Pete A Turner is The Spymaster, The Tactical Podcast Consultant, and an advocate of the Ground Truth. He is the AntiFool.
I’m a fan of the James Bond movies, but I have a feeling spies don’t always work that way. In this episode, we’re going to talk about espionage.
Focusing on gathering intelligence on the field. The field being specific contexts where you may face potential threats. This is a specific and interesting field that I do want to get to, and I want that rosy image of a spy being broken down. Who better to talk about this with than Mr. Pete a Turner.
Pete is the host of the Break It Down Show, doing long-form episodes with individuals from a variety of backgrounds and walks of life. That’s 5 episodes a week, with over 650 episodes and counting!
Before this, he was a former spymaster in the US army focusing on counterintelligence: building trust, presence, a network in different cultural contexts whilst deployed in Afghanistan, Iraq, and many more tours. I wanted to reach out to him to deep dive into his experiences as a former spy transitioning into normal civilian life and launching the Break it Down show.
In this episode, we talked about:
- His role as a spymaster, gathering intelligence that can affect decisions made by commanders in that field.
- How he survived a close encounter with the Taliban and lived.
- Transitioning back into civilian life from such a high intensity environment: Pete’s vulnerabilities, struggles with PTSD and persevering through them
- The birth of the Break It Down show and how his Spymaster skills propelled him to 650+ episodes
- 4:29 Pete never wanted to be a spy
- 5:54 What is spying? The different ways to gather intelligence, and Pete’s specialty
- 8:05 Spywork: how Pete builds presence in different cultural contexts with genuine honesty
- 10:23 The different facets of intelligence operations and schedules
- 12:08 The information Pete is interested in as a spymaster
- 15:39 “We were the biggest problem for our own success.”
- 16:53 Moving between military and local space, and translating realities for the army
- 19:00 The difference between a spy and a spymaster
- 20:29 This is how Pete can tell if a spy works at professional level: ego
- 22:13 “Have you had more conversations or fired more bullets in combat?
- 23:30 The advantage of having someone outside of the box looking in: Are you really getting results?
- 26:53 How Pete survived a meeting with the Taliban
- 29:02 When he realized he was working at professional grade
- 31:17 Why transitioning into society was hard for Pete, former spymaster
- 33:44 The importance of veteran communities
- 35:31 How the Break it Down Show started
- 37:05 “Production over perfection is a big lesson for me”
- 38:19 Video and volume, how Pete differentiates from the podcasting crowd
- 41:10 “My niche is not a niche. I do five shows a week. I’m a spy.”
- 44:20 The skills that overlap between a spymaster and a podcaster
- 48:05 Podcast hosts need to do this to up their interviewing game
- 50:08 How would you deal with a high profile guest eg. Elon Musk?
- 53:45 Save The Brave, and Pete’s charity charter
- 56:54 Pete’s memento
- 58:08 Pete’s walkaway wisdom: Default to Grace
- Break it Down Show
- Break it Down Show YouTube
- Pete A Turner’s Website
- Pete’s Twitter
- Pete’s LinkedIn
- Robin Dreeke
- Spy vs Spy episode with Jack Barsky
- Save The Brave
Break It Down Show Rocks
Pete A Turner, The Ground Truth
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Norman Chella: [00:00:00] That’s the norm.com Pete a Turner is the spymaster, the tactical podcast consultant and an advocate of the ground truth. He is the Antifool. Welcome to the AntiFool podcast. This is where we deconstruct the wisdom of people from all fields, backgrounds, and walks of life. My role is simple. I played a full, I asked the questions and you get the answers.
Our guest is the AntiFool, the source of wisdom, who we will learn from today. I’m on a mission to create the antidote to foolishness so we can understand the world and ourselves better. Wonderful stuff. Right? So. Shall we? Hello there, the King of all fools norm here, welcome to the show. I want to talk to you about espionage, and this is way beyond the usual images of spies that we see in those James Bond movies.
We’re talking about gathering intelligence on the field in the midst of behind enemy lines, or maybe not even enemy lines, but in specific contexts where you have to try and gain information whilst facing potential threats. This is a very specific and interesting field that I do want to get to, and I want that rosy image of a spy being broken down.
This is, but a slice of the variety of experiences that my guest for this episode has had Mr Pete a Turner.
Pete is the host of the Break It Down show doing long form episodes with individuals from a variety of backgrounds and walks of life. Five episodes a week was that we’ve over 650 long form episodes.
Pete is a serial podcaster and amazing interviewer, and before this he was a former spymaster in the US army focusing on counter intelligence. Building trust, building a presence, and building a network in different cultural contexts whilst deployed in Afghanistan, Iraq, and many more tours. We have a very interesting guest, so I wanted to reach out to him to deep dive into his experiences as a former spy transitioning into normal civilian life and launching the Break it Down show.
In this episode, we talked about his role as a spymaster gathering intelligence that can affect decision making done by a commander in that field. How he survived a close encounter with the Taliban and lived. Transitioning back into civilian life from such a high intensity environment and the Break It Down show, how he reached 650 plus episodes, five episodes a week, doing long form episodes, doing long form interviews with a wide variety of guests, and really encouraging others to do that.
And much more. We touch on his vulnerabilities, his struggle with PTSD and how he can go through all these things despite the different experiences as he’s had whilst, uh, on the field are in battle and how he could transition that or how he could translate those skills that he earned as a spymaster into his show.
It is quite a unique roller coaster ride, uh, to listen to Pete’s stories. I was honestly very, very fascinated by the different things that he’s, all the different thoughts that’s gone through his head as he’s going through all of these things. So without further ado, let’s play the fool and learn from the wise by diving into my chat with Pete, A Turner of the Break It Down show.
I have a little quick nickname for you. Uh, in my notes, I call you D tactical podcast consultant cause you’ve been using that word very specifically, uh, tactical in the couple of episodes that I’ve been listening on. Break it up, which is pretty awesome. But Pete, welcome to the show. Before we go right into, uh, the fact that you are an amazing interviewer on Break it Down, uh, I do want to take a step back and ask you a very.
I don’t want to say weird, but maybe an unusual question. For the people who may have heard your view before for break it down. They wouldn’t know that you are a former spymaster. That’s right. For the US army, uh, specifically in country intelligence, but I’ve always wanted to ask you this. Have you always wanted to be a spy?
Pete A Turner: [00:04:29] I mean, I guess that’s one of those jobs that you would pick, you know, as a kid. Um, but it wasn’t something that I’m like, this is what I’m going to do. So I guess my answer to your question is no, but it wasn’t far down the list. You don’t, here’s the thing. Here’s the best way to answer this. When I was in the army, I thought a lot about going to special forces or flying helicopters or maybe transitioning over to the seals, and I had the physical capability to do all that stuff, but my job was already so good.
I could never get past like. I didn’t want to leave it, you know? So for me, it wasn’t necessarily like my lifelong dream. It was, it was pretty sweet once I got there, and it was really hard to get away from it because I really enjoyed it. So, you know, no, it wasn’t always like what I was made to do, but in a lot of ways it really was.
Norman Chella: [00:05:17] So you went when you went into the army with the, pretty much the intention of joining like an elite group, like for example, special forces or even seal team. And I guess the option of being a spy or in your words, a spy master, which I do want to ask actually the difference between a spy and a spymaster because I’m, I have absolutely no clue what that means.
Um, so, so Pete help me here. I’m going to play the fool. Right. Okay. I’m going to come up to you and say, Hey, I heard you, that you’re a spy. I’ve seen a lot of movies, right? But I want you to break that image for me. What does a spy do in your words?
Pete A Turner: [00:05:54] Yeah, and that’s a big question because a lot of people do a lot of different kinds of spying.
I mean, just in intelligence. There’s HUMINT, OSINT, IMINT, RUMINT, you know, MASINT. There’s all kinds of, SIGINT, did I say SIGINT? There’s all kinds of intelligences in and amongst themselves, and they’re all in effect spies, and then you have people that are operational and tactical. And so there’s a lot of different ways to, to quote unquote, be a spy.
I mean, there’s people who were spies in the CIA who’d never left the country, you know, in terms of a professional capacity. And there’s no doubt that they’re spies. They’re out there gathering information. So for me, my kind of spying was to go in country and do tactical work, which means day to day, fast work, making fast friends, getting information in the immediate moment, because two weeks from now that information would be obsolete.
So it’s a totally different kind of counter-intelligence that say someone like Robin Dreek, who’s an FBI agent who has a longterm strategic focus. So when you ask that question. It’s very specific to the person, you know, are they in an embed? Are they, um, like I’m openly collecting, you know, and we all look at each other and go, I don’t know how you do this.
I don’t know how you go so slow. I don’t know how you go so fast. I don’t know. You know, all these different things that go into being a spy is kind of answers the question. What kind of spy are you? Um, I’m a tactical spy. I go out and I do fast day to day
Norman Chella: [00:07:23] So on the field, trying to get info, trying to build, I guess, a presence based on either some kind of identity that fits better into that cultural context, uh, and maybe reporting that kind of information back to your unit.
How did you manage to do that in say, I believe it was, Afghanistan, or in Iraq, uh, how did you manage to say, do your job day to day without. Maybe A, getting caught and B, trying to maintain that level of balance between trust. Within that context and you know, not falling behind on your duties.
Break down the process for me.
Pete A Turner: [00:08:05] It’s a good question and it’s exactly right. So I have to work within the confines of my mission. That’s the first thing, right? And so, um, it, it’s never comfortable when you first put that jacket on, you’re like, I’m going to be in open source, tactical spot open, you know, openly collecting.
But you, you. We work on it, you start getting better at it. So my job was to go out every day, usually with the military, sometimes with other elements, but my job was to go out every day and establish instant rapport, instant friends, and, and get people to trust me. And you can do that in a lot of different ways.
How I chose to do it and how I developed myself to do it was to be genuine, to be honest, to actually care about the person I was talking to, and then let that, let that guide the conversation. And I found that focusing less on threat and danger and more on help. And being helpful and trust that allowed the other things to flow in naturally.
So, so the information I truly wanted would come to me by not asking for it, if that makes sense. Because I’d built a relationship up with people and an influence in that community so that I was someone to be trusted, someone who could help and, and I, I didn’t portray that. And that went both directions, by the way.
You also have to do that within the unit that you serve. It doesn’t, it does you no good if you write it up a report to the state department guy who’s there in the same area as you, and he doesn’t know who you are. He doesn’t trust you and, and doesn’t even bother to read your report as a collector. If no one reads your report, you’re not doing your job.
Norman Chella: [00:09:37] And I’ve, I’ve heard that story actually on one of your episodes, uh, especially, which is my favorite, actually, the spy versus spy episode. What an extremely amazing conversation. I will definitely link that, uh, in below because I could not even write notes or do anything. While I was so engrossed in that, um, the combination of trying to build trust within like on the field and back on home base because you’re trying to do your job, yet there are outside forces that are preventing you from proceeding, uh, with trying to go with your mission.
And I take it. Were you alone in that? Was it, was there some sort of like spy unit that works as a team and you have to limit communications with each other? I’m not sure about like how does the, how does the architecture of that happening? Could you break down?
Pete A Turner: [00:10:23] That’s a good question. And it’s a, it’s another big complicated answer.
The answer is sometimes yes and no. So it depends on the unit, depends on what needs to be done. There were times when I would be literally standing by myself doing my job because that’s what it took in that moment. And that’s way out there in the gray zone. But, uh, there are, there are also units that move in mass as intelligence operations, and they go to an area and they, and they work within that area.
And then there, usually what happens is you get attached and I would get assigned to someone, somebody can be temporary, like for the next two weeks, you’re going to go work with these seals and help them. Understand what’s going on in this area. So you’re giving them a fresh set of eyes fresh out of there.
So that kind of ability to go into a different area was a very common thing for me. But usually, yeah, I would get assigned, I would go to an area somewhat temporarily, even if I’m, I might go back there several times, but, um, it just, it was all day to day, all a cart kind of work. And sometimes that day to day.
You needed to spend a month or three, sometimes needed to spend just five days just to find something out. Remember, a lot of times these missions are short because the information we need is very specific and perishable. So you’re going out trying to acquire this information and then move on. So it really kind of, it kind of depends, but the best way to use me would be to send me to where you, where was your biggest effort?
Okay, great. Send Pete there. He’ll bring back information to help that effort go forward.
Norman Chella: [00:11:53] I’m not, I’m not sure I’m going to tread on anything maybe too confidential, but what kind of information were you trying to get? My bare bones understanding is. Maybe enemy movement, uh, patterns. Uh, maybe high profile steps.
Pete A Turner: [00:12:08] Any question you can think of is, is what we’re interested in. So I get a list of requirements for information and there are different levels of priority, right? But the bottom line is, is they’re all important things. So if it’s, Hey, the Taliban is moving through this area on this route. We probably know that already, but you know, I’ll, I’ll put that in the book.
And really, that kind of stuff. I didn’t mess with that too much because it wasn’t more, I was showing the commander how to win. And so I don’t focus on those things. I just, I’m going to get information that they don’t otherwise have. And so if I’m like, you’re going to tell me where the Taliban is, I don’t care about that.
I just, I just don’t care. Right. And there’s two reasons why I say that. One, if you say you don’t want something, it will come to you. Like they’ll like, Oh, that guy doesn’t even care about that. We could talk about that right in front of his face, and so that information would just be there for me if I chose to use it. Two, that’s being collected by everybody.
Everybody’s looking for that, which means you get a lot of information and there’s someone else’s sorting that out. If they really needed to know something and they’ll let me know. If there’s like, Hey, we really need you to focus on this, then, then I’ll focus on that. But for the most part, I wouldn’t focus on troop movement.
Um, again, or threat based things. I’m focusing on is what we’re doing working? And then how is, and here’s a big one, how is our approach undermining our success? So if we go out and we’re drilling Wells everywhere and no one’s using them, I need to go back to the commander and say, Hey, all those Wells you drilled, I can’t find anyone that uses them.
Now you got a new problem. Now the commander has your full, like he, he is listening to my state. He’s like, wait a minute, you’re not using them. Like the whole idea is for them to have fresh water. Like, well, they’re not using them. You need to find out why they’re not using them. Okay. Now I have a real tasking that they’re really impassioned about and notice the Taliban not part of that until I come back later on in their life.
They don’t use it because exposing themselves to that well brings the Taliban out and causes them danger. Now we have something like a basis of a knowledge of a problem that we can go after. That’s sort of how, how you craft those things. So those questions, there’s like the here and now immediate stuff.
There’s just stuff, the unknown unknowns that you collect. And then there’s just those big questions like, where are the bumps. You know, where is the next attack and happen? When is it going to, all of those things kind of combined together into this, this mush of things that I go out and try to find and realize.
Norman Chella: [00:14:33] I really liked that you played the role of an on the field updater of whether or not, uh, it’s more like a feedback loop that’s quite immediate of things that the commander decides to do.
And he sends you out there to say. Confirm it, right? Are we getting the results that we want? And you say yes or no, and you can figure out, maybe figure out why through the lens of the people or the context or the individuals or actors that are playing on that field. And. This is where this gets really, this gets me really excited because you’re now crossing cultural barriers as someone who is One, representing the US army, uh, Two, gaining intelligence for the US army.
And three, shall we say, blending into that context without causing anything negative in any way. And like you said, building trust, building presence, building relationships with other people. Were there a lot of difficulties in trying to overcome that barrier at first as someone who was maybe perceived as a US soldier coming into Afghanistan?
Pete A Turner: [00:15:38] I mean, for sure you have to do it in a way that makes sense. It’s very delicate, deliberate work, and it’s fraught with errors. Right? So I know going in that it’s going to be frustrating. It’s going to be hard. I’m going to make mistakes, I’m going to miss things, that it’s just the nature of the work, right?
So over time I got better and better at it. And one of the things about being with the military rather than in the military, uh, I have time to sort those mistakes out. I have the luxury of honesty and I got to stay on the ground so. Normally folks, maybe they get a couple hundred missions under their belt through a, you know, several years of things.
But I was out every day watching how we did things. And the biggest thing I learned was that we were the biggest problem for our own success. Right? That what you were just talking about how we conducted something. So if we go out and we inoculate a bunch of goats, well what happens the next day? What happens a week later?
You know, what was the impact of that mission? And if it’s not what the commander sees as his advancing his mission, I guarantee you that every commander in the world wants to know that. Like, what do you mean that didn’t go the way we thought it went? Like, well, I’m just telling you what happened. And then you get the why.
When, what, who all the questions come out. Right? So. When it comes to working within the context cross-culturally, understand that I am in between different cultural spaces, right? There’s the military space, which I know, but I’m not part of. And then there’s the, the local space, which I am trying to understand, but I’m not, but I’m always in, but not part of.
So I have to pop into these different realities and illustrate in two directions. What those realities are. So I have to explain to the commander in a way that he can understand what is going on in the ground so that he can nudge his, cause he can move his culture, he can move his unit because he’s the boss and everybody understands that.
So if I can get him to nudge his goals and his alignment in his units. Approach the things there. They’re cultural problems. They’re going to be more in alignment with what’s local, and then you can hopefully collaborate and nudge the local thing back towards the middle a little bit so that you guys can find things you agree on most of the time and say, this is an area of concern.
We can work within that and then how do we work within that? That’s a whole lot of words for, I’m just trying to throw a party and get people to show up. That’s the best way to say it. Like, Hey, we want to do this, and I’m like, can I get people to show up to this party and make them walk away going, man, that was awesome.
If I can get the army to do that better and if I can get the locals to show up, now we’re talking. That’s my job in the cultural space is to get these cultures as much as possible to overlap. And initially. They don’t overlap at all.
Norman Chella: [00:18:24] I liked that having to do that, uh, on the field every day. I guess that every day is pretty much very different since you try to calculate. Or in a very technical manner, how do you blend in between switching between two contexts without going overboard or without breaking any borders? And I guess that fine balance is what led you to becoming spymaster. So is this like a hierarchy thing? So you are going from spy to spy master and you are focusing on country intelligence, is that right?
Or am I?
Pete A Turner: [00:18:58] Well, I try, I mean, I agree like I am a spy master, but that term is really not like a specific thing. I have mastered espionage within my area and nobody, if you’re my peer, we all agree that we know what we’re doing. There’s people that will say whatever they want to say and critique, but I guarantee you if we were to grab our rucksacks and go to whatever horrible place.
You know, I perform at the professional level. It doesn’t matter where in the world I go. I am an asset everywhere. That to me is what a spymaster is. So whatever it is that your very specific field is your niche. If you can go and have everybody walk away going, that guy’s really good at this, then then you’ve mastered it.
And, and that, to me is what a spymaster is. Yeah. I guess you could also say someone who runs spies at the master level, like a chief, uh, station chief for the CIA. You know, they’re in effect a spymaster too, because they’re running an organization that collects information to espionage. So whether you’re on the ground or in a, in a, in an immediate supervisory role, I think that’s where your spymasters are, and it’s easy to call yourself.
It’s very difficult to get to that point, though.
Norman Chella: [00:20:09] Uh, well, if you think that it’s difficult to get to the point, uh, if I put you into a room where there is a number of spies and spymasters, are there some signs, uh, that can, that you can tell that’s, uh, some differences between like a good spy or a bad spy or a spy and a spy master?
Do you notice any similar patterns?
Pete A Turner: [00:20:29] Yeah, there’s, there’s tells for sure. There’s tells, you know, when, when I talked to someone, I have a, I’m looking for certain things that come out of their mouth. Um, people who’ve done this work a lot have made way more mistakes and they’ve gotten it right. And so I’m looking for that.
Do they acknowledge their fallibility? Like oh man, I’ve only, I am the dumbest person alive. I got here through making all of the mistakes and getting myself killed a hundred times. That person I respect instantly because I know that they’ve learned the lesson, that this is not straightforward and simple.
And you’re always trying to reevaluate and however you do it. I want to understand that because if I can add some of your tools to my bag, that makes my job easier. The other thing is, is if they think they know too much, you know, this is an old thing, but the more, the more I think I know, the more I realize I have no idea what I’m doing.
So it doesn’t mean that I can’t do what I’m doing, but it means I realized that. I have to stop, slow down, and as soon as my ego is getting in the way, or I think I know too much, I backed out off and go, what do I really not know now? Then, you know, where are the areas that I don’t know? And those are the things, you know, we, all the people, when I talk to someone in a room, I have such an advantage over most of them tactically that not that I don’t respect their work because where they’re at is where they’re at.
But, um. They, they stand out instantly to me as someone who doesn’t have the tactical chops that I have. And then I know the lessons between where I am and where they are, you know, in, in rough. But I mean, I don’t want to be unfair to someone who’s good at their work and everything. But when you’re pro standard and you see someone who’s not pro because they say things that pros don’t say like, here’s a, here’s a great example.
Norman Chella: [00:22:12] Okay.
Pete A Turner: [00:22:13] Almost exclusively. Everybody I’ve talked to from the special operations community has all said, I asked him this question all the time, have you had more conversations or fired more bullets in combat? And they’ll go way more conversations. So when someone comes to me. And doesn’t have that kind of a mindset like, Oh, we’re going to talk way more than we’re ever going to shoot, then I know that we’ve got a problem.
You know, we’ve got someone who’s not as not as proficient at that. So, and then the other thing is, if they think they’ve, they’ve won, you know, like if they think they, Oh, well, our unit did a really good job. Oh, I’m sure they did. I, I’ve been there and I’ve seen what ha every unit thinks that every person individually thinks that their impact is much greater and much more long lasting than it actually is.
People who are pros know that that’s not true.
Norman Chella: [00:23:02] There is the need to reframe like our position when we are trying to, shall we say, recognize the amount of impact that we’re doing. Maybe not only in the field of being a spy master, but also in any other industry where. I guess we paint a rosy image of the kind of impact that we might actually do, and we think like, Oh, this is how good we really are.
But I guess that’s just ego talking back. And I, I really do agree with that point. Um, sometimes ego just does, does just get this gets in the way.
Pete A Turner: [00:23:30] And sometimes they lack the context and know that they’re wrong. Uh, keep in mind, I would stay in the area and multiple units would rotate in and they would all have the same ideas on schedule.
Like here comes the, we’re in week 12, we’re going to see these, um, outcomes from the unit. They don’t realize they’re doing it, but then I go back and they go, here’s the last five units that had the exact same slide, but these are all these slides are independently created. And I’m like, do you see what. do you see what I’m talking about here?
And then the more seasoned folks go, Oh man. Yeah. Okay. How do we not repeat the last five mistakes? Right. And, and that’s where I’m, I’m helping the unit by examining the unit instead of the battleground, because the battleground, that’s really secondary. Like if we can’t get our house in order and understand our mistakes, then then we can’t succeed.
Right. And so when, when I go and I take these old slides are pointing the wall and I say, you see that picture right there? That’s from the operation that opened the road that you were about to reopen. And they’re like, we had no idea this had already been done before. So it’s, it’s a, it’s a combination of the contextual knowledge that you have when you stay or ch.
And so now here’s the, here’s, here’s the next level up, right? Yeah. Because I know that we do this. It doesn’t matter where I go, the army and the military, the state department, they’re going to make the same mistake. So I can look around at a place, be brand new there, and I can infer certain lessons because I’ve done this so much.
So I can go in there and say, what’s that picture from? I don’t know. Like, okay, great. Now I can go into the archives and go, okay. I’d actually, I would have someone who does, who does analysis go, I want you to tell me all of the stories about route Cadillac and how many times it’s been reopened, and then the person will come back and be like, you won’t believe it sounded like, I know what you’re going to say.
So I do believe it. He’s like, it’s been opened by every unit the last five years. Okay, great. Now I take up into the commander. I didn’t have to leave the camp to do it. Matter of fact, I didn’t even collect it that the analysts did. Right. And so as we try to create these operational wins, we have to understand that.
They’re fleeting and that that’s what that pro grade is a difference between, Hey, we did this and like, Hey, did you really do it? Is it going to be here in two years? Did they already do it once before that? Hope that makes sense, but that’s the difference.
Norman Chella: [00:25:47] Yeah, it does. It does. Trying to wrap my head around it because it’s applied to such a very complicated and subjective field, at least in the middle of trying to gain intelligence to make sure that things are going in a certain direction. Yeah. People coming in with a massive turbo turnover or maybe a regular turnover and you’re getting the same results. I guess it must be really frustrating, not only from your end, but maybe from the commanders and uh, as well was that I take it that that’s the norm for.
How you see things, but, uh, say if you’re on the field trying to gain intelligence, was there any, shall we say, close encounters, uh, with, I don’t wanna say the enemy. Oh, we can say the enemy. Taliban. Yeah. Or, um, any other potential threats, uh, when you were on the field, uh, would love to hear you paint a picture of how you were when you are in disguise or doing espionage or trying to gain intelligence and you meet with someone who, I was going to say it bluntly, who could potentially kill you. Right. Who could potentially. Put a bullet in your head.
Pete A Turner: [00:26:53] Let me be clear. I never wore disguises and I didn’t disguise my name. I would say who I was and where I was from because I dealt from a position of honesty and truth, right? So, um, I would say, yeah, I’m, I’m here to collect information. I’m here to ask questions.
And if I ask a question that you don’t like, don’t answer it. It’s fine. I’m not here to cause problems. I’m here to understand you guys. And that’s. Both directions again towards us and towards them. So I never wore disguises. That’s the first thing you have to understand. And yes, I had a lot of contact with the enemy or the coal belligerent, I think is the best way to say it because we’re all fighting, not necessarily fighting each other.
Sometimes we are, but you know, we’re both out there fighting. So, and I think like this is the ultimate respect, and, and, and measure of success for me is that, uh, my partner and I were in the field. We had been establishing a pretty powerful presence in this one area. And we didn’t know at the time, but we recalled to a meeting and there’s nothing abnormal about this meeting.
We go to this meeting, we have a conversation, we get asked a bunch of questions. We ask them a bunch of questions. Totally normal meeting. Maybe it stood out individually a little bit. But not really. And what we found out later was the Taliban had said, set up a meeting with those guys. We wanna we wanna, you know, talk to them and see.
And they basically gave us a test and to see if we were genuine or not. And did they trust us and we manage. We didn’t know the Taliban were there. We never intended to do anything different than what we normally do. But our day to day normal thing was, was so okay with them at the Taliban, like those guys are fine.
They can. Right here, they can ask questions and so yeah. That’s a contact of a, of a modern military sort in that that meeting could have gone sideways in an instant or maybe the next day we go out and run a firefight because we had failed the test. So, but it didn’t, it was an encounter where we were able to prevent future conflict, at least with our patrol specifically.
And we were able to do our job more efficiently because we had collaborated with the Taliban in effect. So yeah, it’s a, the close contact can be a lot of different things. Sure. There are times when I’ve been shot at, and there’s, there’s, there’s firefights going on and you’re like, Oh my God, you know, this is crazy.
Uh, and I remember the first time when combat slowed down and I’m like, okay, now, now I know what I’m doing here. It wasn’t that I didn’t know before, but. My adrenaline and my response was, was not professional grade. You know? And then you get to this point where you’re like, Oh, they’re shooting. I’m going to go here.
I’m going to go there. And you’re less worried about the combat part and more worried about the very, very immediate thing that you have to do next and time slows down for you in those cases. And you have. You have space to work with. Doesn’t mean you’re not scared. It’s just that scared is like the fifth thing on your list of things to do.
So it’s always there, but your heart rate is more normal. Your adrenaline is not going crazy and making you act nutty. You know? You’re just more calm in that, in that crazy moment. Does that help give you what you need?
Norman Chella: [00:29:56] Yeah, it does paint a really interesting picture. I guess it’s the biggest point was that the high intensity situation, or at least the high intensity environment is normalized to you that you had these close encounters, you had shots taken at to, uh, day to day, uh, throughout your time. On the field and you realize then that, okay, much more presence is needed, right? The next task and after that it’ll be fine.
There is fear, but fear is nothing but another thought in your head, and nothing matters more than the task at hand, other than, you know, gathering intelligence of course, for your unit. Now this, this is something that I’ve always wanted to ask you because that’s someone who is used to such a high intensity environment, always on the field, gathering intelligence, uh, having close encounters, uh, providing information back to commanders who could, you know, do a decision that could make or break.
Uh, the rest of the operation. You finish your time as spymaster and you come back to, uh, the life of an American citizen. How has that transition been for you? Like you’ve simmered down from such an intense high adrenaline response and all of a sudden now you’re just back here and everyone’s shopping and eating food in cafes.
Could you tell me more about that transition because I’m just really curious.
Pete A Turner: [00:31:17] It’s crazy. You’re right. I had a very important high intensity, high paced job that had a ton of influence. And then I came back and it did not matter at all. And when I applied for jobs, I couldn’t find jobs. And it might, it might seem like my job doesn’t apply to other things because you wouldn’t know.
But my job is a sales job, my job as a marketing job. My job as a television reporter job, you know, it’s, it’s so. The skills transfer over. If I can go out and find information out within your company or externally, you know, that should be helpful to you. So I would apply for jobs that were a hundred percent written for my skillset, and I couldn’t even get a rejection letter from people.
So. Yeah, it was, it was very dangerous for me and caused me a lot of harm. And most of my PTSD was, was realized when I came back and I, and I wasn’t able to get by these normal things. So because of the operational tempo and the threat and all those things, and I’ve had to work hard to learn how to transition and to not hold things against people who weren’t putting them against me, you know, and, and readjust my, my reality.
And the God’s honest truth is, is sometimes I struggle to react appropriately to situations. Now I don’t react externally as much anymore. I’ve, I’ve dealt with a lot of that stuff and learned how to keep myself from it. But inside my, uh, my torment is pretty heavy still and I still struggle to try to understand what I need to do to adapt to a normal life because it’s really hard for me.
Like if I was to go to a job and just do something, I would struggle at that. Uh, you know, give me something impossible. Leave me alone. Let me go do it. Pay me well and, and you’ll get great results. But if I have to just put the yoke on a walk on a circle all day and you know, answer the phone a hundred times or whatever, I probably probably won’t do well at that anymore.
You know, like I’ve moved, I’ve moved past that point in my life.
Norman Chella: [00:33:14] Yeah. I can’t even begin to imagine the weight of, the burden of trying to get back into society that is, you know, much more slow paced, uh, as compared to what you were used to. And I was about to ask you about, like, is it hard to find, shall we say others too, who can relate to that situation that you were going through at the time?
I guess you had quite a few groups to help with maybe PTSD or fellow soldiers coming back. Um, yeah.
Pete A Turner: [00:33:44] It took a little while to connect into those communities. But it’s all veteran based things, you know, cause they understand it. And particularly special operations folks because, um, and, and look, I love regular army people.
I’m not, I was a regular army guy. My experience put me in a different category. And so when I would talk to someone who didn’t have the level of exposure that I had. Even that was like, yeah, we can talk and we can communicate, but it’s sort of like speaking Spanish in France where we understand each other quite easily, but there’s quite a few holes to where it’s really hard to put the extra information in there.
So, but by connecting into these communities. And you know, and, and finding out that, you know, they’ve all had some core, you know, similar struggle. Yeah. That’s helped me to understand that what I’m going through is normal and I can get through it. They’re getting through it, we’re all getting through it, but it took a while to connect into that community.
Norman Chella: [00:34:37] And I’m happy that you’ve connected to the community. So, because here, because here we are talking and I have learned a lot from you already, not only from a distance, but right now. So thank you for, uh, being a source of wisdom, not only to every podcaster, but maybe also every aspiring spy or spymaster who might be listening to this.
Now, how I knew about you was the fact that you do the Break it Down show, which. Is well quite, I don’t know. That will be quite far away from the fact that you’ve been trying to gain intelligence on the field, but I’m sure there is quite a number of overlaps. So I do want to dive into the show itself. I know that your, your mission is to basically break down the wisdom and stories from all walks of life, all different kinds of people.
But can you tell me how did you even get the idea of podcasting and starting the show?
Pete A Turner: [00:35:31] Yeah. Well, um, that co-founders, a guy named John Leon Guerrero and he and I didn’t really know each other at all. I graduated with his wife from high school, so we knew each other. And that’s how John and I met and we just, we had this affinity for one another and telling stories and going out and doing things.
And so ultimately we had a radio show. And the, and the studio was just, it was too small and they said like, you guys need to go do something bigger. Go redo this on a bigger scale because you know, you can’t stay here. You have to graduate. And so we did, and the graduation was the podcast and we got in, you know, ahead of all of like the big podcast wave that came, we were like right on the front crust of it.
And so we, we got the work. And, and put this show together based upon just sort of our common approach to how we see things and wanted to do it in the show is the show is insane, but it’s become something really big and has its own identity. And I’m often shocked at, you know, people recognize the brand or the logo, or they’re like, they don’t know me, but they know the show and I’m like.
Great. Whatever. But yeah, it’s, it’s been, it’s been a crazy, crazy ride. And you know, without John, I couldn’t have done it. And I, I would say the same thing for John without me. John couldn’t have done it. And now we have this thing that’s, it’s just incredible.
Norman Chella: [00:36:52] And I know that it’s grown to quite a number of episodes with variety of people. What was the biggest lesson you learned about yourself when you were growing the show?
Pete A Turner: [00:37:05] There’s so many lessons. It’s hard to say. The biggest one, maybe day to day, there’s a lesson, but just, you know, production over perfection is a big lesson for me. Um, and then recognizing fear and attacking it head on is probably another big one.
And, um, and then doing something as often as always better than. Being hobbled by too many things. Like there are more things to do than I can do in a day. So just get to work doing things that need to get done, cause they all need to get done. Get work done every day.
Norman Chella: [00:37:41] Yeah. Like keeping track. Right. Let maybe one, three, five guests a day and you’re already on your way to building the show.
I do want to dive into the show itself because yeah. First of all, five episodes a week. Holy crap. Okay. That’s a lot. There’s a lot. Uh, I’m having trouble doing one a week or even two for like, well, five shows a lot, but I know that you do five episodes, long form, one out each day with a live intro. I think you’ve been doing it recently on Twitter, on Periscope, which is a… which I do want to ask. Why did you start doing on a Periscope, by the way?
Pete A Turner: [00:38:19] Well, it’s not so much Periscope, it’s just that’s the vehicle to get from, from my broadcast thing to Twitter and they use, Periscope is that thing. So Periscope is just a pipe. Um, but yeah, I wanted to bring video in because the market has gone that way and I want to make sure I’m relevant in the marketplace.
And so I’m just trying to play with different things in the scene. And it seemed like no one was doing live intros of the show. So it’s another opportunity to say, Hey, we’re about to talk to, or Hey, we’re about to release this episode and just give people a chance to discover the show. Because as you know, discovery is like the gold in our world, like you want to monetize, but you gotta be discovered first man. You know?
So getting this know as, as successful as my show is, we have plenty of room to grow. You know, we have plenty of room to grow. And so that’s what video would. And the live intros are just a way for me to interact with the audience a little more and just say, Hey, here, here’s who I am.
You know, it’s easy to put someone in a box just on Twitter and say, this person’s this, but, but we’re not that. And that’s part of the point of the show is we illustrate life in general, not just my life, not just your life, but life in general. And so that’s what the videos are for, is just to try to give an opportunity for people to discover the show and, and take them on the ride.
And you’re right, five shows is a lot. That’s why I do it, because I get better faster. I meet the people I need to meet more often. And then also. I know that most of us in the podcast world can’t do it. And so, you know, and what does Joe Rogan do? He does five shows a week, and my show is very Rogan-esque. Uh, you know, I would say that, you know, if you were going to try another show like Joe Rogan’s show, I don’t know that there’s another show that’s more similar to his show than my show.
So I, um, I do it on purpose because it’s hard and it creates a lot opportunity.
Norman Chella: [00:40:03] Yeah. It stands out a lot, right? You’re expect that level of expectations with five episodes a week with many different kinds of people. Uh, many different backgrounds, which is also something that I do want to dive into because I do want to do that myself as someone who, well, it’s just curious at pretty much any background, any walk of life, any story, because maybe you might be able to agree with this.
You can learn from anyone, even if it’s a small lesson, even if it’s a small story or a memoir of a memory of something else. Um, and I’m sure that you’ve probably seen this on the field, uh, talking to other people, building trust or coming back, uh, meeting all kinds of guests for your show. But from the listener side, I want to hear your take on this.
If you have so many topics covered. And your show for each and every episode. Do you get worried about listeners not really following you in terms of you jumping from field to field each and every episode, or does that not even come through your mind for that?
Pete A Turner: [00:41:08] Yeah, I mean, that’s a good question.
Especially, you know, come from the podcast community because here’s one thing I’ve noticed. When people realize I do five shows a week, it stops them in their tracks and they have to reassess what they’re about to say. That’s what I want. I want people to wait what, you know, um, because that makes you, that means I’m standing out.
That’s a good performance indicator. And most folks who do podcasts who don’t do it, if they don’t like the idea, I understand it because I’m doing something that they can’t do. You know? Uh, so, so there’s some design in that part of it. I forget the original part of the question there. Tell me again.
Norman Chella: [00:41:45] Do you get worried about listeners getting lost?
Pete A Turner: [00:41:48] I don’t get worried because when you have that many shows, not every Rogan episode is for everybody, you know? But everyone loves Rogan because of what he does. And so, yeah, like we’re supposed to niche. Well, my niche is not a niche. My niche is that. I do five shows a week. I’m a spy. You’re going to get spy versus spy episodes.
You’re going to get scholarly people talking about scholarly shit. You’re going to get bestselling authors. You’re going to get interesting, fascinating people who were the best in the world at what they do. And so if they don’t like that, then I don’t run a show that they want to listen to. And I’m fine with that.
Cause there’s plenty of people that love what I do. And even if they say, I don’t care about these shows, but they come back for the next one. And they listened to the next one and the next one, and so many times, and this is a big, big indicator of success as well. They’ll say, I had no idea who that person was and I loved that you had them on.
Well, that’s what I focus on. Instead of worrying about what someone may or may not think, I let them, I let them do the thinking and then tell me what they think.
Norman Chella: [00:42:48] I like that. Right. It’s, it’s, I call that becoming anti niche, right? Yeah. You are. It’s not about like the focus of the show or anything. It’s about the fact that you can take the listener through a conversation, which is so a deep dive into whatever it is, whatever the hell it can be about another supply, uh, an author, a PhD, uh, someone in the government or something like that.
You go in, you are 1% more blank and blank and be more transformed. It can be more inspired. It can be more entertained, right? You could be, you know, it could be. Evoked or provoked that way. And, and I liked that. I liked that about the show. I just thought that maybe it might be a bit difficult to handle it with five fricking episodes at the same thing, but you are covering it just as much as Joe Rogan do, or even more now.
Pete A Turner: [00:43:38] Nothing about what I do is more than Joe Rogan. He’s setting all that stuff, you know, him and Adam Corolla, you know, read a lot of content because it makes them money. So, um. You know, I’m just trying to be like those guys. They’re, they’re my big brothers. I want to, I want to be like them.
Norman Chella: [00:43:55] Yeah. But at that point, I’m sure that you’ll be going in your own unique direction, although there’s some similarities, but former spy, five episodes a week, deep dive. Now I want to see what kind of, what kind of skills do you see overlapping between a spymaster and a podcaster? I wanna see, I wanna see if I can apply that to myself as a, as a host. Maybe I can emulate that.
Pete A Turner: [00:44:20] Yeah, there, there are a bunch of them. I mean, think about what I do now. Normally we’re not locked down and so we can go out and I can go and do these things cause I prefer to do face to face interviews, but you know, can’t do that right now. It doesn’t really matter to me.
I’ll just do it the way it needs to get. Done, but I will get in my car. I will drive to your, your location, and then we’ll shoot at your favorite restaurant, across your kitchen table in whatever your, I always call it their dojo. Whatever their dojo is, where they get their work done. If they’re a musician in their studio, now we’re in their space that they created that they’re comfortable, that they have memories and I’m visiting that space.
That’s what I did in combat. I would go to people’s houses. I would go to the community center. Right? Yeah. And I would try to just understand what it’s like to be them. It’s the exact same thing. And then after doing that, I would write a report. Guess what happens when I do a show? It’s a report and I put notes into it, so you know.
Yeah, it’s, it’s the same. It’s the same thing. So I built this network of people that I can continue to ping on. I’m positive. You and I, and you’re going to be on the, Break It Down Show as a guest tomorrow. Yep. Not the only time you’re going to be on the show. I’m going to bring you back. So the year familiar in my network, and people understand who you are and they’re like, Oh, there’s that kid.
What’s it? What’s that guy’s name? Oh, he’s a, you know, and then next thing you know, they’re like, Oh, that’s Norman. He’s on Pete’s show all the time. And so I build this network because it’s. Especially beneficial to you. It’s beneficial to me and it’s beneficial to the audience where they all get connected into these things.
This, this is crazy and maybe people in the podcast world doing this, but I don’t know if the listeners realize this, but when you build a show like this, you and I are not in the same continent, and by the way, for anybody who doesn’t know.
Norman Chella: [00:46:01] Other side. We are like. How many hours difference, like 12?
Pete A Turner: [00:46:10] But the whole point is, is that now I am able, and I, and this was an honor, right? I have friends from California who now have friends in New Zealand because of my show. I’ve connected the world. They’re in a different, New Zealand’s in a different day than us even, you know, so being able to link different people like that because of the show.
I think it’s just remarkable, and that’s ultimately what a spy wants to do is can I get the people in the room that will allow me to get the information out that I need?
Yeah, yeah, exactly. And I’m unlocking these human interactions that people are gonna, you know, not tell me things. I’m not worried about that anymore, but we’re all going to come together and provide each other with, Hey I know so-and-so that does this. I met him through Pete’s show. He’s the perfect guy because he’s this kind of artist, or this person knows how to analyze numbers. I heard them on Pete show and all of a sudden these opportunities start to happen. I don’t control that. It just happens on its own. I just reinvigorate it by having Norman on the show by having my buddy Chris on the show.
So my job. Just like in the spy world is to build a network that has a lot of information and power in it so that people can use that network in a way that helps them or helps me or help someone else.
Norman Chella: [00:47:20] I love that definition. Oh my goodness. That is actually a great overlap. That’s not even an overlap. That’s like pretty much the exact same thing that you’ve been doing, except now it’s now, well, you are the commander. Like you control the brand, how the brand will go. Uh, you bring up the guests that may provide value for everyone, not only in your network, your listeners, but also previous guests, right?
They might be able to connect with each other all around the world. You’re not set in one context. You’re set in five different contexts every week. And. Your people are taking for a ride. So I really do appreciate the fact that you could take that kind of experience and give it to everyone in your own unique way, uh, as a spy was off quite. I feel like it’s fine right now.
Pete A Turner: [00:48:05] look what you’re doing. You know, like how you ask questions. I’m positive you’ve gotten better at asking questions. I ask questions at an expert level. I teach people how to host shows and I use spy skills. You know, like you’re listening for things. You know, like the number one thing I tell people when I’m, when I’m consulting with them is just shut up.
If the guest is talking, it’s about them. You control what you want to get from them, but if they’re talking and you’ve got them warmed up, now you’re just nudging, prodding. And the less questions you ask, the better. It doesn’t mean you don’t engage, but now I teach them the other ways to engage and how to host something and like the premise with what you do, you know, with the full thing.
That doesn’t matter what I know, it’s what the audience needs to know. So I may ask a question that I know the answer to, but I ask it for the purpose of giving the audience, exchanging that information to the audience and saying, this has value. You didn’t know this. Now you do.
Norman Chella: [00:48:59] And I’m glad you’ve unlocked that secret because that is really the premise of this show.
Uh, I work as the conduit for the audience who may not know much about espionage, who may not know about spies, who may not know about Break It Down, or who may not know about Pete. Uh, and I can do all the research I can for you, but what use is that when we have this time, this hour, for you to talk and to share with me something that more than what I know, but.
For you to take us on a ride, uh, and provide that experience. So thank you so much for that, Pete. I just want to touch on that little thing that you just said when you were consulting people on hosting shows. Do you have any tips for hosts who. Have trouble trying to interview people who they feel may be on a different plane of work from them.
And what I mean by that is that if you are dealing with a, say a high profile guest, like someone with much more star power, maybe if you have someone like Elon Musk on your show, right? And sure you feel that you are a nobody. Do you have any practical advice for that? As someone who has done so many episodes?
Pete A Turner: [00:50:08] Yeah. First off, you are somebody just because someone has a different job than you doesn’t make them somebody that you can’t be. So, um, and I’m not saying I don’t get starstruck, but I don’t, I, here’s the thing, and I have very unique backgrounds. So in a lot of ways it’s just kind of a bad example, but it’s the best one I have right now.
When I go and I meet Stewart Copeland from the band The Police, he’s got Grammys on the wall. He’s a successful musician as you could ever want to be, but it doesn’t, I’m not star struck by that because people have shot at me before and no one’s shooting at me today. It’s all a good day. So you’ve got to find your, your, your meter, your place where you’re like.
I’m going to walk out of here in 90 minutes regardless. Like nothing bad is going to happen in here. And Elon Musk isn’t gonna kill me, you know? And if it’s a video, we might even going to be the same damn room. Hell, he probably won’t even remember me. And this goes for booking guests too, just because the guest is huge.
Don’t say no for them. Ask them, give them the opportunity to say no, or to know you exist. Even so, don’t assume a negative outcome. Just because you talk to Elon Musk, if you’re going to interview the president of a country or royalty or whatever it is, you’re talking about someone that’s got a completely different position than you.
So what? It’s your microphone. You’re the host. You were there to get something out of them that they might not otherwise. No, and one of the things I often do is I thank people. For like from the world, like people who are trying to solve problems. And I’m like, Hey, it ain’t easy being you. Thank you for doing that from all of us.
7 billion people out here because you know, you’re the one, one of the very few people in the entire planet that can do that. And now. I get to thank them for something. I also get to say things for that person that they can’t say. Cause most people who are hyper successful are typically pretty modest.
And so you’re like, you’re not going to be able to say this. I’m going to say this for you. You are incredible at what you do. You know, you constantly blow us away with your brilliance and you give them that they don’t get enough of that. Even if they have a huge ego. No one hears, Hey, you’ve done a really great thing here and for all of humanity, we appreciate it.
So just relook at how you approach these things. Don’t be negative. Be positive. As soon as you hear negative, you go still. And turn that around and make it a positive. I have this incredible opportunity to put my microphone in front of this incredible person. My job is to ask questions and to shut up and to listen for things, not to things.
So when Elon Musk says something incredible, stop right there and explore that thing with them because that’s the incredible moment. If you just roll on past that you’ve passed you, you want to listen for that moment that you want to explore and you spend as much time there as possible because chances are most average hosts will blow right by that moment and they’ll miss that gold and you’ll pull it out for your audience and your audience will always appreciate that because really that’s what you’re doing this for is for the audience, not for your position, but for their position and to enrich it.
Norman Chella: [00:53:04] Yeah. Two surrender to the purpose of serving the audience by looking for the gold. In between the lines. And I guess we as hosts have to, you know, focus and concentrate on. The meaning, the implicit meaning behind each and every sentence that’s being said. I really liked that. I think that’s like why one of the biggest reasons why I love interviewing, uh, to find that gold.
Now, Pete, we are a couple of minutes away, but there are, there are some bits that I do want to ask you. Uh, and I want to focus on something that you would always want to, uh, highlight in each and every episode. Could you tell me what does Save the Brave mean to you?
Pete A Turner: [00:53:45] Well, so I’ve got a real powerful charity charter, personally, and I always want to do things.
You know, I’ve volunteered time, money, attention, effort, all those things to organizations because they need help. I mean, just in general, if there’s a charity that you’re passionate about, you don’t have to necessarily give them money. You can say, Hey, let me run errands for you. Oh God, could you go to the post office?
Could you write these emails? Could you, if you want to list the things to do, volunteer your time to someone and say, give me four hours worth of work that you don’t need to do and they will have it for you. So it’s important to me to do that because someone like me who’s got PTSD and you want to matter helping someone else matters.
So my ability to help someone else helps me want to be alive. Ultimately, and so Save the Brave is, is a way to help. The person who was me a couple of years ago realize there is a future cause I was fully convinced I had no future and my life was going to be like this forever. And I was just waiting for it to end, you know, or maybe the end up myself.
Um, that’s not true anymore because I’ve got purpose. I’ve got purpose through the charity. I’ve got purpose through my work and as frustrating and as hard as it can be, I can take all of that. It’s just when you have that hopelessness. So I do that to inspire other people, cause we all. Like if you’re an adult and you’re in any way stable, you should be doing charity work.
I hold people to that because they can take it and charity charities does not get to always be fun. Sometimes you have incredible events where, Hey, there’s Will Smith. Oh my God, I’ve met him and that all can happen through charity. But. The hard part is, is I don’t want to go do this five hours of work. I don’t want to drive three hours this way for an hour thing and then three hours back.
But you have to do it because that’s what charity is about. It’s about digging in and helping people who don’t have that kind of help themselves. And sometimes just your simple presence is part of the help that you’re giving. So I, um, I’m pretty hard on adults who don’t do charity because I know they can do it and I get it.
They’re busy. So. Find some time and do some charity. Do give some what do you, okay, you’re busy. You don’t have time, then you have money. I don’t have money. Okay, great. Can you share something? Are you on Facebook? Spending an hour on Facebook? Make sure you lift these things up, write something, whatever. Do something for someone else in terms of charity and your life will be enriched for it.
Norman Chella: [00:56:00] And definitely on that, uh, to become much more altruistic and serving a cause. Uh, it’s right on, on the charity of choice or on the specific mission that you are willing to. Serve, uh, worked for, uh, despite. Any compromises, but we’re not here for compromises. We’re here to help other people and especially saved the brave.
Um, I read up on it since you’ve been talking about on the, uh, live Twitter videos. So it, uh, I’m happy that there is a charity that can help with those with PTSD and for yourself as well as someone with PTSD. It’s nice to have someone provide me insight on how it is for soldiers coming back from such high intensity situations.
Pete, I have a few, uh, segments left to close off this chat with you. This one’s called mementos. Do you have a memento or an object that represents you.
Pete A Turner: [00:56:54] I’ve, you know, I’ve moved around and, and had so few things. I have very few momentos anymore, but I suppose my hat that I’m wearing is a bit of a memento.
It’s from my hometown baseball team where I graduated and I wear it all the time and it’s just because I like my hometown and, uh, it reminds me of where it is and who I am and where I come from. So, you know, there’s things like that where I just, I have that touchstone that reminds me of something special.
So, yeah, I think my hat that I’m wearing right now.
Norman Chella: [00:57:24] Nice. Wait, what baseball team is that? I can’t really see the hat.
Pete A Turner: [00:57:27] It’s just a B from my hometown, Benicia, California town, and we’re called the Panthers. It’s just a high school team. It’s not a big deal, but it’s my town where I come from.
Norman Chella: [00:57:37] A hat the represents your home and I’m sure that is definitely like a great momentum to have.
Yeah. The next segment, it’s called walkaway wisdom. So say we walk away from this conversation right now, right? You are away on your next five episodes of recording other guests and I’m away on my own. I meet someone indeed or someone who I can connect with, whether they’re a child, an adult, or an elderly, and I become intimate with them.
I connect with them. And in a moment. Oh need, uh, from their side. Uh, is there a piece of wisdom I can share with them at that time that represents who you are?
Pete A Turner: [00:58:14] That represents who I am?
Norman Chella: [00:58:16] Yeah.
Pete A Turner: [00:58:18] I mean look, here’s part of who I try to be. I try to be someone who defaults to grace, if I can be gracious as a default, doesn’t mean I’ve always been will be.
And that’s why I say I try to be. Um, I think there’s something important in that. And, and you can pick whatever adjective you want. I think grace is hard to achieve a lot of times, and I fail all the time at this, but if that’s where I’m striving for, you know, anything South of that was a lot of good outcomes that are South of grace.
So. In terms of like to represent who I am, here’s a guy who’s always trying to do his best to be as gracious as possible, you know, thankful, appreciative, valuable, all those things is what I’m striving to do. And if I can do that, you know, from, from the wreck that I have been and still continue to be, anybody can, anybody can be more gracious, more helpful, more reliable, more whatever.
Norman Chella: [00:59:16] Fantastic. Defaulting to grace and making sure that grace is an inherent part of your personality, no matter the amount of struggles that you are going through each and every day. Just remember to have that in you as you’re going about, uh, as the days go by. Pete, thank you so much. I do have a haiku for you as you tend to have a haiku for each and every episode.
And here is a quick one, so let me just try to get this right. Break it down. Show rocks. Pete Turner, the ground truth. Oh, dammit. I’m one off. Pete turned Pete a Turner. The ground truth. Subscribe to the spy. Pete, thank you so much for becoming being a guest on the Antifool and I will talk to you soon. And that is it.
My chat with Pete A Turner of Break it Down show and former spy master is you can tell we got a little vulnerable in there. As someone going through PTSD, Pete shares quite a number of experiences throughout his career and throughout his own personal life after coming back from the army. So I really do appreciate his willingness to be so honest and so raw and vulnerable.
And I hope that you mind dear friend. I have learned a lot from this chat as well, because I did. Mmm. I respect Pete, uh, a lot as a podcaster and interviewer, and as someone who is going through such amazing experiences and with a smile on his face, uh, wearing his amazing baseball cap. So I really do wish him all the best.
You can reach out to Pete via Twitter, LinkedIn and his personal website and his show. Breakitdownshow.com I will link all of these in the show notes right below so you that you can contact him for anything related to podcasting related to maybe his time is a spy. I’m not sure how to what extent can he share, but I hope you enjoyed this as well as the haiku that I did at the end for him, and if he did, then all as well.
Stay warm, stay lovely and I will see you in the next episode. You are foolish friend. Norm. Thank you for listening to the show. Anti fool is hosted, produced, and edited by me, Norman Chella. You can find out more about the show at, that’s the norm.com/antifool it’s where I host all my other podcasts shows and more live music and sound effects.
Come from zapsplatt.com if you have any questions, recommendations for guests and more. Hit me up on Twitter at Norman Chella or on LinkedIn as well. There is only one of me in the world. I’m sure you can find me there. I love connecting with people and having warm, meaningful conversations. Don’t be foolish.
All right. Cheers.