Marty Skovlund, Jr.
Marty Skovlund, Jr. is a veteran of the 1st Ranger Battalion and Syracuse Recruiting Battalion, a former small business owner, the author of Violence of Action: The Untold Stories of the 75th Ranger Regiment in the War on Terror (Blackside Publishing) as well as Ranger Knowledge: The Complete Study Guide (St. Martins Press). He is also the executive producer of the award-winning documentary Nomadic Veterans, and the award winning short-narrative Prisoner of War. He is currently working on his third book as well as pursuing a career in film and television.
Scott Faith is a veteran of a half-dozen combat deployments and has served in several different Special Operations units over the course of his Army career. Scott’s writing focuses largely on veterans’ issues, but he is also a big proponent of Constitutional rights and has a deep interest in politics. He often allows other veterans who request anonymity to publish their work under his byline. Scott welcomes story ideas and feedback on his articles, and can be reached at [email protected].
Leo Jenkins is a homeless combat vet. After 230 credits he hasn’t finished college yet. From firefighter EMT to the life a Ranger leads. He’s been a medic in Afghanistan as well as Iraq and hasn’t met a pint of beer he won’t attack. A fighter and runner… a swimmer and a lover. A competitive exerciser and free will admirer. His pen is dipped in the ink of allegory and he won’t hesitate to tell his story. Five continents and 31 countries this year alone, he lives his life like a rolling stone.
Leonard O. Benton
Leonard O. Benton is retired from active duty military service with 24 years and two combat deployments to Iraq. He left the Regular Army after 10 years and became a National Guard Recruiter for his first tour in the AGR program followed by over 10 years in Operations as Force Protection, CBRN and three years as C-IED. He has an Associates degree and is currently working on his Bachelor’s. He is an amateur metal smith and when he is not working or writing he can often be found in his shop pounding away in the attempt to transform a lump of metal into an icon of beauty or function. His years of operational planning, threat analysis, and a deeply cynical view of our imperfect world leads him to focus on world events and cultural beliefs that tend to cause the most friction and chaos in the world around us. He is a libertarian and he believes in personal freedoms and accountability. The Havok Journal gave him an outlet to express the things he sees wrong in the world and the opportunity to once again provide advice on how to fix it. Leonard can be contacted a [email protected].
Justina Bahriak is a stay at home mom with a psychology degree, which means she spends half the day losing her mind and the other half psychoanalyzing it. She was born and raised in New York and holds an advanced degree in social science. Justina is an Army wife to a reluctant vegetarian (he’ll thank her later) and stay at home mom to a toddler (whom she is sure will live in a nudist colony one day). Having a strong background in health and sports psychology, her passion is anything health and fitness. Justina finds that writing is a wonderful outlet for her over-analytical brain and thoroughly enjoys putting her minds endless energy into exploring how being a mother and military wife affects her view of everyday events.
Andrew D. Fisher
Andrew D. Fisher is now a medical student at Texas A&M College of Medicine after serving many years as a physician assistant with the U.S. Army. He joined the Army in 1993 as a Light Infantryman and spent three years at 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment before leaving the Army to pursue a college education. He is a 2006 graduate of the Interservice Physician Assistant Program. His previous assignments as a PA include UNCSB-JSA (Republic of Korea) and 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. He has deployed seven times in support of the Global War on Terror/OCO. Andrew has taken care of more patients in the 75th Ranger Regiment than any other person since October 2001 and is the 2010 Army PA of the Year. Known as Old Man River, he is always angry, irritable, and cynical; at least it appears that way. He considers himself to be the least talented writer for the Havok Journal, but is very appreciative to have the opportunity. In his spare time he enjoys… who are we kidding, he has no spare time.
Christopher Hart is a native of South Dakota, currently residing in the land of endless winter —Fargo, North Dakota. A proud Dakotan, he has spent a majority of his life in the Midwest, sprinkled with a brief (albeit necessary) stint in the high mountains of Colorado. Hart received his undergraduate degrees in Political Science and Anthropology from North Dakota State University and has extensive experience within higher education, government institutions and the legal and healthcare fields. His research interests include: international politics, ethnic conflicts, electoral dynamics, as well as philosophy, mythology and the fields of anthropology.
In his free time, Hart enjoys pursuing other interests such as camping and hiking, as well as being creative in his musical, artistic and graphic design endeavors. A student of the human condition, one of his greatest passions is genealogical research — pursuing the stories and facts about ancestral ghosts of the past. In addition to his contributions to The Havok Journal, he also serves as a writer for the SB Nation’s Mile High Report, dedicated to covering the Denver Broncos and is also working on his first fantasy novel.
Comments, criticisms and suggestions are always welcome. Feel free to contact him via e-mail — [email protected].
Richard Farnum is originally from Savannah, GA but moved to a suburb of Detroit, Michigan at the age of nine where he lived until the age of eighteen. He signed his Army enlistment contract at seventeen, and left for Basic Training shortly after graduating high school in 2004. He is a veteran of three combat deployments, all of which were served with 1st Ranger Battalion as a light infantryman before leaving for the civilian world in 2008. He has worked as a Ballroom and Latin Dancing instructor, personal trainer, and did a short stint in the Army Reserves where he served as a Training NCO for his battalion. He graduated from college in 2013 with a Bachelors degree in Rehabilitation Sciences, and is currently in medical school pursuing his MD. His reading and writing interests include medicine, veteran’s issues, and anything related to being a more interesting and well-rounded man. He enjoys shooting, dancing with his wife, and shaving with a straight razor. It is his life’s ambition to become the most interesting man in the world.
Baz Khan has served as a platoon commander and company commander in the United States Marine Corps’ Infantry and Reconnaissance communities for over a decade. He has deployed two times to Iraq and twice to Afghanistan. Baz was lucky enough to have a price put on his head in both Iraq and Afghanistan so he must be doing something right. He has a bachelors degree in english literatutre, is a military freefall parachutist, combatant diver and Basic Reconnaissance Course graduate. He writes here in his capacity as a private individual, and his views are not those of the US Marine Corps.
Tyler McCune is a man of many talents. He is a writer for The Havok Journal, employee of Avera Sacred Heart Hospital Emergency Department in Yankton, South Dakota, and prospective medical school student. He frequently browses peer-reviewed journals such as Nature and Science, in order to provide readers with the most up-to-date and accurate news as possible. Thanks to his ability to understand complex scientific topics, and then convey highly technical writing to the reader, he is able to give an easily digestible summary of primary research articles and their impact in a reader’s everyday life. He is a National Registry certified EMT, holds a Bachelor’s Degree of Art’s in Pre-Professional studies (essentially basic biomedical sciences), and has over 1200 hours of research experience with two different projects – MRSA and endometriosis. As he applies for medical schools, he works in the emergency department in a position most easily described as “grease for the department,” assisting the nurses, doctors, and patients wherever he can. He thoroughly enjoys increasing his knowledge in the sciences, and if there are any questions or ideas for topics he will try to address them as promptly as possible, either privately or publicly through The Havok Journal.
Matt James (CISSP, CPT, CEH, CNDA, Security+) has more than 15 years of experience in cyber security and information technology. He has lead and performed numerous red-team activities against public and private sector entities, to include major Fortune 500 corporations and federal agencies. Medically retired from the Army after injuries sustained during combat operations, Matt resides in the Washington, D.C. area where he manages a security evaluation team for a major telecommunication corporation.
Scoti Springfield Domeij
Scoti Springfield Domeij is the proud Gold Star mom of 2/75 Army Ranger, Sgt. 1st Class Kristoffer Domeij, KIA on October 22, 2011 during his 14th deployment in Afghanistan. Kristoffer’s death inducted Scoti into the amazing military family and Ranger community. A civilian, Scoti is woefully ignorant of military protocol and acronyms.
She serves as Director of Springs Writers, is a solo-parenting columnist for Colorado Springs Kids, was editor/writer for nine publishers. She’s published in diverse publications including The New York Times, Southwest Art, School Daze, SAM Journal, and parenting magazines. She contributed stories to Violence of Action: The Untold Stories of the 75th Ranger Regiment in the War on Terror (Blackside Concepts), Love is a Verb Devotional and Heaven Touching Earth (Bethany House), Christmas Miracles (St. Martin’s Press), Extraordinary Answers to Prayer: In Times of Change (Guideposts), and The Mommy Diaries: Finding Yourself in the Daily Adventure (Revell).
A researchaholic, Scoti was Senior Research Assistant/Art Production Coordinator for the 27-part film series shot on location in Israel entitled That the World May Know. She interacted with top scholars, archeologists and museums while researching geography, seasons, feasts, culture, dress, facial ethnicity, machinery, furniture, weapons, wars, architecture, archeological discoveries, Roman culture and government, ancient religious beliefs, flora and fauna to conceptualize historically, archeologically and biblically-accurate art compositions used for over 200 art renderings and maps.
Cora Kane is a horror/thriller writer who currently lives outside of Tampa, Florida with her husband and their children. Her first novel, Briar Lake, has been picked up for publication with a tentative release in the Spring/Summer of 2015. Originally hailing from one of the small towns that surround Ft. Bragg North Carolina, Cora wanted nothing to do with the military lifestyle until her husband swept her off her feet. At a very early age, Cora fell in love with reading and soon thereafter discovered her affinity for writing. This love helped her to excel in school, except when she would get caught reading in algebra. While she can’t count very high, Cora is proud of her role as a military spouse and everything that it encompasses, including its unique challenges. Cora balances her time chasing babies, creating monsters, being an awesome wife, drinking absurd amounts of coffee and writing for The Havok Journal. Cora can be reached at [email protected]
Gabriel Prince joined the Army in the late 1990s and served vaingloriously in the Ranger Regiment during their first two deployments to Afghanistan. Now he’s an Infantry Officer, trying to make the world a little less bullshit and a little more reasonable to live in…one OPORDER at a time.
Nick Perna is a Police Officer with the Redwood City Police Department in Northern California. He has spent much of his career as a gang and narcotics investigator. He is a member of a Multi-Jurisdictional SWAT Team since 2001 and is currently a Team Leader. He previously served as a paratrooper in the US Army and is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He has a Master’s Degree from the University Of San Francisco.
JJ Pinter is an Army Veteran and the Director of Operations for Team Red, White, and Blue. In his spare time, he practices both yoga and functional fitness, and enjoys coaching youth sports.
Vince “Rocco” Vargas is a former US Army Ranger and combat veteran, and is the Chief Operations Officer for Article 15 Clothing.
Craig “Sawman” Sawyer
Craig “Sawman” Sawyer is a veteran of the Marine Corps and a former Navy SEAL. After serving with SEAL Team One and Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU), he went on to run personal security details for the likes of Donald Rumsfeld, Hillary Clinton, John Negroponte, and John McCain. He also started Tactical Insider, a company that provides technical and military advice to Hollywood, and is a regular on major network news shows and popular television programs including Top Shot, Sniper: Most Dangerous Missions, and Rhino Wars.
Paul J. O’Leary
Paul J. O’Leary is an Army veteran, both active and reserve, who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom. He has been both an officer and a senior NCO and prefers the NCO Corps. For the past 20 years, he has been a Florida police officer serving as a patrol officer, field training officer, hostage negotiator, and detective. As a detective, he has primarily focused on major crimes including robbery, sex crimes, and homicide. He is a graduate student and a father of five who enjoys hiking, running, and photography. He is also a writer for Ranger Up’s Rhino Den and Unapologetically American.
J.E. McCollough served in the Marine Corps from 1996 to 2005. He is a combat veteran, including Operations Iraqi Freedom I and II as a Counterintelligence Specialist, and the recipient of a Purple Heart and a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with ‘V’ Combat Distinguishing Device. While in Iraq in 2003 and 2004, J.E. served as a part of 1st CI/HUMINT Company, 1st Intelligence Battalion. He was attached to 3rd Battalion/5th Marines,Task Force Tripoli and 3rd Battalion/23rd Marines at various points during the invasion and was attached to 2nd Battalion/4th Marines in Ramadi in 2004. Including post-Marine Corps civilian deployments as an intelligence analyst for the Department of Defense, he served over forty months in the Middle East and Central Asia between 2002 and 2011. J.E. has written articles for TIME magazine’s Battleland online as well as RangerUp.com.
Cody Granrud is a former Combat Engineer (12B) with the US Army’s 321st Engineer Battalion and is currently the founder and CEO of 5Bravo. He also makes killer BBQ.
Shane, 34, is currently on active duty and has served with 2nd Ranger Battalion and 75th RSTB. He is a veteran of 9 combat deployments to Afghanistan and 2 to Iraq. He loves all things outdoors; hiking, camping, exploring, shooting, hunting, and has never met a fish he wouldn’t try to catch. He loves cooking for his family, but hates following the instructions. He has been married to his amazing wife Carisa for over 12 years. He is the proud owner of guns, a Harley, an itchy Boston terrier named Dozie, 3 sons, 1 testicle, a minivan, and an aggressively affectionate pit bull named Athena. He enjoys writing about anything that makes people laugh, veterans affairs, and his family. Shane loves a good movie quote and a good road trip. Although he enjoys it, he is also an awful wood worker.
Michael J. Penney is a former infantryman and Marine Corps Combat Arms instructor. During his eight year career in the Corps, he served with distinction on the battlefields of Ramadi Iraq (05-07), Kajaki and Sangin Afghanistan (2011). As an Instructor, Michael has trained Marines in combat marksmanship, precision weapon systems and foreign/ threat weapons. Since leaving the Corps in 2012, Michael has found new ways to serve the country he loves. He is an inventor, entrepreneur, author and public speaker; contributing to worthwhile organizations that focus on changing the world in positive ways. Michael’s goal is to empower fellow Marines to achieve greatness after leaving the Corps.
Professionally, Michael is the chief contributor to BloodStripes.com a professional development toolkit for successful Marines. He is a radio personality on cigarsandseastories.com, a podcast for Marines and FMF Corpsmen. As an inspirational speaker, Michael shows how the military prepares Marines for entrepreneurship and the corporate world. Go to michaeljpenney.com to see how military training carries over to the business realm.
Boone Cutler is an author, a leader in the Warfighter Rights Movement, and is the first nationally-recognized radio talkshow personality who is also a combat veteran from the current conflict. He is also very involved with the arts and works as a video producer/director of REDCON-1 Music Group. A combat-injured veteran, Boone is a champion of the effort to combat veteran suicide. As part of this effort he crafted the Spartan Pledge in order to help veterans find a new mission and help each other.
Boone’s message is simple: “America has lost faith in what they used to believe were the heroes of Hollywood. America has become disgusted with the political climate of today so the only place to turn to and trust for leadership is the Warfighter.”
You can hear Boone’s insightful and motivating show every Saturday on KNEWS 107.3 live from Reno, Nevada.
Loren Schofield started his career in the infantry and as soon as he was eligible attended Special Forces Assessment and Selection. He spent the next 16 plus years serving in the various positions within the Special Forces Regiment. He served in the 25th ID, 10th SFG (A), 3rd SFG (A) and retired as an instructor in the Special Forces Advanced Mountain Operations School. He served on a Mountain Team, Mobility Team, and in a Special Forces Direct Action Company. He deployed twice to Kosovo, the first time in 1999, eight days after the air war ended, and was there for his second trip during 9/11. From April of 2002 to May of 2009 he deployed five times to Afghanistan and twice to Iraq. Loren started his Special Forces career as an 18E and in 2008 graduated the SF Intel Sgt’s Course and became an 18F. He is a graduate of SFARTAETC, SF Mountain School, Jumpmaster, and multiple civilian mountaineering-related schools.
Matt Trevathan is a Director of Product Management for a leading mobile platform enablement company. He has travelled extensively in the United States and over seas for business and travel. He his travels include India, Mexico, Europe and Japan where he was an active blogger immediately following the Kaimashi quake. Matt enjoys spending time out doors and capturing the world through the lens of his Nikon D90. Matt enjoys researching the political, economic and historical influences of the places he visits in the world, and he common blogs about these experiences. Matt received a bachelors in Computer Science at Mercer University, and is a noted speaker on innovation, holding over 150 patents. Matt’s remaining time is spent with his family going from soccer game to soccer game on the weekends.
EM Burlingame is a Silicon Valley techpreneur and later Private Equity investor and Investment Banker with emphasis on very early-stage technology companies. Having recently completed active duty service with 1st BN 1st Special Forces Group, EM is now serving with 20th. EM is currently Founder of the Honos Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to empowering local entrepreneurship in violence repressed areas and Founder and Managing Director of Emerio Group, an early-stage investment advisory. Following a degree in Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis at Norwich, EM is now pursuing PhD studies in Interdisciplinary Engineering, with an emphasis on Computational Engineering at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Chris Buckalew is a disabled veteran who served in the US Army as an airborne infantryman from 1993-1996. He now works as a Registered Nurse and hospital supervisor. He is a veteran advocate, competitive weightlifter, and Scottish Highland Games amateur athlete. Other interests include riding Harleys, reading, and writing. He is married, with three kids, 2 dogs, and a cat that somehow breached the perimeter and continues to dwell among them.
Sean Lawrence is a complete jerk. He served in 1/75, first in C Co and then in sniper section, so he thinks he knows it all. Between the Army, contracting for BW, and working for SOCOM as a civilian, he has more than a dozen trips to Iraq and Afghanistan but he never really did anything except go to the gym and play XBOX. Sean has his BA in International Affairs (which shouldn’t even really be a degree), a Master’s Degree in Business, and he’s about half way through with his Doctorate in Education. It’s obvious that he doesn’t know what he wants to do because none of that stuff is related. Sean is married, but no one has a clue how she deals with him always having to be right about every little f-ing thing. They have a son; thankfully, the wife does most of the parenting so maybe the kid won’t turn out all crappy like his dad. Complaints about how dumb Sean’s articles are can be directed to [email protected]
Christopher Paul Meyer
Christopher Paul Meyer writes noir fiction and nonfiction. He is a former bouncer, firefighter, soldier, comic, prison chaplain and actor. When not writing, he likes Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, improv comedy and directing political rants at his reflection in the bathroom mirror. His book, Icarus Falling: A True Story About the Broken Dreams, Broken Heart and Broken Bones of a Nightclub Bouncer in LA, is currently available on Amazon.com. He welcomes any questions, comments or snide remarks at www.christopherpaulmeyer.com.
Nate Coffey spent four years attempting to become a preacher, and later a chaplain. After deploying with the Marine Corps, Nate realized that being a Scout Sniper was way more fun, and hilarity ensued as he spent the next eight years attempting to do that job for the glory of our republic and our illustrious Corps. After deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as a stint as a WPPS contractor, Nate set down the gun and devoted his life to teaching his family (and indeed the world) the wonders of beards, improper civilian attire, knife hands, and the DD214. He is a fan of chick flicks like “Commando” and “Boondock Saints.”
He views The Lord of the Rings as his bible, you know, next to the actual one. Nate also attempts to write at www.natecoffey.wordpress.com, and can be found on Facebook at “The Tater Blog.” He spends his free time shivering in tree stands across the Midwest (not to hunt, he just really thinks they’re comfortable, and politically leans a bit to the left…of Ragnar Lothbrok.
Aaron Ferencik is a Marine Corps infantry veteran and graduate of the University of Colorado. He has been a Crossfit coach, security contractor and student of three foreign languages. He hosts the current events podcast “The Burn Pit” along with his father, who is also a veteran, and is writing his debut novel.
Pat Gault lives deep in the Alaskan bush and has to walk twenty miles every day to find internet connection. His background includes being a mediocre Air Force PJ, the owner of multiple camper vans around the world, and, well, that’s about it.
Marshall McGurk served nearly 5 years with the 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) after a stint with the 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized). He enjoys scotch, cigars, good books, foreign films, and critical thinking. He is passionate about international relations, domestic affairs, and successful veteran transition.
Brandon Young served 11 years in the US Army, primarily with the 2nd Ranger Battalion and 75th Ranger Regiment. He conducted 4 combat rotations to Afghanistan and competed in the 2006 Best Ranger Competition, placing 3rd with his partner. Upon exiting service in 2009, Brandon served in the corporate sector in cancer diagnostics as a Territory Manager and Commercial Sales Director. Since 2014 he has served as the Director of Development for Team Red, White and Blue. Brandon is passionate about faith, family, life, culture and brotherhood. When not working, he spends his days with his wife and children exploring all the outdoor adventures that Colorado has to offer.
James A. Gagliano
James A. “Jimmy” Gagliano has some three decades’ worth of practical leadership experience, both in traditional military units as a U.S. Army Infantry Officer and in federal law enforcement executive-level assignments with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). He spent 25 years as an FBI criminal investigator, SWAT Team Leader, member of the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team (HRT), Undercover Agent, Task Force Commander, Legal Attaché (Diplomat), and as Chief-of-Staff for the Assistant-Director-in-Charge of the FBI’s New York Division. He has led tactical and diplomatic operations in Afghanistan and México City, and served tours in parts of Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, as well as assignments in combat theaters in Afghanistan, while assigned to the military’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). He is a recipient of the FBI’s second highest award for valor, the Medal for Bravery. Now retired from the FBI, Jimmy serves as an Adjunct Assistant Professor, instructing undergraduates in Homeland Security, Criminal Justice, Military History, and Leadership courses at St. John’s University in Jamaica, Queens and is a leadership consultant with the Thayer Leader Development Group (TLDG) located at West Point, NY. He is also a full-time Law Enforcement Analyst and Contributor on CNN, and delivers speeches across the country in corporate and university settings.
In a time of hyper-specialization, Gregory is an accomplished and educated generalist who understands that knowledge from a multitude of disciplines is necessary for true wisdom. A continuous wanderer and seeker of knowledge, he has worn three different colors of beret for the US Army and worked in everything from metal fabrication, music, and bar tending to politics and publishing while on a constant search for life’s meaning.
Kevin Wilson is a lifelong resident of North Carolina. He currently serves in the North Carolina Army National Guard as an artilleryman. His hobbies include writing, drinking, drinking while writing, and yelling at kids to get off his lawn. He currently holds the record for youngest grumpy old man in his battalion.
Interested in joining our team of writers?
The Havok Journal has assembled an amazing team of talented writers, each with a diverse yet impressive background. If you are interested in joining the Havok Journal team, contact us at [email protected] with your resume and a sample of your writing.