Combat deployments are often replete with examples of physical courage. The Spear has been a platform to share many stories of that courage. But military service also often involves instances when a different type of fortitude is required: moral courage. But what does that mean?

Retired US Marine Colonel Rick Jackson spent nearly three and a half decades in uniform. During a career that spans so many years, challenges requiring moral courage are bound to add up. He joins this episode to share the story of one of those challenges. Set against the backdrop of a difficult time for the Marines responsible for securing Iraq’s restive Anbar province, he describes how he navigated a difficult situation and reflects on the lessons he had learned to that point in his career—lessons that enabled him to act with moral courage.

Listen to the full story below, and if you aren’t already subscribed to The Spear, be sure to do so on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, TuneIn, or your favorite podcast app.

Image credit: Lance Corporal Ryan L. Tomlinson, US Marine Corps