Editor’s note: The audio from this episode of the MWI podcast is derived from a video interview conducted jointly with the West Point Center for Oral History. To watch the video, click here.


In this episode of the MWI podcast, Maj. Brendan Griswold, an instructor in the Department History at the United States Military Academy, interviews four combat jump veterans about their experiences jumping onto the battlefield from above. The conversation involved four veterans of airborne drops:

  • Col. Liam Collins took part in a “High Altitude High Opening” jump into Afghanistan in 2001
  • Maj. John Spencer and Sgt. 1st Class Carlos Navas participated in a jump into northern Iraq in 2003
  • Lt. Col. (Ret) James “Maggie” Megellas jumped into Holland during Operation Market Garden in 1944

The four participants discuss the planning, preparation, and execution of their jumps. What does it feel like to make your first jump into a combat zone after so many training jumps? What part of the jump do you remember most vividly? What did you encounter on the ground?

The combat jump veterans discuss these and other topics in this fascinating conversation.