Continuing Ed

Professional Development, Oscar Mike

Good news, busy collaborative leaders: If you’ve got a commute, you’ve got time to continue your professional development. Our last podcast roundup focused on advice from seasoned collaborative leaders from outside the veterans space. This time around, let’s take a look at some podcasts to refresh your perspective on the struggles and strengths of the people you serve.

First-person perspectives on tough topics


Hit “play” on these podcasts when… 

...You’re looking to refresh your perspective on user experience and what to consider when you design your collaborative’s mutually reinforcing activities. Listening to these stories, you’ll renew your appreciation for keeping services accessible, responsive, and thoughtfully designed.

The podcast

Veterans in America is RAND’s limited-run podcast series. Well-produced, informative, and moving, these episodes blend RAND’s research and big picture data with narratives from veterans and caregivers with lived experience.

Standout episode

“Why So Many Military Women Think About Suicide” is a tough topic, but this episode offers a sober examination of the intersection of sexual trauma and suicidality in servicewomen and women veterans. The topic is illustrated by the stories of survivors, in their own words, and a breakdown of the data (and psychology behind the data) by behavioral scientist Rajeev Ramchand.

The podcast

The 1A is a show on WAMU 88.1, American University’s National Public Radio station. The episodes are available on the station’s website. While the station doesn’t specialize in military and veteran issues, they have published several thoughtful pieces on various aspects on active duty life and military transition.

Standout episode

“#MeToo and the Military” features a veteran who courageously shares her story of military sexual trauma. Assaulted by her instructor during the fifth week of basic training, she graduated and continued to struggle with related medical issues, which ultimately ended her career. In addition to its frank discussion of the experience and impacts of sexual assault in the military, this story also highlights the systemic problem with even reporting assault.

Veterans as community leaders


Hit “play” when...

You only have a few minutes, and want to bone up on lesser-known VA benefits. There are also episodes featuring interviews with a diverse spectrum of veterans.

The podcast

Borne the Battle is the biggest of the VA’s small handful of podcasts. While the Veterans Health Administration has a couple of healthcare innovation and provider-focused podcasts, this one is meant for anyone who wants to learn about the VA and the veterans it serves. About a quarter of the episodes are “Benefits Breakdown” features--short podcasts highlighting one of the VA’s more obscure benefits or programs. The bulk of Borne the Battle is interviews and veteran storytelling, and the roster of guests includes veterans, VA doctors, authors, and government officials.

Standout episodes

You can find Benefits Breakdown episodes on the VA Center for Women, apps like VetsChange, the Explore VA website, and more here. 

A timely episode from among their interviews is this talk with Student Veterans of America’s President and CEO, Jared Lyon. 

VA programming and benefits


Hit “play” when… 

You want stories of real veterans who are involved in their communities, and using their skills to give back.

The podcast

Eagle Nation Podcast is Team Red White and Blue’s official show. There are episodes featuring wellness experts, community leaders, and veteran influencers. The best ones tell stories of “Eagles”, as they call their community members, who have have struggled with transition, found something that worked for them (athletics, camaraderie, community service), and want to share it with their fellow vets.

Standout episode

The Power of Intentional Living (In New Orleans) with Dylan Tête offers an incredible example of a veteran working to heal his post-military struggles while healing his community after Hurricane Katrina. This episode highlights some of the issues most important to collaboratives: mental health, TBI, housing, community engagement, volunteerism, human-centered design, military transition, and more.

Got a podcast with a message you want to share with fellow collaborative leaders? Email Rhi so we can include it in a future roundup!