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.


Leave No Soldier Behind, Part I

In September 2021, Medal of Honor recipient Father Emil Kapaun was finally buried near his Kansas home, seventy years after his death in a North Korean POW camp. It took years of research and work to discover and identify his remains, and it was the work of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) that made it all possible. This group of researchers and academics have devoted their lives to the creed of “Leave no Soldier behind,” and in this first episode of a special two-part series on the DPAA, our hosts speak with Father Emil’s nephew, Ray Kapaun, as well as DPAA researcher Josh Frank to discuss the process and power of what they do.

"I Lived a Full Life Because of Him": A Memorial Day Moment (Teaser)

A teaser for our two-part series on the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency coming out in June.

How the Army Corps is Leading Baltimore's Bridge Clean-up Effort

On March 26th, a cargo ship slammed into and destroyed Baltimore’s Key Bridge, killing six people, and creating unimaginable chaos. One of the key responders to this event has been the Army Corps of Engineers, led by COL Estee Pinchasin; it has devoted all waking hours to clear the federal waters and to aid in the recovery and investigation process. In today’s episode, hosts LTG (Ret.) Leslie C. Smith and SMA (Ret.) Dan Dailey sit down with COL Pinchasin to discuss what she and her team have focused on in the recovery efforts, her first thoughts when the accident happened, and a touching story behind a photo taken of her when she was promoted to Colonel.

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.

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