Raven Conversations

Raven Conversations

Join the public affairs office as we explore the latest news and information around the Washington National Guard. Raven Conversations will focus on the latest training events, news and community engagements our Guard members participate in. Each episode will feature an in-depth conversation with a special guest covering a wide variety of topics.

Episodes

October 27, 2022
Washington National Guard armories are old. Built around the turn of the century and on through the 1930’s and 40’s, these large, cavernous buildings have been the assembly location for soldiers and airmen for decades. Countless people have moved through these locations on their way to World Wars I and II and on through the conflicts in the Middle East. Over the years, we have talked to many people who have seen and heard strange g...
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In this episode I speak with Brian Terbush, the Earthquake and Volcano Program Coordinator at the Emergency Management Division. He stopped by to talk about the Great Washington ShakeOut. That's an annual earthquake drill that is observed every October and millions of people around the country stop what they're doing and practice what they would do when an earthquake strikes. Aside from talking about ShakeOut, we discuss so...
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In this episode I speak with Brian Terbush, the Earthquake and Volcano Program Coordinator at the Emergency Management Division. He stopped by to talk about the Great Washington ShakeOut. That's an annual earthquake drill that is observed every October and millions of people around the country stop what they're doing and practice what they would do when an earthquake strikes. Aside from talking about ShakeOut, we discuss so...
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In this episode we talk to Lt. Col. Jason Kramer with the 194th Comptroller Flight and Senior Master Sgt. Justin Scherer with the 194th Contracting Office. Together, along with Retired Chief Master Sgt. Jason Witts, summited Mt. Rainier in July. We talk about the training that goes into the multi-day climb, the equipment they used, the hazards of traversing glaciers and much, much more.
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For this episode we're doing something a little different. I hand the podcast over to Command Sgt. Maj. Dana Trakel as she leads a panel discussion about Women's Equality Day with several trailblazing female leaders in our organization. Women's Equality Day celebrates the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920 which granted women the right to vote. Trakel is joined by five other women who have accomplished many firsts in...
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Last year the DoD restored its original transgender military service policy that was originally issued in 2016. The policy prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity. It also provides a path forward for those who wish to seek medical treatment for gender transition. To help talk us through the policy, Master Sergeant Susie Lopez stops by the studio. Master Sergeant Lopez is the state equal employment manager and she f...
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It's the end of May but we wanted to squeeze in an episode about Mental Health Awareness Month. We all deal with stress in our own ways. It's good to know that you are not alone in your struggles and members of the Guard have so many resources available to them. And we want to normalize help-seeking behavior. Four members of the behavioral health team stopped by the studio to talk about how to reach out for assistance. We...
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May is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month and we invited a few guests to come in and share their experiences growing up in the United States as an Asian American and Pacific Islander. Capt. Laudy Choum, Capt. Tiffany Cadenhead and Sgt. 1st class Lance "Shimmy" Shimamoto talk about the challenges they had to overcome and the importance of observing Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
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The Army is changing the way it approaches Soldier fitness. Gone are the days of push-ups, sit-ups and the 2-mile run. Now the Army is expanding fitness beyond physical abilities and into the world of mental health, nutrition and even spirituality with it's Holistic Health and Fitness initiative. The program aims to improve the health and well-being of individual Soldiers by increasing their knowledge, attitudes and behaviors. ...
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In this episode we welcome back Jennika Cardenas from the Joint Services Support and we welcome for the first time Staff Sgt. Michelle Claus. We talk about the recent Master Resiliency Trainer Course that Washington recently hosted. We chat about what the course teaches and why these skills are important for one's own well-being as well as how they're important for strengthening relationships with your family and friends. ...
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In this episode Jason sits down with Marilyn Gerhardt and Tramal Williams - two of the most successful recruiters in the field today. We talk about the process of enlisting a new recruit, about what makes them successful, as well as some of the struggles they face. As always please reach out if you have a topic you would like to hear on the show. Send an email to jason.r.kriess.mil@army.mil
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On this episode, Jason sits down with three Washington National Guard Airmen who volunteered for the massive effort to help Afghanistan Evacuees transition to life in America. They traveled to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey where they were a part of more than 200 Airmen working 24 hour operations helping more than 9,500 evacuees continue their journey to the U.S. They worked long, tireless days assisting with tasks ...
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Joe Siemandel, the State Public Affairs Officer, and Karina Shagren, the Military Department's Communications Director, sit down and chat with Adam Wasserman, the manager for the state's Enhanced 911 system. He talks about the history of the E-911 system, how it works and what the future holds with the new Text-To-911 features that are becoming more popular across the country.
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September is Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month and on this episode we talk to Jennika Cardenas. Jennika is the R3SP Coordinator for the state and she brought with her a long-time member of the Washington National Guard, Aaron McCarthy. Aaron opens up to us and shares his heart wrenching story and his battles with TBI and PTSD. 24/7 Veteran and Military Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 Press 1 or Text 838255 Military OneSource: 1-...
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Today's episode is a special one. It's Pride Month and we invited a few members of the LGBTQ community to come in and talk about their experiences serving openly in the military and the Washington National Guard. We talked with Chief Warrant Officer 4 Valerie Mariano, 1st Lt. Johanna Lockhart, Capt. Callie Kiaunis and Travis Linares-Hengen, who works in the Emergency Management Division. Travis's story is particularly c...
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It's is now June and we are marching right into fire season. That fun time of year where we all come together to fight a common enemy. Department of Natural Resources are reporting more than 400 fires this calendar year already. Those can range from small backyard fires that get a little bit out of control to larger fires that require a crew of firefighters to extinguish. So the dry, hot conditions are ripe for another more act...
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In this episode I sat down with Jeff Hehe and Dakota Ross. Dakota was a student at the Washington Youth Academy and Jeff was his mentor. We talked about the mentor/mentee relationship, how Jeff was instrumental in Dakota's education and how one can volunteer as a mentor. If you would like to get more information on how to apply to be a mentor at the academy, send an email to: elizabeth.bergmann@mil.wa.gov
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The month of May is recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month. Each year millions of people are diagnosed and live with some sort of mental illness, ranging from stress and anxiety to ADD or OCD. Many of our Guard service members are tasked to serve in extremely stressful situation and that can take a toll on our mental health. Luckily we have a whole slew of professional life counselors at your service to help you get the assist...
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In this episode Sara sits down with the members of the G5 staff, Lt. Col. Joshua Daily, Maj. Steven Riley, Capt. Jack Meeker. We talk about planning, how the Washington Army National Guard developed their strategic plan, and how they are measuring success and adjusting the plan as they go. If you are interested in the strategic plan you can find it here: https://issuu.com/wanationalguard/docs/washington_army_national_guard_strategi...
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In this episode Jason and Sara sit down with Lt. Col. Bruce Simpson, Task Force Medical Surge to talk about the mission for Task Force Medical Surge, Lt. Col. Simpson’s unique COVID experience, and the way ahead. If you would like to tell your story on the podcast or if you have a tip for a good story, please send an email to Jason Kriess at the Public Affairs Office at jason.r.kriess.mil@mail.mil
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