Podcast with John ‘Shrek’ McPhee, The Sheriff of Baghdad

John McPhee has a colorful array of call signs, from ‘Shrek’ to the ‘Sheriff of Baghdad’ to ‘Zero!’, along with a few better left for another occasion. Whatever name you call him, everyone who knows him will confirm CSM McPhee (Retired) is a one-of-a-kind.

John’s military service took him to the very tip of the spear - and beyond. While I have tremendous respect for his service, it’s John’s mind and humor that I love the most. Literally every time I talk with John, I learn, and I laugh. It’s a nice combination :).

John invited me for a session on his podcast, ‘Calls from the Road’, on a beautiful sunny day in September 2019. In this discussion we cover a variety of issues ranging from evolution; mindset; feeding the good and / or bad wolf within each of us; staring evil in the eye - in the mirror!; what’s next after this earthly life; dealing with trauma and fear; and of course, one of John’s favorite subjects, barbecue ;).

For a little more flavor on John, here’s the opening of Breach Bang Clear’s biopic on John:

This is just a bit of a biopic about a badass: John “Shrek” McPhee. McPhee is the Sheriff of Baghdad and Dean of Advanced Violent Studies at Gunfighter University.

The first order of business was to locate Ahmed’s bedroom, and one of the best reconnaissance operators in the business volunteered for the job. He was known in Delta as Shrek, affectionately named after the movie cartoon character with whom he shared a similar large and muscular build. He sported a deep bronze tan from the sun’s glare off the snowy peaks in northern Afghanistan, and much of his face was covered by a thick brown beard that he had grown over many months. Shrek might draw notice on a street corner in Iowa, but would fit in well among the Afghan locals. He had proven his skills time and again, and as much as any Delta operator, Shrek had developed a good feel for the people of the area and understood the very different culture in which honor, hospitality, and revenge are valued like Americans cherish baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie. Kill Bin Laden, Dalton Fury

Special shout-out to John and our friends at SOB Tactical for inclusion in this special feature. For more information and other podcasts, click here.


Pretty sure we drained a bottle of blue label together in 04 or 05 in Kabul. I was with the DEA FAST at the time and never saw him again. Please give him my best. I hope all
Is well with the Sargent Major…… Charlie

Charlie August 17, 2021

Enjoyed listening to the two of you. Thanks for sending this email Steve and sorry I missed you at the last Dine in event with John. Thanks for spending the time on this. Hoping to meet you sometime soon. I’m here in CT. Maybe I can take the time to visit the store.

Dan Vossler February 18, 2020

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