Opinion & Essay

Coffee or Die Advertisement
Opinion & Essay
Nolan Peterson: Lessons From Russia's Invasion of Ukraine

After living in and reporting from Ukraine the last nine years, conflict journalist Nolan Peterson h...

March 30, 2023Nolan Peterson
Green Zone North 2
Opinion & Essay
Hunting Season: What I Learned From Witnessing a Sniper’s Head Shot

Twelve years ago, I saw one of my fellow Marines survive a sniper’s bullet to the head. I’m realizing now that I was fortunate to have been there to witness it.

December 29, 2022G.C. Briones III
Coffee Or Die Photo
Opinion & Essay
Listening for Life: The Importance of a Paramedic's Stethoscope

This paramedic's stethoscope was an extension of his ears through the nearly five years he spent on ...

December 28, 2022Joshua Skovlund
chasing the dragon
Opinion & Essay
Chasing the Dragon: A Combat Veteran’s Search for Healing in Central America

How a one-way ticket to Costa Rica and a panic attack forced a Marine sniper to stop chasing the dragon and start facing it.

December 23, 2022Justin Governale
Coffee Or Die Photo
Opinion & Essay
End of an Era: Farewell to the Legendary Crown Victoria Police Interceptor

The Crown Victoria Police Interceptor is quickly becoming a thing of the past. As the last remaining...

October 14, 2022Mac Caltrider
Farewell from the editor
A Farewell Letter From Coffee or Die’s Founding Editor

The man who built this magazine from the ground up is saying farewell, but our mission here remains the same.

October 14, 2022Marty Skovlund Jr.
Coffee Or Die Photo
Opinion & Essay
Volunteering in Ukraine: The Right Thing Isn’t Always Easy — or Obvious

For years, my brothers and I had been trained to take lives in the most violent ways possible; now, I was using my experience to try and save lives.

September 17, 2022Ethan Nagel
Coffee Or Die Photo
Opinion & Essay
Chasing the Lame Buffalo: From Hunting Men to Hunting Game

September 5, 2022Tyr Symank
Coffee Or Die Photo
Opinion & Essay
Why ‘Catch-22’ Is the Closest Thing to the Truth About War

Mileage may vary when it comes to Joseph Heller’s Catch‑22, but I rarely find a fellow service member who’s read the book who doesn’t at least find the material recognizable in their own experiences.

August 6, 2022Matthew Komatsu
stop veteran suicide
Stop Glorifying Veteran Suicide

Rory Hamill later described it as a moment of clarity. A moment when the image of his children flashed through his mind.

July 8, 2022Mac Caltrider
School Shooting and War: How These Experiences Shaped My Perception of Usefulness

The sound of gunshots echoed through the school, bouncing off the walls like a demon roaring just ar...

July 1, 2022Luke Ryan
Psychic Wounds Shared by Veterans of Vietnam, Afghanistan

As I watched the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan, I realized that my own generation o...

June 29, 2022Gretchen Klingler
going public
Going Public Doesn’t Change the Mission of Black Rifle Coffee Company

I could feel the tension as I walked into our impromptu San Antonio command center. We were preparing to announce our intention to go public the following day.

June 25, 2022Logan Stark
from iraq with love
From Iraq, With Love: Life as a Combat Reporter Caught in a Global Pandemic

I fucked up. That’s what I thought as I sat in Iraq with US troops in March 2020, confined to the air base at Erbil International Airport in Iraqi Kurdistan with no going in or out.

June 25, 2022Kevin Knodell
BRCC Service
How Leadership at BRCC Shifted From Government Service to Veteran Service

Black Rifle Coffee Company was born from a desire to be free of government service. The founders of this company reached a point where we needed to replace a commander’s intent with personal drive.

June 24, 2022Logan Stark
afghanistan feeling
The End of War Brings Mixed Emotions — So, How Are You Feeling?

Don’t let this moment go to waste / you don’t know when the feeling will happen again. I can’t keep myself from repeating the lyrics in my mind.

June 24, 2022Leo Jenkins
Afghanistan, I Surrender

Afghanistan used to haunt my dreams. Now it hurts my heart.

June 21, 2022Brandon Young
Taser drone
Taser Drones Are No Replacement for a Good Guy With a Gun

The Arizona-based tech and weapons company Axon Enterprise announced plans on Thursday, June 2, to d...

June 7, 2022Eric Miller
The Story of Denys Antipov, a Fallen Ukrainian Soldier

KYIV, Ukraine — The Russian drone orbited over the Ukrainians’ position all day. Denys Antipov, a fi...

May 17, 2022Nolan Peterson
The Mountain
Cold Mountain: A Team of Veterans Take on a Mount Rainier Snowstorm

We’re at 10,188 feet on the mountain when I start to worry. The numbness in my toes has crept into my ankles and is now climbing up my shins toward my knees.

April 5, 2022Mac Caltrider
Opinion & Essay
Opinion: Marvel Canceled ‘The Punisher’ Logo for Deeply Flawed Reasons

An all-new Punisher series is coming to the Marvel Universe in March of 2022, and with it comes a ma...

January 7, 2022Mac Caltrider
Ukraine New Year
Opinion & Essay
In Ukraine, Another Year of War Is Over — Has a New One Just Begun?

KYIV, Ukraine — When the clocks strike midnight this evening, it will mark a new year — and for Ukra...

December 31, 2021Nolan Peterson
dad's vietnam
Opinion & Essay
What Dad’s Snapshots From Vietnam Taught Me About the Power of Stories

When I was about 6 or 7, I discovered my dad’s pictures from Vietnam. In them, he and Marines from his infantry company — posed around the An Hoa Basin — were in the prime of their youth.

December 26, 2021James R. Webb
Stacy Pearsall
Opinion & Essay
A Loud Crash, a Trapped Horse, and a Harrowing Rescue — Decorated Veteran Fights To Save Her ‘Baby’

I was already awake with my usual insomnia around 2:30 in the morning on Thursday, Dec. 16, when I heard a loud, frightening bang.

December 22, 2021Stacy L Pearsall
Gen. Colin Powell on Veterans Day
Opinion & Essay
Colin Powell Knew How To Win; We Should Have Listened

The day after Gen. Colin Powell died at 84, I was eating chili at a dingy bar in Austin, Texas, when...

October 27, 2021Ethan E. Rocke
Opinion & Essay
After Afghanistan, It’s Time To Admit Counterinsurgency Is a Losing Doctrine

In April 1961, several retired French generals, aided by a coterie of active-duty colonels and their...

October 2, 2021Carl Forsling
Ia Drang
Opinion & Essay
‘Do You Remember the Battle of Ia Drang?’ — A Salute to Joe Galloway, My Friend and Mentor

Do you remember the Battle of Ia Drang? The words echoed loudly in my memory after a journalist frie...

August 22, 2021Dennis Anderson
Coffee Or Die Photo
Opinion & Essay
How We Can Help Afghan Special Operators Fight the Taliban

As soon as the United States announced a final withdrawal date from Afghanistan, I knew the elite Af...

August 17, 2021Jariko Denman
Bagh Dara valley boys
Embedding With Green Berets: What It Was Like to Return to Afghanistan as a Soldier-Turned-Journalist

In the pitch dark, I looked out across the Jalalabad flight line. It was 11 years later, I wasn’t in...

July 1, 2021Marty Skovlund Jr.
light attack
Opinion & Essay
To BRRRT! or Not To BRRRT! Should the Air Force Field a New Light Attack Aircraft?

The Global War on Terror is nearly two decades old, and somehow the Air Force still hasn’t acquired ...

June 22, 2021Carl Forsling
Coffee Or Die Photo
Opinion & Essay
Plagued by Shipbuilding Missteps, Navy Will Struggle To Meet Future Threats

As the US National Defense Strategy seeks to counter China’s influence in the Indo-Pacific region, the US Navy has a lot of challenges ahead. 

June 5, 2021Carl Forsling
Section 60 Memorial Day Stacy Pearsall, coffee or die
Opinion & Essay
Section 60: Finding Peace in the Park

Glancing down at the park map wadded in my fist, I studied the road names. My vision blurring, I struggled to read the words as they danced rhythmically with my heartbeat.

May 30, 2021Stacy L Pearsall
Coffee Or Die Photo
Opinion & Essay
Going to the Show: What War Taught Me About Preparing for the Future

War. It’s an experience that I craved from the first time I had memories.

May 22, 2021Brandon Young
Ukraine War
Opinion & Essay
‘Where Freedom Is Won’ — A US Veteran Visits Ukraine’s Eastern War Zone

In the war zone of eastern Ukraine, Avdiivka’s civilians have lived under the shadow of shelling and rockets and gun battles for more than seven years.

May 5, 2021Nolan Peterson
Opinion & Essay
The Things They Don’t Tell You About a Dead Body

May 4 is International Firefighters’ Day. After his first day on the job as a new firefighter in Asheville, North Carolina, Mike Schoeffel, wrote this essay about what he saw and felt.

May 5, 2021Mike Schoeffel
safety, power belt, eye protection
Opinion & Essay
Power Belts, Eye Protection, and Hand Grenades — Leadership Lessons From the Front

Power belts, eye protection, and hand grenades — oh my! And all the sergeants major said, “Hell yeah!” While the staff sergeants rolled their eyes. Let me explain.

May 3, 2021Brandon Young
Anzac Day
Opinion & Essay
Anzac Day Tribute: Lessons I Learned From the Grandfather I Never Met

Even as a small girl growing up in Australia’s countryside, I knew April 25 was a day not to cry or ...

April 25, 2021Hollie McKay
Coffee Or Die Photo
Opinion & Essay
‘Keep It Between the Ditches’ — Effective Leaders Are Peacemakers

In 2003, as the 75th Ranger Regiment shifted its attention to the war in Iraq, C Company of the 2nd ...

April 18, 2021Brandon Young
Ukraine war
Opinion & Essay
Ukrainians Are Fighting for Us

Trench warfare is a true test of a soldier’s grit. The thing is, there’s no escaping the danger.

April 15, 2021Nolan Peterson
Operation Lone Star paratroopers
Opinion & Essay
Silver Wings, Silver Hair: Liberty Jump Team Takes Paratroopers of Yesteryear on a Wild Ride

CORSICANA, Texas — We are flying on “jump run,” cruising at about 100 mph in a World War II vintage ...

April 11, 2021Dennis Anderson
Coffee Or Die Photo
Opinion & Essay
Marine Begging Elite School To Pay for His MBA Is Peak ‘Veteran Entitlement Syndrome’

Nearly two decades into a war on terror, American service members and veterans enjoy strong public s...

March 30, 2021Carl Forsling
body worn cameras, Colorado State Patrol
Opinion & Essay
How Mandatory Body-Worn Cameras Benefit Cops and Those They Serve

The recent bill passed by the House of Representatives, known as the George Floyd Justice in Policin...

March 29, 2021Mac Caltrider
Cheating Death in Ramadi on the Luckiest St. Paddy's Day Ever
Opinion & Essay
Cheating Death in Ramadi on the Luckiest St. Paddy’s Day Ever

Two days before we were blown up by an insurgent IED in Ramadi, my teammate got a letter from his da...

March 17, 2021J.E. McCollough
police response Capitol building
Opinion & Essay
We Must Remember That More Veterans Defended Against the Capitol Breach Than Participated In It

Eugene Goodman never expected to find himself fighting for his life again, but as he ascended the st...

March 14, 2021Mac Caltrider
An F-35 Lightning II streaks across the sky while doing maneuvers to the Eglin Air Force Base runway. The 33rd Fighter Wing-owned aircraft is a fifth-generation fighter and used to train pilots and maintainers. US Air Force photo by Samuel King Jr.
Opinion & Essay
Could the Air Force Supplement the F-35 With a Generation ‘5 Minus’ Fighter?

The F-35 has been a favorite whipping boy of defense critics for many years now. Recently, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen.

March 9, 2021Carl Forsling
Sgt. Fernando Galvan, drill instructor, Platoon 3013, Lima Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, sprints past recruits as they hustle back to get on line in the squad bay July 11, 2003. Photo by Ethan E. Rocke.
Opinion & Essay
‘Make Them Marines’ — What ‘Black Friday’ Looked Like 18 Years Ago

Last week, I traveled to Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego to document the arrival and start of r...

February 18, 2021Ethan E. Rocke
Richard Hy Angry Cops
Opinion & Essay
I Made Angry Cops Join the Air National Guard Over a Super Bowl Bet

Super Bowl Sunday is a day of parties, drinking, and chicken wings for most Americans. For me, it’s ...

February 10, 2021Jarred Taylor
Coffee Or Die Photo
Opinion & Essay
In a Time of Mistrust, Remembering Ernie Pyle

The other day I received one of those compliments that makes a reporter uneasy. An Iraq war battle buddy called me “the only newsman he ever trusted.

January 30, 2021Dennis Anderson
Babi Yar, Babyn Yar Nazi massacre site, Ukraine, coffee or die
Opinion & Essay
In the Presence of Evil at Kyiv’s Babyn Yar Ravine, Site of a Nazi Holocaust Massacre

KYIV, Ukraine — I walk alone on a gray winter day. The bare branches bend in the cold wind.

January 27, 2021Nolan Peterson
  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
  • Request a Correction
  • Write for Us
  • General Inquiries
© 2023 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved