On this episode of the Riton Podcast, host Brady Speth sits down with our old friend Craig Sawyer. Dive into the crazy stories of this incredible man.
Check out what Craig Sawyer’s got going on
Brady Speth 0:08
Welcome to the Riton podcast.
Today, Craig Sawyer sitting across from me, been a friend for a while now for a while. And while I’m super excited to have you on the show, I appreciate you taking the time and swinging by.
Craig Sawyer 0:24
Great to be with you here. So it’ll be fun.
Brady Speth 0:26
The man going through Craig’s bio, where do I start? We were kinda bullshitting a little bit before the show. You’ve done a lot. So let’s start. start at the beginning. You don’t got to go too small, but we grew up obviously, your Marine Corps seal teams, what kind of led you in that direction? kind of start there, I guess could be who you are.
Craig Sawyer 0:49
I grew up in southern Texas, just north of Houston. And it was very outdoorsy lifestyle, you know, football, dirtbikes, hunting, fishing, boxing, martial arts, tournaments, and all those kinds of things. I had a big brother that beat me, you know, like the brothers do. He is five years older than me. So I became a bit of a fighter and, and it really sunk my my efforts into football, I became a defensive captain for 5A football team there. And I think that really kind of shaped my persona. Yeah, as being the alpha male, you know, defensive captain and strong side linebacker, and southern Texas, I was all about it, right? So that’s where the kind of the, the larger than life headhunter kind of a mindset kind of kicked in. And I had a Sunday school teacher that was didn’t know how to reach our, our attention, how to keep our attention, because we were rough, rough and tumble kind of guys, he decided to teach us the entire life of King David in the Bible, because he was the greatest warrior that ever lived.
Brady Speth 1:50
Right resonate with you.
Craig Sawyer 1:50
So we tuned into that. And that kind of shaped my psyche on what a warrior could be. And that’s that’s that was attractive to me. Because it was the purpose behind it. And so I went off to the Marine Corps after the oil economy kind of shut down there. Went to go into force recon Marine Corps didn’t have the budget or the political backing for that unit.
Brady Speth 2:11
Craig Sawyer 2:11
And that time that was in the early 80s.
Brady Speth 2:13
Craig Sawyer 2:13
so I went over to the Navy and went to the seal teams and jumped in because everybody said, Craig, if you really want to operate, right, really want to go kill terrorists and change things. You should have gone to the Navy, because they’re the ones with all the the budget, right? The political backing and the operations and all the toys. I’m like, Well, how do I get there from here, do it and so I made it happen and went through buds and all of that and operated with SEAL Team one and became a sniper instructor and got decorated for Combat Action there. And Desert Shield Desert Storm and got picked up for dev cruise, you know, so I served at SEAL Team Six, the rest of my Navy career. And we don’t talk about anything that happened there. But it was it was a larger than life experience with guys that are just so capable. All overachievers, you know, everybody to your left and right are just these larger than life, you know, alpha males, and it was a pleasure and a privilege to serve there. And once we started having babies, Mama said, Hey, we got baby on board. I’m like, Okay, I’m gone 300 days a year in the travel schedule, and that’s not gonna work. And so I took a job as in federal law enforcement and the Air Marshall service. And at that time, they were still very small.
Brady Speth 3:31
Craig Sawyer 3:31
but very highly trained for a federal law enforcement agency. And their job was to keep planes from hitting buildings, and I was there for less than two years, and 9/11 happened. Yep. And then we expanded and I helped stand up the Las Vegas field office and manage 210 agents there for about six months until they could hire more managers and break each squad down in a 25 man teams and I blew the whistle on a on a corrupt federal official.
Brady Speth 4:03
Craig Sawyer 4:03
And they did fire him for gross mismanagement, which is exactly what I reported him for. But I ended up leaving that agency because the retaliation was unchecked. So I started doing high threat mobile security for Department of State and another intelligence agency that we don’t talk about just protecting their highest ranking officials, moving them around their meetings in the war zones to keep them from ended up on Al Jazeera, right Evening News in an orange jumpsuit. Yeah. Or blown up either as bad, right. And so I did that for about a decade. And then again, I’m overseas and I’m like, I my kids are growing up without me.
Brady Speth 4:29
Craig Sawyer 4:39
a friend of mine. We are on a covert surveillance operation. And he looked at me and I was describing this thing about my children’s teachers and coaches and ah when I guess you do actually exist after all, when they would meet me and I felt bad.
Brady Speth 4:57
Craig Sawyer 4:56
I’m burying my teammates over here, right? I’m losing my friends, we’re almost getting blown up quite a bit. And we’re risking a lot because this is where I can make the money to take care of my family. I’m sacrificing. I’m giving everything I can. But I feel bad because everybody’s looking at me like, I’m some kind of negligent father and I’m I couldn’t my heart couldn’t be further from that. And he said to me, he goes, You know what, Craig? Kids spell love T I M E, right? And I was like, boom, what an important Yeah. epiphany and oh, my God, why didn’t I see it? sooner I tried to be home, but I ended up you know, doing what I had to do. So I went to go home and and be the home father that I that I had when I grew up, and I want it for my kids. And I’ll do what to do film and television, well I ended up in Africa.
Brady Speth 5:51
For any counterpoachers operations for a new animal planet special called Battleground Rhino wars. Yep. And I was chosen to lead a team of warriors. And I chose guys that I knew could do the job. And we went over there. And we filmed the three part special. And that was a huge experience. I mean, just these prehistoric beasts, like the rhinos, and the elephants just to be around him in the wild. And watch it was. It was just life changing for us. I mean, we’re warriors, we we don’t mind hurting bad guys ranking their stuff. But the animals man, we just fell in love with them over there. It was, I appreciate that experience, and being able to be there and just enjoy South Africa and what it has to offer. You know, I could see why people travel there, spend big money for the safaris to just watch these animals do what they do. It’s it was that was fascinating and to save, you know, we were able to stop the poaching for another six months after we were there. And one of the reserves just due to the operations that we we conducted there. So it felt nice to know that we were savingf some of the last of the endangered rhinos and, you know, then I got to work. I did five seasons of History Channel’s top shot is the most frequent on camera expert. Yeah, helping the competitors get more out of their performance. And then I did several seasons. I think it’s three seasons of Gunny time with R. Lee Ermey. And he and I became buddies. And I’ll just tell you, he was so much nicer than I expected. Oh, private. What are you trying to do to my beloved car?
Craig Sawyer 7:31
Are you supposed to have a jelly doughnut your footlocker? Yeah. So I told him, you know, and we are hanging out in his camper on set and just chat and I said, Gunny, and I all the people that I know that have met you at different gun shows and things like that gush about how genuine and caring you are. Yeah, with their little baby daughters and how you stay late and you make sure and sign everybody signatures and how giving and kind you are right in public. And I said I didn’t know to expect that. I was kind of was curious how you’d be in person. He goes, You know what Saw, I guess it just doesn’t take any extra doesn’t cost us any extra to be decent to people. And I said Gunny. I see it the same way. But it’s cool to know that you’re that way. It’s all
Brady Speth 8:12
really good. Unfortunately, a lot of people in his position don’t feel that way so that they don’t get that thought.
Yeah. And so I told him, I said, I really gained a lot of respect for you because of that. Yeah. And we became good friends, man, he wanted me to take over as hosting his show GunnyTime, but I told his manager, I was first of all, I was so honored that they would even consider me
Craig Sawyer 8:34
to take over by season four. They wanted me to be the host and Gunny would just occasionally drop in for guest appearance. But I what I told him as I said, I can’t imagine anyone trying to fill Gunny shoes. Can you imagine that guy because like, and now here’s GunnyTime with some other guy. Yeah, not good. I’m like, nobody wants to be that other guy. Yeah. I don’t think it’ll work. We’re gonna have to call it something different or something. And what they ended up doing was bringing in other public figure guest hosts and rotating them and I thought that was a smart situation. So yeah, yeah. Fantastic being around Gunny that I was like, surreal was grin and feathered friends of mine to me. They’re like, dude, you’re always grin and it looked like you’re having such a good time. What was up with that? Said, I was on making TV with Gunny. He couldn’t believe I’m like, I’m making a TV show with Gunny. Yeah, become buddies. Yeah, so I was just a happy little kid.
Brady Speth 9:31
So what I’m getting from it you haven’t really been busy and you haven’t been doing much.
Pretty much drunk in a derelict.
He’s up to no good. So go back a little bit because man, I don’t I don’t know where to start. I kind of look at this. And I think a lot of people that listen to the podcast too. They always want to know what it’s like to go through some of these things. So not going too deep and you know, cut whatever we’ll talk about, but going from, you know, Marine Corps basic going through a lot of these different things you’ve been through. You’ve been through some of the hardest training In the world, if we want to look at it like that, from, you know, federal law enforcement to seals to buds to, you know, Marine Corps, what, give us some kind of insight into that, and then give us some, like, takeaways.
Craig Sawyer 10:12
Well, the Marine Corps, I really have a lot of respect and appreciation for the Marine Corps, even though I was only a reservists for two years. And the Marine Corps I went through basic training boot camp, and then infantry training school, and then to reserve drills, but I got enough of that culture, and I’m in the Marines wherever we are on the face of planet Earth, whether it’s some covert contract or somewhere if anybody was ever in the Marine Corps, they have a Marine Corps birthday, they find a way to make them cake, no matter how austere the environment, on 10 November, because that’s the Marine Corps birthday, and they’re gonna have themselves a Marine Corps birthday, and they’re like, Saw man, you were in the Marine Corps. What Yeah, yeah, but I was just in a little while, but like, so you’re telling me you’re a Marine get in here. And so we have ourselves a birthday cake and sing the Marine Corps hyme and all that, yeah, I just their discipline.
Brady Speth 11:09
Craig Sawyer 11:09
their marksmanship and their culture, their esprit de corps. They fight like, Holy hell, yeah, they kicked the pants out of the enemy. And that’s, that’s all they’ve ever been known to do.
Brady Speth 11:20
Craig Sawyer 11:20
And I really respect that.
Brady Speth 11:22
Craig Sawyer 11:22
And so I’m proud of that heritage, even though they didn’t have the specops unit that I wanted at the time. I still treasure that start. I think it served me well. Yeah. And instilling that that discipline and that warrior mindset and the marksmanship. And when I went to the, to the SEAL team, completely different mindset, it was like going from seminary school almost becoming a pirate, like completely opposite, like a Marine Corps, we would, we would carry our m16 rifles around for weeks and weeks before we ever got to shoot them. We would clean them dozens of times, practicing disassembling, reassembling marks with them do you know all these hand to hand combat drills and just learn and you’ve got this item that you know, backwards and forwards, never shot round until you go up to Pendleton. We’re on range in a range week and they teach you how to actually shoot it. But before that, you put on a tight sling and you snap any just dry fire, just getting the principles down the discipline of a tight sling and getting very stable. And focusing on that front sight and just being really effective with it. And then they give you a bullet and straight out of the gate you’re you’re using them properly.
So it’s a very methodical disciplined approach. Buds, exactly the opposite. At least when I went through, they open up a big box full of M16s. And like, Okay, guys, grab some of the instructors, you know, Vietnam veterans, and they’re like, yeah, grab these, load them up. Go ahead, line up on the berm full auto from the hip. Yeah. Oh, get it out of your system, because we don’t ever want to see it again. Yeah, get your foolishness. So the guys are looking at these they’re like, Alright, it’s blasting the burm, not hitting much anything like Okay, now we’re gonna go and teach you how to deliberately right, use your sights and get in stable positions and use these things effectively. So just a radically different approach, you know,
Brady Speth 13:25
pirate analogy I love
they’re like pirates. And marine like and, you know, haven’t been a Marine Corps scout sniper and trained Navy SEAL snipers, a Marine Corps scout sniper, you can tell them vege up your suit. In other words, tie a bunch of vegetation into your ghillie suit, make it look like all the vegetation around you, and stay down on your face and this low, low vegetation area and move very slowly. And they’ll do it. Yeah. Because they’re discipline. trained to do that. And they make themselves do what they’re told so that they do it properly. A SEAL training will do the opposite. They’ll try to figure out a shortcut anyway. Yeah, because they’re they’re they’re trained to think outside of the box. unconventional right so you’ll catch a you know, seal sniper doing some completely idiotic yet kind of clever. Yeah, you know, and you’re like, no, that’s not gonna work. But for an example, in an open area, you may catch a navy seal, young Navy SEAL sniper like standing completely up and walking behind a tree because he knows the the truck that is observing him there. He’s like walking behind the tree and he can cover 200 yards without crawling on his face. And I’m like, okay, I appreciate your your thinking. But the we’re training you for combat with real patrols around and you know, given one situation where you know that the only Yeah, so that was the kind of cultural difference that I enjoyed, kind of get a chuckle out of between Marine Corps and seal to radically different like coming from a different planet. Yeah. You know,
it has to be though, like you said kind of the implementation of the different groups require that. So there you know, where SEAL team was more dropped off and said, go do the mission, whatever it takes versus the Marine Corps is definitely a lot. The way they’re implemented in a battlefield completely different. So yeah, it makes sense in that training aspect. Yeah.
And I don’t think either of them should change. No absolute according to what they’re doing. I think they’ve gotten it right. Yeah. Yeah,
I shouldn’t say that. I’m an Air Force vet. So what the hell do I know? So I got respect for both. I do touch a lot on the one of the things I said from being in the Air Force was the one thing I always was envious of. And I don’t say I’m envious of other branches very often, but you touched on it with the Marine Corps, like the spirit of Corps, the when I was in the Air Force, and I hate saying this about my beloved Air Force, it was a job, right? It’s treated almost as like a corporate job. This is I was an air traffic controller. I went to the tower, I did air traffic control, I worked eight hours I went home, you know and I had crew rest and all this other shit and it was like I was the FAA governor me more than the Air Force govern me. And and then like, I run into a ton of my friends that are you know, Marines Navy. And I’m like, man, I kind of wish and once again, each one has its own different application. Yeah, but I wish that the Air Force that was the one thing I missed out on, and I really want to go into the military. Was that a spirit? Of course, something to be proud of? That joke of like, how do you know someone was a marine? Because they tell you, you know what, I mean? Like, everybody that’s a Marine, you know that and that’s cool. Because it’s, there’s no you know, you’re always a marine. There’s never ex Marines or former Marines you know, and, and that’s something that I always wished across the branches and kind of ties into how the each branch has its own mission, which I understand But
well, you guys do have your own. Butt kickin, warriors. Yeah. The PJ’s in the CTT. I will say those guys are straight on legit. Yeah. We had some of those guys at our unit and even embedded into my sniper crew. Yeah, Dev grew and they were brothers. They were one of our crew. Period.
Some good friends that were combat control and some PJguys I’m good friends with and that’s a that’s a whole nother level which is stupid impressive.
Yeah, they’re legit. Yeah, that’s it. That’s a fantastic job.
Yeah, absolutely. So So there you go. See the airforce? They actually have some some kick ass guys, too. You heard it here. The so SEAL Team stuff? Um, he kind of said to start team one. What’s that? Like? I mean, everybody’s kind of, and I’ve heard it from a lot of my buddies that are seals and stuff like that. So I love here in this part of the story. What’s it like being a new seal? What’s it like getting to your first team? Kind of the especially because around your time you’re saying there’s still some Vietnam guys. There’s still some, some old hard chargers that are hanging around at that point. And like, what was that like?
Yeah, well, there’s definitely a pecking order. And you have to kind of figure out how you fit in right? Now. I came in there at a time when the United States had been at peace for quite a while. So this is in the late 80s. So a lot of the Vietnam guys weren’t operating anymore. They were either senior leadership or they were there was an occasional buds instructor. Okay. But you weren’t in a platoon, typically with Vietnam vets anymore. So the guys that were the senior guys in the platoon, had been abused as new guys, by Vietnam vets because these guys missed Vietnam. So they got a chip on their shoulder. So now they see a hard charger come in from the Marine Corps. And they’re either gonna make you or break you. So I had guys that really tried to kind of demoralize and beat me down. And I just fought through it because I just wanted to be there. I wasn’t about the drinking buddy thing and the hanging out and, and, you know, a lot of the guys were chasing the girls over in the Philippines. It was all about that for them on a couple of West Coast teams in the late 80s. And I was there legitimately to operate. So I was very, very seriously in a different mindset than a lot of those guys were. And so I hit it up, hit it off with the more the senior leadership, okay. Hulk Richards was the commander that was the SEAL team, one commanding officer at the time, and he was a Vietnam vet. And so I would go lift with him after work. After everything else was done, go lift with him in the gym, and I’d pump him for Vietnam stories and I used a lubricant. You know, if you can’t pass them in a beer and soften him up, I would put in my my, my favorite psychological interrogation tool that no Vietnam vet could resist this. I put some cleaning Creedence Clearwater on the unfortunate scenario. I’m like, hey, do you mind if I put on a little credence? And he’s like, No, go ahead. And I would see his wheels turn in there. And I’m like, What? What? Oh, yeah, feed me. And he’s like, No, no, it’s just that, you know, just thinking of something. I’m like, What is it? Oh, it’s just as there’s one time, we were planning an op and I was listening to this and I’m like, Can I can I hear it? Because those guys were my heroes. It I mean, that’s, that’s who I want it to be. Right. And I read what precious little was out about the Vietnam seals and hard nosed killers, who were the boogeyman to the boogeyman? Yeah, absolutely. And so they were the dominant alpha males in that theater, and they just absolutely crushed our enemies where they were assigned. And so I wanted to learn from them, man. And so that was that was, there were some cool memories. So I hung out with more of the senior guys, the younger guys with one or two stripes on me. We kind of clashed because they wanted to be the dominant guys. I didn’t different reason. I was happy for them to be, you know, outranking me, but they weren’t gonna treat me like a punk.
Craig Sawyer 20:48
You know, I would do whatever they said. But they wanted me I guess more subservient. So that’s kind of the dynamic that I had when I was in, I’d already been in the Marine Corps and stuff. I was already a tournament fighter, you know, martial arts tournament fighter. And I was competent. And I guess they you know, some of them were frustrated that I wasn’t as scared as the new guys. They were when they came in been around for Yeah, so there’s a little bit of that was still a good time, though. And I learned a lot SEAL Team one was very disciplined. On the west coast. It’s kind of funny to know, without getting into too much inside baseball, each SEAL team has its own culture, right, just like each service branch has its own culture. And SEAL Team one is the hard nosed Nazi team. You know, I say Nazi, you know, like Marine Corps. Yeah, very disciplined, very strict. And they called it no fun one. But we trained very hard and we prepared very heartless, very serious. And so I appreciate that. I think that’s the team I really belonged on, I’m glad that their SEAL Team five was the, you know, their surfers, you know, where your hair long, do whatever kind of do whatever you want. Just do the job, you know, to your best of your ability, but don’t stress about it. So it’s kind of like a party team. And it relative to what, SEAL Team three, and I understand it’s still like this SEAL Team three, I in my opinion, had the best balance, okay. It’s still enjoyable to be there. But they’re serious about their training their training legit, and they’re they’re squared away. And they’re professional. So they get the hardcore training, but they don’t make it suck. Right. You know, unnecessarily? Yeah,
Brady Speth 22:27
So the reason I asked you about some of the Vietnam guy, so I kind of my pseudo like godfather I grew up with his name’s Clint Majors. He has a couple of books out, we’ll get him on the show here down the road, but he was a Seal team one guy, part of the Phoenix program during Vietnam. And so I grew up with those kind of stories. And I used to just sit there and just, oh, just take it in, you know, and have this like this. And I remember one that’s like, has always stood out to me, my dad, him and my dad were kind of, you know, Bs, and back and forth. And some guy like, Oh, my dad did some work for a guy and the guy that my dad money, and my dad was like, man, like, he needs to just pay up. Or he said something I wish it would just be taken care of. And I remember looking at my dad, and he goes, Well, do you want to taking care of? And I was like, I still do. I was a kid at the time. And I still remember this. So my dad was like, No, no, no, no, not like that taken care of, but dead straight. That’s how those guys were, he was like, Don’t worry, I’ll take care of the problem. Like you get your money or you got the problem taken care of it. I was like, this guy’s legit. Like, that was just that mindset of when and you know, and they’d been in Vietnam for 2, 3, 4 or 5 years and been operating like they were and you know, and I was just like, that’s the kind of person I want to surround myself with. Like, that’s so I’ve always had that. Kind of that grown up of some of those guys that were just the no nonsense, like, take care of business Vietnam seal guys
I mean, they’re they were tasked with changing what the enemy did. Yeah. And their own theater. Yeah. That the SEAL team, were given, you know, squares on the map, you know, X number of grid squares. This is your area of operation and you are to hand dominate the enemy and stop their effectiveness. And this area, shut down their operation. And pretty much they just figured out what it took to do that carb wants to do, which was Yeah, we are making very much make it happen kind of guys. Yeah. So.
So then was you would when you were on Seal team one were you? Were you breacher were you sniper at that point? Were you a sniper or was
that pretty much started off as as a point man, that was a group in the woods and shoot and all that kind of stuff. And the Senior Chief of my first platoon was really talented at everything. He was better at everything than all the guys in the platoon. Right. That’s why the Senior Chief Yeah, well, you know, they’re not necessarily I mean, you can be there for a while and get your rank right but but he was just he was great in the sky. freefalling he is great shooter. He’s fast runner, swimmer. diver. Everything we did, he was really good at it. But he’d been a bud insturctor before it he kind of had a personality was very confrontational, and really jumping in guy’s business. And he lost a lot of friends that way. It wasn’t the the most pleasant guy, but I became good friends with him because I was there to learn and become one of these Vietnam era style guys. And I wasn’t looking to be cool or hang out and get drunk all night. I was willing to want to learn from the guy that was good at it. Yeah. So he and I hit it off. That was my first platoon.
Craig Sawyer 25:31
So I learned a lot from him. So he was a point, man, he taught me a lot about being a point man, we would, he would just see things that none of the other guys would see. We’d be way out in the desert, he go there, there’s a donkey, you know, two clicks over that way. And the guys would be like, kind of mumble and, you know, trash talking him about it. And I’d have you guys take a knee and pull out a binos and look and scan. Oh, like, he’s not kidding. Right? Exactly where he said, check it out. And they’re like, wow, they didn’t even know enough to respect him enough. They didn’t. Yeah, you know, they just they’re kind of that first platoon was a little bit of a party crew. Okay. So but that was that, that shaped my, my kind of psyche as to don’t worry about how the other guys may be distracted or whatever, and a different time, focus on your warrior who are on your mission on your own working on your skills. So I stayed dead serious about that. So I was a point man. And then I became a sniper with the sniper school, went to Marine Corps scout sniper school as a navy seal, which is an interesting dynamic, surely they treated you well there and then went off to Desert Shield Desert Storm, I became the lead fast attack vehicle driver.
Brady Speth 26:52
Craig Sawyer 26:52
So Bill Weber, from what I think he was at team five. He was a baja off road racer, okay, and his spare time, and he had these fast attack vehicles designed and they were fantastic. And he came over to Desert Shield brought those over. And we started training with him to go in across enemy lines, recover our downed pilots and get back out and one cycle of darkness before the sun came up. And they would fly us in in the helicopters. And we would drive out of those things to go do these crazy missions that we trained for that we did months and months of training. So I really got a lot of seat time in those.
Brady Speth 27:35
Yeah, that’d be fun.
Craig Sawyer 27:36
And that was great. And Intel Rep. Sniper I got to see and test a lot of secret stuff that DARPA opened up for, for a war chest like, okay, and in case of war, we’ve got all this stuff that you can play with, that you’ll never see or hear of otherwise, I mean, after wars over this stuff goes back away. That was pretty cool. never talk about it. But it was fascinating. And then came home and put my package into go to dev crew, when it’s something more I wanted to become a Jedi.
Brady Speth 28:12
Craig Sawyer 28:12
tier one level guy. And it’s tier one level, they spend more on that one unit on dev crew than they do on all the other seal teams combined. And so you have to compete for a slot to go through their selection there. And a lot of guys were like, Nah, I’m not gonna, what if I fail, I mean, they even out of, you know, the number of guys that they have choose in one year. A lot of times, not half of those don’t make it cuz you’re doing stuff at their level, with their toys, their techniques, under a lot of scrutiny, right. And about half the guys that they choose the best still can’t make it. So a lot of guys are intimidated, they won’t put their package in like, I want to go there. I want to go if I can make it I want to make my contributions there and serve with those warriors because I know I want to do this hard. And if I lived through it, I want to look back on that with for the rest of my life ago that needed work. Absolutely. And so that’s what I did, man and it worked out and you know, I was glad that I did I got you got to go operate there and right, taste that aspect of life, which is just fantastic. Some ridiculous experiences. Some of them really, really cool. Some of them frustrating, but all of them big, big larger than life programs and techniques and equipment and just fantastic
Brady Speth 29:31
at that level they’re not half ass in anything, which is nice. So a lot of fun.
So talk to me a little bit. We won’t dig too deep into that one way for you to write about that in 20 or 30 years from now and you can. Talk about Air Marshall. So I was I was federal law enforcement at Capitol. We did a very limited type flying armed and Air Marshall type training. So just tip of the iceberg. So talk a little bit about that and why did you pick that? And was it something you’re interested in? or How did you kind of get into that and kind of go from there,
there was a guy from dev crew who had gone there a couple years ahead of me. And when I was looking to get out and looking for another way to feed my family, and be home more, but still kind of serve our country, I heard from him, he said, Hey, Craig, I’m working at this agency. And it’s a small group, but we’re very highly trained, morale is high, and I think you would find it to be a good job. And that’s why I went there. And it was, it was a good job. At the time, we were highly trained relative to all other federal law enforcement, the highest pistol, shooting qualification standard of any law enforcement anywhere right there, their tactical pistol program, training course. And so I enjoyed it. I did that for a couple years. And then 9/11 happened. And I went out to Las Vegas to help stand up the Las Vegas field office and, and manage those guys and train them and motivated them and kind of mentor them and help you know, make the strongest air marshalls I could rather those guys. And the whole thing was, you know, tried to keep our planes from being hijacked and used against us.
it’s probably changed. I have a couple friends as an Air Force with that are part of their Marshall service now and, and just hearing some of the stuff they have to deal with on a daily basis. It’s Yeah, it’s not for everybody. But yeah, definitely appreciative. I travel way too much. so appreciative of the guys out there doing that. So yeah, that would probably was we’ve been in an interesting time in your life.
So it was a met a lot of good people there. A lot of guys came from all over to be there. Yeah. And you know what, as soon as 9/11 happened, we were getting all these applications we trained. I helped train some interim agents that were on loan from other agencies. Give them like two days of training and then put them on the on the birds just so they could handle people. Yes, yeah. And then until we started building out a more deliberate training program, but I was overseeing one of the the HR departments operations and they’re filing through the go, No Go category of the applicants. Okay. And I’m looking through the no go the no go category, you know, stacks really big. I’m looking through one. And I see SFO d delta. And I’m scanning down this resume, as a Delta operator is like a squadron Sergeant Major or something, and he’s been around is a senior enlisted guy, and I’m reading through he’s resume, and it’s legit, you know, you know, we dealt in dev crew or tier one level unit, they have the same budget, right? And go through a lot of the same training schools and all that. And I told her so what’s wrong with this one? Why is this another no go? Yes, he or she goes, Oh, well, he doesn’t have a degree. I’m like, Okay, look,
there’s a degree of life
school, you probably have two master’s degrees in the credits. Yeah. And the level of operation and responsibility he’s had he could run this agency right now. Yeah. Do you understand that she’s like, but he has to have a degree. I’m like, Okay, so my niece could go through college early. And at 20-21 years old, graduate college with a degree and put her on a plane to kill terrorists. And this Delta Force Sergeant Major decorated for heroic service and combat. Yeah, isn’t there? No, you know, 50 countries, you’re not gonna put him up there because of a paper degree. Your systems broken?
Craig Sawyer 33:47
So that was kind of my first, you know, first real wake up call on the federal government bureaucracy, how dumb it actually is? Yeah. Oh, absolutely. In some ways,
Brady Speth 34:01
yeah. Well, with the hiring process, I was 29 almost 30 when I went through the federal Academy and went to federal law enforcement and not as extreme but the same type of thing like the difference between me at 29 five and a half, six years in the Air Force and a life and a family and kids and then 22 that’s great that you have a degree Have you even have you ever done anything in life and that void between those two you’re here because you have a degree that’s great. I had a degree because I went to school after I got out the military stuff like that, but the difference in that I kind of came to that same conclusion when I was like, holy shit, it doesn’t that degree doesn’t mean anything when it comes to this type of career field. Right? Do I want the dod drop rate on me to have the best education you possibly can? Absolutely. But just because you got some bachelor’s degree does not mean you’re capable of federal law enforcement. And and it really actually, and we talked about that here Riton to the different things like that, that life experience that your degree, I would take a 30 year Delta guy any day over a 22 year old degree
Craig Sawyer 35:03
solving real problems under adverse conditions is is what you want?
Brady Speth 35:07
And, you know, we can go at the tier one level, we can go to any school in the country we want we can go to civilian colleges, we can go to other federal agency courses, any of them any military course we can go to those.
Craig Sawyer 35:21
And we do, we’ll go to a lot of things that people may not expect, right. But it’s it’s all about causing that that operator to be very capable at solving major national security problems on an international scale,
Brady Speth 35:35
and super well rounded. That’s, you know, it’s not you don’t just know one thing at that level.
Craig Sawyer 35:40
And that’s why it’s important for a team, if you and I were operating somewhere, man, I would hope that you would know I have a solution for a problem that I didn’t and vice versa. No, no single guy can, can learn and be prepared to solve everything right? So a team that’s it’s really good to have an eclectic diverse team, where the one guy that you may not like so much, because he’s so different. Well, on gameday, maybe he’s the one that is going to come up with something really cool. That’s going to save you all, when the rest of you may think too much like to have that diversity in that that solution. So I really gained an appreciation for a diverse team at that level for that reason.
Brady Speth 36:20
Yeah, that makes sense. So going, obviously, a lot of training a lot of a lot of times, so we can talk about some we can’t. Let’s kind of catch up to now. Because I think this is where I mean, you’ve talked a lot about this, we’ve, we’ve been a part of this a little bit with some of your filming and some of your TV shows. vet for child rescue. dive into that for a little bit.
Veterans for child rescue, I as a warrior from Southern Texas, a friend of mine, who had spent quite a bit of time in the CIA told me when we were home, he goes, Craig, this area that we grew up has become the epicenter for child sex trafficking in the entire United States. And it was seems so counterintuitive, intuitive to me. I said, Get our culture is so counter to that.
Craig Sawyer 37:12
How is it that that type of evil and he was describing to me how they are keeping a lot of these children in dog kennels, and closets and locking them in there and bringing the children out only to be raped, and then put back in. That’s their life. And talking to other federal agents that were part of these operations and raids and recoveries, they they begin to explain to me, Craig, I don’t care what you’ve seen around the world. How hard do you think you are? what they’re doing to the children is absolutely evil. There’s a there it’s spiritual, there’s a there’s a clash between good and evil. Yeah. And all the way at the bottom core this once you get past the $38 to $50 billion a year that that’s that’s made selling children inside the United States right now. And all the political corruption and blackmail, and all the Epstein and all that kind of stuff they were describing. The different leverage is that people use this for and all the sexual perversion, you get to the most rancid core this, which is a spiritual clash between good and evil, and it’s the children are the center of it the evil side feel like they’re supposed to destroy the children and to file them. Because that gets them spiritual brownie points from the dark side. And God feels like you shouldn’t do that is most precious and innocent. So it’s ugly, and what they do to the children is so intentionally dark and harmful and despicable that we don’t care what you think you’ve seen. This will turn your stomach and make you throw up on your boots
Brady Speth 38:55
as my blood starts to boil.
It’ll enrage you. Yeah. It’s there’s nothing right about it at all. It’s just bad. It’s wrong evil. Yeah. And I thought well, okay, what did I serve? To prevent if not that?
So I’m thinking to myself, why am I going to deploy anywhere else around the world ever again. When this is happening here are my hometown. And it felt like an affront. My dad was a pastor and spiritual leader and so genuine and sincere with what he did. I watched him change the lives of countless 1000s of people. And I’m like, man, if my dad were still here, there’s no way he would not turn and fight this for all he was worth in whatever way that he could. And I just, I had to attack it. So it kind of broke my heart. At first, it was painful to learn that that much harm is being done deliberately to those who are completely defenseless. And And then that pain started to turn to anger, which is healthy.
Yeah. Right, which is the natural progression.
That’s my catalyst. That’s my jet propulsion. That’s what drives me to get up early every morning and stay up late attacking this. So I thought, well, what is it realistically that I can do? I don’t have rockets, and sniper rifles and all the belt fed machine guns in a big team to go kinetically attack these guys right now. Nor am I welcome to as a civilian. But what can I do? What should I do? And coming from the covert realm, I can tell you that the worst thing to happen to a covert operation is to get compromised, to get discovered and revealed because then you have no more element of surprise. And everybody knows that you’re there. And you’re running for your own life rather than you know, carrying out your operation. So I realized that’s what I need to do. How do we expose to the child traffickers, I need to expose it and rip the lid off of it. shine the light on it so that the American people could go Oh my God, we didn’t know this was happening here. And the best tool to do that, in my opinion, was a strong, very empowering, unflinching documentary. So I set out to film a documentary. And all the big tech crowdfunding platforms began to pull some very weird and dark. Yeah. subversive and obstructive shit shenanigans to keep me from just running a crowdfunding campaign. Yep, I could go on on all day about that. But that’s what they were doing. So ultimately, I learned I was going to have to ultimately found a nonprofit organization just to rally the money. So I could film the documentary to alert the populace, to save the kids, we start the ball rolling. And that’s what I did. And we spent three years filming ContraLand. And it aired to 90 million households on daystar television on July 25. And there’s another network that wants to air it now as well. And we want it to be seen far and wide. And it’s available for anybody to watch on Contra landmovie.com 24/7, please watch it, share it with the biggest names of the biggest mouths, you know, everybody because that is empowering and alerting people to how their the predators are stalking our children, and what we can do to stop it. Yeah. And so that was my biggest nuclear weapon. That was the start of it. And then during the filming, we learned that we could run joint operations with federal and local law enforcement, right. So we started doing border operations and sting operations and different undercover operations internationally. And we ended up in the first couple operations with 23 child predator arrests and warrants with a 100% conviction rate.
Craig Sawyer 42:56
So our template of operations is very effective, and we’re only growing now. You know, after Contralands out, we’re really ramping it up. Good.
Brady Speth 43:05
What, what direction? Are you wanting to take it? I think you’d mentioned when we’re off air,
we get 1000s of applicants to volunteer to we’ve got to vet them and weed through and sort and see who are the most viable and most constructive. And out of over 100 investigators. We’ve boiled it down to two dozen of our initial investigators that we’ve run additional background checks and and vetting processes on who will be our investigations pool, and a program manager for our investigations, that’s 31 year, federal criminal investigator and US Army before that. Been around all these been involved in all these Joint Task Forces, and so on, so forth. And so we’re ramping up our investigations program. And we’ve also got a lot of technology offered to us by the American industrial compact. Now this is this is fascinating, because this is a group of technologists, geniuses, okay, some of the smartest people in the United States, who create the software that run our intelligence community and Department of Defense, and law enforcement. And they are sick and tired of their inventions going straight to China, right, due to political corruption in the United States. And so they formed this compact. Well, I was brought into this compact due to what I do. And they’ve they’ve offered some of these technologies to my team to utilize to hunt down child predators and break child sex trafficking rings, before they even will submit it to the US government because they know as soon as they submit it to the government, China’s going to have it that day. So they’re they’re like Craig, we want you to make use of this. It’s what we’re more worthy use for our intellectual property can we think of them saving the children. That’s That’s why we do what we do. So we have that. And all these investigators and I’ve got in my Viper team, which are the specops veterans who are the more kinetic hands on and surveillance guys who, primarily, I won’t talk about what all they do, but they’re the high threat security for our operation. So if any of the opposition want to come interfere with our operations, good luck. Good luck, guys, because it’s, it’s not gonna work. Yeah, good. So that’s what we’re doing. And where there’s a there’s a series now very capable and high end production company with serious backing, putting together this series, and we’re every week, we’re gonna start showing the American populace what’s going on and empowering them. And, you know, one of the things that it’s important, Brady, for everybody to know, no matter what else we talk about, I want everybody listening to realize that most parents are painfully unaware and inadequate at their understanding of how vulnerable the children are on their apps on their smartphones and devices. And xboxes, the predators are stalking them there. And even though we put safety devices and programs on our children’s devices, they teach each other how to get around them. And so I just want to say this, I want to encourage parents, be hyper vigilant, be diligent on protecting your children, invade their privacy enough to get in there and make sure you understand that they’re safe, right? Because a lot of harm happens right under our noses, right. And when parents go to bed, it’s really smart to take the phone from the child and put it on charge in your master bedroom. Because that’s a lot of the time when they get into trouble after dark. And it’s not that it doesn’t happen during the daytime. But, you know, even they’ll be sitting there across from their parents looking at God knows what, right. And the predators pretend to be other children. Yeah, and girls and boys, and befriend them. And they are very sly, it’s sneaking your child into harm’s way, and then they start blackmailing them. And it’s a very ugly game. It’s very dangerous. A lot of children get into very harmful situations that way. So I want to just say that I encourage everybody dig into your children’s devices, learn what goes on, because that’s where our children are being taught invading their
You’re not invading their privacy. That’s your job as a parent.
Yes, yeah. Yeah, absolutely.
Help. What What do you need? What would help Vet for Child Rescue? What do you would you like people to know obviously get formed? Obviously, donations, anything like that? What would help with this cost?
Yeah, well, we’re a 501c-3 nonprofit organization. So private donations are what run this machine allow us to alert the populace more and arrest more child predators, by the way, each one of them rapes on average of 70 children each throughout their lifetime, some get caught immediately. Some never get caught and rape hundreds of children throughout their lifetime, and it destroys the children. Many of the children commit suicide and so forth, 70 children, so everyone that we arrest, and put in a cell to rape no more, represents a lot of children that won’t be harmed in that way. So that’s important to do. We need people to have their elected officials for stronger enforcement. It’s not merciful and kind and cool to let a predator back out there to continue harming Yeah. Okay. That’s, that’s a big part of the problem. And so, we need relationships with district attorneys across the country who have the courage and the will to prosecute child sex predators, because not all do. And politically, some of them are, are hired and and funded their campaigns are funded to put in place specifically because they will not prosecute child sex predators, which is, or or, you know, those are, you know, conducting riots and arson and all these kind of things for political gain. They won’t prosecute them either. And that’s why some of these big globalist billionaires are funding their campaigns to get them judges, district attorneys, who are radicals, who won’t prosecute, prosecute these crimes. And so we’ve got to fight that as a nation collectively and undo that. So we can just safeguard our hometowns. Man we need. We need relationships with those DAs. So contact them, show them ContraLand and show them our documentary, show them our website and make those connections and we can do great things together. Perfect. And that’s pretty much what we need. Share the word man and power your friends
YouTube too good. But yeah, honestly, as a father of a couple kids, we talked about raising kids a lot appreciative of what you do for picking up that torch and taking those, all those years of training and putting it to something that is here, it’s in this hometown, it’s in an all of our hometowns and all of our backyards. So, definitely appreciative of that. And our own daughter was taken here, right here in Tucson rapped all night long. And that was a painful call to get with my baby girl screaming into the phone, she just gotten away from him. And we, on the bright side, we got him prosecuted, she had to testify in court. And, and she had to be cross examined to be rated by her own attacker, because local judge, let him fire 14 public defenders and delay his trial, it took two and a half years to bring him to trial. And then he was allowed to represent himself and try to humiliate our daughter on the witness stand. she testified so perfectly so accurately. They put him away for 68 years. And so it’s important that we follow through and put these guys away. So that was a brave and courageous kudos to her thing that she had done in stepping up and doing that. And she served as a junior decoy agent in one of our operations and help us put away nine predators. Oh, she’s a she’s a brave little girl. And we’re proud of her for having fought back.
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Well, I don’t know where else to go from there. Like,
yeah, that’s a big conversation, it is a lot of ground up.
But no, I mean, from the beginning, with Vet for Child Rescue, you know, you have Riton’s on support and anything you need from us, don’t me personally, or the company or whatever, we’ll do our best to get this out to as many people as we can and, and help get the word
Craig Sawyer 51:43
that we appreciate it. And if people watch control, and they’re gonna see some of your product, my team’s weapons we have. So we appreciate that.
Brady Speth 51:51
it was our pleasure to be able to do that. So yeah, I appreciate it, Craig, let’s plan, let’s plan some time down the road, get an update, especially with the series going on and everything. Like I think this is something that personally is apparent. And as you know, a member of law enforcement, a member of this community, it’s, it’s huge to me, so I want to I want to get an update and see where this is going. And whatever we can do to help. So I’d be happy to let’s do it. Perfect. I appreciate your time today. One thing we like to do I know we kind of ended the last conversation. We like to end, I’m having a little bit of fun. So let’s I’m gonna pull out we asked the same five questions a lot that I like fun. So we got some fun here after after a serious conversation. So
if you don’t do that, yes, crazy. Exactly. So you have to have dark humor.
So a little bit of fun here. We’ll run you through these after a while we are going to get a compilation of all these and it’s funny to see people’s answers. So quickfire first thing that comes to your mind. If you had one superpower, what would it be? One superpower.
I’d love to heal people. I just think that would be really epic to just have somebody suffering, just be able to hook them up and have them be better. That would be really, really cool, man.
I love it. Past present future data live. If you could have beer with us sit down have a beer with one person who would it be?
Because we just talked about him. I think King David Yeah, the the greatest warrior to ever live, because the Bible said Saul killed his 1000s and David, his 10s of 1000s. And I don’t care who you are, you’re not going to survive, killing 10s of 1000s of people in a battlefield where there’s spears and arrows flying, and all direction and not die. Right. Unless something very special is going on there. Yeah, so I think it’d be fun. Fantastic and fascinating. Just talk to that man and go What the heck was it like for you? To talk to my warrior last
A little different battlefield the battlefield of today. That’s crazy. Here’s a good one for you. If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what are you picking?
I’m stuck on Mexican food. I mean, we’ve got it good here in Tucson. I grew up in Houston. We’ve got it good there too. So, man,
I’ll go Mexican food.
yeah. Yeah, Mexicans got that’s got to do it.
I tried to prod you into this one earlier. But what’s the title of your biography? If you wrote one?
Well, it’s in the works and it’s going to be called Saw Man Journey of a Right Fighter.
I like it.
Craig Sawyer 54:22
And my wife came up with that right fighter moniker because we’ve put several crooks away who are predators in the business world who just their con men, and they ruin people’s lives. Yeah. And they’re they’re like rhinos, they just stomp over people. And they don’t care. Maybe rhinos a bad analogy, but like a king kong they’re just stomping on everybody ruining everybody’s lives Take Take Take care and destroying and and nobody stops in and says no, this is not okay. And we’ve gotten to where we start putting these people away and put us up to it. She goes, you know, there’s not enough right fighters like us, maybe that will step in there and like, right fighter. I like that good. That verbiage, it means something. And she goes, the more people need to step up and become right fighter. So journey of a right fighter is going to be what all I went through to cause me to be the way that I am now to stand up and people and say I’m sorry. But you’re all done doing that to other people. Because now you’ve run into me. Yeah, you run into us. So your your, your journey of abuser is over. It’s a good time.
Brady Speth 55:29
I love it. Last one, I hand you a million dollars cash, what’s the first thing you’re spending it on?
Craig Sawyer 55:35
I’m going to I’m going to go stand up some aftercare facilities to help the survivors who have been raped and beaten and burned and abused and heal them. And you know, there’s one of our partner organizations is Rancho Mulagrso. And they have horses, and it is like, it seems miraculous what horses can do as far as therapy for any people that have been traumatized through anything. It horses are so intuitive, and the people that work with them are so great. And I think that would be something really cool. And it’s something that’s really lacking on the child trafficking and abuse side is quality aftercare. See that can really help people heal and become better. Yeah, you know, because it’s not gonna happen overnight. It’s 18 to 24 months, minimum. That’s a really, you know, bring people back. So that’s a really cool thing. You know, and I would like to race one last motocross race. You know, I was I became one of the things that I did for fun on the side was motocross racing, and won a couple championships in my late 30s, early 40s. And Vegas, and Marty Smith, who is the national champ through the mid 70s, was kind of a hero of mine and I trained under him for a while. And when I was racing, he goes Craig, he got a race the mammoth motocross race on top of Mammoth Mountain in California one time before you die. bucket list item. It’s so beautiful. And we got a lot of x pros go up there and just to run that one race. So that’s one thing I’d still like to do. Take that one. Personal Yeah, yeah, selfish, gleeful childhood moment.
Brady Speth 57:18
I love it. Oh, thank you. Um, like I said, we’ll put links to the website and Vet for Child Resuceon the YouTube when we post this up, always a pleasure. I appreciate it. Thanks for being a friend. Thanks for being a friend of Riton and thanks for doing.
Thank you, man, you shoot that? appreciate it.
Riton Optics 57:43
Thank you for listening to the Riton podcast. Please like, subscribe and review. For more information on Riton Optics visit us at ritonoptics.com that’s r i t o n optics.com