Jocko Podcast 223 w Pat McNamara: Be Skilled & Prepared to Take Care of Yourself & those Around You


Pat McNamara (@tmacsinc) is a United States Army veteran who spent 22 years working in many Special Operation Units. He currently trains people in Tactical Marksmanship and Combat Strength Training through TMACS Inc and Combat Strength Training.

He was the guest on Jocko Podcast 223 discussing everything from childhood and growing up to joining the Special Operations in the United States Army and life after service.

Here are our takeaways from the conversation.


  1. Never let opportunities pass. Answer the door when opportunity knocks.
  2. Never say something isn’t for you if you fail at it the first time. Go for it again. You get better when you keep at it.
  3. Never rest on your laurels. Never think that you have reached your potential. Always go for something new and keep pushing boundaries.


  • “I don’t want to just ride it out and accept mediocrity and be just another dude. I want to be top on that totem pole.”
  • “They were always giving opportunities to improve myself and I never let one of those opportunities pass”
  • “I always make sure I tell people that I was very fortunate, I was very lucky, that I had the best mentors, and I never ever rest on my laurels”
  • “I’m not like some stellar super soldier. I was very lucky and I always made sure that when opportunity knocked that I answered the door.”
  • “If I failed something I wouldn’t say ‘Fuck it man, that ain’t’ for me’. Nope, I have to avenge that shit because I won’t be defeated.”
  • “Without meaning, without purpose, you could falter, you could short-circuit yourself and you could start slipping into dark places.”
  • “..I’m not buried. I have been planted.”


  • Pat McNamara was born in Connecticut and grew up with odd hobbies as a kid including riding a unicycle to school, watching birds, drawing, and picking flowers
  • He had an elder brother who tormented him during his younger years
  • When his elder brother got arrested and was sent to the prison he had a metamorphosis and began to transform himself
  • He started Wrestling in school and began to work out
  • He was not very good at Wrestling for the first two years but he kept at it and could not be beaten during his Senior year in High School
  • When he was in his Junior year in High School, his brother returned from the prison and intimidated him on arrival by kicking open the bathroom door where Pat McNamara was in. Pat punched his brother in the face and tumbled him down the stairs and gave him a taste of his own medicine.
  • Pat McNamara enrolled in the Army while he was in High School


  • Pat McNamara signed up for the 18 X-RAY program in the United States Army Special Forces
  • He had a lot of failures in his 22-year career that he can write a book on them
  • His 1st failure was as a towed jumper on his 2nd jump as an 18-year old in Jump School. His static line got stuck under his reserve and around his arm and as he was slammed against the plane, the static line came loose and deployed his parachute. He pulled his biceps into the forearm, broke ribs, and dislocated shoulder during the accident.
  • Since he was a fit teenager in his later teen years, the lack of biceps strength humbled him after the accident but he soon recovered and grabbed more opportunities
  • After finishing Jump School after recovering from his injuries, Pat went on to the Special Forces Qualification Course
  • He failed in the Survival Phase of the Qualification Course since he found a beer in his premises set for survival without food and drank it. He had to redo the phase again.
  • Pat McNamara was keen on whom he would align himself with to learn more and get new opportunities
  • He graduated and went to Fort Lewis as a Private with all of his Team Sergeants being Vietnam Veterans from Ranger Battalion
  • He has a funny story of the time when he was running in the Barracks and when Sergeant Major Donald J Taylor gave him a valuable lesson (Listen to the story at 54:30)
  • Pat McNamara failed dive school the 1st time and completed it the second time when he came back in 6 months
  • During this time, he was being deployed to countries like Thailand and Malaysia in South East Asia


  • Pat McNamara was recruited by a dude in Civilian Clothes for his first Softcover job
  • He was recruited the next time by a Special Forces Officer who only had Pat’s name on his list
  • Pat McNamara was assigned the task of spying on the Soviet Army in Soviet East Germany. He was doing it for 2 years
  • The cover for the Undercover Operations was paper thin and the United States, Britain, and France were doing it on the Soviet Union in East Germany while the Soviet Union was doing it back in West Germany
  • He was in East Germany during the fall of the Berlin wall and was in through the reunification in 1991


  • Pat McNamara completed many other courses in the Army after his time in East Germany
  • During the 9/11 incident, he was an OTC instructor
  • He deployed to Iraq twice and put in place the Combat Skills Course for basic combat training
  • Pat McNamara competed in the All Army Small Arms Championship in 2004 as an E9 before retirement
  • He quit the Army mainly due to domestic messiness where his kids were not raised right by his ex-wife


  • Pat McNamara slipped into drinking and was laid off from his job with a corporation where he was building training programs
  • He went through a divorce with his wife
  • He created his company, TMACS Inc teaching people Tactical Marksmanship with lethal results

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