Men’s Journal’s Everyday Warrior With Mike Sarraille is a new podcast that inspires individuals to live more fulfilling lives by having conversations with disrupters and high performers in all walks of life. In our fifteenth episode, we spoke to Glenn Cowan, investor, venture capitalist, and former special operations officer. Cowan founded One9, a dual-use defense, security, and intelligence investment group in Canada.
Listen to the full episode above (scroll down for the transcript) and see more from this series below.

This interview has not been edited for length or clarity.


Mike Sarraille
And welcome to the Men’s Journal everyday warrior podcast with your host, Mike Sarraille. That’s me and I am joined by Glenn Cowan today, who’s a good, good friend. No, he’s not famous…yet, but he tries to stay under the radar,

Glenn Cowan
Try to remain quiet and professional as best we’ve been taught, but it’s uh, yeah, we’ll see how that goes.

Mike Sarraille
Well, you’re failing on both fronts if that’s quiet and professional <laugh>.

Glenn Cowan
Yeah, I failed on the professional part.

Mike Sarraille
Part. Okay. Well, no, Glen is a good, good buddy. I’m sure we’ll get into how we met. Uh, he is Canadian, like Anicka Newell who, you know.

Glenn Cowan
Yeah. We’ve crossed paths.

Mike Sarraille
Okay. So Glenn was Canadian tier one, a tier one operator. Can I, yeah, you can.

Glenn Cowan
Can I think we’re good. I’m I’m I’m far enough for move, I think, and doing my best to represent the community in a positive light. So, yeah,

Mike Sarraille
And, and that, that’s the same thing I try to do for my respective community. But within Canada, they have a force known as joint task force two. Yeah. Also known as JTF two for short, it is their version of American tier one forces, uh, which, uh, you know, Delta force and so on. And they are just as good, just as rogue, cut from the same cloth. I met them while serving, uh, in the military myself and then Glen, Glen, and I met through mutual friends. But, um, Glen, let’s dive in before we talk about your time in the military, and then especially you’ve crossed a domain you’re highly successful in one of the most elite forces in the world. And you’re still crushing it now in the business world, having stood up what I like to describe as Canada’s largest defense fund to date, is that accurate?

Glenn Cowan
Yeah, we have, uh, recently launched a venture capital fund, uh, that is Canada’s first national security and critical infrastructure fund. And, and I use a lot of the parallels and analogies and the way that we would’ve approached a special operation in the way that I look at companies and invest and fundraise and, and really try to, uh, deploy and build companies, technologies and capabilities that actually help our collective national defense and, and critical infrastructure security. So it’s really rewarding because it’s empowered me with another sense of mission where in, in a, in many ways I feel that as a civilian outside of the military, uh, we’ve had some successes where we’re actually contributing to the collective national security of United States and Canada. I, in a way that I wasn’t able to do while I was in service with a unit like you, you described,

Mike Sarraille
So I’m gonna assume Intel was sort of the model you wanted to replicate for Canada. Yeah. For those listening. Can you, can you explain what for?

Glenn Cowan
Yeah, as we were fundraising, we would kind of describe ourselves as the Intel of Canada, a little bit of a different business model. Um, one of my co GPS, uh, has a very close relationship with INQ tell I was at a conference last week, uh, you know, where we had great interactions with their senior management. They’re actually in San Diego right now hosting their own conference where my business partner, uh, is attending as well. Um, but yeah, I mean, it’s, you know, they have a singular limited partner in the, in the government agencies that they support, um, our business, model’s a little bit different, but our focus and our thesis is aligned. And I think we’re gonna be doing some, some interesting things, hopefully in the future with, uh, investors like INQ tell and many others south of the border here in the us that have just been amazing as we’ve, uh, really built on an American network as well.

Mike Sarraille
Let’s dive into where you grew up, um, leading up to, to, to the time you joined the military. And then naturally I want to dive into your time with JTF two. And what you learned as a leader leading some of the most elite forces in the, uh, in the world.

Glenn Cowan
Yeah, for sure. I grew up, uh, Northeast of Toronto in a town called Markham kind of typical suburban town to a big city, uh, very hap sort of upper middle class family. Um, my parents are awesome. Um, you know, my mom, mother of three boys, I have two older brothers. Uh, my dad was a business, uh, mentor and inspiration for me on the business side. I come from a long line of family business enterprise. There’s some cool stories behind some of the, the businesses that my families kind of brought kind of forward. Uh, my mom was the glue and the rock that kept our fam our kind of family on even keel. Um, now my, you know, my oldest brother, I love him to death. He’s amazing. He’s a one eyed, uh, criminal defense lawyer turned standup comedian. Uh, my other brother is, uh, a surfer on a beach in Noosa, Costa Rica.

Glenn Cowan
And so, you know, the, the running joke in my family growing up was, he’s a very creative guy, my middle brother. Um, you know, he’s, he’s a big ideas thinker, some of the projects that you and I are talking about right now, I’ve bounced some ideas off him on how to kind of curate and innovate and sort of think really big. And I’ve taken a lot of inspiration from him, but the running joke in my family was I was gonna do something stupid. My oldest brother would defend me and get me outta trouble. And it would be a good enough story that my middle brother would make a movie about it. And, and, uh, kind of two outta three of those have kind of come true. Um, so yeah, that’s kind of the way we grew up.

Mike Sarraille
So typical household, three brothers beating the living crap out of each other.

Glenn Cowan
Yeah. Youngest of three. Uh, there was a point in time when my parents said you better be careful, Glen’s gonna get bigger than you sometime. Uh, and that did happen. Um, but we, you know, we had the regular banter and we’d, we’d, uh, our summers, uh, at our cottage up at the lake, uh, would always result in, uh, an annual trip to the hospital with a relatively catastrophic injury. Um, you know, uh, whether that was, uh, you know, a fight where my middle brother grabbed the, the Drand nasal spray bottle and just in the last ditch effort before death jammed it into my oldest, brother’s good eye and squeezed the entire sort of bottle of, of nasal spray, uh, rendering him completely blind, um, to, you know, fish hooks into every part of the body, uh, literally and figuratively. Um, you name it. We, we had those types of injuries that, that resulted in the end

Mike Sarraille
Back up one brother took the eye of another brother. Well,

Glenn Cowan
It’s a crazy story. My, my, my oldest brother and Scott, I love you, buddy. So I’m gonna throw you under the bus here. Um, he was born, uh, blinded in one eye, uh, but his eye kind of functioned, but he, he could never see anything coming from the one angle, like, uh, and he would, he would tackle us and pin us down and put all his weight on our biceps and then clear his throat and spit it into our mouth. And that was kind of, that was kind of the way he would get his, his revenge. And so as he would like, hang like the Lu, the Lou, my middle brother in a last ditch effort of like salvation grabbed, like, you know, like, like a Aron, like a Aron lover, we call it Tristan or whatever, and just like jammed it. And it went right into his good eye and he let go of the whole bottle. So we had to call poison control and we didn’t have an eye flush. So, you know, mom races him to the hospital. And this was like a typical event at the, you know, we had one good one a year while we were in the summer at the cottage. And that, that was one of them.

Mike Sarraille
I, you know, I always considered it like preparation for special operations assessment and selection. Cuz I was the youngest
Glenn Cowan
Being the youngest of brothers is a, is good selection for sure.

Mike Sarraille
I, my brother beat the living. My, I will say my brother and his friends. Yeah. Beat the living crap. It was not all totally undeserved. Yeah. I had quite a little mouth when I was little, I mean, but he pushed me off the roof of one of our structures onto a wood pile. Oh yeah. And I remember just messed me up and then he tried to, to hush me up about it in pain. Yeah. We,

Glenn Cowan
We, we would do the same, you know, loosen the Lu note on the front wheel of a BMX bike as he goes off a jump and the wheel comes off mid jump and took out all his front teeth. You know, that, that was pretty normal. Yeah.

Mike Sarraille
I, I think in today’s day and age, parents would get called by. I, I don’t know in Canada, if you guys have child protective services, but no, no. Seems like you can’t do that stuff anymore.

Glenn Cowan
I’m, I’m hyper sensitive to it. Now when my, I have two girls and when they fight, I’m like all super sensitive. I’m like, are they okay? I’m like, yeah, they’re fine. Like think about what we did as a kid. I think they’re just fine.

Mike Sarraille
The girls. So at what point did you make the decision to go into the Canadian military?

Glenn Cowan
Thi this is a, this is an easy question. Um, and I think like you, and we’ve, I’ve been on a couple of podcasts with Mike, uh, and a bunch of other tier one guys, you know, from seal team six and Delta and the STS and that community and, and, and the common theme. I think there’s something just in our DNA. Uh, I think there’s a calling that we know very early that not only do we want to be in the military, but we want to be a special operator in the military. And I would, I would almost partition those two out cuz there’s something unique. I think in the DNA of guys and girls like us that want to do this kind of stuff. Uh, for me, uh, when I think I was 15, I went to France and I did a Normandy battlefield tour.

Glenn Cowan
And uh, I walked Juno beach where the Canadian storm Normandy, uh, I was so moved in the em, the American military cemetery in Omaha. We were talking about this the other day and, and I, I kind of promised myself one, I’m going to do that. And if anything like this ever happens again, I wanna be a part of it. And it was just a calling. And I just knew, uh, I went to university, uh, in Montreal. I went to university called McGill, which is a, I don’t know how I got in there, but I got into McGill. It’s a very good school. Uh, and I joined a reserve unit called the black watch, which is a Scottish Highland, uh, part-time uh, reserve unit to help put myself through school and, and very early on in there, I knew I, I needed to go to, to special operations. Um, and so you did, and I found myself

Mike Sarraille
Is the black watch infantry. What I mean,

Glenn Cowan
What, it’s a, it’s a light infantry unit. Yeah. Light, light infantry, but it’s, part-time a huge culture, uh, Scottish Highland traditions and, um, you know, post nine 11, I’d done a component transfer to the regular force. And I was in the right time and place. And I was sent to a full-time light infantry battalion in the princess Patricia’s Canadian light infantry. That was the NATO high readiness force for Canada immediately after nine 11, we were attached the first of the 180 7 brigade combat team. Yep. Hundred first Radas. And we were in Afghanistan by January, 2002 as a conventional platoon commander, uh, as green behind the ears, as you can get. Um,

Mike Sarraille
Did, did you go in as an officer, even during college,

Glenn Cowan
Michigan? I, I, I did. And to this day, I, I, I keep kind of kicking myself for being an officer <laugh>, you know, uh, anyway, I, I mean, I say that half joking, half tongue in cheek, but there’s some, some merit to

Mike Sarraille
It. So the black watch, do you guys wear dresses,

Glenn Cowan
Full kilts, kilts motherfucker, kilts motherfucker. Okay. Bag piped into battle over the top first world war

Mike Sarraille
Kilts. I think in America we call them dresses, but

Glenn Cowan
Don’t, don’t fight a guy in a kilt. There’s the lesson to you. There’s there’s a lot. There’s a good lesson.

Mike Sarraille
So at what point, and I know, you know, you mentioned we did a podcast together. That was, that was one of the bed pod best podcast I’ve I I’ve ever done. That was

Glenn Cowan
A great experience.

Mike Sarraille
I would, there will never be another podcast like that. And for, for the audience we’ll, we’ll drop the link. [Find links here and here.]  It was a, a select, uh, season called truth plus tribe in partnership with a great company truth. Plus media owned by, uh, a gentleman named, uh, Brett Goldberg and, uh, I’m forgetting the famous coach. He was coach of the, uh, Denver nuggets coach. Carl, thank you. In the audience. Uh, George, Carl. Um, but we had yourself representing Canada. Yep. Brent Tucker, Brent

Glenn Cowan
Tucker,

Mike Sarraille
A tier one, a tier one. Uh, didn’t say

Glenn Cowan
That. Sorry.

Mike Sarraille
Army soldier, uh, tier one army soldier. My bad rich Vinney, rich Vinney, maybe tier one soldier and me. Oh, Jason. Uh Magnis we see?

Glenn Cowan
Oh, no, no. Uh, Eric, uh, curly hair wore pink shirt. We sled him for it.

Mike Sarraille
Oh yeah. Air force tier one. And then I think we do we have Jason Magnis. Nope. J max. No. No. Okay. And you, well, uh, that was basically for the nine, 11 20th anniversary, right after the withdrawal of Afghanistan and, and we, it was two parts. Go listen to it. It was, uh, the reflections of soldiers that fought pretty much crossed the 20 year war, uh, what they had learned, their thoughts.

Glenn Cowan
It was the 10th anniversary of Extortion as well.

Mike Sarraille
It was the 10th anniversary of Extortion 17. Yeah. You had talked about, uh, one of the soldiers lost during operation Anaconda. I think that’s correct from Canada that, that still impacts you to this day. And, and you said drove you to step to the next level.

Glenn Cowan
Yeah, he was an inspirational, uh, junior non-commissioned leader. His name was mark lege. He was not killed on op Anaconda. He was killed by friendly fire, uh, on a training accident where a us F 16 mistook our forces for enemy and engaged with, I think a 500 pound GBU. Um, four of our guys were killed. Uh, but mark, uh, I didn’t know him well. Uh, he wasn’t in my company, um, but he had a really profound impact on me as a very junior platoon commander, which is a pretty daunting for any young, for NCOs that SL officers, if you flip the script a little bit, you don’t know how nervous a new guy coming into an infantry battalion is like, you can be pretty daunting to try and stand up in front of a group of seasoned hardened NCOs, and present yourself with any kind of credibility, um, and kind of fake it till you make it.

Glenn Cowan
And, and mark was, uh, just a really compassionate, good guy. And, and, um, there was just a few times and a few instances where he said some really nice things to me and he didn’t have to, and it stuck with me and the night he was killed, uh, it was actually my range that night. So we were supposed to go out. Uh, his company had got a warning order for a mission. They had to go out and zero their guns. So, you know, uh, their company XO came across and said, Hey, I gotta take your range. And we kind of flagged and said, yeah, you know, this is bullshit. We’re losing our range to you guys. You know, little like intercompany sort of dynamics. And so I went to the gym and I was just working out and I, and I was in there, uh, and he was in there. And, uh, I think the last thing I said to him was thanks for stealing our range, have a good shoot,

Mike Sarraille
You asshole.

Glenn Cowan
And probably something like that. And, and I think there might have been a fist bump or something that was the last I last time we ever had an engagement, like I said, I didn’t know him well. Um, but an UN, just an unbelievable, like he, he was, uh, inspiring to me in the sense that you could, he was a big dude, strong dude, an incredibly respected leader, uh, but had compassion and, and you know that like, he could fuck you up, but always had something compassionate and nice to say, like he was a good man. And, and I just tried to draw a little bit of inspiration from that. Um, I wish I knew him better because he was, he’s the kind of person I would’ve wanted to know better.

Mike Sarraille
You know, there’s a few things I want to dissect in, in, in accordance with the, the podcast and sort of our, our pillars and our themes. You you’ve served with some guys that are just lethal some of the most lethal people on this planet and Devin

Glenn Cowan
Dev. Yeah. Devon devs pretty lethal.

Mike Sarraille
And

Glenn Cowan
You gotta have Devon on this podcast on we’ll, he’ll blow your minds. Yeah.

Mike Sarraille
We’ll and we’ll, we’ll talk about it here, him here in a little bit, but you know, I, at risk of taking a lot of criticism, you know, there’s a lot of soft guys out there that are in the movies that, uh, compared to the tier one, guys didn’t do a whole lot. They served their country and, and I’m not trying to degrade in one service, but they built this reputation often, like a big fish in a small pond, like the west coast seal teams where, you know, they never ventured out to take it to the next level. And at the next level, I truly, I served in the west coast seal teams. I love my time over there. I loved the guys, but when I got to the tier one, I truly understand what it meant to be the most lethal warrior, not myself, but watching the guys that were, and you just said, mark could fuck anyone up. Mark was a, he was a fighter, but

Glenn Cowan
He, he was now, this is when I was in a conventional industry battalion. I

Mike Sarraille
Know. Yeah. Yeah. And even there, and there’s, there’s plenty of them. Those dudes fought for a reason. They had a great amount of restraint and the most lethal dudes, I knew never told anyone and they were empathetic. They were kind, they were respectful. And what was most admirable. And I’m, I’m thinking of so many guys right now where I walked, I watched them walk out of the bar where they knew it was gonna be a bad situation. Not for them, for the other guy. Yep. Opening their mouths. Yeah. And they just left.

Glenn Cowan
<laugh> they left? Are we going to the bar fight?

Mike Sarraille
I, I do. I was in very few bar fights. Um, in fact, my, I think my last scrap was outside this bar. Uh, and I woke up on the sidewalk. Uh, and that was my realization that, uh, that my time

Glenn Cowan
Was done. I had a realization a couple years ago, too, where I got jumped. I was with a couple of guys, we got jumped and I was put in the hospital and I was not in a good place mentally and, and whatnot. And it was a, it was a wake up, but, but we met over a bar fight.

Mike Sarraille
Uh,

Glenn Cowan
We met over a bar

Mike Sarraille
Fight. See, this is the reason you don’t have friends on the podcast that have some dirt on, but what we’ll get to that story. Um, the other thing you said is about being a brand new officer, standing in front of a bunch of seasoned yeah. Guys and season, maybe you had three years in the military and they’re at like 10 or seven or for those listening, I don’t care what your rank is. I don’t care if you went to college and all of a sudden come in as a general manager, you cannot rush credibility only action

Mike Sarraille
In time. And what I mean by action is consistency. And following through on what you say you’re gonna do, that is the only way to build credibility in the eyes of, of your people. Yeah. I always was. I was never as old as my senior enlisted advisor, never had as many deployments as my guys had. And I, I think it’s natural for everyone wants to rush credibility and trust. They wanna rush those things, but they’re the, the only true and tried way of doing it is just perform on a daily basis and eventually it’ll kill.

Glenn Cowan
Yeah, absolutely. And, and it’s, and it’s the, it’s the proverbial chicken and egg because you, you can’t get the credibility until you’re given the opportunity. But often as a young officer or a new officer, whether it’s in a conventional platoon, you’re showing up to a light infantry battalion, or in a tier one unit, you just haven’t been given the opportunity. So you need that time to cut your teeth. And, and, and we all want to have the confidence and we have egos and, and like narcissistic tendencies. And we’re like invincible, young men that just are fueled by testosterone and we want to fight, but we also want to like lead well and do the right thing. And I, I mean, it took me a long time to realize one of the important lessons I learned as a troop commander. And that is you can’t please, everybody.

Glenn Cowan
No, I would deploy. We would have four team leaders, really awesome sort of Sergeant level team leaders running, running the fight. I mean, a troop commander has his role in the fight. Team leaders have their role in the fight. Uh, they’re running the fight and these are really opinionated, alpha males with a lot of experience. And a lot of the time they don’t get along and they have different opinions about how you should approach something, but ultimately as the buck stops with you. So, you know, when push comes to shove, you, you’re the one says, Hey, this is the direction we’re going. Yeah. And I tried too hard for too long to make sure everyone was kind of happy as opposed to being like, your idea is terrible. We’re going with his idea. It’s better. You’re not, let’s go. And it took me a little while to kind of understand the fact that my decision making was going to leave 50% of the people kind of pissed off.

Glenn Cowan
Uh, and, and it, it was a really hard comfort to arrive at and with my own confidence to kind of hoist that aboard. And by the time I got to be a squadron commander, it was easy because I had that confidence. And it took that many years to kind of build that many operations and deployments and interactions with different people’s experience and learning from, you know, your, your, your non-commission warriors that are actually the ones who will hold you up and make you successful or not successful based on sort of how you’re able to build this team. But it’s their team. As an officer, we were always just kind of passing through. They held the fork, they had the integrity of holding teams together for years. And we were just kind of, we were just kind of renting the seat a little bit and passing through.

Glenn Cowan
And, and so it took me a little bit, it took me a while to understand that, and then pivot my leadership style to sort of appreciate that and understand that. Um, and so I found myself starting to listen a whole lot more, um, and, and realizing that you can’t please everybody, and then just be transparent and open about the context behind why you’re making that decision. And it just comes down to, if you’re gonna make a decision that upsets someone, tell them the reason why you’re doing it, give them the out, give them the backstory, give ’em the backstop, give ’em the context. And, and nine times outta 10, in my experience, uh, they might not have liked your decision, but they would at least have an understanding as to why we were going in that certain direction.

Mike Sarraille
Yeah. That’s again, you can’t demand respect. You can only deserve, you know, earn respect.

Glenn Cowan
Oh, I, I failed as a true commander so many times

Mike Sarraille
I’ll get everyone does there’s

Glenn Cowan
There’s there’s it was

Mike Sarraille
Humbling. There’s no playbook, man.

Glenn Cowan
Humbling.

Mike Sarraille
There’s no playbook, but you know, as you dissect what it means to be a leader, not everyone’s cut out to be a leader. Cause all eyes are on you. They’re second guessing every decision that you make, I mean, it is a brutal, brutal position. You, you have to become comfortable with almost being alone in a sense. I, and people have asked me like deployed overseas, like, oh, you’re surrounded by 40 of your brothers. I’m like, yeah, absolutely

Glenn Cowan
Leadership is a lonely

Mike Sarraille
Position, but it’s a true commander. Even though I’m surrounded by ’em you do have to segregate yourself in certain aspects to not compromise your ability to make the hard decisions. Now, I, I like to say this and I love your position. I, I, I talk about decisions of what’s best and what’s right. And let me break that down. So let’s say it’s it is well, Canada, during the winter, it’s snowing. It’s negative 30 out. The best decision. The get the one that will make you popular with the guys is, Hey guys, let’s, let’s cancel training. Let’s go to the bar. Let’s drink. And the guys will love you from that. From a popularity standpoint, we

Glenn Cowan
Don’t drink in Canada.

Mike Sarraille
You <laugh> sure. Yeah, sure, buddy.

Glenn Cowan
No, I know what you’re saying. I know what you’re saying,

Mike Sarraille
But the right one is, Hey, we only have so many training evolutions before we go back overseas. Yeah. We may learn something during this training, which no one’s gonna be comfortable in negative 30. I don’t care what gear you have, but we’re gonna go out. We’re gonna train hard. Yep. And we’re gonna take it seriously. Yeah. And guys will eventually respect you for that decision. Two weeks, one month, six months down the line and some to your point never will, but that’s, that’s, that’s a you or, or the, that’s a them problem.

Glenn Cowan
The last training evolution of the night, when everyone thinks you’re done and you’re gonna start packing it up and then you say, Nope, that wasn’t good enough. Run it again. And it’s like, and you can just see like, oh

Mike Sarraille
Fuck this

Glenn Cowan
Guy. Fuck this guy. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Mike Sarraille
This is true.

Glenn Cowan
Or, or really hard ones like we talked about yesterday. So we’ve been driving around Austin. Uh we’re we’re, we’re filming this from Austin and I’ve been on a bird scooter for a week. It’s been awesome. But Mike and I have been driving around a little bit and um, you know, we, we talked about, should we go out and help? Is that our job? Are we here to kill bad guys? Are we here to help save our coalition forces? You know, that discussion, that was a hard one. And that one, that one had some moral and ethical implications into like, what is our role here? Do we go out in the middle of the daytime? Because we hear on the radio that not too far from us, there’s a contact and there’s some conventional soldiers or another SF team getting brewed up. They’ve got QRF they’ve, you know, is inserting yourself into that fight gonna cause more conflict or, um, more confusion. Is it going to, is it gonna hurt your guys so that you can’t go out that night and actually prosecute the task that you’re asked to prosecute and it, and it create it. I know it created discussions amongst sort of me and my peers of like, we’re here to kill these bad guys. Well, no, no, no. We’re here to kill all the bad guys and protect our guys. And it was just a very moral and ethical and it was a very polarizing discussion sometimes.

Mike Sarraille
And I’m not gonna say there’s a right or wrong answer. There’s not a right or wrong in the perspective

Glenn Cowan
Though, there’s not a right or wrong answer to it. Uh, and, and it was just, but again, one of those, like a leader, getting thrust into making some pretty difficult decisions that were morally and ethically really challenging to make, because there’s not really a right answer. There’s kind of only a wrong answer. And it’s like, which one of the wrong, which wrong,

Mike Sarraille
It’s less wrong,

Glenn Cowan
Which one is less wrong. Um, and anyway, it was, I found often some of the decisions that we were forced to make were exactly that, which one is less wrong, which one is gonna suck less, which one is the one you can sleep with or live with a little bit better than the alternative. Does that make sense?

Mike Sarraille
It does man. In, I I’m not gonna lie. There were definitely decisions that were decisions by consensus or the, or the, the tribal council, which I I’m, I’m fine with some decisions, you know, I’m, I’m willing to advocate that I don’t need to own it if all the guys think this is the right decision. If, if I was somewhat in agreeance, I, I was willing to make that decision in accordance with what they thought that, that there’s a line there where, you know, when do you have to stand against the

Glenn Cowan
No, no, I’m glad you brought this up because I’ve built my business around this exact lesson that I pulled out of conducting operations in Afghanistan. And decision making comes down to time and opportunity and, and, and risk and understanding risk, but really time and opportunity is where the, the most important lesson that I’ve pulled into my business, we would in our community. We always wanted to involve everybody in the plan we wanted. We wanted buy in from the, from the, from the guys that were going to be doing the business. And if we had time and opportunity, we would spend 72 hours deliberately planning, very methodical mission. We would give as much time to the guys that had to go into the rooms and do the business to build the plan. There were some times when something would spike right away, and there was no time to plan.

Glenn Cowan
And we had to say, as a leader, this is the way we’re doing it. Shut up and get on the helicopter. Absolutely. Get in the trucks. Let’s go. And I think when, when, and I apply that to my businesses now, uh, time and opportunity, and again, in a non-war setting, we should, we should think that we have a lot of time and opportunity where business is competitive. Business is ruthless. The clock is ticking. Things need to happen. Things always happen slower than you want. And so I have, I’ve really taken, uh, the, the concept of let’s not rush to failure. If we have time, let’s involve as many different stakeholders in the decision as we can, let’s go to committee let’s, let’s take a vote, let’s do whatever we need to do to get the right plan. But at the end of the day, if there’s no time, there’s no democracy. It’s an authoritarian. One decision maker, the buck stops with me. Let’s go.

Mike Sarraille
So that goes to leadership styles. And, and there’s not one leadership style. There’s a time to be, let’s say an authoritarian where time is not a variable. You have, there is time to be in a sense politician where you want to hear other everyone’s viewpoint, because you have plenty of time that variable and, and you’ve got the time to take in input for everyone and see what the best decision is for the organization. Yeah. What the right decision is for the organization.

Glenn Cowan
Yeah. It’s tough. It’s tough.

Mike Sarraille
Especially within our line of work. Sometimes you had months, if not weeks to plan for certain operations time, sometimes it was, we have him now let’s go. You need to go, go get this guy,

Glenn Cowan
Which we’re honestly, we used to joke and we’d call that Navy seal battle procedure. Like,

Mike Sarraille
Because we’re that good?

Glenn Cowan
Yeah, no, it’s like, like getting the truck, drive up, do it and get outta there. Like we would joke. It was pretty funny.

Mike Sarraille
So did you guys basically use us as like the model to be

Glenn Cowan
Like, yeah, you guys are amazing. Cuz seals are like, like nothing, keep going, nothing bad ever happens in a seal community. Keep going. You guys can do no wrong.

Mike Sarraille
You know, I’m liking this conversation though. Yeah,

Glenn Cowan
Totally. You keep going. You you’ve actually keep going. You end up doing pushups before a podcast and drinking a mimosa with the Navy seals. So

Mike Sarraille
I, I, I won’t put you in the spot. I know we’ve had some conversations about the seal community. No,

Glenn Cowan
No,

Mike Sarraille
Not nothing closed doors. You’ve gotten

Glenn Cowan
The, uh, uh, no, I, I mean, we, honestly, we did learn a lot from, uh, us

Mike Sarraille
Special operations.

Glenn Cowan
There’s a, uh, not to say that my community, like I, there’s a, there’s a drastic difference between Canada and the us. Like we, we can.

Mike Sarraille
One’s awesome. And one’s not,

Glenn Cowan
Yeah. And one wins gold medals at hockey and one doesn’t so we’re good. Um, but no, there’s a, there is a not to say that we don’t have a warrior ethos, but there isn’t a, there is an aggression, um, that, that I witnessed working alongside both tier one army guys and tier one Navy guys that, that, uh, I mean, we talked about on the last podcast, um, it kind of led in, in many ways to a little bit of an imposter syndrome, which, which I’d say comfortably, we were very good at what we did. Don’t get me wrong. And I loved the community I came out of, but there was a, a, a desire to, to get in a scrap, um, that you guys are truly the masters of when I go around the world and I see what’s happening geopolitically right now, we got Ukraine, we got a rising threats in China.

Glenn Cowan
We got a lot of technology kind of coming to the forefront of the venture scene. We know, we know that that, that we, as a Western democratic society can position ourselves very well. And people start talking about the us. My, my response is, uh, <laugh>, um, never back an American into a corner, cuz you’re gonna come out swinging. And it’s a little bit of a, be careful what you wish for. And I have a perspective of being able to see, say that from a, a military side, a tier one soft side, a business side. Um, and it’s, it’s, uh, you guys can be a ruthless adversary, uh, and it’s and, and an amazing ally to take an objective with like, it’s really it’s it’s uh, when the, when the, when the power of the American machine gets going, it’s impressive. And I saw it the first time on op Anaconda.

Glenn Cowan
We came in on the back end to do a little bit of a mop up on the tail end of Anaconda was called harpoon. And it was the first time I saw the sheer shock ina of the us air force. As, as the Northern Alliance was pushing Al-Qaeda into sort of the Tobo pass. The bunker Buster munitions that were dropping 24 7 around the clock was like, again, like not to quote w but like shocking. Aw man. Like I think one of our guys was probably taking a shit on a hillside sometime. And the over pressure from a concussion knocked him over into knocked him back into his own, you know, business. And it was hilarious. We all laughed at him, but it was shocking off. I mean, and that’s the only way to, and it was probably two kilometers away that a, that a round impacted a target and we were getting knocked over.

Glenn Cowan
Like we were getting hit with earthquakes. It, it was truly phenomenal. And, and likewise on some of the missions we did, we Winchester AC one 30 gunships all the time, and those were not Canadian gunships. And we were not on the radio with American air force personnel that come in and check in and just be like, Hey, y’all tell me what you need down there and we’re gonna make it happen. And it was just the most comforting, the most comforting voice we’d ever have on a radio. It was, it was truly, truly, uh, awe-inspiring in some, in many regards,

Mike Sarraille
There are critics of how much we spend discretionary funding on defense, but I assure you, there’s a reason. And those people are not complaining when we actually deploy it and put it into action.

Glenn Cowan
We’re seeing it right now. We’re absolutely seeing it right now. I’ve built a venture capital fund, not to capitalize on this because we’ve been saying it for many years. Um, war and defense spending is a big business. It’s an ugly business and it’s a nece, uh, necessary business. We have in Canada as an example, probably the most left leaning liberal government. It’s a minority government. I’m not getting political, but they are spending well in excess that we have seen in the past of a conservative majority government, because it it’s a necessity. And when, when we’re not faced with some of the threats we’re faced right now in the world, it can afford to become political. But when it becomes a necessity, it’s a very, it’s a very nonpartisan discussion. We need this, we need this kit. We need to outfit our men and women appropriately. We need to put the infrastructure in place and it, and it’s actually, uh, a really positive non nonpartisan view, which is completely counterculture, which is scary because it actually goes to show there’s a serious existential threat right now that we’ve gotta take pretty seriously.

Mike Sarraille
It it’s crazy that people will say that war is not a necessary thing. It’s almost like saying evil will one day not exist on this earth. Evil will always exist. There will always be a need. We will always be at war with, with some form of evil, somewhere in the world right now, you know, for the last 20 years, it was international terrorism, which still exists. Yep. And right now it’s the aggression of Russia against the EU Ukraine.

Glenn Cowan
And I would add the third, most significant and biggest threat is a rising China that is going to challenge the United States for global atomy global dominance hedge on me. I can’t remember. I don’t, whatever we got it. And we’re gonna see, we’re gonna see make no mistake. What’s playing out in Ukraine. And our responses as a Western democratic

Mike Sarraille
Is a pre-game for,

Glenn Cowan
If you don’t think the Chinese are sitting back and watching that response in relation to what they might do in Taiwan, you’re very naive. You’re very naive and this, and, and, and, uh, it’s a very scary discussion. Um, and it’s one that we have to take very seriously. And, and I’ve been involved again as a civilian. I’ve been behind more, probably more, no foreign close hold discussions as a city than I was as a tier one squadron commander.

Mike Sarraille
What, what year did you come into the military?

Glenn Cowan
Uh, 98,

Mike Sarraille
Same year I came into the us military. Yeah, it’s funny. Cuz when in that era, prior to nine 11, we were study studying Russian armor. Yeah. We were preparing for the next next war with Russia.

Glenn Cowan
Yeah.

Mike Sarraille
It, it is amazingly. I mean it is astonishing how bad they are. It is. I mean, we, for so long we thought the Russian military was so, so much more advanced and competent. It is it it’s comedic. Is it how bad they, they, they

Glenn Cowan
Are. Is it that? Or is it just show that one guy with a javelin missile can stop a 40 mile long

Mike Sarraille
J T 72

Glenn Cowan
T 72 column because it’s insane. And as I told you, we got a company that we’re working with right now that literally has a Harry Potter visibility cloak and against a T 80 thermal site, this a javelin gunner or a dude with a 3 38 or a 50 Cal rifle is invisible and they will wreak havoc on an armored column. It’s it’s mind blowing. So is it that, or is it tactics have changed? It’s not world war II tank on tank warfare. Like I don’t know the right answer to that, but what’s happening in Ukraine is giving us a little bit of a picture as to what the future of warfare looks like.

Mike Sarraille
There, there is a component that, Hey, I would never wish my, my son or daughter go to war. I would never wish that on any one son or daughter. I, I know you and I didn’t mind that. Um, and that’s what we, we, in a sense signed up for and we were prepared for it and we knew the outcomes. We knew the consequences, but there is something to say how good the us, the British, the Canadians, the Australians have gotten over the last 20 years? How, how good they have gotten that conflicts of fighting these conflicts from not only the tactics to the logistics, to the evolution in technology and, and equipment. I mean, we, we have a lot of corporate knowledge now that the Russians and Chinese just don’t have, yeah, we don’t have the iterations. It comes down to iterations. So

Glenn Cowan
A hundred percent agree, but I will play devil’s advocate to that too. While we were doing that and getting really good, not withstanding the Russians, but the Chinese weren’t doing that. Do you know

Mike Sarraille
What they, they were buying everything.

Glenn Cowan
Do you know what

Mike Sarraille
They were doing? Buying everything in

Glenn Cowan
Inside. They were, they were building the thousand talents program. They were penetrating every fortune 500 company in the us with, with insiders that are stealing intellectual property. And we know that to be true. They’re not stupid. They are, they are moving towards economic warfare, intellectual property theft type warfare, cyber warfare data, privacy warfare, future war is gonna play out very differently. And we’ve had had a great discussion. I, I met, I met, uh, for a quick byte the other night, uh, a senior NCO from army tier one unit in Fort Bragg, like, uh, and we had that discussion of like, were we really at war in the last 20 years? Or did we just, you know, deploy and conduct really high speed tier one type direct action targeting missions where we were not fighting a near peer adversary. And, and what we’re seeing right now is fighting a near peer adversary

Mike Sarraille
Is a lot different scale of war is, is a lot different. I’ll give

Glenn Cowan
You that. And, and I don’t wanna say that we weren’t in combat and we weren’t engaged in a conflict, but it just, it leads like it it’s led me to kind of start thinking about like, what is actually playing out now? What is the next conflict look like? And I think if we start drawing some of those lessons that we’ve learned out of Iraq and Afghanistan is trying to apply it to an armored column. We might wanna start rethinking how we’re doing it because it’s a completely different beast. It’s a completely different enemy. It’s a completely different target set. Now a backstop that with the fact that we’ve got really in incre incredible guys and girls really smart, you put some cool shit, you put some cool stuff into their hands and they’re gonna figure out how to win with it. And so that I’m, that I’m very confident in that, that what we put forward in the next fight is gonna do just as well as some of our forces did kind of collectively over the last 20 years in the global war on terror.

Mike Sarraille
Well, we’re gonna take a mid-roll break here, but before we do, we ask a, a few key questions, first off, biggest regret of your life to date.

Glenn Cowan
Oh man, uh,

Mike Sarraille
I’m being born Canadian.

Glenn Cowan
I’m living it right now. Um, I might actually keep that one to myself. Um, but it’s, I’m living it. Um,

Mike Sarraille
Better question for another time.

Glenn Cowan
Uh, no, it’s, I think not, uh, not being as honest, I think I, I’m a, I’ve learned a lot in the past year and, um, transparency and honesty and integrity, um, and learning, learning how to live in a post

Mike Sarraille
Screw up

Glenn Cowan
Sort of civilian way. It’s just been a really interesting, but I think biggest regret of my life as a theme would be, um, probably at times misrepresenting who I am or trying to, uh, not call it as I see it as clearly. And as honestly, and as transparently as I probably should have. And there’s many examples. So if we were to put them under a theme that would, that would be it transparency, integrity, and honesty, and, and, uh, defaulting to a fear based sense of decision making as opposed to making decisions from the heart.

Mike Sarraille
That’s probably one of the most honest answers we’ve had. Everyone puts their best face forward, their best public image forward. Everyone has a lapse in integrity. Everyone has a lapse in honesty that that is the truth. That right there is the truth, but people that try to play the game of like, well, I’m, you know, I will never tell a lie that’s to me that I’m like, that’s bullshit. That is bullshit.

Glenn Cowan
I, I have learned this year that, uh, in the last more than year, last few years, uh, fear is the opposite of love. You can’t go wrong if you lead with love.

Mike Sarraille
That’s

Glenn Cowan
A great one. And, um, you literally, if you tell the truth and lead with love, you can’t go wrong. There is no wrong answer. Uh, and I I’ve really have done a lot of self-reflection and evaluation on a lot of those things and, and fear conjures up ego, selfishness, fear, anxiety, depression, um, and fear is the opposite of love. So lead with love, and you’re probably gonna take your life decisions, friendships, relationships, to another level in the, in the direction that is just good for everybody.

Mike Sarraille
Great answer again. Um, hardest decision that you’ve ever had to make.

Glenn Cowan
I, I worked for a commander <laugh> and I use this line a lot, uh, and I kind of tongue in cheek, but, um, in the decision to whether or not we had to prosecute a target and kill a guy, it was, it was a harder decision as to whether or not we were gonna put onions on our cheeseburger. That’s how clear the decision was. And I used that. I used that kind of, uh, as a tongue in cheek, uh, sort of answer when I think about this decision, hardest decision I had to make, um, uh, probably, uh, putting myself in a position of significant vulnerability over, uh, an issue of integrity and I’ll leave it at that.

Mike Sarraille
Love it, love it. Okay. We’re gonna take about a three minute break and we will be right back with Glen Cowan, former JTF, two operator and founder of one nine, the largest defense fund in Canada. We are back with Glen Cowan, former JTF, two operator. If you don’t know what that is, it’s in Canada. I don’t think anyone cares. Um, I probably just upset our whole men

Glenn Cowan
Journal. It’s it’s a really good hockey team that does some special operations sometimes

Mike Sarraille
For, for Canada. If there are any Canadians in the bar, I apologize front, you guys are good to go. I just give Glen it’s a healthy rivalry.

Glenn Cowan
It’s a it’s good. Well

Mike Sarraille
It’s. So in all, you know, the

Glenn Cowan
Most bloody game of hockey that I’ve ever witnessed or seen or heard about was a ball hockey game between my community and a community at Fort Bragg. And it was the probably the most bloody game of ball hockey I’ve ever seen. It was awesome. Who,

Mike Sarraille
Who wins in the us, Canada hockey. That’s how closely I follow hockey,

Glenn Cowan
Uh, Canadian women’s hockey is on the rise. I’m the proud hockey dad of two young girls that, um, watching the rise of women’s hockey, uh, and the, and the rivalry in sports that is taking place. Now between Canada women’s hockey and American women’s hockey is unbelievable for anyone. Who’s a sports fan. If you’re not following that rivalry, it is probably one of the best ones. It is amazing hockey. It is ruthless. It is brutal. It is cutthroat, and it’s going all the way down to 10 years old. These girls go into the rink, they’ve got their stuffies under their arm. They’re wearing their little hugs, their little track suits, they got their bunnies, and then they come out and they go on the ice and they kill each other. And

Mike Sarraille
Then just shoulder checks just lame

Glenn Cowan
Each out in the locker room, they paint whiskers, and then they get their bunnies and they go for a play date. It’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. And when they’re on the ice, you, I, I shit. You not, you would think you’re watching like div one women’s hockey, uh, it’s unbelievable level of competition. I’m so impressed by seeing young girls be empowered and literally get on the ice and leave it all out there. It

Mike Sarraille
A really are a lot of the Canadian universities. Do they now have women’s hockey teams? Where are they given scholarships?

Glenn Cowan
Canadian women’s hockey in the universities is a great caliber of hockey. The reality of, again, the Canadian American dynamic to which, uh, the, the, the goal, if you want to say goal or the highest level that our girls can compete at outside of Olympic national team level would be to be, uh, drafted or get given a scholarship to a div one American school. Uh, and that is kind of where these girls, even at 10 and 12 are starting to be recruited for, uh, and, and groomed into some of these roles. It’s, it’s, it’s, it’s something else. And I, and it’s the mom show, uh, men are not allowed in the locker rooms that, which I think is amazing, even from sort of seven years old and up dads aren’t allowed in. So it’s the mom show and it’s the den moms that, that run, run the hockey for these girls and, and they put so much into it. And it’s really, it’s really incredible to see.

Mike Sarraille
Dude, I have no doubt,

Glenn Cowan
Sorry. That’s my hockey plug.

Mike Sarraille
No, no. I have no doubt having worked out with Anika. I was in pain for a week and a half having worked out with Tim Kennedy. It was like that good soreness, like the delayed onset soreness, whatever it’s called DOMs. Yep. I, I felt fine after a few days Anicka messed me up, but I haven’t run around a track in 10 plus years.

Glenn Cowan
Years. Just, just so I had, I’ve had some great discussions with Anika. Um, I think there’s some business synergies that some of the things that we’re building from a technology perspective for human performance can really help her with she’s. Um, a team can track and field athlete. She’s the pole vaulter. Um, and, and, uh, yeah, I mean, I didn’t work out with her. We’ve just had a couple of conversations about how we could leverage human performance technologies to maybe help her podium in, in Paris in 2024. Um, but yeah, no, I could, I don’t wanna work out with her. No, I don’t wanna work out with Tim Kennedy either I’d bite his ankles or something

Mike Sarraille
And try to he’s beast. He and his whole crew are beast. I’ll I’ll, I’ll give him that, man. Um, so I, I give you a hard time. I give Canada a hard time. I love Canada. It’s good. I think it’s worth mentioning that every 11 November, which we in America refer to as veterans day, which let’s be honest to you about 95% of Americans is just another holiday off yeah. Is called remembrance day. Correct. In Canada. Yep. And I actually head up to Ottawa, which again, I refer to as your Washington DC, where the war Memorial is, um, where your parliament is.

Glenn Cowan
Yep. It’s, it’s called the capital city of a G seven country, but that’s,

Mike Sarraille
There, there, there you go. I’m educating some people. Yeah. Not many people can name the, the capital of Canada, but I I’ve spent most of my November 11th. Yeah. In Ottawa since 2014, which is when we,

Glenn Cowan
When we met at a bar on remembrance day, which is kind of what you do, you, we collectively, uh, really celebrate, uh, our veterans. And, and I mean, yes, I’m a veteran, but I mean like our veterans, I mean like the generation of men and women that fought in world war I and world war II, uh, and the Korean war. Um, and that’s really, you know, there is a, yeah, it’s a statutory holiday. Uh, but the country stops at 11, 11 moment of silence. And in Ottawa, right in the downtown core is the national war Memorial. There is a massive parade, uh, probably a hundred thousand people attend, uh, in non COVID times anyway. Uh, and there’s an awesome little pub right beside the national war Memorial and my friends, colleagues, peers, folks from my community kind of migrate and take over that pub. Uh, and it’s sort of, as soon as the 21 gun salute stops post Armas and the, the laying at the wreath start.

Glenn Cowan
So does the drinking. And it’s a really great time to break bread with warriors, uh, in the post Afghan, uh, sort of conflict. We pay a lot of respect, very early on to our friends and colleagues that we lost in that war. Um, and it’s a solemn day, but it’s also a bit of a celebration. Um, and so we really celebrate our war dead because it affords us the ability to live in the society we live in. And it’s awesome. Uh, and, and, um, yeah, so we met at the bar on a remembrance day in what? 20 14, 14, 20 14 magic Mike came,

Mike Sarraille
Hold on, hold on, hold

Glenn Cowan
On. So now

Mike Sarraille
A mutual friend of ours who mutual friend doesn’t need to be named.

Glenn Cowan
Yeah. He’s still serving. He’s good. I actually ran into him in east Easter egg hunt. The other love him.

Mike Sarraille
He’s loved

Glenn Cowan
Him, dude. Yeah, no, we, we like, and he was looking good. He’s wearing aviators, slick back hair. And our, our daughters were searching for Easter eggs in the park. And, and I hadn’t seen him in years and I told him, I told him I was coming down here to hang out with Elli and he just shook his head and he’s like, oh fuck boys. Like <laugh>

Mike Sarraille
In, in to, to play true to this stereotype. His, his accent is

Glenn Cowan
He’s, he’s bad. He’s, he’s not French Canadian, but he’s got a good, he’s got a,

Mike Sarraille
He’s got the, the good accent. But he, he convinced me when we were both serving together to come up to, uh, Ottawa. So I booked flights. He’s like, you got to wear your uniform. Yeah. And I, I, on

Glenn Cowan
Remembrance day wear your uniform.

Mike Sarraille
I, I kept pushing back cuz that meant I would have to shave. And he, I mean, he, I caved to him. He’s like, just wear your uniform. Trust me. Cause I’m freshly divorced

Glenn Cowan
Of which none of us wear our uniform on.

Mike Sarraille
Remember no in

Glenn Cowan
Our

Mike Sarraille
Community, I didn’t even have a retirement ceremony. They’re like, Hey, let’s do your retirement ceremony. I’m like, no, I’ll be at a bar. Just bring my paperwork. And that’s what we did. But

Glenn Cowan
Yeah. So we met you and I hit it off. I think at the bar we got along pretty well.

Mike Sarraille
And you were in uniform.

Glenn Cowan
I was in uniform in the morning. I was, I

Mike Sarraille
Think you started drinking at what? Like 9:00 AM.

Glenn Cowan
Probably about 9:00 AM. Yeah. Uh, I like on that day I kind of gravitate towards Guinness. I don’t know why, but um, I think I took my kids home. I think they were at the ceremony with me. I took them home. I got outta uniform and I came back to the bar. Um, and again, it’s probably 11 O no 11 o’clock is the ceremony time. But probably say one o’clock, everyone’s kind of feeling no pain by one. O’clock, it’s a really, a lot of bro hugs, a lot of high fives, a lot of like drop pint glasses. And, um, it’s a great, it’s a, it’s my it in a weird way. It’s kind of one of my favorite days of the year. It’s impacted me more recently as I’ve reflected more and gotten smarter about things. I find it more of an emotional day. Um, I had one of the most impactful remembrance days last year alone. And it was, it was really impactful, but the year we met, um, oh boy, oh five. Are we gonna tell, are we gonna okay. We’ll we’ll remember preface

Mike Sarraille
I’ll preface. Remember my kids listen to this.

Glenn Cowan
So I’ll preface this by saying I won’t let the truth get in the way of a good story. Uh, leading up to that remembrance day, there had been a spate of stolen valor, uh, social media posts

Mike Sarraille
In Canada. And

Glenn Cowan
Even that morning, there

Mike Sarraille
Was a couple and explain what stolen valley is so

Glenn Cowan
Stolen, stolen valor is, um,

Mike Sarraille
Basically people claiming metals that they never earned or, or combat that, that they never saw. Yeah.

Glenn Cowan
But we even saw like, non-service people that have never served wearing like full airborne regiment regalia and like maroon Berets. And like, it honestly looked like you kind of assembled a costume, um, to misrepresent military service for your own personal game. I don’t know what going to Starbucks and have them buy you a coffee or thank you for your service or whatever, who knows what, or just their own delusional sort of self a randomization. Um, there had been a lot of that leading up to that remembrance day. And so here, magic Mike, as he became known after this day, uh, shows up to the bar wearing Navy sealed dress blues. Is that what you call them?

Mike Sarraille
Uh, they’re Navy nest dress blues. Yeah.

Glenn Cowan
Dress, dress, dress, blues, Navy, dress blues. Um, and Americans, unlike in Canada, like you get a metal, if you can do 20 pushups. <laugh> so

Mike Sarraille
Like, not quite my friend, but yes, we,

Glenn Cowan
We hold our honors and awards to a very high standard, whereas, you know, yeah. You can run a, you can run a mile in eight minutes, you get a medal sun. Um, and, and so Mike being fit, you know, has an astronomical amount of metals and ribbons and just shit that he, you know, uh, is wearing on his uniform.

Mike Sarraille
That, that I probably didn’t earn.

Glenn Cowan
Uh, I don’t know. I think you can do 20 pushups. I think you earned it. Um, as the day goes on, you know, the ties become looser. The shirt’s unbutton a little bit. Uh, the, the, the party ended up gravitating towards, uh, one of our, we call them leg, well, you probably call them legions.

Mike Sarraille
We, we call them. I remember you guys are like, Hey, to go to like the Legion. I’m like, you wanna Legion. And I’m like, in my mind, I’m thinking the American VFW in the American Legion or whatever they’re they’re referred to. And I’m like, nobody ever goes there to drink. They, I remember you convinced me. You’re like, no, it’s cheap. You wanna go, trust me. It’s like, it’s the next part? Cheap,

Glenn Cowan
Cheap beers go to the Legion. And so we gravitated to the Legion and I dunno, we’re probably into the evening. Now. Everybody is very well lubricated. And there was a group of reserve soldiers who are great guys. I was a reserve soldier. The, the, the reserves and the militia structuring Alicia structure in Canada is a really proud heritage. It’s awesome. There’s a lot of really great things. So when I say reserve soldiers, I don’t mean that to sound too degrading. Yeah. But they’re not team six operators. Okay. And they, I think in their sort of honoring the pride of the day, questioned the guy wearing the uniform, that they didn’t recognize as a stolen valor uniform. So about four or five guys started playing poke chest with old magic Mike being like,

Mike Sarraille
Hold on. I, I remember I was off by myself talking to a, a lady. Yeah. And we were talking to each other and those four guys came over and, and,

Glenn Cowan
And started calling him out. How dare you, where that uniform in our con in our Legion on this day, stolen valor motherfucker, you name it, pokey, chest 50 caliber finger bang, bang, bang. And they looked at his Navy seal, tried and started calling him out on it. And it just didn’t compute like Mike’s brain, wasn’t computing. Like what do you, what do you mean? What do you mean? Like, I’m a, I’m a stolen valor guy. Like this is a fucking Navy seal tried. And it escalated to the point where I think Mike might be the only person in the history of the seal teams to take his tried and off his uniform and use it as a ninja star and, uh, threw it. <laugh> threw it in this fucking guy.

Mike Sarraille
I just snort it

Glenn Cowan
Before this all brawl kind of kicked off. Um, because we were trying to downplay it, but we weren’t in uniform. So these guys didn’t really know sort of our load station. We’re like, guys, he’s with us. He’s good. Like, we’ll fuck you too. And you know what a bunch of guys fueled on booze on, on an emotionally charged day looks like anyway, Mike used his tried and as an ninja star, uh, and, and one, a pretty epic bar fight. I’ll give you that. I’ll give you that.

Mike Sarraille
Here’s what I remember. One, we had been drinking since 9:00 AM. Yeah. This time it’s around 9:00 PM and I’m not a drinker. I, at this point I was not a drinker. I, I I’d been on a alcohol kick for like two years, probably one of the, the best shape in my life. And when those four guys came there was, there was a hallway that led to the grander room. And then that led to the stairs. I remember that portion, that portion of the room became so crowded with people. Yeah. That it was a full on brawl. It was a brawl. I couldn’t even lift my hands because some guy had grabbed me and the other guy was punching me in the face. I remember threatening that guy’s life. Once my hands are free, I’m going to kill

Glenn Cowan
You. Yeah.

Mike Sarraille
Yeah. I mean, it’s built, it went all the way down the stairs all the way outside the

Glenn Cowan
Legion. It was a good one.

Mike Sarraille
Uh, Ottawa police, um, showed up. I, I remember I had,

Glenn Cowan
Which half of them are former unit members. So we, we always kind of err on the side, we always end up on the good side of that. But yeah,

Mike Sarraille
I remember I had like one row of ribbons left. Yeah. And I, I took them off and I, I threw them

Glenn Cowan
Like you and no tried.

Mike Sarraille
You forgot these you motherfuckers

Glenn Cowan
And no tried.

Mike Sarraille
I think I said the words America. And, uh, you did, then the cops came.

Glenn Cowan
She actually said America, like, if you couldn’t, you can’t make this shit up. Um,

Mike Sarraille
I never found the girl what’s that I never found the girl.

Glenn Cowan
I don’t

Mike Sarraille
Know. I never found her.

Glenn Cowan
I don’t know. She’s probably still at the Legion. <laugh> um, the next morning, one of the other guys that was in our unit knew the guys that accosted Mike and said, do you guys have any idea what you did and to their credit, uh, they returned your Trident. They found it. They returned your Trident with a, an apology letter. <laugh> uh, as typical can, Canadians are really good at saying, sorry. Um, and so with an apology letter, um, and, and I will leave this story there, but it’s gone on to become a bit of an urban legend, uh, between kind of gold squadron and one squadron. And, and, uh, I’ll just leave it there to, to respect the internal cultures of the way that we interact as squadron a squadron. I’ll leave it there.

Mike Sarraille
Well, I remember you guys called and you’re like, Hey, we got your Trium back. Give us your address. We’re gonna send it. I, I did say I’m like pounded into your bar.

Glenn Cowan
You guys, we did not give the Trident back to you. We have the Trident.

Mike Sarraille
Yeah, no. I, I said pounded into the bar, do whatever you want with it. It’s

Glenn Cowan
We have the Trident and I’ll leave it. I’ll leave the story at that.

Mike Sarraille
Yeah. It’s um, but I’ve been back to Ottawa multiple times for remember day. Now that COVID is off. I, I intend to be back this November. If Canada has not blocked me.

Glenn Cowan
No, no, you’re good. And we have a really we’ve, we’ve got some exciting projects on the go and I think we’re going to, uh, we’re gonna do a remembrance day skydive in Ottawa.

Mike Sarraille
So let let’s, so to anyone listening to all my Canadian brothers, again, I’m joking. Any Americans, uh, what is the drop zone in Ottawa? November 10th, we will orchestrate this come join. Yeah.

Glenn Cowan
I mean, we’re gonna check for weather, but we’ve got, we’ve got support from the drop zone. It’s called parachute Ottawa run by, uh, mobility labs that is heavily aligned with CPS and the, that we have on some

Mike Sarraille
Fred Williams,

Glenn Cowan
Some of the other projects we’re working on the skydive front, uh, I’ll front the money for, for what we need to do to run, to rent the plane. I’ll pay for the whole thing. Um, we’re gonna rent a sky van. We’re gonna fill it with serving nons serving members of our community. And our goal would be to do kind of like a sunset jump over the Ottawa river on a remembrance day prior to going down for the ceremony. But we’ll, we’ll let weather sort of dictate. Uh, so 10th, 11th, Ottawa, a 10th, 11th of November. Uh, we’ll try and pull that off. Um,

Mike Sarraille
Hell yes.

Glenn Cowan
Yeah, man. We’ll do it. It’s it’ll be really, it’ll be great. And we’ll have fun doing it. We

Mike Sarraille
We’ll, we will get Fred Williams. I’ll get Nick Kush. I’ll talk to Andy stump. We’ll we’ll try to stack the deck with the team. Yeah. And I don’t wanna mention what we got right now. No, the

Glenn Cowan
Team, the team on the, the project team. Yeah. Yeah. We’ll bring the project team. I’d love to bring some of our, our, uh, serving and veteran operators that want to participate. I know there’s a few guys I’ve been talking to that are super into it. Um, and we’ll just go and have a, a fun skydive, uh, and then go downtown and honor the remembrance day traditions and, and, uh, see where it goes. Hopefully God, who knows we not in jail. We

Mike Sarraille
Might, we may find the guys that costed me.

Glenn Cowan
We might find them. I think we should. And I will, you know, I think we should invite them. So I know, I know who you, I know your name. So you’re invited please come and have a bro hug with magic Mike and, and, and, and toast a beer and, and hang out on reremember day. This year, it’ll

Mike Sarraille
Be fine. I will shake the, the hand a hundred percent of the guy who hit me while I was being held

Glenn Cowan
Hundred times a hundred percent.

Mike Sarraille
Um, well, Glen, uh, these conversations, man. I love it, dude. You, you are brother. Um, we’ve got so much more ahead of us, especially with this project. I mean, project,

Glenn Cowan
We’ve got an exciting project.

Mike Sarraille
Um, so we

Glenn Cowan
End this. We’ll do another podcast on the tail end of

Mike Sarraille
It. Oh yeah. We will with the entire team. With the

Glenn Cowan
Team. Yeah.

Mike Sarraille
And with Dan Myrick, one writer, director, producer of the Blair witch project.

Glenn Cowan
He’s gonna tell you the project right now. No, I’m not gonna,

Mike Sarraille
He said, don’t talk about

Glenn Cowan
Project. And

Mike Sarraille
He’s like Dan Merick and Christian who are involved. I highlight Meyer both of them, but they’re, they’re in for this project to document it.

Glenn Cowan
It’s, it’s an audacious, bold, uh, it’s an audacious, bold plan that we can pull off.

Mike Sarraille
Have you seen the Blair wish project? Have you watched that?

Glenn Cowan
I can’t. It makes me like queasy, man. This, the camera’s moving around too much. I can’t watch it, but it scare. I, the part I did scared the shit outta me.

Mike Sarraille
So that’s the thing. It’s the only film where I was uncomfortable.

Glenn Cowan
It’s uncomfortable.

Mike Sarraille
It, the, the ability for that guy to, to, and if you didn’t know, the Blair witch project set a record for lowest production budget, highest grossing film in the history of the world.

Glenn Cowan
And, and we’re gonna spend seven days on an Airbus together. So is that I’m gonna be, is that like, I’m gonna be uncomfortable as well. We need to

Mike Sarraille
Do, do we need to watch Dan? Like is Dan cursed? I

Glenn Cowan
Don’t know. We’ll see.

Mike Sarraille
Okay.

Glenn Cowan
Well, we’ll see.

Mike Sarraille
Before we close this out and we will, again, for those listening, uh, November 11th, we will be setting up a jump open to the public. Of course, everyone. Well

Glenn Cowan
Open to the number of people that can fit the

Mike Sarraille
Sky you fit. Yes. Uh, hopefully we can get like a C one 30 or something. Nah,

Glenn Cowan
Won’t

Mike Sarraille
Happen. Not gonna happen. Well, no, there’s private C one 30 S never know. I’m not,

Glenn Cowan
I’m not gonna fund that much. <laugh> yeah. Okay, sure. We’ll gotta C one 30. Here we go. Thank you. You’re going for a sky, man.

Mike Sarraille
Well, you got a thing it’s big. This is the guy who’s gotta go big.

Glenn Cowan
Let’s go big. Okay. Let’s go

Mike Sarraille
Big. So we will, we will get information out that at least at least a month or two months before it happens. Yeah, buddy. And again, I don’t even know if I’m allowed in Canada, so you’re gonna have to pull. You’re good.

Glenn Cowan
Okay. I got you. All right. I’ve got a great relationship at the us embassy right now that you’re gonna be just fine

Mike Sarraille
And send my best to Justin trau.

Glenn Cowan
<laugh> oh, God, help us all. Oh man. I,

Mike Sarraille
I think,

Glenn Cowan
I think he’s pro you know what? I think he’s probably a great guy to have a beer with.

Mike Sarraille
I I’m sure he

Glenn Cowan
Is. I don’t think Putin takes him very seriously. Put it that way. All right.

Mike Sarraille
Well, we close this with an additional two questions. First one. What makes you cry? And usually we don’t let our guests leave until we see some tears.

Glenn Cowan
You had me earlier. I just was okay at holding it back. All right.

Mike Sarraille
How are you gonna measure whether you’ve lived a good life, an impactful life?

Glenn Cowan
Uh, that, that is the easiest. That is an easier answer than whether or not I’m gonna put onions on my cheeseburger. Um, I <affirmative>, um, if my, I have three beautiful blonde girls in my life, and if they look at me and say, I’m proud of you, fucking mic drop I’m out. Yeah. That’s it. That’s it. And, and, and I think two outta three are, I think I got two outta three right now, so let’s, you know, we’ll see where it goes. <laugh>

Mike Sarraille
That’s a good one, man. Yeah, that, that’s a good one.

Glenn Cowan
Yeah.

Mike Sarraille
What are those one to three key tenants? Those non-negotiables that you live your life by that that have led to your success more or less?

Glenn Cowan
Uh, they’ve come about very recently. Can that, can that work?

Mike Sarraille
That, that, no, no, no. That is actually

Glenn Cowan
Interesting. It, it it’s been a, a relatively recent revelation. Uh, and, and I kind of knew you were gonna ask this. So I thought about it a little bit, but then as I thought about it, it came on very quickly. Um, think big, like think big and then think big and then think fucking bigger and a hundred X where you think you’re gonna go. And, and, and you, I have had these discussions this week and we’ve.

Mike Sarraille
Yeah. Did you, you and for, for the audience, you think big,

Glenn Cowan
I think big, even,

Mike Sarraille
Even my wife, we, we all had dinner. It was the first time you guys met. She’s like, you need to think like Glen and I’m like, I I’m just not at that level, dude.

Glenn Cowan
No. I think, I think big and touch wood. We’re kind of making that happen and it’s really humbling to see that like, um, but think big. And then when you think you’re big go 10 X, what you think you’re thinking? Um, the second one is, uh, just tell the truth, man, like lies are toxic, whether they’re little white lies or big things, like just tell the fucking truth in life. Um, and, and, and kind of like leading with love. You can’t go wrong. Uh, you’ll never be wrong if you tell the truth.

Mike Sarraille
Hey, ho, hold on. In one thing, I’ve always said, this, people have said, Hey, well, how do you lead in the military? And I’ve, I’ve said, because maybe we’ve had this conversation as we lead through love. And I talk about accountability. Yeah. And like actually holding your kids accountable is the highest form of compassion that there is cuz you want them to become competent, good human beings that contribute to society, which means you have to teach them and hold them accountable.

Glenn Cowan
Yeah. I think accountability and I’ve failed on accountability. So many times

Mike Sarraille
Self accountability as well. Yeah.

Glenn Cowan
Self-accountability like, and it, and it adds up like, just like you can’t go wrong. I’ve actually never actually I’ve actually not failed on accountability to be honest with you

Mike Sarraille
Never.

Glenn Cowan
Cause I, well, come on. No, I watch her word too. I I’ve been pretty good at like taking responsibility for my actions.

Mike Sarraille
You’re talking about self accountability.

Glenn Cowan
Good or bad. Okay. Good or bad. But there has been times, many times where I’ve checked my own accountability and lacked integrity. What is, what, what’s the definition of integrity like doing what’s right. When no one’s around something like that.

Mike Sarraille
Yes.

Glenn Cowan
Um, so I have not checked myself at times when I should have, um, but telling the truth, even the truth to yourself, like looking yourself in the mirror and calling it as you see it, that’s powerful and it’s, and it’s hurtful and it sucks or it can suck. Uh, but do it. It’s fucking powerful. Sorry. Can we swear on this podcast? We did the one before and I said, fuck once. And Mike got mad.

Mike Sarraille
It was a clean podcast up to that point. And then apple slapped it with a, I forget what the title is, is explicit. All because Canadian came on and just SW anyway,

Glenn Cowan
We’ll go

Mike Sarraille
To third. So first off the first one was think big, go big, think

Glenn Cowan
Big, go big, go big. Tell the truth

Mike Sarraille
In third,

Glenn Cowan
This is the catchall. Don’t be a Dick. Just don’t be a dickhead. I think if you do any combination of two and three, you’re good to go because can look someone in the eye and, and maybe counter to Sammy Hagar who fuck. I’m not lying. I’m telling you exactly what I’m gonna do. I’m not lying. I’m not deceiving.

Mike Sarraille
But I’m, I’m telling you to your face,

Glenn Cowan
But I’m telling you to your face and I’m being open and direct and upfront about what’s happening. And it gives you the opportunity then to at least give a counter as opposed to where do you fuck someone by going around, hitting them on the flank, being devious, whatever the case may be. If you look someone in the eye and you tell them the truth, I never said the message has to be roses, but it has to be honest. And if you’re honest with people, you can’t go wrong. I don’t sorry.

Mike Sarraille
No, no, no. Don’t

Glenn Cowan
I think

Mike Sarraille
You can go. That has to be one of the most brutally honest answers thus far is, and I love your analogy of special operations planning. The situation changed. I intended for this for all of us to move forward. Yep. But now situation

Glenn Cowan
Changed. Yeah. And, and every time we do something and this is, I mean, my organization went into Afghanistan and, and we had a couple of casualties, but they weren’t combat related casualties. We never lost an operator, a supporter or a specialist on a target. There’s a million horseshoe shoved up our ass as to why that didn’t happen. But we also planned with such precision and detail that, that we were able to, to, to, to do that. And some of that was just because we were constantly reevaluating has the situation changed and Hey, I, I thought I was going in on 20 guys. We’re going in on 200 guys. Are we gonna abort? Fuck no situations change. It’s changed the plan on the fly. Have everybody briefed up on it. You good? This is the truth. This is gonna suck. This is gonna hurt, but we’re gonna do it. Go. Everyone respects it. Everyone. It’s very hard to disrespect the truth. You don’t have to like it, but it’s very hard to disrespect the truth. That’s and this has taken me a lot of scars to learn that

Mike Sarraille
Time. Time is the greatest manner, uh, of all of us, the decision making process between when I was 20. Yeah. And now is so vastly different. I’m not the same person. I was six months ago. No, three months ago. No, go two months ago, one month ago, things changed. Well, Glen did, um,

Glenn Cowan
This has been great.

Mike Sarraille
It’s been, it’s been fun.

Glenn Cowan
This is like, this is like driving to brunch this morning. This is the conversations. Yeah. Like it’s pretty fun.

Mike Sarraille
And, and I disagree with you on a lot. Our, our conversations get intense <laugh> um, but no, I’ve always appreciated you as a businessman one because you’ve actually absolutely crushed it with, with the defense fund. One nine, we’re getting in Canada,

Glenn Cowan
We’re getting there.

Mike Sarraille
I mean, you’ve pulled in some players, dude.

Glenn Cowan
I have some great partners. I have some unbelievable capital partners. Uh, we’ve made some investments in some companies, both Canadian and American that are crushing it. I mean, we just did a, one of our companies, a salt lake city company. I was actually talking to you about what they’ve been able to discover with the most powerful algorithm that is going to be one of the more powerful national security tools going forward. Uh, as we counter a Russia, uh, a rising China and Russia, uh, they just, you know, we just did a five X return on our investment. They just closed a 45 million financing and they are a rocket ship. Uh, and we’re just happy to be along for the ride with some of, some of the USS, most sophisticated investors. And I’ll just, I mean, read the press release. It’s all open source, but I’m just, I look at myself in the mirror and, and, and I find myself being invited into these deals. And I’m like, you do, you do know like I’m the redheaded stepchild from Canada. Right. And they’re like, yep. That’s why we want you. Let’s go. I’m like, all right, let’s fucking go

Mike Sarraille
Well to, to seal a quote from a guy, highly respect Dave Cooper, um, which I know, you know, that name. Yep. Uh, see up, uh, seal master chief. I’ll leave you to that. He once said, it’s amazing what we can do when we’re a team Canada, us British Australian, New Zealand, France. That’s, that’s, it doesn’t matter.

Glenn Cowan
I’ll just, I’ll just plug. If you gimme two minutes, uh, the venture capital industry that I’m involved in, uh, I’m one of one in Canada, I’m working with some of the best venture capitalists and investors in the us. Uh, and it is a team sport and our collective national security is a team sport. And, um, the, the, the model of an investment coming together replicates a CJ soda, which for listeners is a combined joint, special operations, taskforces venture capital and special operations are, are identical men in terms of how you deploy resources in high risk, high reward environments, it’s identical. And, and I’m super humble and grateful to be investing and partnering with some really heavy hitters that are doing some really cool stuff and companies that are just blowing my mind. I mean, it’s just a bunch of really smart people thinking shit up. And then they need a knuckle dragger like me to kind of help guide them in, in areas that they don’t need. And it’s really humbling. And I’m just, I wake up every morning, like on fire and passionate about what we’re

Mike Sarraille
Building there. There’s a need. And I know I, I thank you personally for what you’re doing as well as those venture capitalist, but Glen Cowan folks will drop all his information. And for all of you, thank you for joining the men’s journal everyday warrior podcast, we’ll be back.

 

Episode 16

Everyday Warrior Podcast Episode 16: Retired General Clay Hutmacher
In our sixteenth episode, we spoke with retired General Clay Hutmacher, a United States Army Officer who served for 40 years.
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Episode 17

Everyday Warrior Podcast Episode 17: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
In episode seventeen of the Men's Journal Everyday Warrior Podcast, we spoke to 'Game of Thrones' actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.
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Episode 18

Everyday Warrior Podcast Episode 18: Dr. Kirk Parsley
In episode eighteen, we spoke to Dr. Kirk Parsley, M.D., who specializes in sleep, wellness, and hormonal optimization. 
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Episode 19

Everyday Warrior Podcast Episode 19: Michael Gaffney
In episode nineteen, we spoke to Michael Gaffney, retired professional bull rider.
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