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.

Join hosts LTG (Ret.) Leslie C. Smith and SMA (Ret.) Dan Dailey every other Wednesday as they interview the modern chroniclers of the Army experience to discuss inspiring leadership stories, current issues faced by soldiers, and our military families’ journeys. Listen on your favorite app anytime or on Wreaths Across America Radio every Monday at 8 pm Eastern.


What Do Batman and Ruben Rivers Have in Common?

Comic book writer Chuck Dixon has produced more issues of comic books than any other living author today, most notably telling the stories of superheroes Batman, Robin, The Punisher and John Rambo. But his work on AUSA’s Medal of Honor comic series has allowed him to bring actual historical heroes to life to incredible effect. Hosts LTG (Ret.) Leslie C. Smith and SMA (Ret.) Dan Dailey sit down with Dixon to discuss the upcoming comic Medal of Honor: Ruben Rivers, the story of the WWII hero featured, how a comic book is actually created, and to agree that a visit from the taxman can be the best form of artistic inspiration.

The Man Who Died Six Times—and Then Became a Superbowl Champion

COL (Ret.) Greg Gadson originally attended West Point to play football, but quickly realized he wanted to be a Soldier for Life, and he was commissioned upon his graduation in 1989. His 25-year military career saw him serve in every major conflict of the past few decades, bringing him to many places, including Kuwait, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Afghanistan and Iraq. In May 2007, he faced his biggest challenge when he barely survived an IED attack and lost both of his legs; after that severe injury, he undertook a painful recovery that allowed him to continue to serve and to inspire countless people around him. Hosts LTG (Ret.) Leslie C. Smith and SMA (Ret.) Dan Dailey sit down with COL Gadson to discuss lessons learned from his Army days, how his tales of teamwork led to two Superbowl rings, and how he’s recently discovered a new career as an actor.

How a Bus Crash Improved the Lives of Countless Veterans

While stationed in Germany in 1980, Dr. Rory Cooper was hit by a bus and paralyzed from the waist down. Responding to his condition, he decided he would devote his life to helping veterans and disabled individuals worldwide through the invention of new wheelchair technologies. Hosts LTG (Ret.) Leslie C. Smith and SMA (Ret.) Dan Dailey sit down with Dr. Cooper to discuss the impact of his Army experience, the numerous inventions he and his teams have overseen, his receipt of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation award – and what it’s like to be one of only a handful of inventors to have ever been immortalized with a collectible trading card AND appear on a Cheerios box…

Can Uncle Sam Become a Gen Z Hero?

Matthew Weiss had a successful business career but wanted more, so he gave it all up to join the Marines. Curious as to why so few of his Gen Z cohorts were doing the same, he did some research for a better understanding and developed it into a book titled, We Don’t Want You, Uncle Sam. Hosts LTG (Ret.) Leslie C. Smith and SMA (Ret.) Dan Dailey sit down with 2LT Weiss alongside 1LT Charlie Curtis to discuss the traits of Gen Z, how the Army can do a better job of appealing to them, and how veterans may have the biggest role to play.

The Creative Minds—and the Experiences—Behind Call of Duty

Call of Duty is one of the largest ever video game franchises; one of the reasons for its success is its attention to detail—which is thanks to the military veterans behind it. Hosts LTG (Ret.) Leslie C. Smith and SMA (Ret.) Dan Dailey sit down with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III creative director, Dave Swenson, and military consultant, Mitch Hall, to discuss the just-released game sequel, talk through how gaming can help relieve stress for those deployed—and to compare notes on their favorite games of all-time (hint: Pong and Mike Tyson Punch-Out may be mentioned).

And, in a special year-end segment, some of our recent guests give shout-outs to Army members who have helped them along the way.

Games, Esports and the Army Way

Over the last decade, Esports has grown into a billion-dollar business, with gamers and fans all over the world. Tapping into this popularity is the Army’s Esports Call of Duty team; these Soldiers not only go up against other gamers—they also spread the word in that community about their lives as Soldiers and the benefits of service. Hosts LTG (Ret.) Leslie C. Smith and LaSherryn Duncan sit down with SSG Randy “Deja” Ojeda and SSG Stephen “SteveOWalle” Waller to talk about the benefits of gaming, how they balance gaming with their daily work—and how they came up with their unique nicknames.

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