11 Questions & A Cup of Coffee: Retired Green Beret and Fieldcraft Survival CEO Mike Glover

November 18, 2022Marty Skovlund Jr.
mike glover fieldcraft survival

Mike Glover provides range instruction during a Fieldcraft Survival course. Photo courtesy of Black Rifle Coffee Company.

Mike Glover is one of those guys. 

You know the type: Joined the Army in ’97, started as an infantryman before going to Special Forces selection and earning his green beret. He served as a sniper and reconnaissance team sergeant and even worked as an operations sergeant major for a counterterrorism unit that operated in Africa. A little later on, he did some time with the CIA as a contractor. All told, nine combat rotations to war and many more contracting all over the world.

You know, pretty standard stuff — if by standard you mean legendary.

As the legend goes, he retired from the military in 2016 with a bachelor’s in crisis management and homeland security and founded Fieldcraft Survival in Heber City, Utah, which specializes in preparing citizens for worst-case scenarios. He may have hung up his green beret for the last time, but these days he wears a few new hats: CEO and single father of a son and twin daughters.

We caught up with Mike over a cup of coffee to talk espresso, Yemen, and how hard it is to start a business.

mike glover

As a Special Forces soldier, Mike Glover completed at least 10 combat tours and every special tactics training school the US Army could offer him before he left military service. Photo courtesy of Mike Glover.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity. 

COD: How do you make your coffee? 

MG: I’m definitely an espresso guy now. So I do [Black Rifle Coffee Company] AK Espresso, load it into the espresso machine — usually a double cup or double scoop. And then I do froth milk. And it’s funny because I’m going to meet every stereotype now, but I use rice milk. And that’s how I like it.

COD: How do you take your coffee? Is espresso your go-to every time?

MG: No, actually, my go-to every time is just black coffee. Nothing additional. I just like it dark, like dark roast, strong as can be. I’ve just been switching it up lately with the espresso machine.

COD: What’s the most bizarre or extreme place you’ve ever had (or made) a cup of coffee?

MG: It’s probably going to be Yemen. We did a lot of French press in Yemen. I French pressed coffee after major attacks, before major attacks — I was going through a bulletproof coffee phase, so we were doing the MCTs and all that stuff. But it’s definitely going to be off the coast of Yemen, in the middle of bad-guy territory when everything was falling apart.

COD: Yemen was the first place they ever brewed coffee after the beans were discovered in Ethiopia. It’s probably the most OG place to drink a cup of coffee. 

MG: Yeah, it was an exciting place for that kind of history. All the guys I was there with were intellects and appreciated the history. We actually collected local honey that we used for homemade beer we brewed and also used local coffee beans and local honey for those weirdos like Jack Carr who like honey in their coffee.

COD: What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done, physically or mentally?

MG: I think starting a business and being successful in it is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done. There’s nothing that compares to it. I think the military stuff, you know, is all temporary. It’s like the idea of going through selection and knowing they can’t kill you. Or going through survival school, and knowing that you’re gonna go to Taco Bell and crush chow after you’re done. It’s all temporary.

When you start a business, the business is your lifeline.

I think entrepreneurs look at it that way. This is the security of me and my family forever, potentially. The stakes are higher. And so everything you do, every decision you make, it’s on you — which I like, but it’s definitely a difficult undertaking. Even the initiation of a business and being courageous is very much a difficult thing to start. So by far, starting a business and being successful is the hardest thing I’ve done.

mike glover

The founder and CEO of Fieldcraft Survival, Mike Glover has built a company that provides education, training, and equipment to those interested in expanding their “capabilities in the genre of survival.” Photo courtesy of Black Rifle Coffee Company.

COD: You’re the founder and CEO of Fieldcraft Survival. What motivates you to do what you do?

MG: It’s a profound purpose in educating people to be awake to the realities of life. I’m kind of vague in that, but basically, I want people to be more self-aware, I want them to be prepared. Like I did in the military, where I wanted my guys to be prepared for war.

Waking up and training and educating civilians can be difficult, especially when you’re grinding and it’s part of a business. But without that philanthropic kind of feeling of giving back,

I wouldn’t be able to do it every single day. It’s not easy.

COD: What do you think is the most misunderstood thing about you or the work you do?

MG: I think it has to do with the perception that what I do is extreme. Or that what we teach is extreme. Like when you market a course, and you call it “gunfighter,” there’s an expectation that it’s going to be extreme. It’s kind of like special operations. You look at special operations and go, ‘Wow, these guys are phenomenal at what they do. They must be elite, extreme,’ and all these fringe words that characterize what they do or what we do now.

The reality is that it’s following technical protocols, establishing SOPs, having the discipline to wake up every single day and pay attention, being detail oriented, having a plan for the worst-case scenario, and all these things culminate to make you the best. So the idea that preparing for the worst-case scenario is extreme is the same mantra and idea that people who prepare are paranoid. When you peel back the onion, the reality is replacing fear with education and understanding is how you get rid of paranoia. It’s how you get rid of anxiety.

Mike Glover

Mike Glover completed nine combat rotations to war and many more contracting all over the world. Photo courtesy of Mike Glover.

COD: How do you define success?

MG: You know, success is … it’s like how you define happiness. People who look at being happy, typically, are misperceiving it. They expect a moment, or pinnacle. And for me, success is not a moment. It is not a pinnacle. It happens to be the day-by-day interactions that I have of feeling accomplished because we’re doing great work. We’re giving back. We’re educating law enforcement, the military, and citizens. Every day is what I’m looking for. And I don’t think I could sleep at night if I didn’t have a successful day. So I’m always striving to look for that. Success is very incremental to me.

COD: Mountain view or ocean view?

MG: Well, I grew up on the beach, so it used to be the ocean. But then I found myself in the mountains, and that’s home. So

I like Texas, but I’ll never live there because they don’t have any mountains. And I’m sitting here doing this interview looking at a mountain, and it brings me calm. It’s definitely the mountains.

COD: If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

MG: Oh, that’s a good one. I want to say that I want to be able to hear what people are thinking. But that scares the crap out of me. Yeah, that would probably not work out well, especially in my relationships. But if I had to have one, I think it would be immortality, to be on this earth forever. I mean, it sounds cool. That would be it for me.

I know a lot of people are like, who would want to live forever? I am, after a period of fighting wars and doing a whole bunch of things, just now at the ripe old age of my mid-40s, figuring out what I want to do with the rest of my life. And I don’t feel like I have enough life left. So it would be to do just as much as I can. Living forever.

mike glover fieldcraft

Mike Glover provides range instruction during a Fieldcraft Survival course. Photo courtesy of Black Rifle Coffee Company.

COD: What are your hobbies outside of what you’re known for?

MG: Oh, man. So my secret passion — go figure, another Asian stereotype — is photography. I have a monochrome camera that shoots only in black-and-white. I have a collection of 35mm cameras. My first job was working for my family’s business at a photo shop, developing 35mm photos at the age of 14. While doing that job, I fell in love with photography. It’s why I was really talented as a sniper, not because of my ability to shoot — I was just a mediocre shooter — but more so my ability to capture imagery, which translates to intelligence or information in the military. So it is something that I will never turn into a business because I enjoy it so much. It’s my private passion.

COD: On a scale of one to 10, how confident are you in your ability to survive in a post-apocalyptic world? One is you’re dead on day one, and 10 is you’re pretty much going to be the ruler of the new world order. 

MG: Yeah, I think I’m 11. It’s not about the individual, it’s not about individual skill sets, per se. It actually has a lot to do with networking, relationship building, and your ability to bring people together because you’re not going to survive as the lone wolf. And I think I have the ability to bring the right people together. And you know, one day somebody will take me out because the commander or the king always gets taken out. Somebody will betray me. But it’s an air of confidence that I would be at the top of the game. I would be at the top of the food chain. If something like that happens.

This article first appeared in the Fall 2022 edition of Coffee or Die’s print magazine.

Read Next: WATCH: Special Forces Veteran Mike Glover Responds to Leaked FBI Documents About Extremist Organizations

Marty Skovlund Jr.
Marty Skovlund Jr.

Marty Skovlund Jr. was the executive editor of Coffee or Die. As a journalist, Marty has covered the Standing Rock protest in North Dakota, embedded with American special operation forces in Afghanistan, and broken stories about the first females to make it through infantry training and Ranger selection. He has also published two books, appeared as a co-host on History Channel’s JFK Declassified, and produced multiple award-winning independent films.

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