Pete A Turner is The Spymaster, The Tactical Podcast Consultant, and an advocate of the Ground Truth.
I'm a fan of the James Bond movies, but I have a feeling spies don't always work that way. In this episode, we're going to talk about espionage.
Focusing on gathering intelligence on the field. The field being specific contexts where you may face potential threats. This is a specific and interesting field that I do want to get to, and I want that rosy image of a spy being broken down. Who better to talk about this with than Mr. Pete a Turner.
Pete is the host of the Break It Down Show, doing long-form episodes with individuals from a variety of backgrounds and walks of life. That's 5 episodes a week, with over 650 episodes and counting!
Before this, he was a former spymaster in the US army focusing on counterintelligence: building trust, presence, a network in different cultural contexts whilst deployed in Afghanistan, Iraq, and many more tours. I wanted to reach out to him to deep dive into his experiences as a former spy transitioning into normal civilian life and launching the Break it Down show.
In this episode, we talked about:
- His role as a spymaster, gathering intelligence that can affect decisions made by commanders in that field.
- How he survived a close encounter with the Taliban and lived.
- Transitioning back into civilian life from such a high intensity environment: Pete's vulnerabilities, struggles with PTSD and persevering through them
- The birth of the Break It Down show and how his Spymaster skills propelled him to 650+ episodes
- 4:29 Pete never wanted to be a spy
- 5:54 What is spying? The different ways to gather intelligence, and Pete's specialty
- 8:05 Spywork: how Pete builds presence in different cultural contexts with genuine honesty
- 10:23 The different facets of intelligence operations and schedules
- 12:08 The information Pete is interested in as a spymaster
- 15:39 "We were the biggest problem for our own success."
- 16:53 Moving between military and local space, and translating realities for the army
- 19:00 The difference between a spy and a spymaster
- 20:29 This is how Pete can tell if a spy works at professional level: ego
- 22:13 "Have you had more conversations or fired more bullets in combat?
- 23:30 The advantage of having someone outside of the box looking in: Are you really getting results?
- 26:53 How Pete survived a meeting with the Taliban
- 29:02 When he realized he was working at professional grade
- 31:17 Why transitioning into society was hard for Pete, former spymaster
- 33:44 The importance of veteran communities
- 35:31 How the Break it Down Show started
- 37:05 "Production over perfection is a big lesson for me"
- 38:19 Video and volume, how Pete differentiates from the podcasting crowd
- 41:10 "My niche is not a niche. I do five shows a week. I'm a spy."
- 44:20 The skills that overlap between a spymaster and a podcaster
- 48:05 Podcast hosts need to do this to up their interviewing game
- 50:08 How would you deal with a high profile guest eg. Elon Musk?
- 53:45 Save The Brave, and Pete's charity charter
- 56:54 Pete's memento
- 58:08 Pete's walkaway wisdom: Default to Grace