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The Blue Grit Podcast
38 minutes | Aug 10, 2021
Episode 43 CMSgt (Ret.) Bryan Blue
CMSgt (Ret.) Bryan Blue retired after 30 years of honorable service in the USAF and has been the Community Support Coordinator for Los Angeles Air Force Base, California since 2013. He served as the Installation Resilience Education Program Manager, Executive Director of the Community Action Board, Chair of the Community Action Team, and Employee Assistance Program Manager. Mr. Blue is a certified Sexual Assault/Suicide Prevention Trainer, Master Resilience Trainer, Unconscious Bias Awareness Trainer, and Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Instructor. We talk about his routines, what drives him, the paying forward concept, and being flexible in asking for help.
66 minutes | Jun 15, 2021
Episode 42 Major Kim "Nike" Rigby
This episode features Major Rigby, a Senior Combat Systems Officer for Air Force Global Strike Command with 900+ hours in the B-52H Stratofortress bomber. In 2014, after returning from a deployment, Maj Rigby’s husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Over the following three years, she learned first-hand how to find harmony between her career and her enduring commitment to her husband. Major Rigby credits her resilience to a strong support network of family, friends, and teammates who provided a strong safety net and peace of mind, and she encourages others to nurture and strengthen their support networks. Her experiences have shaped her as a leader as she uses empathy, compassion, and story-telling as tools to educate others on resilience.
52 minutes | May 26, 2021
Episode 41 Dr. Bonnie Kaplan
Episode 41 is one of the most important conversations aired on The Blue Grit Podcast. I interviewed Dr. Bonnie Kaplan, who is a professor emerita in the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary and a co-author of a recently published book The Better Brain: Overcome Anxiety, Combat Depression, and Reduce ADHD and Stress with Nutrition (April, 2021). Dr. Kaplan, along with her co-author Dr. Julia Rucklidge, published over 300 peer-reviewed publications and textbook contributions about a paradigm-shifting approach to treating mental disorders with food and nutrients. In this episode, we discuss how to create a more resilient brain and improve mental health in the face of trauma, how nutrition is the safest, most effective treatment, how the gut and the brain are intertwined, and much more! https://bonniejkaplan.com https://www.TheBetterBrainbook.com
53 minutes | Apr 22, 2021
Episode 40 Michelle Padgett
Michelle Padgett is the Director of Warrior Wellness and Policy Integration, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force Office. She is responsible for leading transformation efforts with a multi-disciplinary team of experts to enhance human performance and advance quality service and experience for warfighters and their families. In this interview, we talk about the power of community resilience. We also discuss the use of artificial intelligence for prevention/operational readiness and grit, challenges of being a military spouse, habits of resilient people, and more.
56 minutes | Mar 3, 2021
Episode 39 MSgt Maria Seyborne
We all have our stories. Some are more unfathomable than others. MSgt Maria Seyborne shares her story of overcoming a harrowing hostage situation, PTSD, and why mental health advocacy has become her life mission.
47 minutes | Feb 1, 2021
Episode 38 CMSgt Lisa Arnold
Episode 38 is an interview with CMSgt Lisa Arnold, who is the Command Chief Master Sergeant, Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles California. We talk about Chief Arnold’s toughest moments, sexual harassment, surviving deep desperation, rekindling friendships, facing glass ceiling, being a good human and an optimist, her grit, her biggest fears, the importance of sleep, and much more.
49 minutes | Jan 9, 2021
Episode 37 Lt Col (Ret.) Dr. Alan Ogle
The topic of this podcast is a form of resilience: heroism. Christopher McDougall, the author of Natural Born Heroes, describes heroism as a skill that can be practiced, rather than a virtue or personality trait. My guest is Dr. Alan Ogle, an operational Air Force psychologist and firefighter who, among many accomplishments during his military career, developed an alcohol prevention program that became the model for use across Air Force and DoD. He also implemented the 360 multi-dimensional assessment for Military Training Instructors in BMT. In this episode, we discuss heroes and heroism in the military, courage in every day life, compassion as the driving force behind heroism, embedded mental health teams, and applying 360 multidimensional assessments when selecting those to positions of power, including political leaders.
59 minutes | Oct 18, 2020
Episode 36 Pam Collins and Deidra Saina
Blue Grit Podcast episode 36 is a special edition. For the first time, it features two guests on the same show. And for the first time, the topic of discussion is domestic violence. My two guests are Pam Collins -- who is the Clinical Director of Air Force Family Advocacy Program -- and Deidra Saina who oversees and directs Domestic Abuse Victim Advocacy services at the Air Force bases around the world. We discuss elements of Family Advocacy in the Air Force, the nature of domestic violence, power and control cycle, types of abuse, clients rights for self-determination, risk factors for potential victims, resources available to victims, and treatments available to perpetrators. Photo Credit to Staff Sgt. Rusty Frank [downloaded 18 Oct 2020 from https://www.dvidshub.net/image/1935152/illustrative-face-domestic-violence-third-place]
41 minutes | Sep 21, 2020
Episode 35 SMSgt Jamie L. Britt
Episode 35 is an interview with SMSgt Jamie L. Britt, the First Sergeant, 61st Air Base Group (ABG), Los Angeles Air Force Base, California. SMSgt Britt and I met for this recording of the Blue Grit Podcast episode just 2 months after his father committed suicide. In this interview, SMSgt Britt talks about coping with suicide of his father, while helping airmen and commanders in the midst of COVID-19. We discuss what he had to let go in order to become the best version of himself. He is honest and humble. He is not ashamed to look in the mirror and give a name to the reflection he sees. Despite chaotic childhood, battles with alcoholism, and an almost failed marriage — through struggles, deliberate work, and thoughtful choices — he transforms as a better leader, husband, father, and wingman.
43 minutes | Sep 8, 2020
Episode 34 Col (Ret.) Richard Tatem
Episode 34 Col (Ret.) Richard Tatem by Anya Fedotova
51 minutes | Aug 5, 2020
Episode 33 CMSgt Roger A. Towberman
Episode 33 is an interview with Chief Master Sergeant Roger A. Towberman — the Senior Enlisted Advisor of the United States Space Force and Command Senior Enlisted Leader of the United States Space Command. Chief Towberman represents the highest enlisted level of leadership and provides directions for the enlisted force. We cover topics ranging from personal responsibility, to importance of sleep, fears, racial injustice in America, his training routines, and more. Special credit to SSgt Justin Armstrong (USSF Visual Information NCOIC, Peterson AFB, CO) for the beautiful production of the video “We’re listening” used in this segment.
59 minutes | Jul 19, 2020
Episode 32 Col (Ret.) Dr. Jeffrey Smith
Dr. Jeffrey Smith, the owner of Thinkenomics, is a retired Colonel with 30 years of service in the United States Air Force. He is the creator of the Profession of Arms Center of Excellence (PACE) that has a strong footprint in the culture of today’s Air Force. We discuss affective learning, leading by example, and shaping healthy organizational culture that creates image appeal and a genuine sense of belonging for its members. Dr. Smith discusses the necessity of intention in engineering a healthy culture for the Space Force. More information on healthy organizational culture: https://www.thinkenomics.com
65 minutes | Jul 3, 2020
Episode 31 Lt Col (Ret.) Dr. Kevin Basik
Episode 31 is a conversation with Lt Col (Ret.) Dr. Kevin Basik, a recognized expert in behavioral integrity and leadership development at the individual, team and organizational levels. We discuss another grit strategy: battle cries. Battle cries are phrases, quotes, symbols, idioms, proverbs, or expressions that not only prepare us for stormy times but build our life's narratives and guide us when we struggle. "It is what it is." "We will love our way our of this." "Just do the next right thing." "I wish this was harder." "Get bitter, or get better." "All I’ve ever known how to do is keep showing up." Need a re-set and a new reminder you are on the right path? Check out this interview on battle cries. More information on https://basikinsight.com
41 minutes | May 4, 2020
Episode 30 Col Ann Igl
The 30th episode of the Blue Grit Podcast is a gripping interview with Colonel Ann Igl, the Commander of 61st Air Base Group, Los Angeles Air Force Base, El Segundo, California. We talk about multigenerational family grit, deployment grit, grit through cancer, separation, and pandemic. We also discuss a Soviet Union crisis aversion, eating lamb brains, lethargarians, gratitude, humor, grace, and much more.
32 minutes | Apr 21, 2020
Episode 29 Col (Dr.) Scott Sonnek
Episode 29 is an interview with Col (Dr.) Scott Sonnek who is the Air Force Director of Psychological Health at the Air Force Medical Readiness Agency. He consults and engages senior leaders at the Headquarters Air Force, DoD, and Congressional levels. He also represents Air Force mental health interests at the Defense Health Agency’s behavioral health clinical community. We discuss psychological impacts of COVID-19, opportunities and innovation amidst crisis, routines, small sustainable improvements, energy management, and staying physically distanced but socially connected.
50 minutes | Mar 27, 2020
Episode 28 Lt Lindy Jones
Lt Lindy Jones qualified for the 2020 Olympic trials on her first marathon. Enjoy our conversation about running, her mental game, fast women, and things that really matter to her. Lt Jones is a part of the World Class Athlete Program for track & field and the marathon. She will continue to train for the Olympic trials in the 10k on the track this Summer.
33 minutes | Feb 20, 2020
Episode 27 Dr. Thomas Joiner
Episode 27 is a conversation with Dr. Thomas Joiner, a leading expert on suicide, a psychologist, the Director of the Military Suicide Research Consortium, and a renowned author of many books, to include Why People Die by Suicide, Myths about Suicide, Lonely at the Top, Mindlessness, and The Perversion of Virtue: Understanding Murder-Suicide. This is a helpful conversation about nature, causes, and management of suicidal behavior and related disorders. We discuss his interpersonal theory of suicide, as well as understand and prevention of suicidal behavior in the military.
64 minutes | Jan 28, 2020
Episode 26 retired Navy SEAL Rob Stella
Episode 26 is an interview with Rob Stella, a retired Navy SEAL, and a co-founder of Acumen Performance Group. Rob brings his expertise and experiences in strategic/operational planning, multiple deployments to the Middle East, Pacific Rim, Africa, and Afghanistan. He holds a master's degree in sport and performance psychology and is working on completing a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership.
66 minutes | Dec 30, 2019
Episode 25 Lt Col Rob Marshall
Lt Col Rob Marshall, Deputy Chief of the Research and Scholarship Division, Center for Character and Leadership Development, USAFA. He creates innovative courses and researches the effectiveness of adventure and experiential based learning programs in the development of cadets and adults. He discusses his passion of using outdoor experiences to enhance people’s lives, especially in building resiliency and positive coping skills.
48 minutes | Dec 8, 2019
Episode 24 Maj Kesley
Episode 24 is an interview with Major Weston S Kelsey, a 3 time Fencing Olympian, Olympic Coach, and Force Support Squadron Flight Commander. Maj Kelsey discusses how to overcome setbacks and design deliberate practices that mimic high pressured situations to learn adaptations to stress. He is currently guiding the growth of a fencing club in Oklahoma.
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