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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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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 www.RobJonesJourney.com.  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


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!

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