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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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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
Jan 30, 2017

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 23, 2017

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 16, 2017

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 9, 2017

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 2, 2017

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!

Dec 26, 2016

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 19, 2016

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 12, 2016

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 5, 2016

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

Nov 28, 2016

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 21, 2016

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!
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