:02:56] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:02:56] Wainwright, Petawawa, Shilo and I’d been near enough of them as a reservist. And in Wainwright, the British army always trained there and I always saw their equipment, their morale when they’re out and the training. And I just thought, I had to look at them, I spoke to a bunch of different regiments and I made a leap of faith in I think 98 or 99 and off I went and.
Travis Bader: [00:03:21] Wasn’t there an exercise where the Brits came over?
Jason Budd: [00:03:23] Yeah, that’s true. So there was exercise they called Pawnshop West where the British would come to Wainwright. And at that time, I was actually in the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada and we were attached to the first battalion, the Highlanders, which was their affiliated regiment. And I went there with a Canadian section and it was attached to them for four weeks.
Travis Bader: [00:03:45] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:03:45] Five weeks I think. They had a week of adventure training in Canmore with them and that was I think in August. And then I made the connections I had with the Highlanders.
Travis Bader: [00:03:56] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:03:56] Recruiting officers and everything else, and basically left the Seaforth and the reserves and had a one-way ticket. And you see if I win.
Travis Bader: [00:04:06] The story I heard from other people was that during an exercise, the Brits came over, joined exercise and you said, this is for me, jumped on the back of the truck and that was it, the way you go. But I guess there’s a bit more to it.
Jason Budd: [00:04:18] There was a bit more to it, for sure. Now one of the processes that actually made it easier for me was that I had a British passport through my dad.
Travis Bader: [00:04:27] Ah.
Jason Budd: [00:04:27] So that actually facilitated the process, but they were actively recruiting Commonwealth in the late 90’s.
Travis Bader: [00:04:33] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:04:34] Like they actually stopped in the downsizing 2005, but there was a big influx of Commonwealth soldiers and maybe not so many Canadians. I met the odd Canadian in the Royal Marines or in some other, maybe English regiments, but I mean, there was a lot of Jamaicans and Fijians and South Africans, and that tended to be more the typical colonial.
Travis Bader: [00:04:57] Yeah. Well, I remember around that time I figured I’d jump on a plane and go over and enlist with the Brits and I saved up all my dollars and had everything squared away with the recruiting officer. And went on over, went to the recruiting office, had my appointment. And when I got in there, the recruiting officer that I was dealing with who says, yeah, you’re a part of the Commonwealth, not a problem, come on over, we’ll get you signed up right away.
[00:05:22] He wasn’t there, he’d been transferred and there was a new person in there. And what I didn’t realize at the time and what you’ve told me afterwards, essentially, she was just pouring a bunch of cold water on me, but she says, well yeah your Commonwealth, but you can’t do anything security related unless you’re a British citizen.
[00:05:38] For, I think it was five years and I said, okay yeah, not a problem. What’s security related? She says, well why don’t I show you what isn’t security related? And it was like janitorial duties and even some of the janitorial duties, they said are security related. And I said, well, hold on a second, five years. Oh, that’s right, and your minimum, engagement’s gotta be four instead of three and.
[00:06:01] Anyways, after all of the information she gave me and I went through and I process it and I thought, geez five years, I’m not going to be getting a trade or anything unless I’m in for what, like 12 years cause I can’t start until. Anyways, I ended up using the money. I saved up and went touring around Europe with it and but you know, everything happens for a reason. I would imagine that had I just persevered there and just said, forget it, I’m in, once I’m in, I would be doing anything.
Jason Budd: [00:06:31] I think it’s interesting, had you just focused on the infantry.
Travis Bader: [00:06:35] Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:06:35] You would have been, like for myself, why I didn’t go there with the concept of getting a trade, I was going into the infantry.
Travis Bader: [00:06:42] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:06:42] And I wanted it to be in the RCMP, and I wanted to do three years, something different. And I said, I’m going to go to the infantry, best way to get the experience. I also had in the back of my mind that I wanted to go on SAS selection.
Travis Bader: [00:06:55] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:06:55] So what’s interesting about SAS selection, is about that security clearance that you’re talking about.
Travis Bader: [00:07:00] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:07:01] They regular get people with the same aspirations of Commonwealth coming over. They do their time in the infantry and then go on SAS selection. We don’t actually pass the security clients. I actually failed that prior to going on selection.
Travis Bader: [00:07:13] Really?
Jason Budd: [00:07:14] Yeah. I didn’t pass it, but the SAS, they still put you on course.
Travis Bader: [00:07:18] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:07:18] And then once you actually, if you were to be successful through their phase.
Travis Bader: [00:07:22] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:07:22] Now you’re in the SAS, they just turn around and go back to whoever deals with the security clearance goin yeah, he’s a badge member SAS and you just get rubber stamped.
Travis Bader: [00:07:30] Ahh.
Jason Budd: [00:07:30] So none of the colonials actually pass the security clearance prior to selection anyways.
Travis Bader: [00:07:35] I didn’t know that.
Jason Budd: [00:07:36] Yeah.
Travis Bader: [00:07:36] Interesting.
Jason Budd: [00:07:36] So it doesn’t matter like the, you know, you’re in, you’re in, so that’s a concept with that. It’s interesting story about myself, I was in contact with the Highlanders recruiting team. So prior to that, I wrote the Parachute Regiment, I wrote the Royal Marines, I wrote the Royal Green Jackets.
Travis Bader: [00:07:54] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:07:55] They’re all Irish. And none of them were actually actively recruiting me.
Travis Bader: [00:07:59] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:08:00] Same kind of roadblocks with you, but being attached to the Highlanders and the Seaforth, their affiliated regiment, their recruiting officer, Cam McKai actually took a real live interest in recruiting me. So that’s what, where I ended up with them right.
Travis Bader: [00:08:16] Got it.
Jason Budd: [00:08:17] They actually said to me, send us your military documents, we’re going to put you up, I think it’s Cameron Barracks in Inverness, that’s their headquarters. So we’ll feed you, we’ll put you up and just show up here, let us know where your paperwork is, we’ll send it over. We’ll facilitate it.
[00:08:32] You get fast tracked through training and you show up in the battalion. So one way ticket. I over-packed, ended up three bags. You want me to go to Europe with three bags?
Travis Bader: [00:08:43] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:08:43] I didn’t know. I’m thinking I’m going here one way ticket.
Travis Bader: [00:08:46] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:08:46] And I got the train off to Inverness, I get to Inverness. I go to a bnb, check-in I let captain McKai know I was there. He sent a driver, picked me up, took me down to the recruiting centre. And it came apparent that they weren’t going to put me up in the barracks, they weren’t going to feed me and they lost all my paperwork.
Travis Bader: [00:09:04] Oh man.
Jason Budd: [00:09:04] So I had hard copies when I came over. So there’s no fast track in this, but the actual paperwork and process, it took me two weeks to get process through the actual recruiting application process. But I was running out of money too. I was staying at this Airbnb and I guess it wasn’t Airbnb back then.
Travis Bader: [00:09:21] Not then.
Jason Budd: [00:09:22] It was just bnb.
Travis Bader: [00:09:23] It was just bnb yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:09:24] Just bnb. So they sent me down to the job centre and I’m like, I go down to the job centre, so I’m like a place to get a job. Cause now that’s what was actually good about having the British passport is, I could work.
Travis Bader: [00:09:34] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:09:35] So got to the job centre became very apparent, it’s their doll welfare office and a claims going to take a minimum of six weeks.
Travis Bader: [00:09:43] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:09:43] And I’m like, well, I can’t wait six weeks, I’m going to be starving.
Travis Bader: [00:09:47] Yeah, no kidding.
Jason Budd: [00:09:47] So I said, okay, I said, let’s do the process. So meanwhile, I go back to there to the bnb and the owners are like, well, if you’re going to be here more permanent we have a friend that’s living in France and he has his flat that we can rent out weekly.
Travis Bader: [00:10:02] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:10:03] So I think it was a couple of hundred pounds a week that, maybe a hundred pounds a week I was paying for this flat. So I moved into that.
Travis Bader: [00:10:08] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:10:09] But that night I went down, I thought I’d go check out the local nightlife. And I go into this club called mr. G’s nightclub. And I see a sign that says help wanted, so I go to the bouncer and I say, hey, says help wanted. And he’s like, brings out, goes and gets the manager and the managers like, can you come back for interview in the morning? So I’m like, sure.
[00:10:28] So I come back, had this interview and I’m thinking, I’m just going to be a bottle collector and he’s like, great, you’re going to be bartender. You don’t need like a bar license right.
Travis Bader: [00:10:38] Right, no serving it right.
Jason Budd: [00:10:39] I’m going to be a bartender? He’s like, yep, you start tonight. I’m like, okay, I’ve never poured a pint in my life. And it was a Saturday night, I leave mr. G’s and it was mobbed. And it’s not like in Canada where everybody lines up nicely, it’s like everybody, five deep at the bar yelling their drink orders at you. And it was like, you know, Baptism under fire. And I really enjoyed it and I actually took it a couple extra months off to just enjoy being a civilian and being a bartender at mr. G’s nightclub in Inverness.
Travis Bader: [00:11:15] Very cool.
Jason Budd: [00:11:16] Yeah.
Travis Bader: [00:11:17] Very cool.
Jason Budd: [00:11:18] But bartenders there, they don’t make a lot of tips.
Travis Bader: [00:11:21] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:11:21] And you’re making a minimum wage. So I picked up extra shifts in the morning. I’d come back and help the cleaners clean.
Travis Bader: [00:11:28] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:11:29] But even between cleaning and bartending I was only making enough to feed myself twice a day, basically. And then my life was just basically, so I would, let’s just start from like, say the nightclub shuts down at 2:00 AM or 1:30. 2:30 your back home. I would sleep to probably three till like eight o’clock. I did that, you know, maybe four or five hours, if that get up, I’d go help the cleaners for three, four hours.
[00:11:59] Come back have an afternoon nap. I would work out, run, weights, cause I’m still trying to maintain fitness for getting into British army. And then I would go and mr. G’s nightclub had a pub attached to it called the nials.
Travis Bader: [00:12:15] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:12:16] So I’d pick up early shifts there at six, helping in the nial. And then I’d rotate up to nightclubs around 9:30, 10 when it got busy. And I did that for maybe two months, to October, and I realized it’s fun, but I didn’t come here to do that. And then what was happening as well was there was a change in the system where initially my enlistment would be three years. And if I didn’t enlist before this date in like early November, I would be bumped to a four year minimum engagement.
Travis Bader: [00:12:43] That’s what the woman was telling me that recruiting office.
Jason Budd: [00:12:46] Yeah. So I at the time didn’t care. It was like maybe nine o’clock in the morning, like captain McKai sent one of the high, a couple of the recruiting Highlanders over in the land rover, knocked on my door and I’m like, get your ass to come to it. And he’s like get in the land rover and then I went, you know, I had a chat with captain McKai and he’s like, yeah, you gotta get this goin. So I did. One thing that they did do, was they send you down for a fitness assessment.
Travis Bader: [00:13:10] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:13:10] For a three day, I don’t even remember, I think it was like the army foundation fitness assessment. It was like a two day program to see where you were and I scored really well on it, to the point where I came back to my recruiting Sergeant and said, how well did I do? He said, exceptionally. I said, good enough to go to the parachute regiment? Because I thought you I’m just going to go the parachute regiment.
Travis Bader: [00:13:33] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:13:34] And unlike maybe in American, Canadian Forces, that’s you’re, you joined straight from the street and you go to the parachute regiment, you do their.
Travis Bader: [00:13:41] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:13:41] Their training, B company and so on. The recruiting Sergeant is dealing with is that, hold on a minute, makes a phone call. And then down comes this major from the Highlanders, their training NCR officer right. He sits me down and he’s like, you know Mr. Budd like, you’re right, you could go to the parachute regiment. But if you come to the Highlanders, you’re definitely going to get on junior branch and your section manager course earlier.
[00:14:04] And he goes, if we’re going to do this for you all, let’s do it for real. He goes, join the Highlanders, do your time, get on section manager course, and then go on SAS selection.
Travis Bader: [00:14:11] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:14:12] And I’m like, yeah, you’re right. And then, so he retained me because I’m like, ah, let’s just go to the parachute regiment.
Travis Bader: [00:14:17] He knew exactly what to say.
Jason Budd: [00:14:18] Yeah he knew what to, so that was that. Yeah so, I think I started when we did it, then it was they called the army foundation college and then off it was an Edinburgh.
Travis Bader: [00:14:29] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:14:30] So the Scottish division and dark, gloom, ,rainy place called Pennycook.
Travis Bader: [00:14:37] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:14:37] And up in Glencorse in Edinburgh,in the pentlands, if anybody’s been there. Very hilly, very wet. And I think that night I go into the, they call it the cook house.
Travis Bader: [00:14:49] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:14:49] And there’s a distinct song I always remember playing and it’s Coldplay, why does it always rain on me. And I’m just like, it’s depressed right.
Travis Bader: [00:14:59] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:14:59] And the food, my goodness, the food. Where do I even start with it? I had to get my friends to send me vitamins.
Travis Bader: [00:15:06] It was that bad?
Jason Budd: [00:15:07] To supplement the food. Yeah. It was like, we definitely can get malnourished here.
Travis Bader: [00:15:11] Wow. Well, they got a nickname for the British army, right?
Jason Budd: [00:15:15] Well, the British don’t actually know that name, but we’re not unaware of it. But the Canadians always called them the shit eaters.
Travis Bader: [00:15:23] That’s right.
Jason Budd: [00:15:24] And, but the Brits are completely clueless. That’s there, but yeah. So, you know, that was, I think back then it was maybe a 12 week basic training.
Travis Bader: [00:15:35] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:15:36] At the end of it, because I was a section commander in the Seaforth, at the end of it, my report indicated that I didn’t, they said possibility of skipping the next trade would it be my infantry training and just go to battalion.
Travis Bader: [00:15:50] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:15:51] So the next phase is we all traveled down to Catterick the infantry training center Catterick. So Catterick, they call it ITC Catterick, infantry training centre. Catterick, it’s the biggest Garrison in Europe. It’s also has the most CCTV cameras in your per capital.
Travis Bader: [00:16:06] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:16:07] I had a meeting with the company commander of our training company I was in and he said, oh the reports from your basic training said, just fast-track Highlander Budd to the battalion. What do you think? Nah, you know sir, I’m open for anything, whatever you think. And I can’t remember how it went down, but we may have flipped for it.
Travis Bader: [00:16:29] Really?
Jason Budd: [00:16:30] I can’t remember. But somehow we ended up on training. I didn’t go to battalion.
Travis Bader: [00:16:36] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:16:37] So we were there for the first, the infantry training, I believe is 14 weeks.
Travis Bader: [00:16:43] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:16:43] That’s a long haul.
Travis Bader: [00:16:44] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:16:45] Two of my best friends that I’m still in contact with is Marty Gray and Dean Nygen. Marty was from the black watch and Dean was from RGBW regiment. Taking a step back, my mom was, we found out was really sick and we actually brought Marty home to Canada on vacation. I call it vacation, on leave between the basic training and ITC Catterick.
Travis Bader: [00:17:09] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:17:10] Of all things Marty loved hockey, played, I guess it would be semipro in Dundee.
Travis Bader: [00:17:14] Wow.
Jason Budd: [00:17:15] Yeah. So he loved hockey. He loved our food here, obviously right? Well, Marty actually, like I said, he was a big lad from Dundee. So being a smart, colonial that I was, you befriend the biggest, toughest guy on the course.
Travis Bader: [00:17:27] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:17:28] And that was Marty.
Travis Bader: [00:17:29] Right, there you go.
Jason Budd: [00:17:30] The thug from Dundee.
Travis Bader: [00:17:32] There you go.
Jason Budd: [00:17:32] He’s actually the RSM of the black watch or three Scott’s right now.
Travis Bader: [00:17:35] Wow.
Jason Budd: [00:17:35] So he’s done really well for himself yeah.
Travis Bader: [00:17:37] Yeah, Dundee, now I know where it is. There’s a Limerick about Dundee, but I won’t repeat it here.
Jason Budd: [00:17:43] Yeah actually from forthar.
Travis Bader: [00:17:43] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:17:44] ButDundee was kind of like, they had a saying they called it bide away from Dundee, by away fae Dundee.
Travis Bader: [00:17:49] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:17:49] Scottish, jockaknees right? I just know jockaknees is its own language. It’s basically Scottish slang mixed with British army slang and they’ve created their own language the jocks have in the British army and the jocks of the Scots.
Travis Bader: [00:18:03] Jockaknees.
Jason Budd: [00:18:04] Called Jockaknees right.
Travis Bader: [00:18:05] All right.
Jason Budd: [00:18:06] It was really hard. Like when I first got there, like during section attacks and training, I couldn’t really understand anything being told to me. Like just point me towards the direction I’m going, because the jocks’d get fired up and then the different dialects you got the Glaswegians you got the Invernesians, you got Aberdonians.
[00:18:23] You’ve got, you know, by the time I came back three, three and a half years later, as an instructor, I could totally hear pretty much an entire British army, even the English regiments and know what regiment they were going to or what town they were from.
Travis Bader: [00:18:37] Really?
Jason Budd: [00:18:38] Just by their accents, yeah.
Travis Bader: [00:18:39] Wow.
Jason Budd: [00:18:39] Yeah. Like for example, the rural Highland, future leaders recruited from Glasgow.
Travis Bader: [00:18:43] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:18:44] So you just knew there, the Weegee’s right. So yeah. So long story short, long weekend, prior to that, I knew my mom was really sick, I remember waking up when I was home on leave and her crying. I remember hearing her crying in the living room.
Travis Bader: [00:19:00] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:19:00] And I came out and I just hugged her, she was crying and her whole body was in pain.
Travis Bader: [00:19:07] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:19:08] I’m not going back, I’m going to go AWOL, hang with you. And my mom, like not a chance, no son of mine’s going AWOL, you’re getting back on the airplane and that was actually the last time I actually saw her.
Travis Bader: [00:19:18] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:19:19] Just prior to the long weekend, my dad called me, he goes, you know, Son, we’ve found some bad news and your mom has cancer and it’s terminal. And she has a year live, so that hit me pretty, pretty hard, really devastated.
Travis Bader: [00:19:33] Totally.
Jason Budd: [00:19:33] I was a mama’s boy, what can I say?
Travis Bader: [00:19:35] Sure.
Jason Budd: [00:19:35] Right.
Travis Bader: [00:19:36] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:19:36] And I go up on the long weekend and then on the Saturday my dad calls me, he’s like, okay, your mum has 24 hours to live. So that, I’m like what is going on here? So I told Marty and his partner, I’m like, I got to go. I get on the train, Catterick has like, or ITC Catterick had, it was like, at the time, five training battalions in training. So I ended up calling, not my Sergeant major, ended up being the guard Sergeant major.
Travis Bader: [00:20:07] Really?
Jason Budd: [00:20:07] But I just called them, I just didn’t have the right number. And I called them and I said, I’m on my way down, sir this is me, you know, I know you’re not my Sergeant major. He got all my info, he passed it on to my company Sergeant major. They had a driver waiting for me in Darlington’s closest town.
[00:20:22] Land Rover, straight in, pack my bags, jet down to a Heathrow and I was on the next airplane back to Canada. And then I got back shortly and my mom was already in a morphine coma and then, didn’t really get to say my goodbyes and then she passed.
Travis Bader: [00:20:40] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:20:40] So I ended up staying in Canada for another four or five weeks, and then I went back. So by the time I went back, my training company was going on their final exercise.
Travis Bader: [00:20:51] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:20:52] So the training staff decided, even though I’d only done four weeks of training, I could go on final exercise with my batoon.
Travis Bader: [00:21:00] That was good.
Jason Budd: [00:21:00] It was. Yeah. So I only had to do the funnel X and then I was off the battalion. When I first met the training staff, they brought me in, because I know, you know, Jay, he was section commander in the NKR, they sat me down and they said, rate the platoon 1-30.
Travis Bader: [00:21:20] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:21:20] So you never put yourself top. So there was a big Fijian that was from, Gus, he was an ex cop from Fiji, I put him number one.
Travis Bader: [00:21:30] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:21:31] Right. So I put him one, me two and that’s how they made the section right?
Travis Bader: [00:21:35] Really?
Jason Budd: [00:21:36] Yeah. They kind of, orbated everybody. So everybody had an equal share in this jock platoon. And, but you never, and I remember like halfway through the Blackwatch, the corporal’s like, Budd you lied! Well, you never put yourself at the top do you. Your corporal right. Yeah so, I did the final X and then rolled into battalion.
Travis Bader: [00:21:58] In the British, there’s a few things that you did, which I thought were pretty neat. So one of them was you did some skiing over there. And whenever I think about that, I just conjure up these ideas of James Bond or Jason board or skiing for the British army. But you travel around to a few different countries to represent, I guess, England in a few different events, didn’t you?
Jason Budd: [00:22:24] Well, you know, being in a Scott’s regiment, it’s not England. It’s such a travesty, right. They’re very, I mean, the jocks don’t want, they’re freedom crazy. No, but yeah, so I grew up kind of skiing in Canada and then as a teenager, I bought my own snowboard and saved up for it and I was a snowboarder. So my first tour was to Kosovo.
Travis Bader: [00:22:46] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:22:46] 2000, 2001. And then I came back and I did my section commanders course.
Travis Bader: [00:22:53] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:22:53] 14 weeks in Bracken.
Travis Bader: [00:22:54] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:22:56] And then that winter I’m back with my battalion in Edinbrugh and I saw that there was the army championships for snowboarding.
Travis Bader: [00:23:04] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:23:04] So I thought I’ll have some of that.
Travis Bader: [00:23:06] Yeah, no kidding.
Jason Budd: [00:23:07] Set up a meeting with the QMSI, the quartermaster senior instructor, kind of our physical training instructor head guy.
Travis Bader: [00:23:16] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:23:16] And I said, you know, sir, I just saw this one, you know, like this competition for the snowboard. And he’s like, do you ski? Said I can ski, I used to ski, I’m a snowboarder.
Travis Bader: [00:23:28] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:23:28] Sir. And he’s like, well, the battalion is going to be sending a four man team to France to race downhill, six to eight weeks, depending how well you do.
Travis Bader: [00:23:38] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:23:39] You know, minimum four weeks, but it could be up to two months.
Travis Bader: [00:23:42] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:23:43] How does that sound? Or you could do one day snowboard competition and Aviemore Scotland. So I’ve only skied once in Aviemore, imagine Travis like, I don’t think there’s a chair enough, I think you get towed up. But it’s like ski.
Travis Bader: [00:23:56] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:23:57] Take your skis off. Walk across the Heather. Ski some more walk across some more Heather.
Travis Bader: [00:24:03] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:24:03] So I’m like, okay. Yeah I think I’m going to ski again, sir. And then, yeah, so you just send this four men team and we spent a good portion in Val-d’Isère France and they actually race. So you start racing, I think we started in the infantries and then you can move through the armies. It’s proper racing, it’s super G, it’s downhill, it’s slalom, GS. So I had to get like back on it pretty quick. I remember in one of the areas is, Sersha Valley.
Travis Bader: [00:24:34] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:24:34] And we actually downhill skied. Like they close it off, there’s timers, everything. You’re in your catsuit and there’s a run there, it’s an Olympic run and the final, you do this hard right hand turn, and then it’s a one-mile tuck.
Travis Bader: [00:24:48] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:24:48] And I got clocked coming through there at about 78 miles an hour.
Travis Bader: [00:24:52] Wooo.
Jason Budd: [00:24:53] Yeah. Like skis are like 220 long.
Travis Bader: [00:24:55] No kidding.
Jason Budd: [00:24:55] It gets, it’s proper racing and competitive. But yeah, so that was, I did that for, I think three seasons and then up to probably I think 2005. And by that time between Iraq and Afghan going on, the adventure training kind of dried up for me and it was like deployment so.
Travis Bader: [00:25:15] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:25:15] But yeah, I did three seasons of racing downhill.
Travis Bader: [00:25:18] That sounds like, yeah, definitely sign me up. That’s the that’s a part of the British army.
Jason Budd: [00:25:21] Yeah. I mean, that’s one thing with the British, they always I’m big on adventure training. I mean, the very first time I ever rock climbed in Canada was with the British army in Canmore.
Travis Bader: [00:25:30] Really?
Jason Budd: [00:25:30] Yeah. That’s where I got my taste for it. Yeah.
Travis Bader: [00:25:32] Now you gotta do a little bit of rock climbing. Well, before we talk about that, I did you want to talk about selection?
Jason Budd: [00:25:39] Yeah. So I thought I’d give a selection a go. What’s interesting in the UK is, if you don’t come from an infantry background, they make you do an all arms infantry skills course, it’s a four week long course. So, you know, in the 2000’s with the SAS being as busy as you were, they didn’t really have time to facilitate this training. And this training is pretty important because they want to give the non-infantry, the core guys, a fair kick at the can.
Travis Bader: [00:26:08] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:26:08] Right. Cause the second phase is you go to the jungle, right?
Travis Bader: [00:26:11] Hmm.
Jason Budd: [00:26:12] So what they do is they bring one of the senior NCO’s from the training division, usually the training wing Sergeant major. And what they do at this time, I was teaching, I went back to Catterick as an instructor, so I was working at ITC Catterick there as the section commander and instructor.
[00:26:28] And then they had an element called Som Company and they had a platoon there, the staff that was responsible for facilitating that all arms infantry skills course, they call it.
Travis Bader: [00:26:39] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:26:39] So you basically show up a Hereford first and they run a kind of like a one-week skills to make sure you’re at the skills. They want you to teach the staff.
Travis Bader: [00:26:49] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:26:49] And then you move to Sunny Bridge. Sunny Bridge is the battle camp that you’re based out of.
Travis Bader: [00:26:54] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:26:54] So it’s basically like a rifle platoon staff, you have the platoon Sergeant doing the logistics, you have the platoon commander and three section commanders.
Travis Bader: [00:27:02] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:27:02] And the three section commanders, then get assigned a section, for the, you know, they’re the core guys made up.
Travis Bader: [00:27:08] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:27:08] And then the training wing Sergeant major oversees it.
Travis Bader: [00:27:11] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:27:11] So we’re kind of, you’re attached to the SAS in this training element. So it’s kind of cool because then.
Travis Bader: [00:27:17] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:27:17] You learn their conventional drills.
Travis Bader: [00:27:19] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:27:20] You’re not doing any of that, you know, black ops or anything. It’s just conventional, a lot of it’s jungle drills we’re teaching them.
Travis Bader: [00:27:25] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:27:25] For.
Travis Bader: [00:27:26] For berni.
Jason Budd: [00:27:27] Yeah, for berni, yhe jungle phase. So it’s really great. And then the Sergeant major him and I got on really well, he’s an interesting cat. Like he actually started in the, you know, he’s English, but he started in the French foreign Legion. And then he worked his way, all the way up to whatever their equivalent to their special forces. Left and then he joined the British army and then worked his way up and.
Travis Bader: [00:27:48] Wow.
Jason Budd: [00:27:49] Then was training Sergeant major in SAS. So, you know, can you know, you meet the SAS guys, a lot of friends of SAS guys, and they have this look, but this guy had a different look.
Travis Bader: [00:27:57] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:27:58] But he was great, great guy. You know, he would tell me he’s like Jase, stay healthy, you’re through right. Because there, you do the four weeks in the hills, that’s where you select yourself, the aptitude phase. And then you go to the jungle and the jungle is where they select you right.
Travis Bader: [00:28:13] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:28:14] That’s, so you could actually complete the jungle phase and they may turn around and say, you know, sorry, you’re not a good fit.
Travis Bader: [00:28:21] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:28:22] Right. But you know, I had proved to John that I was a good fit I guess. And he’s like, Jay, stay healthy and your in. And that’s the biggest thing is staying healthy.
Travis Bader: [00:28:30] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:28:30] And I actually, I did well on the hills.
Travis Bader: [00:28:33] Can we talk about what the hills are like, when you say the hills is?
Jason Budd: [00:28:35] The hills is, yeah. So the hills is, is the first phase, it’s like four weeks.
Travis Bader: [00:28:39] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:28:40] Yeah. The first week is just kind of an organized thrashing.
Travis Bader: [00:28:43] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:28:44] You know, you do their CFT, their combat fitness test, it’s the eight miler and you have under two hours to do it in, but it’s a pretty cheeky one.
Travis Bader: [00:28:53] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:28:53] And then, yeah, it was just for this first week they’re just kind of, they call it Gilberts Gut Buster. So it’s like a 12 mile run around this lake with hills.
Travis Bader: [00:29:02] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:29:03] And there’ll be certain phases where they’ll stop and it’ll be like pushups or a fireman carrying somebody up the hill. You do this for 12K.
Travis Bader: [00:29:13] Yep.
Jason Budd: [00:29:15] Or 12 miles, I can’t even remember anymore. Kilometres just because the Brits are like the military uses the kilometres, but then we use miles.
Travis Bader: [00:29:23] Really?
Jason Budd: [00:29:24] Yeah, like if your, you know, your maps and everything is kilometres.
Travis Bader: [00:29:28] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:29:28] But then if you’re doing a fitness assessment.
Travis Bader: [00:29:30] It’s in miles?
Jason Budd: [00:29:31] Two mile or three mile or five mile, I can’t remember anymore.
Travis Bader: [00:29:33] That’s funny.
Jason Budd: [00:29:34] Might’ve been 12 miles. It’s called Gilbert’s Gut Buster right?
Travis Bader: [00:29:37] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:29:38] So I remember one of my friends from the Highlanders, he was a big boy, kinda like you Travis right. So I remember being told by friends who’ve done this before is that, always run with somebody your size.
Travis Bader: [00:29:53] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:29:54] Right. So I was aiming for that and in the groups kind of spread off, like there’s like on selection, like four to 500 people show up and it just gets weeded out day by day by day right.
Travis Bader: [00:30:04] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:30:04] So we set off, this is the day they do Gilberts Gut Buster, and I’m running along and I’m thinking I’m with the small guy we’re in the middle group. And then we come to this hill and the next thing you know, grabbed me and he’s fireman carrying me and I’m like, Oh my goodness cause now we’re going to switch.
Travis Bader: [00:30:22] Now you gotta fireman carry him.
Jason Budd: [00:30:24] And I got him like, not that far. And then my knees, like I actually, I think I hurt my knee there in that point and then I had a knee injury from that point on.
Travis Bader: [00:30:31] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:30:32] Thanks.
Travis Bader: [00:30:32] Thanks.
Jason Budd: [00:30:33] Yeah, but I was like, I can’t do this and I dropped him. He’d get on the, actually picked me up and threw me on his shoulder and then he went the whole way.
Travis Bader: [00:30:41] Wow.
Jason Budd: [00:30:42] Well, yeah, besides that with his injury, I made it all the way up the test week and in the test weeks, just a series of marches in areas like Elan Valley is probably the worst place on earth. We call them.
Travis Bader: [00:30:55] In what way?
Jason Budd: [00:30:56] Well, wet.
Travis Bader: [00:30:58] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:30:58] Everything’s wet.
Travis Bader: [00:30:59] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:30:59] But they call them baby heads.
Travis Bader: [00:31:01] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:31:02] So imagine a soccer ball that’s growing in a grass ball.
Travis Bader: [00:31:05] Right okay.
Jason Budd: [00:31:06] Right.
Travis Bader: [00:31:06] I’ve heard there’s ?? Grass.
Jason Budd: [00:31:08] Endless fields of this.
Travis Bader: [00:31:09] Yeah, yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:31:09] They’re the ankle breakers.
Travis Bader: [00:31:11] Baby heads.
Jason Budd: [00:31:12] Baby heads you call them. And now those seem like you’re navigating like 20 K across this area right. In Elan Valley, it’s called right and everything’s wet. So every step, boots are soaked.
Travis Bader: [00:31:23] Yeah, yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:31:23] But if you’re not sure on your step, you’re stepping on the soccer balls of grass.
Travis Bader: [00:31:28] And you’re going to twist an ankle or.
Jason Budd: [00:31:29] You’ve got 55 pounds, you’ve got the old SLR riffle.
Travis Bader: [00:31:32] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:31:33] And it’s horrible right. So that’s Elan Valley. I used to like ending the marches in the Brecon beacons.
Travis Bader: [00:31:40] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:31:40] Because there wasn’t a lot of baby heads. I love the Brecon beacons. There’s a few other areas that they kind of go to, but it’s basically, they just set you off in the trucks. You’re doing 4k an hour and on test week, it’s like, you might be, they start building up the weight and the kilometre distance every day. And it’s like a seven day assessment. This is at the third, the fourth week now.
Travis Bader: [00:32:03] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:32:03] And it’s just like, you wanna make four K an hour. You might, there’ll be a checkpoint you gotta navigate to, and there’ll be a couple of yes, directing stuff there.
Travis Bader: [00:32:14] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:32:15] You can’t have any map, marks on your map and you’ll just show up, get in line. Cause there’ll be other guys there too. And you say, staff, this is where I am. Okay, you’re going to this grid, they give you the grid. Show me where it is, okay, way you go and they take your name.
Travis Bader: [00:32:28] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:32:28] They could also, check your weight of your pack.
Travis Bader: [00:32:31] Right, okay.
Jason Budd: [00:32:32] And.
Travis Bader: [00:32:32] Find it light you’re out.
Jason Budd: [00:32:34] If it’s light? No, they give you a brick.
Travis Bader: [00:32:36] Oh okay.
Jason Budd: [00:32:36] Or a rock and you’ve got to carry it. And the problem with that, there’s a few guys where they’re kind of underweight and if you got this.
Travis Bader: [00:32:41] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:32:42] Physically, you don’t really recover, if that happened. But yeah, those end, they also do kit check. So they’ll give you a kit list and a lot of people, not a lot of people, there’ll be a few people that didn’t abide by it.
Travis Bader: [00:32:54] Yeah. You’d want to call some stuff out for weight, right?
Jason Budd: [00:32:56] Well, the weights the weight. So for example, if they say this is 55 pounds, then you pack 55 pounds, but they have a kit list. So it could be like a panel marker for helicopter or airplane marking, mess tins, water bottle, spoon, whatever.
Travis Bader: [00:33:10] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:33:11] And they’ll ask us, show us your tarp, show us your first aid kit, show em that. But if you haven’t got that, then you’re flagged.
Travis Bader: [00:33:16] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:33:17] Cause they go, well, you can’t abide by detail right.
Travis Bader: [00:33:20] Right. That makes sense.
Jason Budd: [00:33:21] Yeah. So that’s not good. So that could happen at the checkpoints. Yeah and then you just basically, and so you know, the first day it might be 25 kilometres you’re going. Then the next day on test week or go on 30 and then so on and so on, so on.
[00:33:37] And then the final day, they kind of bring it back and you do, I think it’s 25k we did. Got back to sunny bridge, you know, six o’clock, had dinner, packed up and then that night you start the 65 kilometre long drag they call it.
Travis Bader: [00:33:54] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:33:55] And I think the weights were like 65 pounds plus rifle. It’s the heaviest we had.
Travis Bader: [00:34:00] That’s significant.
Jason Budd: [00:34:00] Yeah, couple hours sleep and I remember sitting down in, it was on this side of Brecon where we were in and it was storming. So it was raining, snowing, like not snow, it was snowing up in the beacons, but I remember looking out the truck and looking at all the seagulls hanging out here. So if the seagulls avoided sea in the middle of Whales, there’s a storm on right.
Travis Bader: [00:34:26] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:34:27] So, and I remember the S were debating sending us up or not.
Travis Bader: [00:34:32] Really?
Jason Budd: [00:34:32] And then the course facilitator.
Travis Bader: [00:34:36] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:34:37] And he was like, yep, they go. So off, we went and soaking wet. And as you started climbing up, it’s going to sleet and then it’s full on snow. So we’re soaking wet, heading up into the hills. And I remember being on top of the fan petty fan and not being able to find my way down.
Travis Bader: [00:34:56] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:34:56] I kept falling off the sides, it’s stormin, I’m hanging on and I’m like, and I’d been up there probably so many times training.
Travis Bader: [00:35:05] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:35:05] I couldn’t find my, finally found my way off the fan and down. And it started to get at first light and I was so cold and checked in and then they get the new grid and I look in the back of the four toner and it’s full of guys that have pulled themselves off right.
Travis Bader: [00:35:19] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:35:20] Off I go.
Travis Bader: [00:35:22] How’s that feel when you see that?
Jason Budd: [00:35:23] You know, I had a rough night up there though. Like I ended up not knowing it, but I cracked my ankle.
Travis Bader: [00:35:29] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:35:29] I had some bad falls going up there, but I was just nursing it. I’m like, let’s just keep going. And then as I went to my next checkpoint, I came across and I think he was an RAF regiment guy. And the RAF regiment guy who was hypothermic. We’re told that you don’t abandon people.
Travis Bader: [00:35:45] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:35:46] Right. So I get there and they’re just huddling and I’m like, let’s get your half shelter or your ponchos and let’s make shelter. Get this guy wrapped up in a sleeping bag. And then we have our emergency beacons, like our GPS beacons we activate.
Travis Bader: [00:36:00] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:36:01] They track us interesting for me, mine wasn’t working that night. So when I came into the checkpoint, the course facilitator, like Budd, your Beacon’s not working. They had no clue. So if I fell off the fan, they wouldn’t have known they’d find me down in the bottom right. So they gave me a new one, so we activated it and then I’m like, okay guys, I’m off, I’m going to keep going.
[00:36:22] And I remember the look of one of the guys that was there like, don’t leave me. And I’m like, okay, I’m going to stay and I’m like, okay. You know, and it took the directing staff with the Land Rover, they got up to us maybe an hour later. This time you’re cold, starting to get hypothermic yourself, body shutting down and the DS go okay, you’re all done.
[00:36:49] And I’m like, no, I’m going staff. So they radioed down to the course facilitator, came back up and they’re like, great, but if you do this, you do this on your own. We’re signing off, like this is your risk, you accept it.
Travis Bader: [00:37:01] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:37:01] Like I got it. Off I go and I had about, I went, no, I went another 15k. So I’m probably about 40, 35, 40K into my 65 and I was just like, that, sitting for that hour and a half was just.
Travis Bader: [00:37:17] Just zapped ya.
Jason Budd: [00:37:18] Yeah just zapped. Yeah. And then I got there and I said, I can’t go on. So I had a yeah, it took me a few months to recover from that cracked ankle and everything, because my goal was just, now I knew I was really injured ,or just complete the march.
Travis Bader: [00:37:32] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:37:32] And then hopefully they would have kept me and get better and then go on to the jungle phase so.
Travis Bader: [00:37:39] Well, they do selection twice a year, right?
Jason Budd: [00:37:42] Correct yeah.
Travis Bader: [00:37:43] Okay. So summer selection, winter selection?
Jason Budd: [00:37:45] Yeah.
Travis Bader: [00:37:46] And you took it upon yourself to say, you know what, I’d rather do this in the winter time?
Jason Budd: [00:37:51] You know, So you’re right Trav, it just kind of worked on a timeline.
Travis Bader: [00:37:56] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:37:56] And it was just like, I was coming to the end of my two years as an instructor. And I’m like, this is the time to go. And leading up to that though, like I had trained for a year for it.
Travis Bader: [00:38:07] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:38:08] Right. So I, as an instructor had, was alotted a lot of time to train and then also being for six months attached, as one, as the training team for this olarms, I was really like, I was peeking at where I should be.
Travis Bader: [00:38:22] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:38:22] Skills, fitness, and everything had just, this was the time.
Travis Bader: [00:38:26] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:38:28] I come back. Heal up, finished my time at ITC Catterick and then I go to my battalion and it was a time we were doing work up to go to Iraq.
Travis Bader: [00:38:38] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:38:38] So we had a big exercise in Suffield and then, off we went to Iraq.
Travis Bader: [00:38:46] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:38:46] And then I was up in LMR with Bravo company and the Highlanders.
Travis Bader: [00:38:51] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:38:52] About halfway through the tour I ended up doing a pre-chorus for my senior brecon.
Travis Bader: [00:38:58] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:38:58] Between sergeant’s course. They were all Highland fusion leaders who were based in Cyprus, ran it because they weren’t employed there in Cyprus. So a Highlander boat, maybe eight or 10 of us left Iraq to go to Cypress to do our pre-course.
Travis Bader: [00:39:13] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:39:13] So for us to go on these career courses, it’s a competition, so there might be three section managers to goin to Brecon and there might be three spots for senior Brecon. So it’s a competition, the whole way is very competitive.
Travis Bader: [00:39:24] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:39:25] Did my two weeks pre-course to get selected and then ended up going down to Whales again.
Travis Bader: [00:39:31] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:39:31] I got to know Brecken really well.
Travis Bader: [00:39:33] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:39:33] 2007, I decided to give selection another go.
Travis Bader: [00:39:39] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:39:39] The problem this time, I didn’t have enough time to train.
Travis Bader: [00:39:42] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:39:42] Because you know, being a platoon Sergeant in the battalion, it didn’t help either like I was a single Sergeant. So being a single Sergeant, you got a lot of tasks and deployments.
Travis Bader: [00:39:52] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:39:53] I remember being told, Hey Sergeant Budd, we’re doing you a favour, we’re sending you back to Canada. I’m like great recruiting NCO in Vancouver? They’re like no range safety in Suffield. Just you know, rent a car, go home on the weekend and I’m like, you know, it’s like a 16 hour drive from Sufield. Like it’s quicker to fly from Heathrow to Vancouver.
Travis Bader: [00:40:13] No kidding.
Jason Budd: [00:40:14] So I did, I think we did three months of range safety with the green jackets battle group.
Travis Bader: [00:40:20] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:40:20] They’re going to rock so that doesn’t help getting range safety for my training. So that was like, September October, November.
Travis Bader: [00:40:28] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:40:29] So I basically had December to train and then I went back on selection January. Cause I’m just like, I’m doing it, I got to do it. It was kind of a double edge because I knew what to expect.
Travis Bader: [00:40:39] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:40:40] So I’m like, I don’t need to train as much. I say, you know what to expect, like on Gilbert Gut Buster, I never left this Gerka.
Travis Bader: [00:40:47] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:40:48] This Gerka and I were partners, like I was like a bungee cord on him. So when it came to fireman carry, he was just like this little, little guy.
Travis Bader: [00:40:57] That helps.
Jason Budd: [00:40:58] A little Sherpa right. You need to carry me, no problem. So if people don’t know who their Gerka’s are, they’re our elements of our British army that we recruit from Nepal. And that tradition, the Gerka tradition is maintained in the British army and the Indian army. So yeah, I mean the average height’s probably 5’1″, 5’2″.
Travis Bader: [00:41:16] Perfect.
Jason Budd: [00:41:17] It was perfect yeah. That element’s good to know.
Travis Bader: [00:41:20] Yeah, yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:41:20] But I mean, the rest of it didn’t do me many favours and I, because I didn’t have the time to train.
Travis Bader: [00:41:26] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:41:27] For the first two weeks, I was really struggling making the times. Yeah, I didn’t have the same mindset this time around. On week two at the end of it, they call it that the fan dance.
Travis Bader: [00:41:37] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:41:38] You go up penny fan down their own road back.
Travis Bader: [00:41:40] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:41:40] For us, it’s pass or fail. And then we go on to the third week and there was a new element started in the British army called the special reconnaissance regiment.
Travis Bader: [00:41:49] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:41:49] And it was fitting under the SF tier. And they’re a part of the hills for the first two weeks.
Travis Bader: [00:41:56] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:41:56] And their pass or fail’s fan dance. And then they go to their infantry camp and there was a guy I was on the back of the four toner are driving out to the story arms, just start our fan dance. And he was on my first selection. And then he was on selection for special reconnaissance regiment. And I’m sitting there, Oh man, I made the wrong mistake.
[00:42:17] But you know, all my SAS buddies that I did have were like, yeah don’t, don’t, don’t join this special reconnaissance regiment. And I’m like, yeah, SAS or nothing right.
Travis Bader: [00:42:27] Right, right, right.
Jason Budd: [00:42:28] So I’m sitting there going, man, I made a mistake. But it is what it is.
Travis Bader: [00:42:34] Everything happens for a reason.
Jason Budd: [00:42:36] It does I mean, I got to test week again, but on day three and four, my achilles swelled up like a golf ball and then I got medically RTU’d again and that was that.
Travis Bader: [00:42:48] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:42:48] So, yeah, like that was January. So another glutton for punishment, I went back and did a summer selection.
Travis Bader: [00:42:57] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:42:57] Like he came off on the hill, was my first one, too. He had a groin injury and he didn’t make it, second one blew the summer away no problem.
Travis Bader: [00:43:04] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:43:05] And he just cruised through it.
Travis Bader: [00:43:07] Really?
Jason Budd: [00:43:08] And even said summer, summer, summer. But it was that timeline. I’m like, ah, I gotta do it now.
Travis Bader: [00:43:11] Oh man.
Jason Budd: [00:43:12] Right. Because you know, back in my head Trav, I was actually getting ready to leave the army I thought.
Travis Bader: [00:43:16] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:43:16] I was just ticking boxes.
Travis Bader: [00:43:18] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:43:18] Like seniors, I didn’t plan to do seniors. I planned like junior Brecon, SAS, back to Canada.
Travis Bader: [00:43:24] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:43:24] It didn’t work out. And then seniors came up and then, surprisingly enough, that was January. You know, that took up to February, I’m getting ready to, I was kind of in limbo. I couldn’t really decide if our is staying or going. Cause I actually did really well, all in all, I think I made platoon Sergeant in six and a half years.
Travis Bader: [00:43:45] That’s pretty fast.
Jason Budd: [00:43:46] It’s pretty fast. Even like in the British army, that’s like eight to 12 years. It kinda, I mean, I came in with a lot of experience. And in that time you know, I went to Kosovo, I went to Bosnia. I did, I only did a couple of weeks in Northern Ireland. I didn’t go there long enough to get my medal. Well, that was one of the reasons why I did join my Northern Ireland medal, but yeah, it didn’t happen.
[00:44:09] But you know, it did junior Brecon and then for us, like the part of your career development, you go to the depot to teach. And I had that exposure in Catterick and I actually did really well in Catterick. And you get graded and the highest grade you get is like, OI1.
Travis Bader: [00:44:27] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:44:28] That’s a highest, so that’s like, they call it outstanding one.
Travis Bader: [00:44:30] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:44:31] So that actually got me on my commanding officer’s radar. He didn’t realize that I was just another section manager. So that gets flagged OI1. I was a senior section manager when we deployed to Iraq.
Travis Bader: [00:44:41] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:44:42] We were an armoured infantry battalion at this point because we were stationed in Germany now.
Travis Bader: [00:44:46] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:44:46] And we were in warriors and I hated warriors.
Travis Bader: [00:44:49] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:44:49] Because everything I’ve done is rifle company prior to this or dismount.
Travis Bader: [00:44:52] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:44:53] Or light roll.
Travis Bader: [00:44:54] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:44:55] So I facilitated, never being trained on the warrior, commander, commander. So that always defaulted me to dismount.
Travis Bader: [00:45:04] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:45:04] That always made me, like I had some other roles, like I would be the, like the smaller arms coordinator for the company. So if there’s any ranges need to be run.
Travis Bader: [00:45:15] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:45:15] Like we went three qualifying all the drivers who commanders and gunners with their handgun.
Travis Bader: [00:45:21] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:45:21] We were using Browning’s at the time. So I coordinated all that training, so I was kind of like the small arms subject matter expert for the company.
Travis Bader: [00:45:29] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:45:30] So, and then for the platoon like I was the senior section manager, so I got another, OI1 assessment done, what do they call it? Your confidential report for the year.
Travis Bader: [00:45:40] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:45:40] So that gets you kind of flagged really well at seniors. And what happens is, is that you sit the board. So how I can explain the board when you get promoted, there’s a bunch of like Brigadier generals sit in around a castle and sit around, they actually grade you.
Travis Bader: [00:45:54] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:45:54] So normally you need four years in rank and that career course. So, cause I had 2 OI1’s and I’d only been a section commander for three years, but those 2 OI1’s allowed me to st the board early.
Travis Bader: [00:46:08] Ah, okay.
Travis Bader: [00:46:09] So that’s how I got fast tracked through the system because I sat the board early and got promoted to platoon Sergeant. So, and then went off to selection, injured again on the hills. And then the RSM and I are trying to figure out where’s my career path. Cause I’m like, well, maybe I’m done, I’ve ticked all my boxes. I’m done everything. And then he’s like, well I need a training NCO to go to Africa, I can’t even remember. And then at this time I thought about Pathfinders.
Jason Budd: [00:46:39] In 16 aerosol was now kind of like it’s growin to a larger, it used to be like a platoon and it’s actually now tri-service and they actually have their tri-service selection.
Travis Bader: [00:46:48] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:46:48] Similar to the hills, but they do 3K an hour versus four, and then they do their own camp.
Travis Bader: [00:46:53] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:46:53] And then I believe that company commander was from two squats. Well, Scott, so I knew him from Catterick. So it was open tri-service. And then one of the options as well, I had been assigned to the sniper platoon.
Travis Bader: [00:47:05] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:47:05] In the Highlanders because we had a sniper platoon. And prior to that, I was always trained to sharpshooter. What the RSMs like, okay well, here’s kind of the career path that I’m thinking is like, go to Africa for a month, I need you to go here. Then you go down and do your sniper platoon or your sniper course so that you can take over as a platoon Sergeant for the snipers. Because the sniper platoon in the Highlanders, it’s the only platoon where the platoon commander is a color Sergeant.
Travis Bader: [00:47:31] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:47:32] So that’s a ranked staff Sergeant where the rest of the platoon is you always have a platoon commander.
Travis Bader: [00:47:36] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:47:38] So the platoon Sergeant would be the platoon Sergeant. And then the, a platoon commander is a color Sergeant. So I would have taken over as platoon Sergeant. And then he goes, I know you’re going to train on the weekends and then you roll into your PF selection. I’m like, great, good plan. I leave and on the way out the battalion ??? like Sergeant Budd, happy where you’re going?
[00:47:58] I’m like, yeah, I’m going to Africa Sir. He goes, no, you’re going to Afghan. I’m like, I’m going to Afghan? And he goes, yeah, you’re shipping out here in about seven to 10 days and usually.
Travis Bader: [00:48:09] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:48:09] There’s a build up. Like count that six months to a year.
Travis Bader: [00:48:12] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:48:12] Britain’s usually about three months. He’s like, yeah, you’re out of here. Well, and he goes, sir, we need to talk about this. So I go and have my meeting is like they Grenadier guards are taking the, which is the training advisors role. And there’s a company of leftover privates that don’t have any hierarchy or head shed.
Travis Bader: [00:48:34] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:48:36] So he’s said they need a platoon Sergeant and I’m sending you and another Highlander, corporal section commander to go with his element. So what happened was the brigade commander realized that he had this rifle platoon that was being coordinated to guard camps.
Travis Bader: [00:48:55] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:48:55] That’s what we thought this was, the staffing was going to be.
Travis Bader: [00:48:57] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:48:57] And it ended up was, I guess this is going to be a brigade strike company.
Travis Bader: [00:49:01] Oh wow.
Jason Budd: [00:49:01] So they ended up facilitating a lot of the command element from across the different infantry regiments, the staff up as this strike company. So they actually were building up, but what they needed was a continuity NCO to go out.
Travis Bader: [00:49:18] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:49:18] And get familiar. With the area we’re going and all that. So I was planning on leaving and coming back to Canada, I’m like, I go to my dad, I got one more tour dad, got to go to Afghan. And I thought that’d be enough, cause prior to that, you know, done Northern Ireland, Coatesville, Bosnia, Iraq, and now Afghan.
Travis Bader: [00:49:34] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:49:34] In a short period of time.
Travis Bader: [00:49:35] Yeah. Very short.
Jason Budd: [00:49:37] So I’m like, all right, let’s go. And I ended up getting attached to a four five commando through the company down in Garmasir .
Travis Bader: [00:49:47] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:49:47] And Garmasir’s the furthest South of any British element and its site. 30 miles from the Pakistan border and it was a gateway for the Taliban coming across from Pakistan.
Travis Bader: [00:50:00] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:50:00] And then they co-locate in this area take on this company, British company and then bypass and go out. So it’s kind of like a training depot for them. And the British in this area couldn’t go any further because he needed that golden hour to fly back to camp bastion of your injured. So there was kind of like the Brits were dug in here.
[00:50:19] And it was interesting, they were on,there’s this hill called J-tack hill that the British had occupied and made in the 1800’s, 1850, or I’d have to look at the dates when they were there again. And here we are again on top of that with a union flag, British union flag on top of that, on the same mound.
Travis Bader: [00:50:37] Wow.
Jason Budd: [00:50:37] But yeah, that ended up being about a seven and a half month tour. So I was attached to the Royal Marines for about four weeks. One of the tasks was we had the new 33H type rifle, learned that rifle. Like it wasn’t even in the UK, it was literally elsewhere. Know the ground, get promoted to ground. And then when our company came out, that continuity can be carried over to the relief in place happenings.
[00:51:00] I was attached to the Company Cypress section for about four weeks and got them up to speed and then handed it, handed off to their section commander. And then I took over as a platoon Sergeant with my platoon, which I’d never met before. The only guy I knew was my section commander from the Highlander is big Alex.
Travis Bader: [00:51:19] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:51:19] And it was getting to know this new group of guys that had never met before.
Travis Bader: [00:51:24] No kidding.
Jason Budd: [00:51:25] Yeah.
Travis Bader: [00:51:26] Wow, that’d be quite an experience.
Jason Budd: [00:51:28] Yeah.
Travis Bader: [00:51:29] You know, I remember when you came back and you said, Hey, Trav, let’s go for a hike. Okay, yeah, let’s go for a hike. Now, I’m what, 6’6″, 250 pounds, we’re going up the hillside and I guess there’s a couple things that stood out at me. Like number one, your ability to just go, like, you’d pick a pace I’m like, Oh my God, why is he going so slow? But you don’t stop and you just keep going and going and going. Which over time, of course, that’s not slow, it’s quite a bit more efficient.
Jason Budd: [00:52:01] Yeah.
Travis Bader: [00:52:01] But the other thing that really stuck out was there’s another fellow that we’re with, I think he was having an issue with his boots at the time and had a little bit of an issue and you said, okay, stop. We’re gonna stop right here, you, Dennis, administrate yourself. Right. And then we’re going to keep going. But of course at the same time, I had an issue I’m like, oh thank God, Dennis has got something here so I can take care of mine.
[00:52:21] But the idea behind, whenever something small, I’m like, you know, something small on my boot at the time right and just stop administrate yourself and keep on going. And that whole mentality of not necessarily slow and steady, but steady pace and whenever something comes up, attack it and deal with it was completely new to me.
[00:52:41] And the amount of distance that we covered in a short period of time and on subsequent runs the amount of mountains and hills that you and I have done together that prior to that, I wouldn’t have been doing it. I had to be going as fast as I can and then burnout of the steam and then having a rest. And I don’t know if that’s something that you got from the British army, or if that was more something you got in preparation for SAS selection there.
Jason Budd: [00:53:07] You know, Travis, that concept of fix a problem when it’s small.
Travis Bader: [00:53:11] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:53:11] It’s common, right?
Travis Bader: [00:53:13] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:53:13] And, you know, feet for an infantryman is your, probably your biggest asset.
Travis Bader: [00:53:18] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:53:18] Your boots got to fit. So I was the type of person I didn’t believe in blisters. I don’t believe in breaking boots in.
Travis Bader: [00:53:26] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:53:26] They fit out of the box or they don’t.
Travis Bader: [00:53:29] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:53:29] So I would buy a new pair of boots. So at the time that the boots were issued with crap.
Travis Bader: [00:53:35] Hmm.
Jason Budd: [00:53:35] One thing I did, am I able to British army were all in the infantry. We could pretty much wear anything we bought. Where as long as it was DPM or green or black, we could use it. So I always kind of proud that the only thing I went on SAS selection that was issued with socks. I had everything else I bought right. As a kit monger, they called us.
Travis Bader: [00:53:56] Yeah, yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:53:57] But.
Travis Bader: [00:53:57] You’re not a kit monger anymore. Not at all.
Jason Budd: [00:53:59] You should see my, I have a seacan of climbing and ski gear Travis.
Travis Bader: [00:54:03] I know you do, I know you do.
Jason Budd: [00:54:04] You don’t know how many ski’s I have. Yeah. So I would trial the boots once, I would allow myself to get blisters once and if I got the second time, they’re gone.
Travis Bader: [00:54:13] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:54:14] Right ,so I didn’t believe in blisters. It’s like fix it. But for sure, like if there’s a problem, I’d rather like, you know, because as you know, I’m an apprentice ski guide with the association of game mountain guides. It’s like, client care, hey, I need you to tell me I have blisters. We have, need to fix this now right.
Travis Bader: [00:54:30] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:54:31] But you know, Travis, like that lesson doesn’t always apply.
Travis Bader: [00:54:34] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:54:34] Right. For example, like I think three, four years ago, Mount Hector, I think it’s 14,000 feet in the Canadian Rockies. I was building my resume to apply for a peto ski. And we were ski mountaineering with my, partner Stephie. We looked at the wind, the weather window and it was cold and clear. But the avalanche conditions were stable. Like I’m like we got to go.
Travis Bader: [00:54:55] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:54:55] This is where we’re doing it. We get up super early and we’re heading up Mount Hector. And I had the biggest burley gloves, these Arc’Teryx gloves on.
Travis Bader: [00:55:04] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:55:04] And I didn’t realize that there’s a goalie that we had to boot pack up and I didn’t have the draw strings. They were like these over cuffs for it right.
Travis Bader: [00:55:11] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:55:11] And there was snow crystals falling inside and then they were melting.
Travis Bader: [00:55:15] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:55:16] But I’m working hard, skis on the pack and I’m like, I’m warm. Probably minus 25.
Travis Bader: [00:55:21] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:55:21] But I’m warm. So part of that concept is like soldier on through it.
Travis Bader: [00:55:26] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:55:26] So now we’re above the goalie and we’re ski touring up and we’re getting close to the summit and now the wind chill is hammering us. And it’s probably, I think with windshield, Steph said it was like minus, probably 40.
Travis Bader: [00:55:40] Wow.
Jason Budd: [00:55:41] Already 50.
Travis Bader: [00:55:42] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:55:42] And thinking back to my first selection, I remember there’s this night nav march, so after Gilberts Gut Buster.
Travis Bader: [00:55:48] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:55:48] That night you do a night nav and you’re in a team of four.
Travis Bader: [00:55:52] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:55:52] And you do like 16K.
Travis Bader: [00:55:54] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:55:55] So, and it’s all night. And then you get about an hour of sleep and you get back and then you do a day.
Travis Bader: [00:56:01] Wow.
Jason Budd: [00:56:01] It’s take that Thursday into the Friday, that’s a long day.
Travis Bader: [00:56:03] No kidding.
Jason Budd: [00:56:04] I think the end of week one. But I remember going up in that evening and it was the last time ever used a Camelbak.
Travis Bader: [00:56:12] Really?
Jason Budd: [00:56:12] My lesson learned. Yeah, we’re allowed Camelbak, we still have to carry two water bottles.
Travis Bader: [00:56:15] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:56:15] But my straw froze.
Travis Bader: [00:56:17] Okay.
Jason Budd: [00:56:17] Going up on this ridge. My straw froze, I can’t get water and then I think my right eyeball froze as well. And now I’ve got no water and I get up there and the group you’re moving at this group’s pace and it’s like two in the morning and they’re just going, you can’t stop. The unsort, you need to sort myself out. And it’s just like, you know, it was horrible dehydrated and everything.
Travis Bader: [00:56:40] No kidding.
Jason Budd: [00:56:40] So coming back to Mount Hector, I remember my hands being so cold.
Travis Bader: [00:56:45] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:56:46] And I remember it was the last break before the summit and I remember I had a new dry pair of gloves in my bag, but I’m like, there’s no way, I didn’t realize that the snow had gone down on my gloves. And what’s happened is, is that it melted and there’s a fleece element, like a liner, and then the hard Gore-Tex leather shell. So that fleece pushed all the moisture out.
Travis Bader: [00:57:09] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:57:09] But it couldn’t pass through.
Travis Bader: [00:57:11] The Gore-Tex.
Jason Budd: [00:57:11] The Gore-Tex. So it was like this ice shell formed in between my finger and the shell.
Travis Bader: [00:57:18] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:57:19] My hands were cold, but manageable. I’m like, I remember seeing these dry pair of gloves, goin there’s no way they’re going to be as warm as the gloves I have on.
Travis Bader: [00:57:28] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:57:28] I didn’t change, but my instinct said change your gloves, but it didn’t. So we carry on, get to the summit, take our skins off for our skis. Drop in beautiful ski down, like going up, probably take us six hours, seven hours to get there.
Travis Bader: [00:57:48] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:57:48] We were back at the truck in like 40 minutes.
Travis Bader: [00:57:51] Wow.
Jason Budd: [00:57:52] We’re high fivin, get some great photos, get into Tacoma and we’re driving back to the hostel, where we had, we’re moving hostels at nights. We had to grab our gear and we were going to head into another hostel in town. And I remember just two minutes driving down the road and I’m like, uh oh.
Travis Bader: [00:58:10] Yeah, you did it.
Jason Budd: [00:58:12] And the pain just hit me. We were just only a couple of minutes. We got to the hostel and I gave myself frostbite in my pinky.
Travis Bader: [00:58:21] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:58:22] And I gave a frostnip in every other finger.
Travis Bader: [00:58:26] Right.
Jason Budd: [00:58:26] And the pain was so, like that frostbite in the pinky, like I was incapacitated.
Travis Bader: [00:58:31] Wow.
Jason Budd: [00:58:32] Like I had to sit at the table and just moan and then like Steph had to do everything, load us up in the Tacoma, drive to the new hostal. And that night, like incapacitated didn’t sleep. And then we go decided to go to the hospital. Like my pinky is black.
Travis Bader: [00:58:49] Wow.
Jason Budd: [00:58:50] Right. And the doc’s like we already booked some more nights up in the Wapta, up in the bow hut.
Travis Bader: [00:58:57] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [00:58:58] Do some ski touring and the doc’s like oh yeah, it’s great, you get another reinjury and we amputate in August. So there you, I go, that’s our trip done.
Travis Bader: [00:59:07] Yeah, no kidding.
Jason Budd: [00:59:08] So I think that was February. So we came back. So that, that lesson, yeah, Trav, like I have the gear, I know better. It’s that, I find now, if that, if something’s telling you, that instinct, that voice.
Travis Bader: [00:59:21] That’s huge, that’s huge.
Jason Budd: [00:59:22] That’s huge, like you should do that. Listen to it, if it says change, I need to change my gloves, no, change your gloves. You know, I need to do this. That is, I think that voice has kept a lot of people alive.
Travis Bader: [00:59:34] Gavin de Becker, a fellow by the name of Gavin de Becker wrote a book called the gift of fear. And essentially aside from it being a great big sales pitch for his company, which a lot of it is, the underlining thread in it was, we have a voice inside of us that is essentially an instinctual voice that we should probably listen to.
[00:59:56] If you, it talks about, you walk into a bar and spidey senses say this isn’t right, this is not a safe place to be. But then you start trying to think about it, ah no, I’m safe. I’m a big guy. I can take care of myself. He says, you know what? Just, just listen to the voice. Maybe it’s time to take off and leave.
Jason Budd: [01:00:14] And, you know, I think that voice Trav, it’s interesting that you brought that up because you know, the British army in Northern Ireland, they call it the absence of the normal. Training you to observe this.
Travis Bader: [01:00:24] Right.
Jason Budd: [01:00:24] So for example, like kids on the street playing soccer, football, and then no kids on that street. Well, that’s a good common indicator. Don’t go down that street.
Travis Bader: [01:00:34] Right.
Jason Budd: [01:00:34] So I kind of noticed in Iraq at nighttime, like during the night we did most of our work during the night. It seemed like we surrendered a lot of the area to the insurgents during the day. And then we took over at night.
Travis Bader: [01:00:48] Fair enough.
Jason Budd: [01:00:48] I like to do, we didn’t operate a lot during the day. They didn’t operate a lot during the night, but one thing I kind of noticed was that dogs really barked for us.
Travis Bader: [01:00:57] Okay.
Jason Budd: [01:00:58] But they’re silent for the locals and insurgents. So that was a common indicator for me, was that if something was amiss, was silent dogs.
Travis Bader: [01:01:06] Interesting.
Jason Budd: [01:01:07] Right. I don’t know if the owners took them in or what, but that was just an indicator. And then I kinda like in Afghan, I don’t know how I kinda honed these senses, but I realized that animals sense energy.
Travis Bader: [01:01:21] Okay, yeah.
Jason Budd: [01:01:21] And just prior to maybe an ambush being sprung or something, I just found that the calmness. Calm before the storm.
Travis Bader: [01:01:29] Interesting.
Jason Budd: [01:01:29] Right. And even to the point where I even found mosquitoes not bite, and I don’t know how we’re here or anything, but I, but.
Travis Bader: [01:01:34] Well, maybe it’s something and maybe it was a mosquito thing, or maybe it’s something that your spidey senses are going, you’ve got it back there. And you just happened to be noticing these other things that are correlating.
Jason Budd: [01:01:44] And I think that that’s exactly it, Travis, it’s our powers to observe our surroundings around us.
Travis Bader: [01:01:49] Right.
Jason Budd: [01:01:50] So I remember when, you know, I’m back in Canada now and my girlfriend at the time, we went to watch a movie in Maple Ridge.
Travis Bader: [01:02:00] Okay.
Jason Budd: [01:02:00] In the new theatre they had there.
Travis Bader: [01:02:01] Yeah.
Jason Budd: [01:02:02] And I walk in and something just didn’t feel right.
Travis Bader: [01:02:04] Right.
Jason Budd: [01:02:05] Just observing. And I go to my girlfriend and I’m like, we need to leave now. And she knew me well enough not to question my, just my sense of something’s not. And just as we left, there was a big police take down undercover on some organized gang members out were there.
Travis Bader: [01:02:27] Interesting.
Jason Budd: [01:02:28] And she’s like, I’m never going to doubt your sense. Never.
Travis Bader: [01:02:32] Yeah. I can’t advocate enough to listen to that. Whatever it might be big or small, just listen to it.
Jason Budd: [01:02:38] Yeah. So that was just another example of, my gut didn’t feel right about it and you know, I’m moving into the guiding world, that intuition is huge, right? That’s so part of your train assessment. And, you know, in ski guiding is a lot of times it’s like, what is my gut telling me?
Travis Bader: [01:02:58] Right.
Jason Budd: [01:02:58] And why is it telling me this?
Travis Bader: [01:03:00] Right.
Jason Budd: [01:03:00] So that’s pretty important for sure.
Travis Bader: [01:03:02] Maybe we should take a look at doing a bit more work on the navigation courses that we’re putting together. And maybe we’ll come back and talk about those at a later time too, because you’re relaying some pretty cool stories about and some humorous ones as well about navigation issues with the British army. I think it went for an Africa there too.
Jason Budd: [01:03:22] Yeah.
Travis Bader: [01:03:23] Jason, thank you very much for taking the time to talk with me on the podcast.
Jason Budd: [01:03:28] No worries Trav, thanks.