May 25, 2021

Podcast Show Notes Ep. 49: Lessons Learned Under Fire

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Podcast Show Notes

Date: May 25 2021
Episode: 49
Title:  Lessons Learned Under Fire
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:

Travis Bader talks with his long time friend Jason Budd to discuss lessons learned while serving in the British Army.

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • Intro [00:00:00 – 00:02:21]
  • Gear, junior and senior brecon and infantry training centre catterick [00:02:21 – 00:09:03]
  • Deployment and expectation of career advancements, junior and senior Brecon [00:09:03 – 00:13:45]
  • Live fire tactical trainer, section commander, ego [00:13:45 – 00:24:08]
  • Senior Brecon fan dance [00:24:08 – 00:29:50]
  • Robbie Gilmour, training in Malawi Africa [00:29:50 – 00:39:34]
  • Time in Afghanistan and ambush with the Taliban [00:39:34 – 00:54:31]
  • Outro [00:54:31 – 00:57:48]

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Episode Transcript:

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. The community, if you’re a new to Silvercore, be sure to check out our website, www.Silvercore.ca where you can learn more about courses, services, and products that 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] This is the last week to get your name in, to win the firefighter training package with the training division in Texas. If you want to be a firefighter, or if you know someone who does this package is worth over $6,000 and it is absolutely free to enter, check out Silvercore.ca for full details. All right, I’m sitting down with Jason Budd, who is backed by popular demand from The Silvercore Podcast listeners. 

[00:01:11] Jason, you know, this, some of our listeners might not, but you know, we put the podcast in the audio format for people to listen to while they’re driving or doing whatever they can play in the background. But I also put a version on YouTube and you have the distinction of having our most viewed Silvercore Podcast with at current count. I think we’re about 23,000 views on the last episode we did. So congratulations, Jason. 

Jason Budd: [00:01:39] Well, you know, Trav, um, I was getting constant text messages. Every time we moved up a few thousand, I think you’re more excited than I was. 

Travis Bader: [00:01:49] Yeah. I was pretty excited. 

Jason Budd: [00:01:50] Yeah. 

Travis Bader: [00:01:50] I, I don’t know. Um, the feedback we’re getting on, it was fantastic too. I mean, people were listening through with a critical ear and I’m sure the subject matter probably somehow hit in YouTube a little bit because we’re talking about SAS selection and the, uh, the time in the british army. And, uh, talking about that afterwards, you had some other pretty cool stories. And then thank you very much for agreeing to come on back and, uh, and share some of these.

[00:02:21] One of the, um, questions that actually came up was about wearing your own footwear while doing selection. And some guy’s like, no, that’s BS. You can’t wear your own footwear while you’re doing selection. 

Jason Budd: [00:02:32] So yeah. You know, you you’ve talked about that one aspect of don’t anything I went on selection with was, um, I think the Bergen and, and my socks that were issued, right. 

Travis Bader: [00:02:42] That’s right. 

Jason Budd: [00:02:42] Maybe the water bottles, but one thing that I, stood out for me from the start with the British army was that we actually could purchase our own gear and a lot of aspects because a lot of the, the British equipment was robust and meant to last, which meant it was heavy, right? So a lot of times we could supplement that with our own day socks, um, our own altering our wedding or belt kit or alter even our Bergens and things like that.

[00:03:12] So, I mean, that was quite common within that I appreciated. Uh, with going, you know, within the British temporary, in my regimen, I know other regiments are more stricter than others, but it was very common for me in the Highlanders and then forced squats. A lot of what we bought, we could use in the field where I remember being, you know, like in, in the Canadian army where that wasn’t necessarily promoted.

Travis Bader: [00:03:38] A little bit different.

Jason Budd: [00:03:39] Yeah. A little bit different, you know, and you know, not, you know, I have friends PPCLI and people, you know, that’s the, uh, Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry. After I have friends in the RCR Royal Canadian Regiment, and those two regiments are completely different in from hearing the stories of what they were allowed to use, issued, non issued.

[00:03:58] And that brings up a, a point drive, um, that a lot of my friends and family from the last podcast that didn’t have the military environment so that we use too many acronyms. So we’re going to have to try and, and, and work around that. So when I say PPLI, I’m like, Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry.

Travis Bader: [00:04:15] Right. 

Jason Budd: [00:04:16] So I think we’ll just be mindful of that. 

Travis Bader: [00:04:18] As we work on through. 

Jason Budd: [00:04:19] Work on through it, yeah.  

Travis Bader: [00:04:20] Well, you know, off air here, we’re talking about a couple pretty cool stories and I think there’s a way we can segue into it. If we talk about senior Brecon, so you were on a platoon Sergeant battle course that’d be senior Brecon is that? 

Jason Budd: [00:04:37] Yeah, that’s correct. We talked about in the last podcast where I did my junior Brecon, which is this extra commanders battle course. And I also did senior Brecon, but it didn’t really get into it too much, but both of those courses are our career courses for the British entry. And you can specialize.

[00:05:00] You know, you can go to mortars, you can go to, uh, anti-tank snipers recky and they all have their section commander courses as well. But the gateway for promotion and advancement in the, in the infantry really is the rifle company junior Brecon, senior junior Brecon. 

Travis Bader: [00:05:18] Okay. 

Jason Budd: [00:05:19] It is streamlined for your career advancement.

Travis Bader: [00:05:21] Okay. 

Jason Budd: [00:05:22] And it’s actually the quicker way of going through it. So a lot of the guys that would go to the support companies, which is where the anti-tank and mortars are, the guys would come back into the rifle stream to do their career courses. 

Travis Bader: [00:05:36] Interesting. 

Jason Budd: [00:05:37] Back in, just like if you went to the DEP, I said, I went to the Depot, which is the recruit training school. ITC Catterick, infantry training’s Catterick, where that is, where all the British recruits for the infantry are trained, that is part of your career advancement, really? Because you need those external write-ups, um, reports on yourself. But in order to get there, you have to do junior Brecon. So if you  did section commander  course, and let’s say anti-tank, that won’t allow you to teach at the depot. 

Travis Bader: [00:06:08] Got it. 

Jason Budd: [00:06:08] Right. So it’s the same for us with senior Brecon. So I think it’s about 20 it’s 20 years old now, but there was a YouTube series called battle stripes. 

Travis Bader: [00:06:18] Okay. 

Jason Budd: [00:06:18] And it’s the old way or the old course for senior Brecon.

Travis Bader: [00:06:22] I’ve seen that one.

Jason Budd: [00:06:23] Yeah. So that, that was. A lot of that, that course was just like realistic and geared towards like survival, like surviving the course. Um, the emphasis definitely changed by the time I was rolling around juniors and senior Brecon where they were really trying to educate us and get that critical thinking involved, but still had the resilience and the robustness of the core principles of, of that, of that training. 

Travis Bader: [00:06:53] Right. Okay. 

Jason Budd: [00:06:54] So yeah, senior Brecon that’s based in Brecon obviously, we call it, I, infantry training center Brecon. And they run numerous elements of this career leadership aspect of the training. They run, as we talked about the section commanders battle course, and they also do the skill at arms course prior to that.

[00:07:13] So you do seven weeks of basically being able to teach every single weapon system in the British army. So the subject matter experts of that, and then they move onto their tactics phase, which is junior Brecon, believe it’s eight weeks. 

Travis Bader: [00:07:26] Okay. 

Jason Budd: [00:07:27] And then, then they go back to the battalions and they end up usually in the depots or wherever teaching. And then, um, usually after that that’s a two year posting the take to the depots. Then they’re going to do another, within the next two years, they usually end up going to senior Brecon. So about anywhere from two to four years after you can end up back down there. But what’s interesting, uh, which was new for me, in order to go on these courses, junior Brecon and senior Brecon yet to do a pre-course in your battalion.

Travis Bader: [00:07:59] Okay. 

Jason Budd: [00:07:59] And the pre-courses I fell in a lot of times were more demanding than the actual courses. So it’d be like two weeks, like for example, for junior Brecon you would be on this two week course, you’d be taught how to teach lessons. You’d be taught how to deliver orders at the section commander level and bumping one up to platoon Sergeant level. And, um, fitness, a lot of fitness. 

Travis Bader: [00:08:21] Sure. 

Jason Budd: [00:08:22] Being evaluated, and then you’re evaluated. So you could be on junior Brecon or the pre-course for juniors or seniors with maybe 20 other guys. And you might be competing for three spots. 

Travis Bader: [00:08:35] Okay. 

Jason Budd: [00:08:35] And it’s simply a matrix. They basically score everything and they have the recommendations of who the top candidates are. And then usually those are the ones that get picked to go down. So it’s a competition from that point on, in the battalion for your advancement to keep moving forward. Right. So you’re competing for those two to three spots each regiment has to go down there. 

Travis Bader: [00:08:58] Sounds fun actually.

Jason Budd: [00:09:00] It’s, actually can be stressful, Trav. So , you know, physically demanding, but what’s interesting was, um, I was actually deployed to Iraq with my battalion and a lot of times what happens is that when you’re on deployments, they still expect the career advancements to keep moving forward. So they’ll send guys back to going career courses. So I was up in Al Amarah which is the British sector of Iraq.

[00:09:31] There’s bazer al amarah and Al Amarah it’s kind of like the British sector of the Marines Fallujah. It’s kind of like where a lot of the fighting wise and a really intense place to be, but. Uh, a group of us, we had two companies up there, delta company, bravo company, elements of that. The senior section commanders were sent to Cyprus, the dura pre-course with the Royal Highland Fusiliers, which was based there.

[00:09:56] They were running it. They weren’t going to run one in, in Iraq, obviously kind of work. So there was a group of us that we were flowing out of Al Amarah down to Bazrah Bazrah to Cyprus. And then we did our two week pre-course with the Royal Highland Fusiliers. 

Travis Bader: [00:10:11] Okay. 

Jason Budd: [00:10:12] And Cyprus is interesting and editing phase it’s, it’s a lot of elevation gain where they train brockie, lot of, uh, prickly things, uh, pretty robust terrain to be training in, but I was successful on the pre-course and then I was selected to go down to senior Brecon. So, uh, the guys that weren’t successful, they went back to her and then the rest of us were that were, were sent down to do juniors and senior Brecon. 

Travis Bader: [00:10:39] Okay. 

Jason Budd: [00:10:39] So that’s how I ended up in senior Brecon. This time around I, when I did junior Brecon was, I just came out of Kosovo. So it was a winter tour. Uh, we did a lot of walking. Uh, the food was a lot better being on tour believe it or not then when, actually in battalion. Yeah, because, uh, the budget was higher and it had that kind of like a lot of natal set meals versus when I was, you know, back in the barracks, we weren’t knowing as you know, eating the best food. 

Travis Bader: [00:11:07] No, you guys weren’t, you don’t have a reputation.

Jason Budd: [00:11:09] We talked about that didn’t we. 

Travis Bader: [00:11:10] We do, we did. 

Jason Budd: [00:11:12] So that’s one thing I did suffer a lot on was, um, my fitness for junior Brecon. 

Travis Bader: [00:11:18] Okay. 

ason Budd: [00:11:18] The soldier aspect, wasn’t it. But we would be doing the two mile assessment, five mile assessment, eight mile assessment, three mile assessment. These are all with like 35 to 55 pound, um, gear at the end of each training cycle. Every Friday we’d have to do an assessments. You’re tired. You’d been up all night doing your drills or your, your patrols. 

Travis Bader: [00:11:39] Right. 

Jason Budd: [00:11:39] And then they expect you to do a two mile run with 35 pounds in 21 minutes, right. Through the training area, right. For example. So I did struggle on that aspect of it on junior Brecon but by the time I hit senior Brecon I had a different mindset. I had still had my SAS fitness. I also knew what was to expect. 

[00:12:04] So that’s one thing that I did do on junior Brecon a lot was Friday, Saturday nights. I’d always stay local with the guys and we’d party a lot, which doesn’t help your fitness.

Travis Bader: [00:12:16] It does not does it. 

Jason Budd: [00:12:18] Help your fitness at all Trav, right. As we know, and as you get older, it’s harder to process that, right. But on senior Brecon I would do all my homework. Would we be knocked off Friday afternoon? I would do all my homework, all my laundry, all my administration. There is a kebab shop in Brecon that is my favorite one in the entire UK. I’d get a kebab hit back to my barracks and I’d go to bed and in the morning I’d get up and I’d go run the SAS routes. Up in the beacons. 

Travis Bader: [00:12:47] Right. 

Jason Budd: [00:12:48] And that’d be, be knocked. I’d be, I’d say I’d be knocked off. I mean, I’d be done my training myself by, by noon and I would shower. And then my girlfriend at the time stayed in Tewkesbury, which is just down the road.

[00:13:02] So then I would pick her up, go for dinner, stay over, have Sunday dinner with her folks. And then I’d head back to Brecon Sunday afternoon. And I would be in bed 8:30, 9 o’clock, ready to go for the week’s activities. And compared to a lot of the guys, like the jocks or the Scots would drive all the way up to Scotland.

[00:13:22] So they’re rolling in at like midnight, Sunday night, trying to get things done. And then there, so I had a different, different approach this time around. So I was really enjoying, I didn’t really enjoy juniors as much, but I was really having a good time on senior Brecon at the time, right. So that’s why I think a lot of my, my, my approach was different paid dividends on the course. Um, the first part of it is called LFTT, live fire tactical trainer. 

Travis Bader: [00:13:50] Okay. 

Jason Budd: [00:13:50] Seven weeks long. And that has to do with, I mentioned the junior and they do the skill at arms course first seven weeks right. This course is geared towards planning, running and conducting live fire movement ranges, up to company level. And this is geared towards the platoon commanders. And the senior NCO’s you do know a lot of, we call them templates, and traces for, you know, where the we’re going to set your ranges up. And then there’s a lot of work to it. 

Travis Bader: [00:14:21] Yeah. 

Jason Budd: [00:14:22] I was glad it was done. And then moving into the tactics. So the tactics is where we call it senior Brecon and that’s eight weeks long and it’s taught by colour sergeants. 

Travis Bader: [00:14:35] Okay. 

Jason Budd: [00:14:36] So we call them colours. 

Travis Bader: [00:14:37] Yeah. 

Jason Budd: [00:14:37] So it’s not a derogatory term for people of colour. It’s basically a rank that that was a senior NCO that was there to protect. The colours are the flag. Right? Right. So we call them. So it’s a senior NCO, we call colour sergeants. So relating it to Canada, for example, would be a rank between their warrant and, and master warrant officer.

Travis Bader: [00:14:59] Okay. 

Jason Budd: [00:15:00] So Brent actually has a rank fork, right? And traditionally, those colour sergeants are either a CQ mess, company quartermaster Sergeant. So they look after the gear and the logistics of the company. But in the infantry as well, there are also the senior instructors, so they train junior Brecon senior Brecon platoon commanders course, and other courses like that.

[00:15:22] And it’s really important in your advancement that like I went to the depl as a section commander, I needed that external writeup. Two years. If I continue in the British army, I would have had to take, or should have taken, um, a two year as a colour sergeant instructor. And actually I was recommended to come back and work on the platoon commanders course.

Travis Bader: [00:15:43] Okay. 

Jason Budd: [00:15:44] Because I had a really good disposition of, um, working with the officers and.

Travis Bader: [00:15:48] People liked ya. You’re a likeable guy. 

Jason Budd: [00:15:50] Yeah. Likeable guy. So I think I had interest to go work and I think it’s really important to actually focus on our platoon commanders. Cause they’re actually the leaders of, of our platoons and I, as a sergeant, I took it upon myself that I had to mentor my platoon commander.

[00:16:07] I didn’t have to tell them what to do, my job was to mentor him and develop him. And I thought that was really important. But one thing that I had a hard time mentoring was that if I had an arrogant officer. 

Travis Bader: [00:16:18] Right.  

Jason Budd: [00:16:18] It was really hard to mentor and I’m just like, yeah. You know, carry on. And you let them fall on their face. But, but I, there are few and far between, like I had some phenomenal officer’s as platoon commanders, bosses, right in my time.

Travis Bader: [00:16:34] I guess the ego can kind of get away on some people. 

Jason Budd: [00:16:36] Yeah. 

Travis Bader: [00:16:37] At some point and then it’s, uh. 

Jason Budd: [00:16:39] I mean, we all have a bit of ego. 

Travis Bader: [00:16:41] Yeah. 

Jason Budd: [00:16:42] Right. I think as a section commander we’re expected how that ego, but platoon Sergeant definitely, you need to have that ego, but I think it’s, it’s, it’s healthy, but then it’s also important to be humble right. And maybe that ego is the confidence that we have in our professionalism and ability right. 

[00:17:01] And I’m not taking anything away from the non infantry, because they will judge us and just think, you know, the infantry is this and that. But we also had that chip on our shoulder that we were the infantry or the bayonet or the spear of, of the army right. So, um, and I was proud of that. Like I remember on senior year senior Brecon, we’re getting we’re on the parade square and we’re loading our packs up. 

[00:17:26] And honestly, by the time you had all your gear and your Bergens, probably 75 pounds to 80 pounds easily. Like I couldn’t pick it up Trav. I had to sit on the ground, put my bergen on, roll over to stand up and then walk to the truck. And then they have these all alarms skill at arms courses. So, you know how they had the infantry guys going on the skill of arms? Well, they have alarms, so the core guys were going to R do these courses so they can teach. 

[00:17:51] And I can remember this Sergeant, maybe he was, um, an engineer or maybe he was like, REME which is the role electronic mechanical engineers. And he was going by and he just stopped and we’re helping ourselves get up and he’s shaking his head and goes, guys, I don’t know how you do it. And I’m like, I don’t know how I do it either because we actually left that point and we did a 16 kilometre insertion tab. W which is a March. We, it tab is a tactical advanced battle. 

Travis Bader: [00:18:21] Right.

Jason Budd: [00:18:21] Across an impact area and impact areas where the artillery and mortars land and it’s grass and it’s wet. And we’re walking through this with 75, 80 pound packs on, right. 

Travis Bader: [00:18:32] Wow. 

Jason Budd: [00:18:33] You know, so that was kinda like, I’m a, I don’t know how I do it either. And you know that the. 

Travis Bader: [00:18:37] But you just do it. 

Jason Budd: [00:18:38] Well, the joke is, you know, now people are dealing with VAC, which is Veterans Affairs, Canada, or wherever, and they’re trying to relate maybe knee or ankle injury isn’t related to our service. And it’s like, the meme is showing like this infantry men with an 80 pound pack, right? 

Travis Bader: [00:18:54] Yeah. 

Jason Budd: [00:18:55] Yeah. 

Travis Bader: [00:18:55] Yeah. I think it’s going to have an effect somehow later on in the life, for sure. 

Jason Budd: [00:18:58] Sure. Yeah. Like I’m deaf as a doornail, right? As we know. 

Travis Bader: [00:19:03] Yeah, I cracked your audio here at the beginning.

Jason Budd: [00:19:05] Oh Trav, I got hearing aids. Oh, sorry mate. Yeah, I think we were talking about ego and I think just to summarize that, I mean, part of it is, is healthy, but I think within moderation to be that humble, quiet professional, I think goes a long way for, for me in how I respond and responding to others right. 

Travis Bader: [00:19:27] Yeah. And learning as well.

Jason Budd: [00:19:29] Yeah. Yeah. I do think it’s important though, to have, you know, like the section commanders and platoon sergeants to have the confidence. So I think a lot of people mistake ego for confidence. And I think maybe that’s the connection we’re missing is that you’re confident in your ability and your skills and, and, uh, your trade and, and your leadership. And I think that’s important. And a lot of times that can get mixed up with ego. So I think maybe that’s you know. 

Travis Bader: [00:19:59] That’s a good perspective. And I guess confidence to the point of not accepting any other options or outside opinions or reasonable persuasion, that’s probably when it turns into ego. 

Jason Budd: [00:20:10] You know, for sure Trav, and we can, we’ve seen that a lot and we’ve talked about a lot of that, what we’ve seen on social media and people with their experiences. But, um, you know, it, it, this, this isn’t new and for me, and this actually came to light, like when I did come back to Canada, I, I, I was applying for the RCMP. And I was applying in the fire service and people say, you know, with the RCMP is like, why are you going to the fire servers was the number one part of my resettlement training.

[00:20:39] They actually covered a lot of the training costs. So I did that, but I remember the RCMP saying like, why are you in the fireproof test? And I said, well, I need a career when I come back, what happens if you do for me, then I need to keep moving forward. And he’s like, Oh yeah, that’s a fair one. But that did come up.

[00:20:55] Like I had, like a lot of my confidential reports were really, um, positive and, and, and showed me after boots that I achieved. A lot of my references indicated, you know, great leadership and skills. And, but they kind of looked at that with ego. 

Travis Bader: [00:21:12] Right. 

Jason Budd: [00:21:12] And I had to explain to some of my references is to say, well, it’s very confident in his ability and skills is different than ego, but I don’t think they could relate that. So it was hard. It was a hard sell. 

Travis Bader: [00:21:23] Well, it’s a different background too, and this is a different skill set. And so when he, when he comes across, when somebody looks at that, um, I guess in some ways, and I’m not saying that people looking at that we’re a number two person, but a number two person can look at a number one person and be intimidated and attribute confidence to ego.

Jason Budd: [00:21:44] I know where you’re going with this Trav, eh. You’re talking about the recruiting teams. I get it. Yeah. Let me, well. 

Travis Bader: [00:21:52] I’ll tread lightly on that one. 

Jason Budd: [00:21:53] You know, Trav, um, and I agree. You know, they, they look for like-minded people and then long story short, I, they deferred me for a year and they said, we’re going to defer you because we think you need more time to adjust coming back. And, um, you know, we find maybe your approaches to military right now. 

[00:22:08] And then the next phone call was Vancouver fire hire, hiring me. So, um, and I, I’m very thankful. I believe our journeys are the way they, they go. Um, when our, when the RCMP team reached out to me in a year, instead of I still just go to the Depot, I said, no, thank you.

[00:22:24] I found a good career choice for me, which actually allowed me to move into the outdoor field, which I love so much and therapy and work toward being a mountain guide and maybe looking at some adventure therapy programs down the road. 

Travis Bader: [00:22:39] That’d be fantastic. 

Jason Budd: [00:22:40] I had, I had a, um, I thought the other day of all things Trav I was making a I tikka masala, homemade naan bread, nice salad, making some cheesecake, a little bit of toppings and whipped cream. And I’m like, man, one of the best things a fire service taught me was how to cook. And I go, had I gone to the RCMP I probably be making craft dinner right now. 

Travis Bader: [00:23:03] That’s right, peanut butter and jelly, craft dinner. 

Jason Budd: [00:23:05] I don’t know, maybe not. 

Travis Bader: [00:23:06] Maybe not. 

Jason Budd: [00:23:06] But I was just like, I mean, that’s something that I, you know, even in Afghanistan, I, I will put up one of the pictures was that, you know, we were on hard rations for seven, eight months. I can, after a month I couldn’t do it. So we were buying potatoes, onions, and the locals oil, we’re making fries. We were buying flour, making pancakes. We were doing anything we could to supplement our, our food. And they’re out. There’s one picture of me cooking, like spam onions and potatoes over a mess tin. 

Travis Bader: [00:23:34] Hey, spams not bad. I was diehard against spam until I went to Hawaii and they have a spam musubi as they call them. And it’s actually pretty good. They do, they deep fry it up in the sauce and put rice, but that’s a little bit off topic.

Jason Budd: [00:23:49] Well, I mean, I mean the Brits have their corn beef and hash, which was horrible. Well, that reminds me of cat food. Not that I know cat food tastes like Trav, but it was, because that’s why we were supplemented our meals. You know, but yeah. So coming back to senior Brecon the tactics phase is seven weeks long.

Travis Bader: [00:24:07] Yeah. 

Jason Budd: [00:24:08] And because I was in that training cycle, I was in, we have to do a, we call it so that we have the SAS special air service to British special forces fan dance, which is that 24 kilometre over the Brecon beacons down the Roman road, back over, you have four hours to do it. Well, there’s also a senior Brecon fan dance.

[00:24:29] And it’s around the same distance, slightly different route. And that was a very important assessment for people. And simply it’s also an assessment in physical, a bit ability, but you also, for the potential leaders to be in a leadership role. And I remember one of the colour sergeants from my regiment, Tony Raulson, big shout out to Tony Ralston.

[00:24:51] So late entry major Nell’s done really well, but he was one of my first platoon sergeants and mentors in Highlanders. He was our colour Sergeant down there. Not my personally, but he was in my, my company, senior guy, and he said, Jason, you got to get in a leadership role. And as luck would have it, I was in leadership role.

[00:25:08] I ended up being 51 mortar men, number two. So I had a satchel, the mortar satchel I’m like, how am I going to excel here really hard because they’d have the platoon commander appointment, platoon Sergeant appointment, the, uh, section matter appointments to ices. I’m not in leadership. Well, I’m just getting assessed on my fitness and I think the weights at 55 pounds.

Travis Bader: [00:25:28] Okay. 

Jason Budd: [00:25:28] We’ve ordered gear for this and we set off and I, and I’m the platoon commander. What’s interesting about seniors is that even though it’s for the infantry, within the British army, the SF go on it as well. So there’ll be guys from the SAS on it, Pathfinders on it. So the platoon commander was allowed from Hereford, one of the SAS slots.

[00:25:49] And, um, he had a guy assigned to him as the platoon signaller. So he had his 55 pounds plus the platoon radio does every radio that he’s got and within 500 meters of setting off this platoon signaller drops. 

Travis Bader: [00:26:04] Okay. 

Jason Budd: [00:26:05] Uh, he just couldn’t do it. 

Travis Bader: [00:26:06] Yeah. 

Jason Budd: [00:26:07] So I run over and I grabbed the radio and I throw it on my pack. I’m like I got it. So I still have my 51 kit, the mortar kit, and I’ve got the radio and I’m on with, with the platoon commander SAS slot. And off we go and I just stay with him and we start climbing the fence. He had an up there and numerous times I had guys, Hey, Jason, I can get the radio. No, I got it, I got it, I got it. 

[00:26:31] I just stayed on the radio, stayed with me and I just stayed up with platoon commander and we both knew could, we’d been up there so much. We know the routes and we’re just leading both him and I are navigating the platoon through the checkpoints. And then about halfway through you end up having to go up this three kilometre, like you’ve come down the penny fan.

Travis Bader: [00:26:51] Yeah. 

Jason Budd: [00:26:52] You crossed over and I don’t know the name of it, but it’s like three to four kilometres straight uphill. And they introduce the staff, introduce a stretcher. I believe the stretcher is 300 pounds. 

Travis Bader: [00:27:02] Okay. 

Jason Budd: [00:27:02] So it’s a stretcher with tank tread on it, tank track to get 300 pounds. So that’s part of it. Now you need to get, the platoon needs to get this 300 pound plus all the other gear up this, right.

Travis Bader: [00:27:14] Yeah. 

Jason Budd: [00:27:14] And, um, we also had some other platoon weapons. We had, uh, uh, the general purpose machine gun in Canada the C6, UK GPMG. We also had the light machine gun weapons. So in UK it’s a minimi, Canada  it’s a C9. The 51’s  in there. So the platoon gets a stretcher and the platoon commander goes to music, Jason, don’t get on the stretcher, you got the radio. 

[00:27:39] I’m like, okay. So that’s fair because I’ve had the radio the whole time. And as the platoon starts, moving up, guys are dropping off and the colour sergeants yelling, no weapon systems get left behind. They move forward with the stretcher. So I looked back, one of the section commanders has two rifles and somebody has a the the, minimi or C9, extra now. Because there’s guys fall back, they can’t keep up the weapons. 

[00:28:05] You got to keep coming forward. So I started taking, like, I took a C a C9 or minimi off one of the section commanders. I took a rifle, I think ended up with the 51. So I had, uh, I had a minimi, my rifle, another rifle and the 51.

Travis Bader: [00:28:18] Yeah. 

Jason Budd: [00:28:18] And I’m doing this job because I had still had this SAS fitness and I’m, and I’m training on the, on the, on my weekends for it. And now I’m actually like, uh, well, we can’t use his name and you’ll be, you’ll beep that out eh. 

Travis Bader: [00:28:30] Yeah. I’ll beep it out. 

Jason Budd: [00:28:32] So, so the platoon commander he jumps on, right. And now I’m actually leading the platoon up and there’s one of these, one of the, the, the lead colour Sergeant in my platoon was from one para and he yells up and he’s like, Budd! And I go, yes, colour.

[00:28:47] He goes, do you want any more gear? I go, I’m good colour. Right. So I go up, I lead us up and we, when we level off, we can see the checkpoint and it’s about 500 metres away. And the boss platoon commander, it goes, Jase, go check us in. So we’ll just roll through. So I ran, still got all the gear, I ran, checked us in, got us a signed in to that checkpoint, got the new grid.

[00:29:12] We were going, gave it to the boss and off we went and we finished it. So I actually got, they get a grade for it. I got it. They usually, they don’t grade, like as an appointment, they don’t grade you, they just grade you on your fitness. 

Travis Bader: [00:29:28] Sure. 

Jason Budd: [00:29:29] But I got a grade, an A grade. 

Travis Bader: [00:29:32] Okay. 

Jason Budd: [00:29:32] We’re doing the fan dance, which is rare. Usually they just say pass or fail. If you weren’t in a platoon commander, platoon Sergeant role and ended up getting an A grade. So that was a rarity. I got an A grade for my fitness and leadership. 

Travis Bader: [00:29:44] Sure. 

Jason Budd: [00:29:44] Within that. So that was on the senior fan. So pretty emotional, but. 

Travis Bader: [00:29:50] Yeah, it’d be a heck of a lot of work. The, you know, we were talking about the training that you did in senior Brecon and how regimented it was and how proper it was and the advice that you got from Robbie Gilmour.

Jason Budd: [00:30:05] Yeah. So I guess leading into this Trav was that all the ranges in the UK were booked because at the time when I was on seniors, I believe 2007, January. So they run courses three times a year, January, March, and then July or something, right. So I, luck would have it here. I am again, in January on whales, right? 

Travis Bader: [00:30:30] Yeah. 

Jason Budd: [00:30:30] Um, but all the ranges are booked because UK is in Iraq and Afghanistan. So that takes priority. So what was happening was, there were taking the final exercise of seniors in the platoon commanders battle course and taking us to either Malawi or Kenya.

Travis Bader: [00:30:46] Okay. 

Jason Budd: [00:30:47] So our final exercise is four weeks long in the bush, so it’s kind of cool. Considering you could go to Brecon or you end  up in Malawi, Africa. 

Travis Bader: [00:30:55] Yeah. 

Jason Budd: [00:30:56] So prior to us going to Malawi Africa, they brought in a subject matter expert. The company commander did. 

Travis Bader: [00:31:02] Right. 

Jason Budd: [00:31:03] And when I say, when we talk about the orbat which is the organization, how it’s structured, there’d be three platoons in senior Brecon and a three, three platoons would have roughly about 30 guys each. So there’s 90 of us and the staff in this auditorium. And as I, they didn’t tell us who the guest speaker was. So as I walk in, I, you know, visualize, check everything out and I see that there is this civilian gentlemen sitting there and he’s older, maybe not at, you know, the fittest he could be. 

Travis Bader: [00:31:34] Not the prime of his life. 

Jason Budd: [00:31:35] The prime of his life. And I’m just sitting there going. Man, like what is this guy going to teach us? Who is this guy, right? And when the company commander stood up to introduce him and introduced him as Peter McAleese, and he wrote the book, No Mean Soldier. 

Travis Bader: [00:31:52] I’ve got that book, yeah. 

Jason Budd: [00:31:53] And it’s interesting book for the guys to read. And a quick summary of, of Peter was that he joined the British Parachute Regiment, British SAS, and then he went to Zimbabwe, which used to be Rhodesia and he fought, I believe in the Rhodesian SAS and he wrote a book about his time and he ended up in after the war ended, ended up in the South African forces and then out and about, and I believe he was involved in that movie that came out about taking down Escobar.

[00:32:22] Right. He was at a bad Delaware crash and not to divert from that, but I was like, wow, I read his book and this is Peter. So this is going to be great. To learn from this, right. 

Travis Bader: [00:32:33] Totally. 

Jason Budd: [00:32:34] And you mentioned Robbie Gilmour and Robbie Gilmour was a Canadian soldier that went and volunteered and joined the Rhodesian forces as well and Peter was his platoon Sergeant and there’s a book or in his book, there is Robbie Gilmour standing there doing paperwork after an attack. And I’m like, that’s Robbie Gilmour. 

[00:32:54] So as a young guy, I was 17 years old on my basic training here, robbie was my platoon warrant on basic training. And I remember him telling the platoon that when you do this for real, this platoon or bot or organized it’ll fall apart, and it’s not going to matter one section, two section, three section, it’s going to be you group, do this, you group do that. And this needs to happen now. 

[00:33:20] And that stuck with me as a young 17 year old wide-eyed listening to Robbie Gilmour. So bringing it back to senior Brecon. Peter did his presentation talked about some of the bush fighting he did, and the bush tactics, he really focused on that element, not anything else that he did after right. Um, but at the end of his presentation, all the colour sergeants were surrounded him.

Travis Bader: [00:33:44] Right. 

Jason Budd: [00:33:45] And chatting. So I kinda like started to sneak between them. 

Travis Bader: [00:33:50] Yeah. 

Jason Budd: [00:33:50] Right. And I could see Peter looking at me and the colour sergeants are looking at me like, okay, what’s this guy doing? And I just said, Hey, sir. Uh, my name is Jason Budd  and I’m from Canada and Robbie Gilmour was my old platoon warrant, our Simba, my regiment, and his eyes lit up and the connection. And he was like, Oh, like the connection was really phenomenal to have that. 

[00:34:16] And he’s like, how’s Robbie doing? I said, well, you heard he’s doing this. And I heard he’s doing that, doing well. He’s all. That’s great, great, can you pass on my regards? Small world. Another shout out to Mark Lundy from the Seaforth year. And Mark got a message to Robbie said, Hey, Jason just met Peter at a presentation prior going to Malawi. And you know, it was very, and Robbie said that it’s very small world. 

Travis Bader: [00:34:41] Totally is.

Jason Budd: [00:34:42] Yeah. 

Travis Bader: [00:34:42] Small world. When you push yourself hard and you start working your way up, the food chain, the number of people that you can look side to side, your peers will definitely start to, to narrow down. So, um, th these are some, some bigger names in the world of professional soldiering. That’s for sure. 

Jason Budd: [00:35:01] Yeah, for sure. Yeah. So Malawi, so two, three days prior to going to Malawi, we were still doing our range training. And it would be, it was snowing, sleet, wet. We’re doing a tac range and I’m in a river and freezing. And then three days later, we are in Malawi, Africa, 55 above and raining. 12 hours to climatize and the hanger, catch up, sleep and you’re out.

[00:35:31] But it’s interesting. Before we went out, the Sergeant major said, guys, I’ve put a barrel of DEET in the, in your laundry room so go dip your combats in. You go  over to Malawi. 

Travis Bader: [00:35:43] Yeah. 

Jason Budd: [00:35:44] So I do it. And as I walk in, my eyes are burning from this DEET and I dip it in and I’m like, this can’t be good. And I started doing research on DEET,  agent orange and all this stuff from Vietnam. So I washed my combats about four times. 

Travis Bader: [00:35:59] After that? 

Jason Budd: [00:35:59] After that. Where a lot of guys just took it out, dried it. They were dipping it in barrels Trav, right. 

Travis Bader: [00:36:04] DEET works awesome. Don’t get near plastic, it’ll melt your plastic. 

Jason Budd: [00:36:07] Oh, I know,  I had a watch. 

Travis Bader: [00:36:09] Oh did you? 

Jason Budd: [00:36:09] Back in the day melt to my hand, right. Plastic watch, the vacuum, the old Timex. Yeah, melted to my hand. Woke up, but the DEET on my hand, yeah. So I washed that out and they also put us on Laurium. 

Travis Bader: [00:36:21] Oh, really? 

Jason Budd: [00:36:21] Yeah. And it didn’t work for me, like put us on about two weeks prior to going. It did not work for me at all. 

Travis Bader: [00:36:28] Yeah. 

Jason Budd: [00:36:28] I was like the guy I’d be standing on my cot or in my bunk, in Brecon at 2:00 AM thinking I’m swat, bad dreams, swatting at birds in the room and stuff. And I just think, but he did. So I had to go off that. I went on this other, this other meds. We can probably talk about that at another story. It’s great. The meds they put me on is quite funny. 

Travis Bader: [00:36:47] Yeah. 

Jason Budd: [00:36:48] But yeah. So then we, we ended up in Malawi and the final exercise is four weeks. Two weeks blank fire.

Travis Bader: [00:36:55] Okay. 

Jason Budd: [00:36:56] Training and then two weeks live fire training. So it’s pretty intensive final exercise. And we’re mostly working in our, in our platoons during patrols and attacks and deliver patrols, fighting patrols. And then at the live fire, we start coming together more as a company and doing more or company level attacks and everything.

[00:37:17] Um, But I remember like one of the first few nights being in our harbour. And I think we talked about, we haven’t done that podcast yet. We talked about, about the, uh, the lion circling the harbour at night, and there’d be like one rifle. One of the colour sergeants would have one rifle with live rounds and that would be it, in our group of 30, right. For example. But the, we had a pair of flares. On the century positions the fire at the lines if they got too close, but they’re literally circling, circling our harbour. 

Travis Bader: [00:37:47] Just waiting eh. 

Jason Budd: [00:37:50] But yeah, we had lions and tasty  and all types of things going on in, in Malawi. Um, one of the things that that really stood out for me was prior to this, you know, train in the UK were very natal orders and natal broke breakdown over platoons, but in, in Malawi, for example, when it’s 55 above and raining, that promotes the grass growing and the grass is like six feet high. 

[00:38:20] So it had these open areas called gambles and the gamble would be anywhere from one to 200 meters wide, depending, even more. And then you have the forest blocks. So you might be tasked to clear the gambles, but you’re not actually allowed to set foot in the gambles.

Travis Bader: [00:38:34] Okay. 

Jason Budd: [00:38:34] So you have to, or about your platoon so that. It’s on either side of the gambles. So now traditionally we had the, we call it orbat that’s the organizing your platoon, you know, in a platoon would have the boss or the platoon commander with his group. Three rifle sections of eight guys, the section commander and a platoon sergeants group.

[00:38:53] And that was like the standard natal format, but that didn’t necessarily work in Malawi because you needed to clear both sides of the gamble. So we would experiment with like, maybe you have the platoon commanders group two sections on the right between Sergeant group of one section on the left. And you’re, you’re working on far supporting each other, but you’d be expected to clear the gamble without setting foot in it. You clearing the woods beside it. And if you ever crossed, you’d fail your appointment.

Travis Bader: [00:39:20] Auto-fail. 

Jason Budd: [00:39:21] Yeah, you’d be automatically you failed it. So that was really good. That was a really good teaching point for me was that yeah, you follow the natal format, but be flexible the way you organize your, your group. 

[00:39:34] And this really became apparent for me in Afghanistan. Um,  because I mentioned in the last podcast that I went out and was attached a Zulu company for five commander as a continuity NCO.  NCO, non-commissioned officer. Basically the, the British have a really good system where they put the incoming organization. They send some of the NCO’s and officers to be on the ground and be as continuity, the handover. So I think I mentioned, like I had to learn the new 338 to teach our sniper debts. 

Travis Bader: [00:40:07] Right. 

Jason Budd: [00:40:07] And then just learn the ground. And, um, so I had already been on the ground and by the time my platoon came down, uh, this was going to be one of their first operations.

Travis Bader: [00:40:22] Okay. 

Jason Budd: [00:40:22] For them to go out this night into an ambush. And the area we ran was called  garmazeer and there was, um, very static, robust. Um, it was the furthest, uh, I believe it was south that we could go to the Pakistan border and they had that one hour golden hour for the flight. So we weren’t, it was basically the British weren’t allowed to advance anymore because it’d be more than that one hour. So it was really dug in. 

Travis Bader: [00:40:44] Right. 

Jason Budd: [00:40:45] And the Taliban would use this area as a training area. 

Travis Bader: [00:40:49] Sure. 

Jason Budd: [00:40:49] They were coming across from Pakistan and then they would train it 10 days and they just bypasses in the desert. They bypass it down, but we had this like, four kilometre frontage. And there was a melman one side called JTAC Hill and the Hellman river running that side and then there was a canal on the left side, the four kilometres, there’s an old russian bunk house. 

Travis Bader: [00:41:11] Okay. 

Jason Budd: [00:41:12] And, um, we are basically beefed it up. The engineers built it up to be a fighting fortification. So how we did our structure down in here as a company level, a platoon would man JTAC Hill and balaclava checkpoint we called this area. And half the platoon would go to one and the other half do the other. So platoon Sergeant would go one and boss would take the other one. And I always ended up in balaclava checkpoint, which is fine. 

[00:41:38] Travis Bader: [00:41:38] Sure. 

Jason Budd: [00:41:39] And we’d be there for seven days cycle, in a rotation. But what was happening was in the mornings, the Taliban would always come in and I call it an ambush, but they would do a shoot on balaclava every morning.

Travis Bader: [00:41:50] Sure. 

Jason Budd: [00:41:51] So the company commander wanted to counter ambush this. So this is going to be one of the first big operation for this company, new company. Like I said, I’ve already been on down six weeks or as it was, so I’m pretty familiar with it. This was going to be one of the first operations for the company. And my platoon was a little later arriving too. So this is that this is their first thing. 

[00:42:12] So what was supposed to happen was w w one of the platoons was going to man, the checkpoints. Another platoon was going to actually man, the primary ambush site, to ambush the Taliban. 

Travis Bader: [00:42:24] Right. 

Jason Budd: [00:42:25] That tries to ambush us. 

Travis Bader: [00:42:26] Yeah. 

Jason Budd: [00:42:28] My platoon job was the cross the canal, which actually was, um, the, our field engineers were going to put an empty footbridge in with our help. We’re going to put this empty footbridge, cross the canal, and then. The ambush group would go to theirs. And, uh, we talked about JTAC Hill was a mound that the British made from one of the first Anglo Afghan Wars. 

Travis Bader: [00:42:52] Right. 

Jason Budd: [00:42:53] 150 years ago. 

Travis Bader: [00:42:54] Right. 

Jason Budd: [00:42:54] And it’s probably a hundred meters high. Well, they made a bunch of these mounds and there was a couple other mounds. Now on the other side of the canal, one was 300 meters away called little brother. 

Travis Bader: [00:43:05] Okay. 

Jason Budd: [00:43:06] And then there was another one that was pretty big, probably as big as  JTAC Hill. That was a hundred meters high, I think hundred meters high camp. It was a big mound called Taliban Hill. 

Travis Bader: [00:43:16] Okay. 

Jason Budd: [00:43:17] We call it Taliban Hill. Our job was to go to little brother and protect the ambush site, that was our job. So we had, I believe three rifle sections. We had a right, uh, fire support section. So we had attachments from, you know, we had a couple of machine guns, snipers, anti-tank, all attached to this. And I had my group platoon sergeants group.

[00:43:45] I believe I had the 51 mortar. And, uh, um, I had a foldable stretcher that had one of the big guys carry in my group. So we would be doing the resupply and casualty evacuation if we needed it. And the platoon commander had, I believe he had a, um, some attachments. You had a couple engineers, uh, platoon signaller. So we have this big group, Trav. 

Travis Bader: [00:44:09] Sure. 

Jason Budd: [00:44:09] Right. And then the platoon commander sets off leading us out. So imagine now I’m going to be bringing up the rear. I’m doing the release point and it’s nighttime too. I didn’t, I don’t know if I mentioned that. 

Travis Bader: [00:44:21] Nah, I was gonna ask. 

Jason Budd: [00:44:22] 11 o’clock midnight, right? Night vision. 

Travis Bader: [00:44:25] And this is when Taliban . Want to advance as well too, is nighttime.

Jason Budd: [00:44:28] No, they, they’ll probably coming in first light-ish. 

Travis Bader: [00:44:31] Okay. 

Jason Budd: [00:44:32] Four. 

Travis Bader: [00:44:32] Okay. 

Jason Budd: [00:44:33] Right. We just need to be in position before four. That’s the goal, right? 4AM. They didn’t, they didn’t really move. They like to move around too much at night. 

Travis Bader: [00:44:39] Okay. 

Jason Budd: [00:44:40] Without the night vision of thing, we did, a lot of, most of our patrols were done a night for us. They have us the advantage, right. They did a lot of their action, it was during the day I found our first light, first light, last light during the day. And then the hunker down during the night. 

Travis Bader: [00:44:54] Just like hunting, animals. We’re all animals I tell you ya. 

Jason Budd: [00:44:58] So as I’m setting off Trav, I’m, I’m looking right. And I’m like, Oh, there his little brother and we’re not going there. Oh, I see the platoon heading off the Taliban Hill, which is a kilometre away. 

Travis Bader: [00:45:13] Oh no. 

Jason Budd: [00:45:14] And I’m like, Oh, and by this time, like I radioed up to the boss and. And we just kind of adapt the plan and we’re going to the Taliban Hill. So we’re a kilometre away. 

Travis Bader: [00:45:26] New plan.

Jason Budd: [00:45:27] Yeah. It’s like, it’s kind of like, um, I think it’s, uh, I think it was hamburger Hill that line, like you’re in the wrong ambush site or maybe platoon, but that was in my mind, like we’re in the wrong ambush site right. Um, but so off they went and the engineers were there to clear up because I know the Taliban in the past had put anti-personnel mines in the top.

[00:45:48] And some of the Royal Marines got caught in that. And so engineers go up the clear it and our guys go up. So I’m down in the bottom and I’m securing at the base of it. We call . It the FRV or, uh, it’s like a release point. 

Travis Bader: [00:46:02] Okay. 

Jason Budd: [00:46:02] So this is the rally point that everybody they’re going to come back to it. So I need to secure that and our guys go up for them for the night. Sure enough, 4:00 AM, our guys, cause you  have 110 guys. We bring them with us because they have the, um, the javelin site, which is thermal imaging. So they can actually see the Taliban moving so we can see them moving into the ambush well before the actual ambush site, but they’re coming from a different, I believe they were coming from a different area.

[00:46:30] And um, we got told to spring our ambush on the Taliban. So we did, and this happened around. You know, first-light are just still dark right there. Just kind of moving. And traditionally, when you spring an ambush, you withdraw. 

Travis Bader: [00:46:45] Okay. 

Jason Budd: [00:46:45] But we didn’t get the order to withdraw. So we held in position, I think for another hour, I think, I think what was happening, where we were just, we were trying to feel out what was going on and maybe we can draw  more Taliban in, right. 

Travis Bader: [00:47:00] Right. 

Jason Budd: [00:47:01] So by the time we got the order to withdraw, I think it’s like 6:00 AM now. Have we been here a long time. And, uh, and just prior to the order though, like I could tell things were, were getting really tense, right. And then I had one of my, um, one of the 51 mortar men, and then one of the stretcher dudes, um, doing rear security said, Jace, Jace, there’s a couple of dudes here.

[00:47:27] And I go, what? He goes a couple dudes here and I, I look back, I basically, the grass, this field is shoulder height and rolled down. I stand up and I look and there’s, I like to, I hope they’re farmers Trav, I don’t know. 

Travis Bader: [00:47:41] Sure. 

Jason Budd: [00:47:42] But there are 50 metres, less than 50 metres away. And we both look at each other and it was like, like, you know, like. 

Travis Bader: [00:47:49] Like deer in headlights. 

Jason Budd: [00:47:50] Deer in the headlights, both ways. And it was like, if they had anything that resembled a weapon. It would have been like.

Travis Bader: [00:47:56] Over. 

Jason Budd: [00:47:56] Go, but I just thought no farmers and we both get down. And I think the farm, I think they were just nosy. What was going on? Maybe they’re a recon party, I don’t know. They didn’t have any weapons, but if they had anything, I would have been like. 

Travis Bader: [00:48:09] Yeah. 

Jason Budd: [00:48:09] Go time for us, right. But so now the order comes through withdrawal and, um, And the platoon starts coming down. But prior to this, the platoon commander is like, Sergeant Budd, I need you to, uh, plan a withdrawal route that doesn’t go the way we came, for obvious reasons, right. And I’m like, I, sir, 400 metre  run across the open field, get in the canal and we go down the canal bank, he say, yeah, yeah.

[00:48:37] So I remember one of the snipers being one of the last off, and he’s like, they’re coming. And the next thing I know RPGs are lending indirect around us and, and, and they fired the RPGs indirect fire. 

Travis Bader: [00:48:52] Right. 

Jason Budd: [00:48:53] Like in the air and creating a beaten zone, I guess. And they actually, far as I know, occupied a little brother, which we should have been at. 

Travis Bader: [00:49:00] Where you guys were supposed to be, yeah. 

Jason Budd: [00:49:03] So let’s just start moving right. The platoon commander already has half, I believe he had himself and maybe half the platoon with him in the open field, moving to the canal, we’re just going like on, on a straight angle to it. And then I believe they opened fire or small arms fire peak campfire seven 60 fire now is firing at us in the open.

[00:49:23] I still have half the platoon with me in FRV. And the boss had the other half platoon with him now. They actually made it through the open field and then the other they’re there across now. And there, there was this like a, a four foot retaining wall at the canal and they’re, they’re putting a, uh, fire support base in and like, Platoon separated dome.

Travis Bader: [00:49:47] Totally. 

Jason Budd: [00:49:48] And I know that like from our training that the Taliban can, can flank within 10 minutes. I’m like, we gotta move. We gotta get out of here. We gotta move, move, move at, bear in mind. This is my platoon first movement. And I’m throw like, all right, guys, we’re gonna peel. Let’s just start doing a big peel, fire  maneuvering. And I don’t know if they can hear me, but nobody’s moving. And I’m like, okay. Aye. Y’all everybody throw smoke and nothing’s happening. 

Travis Bader: [00:50:13] Oh man. 

Jason Budd: [00:50:14] But I think we’re spaced out and everywhere. 

Travis Bader: [00:50:16] Sure. 

Jason Budd: [00:50:16] And then, um, I’m like, you know what, Jay, if you get up and run. This is my mind. They’re all gonna follow you. So I did, I got up and I started doing the 400 metre run across this open field.

Travis Bader: [00:50:29] Yeah. 

Jason Budd: [00:50:30] And I, I can, I can hear the rounds singing. And there was a section that was pink, like that was out in the open there ahead of me and Trav, I was moving so fast. I passed them and I have the platoon Sergeant radio. Like I motored past this section and it was just like, nothing, no work. And I’m like, they’ll follow me right. 

[00:50:46] We had a good fire support base coming in from the wall. And I remember the like rounds hitting the wall as we dive over the wall and, and right below where the guys are firing back right. And, um. 

Travis Bader: [00:51:01] Geez. 

Jason Budd: [00:51:01] Would you believe Trav, not a single guy got hit. Everybody got over the wall got in, but the entire platoon now is mixed up.

Travis Bader: [00:51:10] Right. 

Jason Budd: [00:51:10] And they’re firing back. They’re firing back little brother. So now we have like that everything’s gone. And the platoon commander is trying to get a fire mission, but which if our mission would be from the desert in, we had 105 guns in the desert artillery support. But, um, he, and no fault of his own, but he was giving the wrong coordinates because he meant he was mixing up little brother and Taliban Hill right. 

Travis Bader: [00:51:37] Got it. Yeah. 

Jason Budd: [00:51:38] So he wasn’t getting the fire mission. I’m like, boss, we’re going to move. We gotta move. We gotta move. And he’s wants to get this fire mission, which is, which is fair, let’s suppress. But I’m like, my concept is they’re going to get in the canal  on flait us and we got to go. 

Travis Bader: [00:51:49] Right. 

Jason Budd: [00:51:50] So I like the platoons . Go on and in terms of the orbat and it was basically you group here, fire support, your group are going to move. You’re gonna move first, move now. Right. And next group, you’re next to move. And I just grabbed the boss and I put them in a group and we just started doing this big fire maneuvering down this canal for probably a good kilometre, the boys nicknamed it and the Mogadishu mile right.  

[00:52:18] So well, it was interesting as well Trav, was that the Afghan police have a checkpoint in the ma in the middle of the town and they have a sanger built on the top of their building and they’re probably 600, 700 metres away in the town. So lesson learning here is that we should have had maybe an element there to control them.

[00:52:40] So they started firing at us as well. Oh man, from that, they don’t know what they’re firing at and they have iron sights and, you know, they’re just firing. So we didn’t know we’re actually getting where we’re taking fire from, but we were taking fire from both sides, the Afghan police and, and, uh, the Taliban in there.

[00:52:58] And we did this, uh, this basically fighting withdrawal down this, down this canal. And I kind of be the platoon Sergeant I called the regroup is where we get everybody back together about a hundred metres short of the company that was holding the empty footbridge, right. Cause I didn’t want to come in there looking like a big rabble. So I did an, I did a regroup, uh, you know, not really a reorg, but a quick regroup. 

Travis Bader: [00:53:24] Right. 

Jason Budd: [00:53:25] We got everybody back now into our one section two, section three, section boss platoon sergeants group. And I had the boss go first and lead it in. And then the concept was we look pretty professional coming through. I didn’t want this big, this big Mogadishu mile coming through the company checkpoint, right. 

Travis Bader: [00:53:42] A good team player as well. 

Jason Budd: [00:53:43] And then, you know, handed it back. 

Travis Bader: [00:53:45] Sure. 

Jason Budd: [00:53:45] And off we go across right? 

Travis Bader: [00:53:47] Yeah. 

Jason Budd: [00:53:47] So that, that was, um, that was a lesson that I learned from Robbie Gilmour is that when you do this for real, as not going to matter one section, two section three section, that’s great if you can keep that integrity, but often it’s going to fail and it’s you group do this and you group do that. 

Travis Bader: [00:54:04] Yeah. 

Jason Budd: [00:54:05] And Trav, as well, not to cut you off there. 

Travis Bader: [00:54:07] Yeah. 

Jason Budd: [00:54:08] I realize why we do that two mile run when, fuck it. I’m like, this is who runs down a road, like, like an idiot with 35 pounds on and, and in 21 minutes, right. In full gear, I told him it totally makes sense, I know why we do it. 

Travis Bader: [00:54:24] In hindsight, yeah. Any future soldier, current soldier, this is why you do it. You know, Jason, every time I speak with you, there’s. Always some great stories and I always get some greater insight into you as a person. And the more that, uh, you share with everybody else, you know, that I really respect what you’re doing.

[00:54:46] I mean, it, it takes a lot to be able to sit down and, and talk about these stories and talk about the transition from military into civilian life and sort of the next steps. And I think you should write a book or you should, uh, you should probably get your own podcast at some point. 

Jason Budd: [00:55:01] You Trav, and maybe, you know, it’s interesting you talk about this. I was re I was listening to a podcast on the way over and the one thing I really enjoy our times together is how much we laugh. And one thing in the UK that that really stands out is the British sense of humour. 

Travis Bader: [00:55:19] Right. 

Jason Budd: [00:55:20] When times are tough they have a box of humour and everything else. And, and this is podcast I was listening to, he was talking about mental health during the pandemic and how it’s suffered. And they were talking about PTSD and everything else. 

Travis Bader: [00:55:32] Sure. 

Jason Budd: [00:55:32] But one thing that they said, you know, one of our, our stress reflex is one of the way we can manage it is laughter. Right. And the British are really big for it, banter. And you have to be careful because too much banter becomes criticism and picking on people, but. 

Travis Bader: [00:55:47] Sure. 

Jason Budd: [00:55:48] But that’s one thing I really appreciate with us is that we have a lot of fun and laughs during these podcasts. And I think that’s really important. And I think you hit on, you know, some of the areas that I would like to go down the road and it might be writing my memoirs.

[00:56:01] A lot of people have said that, um, and relating it to my journey, my journey back here, my journey in the fire service, my journey with my own struggles with mental health, um, and how the outdoors is, has nurtured and helped me heal. And you know, how much passion I have for adventure therapy. 

Travis Bader: [00:56:20] Right. 

Jason Budd: [00:56:21] You know, so yeah. You know, Trav, like I wouldn’t mind doing a podcast down the road that is maybe geared towards adventure therapy. Who knows? Ya know. 

Travis Bader: [00:56:32] Well, why don’t we ask the listeners, if anyone’s listened all the way to the end here and they want to hear about adventure therapy and the journeys from the military through fire to civilian life and dealing with the struggles and mental health, let us know. And we’ll, we’ll do that podcast, if you’re game I’m totally game. 

Jason Budd: [00:56:53] Yeah, for sure Trav. 

Travis Bader: [00:56:54] Okay. 

Jason Budd: [00:56:54] More time to laughs and. 

Travis Bader: [00:56:57] I love it. 

Jason Budd: [00:56:57] Spend some time with ya. 

 Travis Bader: [00:56:59] Jason, thank  you very much for coming back on The Silvercore Podcast, I really appreciate it.

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