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The inexperienced berets that exchanged bullets for bourbon

Her covert mission to Afghanistan inspired a book, film, memorial, and now an award-winning bourbon.

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February
11, 2020

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Get a Real Job's episode this week focuses on a group of brave men who have taken safety measures all their lives.

In the days after September 11, when many Americans saw the news in a state of shock and horror, a team of 12 Green Berets invaded Afghanistan and waged war against the Taliban … on horseback.

Riding as they entered the forbidden landscape of Afghanistan was not part of the plan. But almost nothing about her mission, code-named Task Force Dagger, had a plan anyway. They were brought into the country and basically asked to find out as they went on.

Although these men, The Horse Soldiers, were outnumbered 40 to 1 and had little contact with their command center, they fought side by side with militia allies in a series of intense battles and successfully conquered the city of Mazar-i-Sharif from the Taliban, a strategic one Hochburg.

The story of the horse soldier inspired a book, film, and memorial to be seen at the 9/11 Memorial in New York. Almost 20 years after Task Force Dagger's success, retired specialty operators Scott Neil, Rob Schäfer, Mark Nutsch, Bob Pennington, Tyler Garner and John Koko found a new mission with Elizabeth Pritchard-Koko: they founded the American Freedom Distillery. The hallmark of the American company is the award-winning horse soldier bourbon, which is sold in bottles that are pressed into steel molds that were recovered on the site of the World Trade Center.

Related: How to get into the whiskey business if you know nothing about the whiskey business

Neil, Nutsch and Pennington came from the Entrepreneur Office to discuss their lives and business for the following week. We hope you enjoy and feel inspired. And we thank the horse soldiers and all military personnel who listen for your service.

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