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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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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!
Nov 14, 2016

Jenifer Smith's military career has been a winding path and has taken many shapes. From an injury at Marine Corps bootcamp, to college at Norwich University, to the National Guard, Active Duty, Reserves, and Contractor - she has experienced the military from almost every angle. 

In this week's podcast, we have a great conversation around the challenges and opportunities in taking a non-traditional route. During the second half of the podcast, we get into some really good stuff like:

  • Finding a community you relate to
  • The perils of over-committing
  • How to identify and manage your true priorities
  • The importance of investing in relationships
Nov 7, 2016

Dr. Jason Dempsey is a lot of things:

  • A Senior Fellow at CNAS
  • An author and prolific writer
  • An entrepreneur
  • A former White House Fellow
  • Former special assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • A retired Infantry Officer in the Army
 

But, luckily, he’s an expert in military demographics and politics, as well.  In this episode, we have a thrilling, and somewhat controversial conversation about politics, and the upcoming election.  We cover topics like:

 
  • His book, Our Army, and how he was the first person to comprehensively study political views in the Army.  
  • Why it’s dangerous for military leaders to get involved in politics
  • How he believes the best way for civilians to support members of the military is by holding military senior leaders accountable.
  • His role in the podcast Serial
  • His military startup, Millie.
 

Jason is brilliant, an original thinker, and brave enough to say things that most people won’t - don’t miss this episode.

Oct 31, 2016

Todd Connor is a Navy veteran and the CEO of Bunker Labs, an incredible nonprofit organization that helps veterans to achieve their dreams through entrepreneurship.  Over the past couple of years, Bunker Labs has grown from their original location in Chicago, to having chapters in over 10 cities across the country.  They provide support through mentorship, training, education, peer support, and even funding.

 

Through an innovative online platform at www.BunkerInABox.org, veteran entrepreneurs can embark on a 14 mission journey that takes them through the necessarily steps to start their business.

 

Recently, Team RWB has partnered with Bunker Labs in the development of our very own e-learning platform, EagleLeader.org (coming soon).

 

Todd and I have a great conversation about transitioning from the military and how starting a business may be a great option.  We cover topics like:

 
  • When is it the right time to leave your day job, if at all?
  • How to create minimally viable product to test your business idea
  • Why starting a business-to-business company is a smart move
  • Thinking beyond “tech”
  • …and a whole lot more
 

Todd is an extremely engaging and inspiring guy, and we hope you enjoy our conversation.

Oct 24, 2016

The first six months of the Eagle Nation Podcast have flown by.  We are 30 episodes into this journey and it has been a blast so far.  We have had some amazing guests and have covered a lot of really interesting topics.  This week, we thought it would be cool to pause and take a look back at what we've learned so far.

In this episode, JJ and I talk about:

  • The best advice we've been given on the podcast
  • Questions we wish we'd asked
  • How we've grown through this process
  • Not letting perfect be the enemy of good
  • The vision for Team RWB's future

A bunch of listeners have asked us for a consolidated list of some of our favorite books and podcasts that we've mentioned on the show.  Here to go!

Our favorite podcasts:

  • TED Radio Hour
  • Freakonomics Radio
  • Tim Ferriss Show
  • Barbell Business

Our favorite books:

  • Contagious
  • Tribe
  • Zero to One
  • Start With Why
  • Daring Greatly
  • Fooled by Randomness
  • Originals
  • Good to Great
Oct 17, 2016

Doug McCormick is a lot of things - an Army Veteran (Infantry), a small business owner, a skilled investment banker, a Veteran advocate, and financial author, just to name a few.  In this podcast, we talk about economic empowerment for the military community, and why the traditional model of investing and asset allocation is imperfect.

We cover a ton of great content, including:

Oct 10, 2016

In this podcast, we talk to the COO of one of the world’s premier shopping center companies, the Westfield Corporation - Bill Hecht.  We discuss what it takes to bring the community together in a physical space, being part of rebuilding their World Trade Center location after 9/11, why supporting veterans is important to Westfield (and him personally), and the Old Glory Relay.   


We cover a ton of content in this podcast, to include:

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