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    New Podcast series promotes interaction among leadership and service members

    New Podcast series promotes interaction among leadership and service members

    Photo By Master Sgt. John Hughel | Oregon Army National Guard Soldiers assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry who...... read more read more



    Story by Master Sgt. John Hughel 

    Oregon National Guard Public Affairs Office

    CLACKAMAS, Ore. - Communication is fundamental in every part of military life, from orders in the field; to telecommunications messaging and training in garrison -- interaction with each other is essential. As the COVID-19 pandemic lingers on, Oregon National Guard leadership continues to use work from home, video messaging and other innovative approaches to interface with service members.

    Recently, Chief Master Sgt. Dan Conner, Command Senior Enlisted Leader (CSEL) for the Oregon National Guard sat down to discuss the development of his new podcast series with members of the Public Affairs staff after hosting members of the Army National Guard’s 41st IBCT a few days before, here at the Camp Withycombe studio.

    “I am a big fan of podcast, and decided that this would be a great way to get out a 20 to 40 minute message to our entire Oregon (National Guard) team,” Conner said, reviewing how the first two episodes of, ‘Get a Sign’, have taken shape and the intent of the series.

    As a template, Conner’s approach is both scripted and informal, allowing the conversation to follow some prescribed topics but room to take a deeper dive into impromptu issues.

    “I use the word communication as a two-way conversation, so in a sense with the podcast it’s me pushing the topics,” he said in discussing the format. “What I hope is that when someone receives the messages, you can ‘share and then move up the chain,’ more topics that you think are important to Soldiers and Airmen.”

    In the current COVID environment, the podcast yet another way for senior leaders to reach out Oregon National Guardsmen with up-to-date information and the constant changes that are happening both in the community and with revised information.

    “2020 is a perfect storm, Oregon’s largest deployment of Soldiers since WWII then domestic operations that mobilized more Airmen and Soldiers than any time in our Oregon history; this awful pandemic complicated everything else,” said Conner.

    Breaking down these missions, Conner asked hypothetically, “Can we employee assistance to go out and help wildland fires? Yes we can. Can we do TCP’s (Tactical Control Planning)? Yes we can. Can we go out and do the war tasking’s? Yes we can -- and now let’s throw COVID in there and meet all the different guidelines and restrictions form the state of Oregon to the Department of Defense.”

    Working with a list of topics from The Adjutant General, Conner said these themes can be discussed over time and as new ideas are generated, they can be added to future broadcast.

    “These are things that are the most important subjects and can be broke down and ingredients to built on,” he said. “We can focus on these areas and discuss in an ongoing basis.”

    In laying out these “ingredients to build on”, Conner described some of the real hurdles that are needed in maintaining resiliency.

    “Suicide is one critical issue that is important to every leader in our organization, especially as this pandemic has put added pressures on all of us who are home, teaching our kids and working remotely.”

    For his inaugural podcast, Chief Conner interviewed Command Chief Master Sgt. Tony Whitehead, the senior enlisted listed leader for the National Guard.

    “I wanted to start off this series with a view from leadership at the very top,” Conner said, having gotten to meet Whitehead over the past several years before each took on new leadership roles.

    “My goal is to be inclusive of all Army and Air National Guard values,” he said. With more than 30 years serving in the Air Force, Conner represents both branches now serving as the CSEL.

    “Current, like our Soldiers recently coming home from deployment, this is a great opportunity for me to help integrate our collective goals as one force,” he said.

    The first two podcast are can be currently completed and can be downloaded at:



    With other topics in the pipeline, the series will introduce a new broadcast about every three to four weeks. Stay tune!



    Date Taken: 11.20.2020
    Date Posted: 11.20.2020 17:00
    Story ID: 383500
    Location: CLACKAMAS, OR, US 

    Podcast Hits: 0