AUSA’s Army Matters Podcast

AUSA’s Army Matters Podcast

AUSA’s Army Matters podcast amplifies the voices of the Total Army – one story at a time. Tune in every other Monday for a new story that speaks to our listeners’ wide range of interests and lived experiences, with episodes covering: inspirational leadership stories, current issues for NCOs, our military families’ journeys, and in-depth looks into the Army’s past, present, and future.

Episodes

December 5, 2022 26 min

Lt. Colonel Jacob Helgestad was fast asleep in Kuwait when someone knocked at his door in mid-August, 2021. “Hey, Sir, we gotta go to Afghanistan.” Within 24 hours Helgestad’s 625 troops were landing at Hamid Karzai International Airport and in the thick of a mass evacuation. Host Colonel (Ret.) Scott Halstead speaks with Helgestad about how he had his team prepared for that very moment, the role the unit played in evacuating 124,0...

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After a painful medical diagnosis, Chief Warrant Officer 5 (Ret.) Chad Butters and his wife Jodi decided to change their lives, leading them to pursue their passion about the outdoors, faming and starting a distillery. Host SMA (Ret.) Dan Dailey sits down with Chad at Eight Oaks Distillery, drinks in hand, to talk about Chad’s Army career, some sound advice for entrepreneurs and (most importantly?) what spirits he recommends.

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    November 7, 2022 23 min

    What makes a battlefield hero? Is it upbringing, training, and being placed in a specific situation? Or a combination thereof? Host Joe Craig sits down with Dr. Raymond James Raymond, author of the book Elite Souls: Portraits of Valor in Iraq and Afghanistan, to discuss five heroes he profiled. Learn how their moral courage led them each to saving the lives of many, how these officers’ upbringings and West Point experiences influen...

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    For almost two centuries, women were not allowed to join the U.S. Military – yet millions served. Now with almost 20% of the military being female, the Military Women’s Memorial is celebrating the three million women who have served the Nation in both peace and war -- since before the founding of the Republic.  Host COL (Ret.) Dan Roper sits down with CW5 (Ret.) Phyllis Wilson, the Memorial’s President, to share their stories of br...

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    Throughout Master Sergeant (Ret.) Cedric King’s Army career he always faced challenges head on. His biggest obstacle, however, took place in 2012 when he was injured by an IED device and lost his legs. But rather than feeling sorry for himself, he accepted it and is now a triathlete, author and motivational speaker. Host Colonel (Ret.) Scott Halstead talks to Cedric about the superheroes that inspired him at Fort Bragg, how hard it...

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    In celebration of NCOs and Soldiers at AUSA’s 2022 Annual Meeting, 10-12 October in Washington, DC, SMA Michael Grinston swung by AUSA’s headquarters to talk about the exciting events: the Army Ten-Miler is in person; the new award for Best Squad will be presented; and the next Honorary Sergeant Major of the Army will be revealed. In addition, SMA Grinston provided a preview of his upcoming initiatives for his final year as Sergean...

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    September 26, 2022 17 min

    When Frank Dolberry was a teenager thinking of joining the Army, an acquaintance dismissed the notion, thinking it was an unrealistic dream for someone like him.  Major Frank Dolberry sits down with host Colonel (Ret.) Dan Roper to discuss how this motivated him to succeed, other inspirations he found along the way including the tremendous legacy of service in his family, and how he thinks the Army could improve its recruiting outc...

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    September 19, 2022 26 min

    When people are at their lowest point, sometimes something as simple as a note or small gift can make a world of difference. Major General (Ret.) James Johnson, the head of Operation Gratitude, an organization that sends gift packages to service members overseas, speaks with host Holly Dailey and co-host Maria McConville about the power of gratitude. And then social scientist Dr. Alaina Hansom joins to discuss research that proves ...

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    Military intelligence leaders generally work behind the scenes and are trained to shun the spotlight, but they play vital leadership roles in every single part of the Army. Major General Michelle Schmidt talks with host Colonel (Ret.) Scott Halstead about her 30-year career, including being at the Pentagon on 9/11 to saying goodbye to friends in the final days of the U.S. presence in Afghanistan in 2021, and whether the book Fast A...

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    When military people hear about the U.S. Army Pacific area, they think about the ocean and the inevitable Navy presence there. But the region contains sixty percent of the world’s population and land patrol is the key to the region’s stability. Host Sergeant Major of the Army (retired) Dan Dailey sits down with General Charles Flynn, Commanding General of the U.S. Army Pacific, to talk about the region’s importance, training opport...

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    Whether it’s during a snowstorm, pouring rain or a heat wave, a devoted group of volunteers show up for every single Army funeral at Arlington National Cemetery, there to represent the Chief of Staff and the entire Army family. Cindy Risch, the current Senior Spouse of the U.S. Army JAG Corps, is one of those ladies and speaks to host Holly Dailey about how powerful her experience as an Arlington Lady has been, the highs and lows o...

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    Most people believe it’s not a question of if China will invade Taiwan, but “when”. So can this be prevented? Host Joe Craig sits down with Elbridge Colby to discuss his 2021 book The Strategy of Denial: American Defense in an Age of Great Power Conflict, as well as how a possible war might play out, how the Chinese forces could be neutralized before that happens, and what allies could surprisingly play the biggest roles.

     

     

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    There have been countless analyses of the Ukrainian-Russian War since it began earlier this year. The most effective of these have been from experts who have witnessed the conflict firsthand.  Colonel (Ret.) Dan Roper speaks with Dr. Jack Watling, Senior Research Fellow for Land Warfare at the Royal United Services Institute about what he’s observed from the battlefields of Ukraine, explains the four stages of the war thus far, and...

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    In October 2001, then-Captain Jim Wanovich parachuted into Afghanistan to begin the American invasion of the country. Twenty years later, in August 2021 Jim’s son, First Lieutenant Andrew Wanovich deployed to Afghanistan to assist with the evacuation of the country. Host Colonel (Ret.) Scott Halstead sits down with the Wanovich family – Jim, his wife Kim and Andrew – to discuss what these operations were like, how Kim felt watching...

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    Sergeant Major (Ret) Burnie Haney got hooked on fishing as a young boy when he caught a five-pound largemouth bass and his father carried it around the campfire like a trophy. After a thirty-eight-year Army career Haney decided to turn his passion into a full-time business, starting New York Fishing Adventures. Host Sergeant Major of the Army (Ret) Dan Dailey sits down by Lake Ontario with Haney to talk to him about his Army career...

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    With over 30 years in uniform, Colonel (retired) R.D. Hooker Jr. served in various overseas postings (Grenada, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan and more), taught at West Point, and served in the White House. Host Joe Craig sits down with Hooker, who just released his seventh book, The Good Captain: A Personal Memoir of America at War, to discuss his career, the times he refused orders, and how to make a great first impression - by burnin...

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    Reading as a family is proven to aid children in developing key language and literary skills. But what happens when a family member is away on leave for extended periods of time? Thirty-three years ago, a military spouse created United Through Reading to create a system that would help bring families together through books. Host Holly Dailey talks to United Through Reading’s Molly Haskin to talk about the program, how they have ada...

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    When people think of Formula One racing, they imagine fast cars, exotic locales, and millions of fans. When former Acting Secretary of the Army John Whitley thinks of F1, he sees the future for the Army and other organizations. Host Colonel (retired) Dan Roper sits down with Whitley to talk about racecar driving, digital twins, and how someone who originally enrolled in agricultural studies worked his way towards overseeing a $700 ...

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    Cadet Command is perhaps the most important initiative of the U.S. Army, overseeing more than 30,000 ROTC cadets that could become the next generation of officers and this country’s leaders. Host Colonel (retired) Scott Halstead sits down with his old friend, Major General Johnny Davis, to find out more about the program and the General’s role in overseeing it. The two discuss the role of mentorship, what today’s cadets have on the...

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    In December 2011, American E.O.D. tech Aaron Hale was immediately blinded by an explosion in Afghanistan. But rather than feel sorry for himself, he decided to make the rest of his life an adventure. Host Sergeant Major of the Army (retired) Dan Dailey sits down with Aaron as part of his series about entrepreneurship to talk about whitewater kayaking, how he overcome an even bigger disability, and how he re-discovered joy – and a s...

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