Men’s Journal’s Everyday Warrior With Mike Sarraille is a podcast that inspires individuals to live more fulfilling lives by having conversations with disrupters and high performers from all walks of life. In episode 34, we spoke to Pete Hegseth, host of FOX News’ FOX & Friends Weekend and FOX Nation’s Patriot Awards to the Everyday Warrior Podcast. A veteran himself, Hegseth is the former executive director of the political advocacy groups Vets for Freedom and Concerned Veterans for America.

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:
Welcome back to the Men’s Journal Everyday Warrior podcast. I’m your host, Mike Sarraille. I’ve got Pete Hegseth today, you are probably the most recognizable fox host out there. Maybe just me, but best selling author. You’ve got a long rap sheet, but I think what I know Pete best for is one when he accidentally struck a West Point drummer with an ax, I say accidentally with air quotes because was it intentional? We’ll never know. And then also when he defied a Harvard diploma which, what did the diploma do to you, man? Why would you do that? Why? I’d tell you No, no. Pete. Good to have you on. For those that live under a rock, just give us the quick background on Pete.

Pete Hegseth:
Well, thanks for having me. Yeah, I am born and raised in Minnesota, Small town boy, wonderful family. Blessed. It’s the ultimate privilege is having parents that love you and raise you and teach you love the Lord and care about the country. And so that’s where I really came from. All I cared about was basketball until I was about 20 years of eight, thought I was gonna be an NBA player. And then I realized that short flow white can’t jump. Doesn’t matter how many threes you can make is never gonna happen. So you can state the depth of that. Shaping who I was six hours in a gym every day. And then I went into rotc, joined the military deployed a couple of times, g Guana Bay with my National Guard unit, Iraq with the hundred first started some vets organizations when I came back ran for office, that was an utter failure.

Pete Hegseth:
So I had a political inclination, always have. But running for office is of yester year and got the degree that I then sent back because it’s an indoctrination factory was a part of another vets organization and then started doing Fox stuff. And the Acts incident, which I comment on only briefly, is was my first weekend ever hosting Foxing friends, my first weekend ever. That happens and it becomes an international click bait. vet hits man on TV with an ax on live tv. So it’s been a blessing to be at Fox. They’re wonderful folks. And as we may talk about, I take very seriously as one of the very few post nine 11 combat vets in the media, especially a host trying to give voice to our generation of guys. I did like this negative, this percent of what our generation did, but I tried to give voice to what so many did that’ll never get a spotlight, never get a platform, never had a camera shown on their face. So I take that real seriously

Mike Sarraille:
And no one Pete will ever question that. You indeed have given the veterans a voice and you continue to advocate for ’em, not only the positions you held in the veteran nonprofits, but I know we will talk probably heavily about the Patriot Awards coming up November 17th. Is that correct? Correct.

Pete Hegseth:
November 17th, the award show that actually matters, Mike, It’s Hollywood, has been doing award shows for years, giving awards to people who play Heroes on tv, the Patriot Awards. It’s a no brainer. The idea was find people who did heroic things, who deserve the spotlight, who never did it to seek the spotlight and then elevate those stories. And it has exploded in just four years into a huge annual event that everybody’s excited about. And every year it’ll bring tears to you guys as we’re in this vapid culture of nonsense. And then the first responder, or the border patrol agent or the police officer or the vet or the military family or the community member who just supports the troops, they get up on stage and explain why they do it and reminds you why America’s such a special place. So it is November 17th. It’s sold out. However, if you want to go on Ticketmaster or one of those, there’s some secondary market tickets if you still

Mike Sarraille:
Want to go. Amazing. Amazing. And where’s that being held this year?

Pete Hegseth:
Hollywood. Hollywood, Florida. Love it. So the other Hollywood in the free state of Florida and yeah, it’s gonna be an event. You can watch it on Fox Nation Live and then it’ll probably show in part on Fox News Channel as

Mike Sarraille:
Well. Will a certain governor be making a appearance?

Pete Hegseth:
It’s a good question. He was there last year tbd,

Mike Sarraille:
Tbd and sort of bringing it close to home. He was the judge advocate general at Seal Team one when I was on the west coast, had the privilege of meeting really DeSantis and the guys loved him. He was the Jag. And for those listeners that don’t understand the military, that means the lawyer. He was the Jag that everyone loved

Pete Hegseth:
By the way. See, that’s wonderful to hear because most Jag officers go by the nickname Jagoffs, because you can’t stand them because they’re finding a way to gig you and create problems for the real trigger pulls. So when you find a good Jack Jag officer, wrap your arms around them and promote them because they’re the ones that allow the war fighters to actually kill bad guys. And the other ones create nonsense where there doesn’t have to

Mike Sarraille:
Be civil conversation in the character assassination, it seems like. Well, I’ll tell you, when you attack my character, the conversation’s done, there’s never reason to attack someone’s character in what is meant to be an unemotional logical debate on why you may have different views than us. But it does seem that, and hey, being a veteran, you’ve heard some horrible things from the horrible things from certain American people, which never underestimate the stupidity of the American people. I mean that, that’s gotta be hard for you, man. And I think we all want you, We’re all Americans, We all want the same thing. What advice do you have to people to tamp down that emotion and come together?

Pete Hegseth:
I mean, I actually think it’s a lot easier for me. I actually think, I mean not just because of the callouses that you build up over the years, but because my job, I get paid to give my opinion on television. I’m not pretending to be a journalist. I’m not pretending to be objective. My job is to give a point of view based on what I believe and be open and honest about it. You can like me or not like me, fine. And you can come after me and criticize me. Fine. That’s easy. That’s really easy. I ignore the labels. I ignore the negativity, the things people say about me, what they accuse me of being the character assassination. Certainly the identity politics, it just doesn’t work. It’s not effective.

Pete Hegseth:
So the people I feel for are everyday Americans who are informed and are passionate and deserve to have their own opinion and deserve to speak out. But because of the today’s culture and cancellation, and if you’re a nurse or a construction worker or a teacher or you work at the VA or you take your pick and you don’t have a platform and you want to have a political voice, you’re put in a box and told, you can say the following things with the following pronouns, with the following acceptable points of view. Otherwise, your livelihood might be threatened or your ability to speak out might be threatened. You’re not actually free if what you think inside your head, you can’t say with your lips. And my concern is, I would call it information warfare. What I do at this point, it is battling to ensure that the space in which people can operate in the public square is as wide and open as possible. It’s what higher education’s supposed to be and wasn’t when you were there. It’s what Harvard isn’t anymore. It’s an indoctrination camp. You could only have one view, which is why I mailed the degree back. We should stop holding those institutions up as gatekeepers of expertise or places that we should revere. No, they’re poisoning.

Pete Hegseth:
Harvard graduate today. If you paid me, because if you went through that, you were happy to play the game inside the Orthodox, the orthodoxy with a very small exception. So it, it’s really tough to have real civil discourse. I think Elon Musk is gonna try on Twitter to say, We’re not gonna, I mean we’ll gonna try to sabotage him at every turn. You’re already seeing it. I think we’re in an era, how would I put it? We’re in an era of yellow journalism in that we tried to pretend to ourselves that New York Times or CNN decades ago was playing it down the middle column balls and strikes, giving us independent analysis. That was never the case. Tom Broco do that. Walter Cronkite didn’t do that. But we at least felt like we all agreed on the margins of the big things. America’s a good place, free market’s a good thing, our military cops are a good thing. All those things were assumed. That’s all broken down now, who can make the best argument? And I think the wider the ecosystem of voices the better because I believe that the Judeo Christian capitalist, constitutional bedrock of our republic wins out in that debate if given the opportunity to have voice. And that’s what I’m clinging to.

Mike Sarraille:
Well, I don’t know if you saw Elon received an email from HR that it was time to lead <laugh> the Twitter way. I need to get that for a guy who has a leadership development consulting firm, I’ve got to see their style of leadership in management. Maybe I could learn a thing or two. And that’s coming from a Bay Area native. Let me ask you this, both with higher education in civil discourse, do you think we can return to maybe 15, 20 years ago? And the reason I say that is general not Jerry Boykin he’s the president of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. It’ll come to me. Hut, Mucker, general hut, Mucker came into the Marine Corps, very tail end of the Vietnam War and I said, Hey, have you ever seen things this bad? And he said, No, I haven’t. This is the worst I’ve seen it. Do you think there’s a return to normality with both higher education and civil discourse?

Pete Hegseth:
It’s a long term road. Sure there is a return. That’s why I wrote the last book I did called Battle for the American Mind. We’ve abdicated the education of our youngest kids for a hundred years rapidly in the last decade and expected to have a shared civil discourse while pumping out kids who believe America’s an evil place, who their baseline is. No, America is not special because it was stolen from the Indians and built on the backs of slaves. Our founding day should be 1619, not 70, 76, which should tear down all our statues, including Abraham Lincoln. And then maybe once we’ve paid corporations to everyone and everyone could change their gender, then we have this utopia that will be unleashed on earth, which has always been a lot. See in the Vietnam War as bad as it got and it got really bad. There was still a baseline education and a sentimentality that America was worth fighting for a good place.

Pete Hegseth:
Right now when we debate folks on the far left of the other side, they’re saying tear it all down and burn it all down. That’s really hard to have a so-called discourse with You fix that by pumping out a generation of kids that have gone back to the basics. I believe classical Christian education is the place to do that. And so you’ve got that 1, 2, 3, 4% in 20 years, in 40 years that have a generational different view. And you can start to rebuild in the ashes. But I think you can’t keep a country when the citizens of that country think that country is a bad place. I think politics is still a place where there’s still a amazing reservoir of goodwill. Yes, amongst people who vote and have common sense in their brain. And you’re gonna see that I believe on election day and probably in 2024 in light of what Biden has done. But politics is downstream of culture, and culture is downstream of religion. And when you burn the other things down or you abdicate them and you outsource them, it becomes increasingly difficult to win politically. And I think that’s what the left is counting on. So could it happen? Yes. If we continue on our trajectory, will it happen? No. Like nothing’s inevitable. Our republic’s not inevitable. History tells us that empires rise and fall. And why would it be DNA different?

Mike Sarraille:
I would say this for somebody who thought for tw, well 20 year career, but 10 combat deployments, we thought while we were over there and you were there with us, that everyone back here had it covered down that they would work together to make a nation better regardless of their opinions or their political leanings is that they would come together as our soldiers were forward fighting the good fight. I watched Ray Dalio and Henry Kissinger in a interview recently. Of course Henry Kissinger was talking, Ray Dalio was listening and Kissinger’s what Kissinger should have probably about 10 writers surrounding him at all times before he dies. Cuz that guy is a genius. But he said Post World War ii, we were the greatest economic power in the nation. There was no way that we could have possibly sustain that. But we are also the greatest, the world’s greatest leadership incubator.

Mike Sarraille:
We set the standard for leadership for the world post World War ii. And that was sustainable. But it’s degraded for someone who’s been in the military. And we put a precedence on leadership and you put a precedence on that. Now, man, this is a loaded question. Do you think our national leaders in the national capital region are setting the example, which we know is if you forget everything else in the military, they say always lead by example. Do you think, Well one, I know the answer, they’re they’re not. But how do you change the behavior of politicians to lead by example, not what they say, what you do. So doing is greater than talking. How do we get the national capital region back to the days of gfk of Reagan?

Pete Hegseth:
Oh man, it’s a big question. First of all, I would love to move the capital out of Washington DC to somewhere else in middle America where they have to restart. I mean that sincerely. Let’s take the Department of Education and abolish it. Take the Department of Agriculture and move it to an agriculture state. You gotta rethink the entire, because the extent to which Washington DC is captured in poisoned, I don’t think can be overstated. We saw it in what was done to Donald Trump. We see it in the total incompetency that persists throughout all agencies. And now the leveraging for political weaponization that we see in a lot of our most powerful institutions mean take the defense department for example. I mean the debacle that happens in Afghanistan occurs and no one’s fired. No one resigns, no one’s held accountable at all. It’s because the institution exists to perpetuate itself and the rise of people who are willing to play by the prerogative of the political class.

Pete Hegseth:
And that has a lot to do with social justice and identity politics nonsense inside the Pentagon. So you hear Mike Milli yelling about white rage and Lloyd Austin talking about stand downs, they’re not leaders, they’re followers at the political moment. And the moment for them is Barack Obama started a social experiment in the military, Joe Biden continuing it. And I think you just have to have politicians that actually do what they say they’re gonna do. And I think Donald Trump tried to do that in 2016. He was just new to politics and didn’t know necessarily the right personnel to bring in. I think what the swamp beers the most is a second term of that where they actually know how Washington works and we take the big moves interesting to change it. I’m also, not to get on a tangent, but I’m also a big fan of Convention of States.

Pete Hegseth:
It’s an article five or org. It’s an organization that exists to trigger, trigger and use Article five to the Constitution, which effectively, if you get enough state legislatures to pass the same amendment which 19 have already, you can hold a amending convention. Convention to the constitution. The founders put it in there with no debate because they believe that the federal government ever got so big, the state should have the prerogative to reign it in. And this the people movement is, it’s the civil War without the bullets in a political sense to reign in the federal government that otherwise never will and certainly doesn’t care about the interest of average people. So I think it’s really dramatic steps that have to be taken at this point to rein it in, nip it around the margin just means playing in their game.

Mike Sarraille:
It is a wildly different political view on government. Well, for a guy who served 20 years in government, I’m not a fan. In fact, what did Reagan say? What were the nine most dangerous words in the English language

Pete Hegseth:
From the government? I’m here to help <laugh>.

Mike Sarraille:
The private sector will always move more rapidly and efficiently. And I think Elon with SpaceX and other organizations that have proven that model. So I wanna dive into modern warrior one in, I didn’t prep this but I do, I’ve got a new book called The Everyday Warrior coming out on January 10th, 2023, Warriors Not Siloed to people who carry a gun. One I talk about there’s a difference between war fighters and warriors and they’re not necessarily mutually exclusive. I knew some very good war fighters who maybe were not the most ethical people and maybe in my opinion not warriors. So I think a single mother of two trying to grind and sacrifice for her two kids to give them a better life is more of a warrior than some of the guys I served with. But in your opinion, what is a warrior to

Pete Hegseth:
You? Oh man, that’s a great big, That’s why we did the book is because I think individual examples of that were your ethos, the obstacles they faced, the sheer human nature. You have to overcome the challenges and excuses that you could always give into at any moment. And then I think courage has a lot to do with it. I mean in the military we overcome that courage with training and men and women that we train with who are prepared in those moments. So your training and your instincts kick in along with the motivation of being there for the guys next to you. But courage is a great deficiency in our culture right now. I think that mean you’d have to tell me you’re writing the book on it, but the components of dealing with complex situations, preparing, putting the mission first, working with people to do it, having the courage to execute.

Pete Hegseth:
And that can be in our churches, in our cultures, in our school, in our homes. It certainly does not have to be on the battlefield like you said. But I think we’re at a moment, and I can say this in an educational context, our republic doesn’t survive if our families and our schools and our churches are pumping out cultural survivors, meaning people who barely made it through enough to be kind of conservative and generally understand the free market. And they’ll go, We need warriors, we need cultural warriors, we need faith warriors, we need economic warriors. We need political warriors who are unafraid to challenge what seems like an old insurmountable a challenge, but not just at the macro level what you’re talking about at the micro level inside your own family, where you can affect that change in education. I talk about a radical reor reorientation of your life around the education of your kids. What are you willing to give up and sacrifice? That’s another aspect of a warrior sacrifice in order to get the outcome that is necessary for the perpetuation of your family, your state and our freedoms. And the book Modern Warriors was meant to highlight some of those stories that were accessible not just to vets but also in the civilian world

Mike Sarraille:
Writing that book. That had to be humbling as you heard some of these stories mean it had to take. Is there one particular story where you gotta stop writing and just think about the gravity of what one of these individuals did?

Pete Hegseth:
Well, I mean you’ve got Nick Irving, the Reaper, one of the most decorated snipers he talked about in the war coming home and having to put the reaper away and the challenges of transition and that exist in all of that. What it’s humbling in that I hear you say 20 years, 10 tours, I did 12 years, three tours, but one of which was a guard and another is a platoon leader and another one’s an instructor. And what’s humbling is to realize how many dudes did so much assuming that on the domestic front they had our six only to realize that’s not the case and that the metaphorical war, cultural war continues at home and now we’re gonna have to be at the forefront of that again. And I bringing out that realization amongst many of the stories was a big part of it. You realize what a small part, but it also increases your pride of being a small part of that fight to I mean Joey Jones is in the book, he’s a colleague of mine at Fox and considering what he overcame and the darkness that he saw and the ability to live the way that he does, it’s those kind of stories we hope.

Pete Hegseth:
Some information inspiration to folks.

Mike Sarraille:
One of the companies I’m wearing their hat is I love these guys. What Evan Heifer Yeah. And these guys have done is a shining example for veterans. Not only of their innovativeness, I mean they took a coffee company, which they do pride their coffee, but they showed that military grit and innovation and just grind and drive to create a company that stepped apart. I did have an opportunity to speak with Sebastian younger author of the book Tribe. And he was also, I think the book war. He basically did the war documentary and Ropa, which was an amazing story. But he said that he believed that part of the problem that we’re seen with the PTSD rates or suicide rates is when veterans come back, they come out of this culture that is where they identify more with team than they do with self. It is a tribe and they become so indoctrinated with it.

Mike Sarraille:
It’s part of the DNA that hey, are my guys, my men and women prepared for whatever they need? Is there something I can give them before I give myself? And that’s rare within in civilian populace. And then you come back and you see the leaders in the national capital region who can’t get along, who can’t act with professionalism intact, which we drive home in the military and then all of a sudden it is such a just gross culture change that some vets just can’t adapt to I guess the civilian populace. And there’s no sense, there’s no common threads amongst men. And that is, when he said that, I’m like, it was a revelation almost to the point where he’s absolutely right. And that’s why I was struggling when I got out after 20 years is I had nothing in common with people who can’t put others before themselves.

Pete Hegseth:
He is absolutely right. I read his book cover to cover before I deployed to Afghanistan if anybody would understand it, especially from the civilian side, it’s him. The hardest part is finding that next chapter of purpose, which is effectively what you just described. And I remember coming back from my Iraq deployment to New York City at the moment when the Iraq war was maybe at its most unpopular and I, you know, can go dark real quick. And I was headed in that direction real quick and I definitely had post traumatic stress and thankfully today and working through passage disorder and into your lives, it’s a whole nother conversation. But organizations that exist to plug in that next chapter of purpose, peer to peer, and you relate to what’s going on and you get the gallows humor and you get the ribbing that comes with it and the connection that comes with it and the teamwork that comes with it.

Pete Hegseth:
It’s rare. I mean black Rael coffee’s an example of it. There are others, there are other foundations that tap into that. Just finding ways to get dudes together to talk about the struggles that are common to all of us and then equipping them to find that next chapter before the tongue gets too dark. Yeah. And that’s where, cuz I could have, and anybody else could have gone in that direction, but I, I’m fortunate I had a Ivy League degree in rot, I had plenty of options. But that corporal that was in my platoon who goes back to his hometown and was very qualified machine gunner how does that skillset immediately transition and who in the world does he plug in with that understands what he’s done and then finds that next chapter of purpose. And that’s where we can’t expect VA the government to fix that. They’re never going to, they’re treat this guy like a number and it’s gotta be us and our generation and organizations that reach out and find those guys and plug ’em in. Sebastian Younger, he’s right.

Mike Sarraille:
Yeah. Amazing individual. My company talent work group, we place veterans into companies. Unfortunately it’s usually in the general manager position and up. But it’s what it was so frustrating and angering to convince companies to hire some of these amazing veterans coming out. Very intelligent men and women, but they just couldn’t pull the trigger because they didn’t have industry experience. And that’s why we wrote the book, The Talent War, How Special Operations and Great Organizations Went On Talent because the military hires for character, not prior experience. Cause it doesn’t exist and more companies need to recognize, I mean this is not lost in the business world. Herb Kellerher the founder, early CEO of Southwest said, We hire for great attitudes, we can teach all the rest and vets are unflappable. Which I know is why you’re holding the Patriots Award in. Do you just perk up at this time of year now that this is becoming an annual thing?

Pete Hegseth:
Oh site, yes. I mean got a couple people reaching out saying, hey, I was gonna go but then my work changed and I’m not gonna be able to tend, I got two tickets and we’re gonna find a vet military family or a first responder that wants to go and get ’em a seat and they should be right up. It’s last year we brought as many of the widows of the 13 in Afghanistan who were killed and it was raw, but it was a real spotlight on people that just realized and thanked. It actually becomes, there’s actually a little pressure that comes with it to be honest with you. I’m used to doing TV and I’m used to lights, but it’s delivering on the depth of the mandate that we want this show to have so that people really do walk away being reminded that we do love this country.

Pete Hegseth:
And there are people out there fighting for it. And I’ve seen a lot of the awards and the who are getting ’em this year and it’s gonna be amazing. It’s gonna be amazing. And I, I’ll tell you this, and I say this sometimes, I don’t know if I said this last year or when I said it, but when I stand up on a stage especially like that, there’ll be seven, 8,000 people in the audience and television cameras and lights and phone. I always think about the dudes that I served with. I always, always do because I think the applause and the ovations and the stuff that I get, I don’t deserve it. It’s so many dudes that I wish I could throw on that stage with me who could feel that love that the nation has for them that maybe they don’t feel and maybe they don’t see, especially in such a distracted culture.

Pete Hegseth:
And so while I can’t pull them all up man, I think about ’em and I wanna recognize ’em and I wanna do ’em right. And I’ll tell you this, when I’m on tv, I hear from ’em all the time. If I mess up, I’ll tell you that if I get something wrong, especially on the vets military side, I mean I hear about it and I love it because I want them to feel like I can channel their voice also. So yeah, it’s my favorite event of the year by far. And all of Fox is going this year. So it’s gonna Tucker and Hannity and Laura and the Five and Fox and friends, everybody’s broadcasting from there. It’s gonna be a fun event.

Mike Sarraille:
So you get a text from your guys before that says, Sir, don’t suck.

Pete Hegseth:
Yes, exactly right. That is a verbatim quote, multiple of them that I get. Yes, on

Mike Sarraille:
A regular. Well Pete, I can tell by the smile on your face when you think you’re talking about your guys and we see that amongst military leaders all the time is that’d rather talk about their guys and they would talk about themselves. And I know you guys wish you could probably pass out a thousand more awards at that award show but for what you’re doing behalf of all veterans, Thank you brother one, I want to ask you a few questions that we ask all our guests. Again going back to the everyday warrior sort of motto of learning from people who’ve done a lot, which you’ve been highly successful. And we say that success leaves breadcrumbs. So collect all the breadcrumbs you can from the people around you and try to follow ’em to your own path for success, whatever that may be. So first question is, what is the toughest decision or hardest decision you’ve ever had to make in your life? Oh, I know they’re stumps.

Pete Hegseth:
Oh, oh man, there are stumps. Probably the biggest decision that I made, which I’m glad I made, was right when I came back from Guantanamo Bay in 2005, I went back to work at Bear Sterns. I was in the national bar, I had no business working on Wall Street and I was able to get in touch with my former platoon trainer from Fort Bending, now known as whatever they’re gonna call it. And he had an opening, I asked him, he had an opening as a platoon leader to go to Iraq in six weeks. And I’d just gotten back two months earlier from the longest year of my life at Guantanamo Bay and I was newly married and that marriage didn’t end well, probably partly because of this, but it would wrench to me because I knew I should probably stay home. But I knew I would ultimately regret it more than life itself if I didn’t go to be a platoon leader at the height of the Iraq war with the S and the hundred and first. But it was still a really, really tough decision. Probably the one where I, so I went and I’m glad I did. But it was, and since then I’ve kind of used the regret test is when I look at a decision, what would I play it forward two months, six months, what would I regret not doing the most? And that’s probably the best revealer of your gut of what you know should do even if in the moment you don’t want to.

Mike Sarraille:
That’s a pretty common answer I hear from a lot of guys whose marriages ended in divorce because they were gone so much. It was. But as horrible as that sounds, when you think about it, it is selfless in a way too is that they knew the guys needed them and they needed to be there if something went wrong and they were willing to give away the thing they loved the most, their marriage not intentionally to go be part of something that required a lot of good people. So I hear you there again. You’ve been wildly successful. What are those one to three non-negotiables, those key tenets that have led to the majority of success for Pete Drive integrity, loyalty. What are the three things that you would tell a young child if they do these three things their life is gonna be for the most part, probably highly successful.

Pete Hegseth:
I mean I think it today is an intangible it hasn’t always been, but maybe it’s old. I mean for me it’s my faith in Jesus Christ and living by his law. And when you live by his law, you are liberated. And the years and times that I didn’t created the entanglements and challenges that have most burdened me in my life. And so realizing the liberating power of Jesus and biblical wisdom is really important and often lost on so many of us in our younger more self-driven years. I would also say just sheer straight up hard work, just straight up like outwork other people. That’s what I did when I was 15, 16, 17, 18, 6, 7 hours a day playing basketball. I was gonna be a D one player. I was gonna play in the NBA and I knew I was going to take more free throws and threes and work on my game more than anybody else.

Pete Hegseth:
And I was gonna walk I and just, if I hadn’t done that, nine other doors wouldn’t have opened for other reasons at other places because I made myself the best I could at something and left nothing on the field. I can’t look back and say I didn’t give everything I had in that context. And then of that of course translates then to the military and it translates to writing books and doing whatever you can. I, I appeared on any show Fox needed for years in years and years and years and years before they even knew my name when no one else would do it early in the morning, late at night. Oh you call me, I’ll do it. Just work your tail off actually. And then I think the third one would be how you respond to adversity, not allowing adversity to set you back permanently. My dad always said it’s how you respond and in those moments when you’re set back, make a choice and the rebound is often way better obviously than the pitfalls you had in the first place.

Mike Sarraille:
That’s interesting cuz that really applies to what I think is the next sort of pandemic within the United States, which is victimhood is hey horrible things will happen, but you control your response to them. You are never a victim ever. Correct. You always have a response or reaction that you own. Pete, I’m gonna do one different, There are veterans at home right now who are wondering if they matter, what advice for somebody that’s lived what they went through, what advice do you have for them? What is the next step for them to take

Pete Hegseth:
Drop on your knees and know that you got a Lord that loves you even if it doesn’t feel like anybody else does. And I know you saw that and said that when you were out there, like we say, there’s no atheist in foxholes. God is real with the things you see in the depravity of eBill that you confront and the goodness of the people that you fought next to who dug in for something that is otherworldly in what you somehow survived. And just know that in a godly context, of course we are nothing. We’re all ashes and dust. This is all temporary. We go into the world with nothing and we leave with nothing. So just because the world says somebody is important or special or worth listening to, doesn’t change the work that you have. You know what you did, how significant it was and those values that translate and in the military, how hard you worked and how much you pushed.

Pete Hegseth:
And I think I had a little bit of this temptation when I came back from R I was like, and I’ve done my, I mean don’t tell me I haven’t done my part, I’ve done my part. Don’t tell me and do you know what I mean? And it’s like, but I’m 26. It’s not, you don’t pause it. Don’t tell me I haven’t done my part. Okay now I’ve done one small part of one small part. What’s next? Like dig on the attributes that got you through basic that got you through ait, they got you through your first unit. Dig into those in the civilian context and it might not be as sexy and you don’t get to shoot guns or what, but there’s, find other places where you can find purpose that translates and dive into that. Cuz you’re gonna have the same kind of success you had in the military. And over time as you have more success, you can set more parameters around who you wanna be working with and where you wanna be working and when you wanna be working. That’s how it works. But don’t just too many vets come home and go, right, that’s it. I got my vet cap now and I did my piece and I understand that instinct that can’t, our country needs you again. So does your family

Mike Sarraille:
And world war generation Blas away with that one out of I think, what was it? Yeah 50% started their own businesses or went back and got their college degrees. No wise words. Pete we’re gonna have to get you on one of our expeditions coming up maybe seven continents, seven days, seven skydives if you’re up to it. Good of, thats man. We’re trying to live life to the fullest, mitigating risk. Of course we’re not sociopaths, but this next one is good. And in fact we’re planning to take 15 to 20 vets to give ’em some amputees to give them the gift of flight and teach them how to skydive. We’ll get, we’ll send you an invite on that one. Pete again, where can people follow the Patriot Awards? I know Ticketmaster, there’s some spare tickets you said, but if they can attend

Pete Hegseth:
The person and you fox station.com, if they can’t attend, go to fox station.com. In fact, right now, always that’s in military can get, I don’t know if it’s always a year, we do those in increments, but at the very minimum a month free, I believe it’s an ongoing, I should get this confirmed year long for vets, you’re long for first responders in military and firefighters and police officers. Just check out the content. It’s the exact opposite of what you’re gonna see on Netflix or Disney or take your pick. This is content quality, content created by people who love our military, love our, I mean cops lives there. Now the show that got canceled now lives on Fox Nation. We have a show called Modern Warriors where we just get five dudes around a campfire or in a lounge drinking whiskey, talking about the military in the state of the military in combat. And it’s stuff I think people will relate to. And then when the award show happens, you can watch it live and if you really want to go, there’s still ways to figure it out. Although I think it’s getting a little pricey right now, unfortunately,

Mike Sarraille:
That it is.

Pete Hegseth:
Yeah, I just appreciate you highlighting it. I really do. It’s a fun event and I’m proud to be a

Mike Sarraille:
Part of it. Well, Pete, I can’t thank you enough for joining us for fighting the Good Fight, despite what The other side No, you man. Throw your way. Character. Hold your ground, man. Moral courage is the one thing that we have a deficit in this nation. Physical courage. We have it in spades, but hey man, we’ll, we’ll drop all the links for the Patriots Award so that the listeners can find it. I will be tuning in. And again, thank you for joining us. Thank you for your wisdom and for all our listeners, this is the Men’s Journal Everyday Warrior podcast. We will see you again.

Episode 35

Men’s Journal Everyday Warrior Podcast Episode 35: Shaun White
We spoke to Shaun White, five-time Olympian and three-time gold medalist in half-pipe snowboarding, about his latest venture, Whitespace.
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Episode 36

Men’s Journal Everyday Warrior Podcast Episode 36: Glen Powell
In episode 36, we talk to Glen Powell about 'Top Gun Maverick' training and his upcoming role as a Medal of Honor winner in 'Devotion.'
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Episode 37

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Men’s Journal Everyday Warrior Podcast Episode 37: Jurica Barac
In episode 37, we spoke to Jurica Barac, chief executive officer of HIGHLANDER, which provides hiking expeditions around the globe.
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