The Discipline and Punish Podcast
The Discipline and Punish Podcast
E23: Psychological Operations in the Age of Black Lives Matter (w/ Rick Schumacher)

On this episode, former psychological operations soldier Rick Schumacher and I discuss his path into the military, the recent deployment of federal officers to U.S. cities, as well as the use of PSYOPS and propaganda during the recent national uprisings. We also discuss the rules of engagement followed by soldiers in war zones and how those rules compare to the procedures followed by domestic police. We finish by discussing police training, the future of the BLM movement, and the importance of civil institutions such as the Tillman Foundation.

Per the Tillman Foundation Website:

“Rick enlisted in the US Army while still in high school, with a need to take control of his own future. As a Psychological Operations Specialist, he learned quickly the importance of being a servant-leader. Over 11 years of service as a cross-cultural communicator, he saw parts of the world ravaged by war, poverty, and disaster. These experiences instilled in him the need to do more to protect and serve the neediest among us, domestically as well as internationally. 

Working as a criminal investigator since leaving the military in 2004, a degree in Criminal Justice seemed like a natural progression for Rick. During his degree program, and is his subsequent graduate education, Rick has studied the interrelation between poverty, social vulnerability, criminality, and disaster risk.    

As a Tillman Scholar, Rick continues to work on projects that reduce social vulnerability in struggling populations. Currently serving as a compliance officer in a multi-national corporation, Rick hopes to look after the rights of under-served manufacturing workers in Africa, South America, the Middle East, Asia, and India.”

Tom Baker has been a PhD student in UMSL’s Criminology and Criminal Justice program since 2017. Tom received his BA in Political Science from Arizona State University and worked as a police officer for approximately nine years. His research interests include police culture, use of force, and qualitative research methods. 

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Check out for information regarding Rick’s consultant work. 

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