Combat Story (Ep 23): Robin Horsfall UK Special Air Service (SAS) | Paratrooper | Mercenary | Author


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Robin Horsfall is a former British Special Air Service (SAS) Tier 1 operator, paratrooper in 2Paras, mercenary, entrepreneur, and author.

During his time in service, he deployed five times to Northern Ireland in brutal “Peace Keeping” operations, was part of one of the most storied and successful hostage rescue operations in the heart of London, and was part of a “one way” or “suicide” mission during the Falklands War.

His combat is well documented in his first book, Fighting Scared, in which we describes his evolution from victim to Tier 1 operator to Warrior Poet (the title of his most recent book). Robin’s lessons can be applied to soldiers, leaders, parents, and children, including how to overcome a difficult childhood of abuse and a lack of male role models to become a role model to others.

His stories are brutally honest (being bullied for years) and lighthearted (such as SAS training with Delta Force or how he and the SAS helped Princess Diana with her hair) in a way that only Brits can manage.

Find Robin online:

Show Notes

  • 0:00 - Intro
  • 1:00 - Robin bio and introduction.
  • 1:51 - Robin
  • 5:01 - Difficult childhoods and the challenge of authority later in life.
  • 8:12 - Recognizing issues with authority in other people, particularly children, when building a Karate empire.
  • 18:58 - Why the military at age 15?
  • 22:37 - Who were the British military vets in the early 1970s?
  • 26:36 - The British “Paras” and what it means within the UK military.
  • 28:24 - First combat experience was Northern Ireland.
  • 31:57 - What was it like to do “Peace Keeping” after paratrooper training for years?
  • 33:09 - Combat Story #1: Northern Ireland.
  • 35:51 - Combat Story #2: “Encounter” with an IED.
  • 42:04 - Difference between SAS (Special Ops) and conventional military.
  • 44:55 - Team vs. Individual in SAS and the SAS process.
  • 47:21 - Death during SAS selection.
  • 53:48 - Combat Story #3(A): Setting the scene for an amazing hostage rescue operation. (Jump to next time stamp if you don’t want to hear the lead up to this operation).
  • 55:53 - Combat Story #3(B): Incredibly detailed account of an SAS high visibility hostage rescue in downtown London.
  • 1:14:09 - Combat-lite Story #3.5: Princess Diana supporting an SAS training operation. You have to hear the bit about her hair!
  • 1:16:04 - Combat Story #4: A ‘one way” or “suicide” mission during the Falklands War. There’s some great comedy in this and lessons about what not to do.
  • 1:25:49 - Delta training with SAS and some of the hilarity that ensues.
  • 1:31:06 - Why title the book “Fighting Scared”?
  • 1:32:19 - What Robin’s doing now: Veterans campaign and the Wise Old Paratrooper trilogy, plus a new book on poetry called “Warrior Poet.” 1:36:29 - What did Robin carry with him into combat.
  • 1:37:32 - Would you do it all again?

46 episodes