In an exclusive interview with Scott Zastrow, Jack Murphy delves into the remarkable journey of a man who became a Green Beret in the United States Army’s Special Forces. Scott’s story is a testament to the power of determination, mentorship, and the unexpected twists and turns that life can take.

Note: More than ten years ago, Murphy, one of the pioneering writers of SOFREP, had the chance to conduct an exclusive interview with Zastrow, an 18D (Special Forces Medic), about the latter’s experiences during the initial invasion of Afghanistan as part of Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) 555. Zastrow was among the country’s first boots on the ground on October 19, 2001. Enjoy the first of the two-part throwback interview below.

Scott Zastrow’s Patriotic Calling

Growing up in the heartland of America, Scott Zastrow was surrounded by a strong culture of patriotism and American pride. It was almost inevitable that he would follow in the footsteps of his father and brother, both of whom had served in the US Army. For him, becoming a Soldier was not a difficult choice; it was a natural progression and a way to contribute to his country.

Early Adventures in Germany

After completing Basic and Advanced Individual Training (AIT), the now-veteran found himself stationed in Germany as a medic. Here, Zastrow experienced the typical adventures of a young soldier – from raucous nights in local pubs to bonding with fellow soldiers over shared experiences. However, a memorable encounter with a demanding Platoon Sergeant taught him important life lessons about discipline and resilience—transforming him and his fellow soldiers from naive recruits to capable, competent soldiers.