*Editor’s note: Here at the Loadout Room, we pride ourselves on being well prepared and well rounded individuals capable of performing under whatever circumstances life throws at us. That’s just what Justin “Hasard” Lee’s podcast, “The Professionals Playbook” is all about. Lee, an active duty F-35 pilot with multiple combat deployments under his belt at the stick of the F-16 Fighting Falcon, devotes each episode to learning about what it takes to perform at the most elite levels of human capability — from fighter pilots to Navy SEALs, from astronauts to pro football players. If there’s a recipe for becoming the most capable man in the room, Lee’s podcast will find it — and we couldn’t be happier to partner with Lee to bring his podcast to the Loadout Room.

So without any more dancing around it, here’s Lee to discuss his latest interview.

Michele Rigby Assad is a former undercover officer in the National Clandestine Service of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Trained as a counterterrorism specialist, Michele served her country for ten years, working in Iraq and other secret Middle Eastern locations. Upon retirement from active service, Michele and her husband (also a former agent) began leading teams to aid refugees, including a rescue mission to Iraq that was featured on ABC’s 20/20. Michele holds a master’s degree in Contemporary Arab Studies from Georgetown University. Today she serves as an international management consultant, splitting her time between the Middle East, Florida, and Washington, D.C.

In this episode we talk about (in order):

  • Building rapport with members of Al-Qaeda
  • Mental toughness
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Living in combat zones for nearly a decade
  • What she does to de-stress
  • What traits new CIA officers should have
  • What to do during an attack
  • Who she was allowed to tell that she worked in the CIA
  • What inspired her book
  • What projects she’s working on now