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Eagle Nation Podcast

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.
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Eagle Nation Podcast
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Oct 16, 2017

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 9, 2017

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 2, 2017

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.

Sep 25, 2017

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 11, 2017

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 4, 2017

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 4, 2017

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!

Aug 28, 2017

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 21, 2017

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 14, 2017

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 7, 2017

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!

Jul 31, 2017

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 24, 2017

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 17, 2017

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 10, 2017

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 3, 2017

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.

 

Jun 26, 2017

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 19, 2017

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 12, 2017

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 5, 2017

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.
May 29, 2017

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 22, 2017

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 15, 2017
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 8, 2017

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 1, 2017
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.

 

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