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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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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.

 

Apr 24, 2017
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 17, 2017

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 10, 2017

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 3, 2017

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
Mar 27, 2017

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 20, 2017

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 13, 2017

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 6, 2017

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:

Feb 27, 2017

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 20, 2017

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 13, 2017

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 6, 2017

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
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