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.

Army, Hip Hop and Entrepreneurship

In 2020, Army Special Forces veteran and entrepreneur Ruben Ayala realized that a lot of top military-themed retail brands had become politically polarizing. So, he—along with three fellow vets—decided to create Triple Nikel Clothing, a military and hip-hop-inspired line that embraces community and diversity. Four years later, the company is thriving. Ruben joins hosts LTG (Ret.) Leslie C. Smith and SMA (Ret.) Dan Dailey to discuss how his mother was his original entrepreneurial inspiration, how the all-black WWII Airborne 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion became the company’s shining light, and how four vets who knew absolutely nothing about creating clothing have thrived.

The Importance of the Bataan Death March

As a child, MG (Ret.) Antonio Taguba knew his father had been involved in the Bataan Death March – but it wasn’t until the older man’s dying days that General Taguba learned the full extent of it. That conversation inspired him to play a leading role in shining a spotlight on this dark moment of WWII, eventually leading to veterans of the battle and Death March receiving the prestigious Congressional Gold Medal. Hosts LTG (Ret.) Leslie C. Smith and SMA (Ret.) Dan Dailey sit down with General Taguba to discuss his own Army origin story, the historical events of April 1942, and why he still travels across the country to deliver the Gold Medals to survivors and veterans every year.

Sisterhood of the Travelling Gowns

In 2015, five Army spouses at Fort Bliss decided to organize a dress swap that would provide women with gowns they could wear to functions that were often cost prohibitive, like military balls. That swap turned into a huge event, and now the organization, Operation Deploy Your Dress, has a home in thirteen Army bases in the United States and Germany and has “deployed” over 25,000 dresses, saving people over $2M in costs. Hosts LTG (Ret.) Leslie C. Smith and SMA (Ret.) Dan Dailey sit down with ODYD’s CEO and co-founder, Yvonne Coombes, to discuss the organization, how it helps to brings Army families and communities together… and how aliens in Roswell, New Mexico, played a role in her life.

Winning a War Against Bipolar Disorder – One General's Story

MG (Ret.) Gregg Martin had a distinguished career, serving in various deployments and eventually heading the National Defense University. But, over the course of that career, he slowly started to develop manic tendencies, which became more and more pronounced, eventually leading to his forced resignation, staying at a VA psychiatric ward, and receiving a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Hosts LTG (Ret.) Leslie C. Smith and SMA (Ret.) Dan Dailey sit down with MG (Ret.) Martin to discuss his book Bipolar General: My Forever War Against Mental Illness, the highs and lows of his career (and illness), and how family and routine led him to a new life of recovery and joy.

From Army Brat to SMA

After a career undertaking secretive operations in the Special Forces, in August of 2023, SMA Michael Weimer was sworn into his new position and took his turn in the spotlight as Sergeant Major of the Army. What, in the first six months of his term, has been his most difficult assignment? Hosts LTG (Ret.) Leslie C. Smith and SMA (Ret.) Dan Dailey sit down with SMA Weimer to discuss his childhood as an Army brat, talk through some of his leadership theories, and learn how Genghis Khan influenced one of his favorite training exercises.

Is There an Army Doctor in the House?

LTG Telita Crosland decided at the age of five she was going to be a doctor, and her later studies at West Point became her first official step into the field. Her thirty-year Army career has involved a great number of highlights and appointments, and she now heads the Defense Health Agency (DHA), overseeing the healthcare for almost 10 million citizens in and out of the military outside. Hosts LTG (Ret.) Leslie C. Smith and SMA (Ret.) Dan Dailey sit down with LTG Crosland to discuss how DHA takes a leadership role in healthcare in the country, to share stories of mentorship… and to review a medically themed poem she wrote as a very young child.

Past Episodes

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