Vivid Publishing - Book Publishers Australia

Sh*it I Wished I Knew Before I Discharged

Dan Pronk


Transitioning out of high-intensity occupations, such as military and first responder roles, is often a challenging and stressful experience marked by a profound loss of identity, purpose, and motivation. Dr. Dan Pronk, a former army special operations doctor, faced these difficulties after leaving the military, exposing him to symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress resulting from unprocessed combat experiences. Dissatisfied with his initial interaction with a psychologist, Dan delved into the psychology of transition, documenting his observations and lessons in this book.

Presented in an accessible style with anecdotes and humour, this book serves as a guide for individuals navigating the complex journey from high-stakes professions to thriving civilian life. Drawing on his own experiences, Dan offers insights to help formulate a plan for a successful post-transition adaptation.

Dan’s background includes a diverse journey from a chubby kid in Australia to passing SAS selection, serving as a doctor in army special operations with multiple tours in Afghanistan, and earning a decoration for his actions in combat. Post-military, he completed an MBA and has authored or co-authored multiple best-selling books including The Combat Doctor and The Resilience Shield. Dan remains active in tactical medicine, serving as a consultant to military and police tactical groups and co-owning the private company TacMed Australia. Residing in South Australia, he balances family and work lives with a passion for vintage sports cars.

This book not only shares Dan’s personal story but provides valuable insights and strategies for those undergoing a similar journey of reintegration into civilian life after intense occupational experiences.


About the Author

Mr Smith

Dan Pronk had a profoundly average Australian upbringing, the son of an army helicopter pilot father and speech therapist mother, he had one brother and a cat growing up. After attending seven schools and getting expelled from one, he graduated high school with average grades and began the ambitious pursuit of a career in professional triathlon. Five years later when that failed, on a whim he applied for the army and sat the entrance test for medical school, being successful in both and setting him on a trajectory to becoming an army doctor. A year later an encounter with a group of Special Forces soldiers led to a lightbulb moment for Dan, he had to join Special Forces and be a part of what they do. The only problem was it would be six years before he would be allowed on the Special Forces selection course. Undeterred, Dan set his sights on Special Forces selection and year-in, year-out bettered himself with a view to passing the course.

In 2008 Dan successfully completed the Australian Special Air Service Regiment’s selection course and went on to become one of Australian Special Operations’ most highly deployed and decorated doctors. After five years with Special Forces Dan discharged to pursue a career in civilian medicine, as well as further study in the form of a Master of Business Administration. Demons from Dan’s military time would catch up with him after discharge and following a period of struggle with Post-traumatic Stress, he emerged out the other side a stronger person, experiencing Post-traumatic Growth. Post-army Dan has gone on to an executive role in medical management, as well as co-owning the multimillion dollar company TacMed Australia and founding several other entrepreneurial startups. He stays engaged with tactical medicine through serving as a board member of the Australian Tactical Medical Association and as the medical director of TacMed. He lives in South Australia with his wife and three boys and drives his vintage Lamborghini in the hills whenever he can.


Other books by Dan

Motivational Lessons from an Ex-Army Special Forces Doctor
Motivational Lessons from an Ex-Army Special Forces Doctor

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Sh*it I Wished I Knew Before I Discharged by Dan Pronk
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ISBN: 978-1-923078-14-7
Format: Paperback 203mm x 133mm
Extent: 212 pages
RRP: AUD $24.95
Publisher: Vivid Publishing
Category: Motivational -- Inspirational
Distribution: Vivid Publishing