Eagle Nation Podcast

By Team RWB

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Description

Welcome to the Eagle Nation Podcast! We’re excited to bring you a weekly dose of Eagle Fire through compelling discussions with inspiring guests, on topics that you care about. We’ll explore veterans, community, nonprofits, fitness, and leadership. Please be sure to subscribe to podcast on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, or however you get your podcasts. We’d also love you to be a part of the show. Please send any ideas, comments, or questions to podcast@TeamRWB.org. You can also hit us up on Twitter @TeamRWB by using the hashtag: #EaglePodcast.

Episode Date
EP118 - Giving Tuesday Edition with Tom Voss
47:35

Tom Voss is a Army veteran who’s post-military service struggles resulted in a 2700 mile hike across the country, featured in the Emmy nominated documentary Almost Sunrise.  

He’s an incredible person, and is a great spokesman for using community and physical fitness for recovery.  

In this week’s podcast, we discuss:

 

  • His post-military service struggles and how they came to a head.
  • What is was like to hike across the country with another veteran
  • Almost Sunrise, and the decision to film his journey
Nov 26, 2018
Episode 117 - Jeff Eggers on Leaders, and co-authoring a book with General Stanley McChrystal
54:45

Jeff Eggers is a retired Navy Seal, and current Executive Director of the McChrystal Group Leadership Institute.  He was formerly a Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, and has had a long career working in national defense at various jobs.

He recently co-authored a book with General Stanley McChrystal called Leaders: Myth and Reality, and it’s currently a national bestseller

In this week’s podcast, we discuss:

  • The writing process
  • Dynamics of working with three authors
  • Why the world needs another book on leadership
  • Lessons learned from some atypical leadership examples




Nov 19, 2018
Episode 116 - The Wisdom of Sal Giunta
37:51

Sal Giunta is the first living Medal of Honor Recipient since the Vietnam war. This episode is less interview and more conversation between two combat veterans over good beer. Southeast Regional Director and Sal talk about a myriad of topics that all veterans can relate to. Sal’s experience, passion and wisdom will inspire and fire up all those called to serve and lead…..actually, you’ll learn from Sal that they are the same thing.

In this week’s podcast, we discuss:

  • How winning the Medal has changed Sal.
  • What is service and how do we find purpose outside of the military?
  • How we met at the White House.
  • His greatest leadership mentors and lessons.
  • We DON’t talk about the day and actions that he earned the Medal of Honor for. We delve deeper into what it means to him to be a Recipient and what it means to him.




Nov 12, 2018
Episode 115 - The Yuengling Sisters - Running the Oldest Brewery in America
42:38

Jen and Debbie are 2 of the 4 Yuengling sisters that are part of the 6th generation of a family that is running the longest continuously family-owned and operated brewery in America - the Yuengling Brewing Company, which has been open since 1829. Team RWB has recently kicked off a partnership with Yuengling, and several members of the team joined them there to kick it off - afterwards, JJ Pinter sat down with two of the Yuengling sisters and recorded a fantastic podcast.  

In this week’s podcast, we discuss:

 

  • Lagers for Heroes (Team RWB & Yuengling partnership)
  • Jen’s participation in Old Glory Relay
  • Dynamics of working in family business
  • What it’s like to be females in the brewing industry
  • The balance between growth and culture in a business
  • Their 1st new beer in 17 years - Golden Pilsner!

 

Nov 05, 2018
EP114 - Adam Smith; Green Beret, CrossFit Gym Owner, Tactical Training Specialist.
01:11:14

Adam Smith is a Green Beret, CrossFit Gym Owner, tactical training specialist.  He’s also a personal friend of the podcast host, JJ Pinter. In this episode, they sit down in person for a caffeine-fueled conversation that is sure to make you smile.  

In this week’s podcast, we discuss:

  • How JJ putting cream in his coffee is adding “weakness” to it, in Adam’s perspective
  • Adam’s transition from the military and his struggles
  • What it’s like to come home again and lead in your community
  • Leadership and his plans to influence large groups of people




Oct 29, 2018
EP113 - The Mountains Weren't Enough for Marine Dan Sidles
48:01

Outside Magazine recently published an in-depth feature by Brian Mockenhaupt (Army Veteran) about a former Marine who struggled with PTSD and depression, and, despite finding a community in the outdoors, died by suicide in 2016. In this week’s podcast, we discuss this story with the author.   We would invite everyone to read the original story here.

Oct 22, 2018
Episode 112 - Crossfit competitor and active duty Soldier Chandler Smith on patience and being true to the process

Chandler Smith is former collegiate wrestler, active duty Army Officer, and current CrossFit competitor.  He’s as humble as they come, and has had to overcome some major obstacles - to include the severing of a portion of his finger in a training accident.  

His perspective on life is refreshing and inspiring - there’s no way this podcast will not motivate you.   

 

In this episode we discuss:

  • His fantastic Instagram Page
  • His belief in patience and “the process” in getting better
  • How adversity has made him better


Speaking of CrossFit, it’s WOD for Warriors season!  Sign your gym up here!

Oct 15, 2018
Episode 112 - Crossfit competitor and active duty Soldier Chandler Smith on patience and being true to the process
01:00:17

Chandler Smith is former collegiate wrestler, active duty Army Officer, and current CrossFit competitor.  He’s as humble as they come, and has had to overcome some major obstacles - to include the severing of a portion of his finger in a training accident.  

His perspective on life is refreshing and inspiring - there’s no way this podcast will not motivate you.   

 

In this episode we discuss:

  • His fantastic Instagram Page
  • His belief in patience and “the process” in getting better
  • How adversity has made him better


Speaking of CrossFit, it’s WOD for Warriors season!  Sign your gym up here!

Oct 15, 2018
EP111 - What do nature and philosophy have to do with Veterans?  with Paul Andersen
46:35

Paul Andersen is a journalist, book author and wilderness guide. He has worked with veterans since founding Huts For Vets in 2013. Huts for Vets serves veterans who are seeking a perspective shift through beautiful mountain scenery, camaraderie, and philosophical explorations of literature. In this episode we discuss:

• Why spending time in nature is more important than ever - especially for veterans

• Literature, philosophy, and healing

• The origin story of Huts for Vets

Oct 08, 2018
EP110 - Team RWB Down Under? The Founding of Buddy Up Australia with Megan Davidson
54:30

Megan served 11 years in the Australian Regular Army, Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (RAEME). She is a senior consultant and coach with Integral Development and a trek leader for Back Track Adventures, which have given her the capacity and support to launch Buddy Up Australia. She has seen the need for an organisation which helps current and ex-service (military and 1st Responder) personnel reconnect with their local communities, find a new purpose and avoid the mental impact of service.

 

In this episode we discuss:

  • The universality of the military experience across countries
  • Public perception of the military and first responders in Australia
  • The origin story of Buddy Up Australia
Oct 01, 2018
EP110 - Team RWB Down Under? The Founding of Buddy Up Australia with Megan Davidson

Megan served 11 years in the Australian Regular Army, Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (RAEME). She is a senior consultant and coach with Integral Development and a trek leader for Back Track Adventures, which have given her the capacity and support to launch Buddy Up Australia. She has seen the need for an organisation which helps current and ex-service (military and 1st Responder) personnel reconnect with their local communities, find a new purpose and avoid the mental impact of service.

 

In this episode we discuss:

  • The universality of the military experience across countries
  • Public perception of the military and first responders in Australia
  • The origin story of Buddy Up Australia
Oct 01, 2018
EP109 - The Power of Intentional Living (In New Orleans) with Dylan Tête
44:10

Dylan Tête is the Executive Director and founder of Bastion Community of Resilience. He earned a Bachelors of Science in Economics and Systems Engineering at West Point, as well as a Master’s in Public Health at the LSU School of Public Health. During a combat tour in Iraq as second-in-command of an Infantry company, Dylan established multiple recovery projects in collaboration with the Department of State. He moved to New Orleans in 2005 where he managed the construction of several FEMA housing facilities after Hurricane Katrina. Before his most recent position as a civil servant working alongside the New Orleans Deputy Mayor of Public Safety, Dylan was hired by Military.com to assist transitioning military personnel and wounded warriors begin new careers in the civilian workforce. Dylan was selected into the Propeller Social Venture Accelerator in 2010, and awarded a fellowship with The Mission Continues for the creation of Bastion.

In this episode we discuss:

  • The importance of housing for healing and living
  • How New Orleans history of adversity is making it a leader in veteran support
  • Why intentional design of living spaces can create community
  • How other populations can benefit from this model
  • The memorial onsite, specifically bricks for Joe Lusk and Ben Tiffner.

 

Sep 24, 2018
EP108 - What everyone should know about brain injury with Dr. Chris Nowinski
54:48

Chris Nowinski, Ph.D., is co-founder and CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to solving the sports concussion crisis through education, policy, and research.

A former collegiate football player and professional wrestler, Chris suffered a serious concussion in June, 2003, but due to a lack of understanding, was not honest about his symptoms and continued to wrestle and work out for five weeks while symptomatic. He developed post-concussion syndrome and was forced to retire.

It wasn’t until he visited the renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Robert Cantu that Chris was first exposed to medical research that revealed to him that concussions and brain trauma were misunderstood in the sports world. Chris realized that this lack of awareness among athletes, coaches, and even medical professionals not only cost him his career, but also threatened the health and well-being of athletes of all ages.

This led him to write the critically acclaimed book Head Games: Football’s Concussion Crisis, originally published in 2006, in an effort to educate the world about this serious public health issue. In 2012, the book was adapted for the documentary film of the same name, Head Games, directed by Steve James, and the book was updated to coincide with the film’s release.

In 2007, Chris co-founded Concussion Legacy Foundation and is a leading force in changing the way we think about brain injury in America.

In this episode we discuss:

  • The different types of brain injury
  • How sports are changing, and why it’s important
  • Why it’s critical to monitor impact in the brains of children
  • How to donate your brain, and the current state of research
  • For veterans, join Project Enlist here.

 

Sep 17, 2018
EP107 - The Old Glory Relay Edition with Microsoft’s Danny Chung
45:38

Danny Chung, is the business manager and chief of staff for Military Affairs at Microsoft, manages the Military Affairs team. Before coming to Microsoft, Danny provided strategic communications support for Ingram Micro, Southern California Edison and BRTRC Federal Solutions after retiring from the U.S. Marine Corps in 2010.

 

In this episode we discuss:

 

  • The Old Glory Relay, and why it’s such an important event
  • The power of community and why Microsoft cares so much
  • Veterans in our communities and why that’s important
  • The power of OGR in weaving together communities to break down the civ-mil divide
Sep 03, 2018
EP106 - Combating extremism by fighting poverty with Jake Harriman from Nuru International
43:19

 

Jake Harriman is a former Force Recon Marine who started Nuru International during his time at Stanford.  His experiences deployed led him to see the devastating effects of extreme poverty, and how it was affecting the war on terror - and inspired him to start an organization to break the cycle.

 

In this episode we discuss:

 

  • The nexus of security and rural development
  • His belief that only kinetic action will not win the war on terror
  • The importance of removing isolation
  • How to help yourself by helping others

 

Aug 20, 2018
EP105 - Live from Washington D.C.! Real stories of health and wellbeing
34:14

Stand To is a national veterans convening, hosted by the George W. Bush Institute.  In its second year, Stand To II brought influential leaders together with the purpose of advancing effective veteran support.  

Team RWB Executive Director, JJ Pinter, had the opportunity to host our first ever live podcast on stage at this incredible event, highlighting real life stories of health and wellbeing from 3 incredible veteran leaders.  

  • Joe Quinn - Executive Director of the Headstrong Project
  • Kayla Williams - Senior Fellow and Director, Military, Veterans, and Society Program at CNAS
  • Will Reynolds - Manager at Deloitte
Aug 06, 2018
EP104 - Dr. Dan Gade thinks the VA Disability system is hurting veterans - here's why
01:34:32

Dr. Dan Gade is a retired army officer who was massively injured in Iraq, leading to the amputation of his leg, amongst other injuries.  Through his experiences in recovery, he has come to believe that the structure of the VA disability system is hurting veterans and creating a culture of entitlement.  He’s become a vocal supporter for change, and is a driving force in trying to force an overhaul in the way the VA addresses disability compensation.

 

In this episode we discuss:

  • The incentives for disabled veterans to not work, and why this is bad
  • The difference between disabilities and conditions
  • His non-profit experiment, the Independence Project
  • How the structure of the system incentivises abuse, leading to a culture of entitlement.  
Jul 30, 2018
EP103 - That Military Spouse Life - How You Can Proactively Care for Yourself, Your Family, and Your Community
53:12

You can’t help but get fired up talking to Tiffany Hendrick!  She’s a military spouse, Eagle Leader, and one of the most genuine and engaging people to spend some time with.  We recently sat down with Tiffany to learn more about her involvement with Team RWB, the work she’s done as a military spouse and on behalf of other military spouses, and the importance of family.  If you’re a Team RWB member, a military spouse, or you just want to get to know the “Next Oprah”, you don’t want to miss this episode of the Eagle Nation Podcast!

 

In this episode we discuss:

  • How to effectively engage with Team RWB when there’s not a thriving Chapter in your area
  • Eagle Leader Fellow experience
  • Military spouse
  • Being proactive in search of what you need/want
  • Perspectives on

 

Additional callouts from this episode:

Jul 23, 2018
EP102 - How veterans (and VSO’s) are changing with Phil Carter
54:38

Phil Carter is a writer, lawyer and a former Army officer who’s worked everywhere from the Pentagon to a Los Angeles law firm.  He’s currently a Senior Policy Researcher at the RAND Corporation, but has researched and written extensively on veterans issues for many years where he’s widely respected as an expert.

 

In this episode we discuss:

  • Veteran demographics and how they are changing
  • How the VSO landscape is changing and evolving
  • How physical fitness has changed his life
Jul 16, 2018
EP101 - Harriet Williams, Service, Family, and Community
54:14

Harriet Williams is an Army veteran and the Chapter Captain in Clarksville/Fort Campbell.  She’s a combat veteran, just like her father. Service runs in the family and Harriet and her Chapter have done a phenomenal job building a dynamic team that is engaging veterans and enriching lives while also being incredibly integrated with their local community.  In this episode, you’ll gain insights into the success of one Chapter as well as the story of service and family from one authentic and loyal community leader. Each Team RWB Chapter and Eagle Leader is of course unique, but we can all learn a little something about effective leaders and Chapters from this conversation!

 

In this episode we discuss:

  • The value of service and family...and how they can often be at odds
  • Being a female veteran and serving pre-9/11
  • How the broader community is an incredibly important component of a strong Team RWB Chapter
  • Some unique events that have proved incredibly successful for Team RWB Clarksville/Fort Campbell
  • Veteran Treatment Courts (https://justiceforvets.org/what-is-a-veterans-treatment-court/)

 

Jul 09, 2018
EP100 - Our 100th Episode - The Retrospective Edition with Mike Erwin
01:01:34

Team RWB Founder, Mike Erwin, is a very special person and the perfect guest to commemorate our 100th episode of the Eagle Nation Podcast.  

Mike is our first repeat guest, and we dive into some very little known stories about both the very early days of Team RWB, and his military career.  A great deal of this podcast is spent in reflection on the Team RWB of today, and there’s some great insight in here for everybody.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Mike’s transition from a college baseball player to a life of service as an Army officer
  • How Team RWB is similar (and different) from his vision in 2010
  • What he’s learned growing non-profits the last 8 years.

 

Jul 02, 2018
EP099 - Kristin Caples and Tara McMachen from Team RWB Denver
46:17

Kristin Caples and Tara McMachen are Eagle Leaders in Team RWB Denver, and have some very interesting perspectives on what it takes to run a local chapter.  They reached out to us about a podcast because they were proud of the work they were doing in Denver, and we thought it was a great idea!

 

In this episode we discuss:

  • Lessons learned on leading a Team RWB chapter
  • Volunteerism, and why it’s important
  • Why they decided to become volunteer leaders

 

May 22, 2018
EP098 - International business leader and executive, Mel Parker on leading businesses, people, and what it’s like to be a first time author
47:40

Mel Parker is an internationally recognized multi-industry business leader known for his ability to turnaround, transform and upgrade businesses while generating optimum value for shareholders, customers and employees.

He is an Army veteran, who transitioned from the military and spent 25 years in corporate America with senior leadership roles at some of the best organizations on the planet. PepsiCo, Corporate Express(Staples), Newell Rubbermaid, Dell Computers, and Brinks.

Mel is currently President and Chief Executive Officer of Take The Limits Off, LLC, a leadership development, executive coaching and business consulting firm based out of Austin, TX. As an international speaker and best-selling author, Mel has shared his leadership and success strategies with audiences from around the world.

In this episode we discuss:

  • His experience in the Army and how it has shaped his career
  • His book, The Parker Principles and it’s origin story?
  • How his leadership philosophy has changed over time
  • The experience of writing a book and being a first time published author

 

May 14, 2018
EP097 - Kerry Rock, US Army Veteran, Team RWB Charlottesville & Chris Long, Servant, Super Bowl Champion
01:00:09

Kerry Rock is an Army veteran and Team RWB member.  Chris Long is a NFL veteran and two-time Super Bowl champion.  They couldn’t be any different in stature or background, but they’re making a difference in both their local community of Charlottesville, VA and on the other side of the world in east Africa.  Having recently #ConqueredKili, we sit down with Kerry and Chris for a casual conversation covering everything from sports to community service. This is definitely an hour well-spent...enjoy the conversation!

 

In this episode we discuss:

  • Starting a Team RWB Chapter, the challenges and the rewards
  • Training for a NFL season, a 10-miler, and climbing a big mountain
  • Service...taking action and giving of your most precious resource (time) to make a difference
  • Delivering impact at the community level, whether that be at home or halfway across the world
  • The perspective provided by poverty and summiting Mount Kilimanjaro (19,341 ft)
  • The next tattoo

 

Additional callouts from this episode:

  • Learn more about the work Chris is doing through his foundation at https://chrislongfoundation.org/.  And make sure you check out https://waterboys.org (@WaterboysORG) to see the great stuff Chris and our friend Nate Boyer (@nateboyer37) are doing to challenge veterans and bring wells to African communities in need.
  • Kerry did in fact propose to this girlfriend Colleen via video from the summit...she of course accepted.  Congrats Kerry and Colleen!
  • Give Chris a follow on Twitter (@JOEL9ONE) and Instagram (laflamablanca95)
  • And because Ellen...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_ez5ekvhxs
May 07, 2018
EP096 - Roderick Gabriel, Team RWB San Diego, Eagle Leader, U.S. Army Veteran
51:34

Roderick Gabriel is an Army veteran and Eagle Leader with an incredibly inspiring story.  His journey is one of contrasts...battling addictions and battling stereotypes, serving his country and serving jail time.  Rod has seen and been through a lot in short period of time. Yet what shines through brightest is his candor, perspective, and continued desire to serve others.  In Team RWB, he’s found the supportive tribe that he enjoyed while in the Army...and he continues to defy labels while owning his journey and inspiring others.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Perspective
  • The value of a tribe/team
  • Making mistakes and moving forward
  • How one person or one organization (Veterans Village of San Diego) can make a huge difference in someone’s life
  • The role of the process...and the value of taking ownership and not taking the easy route

 

Apr 30, 2018
EP095 - Gerber Gear VP of Marketing and Army Veteran, Andrew Gritzbaugh on lifestyle brands, and being part of something bigger than yourself
52:27

Andrew Gritzbaugh is a former paratrooper and current Vice President of Marketing at Gerber Gear.  He’s a seasoned marketing leader with strengths in strategy development, brand positioning and marketing communications, as well as an avid outdoorsman and all around great guy.

 

In this episode we discuss:

  • His experience in the Army and how it has shaped his career
  • What it’s like to be the steward of a longstanding brand like Gerber Gear
  • His favorite pieces of gear and every day carry (EDC).
  • Gerber’s emotional connection to the military
Apr 09, 2018
EP094 - Veteran, Mountaineer, Trailblazer. Closing out Women’s History Month with Elyse Ping Medvigy.
42:20

Among many other things, Elyse served as the first female Fire Support Officer in Afghanistan and has helped spearhead the integration of female Soldiers into combat arms. After serving 5.5 years on active duty, Elyse is currently in the Army Reserves and lives in Washington, D.C. where she is completing her Master's at Georgetown University. She is an accomplished mountaineer, with expeditions on Everest, Denali, Rainier, Elbrus, Kilimanjaro, Aconcagua, and peaks in the French Alps, Rockies, and Sierra Nevadas.  

In this episode we discuss:

  • Her military experience, and what it was like being the first female first support officer in Afghanistan.
  • USX and her work in support of veterans and research
  • Her participation in the Women Veteran Athlete Initiative
  • Mountaineering, and her love for high altitude
  • Navigating her love for travel with life as an Army officer
Mar 29, 2018
EP093 - Run As One!!! with JJ Pinter (Team RWB), Jake Wood (Team Rubicon) and Spencer Kympton (The Mission Continues)
27:46

Run as One began in 2012 as an attempt to bring previously hostile tribes in South Sudan together for healthy competition off the battlefield and has grown into a collaborative national event, bringing thousands of veterans together with their communities at close to 200 locations around the country each year.

Join us this year on April 7th, at: http://bit.ly/2GamtnE

 

In this episode we discuss:

  • The history of Run As One and Clay Hunt
  • What Run as One looks like on the ground, and why it’s important
  • How many talk about collaboration between organizations, but that you don’t see it as often in practice.  Run as One is a real example, that people can get involved with!
  • Why you should get involved! (plus, you get an awesome t-shirt)

 

Register for this year’s event here!!

Mar 19, 2018
EP092 - Aron Lanie, Team RWB Wilmington (NC) Chapter Captain, Yoga Instructor, U.S. Army Veteran
36:06

Aron Lanie is an Army veteran, yoga instructor, and Eagle Leader.  Her journey has taken her from the rigger sheds of Fort Bragg to yoga mats in Vietnam/Thailand and now back to the Wilmington community.  Along the way she’s (re)discovered her purpose, which she now shares through yoga and her involvement with Team RWB.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Aron’s story from soldier to civilian, corporate saleswoman to yogi
  • The physical, mental, and spiritual benefits of yoga
  • Building a Team RWB Chapter in Wilmington, NC and the value of being consistent, persistent, and having perspective as an Eagle Leader
  • Aron’s participation in the Women Veteran Athletes Initiative and the example women athletes set across Eagle Nation
    • Link to photos:
Mar 12, 2018
EP091 - Celebrating Women Veterans with Carol Eggert, Senior Vice President, Military and Veteran Affairs, at Comcast NBCUniversal - Brigadier General (R), U.S. Army

BG (R) Carol Eggert is an amazing lady - not only does she lead military and veteran affairs at Comcast NBC Universal, but she’s a retired general officer in the U.S. Army with more than 30 years of service.  

In this episode we discuss:

• Women’s history month and celebrating female veterans

• The Women Veteran Athletes Initiative, presented by Comcast NBCUniversal

• The importance of storytelling, and why female veterans need to tell theirs

• Why physical fitness is vital, especially post-service

Mar 05, 2018
EP090 - What does Salesforce have to do with enriching lives?
34:17

Team RWB has recently made  major technology upgrades, and it’s worthy of some time to talk about why and how it will affect our members.  In this episode, Team RWB’s Executive and Deputy Director sit down to discuss the recent changes in a rare in-person podcast.

In this episode we discuss:

  • The rationale and scope of the recent changes in technology.
  • Checking in to events and why it’s important.
  • Why Team RWB made this investment.
  • How technology is helping us get better.
Feb 19, 2018
EP089 - Life as an unexpected public figure with J.R. Martinez
42:24

J.R. Martinez is an actor, speaker, and former U.S. Army soldier who was severely wounded in Iraq in 2003, sustaining burns to over 34% of his body.  He played the role of Brot Monroe on the ABC daytime drama All My Children, but is best known for winning Season 13 of ABC's Dancing with the Stars and his advocacy work for veterans causes and philanthropic work.

 

In this episode we discuss:

 

  • His military experience and what he learned.
  • His recovery process, and how he attacked it.
  • Learning that he had a gift of connecting to people, and how he’s using it to help.
  • What it’s like to be a public figure, and how he’s managing his life.
  • And most importantly - DOGS!

 

Jan 23, 2018
EP088 - Erik Younger, Founder of Vetitation
30:27

If you pay close attention to some of the world’s top performers, you may notice a common thread.  Many, if not most, of them credit meditation as a key to their success.  Erik Younger is an Army Veteran of Desert Storm, a husband of 27 years, and firm believer in the power of meditation.  In fact, he believes in it so strongly, that he founded Vetitation, a nonprofit committed to helping Veterans find peace through the power of meditation.  In week’s podcast, we dive into Erik’s personal journey and discovery of the practice and discuss ways that anybody can start, and benefit from, meditation.  Over the course of the conversation, we talk about the common misperceptions about meditation, where to start, resources that can help, and how his organization can support.

Erik also has a great TEDx Talk where he lays out the challenges of post-traumatic stress, Veteran suicide, and how he was about to battle both with meditation.

We hope this episode will help to demystify a tool that can be of tremendous help to Veterans, and all of us.

Jan 15, 2018
EP087 - Observations on growing businesses and veteran support with Team RWB Board of Directors Chair, Paul Bell
43:48

Paul Bell has been helping businesses grow his entire life - as a consultant, a corporate executive, and a growth equity investor.  He’s also been heavily involved in philanthropic work, which gives him unique insight into the characteristics of successful organizations as they develop.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Some predictors of success in young businesses
  • Common pitfalls that growing organizations face
  • Similarities and differences between for/non profit businesses as they grow
  • Why he’s so involved in supporting veterans, and specifically Team RWB.

 

Jan 08, 2018
EP086 - Tyler Merritt - CEO Nine Line Apparel
36:13

Tyler Merritt makes no small plans. The CEO of Nine Line Apparel is on a mission to put relentlessly patriotic shirts on the backs of millions. Fresh off active duty in the Army, he's opened up an amazing new facility in Savannah, Georgia and is preparing for world domination. In his former life, Tyler flew helicopters in the elite Task Force 160th, Special Operations aviation regiment. With combat tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan, he's taking the lessons learned to build a business that does more than make a profit.

 
In this week's podcast, we have a great conversation about business, leadership, family, and so much more. Tyler is a fascinating guy and we know that you'll enjoy hearing from him!
Jan 01, 2018
EP085 - The Army as a Career Option with Major General Jeff Snow
42:56

Major General Jeff Snow is the Commanding General of the United States Army Recruiting Command - the entity charged with keeping the Army full of world class volunteers, so that that we can maintain our all volunteer force.  This is an incredibly important part of having a world class military, and we dive into some interesting details - this episode will make you excited for the future of our military!

 

In this episode we discuss:

 

  • Why the Army is a great career option
  • The challenges of leading a very public facing and huge distributed team
  • Why diversity is so important to the Army
  • What it’s like to communicate with today’s youth
  • How societal changes are affecting the Army’s recruiting pool

 

Dec 22, 2017
EP084 - Melissa Stockwell - Paralympian, Triathlon Coach, and Inspirational Speaker
33:52

Melissa Stockwell is an Army Veteran, severely wounded in Iraq in April of 2004, that has gone on to be a Paralympian, Triathlon coach, and an inspirational speaker.  Her energy and her positive attitude are absolutely contagious.  During this week’s episode, we talk about the mindset that allowed her to not only heal, but to thrive in life beyond the military.  

Our conversation spans:

• Leadership

• Overcoming adversity

• The role of nonprofits

• Raising kids

• Training for competition

• And much more

Melissa is a shining example for us to follow and we hope that hearing her story will inspire you to chase your dreams.

 

Dec 18, 2017
EP083 - Telling the story of the Post/9-11 Veteran with Fred Wellman
58:14

Fred Wellman is a retired Army officer having served 22-years as an aviator and public affairs officer including four combat tours. He currently is the CEO and Founder of ScoutComms, Inc., a B Corp communications and corporate social responsibility firm supporting organizations addressing the needs of veterans and military families - the only one of it’s type in the world.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Telling the story of the post-9/11 veteran
  • What the public needs to know
  • What we get right and wrong as a veteran community
  • More hilarious stories than you know what to do with.
Dec 11, 2017
EP082 - Rob Jones Journey
25:43

In 2010, Rob Jones walked slowly down a dirt road in Afghanistan.  Holding a metal detector, he scanned the path for IEDs and, unfortunately, he found one.  The explosion severely wounded him, taking both his legs instantly.  Since that time, Rob has been on a new mission: to recover, return stronger, and inspire people to overcome their setbacks.  He’s earned a bronze medal in the Paralympics, ridden his bike across the country, and is now running 31 marathons in 31 days…all despite the fact that he is a double, above the knee amputee.

On this week’s podcast, we have a great conversation about:

  • His mindset during recovery
  • How he stays healthy during such brutal physical events
  • What he’d say to Veterans who are currently struggling
  • How you can get involved and help.

You can support Rob and learn more about it at www.RobJonesJourney.com.  More importantly, you can find opportunities to come out and be a part of the journey yourself!

 

Oct 30, 2017
EP081 - Marine Corps Veteran and Eagle Leader Fellow, Star Cathcart
40:56

Star Cathcart is an amazing lady, and a incredible leader.  She’s on the tail end of a year long fellowship with Team RWB, and we spend some time talking about her experience, and what she’s learned.   

In this episode we discuss:

  • Her service in the Marine Corps
  • Her battle with MRSA, and how her illness forced important reflection in her life
  • Authenticity, and why it’s so important to her
  • Her journey as an Eagle Leader Fellow (ELF), and how it’s changed her life
Oct 23, 2017
EP080 - The sole military veteran on the PGA Tour, professional golfer Billy Hurley on golf and leadership.
38:30

Billy Hurley is a former naval officer, and currently the only military veteran who is an active golfer on the PGA tour.  In addition to being a fantastic ambassador for the military, he’s an accomplished leader and all around great guy.

In this episode we discuss:

  • His service in the Navy
  • His road to the PGA tour
  • How he views his responsibility as the sole veteran on the PGA Tour
  • His views on leadership, and how is naval service has affected his golf game
Oct 16, 2017
EP079 - David Smith on regaining your confidence, pursuing love, and refusing to feel numb
46:51

David Smith is a Marine combat veteran and respected advocate in the veteran community.  After an extremely difficult deployment to Iraq, that included a friendly-fire incident, Dave found himself lacking confidence, purpose, and direction.  Eventually, his depression led to him nearly taking his own life.  An outpouring of support from friends and family convinced him to start owning his recovery and take back his life.  Since that time, he’s graduated from UC Berkeley, shared the stage with President Bush, and built a new life in Norway!

Dave and I have a really in-depth conversation that covers:

  • Why you should always push for your stretch goals.
  • Why pursuing love (in all its forms) is the most important thing you can do.
  • How to feel truly alive and engaged.
  • The challenges of depression and suicide
  • And so much more.

Dave is an extremely interesting and thoughtful guy and we know you’ll enjoy this conversation.  You may want to grab a note book because this one is full of valuable take-aways!

Oct 09, 2017
EP078 - Mycal Anders on doing the work, using your voice, and building a meaningful life
45:33

Mycal Anders is a Marine Corps Veteran, business owner, fitness expert, dad, husband, and a lot more.  Known affectionately as ‘Coach Derz’, Mycal has become a voice for good in both the veterans and fitness spaces.  

 

This is one of the most honest and insightful conversations we’ve had on the Eagle Nation Podcast.  We cover a ton of really interesting topics – even the prickly ones, like:

 

  • Being willing to start at the bottom and work your way up
  • Adapting your military leadership experience to the civilian world
  • Using your voice and platform to spark social change, or not
  • The importance of investing in oneself
  • And so much more!

 

If you don’t know Coach Derz, you need to.  He’s as smart, dedicated, and authentic as they come.  Without a doubt, you will enjoy this very engaging interview.

Oct 02, 2017
EP077 - Starbucks own Matt Kress on Coffee and Supporting Veterans
40:32

Matt Kress spent 22 years in the Marine Corps – enlisted and officer, active duty and reserve.  After a special operations deployment to Iraq in 2004, he left active duty to be a firefighter in Southern California. During that time, he used the Post 9/11 GI Bill to earn a master's degree from the University of Washington and an MBA from UCLA.  He’s now the Senior Manager of Veteran and Military Affairs at Starbucks.  

In this episode we discuss:

• Coffee and it’s connection to the military

• The tremendous work that Starbucks is doing to support Veterans and their families.

• What it's like to be in position to really move the needle on veterans issues in our country in a big way.

• The connection between first responders and veterans and how they share some challenges.

 

Sep 25, 2017
EP076 - Michael Rodriguez on taking care of yourself, so you can serve others
48:30

Michael Rodriguez is a pretty incredible guy - he’s a retired Green Beret who might be one of the most selfless people on the planet.  He’s overcome some major injuries en route to where he is today, and he spends his time giving back to his country and the veteran community.  

In this episode we discuss:

  • His military career and his “collecting” of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
  • Hiding his injuries, and how he finally received the care he needed
  • Art, and the impact it’s had on his life
  • His pioneering research related to mountaineering and the effects of pressure changes on brain injuries
  • His drive to continue service, and the various ways that he accomplishes this


Sep 11, 2017
EP075 - Mike Erwin | Founder, Team RWB
52:35

This week’s guest needs no introduction.  Team RWB’s founder, Mike Erwin, is likely the most inspirational person that you’ll ever meet.  This episode is chalked full of motivation, insight, and useful wisdom…along with some cool stories about early days of Team RWB.

We manage to cover a ton in 45 minutes, including:

  • Find the drive to do more
  • Why Team RWB was formed
  • The power of positive psychology
  • How to use social media for good
  • Finding balance in a ‘busy’ world
  • And so much more…

Mike is an incredible guy and we know you’ll enjoy our conversation.  Don’t miss it!

Sep 04, 2017
EP075 - Mike Erwin | Founder, Team RWB

This week’s guest needs no introduction.  Team RWB’s founder, Mike Erwin, is likely the most inspirational person that you’ll ever meet.  This episode is chalked full of motivation, insight, and useful wisdom…along with some cool stories about early days of Team RWB.

We manage to cover a ton in 45 minutes, including:

  • Find the drive to do more
  • Why Team RWB was formed
  • The power of positive psychology
  • How to use social media for good
  • Finding balance in a ‘busy’ world
  • And so much more…

Mike is an incredible guy and we know you’ll enjoy our conversation.  Don’t miss it!

Sep 04, 2017
EP074 - Caroline Angel | Team RWB Research Director
41:52

Team RWB’s Director of Research, Caroline Angel R.N., Ph.D, is a Masters prepared psychiatric mental health nurse who holds a PhD in Nursing and Criminology from the University of Pennsylvania and is currently a visiting professor at Cambridge University.  Her research has focused on post traumatic stress, shame, forgiveness, health, and mortality.  

In this episode we discuss:

  • Outputs vs. Outcomes, and understanding the differences.
  • Measuring impact on ideas/concepts vs. tangible items.
  • What it means to enrich a life.
  • How being a volunteer has changed her perspective on research.
Aug 28, 2017
EP073 - Brennan Mullaney | Team RWB Deputy Director
48:01

Brennan Mullaney is Team RWB’s Deputy Director and one of the original Eagles.  Over the past 6 years, he has served in a number of different roles within the organization.  Once the Boston chapter captain, Brennan became Team RWB’s 4th employee back in 2013.  Since then, he has worn many hats including: Mid-Atlantic Regional Director, DC Chapter Captain, and ‘Our Guy in DC’!

On this week’s podcast, we have a great conversation about:

  • Balancing our expectations with reality
  • The importance of taking some time reflect
  • The future of Team RWB
  • Surfing…and much more

Brennan is an amazing leader and we’re very fortunate to have him guiding the way.  He’s got great perspective and it was a blast having him on this episode!

Aug 21, 2017
EP072 - Mat Best on the Creative Process
43:02

Mat Best is a former Army Ranger and current entrepreneur - but he is most well known as a social media influencer, racking up tens of millions of views and impressions with his youtube videos and content.  He’s a true creative professional, and we dive deep into his creative process and how he’s spending his time.  

 

In this episode we discuss:

 

  • His Memorial Day video that went viral
  • How he approaches the creative process
  • His transition process and associated struggles
  • How he keeps himself balanced and effective
Aug 14, 2017
EP071 - Jeremy Paris | Executive Director of the Veteran Artist Program
39:01

Jeremy Paris is the Executive Director of the Veteran Artist Program and a long-time contributor the Veteran space.  He is also the host of the Veteran Resource Podcast, and was a major contributor to the establishment of the Eagle Nation Podcast.  

During this episode, we dig into his start in nonprofit work and how art has grown into a viable career path for military Veterans.  His organization, Veteran Artist Program, provides a community, resources, and mentorship for those looking to grow as working artists.

We also spend some time covering the craft of podcasting and the role that is plays in building both community and business.  We cover a bunch of really important topics that apply well beyond podcasts.

Jeremy has been at it for a long time and has tremendous perspective and insight.  We know you’ll enjoy hearing from him!

Aug 07, 2017
EP070 - CEO of the Wounded Warrior Project, Mike Linnington, on leading through difficult times and regaining trust
43:59

Lieutenant General (Retired) Mike Linnington is a pretty incredible person.  After a tremendous 35 year long career in the Army, he transitioned to the nonprofit sector and took the helm at the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), which was the subject of some  public controversy at the time (early 2016).  His leadership has been critical, and WWP is really serving Veterans and military families in a big way.

 

In this episode we discuss:

 

  • His career in the military, and service in his family.
  • Transition from a 35 year military career to the nonprofit world.
  • What he found when he showed up to WWP, post controversy.
  • The changes they’ve made, and what WWP is up to now.
Jul 31, 2017
EP069 - Spencer Kympton | President, The Mission Continues
38:34

Spencer Kympton is the president of The Mission Continues, a national nonprofit that urges Veterans to continue serving in their communities.  He is also an Army Veterans and former Blackhawk pilot.

Spencer brings a very unique and important perspective to our field, as his professional career has spanned the military, private sector, and multiple areas of the nonprofit sector.  He is as smart and informed on Veteran and community issues as anybody in the country.

 

We have a in-depth conversation to focuses mainly on the value of service in all of its forms.  We talk about:

 

  • The decline in civic engagement and what we can do about it
  • The potential for a national service commitment for young Americans
  • How societies benefit from having and engaged population
  • And so much more…

 

Spencer is a long-time friend and member of Team RWB and has done an amazing job in leading The Mission Continues.  His thoughts are both timely and relevant, and we know that you’ll enjoy hearing from him!

Jul 24, 2017
EP068 - Tyler Grey on losing his dream job and life as a reluctant public figure.
01:09:53

Tyler Grey is a Army Veteran and former Tier 1 operator.  He was severely injured in Iraq during a mission, which changed the course of his career.  He now spends his time working in Hollywood (in front and behind the camera), advocating for veterans, and doing security consulting.  He’s an incredible guy, and really engaging.  

 

In this episode we discuss:

 

Jul 17, 2017
EP067 - Mike Bledsoe on the Business of Fitness
40:32

Mike Bledsoe is a Navy veteran and the CEO of Barbell Shrugged.  Over the last 5 years, he and his team have revolutionized the way that the gyms, trainers, and fitness enthusiasts do business.  Mike started one of the early CrossFit boxes while he was still in college back in 2007.  A few years later, they started a little podcast (the first one I ever listened to) called Barbell Shrugged and have gone on to interview many of the most influential people in the worlds of CrossFit and strength training, to include Rich Froning and Tim Ferriss.

This episode is as wide-ranging as it is intriguing.  Mike and I go into every from the role of identity to the value of content marketing.  He is an extremely thoughtful guy and provides some tremendous insight into how Veterans (and everybody) can become the best versions of themselves.  If you’re not familiar with Mike, you are in for a treat.  He’s unlike anybody we’ve interviewed so far and this one was a ton of fun.  You won’t want to miss it!

You can catch Mike on Twitter @michaelbledsoe or check out their stuff at:

www.barbellshrugged.com and www.barbellbusiness.com

If you’re interested, you can check my interview on the Barbell Business podcast from last April.

 

Jul 10, 2017
EP066 - Building community through Lacrosse with Tyler Steinhardt
46:57

Tyler Steinhardt is the founder of Shootout for Soldiers - a one-of-a-kind event that uses lacrosse to support veterans and build community across America.  In addition to that, he’s one of the most articulate and thoughtful 23 year olds that you’ll ever come across.  

 

In this episode we discuss:

 

  • Social Entrepreneurship.
  • Bootstrapping and scaling a rapidly growing event and what he’s learned.
  • Shootout for Soldiers, and how it started.
  • Why Lacrosse has gained so much popularity in America.
  • The importance of community.

 

Jul 03, 2017
EP065 - David Wood on Moral Injury, PTSD, Support, and more
33:33

David Wood is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and the author of a fantastic new book, What Have We Done: The Moral Injury of Our Longest Wars.  He has covered conflicts all over the globe and has seen warfare in many forms.  We have a wonderful conversation that includes:

Understanding moral injury and how it affects Veterans

 How PTSD is often misused as a blanket term for all combat related stress

Reconciling a pacifist upbringing with the realities of war and soldiering

Ways that we can better support one another, and our communities

Very few people have more experience with the true nature of armed conflict and those that are affected by it.  Please enjoy this episode and be sure to share it with friends!

Jun 26, 2017
EP064 - The Frontline Generation with Marjorie K. Eastman
53:00

Marjorie is the acclaimed author of the 2017 Independent Publisher Award (IPPY) winning book, The Frontline Generation: How We Served Post 9/11.  The book began as a personal memoir for her son and turned into the first to define post 9/11 service and leadership.

In this episode we discuss:

The term Frontline Generation, and what it means.

  Writing a book for her son

  Why she decided to independently publish, vs. a traditional publisher?

  How intelligence professionals view the world differently.

  What it’s been like to share unfiltered journal entries with the world.

Jun 19, 2017
EP063 - Bergan Flannigan on combat, relationships, recovery, and mindset
40:42

Bergan Flannigan has one of the most compelling stories that we’ve ever brought to the Eagle Nation Podcast.  Her military career began brilliantly as the top military graduate in her class from Norwich University.  Upon completion of her Military Police training, she reported to Ft. Stewart, Georgia and was almost immediately deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan.  Almost 9 months into the mission, Bergan was struck by an anti-personnel IED and lost her right leg above the knee…and that is just where her story begins.

During this episode, we have a great conversation about combat, relationships, recovery, mindset, and so much more. 

Just as a note, this episode has a little bit of an NPR interview feel to it.  Bergan and I had not previously met and we recorded outside a neighborhood Starbucks.  You’ll notice me saying “Wow!” about 50 times.  There’s a bit of background noise, but just imagine that you’re there, hanging out with us, on a warm Florida afternoon.  

 

Jun 12, 2017
EP062 - The Unstoppable Cooper Brothers - Nathan and Aaron on taking the journey of a lifetime and overcoming adversity
36:38

5 years ago, the Cooper brothers, Nathan and Aaron, set out on journey to ride motorcycles from the Upper Peninsula in Michigan, to Tierra Del Feugo (an archipelago that sits at South America’s southernmost tip). The journey has turned out very differently than they intended, and they’ve learned a ton about themselves and other cultures along the way.  

 

In this episode we discuss:

 

  • The article that caught my attention
  • Overcoming adversity
  • What it’s like to carry all your possessions on the back of a motorcycle
  • What they’ve learned along the way.
  • How you can follow their journey and support them.
Jun 05, 2017
EP061 - Eric Frohardt on living a post-Navy SEAL life,  getting his business sea legs, and why kettlebells are awesome.
48:51

Eric Frohardt is a former Navy SEAL, an entrepreneur, and the CEO of StrongFirst.  While on active duty, Eric served on various SEAL Teams and deployed numerous times to hot spots around the world.  He’s co-founded a number of different businesses, most notably the BluCore Shooting Center, a firearms training facility. He is currently the CEO of StrongFirst – a premium strength and fitness education company with a global presence of more than 2,500 instructors that operates on 6 continents.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Military transition
  • Being an entrepreneur
  • StrongFirst and Kettlebell training
  • Leadership lessons and ownership
May 29, 2017
EP060 - Dr. Nancy Sherman on Philosophy, Stoicism, the military mindset and living a life of action
41:49

Dr. Nancy Sherman is a Distinguished University Professor and Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University.  She was also the inaugural Distinguished Chair in Ethics at the United States Naval Academy.  She holds a PhD from Harvard, and has taught at some of the best academic institutions in the U.S., to include Yale and Johns Hopkins.  Sherman is the author of four books, several of which focus on military issues.

We have a rich conversation in which we cover:

May 22, 2017
EP059 - Will Bardenwerper; Army Veteran and Author
35:18
We have a really interesting show this week on the Eagle Nation Podcast!  Will Bardenwerper is an Army veteran and author.  On this week's episode, we have a great conversation about his time in uniform, and how he is carving out a career for himself as a writer.  So far, he's doing a pretty good job!  His new book, A Prisoner in His Palace, tells the fascinating story of Saddam Hussein's final months as a prisoner of the US-led coalition and the interim Iraqi government.  The book takes you inside the experience of young, American soldiers assigned to guard the former dictator during his last days.  It is an amazing read.
 
We also discuss how Will got into writing and how other Veterans can do the same.  With such a small percentage of Americans actually serving in the military, it is absolutely critical for Veterans to be a part of the conversation.
 
We had a blast on this one, so we hope you love it!
May 15, 2017
EP058 - Andrew Brennan; Global War on Terror Memorial Foundation
47:28

Andrew Brennan is a former UH-60 Blackhawk pilot and combat veteran.  After departing the Army a little earlier than he’d planned, Andrew ultimately found himself searching for his next calling.  A fateful encounter with a group of Vietnam Veterans on their way to visit the memorial wall in DC sparked the inspiration he needed.  Andrew is now the Executive Director of the Global War on Terror Memorial Foundation.

For the past two years they have been working diligently on Capitol Hill to gain bipartisan support for an amendment bill to the Commemorative Works Act of 1986 and today, they have successfully introduced two companion bills in the House and Senate: H.R. 873 and S. 926. These bills can pave the way for a sacred place to honor this generation of warriors and all without any taxpayer funding.

GWOTMF exists to ensure that the Veterans of the Global War on Terror experience their future memorial in a timely manner as we recognize that this can be a decade's long process from the time legislation is enacted to the completion of the memorial itself.

Check out the action plan below on how you make your voice heard and be a part of the effort to create a memorial that will tell the countless stories of bravery, resilience and sacrifice from the Global War on Terror for generations to come. 

TAKE ACTION TODAY

  • Text GWOTMF to 52886 to contact your representatives and senators quickly and easily.
  • Visit (www.gwotmemorialfoundation.org/take-action) and fill out our Take Action form to send a support email to your elected representatives and senators.
  • Tweet, Facebook and call your elected officials in support of H.R. 873 and S. 926.
May 08, 2017
EP057 - Blayne Smith and JJ Pinter - One Year Later
42:48
This week is a special episode, as it falls exactly one year after we introduced J.J. Pinter as the co-host of the Eagle Nation Podcast.  As you all know, he has done an amazing job on the show and has interviewed some really incredible guests.  This week, it is time to introduce J.J. once again... as the next Executive Director of Team RWB!  
 
That's right!  On June 15th, Blayne will be transitioning out of the job and J.J. will take the helm.  Not to worry, Blayne isn't going too far.  He's headed up to Jacksonville Beach to join our long-time friends and partners at GORUCK...and he'll remain the co-host of Eagle Nation!
 
So, for this podcast, we'll take some time to talk a little bit about the transition, and a lot of time looking back over the past five years.  We get into some early Team RWB stories, share some of our favorite memories, and look forward into the next chapter.  This one was fun and we hope you'll enjoy it.

 

May 01, 2017
EP056 - Tim Bomke on the Power of Finding a Purpose
55:19
Tim Bomke had an appointment with his Army recruiter on the morning of 9/11/2001.  The events of that morning only strengthened his resolve to serve.  A few years later, Tim and his platoon were patrolling in Iraq, when a massive IED hit his vehicle.  Badly wounded, he started on a new journey of recovery, resilience, and continued service.
 
Over the past several years, Tim has advocated for veterans and military families in both education and employment.  He is a co-founder of Microsoft's Military Systems and Software Academy, spent three years working in veteran/spouse programs at Starbucks, and currently leads the effort at Amazon.
 
We have a great discussion that covers:
  • Tim's mindset during his recovery and rehabilitation
  • The power of finding a purpose
  • Why veterans and military spouses are great assets
  • And so much more
Tim is a truly inspiring guy and is doing so much in the veteran's space.  You'll definitely get a lot out of this conversation.
Apr 24, 2017
EP055 - Dr. Anthony Hassan on revolutionizing veteran behavioral health treatment, PTSD and why Americans won’t talk about mental health.
39:11

Dr. Anthony Hassan is truly a luminary in the field of military behavioral health with more than 30 years experience in/out of uniform. He’s driven change in the military, at the University of Southern California, and now in his role as CEO of the Cohen Veterans Network (CVN) - a revolutionary effort led by philanthropist Steven Cohen to radically improve the state of mental health care available to veterans in America.

 

We have a rich conversation in which we cover:

 

  • His military career and why he’s so passionate about military behavioral health
  • The Cohen Veterans Network and why they’re different.
  • Misconceptions about veterans and mental health
  • PTSD and why it’s not only a veteran issue
Apr 17, 2017
EP054 - Jared Lyon, President and CEO of Student Veterans of America
43:43

With over 500,000 veterans and family members using the Post 9/11 GI Bill, supporting and advocating for student veterans has never been more important.  On this week’s episode, we talk with Jared Lyon, President and CEO of Student Veterans of America to discuss the opportunities and challenges of going back to school.

A Navy submariner and diver, Jared has circumnavigated the globe and deployed multiple times in support of the Global War on Terror.  His post-military school is even more interesting.  It includes working in the defense industry, starting multiple businesses, working in Major League Baseball, college, grad school, and ultimately becoming the CEO of a large nonprofit organization.


Jared and his team at SVA are the foremost experts on higher education for veterans and we have a really fun and interesting talk about this incredible important topic.  We know you’ll enjoy it!

Apr 10, 2017
EP053 - Former Ranger/Current Team RWB Director of Development Brandon Young on sharing your story, what Veterans really need, and assimilation
49:34

Brandon Young is not only Team RWB’s Director of Development (where he’s one of the best in the business), but he’s also a former Army Ranger with a tremendous career.  He’s got an incredible story, and he shares it with us in this amazing podcast.  He’s a long time friend, so this podcast was a joy to produce for us!

 

We have a rich conversation in which we cover:

 

  • His military career
  • Why he left the Army after 11 years (captured in Violence of Action)
  • His writing and why it’s so important to him
  • His evolving views on the needs of the American Veteran
Apr 03, 2017
EP052 - Donovan Haggas on learning, committing, focusing, and balance.
36:15

You probably haven’t heard of Donovan Haggas, but you should definitely hear from him.  His professional journey has taken him from Air Force Special Operations (CCT), to corporate America, and finally back to the military community as a DOD contractor.  However, his personal journey is even more interesting.

Through years of ups, downs, and hard choices, Donovan has emerged as one of the calmest and most balanced people I know.  And, it hasn’t happened by accident.  On this week’s episode, we cover a ton of important topics, including:

  • Learning to accept the world as it is
  • Committing to growth in times of struggle
  • Focusing on quality and fighting the fear-of-missing-out (FOMO)
  • “Extreme balance”
  • Being a great parent in sub-optimal circumstances
  • And much more

You may walk away from this episode with a few answers, but you’ll definitely walk away with some questions.

Mar 27, 2017
EP051 - Veteran philanthropy expert Thomas Meyer on the state of Veteran’s charities in America
54:58

Thomas Meyer is the Director of Veteran’s services at The Philanthropy Roundtable, and one of the foremost experts in the country on Veteran Service Organizations (VSO’s) and Veteran philanthropy in general.  He’s highly qualified (studied at Cambridge and Yale) and has been conducting military-focused research for years.  He also grew up in a military family, and has a very personal connection to Veterans and Military Families.

 

We have a very important conversation, where we get into some challenging topics, to include:

 

Mar 20, 2017
EP050 - Nick Koumalatsos on life, transition, fitness, and Rush Club 009
43:43

Nick Koumalatsos is Marine (MARSOC) Veteran, the Director of The Raider Project, and an entrepreneur.  In this week’s episode, we have an inspiring conversation about life, transition, fitness, and how Ben Bunn and I (Blayne Smith) beat him at Rush Club 009.

A true renaissance man, Nick is involved in all kinds of cool projects.  He’s got an important perspective on life after the military and we’re really excited to share his story with Eagle Nation.

 

Mar 13, 2017
EP049 - Marty Skovlund on storytelling, Nomadic Veterans and getting shot in basic training
38:09

Marty Skovlund joins us as another man of many talents.  He’s a former Army Ranger turned author, TV show host, and entrepreneur.  He’s focused on telling the stories of our generation of veterans, and is doing an incredible job.  

He’s also a hilarious guy, and really fun to talk to, as well.

We have a wide-ranging conversation conversation that includes the following:

Mar 06, 2017
EP048 - Colin Baden on introverts, innovation, and the power of defining your culture
25:47

Colin Baden is the former President and CEO of Oakley and currently serves as the Chairman of the Infinite Hero Foundation, a nonprofit that is committed to finding, funding, and supporting the most innovative approaches to healing the wounds of war.

 

We have a great conversation about leadership, culture, and values.  Colin and his team have built an incredibly strong and distinct brand at Oakley, and it hasn’t happened by accident.  We cover some really important topics like:

 

  • The importance of defining your culture
  • Why it is critical to be humble
  • How introverts often thrive in leadership roles
  • What it means to constantly innovate

 

This is a truly insightful talk with a very unique leader.  We know that you’ll get a lot out of it.

 

Feb 27, 2017
EP047 - Vincent (Rocco) Vargas from Article 15 Clothing (and much more) on entrepreneurship, humor, veteran transition, living a life of many pursuits.
45:54

Vincent (Rocco) Vargas is a man of many talents, to include being a part owner of Article 15 Clothing, Black Rifle Coffee Company, Leadslingers Whiskey, Warfighter Tobacco, and various other pursuits.  He’s also a Youtube Star, public speaker, author, cooking show host and musician among other things - in short, he’s a renaissance man.

 

We have a open and honest conversation about various topics, to include:

 

 

Feb 20, 2017
EP046 - Give An Hour with Rebecca Morrison and Nancy St. Claire
42:40

Give An Hour is a national network of mental health professionals that have pledged to provide free, confidential support to military veterans and their families.  Over the past 10 years, they have provided thousands of hours of care to our community and are working to change the way that we think about mental health.

 

On this week’s podcast, we have the privilege of speaking with Nancy St. Claire and Rebecca Morrison, two incredible ladies and are working hard at Give An Hour’s mission.

 

Nancy is a licensed therapist and currently serves as Give An Hour’s COO.  She began her journey as a cultural anthropologist serving alongside soldiers in Iraq.  After seeing war first-hand, she ultimately decided to study psychology and practice in a clinical setting.

 

Rebecca is a program specialist at Give An Hour and works closely with organizations like Team RWB, Team Rubicon, and The Mission Continues to provide peer support and suicide prevention programs.  She is a Gold Star spouse and has also worked with families and survivors at TAPS.

 

We have a very honest and sometimes raw conversation that covers:

 

  • Why we should stop using the word ‘stigma’
  • The importance of maintaining our mental well being
  • The value of seeing a counselor and asking for help
  • Why you should absolutely ask ‘the question’

 

Team RWB really appreciates Give An Hour’s work and their partnership.  Nancy and Rebecca are making a difference and we know you’ll appreciate their perspective on this very important topic.

Feb 13, 2017
EP045 - Paul Szoldra, founder of The Duffel Blog on satire, the creative process and veterans in journalism.
53:25

Paul Szoldra is a journalist at Business Insider, and the founder of the wildly popular military satire site The Duffel Blog, an online magazine with a vast military readership (The Secretary of Defense, James Mattis is known to be a reader).

 

In this week’s episode, we talk about the origin story of The Duffel Blog, as well how he creates and cultivates the irreverent, biting, relevant content that The Duffel Blog is famous for.  In addition, here are some topics we cover:

 

 

Connect with Paul via Social

  • @paulszoldra
  • @duffelblog
Feb 06, 2017
EP044 - David Oclander and the Critical Trust Between Teachers and Kids
47:46

David Oclander is a retired Army officer, who felt moved to dedicate his post-military life to inner city education.  He’s been a teacher and administrator in both Chicago and Detroit, and is working hard to shape our education system in America.

 

In this week’s episode, we talk about his experiences, as well as some of his views on the American education system, as well as:

 

  • The importance of physical activity at school
  • How adults can be the biggest impediment to kids learning
  • Trust between teachers and kids, and why it’s critical


David is an amazing person, and incredibly inspirational!  We’re excited to bring you this episode!

Jan 30, 2017
EP043 - Lisa Hallett on the Founding of Wear Blue and the Importance of Honoring and Remembering
36:03

It is hard to find a story, or a person, more inspiring than Lisa Hallett.  In 2009, her late husband John was killed during combat operations in Afghanistan.  Unfortunately, John’s unit suffered numerous casualties during that deployment, leaving the entire community stunned and hurting.  With three very small children and a heavy heart, Lisa knew that she had to find a way to move forward.

Lisa and some of the family members around Joint Base Lewis-McCord used running as a way of dealing with grief and supporting each other.  In 2010, Lisa and her co-founder, Erin O’Connor, started wear blue: run to remember.  The organization aims to create a support network for military members and their families and to provide a living memorial for our country’s fallen. 

We have a great conversation covers the founding story of wear blue, the importance of honoring and remembering, and so much more.  Lisa is brave woman that is doing her part to make the world a better place, and we’re proud to call her a friend.

Jan 23, 2017
EP042 - Jake Wood, Co-Founder and CEO of Team Rubicon
40:38

Jake Wood is the co-founder and CEO of Team Rubicon.  This amazing organization harnesses the skills of military veterans to respond to disasters across the country and the globe.  Their mission started in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti that devastated the country.  Jake and his co-founder, William McNulty, led a small team into the heart of the rubble and did what veterans do – help.

 

In this week’s episode, Jake shares the founding story of TR and talks about how the organization has grown over the past 7 years.  We dive into:

 

  • The importance of maintain a strong and authentic culture
  • Why veterans are well positioned to lead positive change in American communities
  • The challenges of leading and growing a nonprofit
  • Why it is ok (and sometimes best) to let people go

 

Jake is a great friend and Team RWB is proud to work closely with Team Rubicon.  His journey from Division I football, to the Marine Corps, to TR is an amazing story and we’re pumped to share it with you!

Jan 16, 2017
EP041 - Locked In with Dr. Carolyn Furdek - her battle with mental health
50:49

Carolyn Furdek is a former Army officer who recently published a book that describes her decade long journey as she fights a lingering battle with mental illness over the course of a decade that leaves the medical community and her family struggling for answers.

 

In this raw and powerful podcast we discuss her battle, and also the ways in which she’s trying to change the system from the inside to help America better handle treatment of mental health.

 

Get her incredible book here.

Jan 09, 2017
EP040 - Steve Shenbaum on why caring is the new cool
48:28

Steve Shenbaum is the founder and president of game on NATION and has become a nationally recognized expert in leadership, communication, and character development.  He actually started his career as a working actor in Hollywood and appeared in a number of popular commercials, television shows, and movies.  Later, Steve began working with top-level performers to improve their communication, teamwork, and mental game.

Since 2012, Steve and his team at game on NATION have brought effective, engaging, and memorable training seminars to world-class clients ranging from Fortune 100 companies, to professional sports teams, to star athletes...even Team RWB.

Steve and I have a really rich discussion that covers:

  • Finding your voice and the ability to share it
  • How to give your best possible presentation
  • The importance of authenticity and real connection
  • Why it's cool to use both backpack straps
  • The power of "laughing with"
  • And much more...

As a friend, mentor, and supporter Steve has done a lot for Team RWB and we are thrilled to share his knowledge with all of you!

Jan 02, 2017
EP039 - The Veteran Entitlement Episode with Carl Forsling
31:22

Carl Forsling is a senior columnist for Task & Purpose. He is a Marine MV-22B pilot and former CH-46E pilot who is retired from the military after 20 years of service. He is the father of two children and a graduate of Boston University and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Carl is a prolific writer on Veteran’s issues, and has tackled some thorny topics in his work, to include writing about entitlement in the veteran community.  We don’t shy away from this in the podcast, and have a very raw conversation about this topic.

 

 

Dec 26, 2016
EP038 - Innovation in the Military and Original Thinking with Dr. Adam Grant
24:01

Adam Grant is Wharton’s top-rated professor and a leading expert on how we can find motivation and meaning, and live more generous and creative lives. He has been recognized as one of the world's 25 most influential management thinkers and Fortune's 40 under 40, and is a New York Times best-selling author.  

He’s worked with the Military for years, and we spend some time discussing his experiences and some of the following:

  • Fostering original thinking in the military
  • Innovating thinking
  • Translating military leadership into civilian success

 

Dec 19, 2016
EP037 - Joe Quinn, Team RWB's Director of Leadership Development
48:13

Joe Quinn is Team RWB’s Director of Leadership Development and in many ways, the organization’s emotional heartbeat.  His story, and his willingness to tell it, has inspired thousands of people to engage with their community and take up the mantle of leadership.

 

Joe and I have had countless conversations, ranging in topics from sports to defense policy to changing diapers.  In this episode, we dive into our philosophies on leadership and why we think Team RWB is playing a game-changing role in how Americans work together to build a better future.

 

We cover some great nuggets, including:

  • The concept of whole-braining integration
  • Why the military doesn’t necessarily prepare you to be a great leader
  • The critical importance of genuine relationships
  • And so much more
 

This is a good look into how we view and value leadership, and we hope that you’ll take the time to listen, digest, and explore your own views on this critical topic.

 
Dec 12, 2016
EP036 - The Eagle Leader Fellows Podcast
47:34

The need for leadership in our country has never been greater.  That is why we created the Eagle Leader Fellow Program.

 

This week is a very special episode as we talk with three of Team RWB’s Eagle Leader Fellows.  These leaders have spent the past several months on a mission to make their communities stronger.  

 

You’ll hear from Dennis Volpe (Jacksonville, FL), Marissa May (Omaha, NE), and Kris Lord (San Francisco, CA).  They share their experiences of taking up the mantle of leadership and how they’ve grown as individuals through the process.

 

The Eagle Leader Fellowship is a 12-month leadership development experience with a focus on leadership education, mentorship, and experiential learning.  Our first full class of fellows have done and absolutely amazing job (we’ve hired 5 of them to the full-time staff).  Applications are opening soon for the next class of fellows.  If you have a heart for service, a desire to lead, and think you have what it takes to make your community stronger…please follow this link to learn more.

 

https://www.teamrwb.org/our-approach/eagle-leader-fellows

Dec 05, 2016
EP035 - The Yoga Edition with Barry Peterson and Ed Stancombe
34:00

In preparation for our first ever Team RWB national Yoga event, Eagle Namasday on December 3, we’ve got a great show this week with 2 unique individuals - Barry Peterson, and Ed Stancombe.  

 

Yoga, plays a huge part in both of their lives, and we’re excited to share it with you.  We cover some great topics, to include:

 
  • What is Yoga?
  • Why Yoga has been embraced by the military, after being shunned for years.
  • The physical and mental benefits of Yoga.
  • Eagle Namasday, and what you can expect.  
 

No matter if you’ve ever been in a Yoga studio or not, there’s a ton to gleam from this podcast.  We hope you enjoy it!

Nov 28, 2016
EP034 - Leadership through Basketball, and Parenting Young Athletes with Coach Babe Kwasniak
48:39

Babe Kwasniak is not only a Army veteran, but he’s a nationally recognized basketball coach who has moved back to his hometown to coach and lead in his community.  He’s been incredibly successful, both on the court and in developing his players into productive members of society.  In this episode, we have an engaging conversation about a wide range to topics to include:

  • Military lessons in leadership that he uses on the basketball court
  • Parenting young athletes
  • The challenges and opportunities of leading teenagers
  • Using social media as a leadership tool
Babe is a thrilling guy, so don’t miss this episode!
Nov 21, 2016
EP033 - Jenifer Smith on a non-traditional military path and a life of priorities
41:17

Jenifer Smith's military career has been a winding path and has taken many shapes. From an injury at Marine Corps bootcamp, to college at Norwich University, to the National Guard, Active Duty, Reserves, and Contractor - she has experienced the military from almost every angle. 

In this week's podcast, we have a great conversation around the challenges and opportunities in taking a non-traditional route. During the second half of the podcast, we get into some really good stuff like:

  • Finding a community you relate to
  • The perils of over-committing
  • How to identify and manage your true priorities
  • The importance of investing in relationships
Nov 14, 2016
EP032 - The Election Episode with Dr. Jason Dempsey
52:25

Dr. Jason Dempsey is a lot of things:

  • A Senior Fellow at CNAS
  • An author and prolific writer
  • An entrepreneur
  • A former White House Fellow
  • Former special assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • A retired Infantry Officer in the Army
 

But, luckily, he’s an expert in military demographics and politics, as well.  In this episode, we have a thrilling, and somewhat controversial conversation about politics, and the upcoming election.  We cover topics like:

 
  • His book, Our Army, and how he was the first person to comprehensively study political views in the Army.  
  • Why it’s dangerous for military leaders to get involved in politics
  • How he believes the best way for civilians to support members of the military is by holding military senior leaders accountable.
  • His role in the podcast Serial
  • His military startup, Millie.
 

Jason is brilliant, an original thinker, and brave enough to say things that most people won’t - don’t miss this episode.

Nov 07, 2016
EP031 - Todd Connor on Thinking Beyond Tech, Build a Business, and Timing
38:18

Todd Connor is a Navy veteran and the CEO of Bunker Labs, an incredible nonprofit organization that helps veterans to achieve their dreams through entrepreneurship.  Over the past couple of years, Bunker Labs has grown from their original location in Chicago, to having chapters in over 10 cities across the country.  They provide support through mentorship, training, education, peer support, and even funding.

 

Through an innovative online platform at www.BunkerInABox.org, veteran entrepreneurs can embark on a 14 mission journey that takes them through the necessarily steps to start their business.

 

Recently, Team RWB has partnered with Bunker Labs in the development of our very own e-learning platform, EagleLeader.org (coming soon).

 

Todd and I have a great conversation about transitioning from the military and how starting a business may be a great option.  We cover topics like:

 
  • When is it the right time to leave your day job, if at all?
  • How to create minimally viable product to test your business idea
  • Why starting a business-to-business company is a smart move
  • Thinking beyond “tech”
  • …and a whole lot more
 

Todd is an extremely engaging and inspiring guy, and we hope you enjoy our conversation.

Oct 31, 2016
EP030 - What We've Learned So Far
40:57

The first six months of the Eagle Nation Podcast have flown by.  We are 30 episodes into this journey and it has been a blast so far.  We have had some amazing guests and have covered a lot of really interesting topics.  This week, we thought it would be cool to pause and take a look back at what we've learned so far.

In this episode, JJ and I talk about:

  • The best advice we've been given on the podcast
  • Questions we wish we'd asked
  • How we've grown through this process
  • Not letting perfect be the enemy of good
  • The vision for Team RWB's future

A bunch of listeners have asked us for a consolidated list of some of our favorite books and podcasts that we've mentioned on the show.  Here to go!

Our favorite podcasts:

  • TED Radio Hour
  • Freakonomics Radio
  • Tim Ferriss Show
  • Barbell Business

Our favorite books:

  • Contagious
  • Tribe
  • Zero to One
  • Start With Why
  • Daring Greatly
  • Fooled by Randomness
  • Originals
  • Good to Great
Oct 24, 2016
EP029 - Doug McCormick on running your family like a business and economic empowerment for Veterans and military families
50:58

Doug McCormick is a lot of things - an Army Veteran (Infantry), a small business owner, a skilled investment banker, a Veteran advocate, and financial author, just to name a few.  In this podcast, we talk about economic empowerment for the military community, and why the traditional model of investing and asset allocation is imperfect.

We cover a ton of great content, including:

Oct 17, 2016
EP028 - Bill Hecht - COO of the Westfield Corporation, on Building Community, Hiring Veterans and Giving Back.
32:12

In this podcast, we talk to the COO of one of the world’s premier shopping center companies, the Westfield Corporation - Bill Hecht.  We discuss what it takes to bring the community together in a physical space, being part of rebuilding their World Trade Center location after 9/11, why supporting veterans is important to Westfield (and him personally), and the Old Glory Relay.   


We cover a ton of content in this podcast, to include:

Oct 10, 2016
EP027 - Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the Honorable Robert McDonald
21:41

The Eagle Nation Podcast is the official podcast of Team Red, White, and Blue and this week, we have a very special guest.  Host, Blayne Smith, is joined by Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the Honorable Robert McDonald…or as he prefers, Bob.

Bob was nice enough to invite us into his office during a recent trip to D.C., and we had a great conversation.  During this episode, we address a number of topics that are on the front of Veterans’ minds.  Of course, we touch on leadership.  Bob tells us how he has managed to recruit some amazing people into VA and how building a values-based culture is the only way to ensure excellent service.

We also talk about the role of Veteran in managing his/her transition from military life and the need for Veterans to assume a mantle of leadership in our communities and country.

Finally, we dive into healthcare.  Bob provides his thoughts on recent calls for privatization of the VA and discusses the importance of having a healthcare system that addresses the whole person and focuses on preventative care.

Team RWB and VA have a strong and growing relationship in our collective effort to serve Veterans and build strong communities.  You won’t want to miss this episode!

Oct 03, 2016
EP026 - Best Selling Author Jonah Berger on creating contagious content, invisible influence and how to get people involved
26:23

In this podcast, we talk to best selling author and professor at the Wharton School, Dr. Jonah Berger.  He’s a thought leader on the academic side of what causes certain content to go viral, how influence plays a part in all of our lives, and we discuss how this relates to life and Team RWB.   


We cover a ton of content in this podcast, to include:

Sep 26, 2016
EP025 - Eric Garcia on beating addiction and the power of serving others
40:20

Eric Garcia has been lost.  After an impressive military career that included assignments with the 75th Ranger Regiment and the 3rd US Infantry Regiment (Old Guard), his life took a turn for the worst.  In 2010, Eric found himself homeless, addicted, and on the way to rehab.  Just 7 months later, he started a small nonprofit to support Veterans through fitness and fellowship.  He soon found Team RWB and in the time since has been one of our very best volunteer leaders.

Today, Eric serves other Veterans as a case manager at the Salvation Army in Tampa, Florida.  He is working on a Mission Continues fellowship and will complete his degree in psychology next spring.  Eric spends his time in trenches, meeting Veterans where they are at, everyday.  His perspective is absolutely priceless.

This episode is a very raw and honest conversation that speaks to all of us.  Please take it to heart and share with your friends.

Sep 19, 2016
EP024 - Patricia Walsh on real vs. perceived disabilities and triathlon
43:41

In this episode, we talk to one of the best paratriathletes in world, Patricia Walsh. She is currently representing the USA at the Paralympics in Rio, and is an all-around amazing person.

We talk about a lot of great stuff including:

  • Para-triathlon
  • Her TED Talk
  • Getting a STEM degree as a blind person
  • Her competitive fire and how it drives her accomplish whatever she sets her mind to
Sep 12, 2016
EP023 - Benjamin Bunn on transition, entrepreneurship, and making peace with a life of violence
42:29

To say that Ben Bunn is interesting would be a massive understatement.  The guy is a veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan, has served as a Green Beret and Infantry officer, and has a tattoo of Chuck Norris on his left arm.  More importantly, Ben is a smart and thoughtful guy that is in a middle of making what I'm sure will be an excellent transition from active duty.  He and his partner own Cigar City CrossFit in Tampa and are building a really strong community.

In this episode, we dive into some deep stuff, including:

  • Taking a proactive approach to transition
  • Why starting a business is scary and thrilling
  • Quiet moments and why they are so hard
  • Reconciling a violent past
  • Committing to a life helping others

This is a really honest conversation and we hope that you'll take a lot from it.  

Sep 05, 2016
EP022 - Tommy Caldwell on rock climbing, adventure parenting, and assessing risk
30:46

In this episode,we talk with one of the greatest rock climbers to ever live, Tommy Caldwell. We talk about his long-time involvement in Team RWB, rock climbing as a post counter-culture sport, and how being a family man has changed his outlook on life.

We cover a ton a really exciting topics including:

Aug 29, 2016