Brian Petit

Brian served for 25 years in infantry, airborne and special operations units, retiring from military service in 2017 as a US Army Special Forces Colonel.    

Colonel (Retired) Petit started his career in 1992 as an infantryman in the 25th Infantry Division (Light) at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. In 1994, he and his partner won second place in the Best Ranger Competition at Fort Benning, Georgia. In 1996, he earned his Green Beret at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and for the next two decades, he commanded special operations units in the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan, Southeast Asia, The Philippines, Europe, and Africa. In sum, he served in over 33 countries including over five years in combat or conflict zones.


In 2013, he published Going Big by Getting Small: The Application of Operational Art by Special Operations in Phase Zero. His book was on the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) Commanding General’s 2015 recommended reading list and is in use in both military and academic curricula. He has published in Special Warfare, Military Review, Small Wars Journal, and War on the Rocks.     


His awards and decorations include the master parachutist badge, the air assault badge, the combat diver badge, the expert and combat infantryman’s badge, the ranger tab and the special forces tab. His top awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal (DSSM), the Legion of Merit (LOM) and three bronze star medals.


Brian devotes his volunteer time to two organizations. First, Brian serves his community as Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 60 (Salida, Co). Second, he serves as a board member of PROMOTE, a female-led nonprofit dedicated to providing mentorship and executive leadership development education to women and men in the U.S. Special Operations community. 


Brian has been married 21 years to Dr. Jodi Breckenridge Petit; they have three sons, ages 20, 19 and 16 and live in Salida, Colorado.

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