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 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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May 22, 2018

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 14, 2018

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 7, 2018

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  And make sure you check out (@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...
Apr 30, 2018

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 9, 2018

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
Mar 29, 2018

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 19, 2018

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:


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 12, 2018

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 5, 2018

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 5, 2018

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

Feb 19, 2018

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.
Jan 23, 2018

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 15, 2018

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 8, 2018

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 1, 2018

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!
Dec 22, 2017

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 18, 2017

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 11, 2017

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.
Oct 30, 2017

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  More importantly, you can find opportunities to come out and be a part of the journey yourself!


Oct 23, 2017

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 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

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