Eagle Nation Podcast

Eagle Nation Podcast

United States

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.


EP047 - Vincent (Rocco) Vargas from Article 15 Clothing (and much more) on entrepreneurship, humor, veteran transition, living a life of many pursuits.  

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:


What he’s learned as an entrepreneur How he uses humor to discuss difficult topics His military transition and struggles Veteran’s owning their transition His favorite Article 15 Shirt His favorite Youtube Video that he’s starred in


EP046 - Give An Hour with Rebecca Morrison and Nancy St. Claire  

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.

EP045 - Paul Szoldra, founder of The Duffel Blog on satire, the creative process and veterans in journalism.  

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:


The article on the Afghan president (one of his favorites): http://www.duffelblog.com/2012/08/man-in-afghan-presidents-uniform-shoots-secretary-of-defense-in-latest-green-on-blue-attack/ His talk at Got Your 6 Storytellers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t18RJaT_KF4 His work at Business Insider: http://www.businessinsider.com/author/paul-szoldra Thomas Brennan's The War Horse: http://www.thewarhorse.org/ TM Gibbons-Neff at WaPo: https://www.washingtonpost.com/people/thomas-gibbons-neff/ CJ Chivers at NY Times: https://www.nytimes.com/by/c-j-chivers His new project: WTF, over. http://www.wtfo.email


Connect with Paul via Social

@paulszoldra @duffelblog
EP044 - David Oclander and the Critical Trust Between Teachers and Kids  

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!

EP043 - Lisa Hallett on the Founding of Wear Blue and the Importance of Honoring and Remembering  

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.

EP042 - Jake Wood, Co-Founder and CEO of Team Rubicon  

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!

Locked In with Dr. Carolyn Furdek - her battle with mental health  

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.

EP040 - Steve Shenbaum on why caring is the new cool  

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!

EP039 - The Veteran Entitlement Episode with Carl Forsling  

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.


EP038 - Innovation in the Military and Original Thinking with Dr. Adam Grant  

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  
EP037 - Joe Quinn, Team RWB's Director of Leadership Development  

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.

EP036 - The Eagle Leader Fellows Podcast  

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.



EP035 - The Yoga Edition with Barry Peterson and Ed Stancombe  

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!

EP034 - Leadership through Basketball, and Parenting Young Athletes with Coach Babe Kwasniak  

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!
EP033 - Jenifer Smith on a non-traditional military path and a life of priorities  

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
EP032 - The Election Episode with Dr. Jason Dempsey  

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.

EP031 - Todd Connor on Thinking Beyond Tech, Starting a B2B, and Timing  

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.

EP030 - What We've Learned So Far  

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
EP029 - Doug McCormick on running your family like a business and economic empowerment for Veterans and military families  

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:

His book, Family, Inc. Economic empowerment for Veterans and Military Spouses The striking lack of financial literacy in America, and why it's a problem
EP028 - Bill Hecht - COO of the Westfield Corporation,  on Building Community, Hiring Veterans and Giving Back.  

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:

Westfield’s support of The Old Glory Relay Being part of rebuilding at the World Trade Center post 9/11 The importance of community in America
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