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    The Blue Grit Podcast

    Audio | Air Force Space Command Public Affairs

    About

    The Blue Grit Podcast features conversations with current and former military leaders, mental health experts, elite athletes, veterans and other individuals who have overcome significant adversity. Purpose of the podcast is to de-stigmatize mental illness and provide strategies for developing grit.



    Episodes


    • The Blue Grit Podcast Episode 28 Lt Lindy Jones

      Lt Lindy Jones qualified for the 2020 Olympic trials on her first marathon. Enjoy our conversation about running, her mental game, fast women, and things that really matter to her. Lt Jones is a part of the World Class Athlete Program for track & field and the marathon. She will continue to train for the Olympic trials in the 10k on the track this Summer.

      03/14/2020


    • The Blue Grit Podcast Episode 24 Maj Kesley

      Episode 24 is an interview with Major Weston S Kelsey, a 3 time Fencing Olympian, Olympic Coach, and Force Support Squadron Flight Commander. Maj Kelsey discusses how to overcome setbacks and design deliberate practices that mimic high pressured situations to learn adaptations to stress. He is currently guiding the growth of a fencing club in Oklahoma.

      12/17/2019


    • The Blue Grit Podcast

      Episode 24 is an interview with Major Weston S Kelsey, a 3 time Fencing Olympian, Olympic Coach, and Force Support Squadron Flight Commander. Maj Kelsey discusses how to overcome setbacks and design deliberate practices that mimic high pressured situations to learn adaptations to stress. He is currently guiding the growth of a fencing club in Oklahoma.

      12/03/2019


    • The Blue Grit Podcast Episode 23 Captain (Ret.) Stephen Machuga

      Episode 23 is an interview with Captain (Ret.) Stephen Machuga, the founder and a CEO of Stack-Up.org — an organization that brings both veterans and civilian supporters together through a shared love of video gaming. CPT Machuga discusses overcoming his personal and professional struggles through following his passion for gaming. He strategically capitalized on the benefits of video gaming, building a powerful charity and robust support network. He is currently working on developing evidence based practices for suicide prevention through gaming.

      11/20/2019


    • The Blue Grit Podcast Episode 20 MSgt (Ret.) David Long

      Episode 20 features MSgt (Ret.) David Long who completed 20+ years of Army and Air Force service. While struggling with PTSD at the end of his military career and still in excellent physical shape, he was unexpectedly diagnosed with a heart condition that led to two major heart surgeries. Determined to find his way back to health, he continued to emphasize fitness. He was enrolled in the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program. After competing as a wounded warrior, he continued to find resiliency by giving back and photographing accomplishments of other wounded warriors, illustrating visual proof of their determination.

      10/01/2019


    • The Blue Grit Podcast Episode 19 A1C (Ret.) BJ Lang

      A1C (Ret.) BJ Lange is the comedy coach for the Air Force's Wounded Warrior Program. An actor and comedian, he was diagnosed with cancer while on orders in the Air Force Reserve getting him enrolled into AFW2. A year into temporary retirement, a cancer relapse set him into a mental health free freefall he soon found his resilience via teaching his passion of improv comedy to his fellow wounded warriors and their caregivers - helping them and him heal with laughter therapy. Check out BJ Lange's story: www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVvSd6SW1…&feature=youtu.be

      09/01/2019


    • The Blue Grit Podcast Episode 19 A1C (Ret.) BJ Lange

      A1C (Ret.) BJ Lange is the comedy coach for the Air Force's Wounded Warrior Program. An actor and comedian, he was diagnosed with cancer while on orders in the Air Force Reserve getting him enrolled into AFW2. A year into temporary retirement, a cancer relapse set him into a mental health free freefall he soon found his resilience via teaching his passion of improv comedy to his fellow wounded warriors and their caregivers - helping them and him heal with laughter therapy. Check out BJ Lange's story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVvSd6SW1Go&feature=youtu.be

      08/29/2019


    • The Blue Grit Podcast Episode 18 SMSgt (Ret.) Tiwanda Griffin-Greer

      Episode 18 is a conversation with SMSgt Tiwanda Griffin-Greer, a first-hand witness of an active shooter event that tragically unfolded at Lackland Training Annex in 2016. (The event is described in further detail in Episode 6 — an interview with Abby Schroder who survived her husband, Col Bill Schroeder.) SMSgt Griffin-Greer discusses struggling with survivor’s guilt, invisible wounds, and finding a balance between giving 100% to the Air Force and her family.

      08/29/2019


    • The Blue Grit Podcast Episode 18 SMSgt Tiwanda Griffin-Greer

      Episode 18 is a conversation with SMSgt Tiwanda Griffin-Greer, a first-hand witness of an active shooter event that tragically unfolded at Lackland Training Annex in 2016. (The event is described in further detail in Episode 6 — an interview with Abby Schroder who survived her husband, Col Bill Schroeder.) SMSgt Griffin-Greer discusses struggling with survivor’s guilt, invisible wounds, and finding a balance between giving 100% to the Air Force and her family.

      08/01/2019


    • The Blue Grit Podcast Episode 17 MSgt Deondra Parks

      MSgt Deondra Parks, who survived mortar attacks in Iraq and became a victim of a hate crime. She was shot, while studying in a coffee shop in Texas. A survivor of an active shooting event, she talks about forgiveness, seeking support, dealing with PTSD, and moving on with grace.

      05/24/2019


    • The Blue Grit Podcast Episode 14 Lt Col Mark Zinno

      Episode 14 is an interview with Lt Col Mark Zinno, a host of the Hazard Ground Podcast. Every week Hazard Ground brings together servicemembers from across the military, to share their accounts of combat and survival, and deliver inspirational stories of service and resilience from those who have fought on and off the battlefield.

      05/03/2019


    • The Blue Grit Podcast Episode 15 CMSgt (Ret.) Robert Disney

      Retired Chief Master Sergeant Robert L. Disney, Jr. discusses his experiences in the Air Force as a pararescueman. At the pinnacle of his career, he was the first superintendent of the 1st Expeditionary Rescue Group, leading 280 Airmen across three squadrons of C-130’s, HH-60’s, and Guardian Angel forces providing Personnel Recovery and Combat Search and Rescue to the entire theater of Iraq and Syria.

      05/02/2019


    • The Blue Grit Podcast Episode 16 Major Monica Marusceac

      Monica Marusceac, a board-certified hypnotist and NLP practitioner and trainer, a former Marine combat fighter pilot, now Marine reservist and the CEO of Peak Performance Associates and NoVA Hypnosis & Wellness. The combination of her essential intuition, precision focus as a pilot and her years of hypnosis training and practice allow her to hone in on her clients’ needs with pinpoint accuracy. She discusses her methods of efficiently bringing highly tailored solutions to help reset minds and achieve full potential.

      05/02/2019


    • The Blue Grit Podcast Episode 12

      Episode 12 features Lt Col (Ret.) Dave Grossman, the author of On Killing and On Combat. He is a retired US Army Ranger, a paratrooper, a former West Point psychology professor, and one of the nation’s leading trainers for military, law enforcement, mental health providers, and school safety organizations. In this interview, Lt Col Grossman discusses the importance of sleep discipline and the role of rest in development of resilience.

      01/22/2019


    • The Blue Grit Podcast

      Episode 11 features Lt Col (Dr.) Cynthia Rutherford who shares a powerful story of overcoming her childhood abuse, to include sexual trauma. She discusses how her painful life experiences taught her to be a better physician and an Air Force Officer.

      12/13/2018


    • The Blue Grit Podcast Episode 13

      Episode 13 features SMSgt Israel “DT” Del Toro Jr. The interview was recorded live during the SMC Wingman Day at Los Angeles AFB. DT was severely injured in Afghanistan and suffered third degree burns on 80% of his body. He used adaptive sports to overcome his physical limitations. He participated in the Invictus, the Endeavor Games, the Desert Challenge Games, the Great Lakes Regional Games, the Valor Games, the Warrior Games, and is gearing up for the 2020 Paralympics. At the 25th Annual ESPY Award in 2017, DT was presented with the Pat Tillman Award for Service.

      12/06/2018


    • The Blue Grit POdcast Episode 10 Col (Ret) Lee Ellis

      Episode 10 features Col (Ret) Lee Ellis, who spent 5 ½ years as a prisoner of war in Hanoi and surrounding areas with Senator John McCain and other military leaders. He is the author of 2016 award-winning Engage with Honor: Building a Culture of Courageous Accountability and Leading with Honor: Leadership Lessons From Hanoi Hilton. He shares his dramatic story and the stories of his fellow POWs filled with selfless honor, integrity, and character as the foundation for their daily decision-making.

      11/09/2018


    • The Blue Grit Podcast Episode 8 Capt Brock McNabb

      Episode 8 is dedicated to the Suicide Prevention efforts and features a moving conversation with Capt Brock McNabb, an Air Force social worker. He talks about coping with losing his best friend, an Army psychologist, who committed suicide. The Blue Grit Podcast features conversations with current and former military leaders, mental health experts, elite athletes, veterans and other individuals who have overcome significant adversity. Each podcast will highlight tactics, techniques and procedures guests used to overcome profound challenges and how those TTPs may be employed to help current Airmen deal with their struggles. As a corollary, podcast will increase awareness of psychological health and assist in de-stigmatizing mental illness, normalize Airmen’s own struggles and internalize the message of hope and recovery.

      10/27/2018


    • The Blue Grit Podcast Episode 4 Maj Alea Nadeem

      Episode 4 features Maj Alea Nadeem who was kidnapped as a child and held against her will in Iraq. She eventually was able to get back to the US. As an adult, she joined the USAF and has a unique perspective on freedom and resilience. The Blue Grit Podcast features conversations with current and former military leaders, mental health experts, elite athletes, veterans and other individuals who have overcome significant adversity. Each podcast will highlight tactics, techniques and procedures guests used to overcome profound challenges and how those TTPs may be employed to help current Airmen deal with their struggles. As a corollary, podcast will increase awareness of psychological health and assist in de-stigmatizing mental illness, normalize Airmen’s own struggles and internalize the message of hope and recovery.

      10/27/2018


    • The Blue Grit Podcast Episode 9 Dr. Gary Percival

      Episode 9 is an interview with Dr. Gary Percival, a SERE psychologist who has an extensive first-hand experience working with the survivors of captivity and isolation. He offers a comprehensive conceptualization of grit, draws a distinction between grit and hardiness, and offers concrete techniques of staying tough through difficult times. The Blue Grit Podcast features conversations with current and former military leaders, mental health experts, elite athletes, veterans and other individuals who have overcome significant adversity. Each podcast will highlight tactics, techniques and procedures guests used to overcome profound challenges and how those TTPs may be employed to help current Airmen deal with their struggles. As a corollary, podcast will increase awareness of psychological health and assist in de-stigmatizing mental illness, normalize Airmen’s own struggles and internalize the message of hope and recovery.

      10/27/2018


    • The Blue Grit Podcast Episode 7 Lt Col Jaime Humphries

      Episode 7 is an interview with Lt Col Jaime Humphries, a Public Affairs officer who discusses the aftermath of dealing with the deadliest shooting in Iraq. He has an interesting perspective on moving forward and becoming productive in the midst of chaos and trauma. The Blue Grit Podcast features conversations with current and former military leaders, mental health experts, elite athletes, veterans and other individuals who have overcome significant adversity. Each podcast will highlight tactics, techniques and procedures guests used to overcome profound challenges and how those TTPs may be employed to help current Airmen deal with their struggles. As a corollary, podcast will increase awareness of psychological health and assist in de-stigmatizing mental illness, normalize Airmen’s own struggles and internalize the message of hope and recovery.

      10/27/2018


    • The Blue Grit Podcast Episode Abby Schrodeder

      Episode 6 features an interview with Abby Schroeder, the widow of Col Bill Schroder who was shot, defending the lives of others. Abby discusses her life after losing the love of her life. She continues to use strategies she has learned from the Air Force resiliency trainings, relying heavily and deliberately on the 4 pillars. The Blue Grit Podcast features conversations with current and former military leaders, mental health experts, elite athletes, veterans and other individuals who have overcome significant adversity. Each podcast will highlight tactics, techniques and procedures guests used to overcome profound challenges and how those TTPs may be employed to help current Airmen deal with their struggles. As a corollary, podcast will increase awareness of psychological health and assist in de-stigmatizing mental illness, normalize Airmen’s own struggles and internalize the message of hope and recovery.

      10/27/2018


    • The Blue Grit Podcast Episode 5c Lt. Col. Orb Greenwall

      Episode 5 is an interview with Orb Greenwald an Olympic level pentathlete, a swim coach for the USAF special forces selection course. This interview is just weeks after his wife Cordy passed away. Coach Greenwald talks about his failures, grief, being a warrior, and developing grit through setting goals and staying active. The Blue Grit Podcast features conversations with current and former military leaders, mental health experts, elite athletes, veterans and other individuals who have overcome significant adversity. Each podcast will highlight tactics, techniques and procedures guests used to overcome profound challenges and how those TTPs may be employed to help current Airmen deal with their struggles. As a corollary, podcast will increase awareness of psychological health and assist in de-stigmatizing mental illness, normalize Airmen’s own struggles and internalize the message of hope and recovery.

      10/27/2018


    • The Blue Grit Podcast Episode 2 Dr. (Ret Lt Col) Hector Acosta

      USAF podcast on developing grit and resilience.

      10/18/2018


    • The Blue Grit Podcast Episode 3 Major (Ret.) Kat Portillo

      The Blue Grit Podcast features conversations with current and former military leaders, mental health experts, elite athletes, veterans and other individuals who have overcome significant adversity. Each podcast will highlight tactics, techniques and procedures guests used to overcome profound challenges and how those TTPs may be employed to help current Airmen deal with their struggles. As a corollary, podcast will increase awareness of psychological health and assist in de-stigmatizing mental illness, normalize Airmen's own struggles and internalize the message of hope and recovery. Episode 3 features an interview with a wounded warrior, Maj Kat Portillo, and 18 year Air Force veteran. She is a former bodybuilder, triathlete, and an advocate for fitness and health. In 2015, she was involved in a motor vehicle accident that left her paralyzed from the shoulders down.

      10/18/2018


    • The Blue Grit Podcast Episode 1 Col David Hammiel

      The Blue Grit Podcast features conversations with current and former military leaders, mental health experts, elite athletes, veterans and other individuals who have overcome significant adversity. Each podcast will highlight tactics, techniques and procedures guests used to overcome profound challenges and how those TTPs may be employed to help current Airmen deal with their struggles. As a corollary, podcast will increase awareness of psychological health and assist in de-stigmatizing mental illness, normalize Airmen’s own struggles and internalize the message of hope and recovery. Col Hammiel is the first guest.

      10/14/2018