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MOAA's Never Stop Serving Podcast

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The Military Officers Association of America's Never Stop Serving Podcast, hosted by retired Army Lt. Col. Olivia Nunn tackles issues important to servicemembers, veterans and their families.


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The Military Officers Association of America's Never Stop Serving Podcast, hosted by retired Army Lt. Col. Olivia Nunn tackles issues important to servicemembers, veterans and their families.



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Col. Nicole Malachowski: When Illness Cuts Your Career Short

As we conclude our third season of the Never Stop Serving Podcast, host Olivia Nunn speaks with MOAA member Col. Nicole Malachowski, USAF (Ret). Our season has largely focused on war stories, but in this episode we learn of a dynamic career cut short by a surprising illness. After several deployments flying the F-15E Striker Eagle, Malachowski became the first female pilot in the Thunderbirds, the Air Force's demonstration team. Following several assignments, including command of the 333rd Fighter Squadron, she was named a White House Fellow and Executive Director of the Joining Forces Initiative to support military families. In 2017, Malachowski was forced to medically retire due to the debilitating effects of a tick-borne illness. She has since become an advocate for wounded warriors and patients suffering the effects of tick-borne diseases.


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Maj. Josh Glover: Helo Crash Sends Marines into Fallujah Firefight

In this episode of the Never Stop Serving Podcast, host Lt. Col. Olivia Nunn, USA (Ret), speaks with Silver Star recipient Maj. Josh Glover, USMC (Ret). During his second deployment to Iraq, Glover, then a first lieutenant, was serving as a Quick Reaction Force platoon commander when they were sent out to secure a downed CH-53 helicopter. During the mission, the QRF platoon was ambushed but able to fight through and return back to friendly lines, inflicting numerous enemy casualties on the way. Later that same day, they were called out to rescue a rifle platoon fighting behind enemy lines. Lt. Glover and his platoon engaged and defeated a company-sized enemy element to reach the besieged Marines.


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Maj. Brian Cillessen: "We fought hard on this day."

In this episode of the Never Stop Serving podcast, host Lt. Col. Olivia Nunn, USA (Ret), speaks with Maj. Brian Cillessen, USMC (Ret). In January 2005 then-Capt. Cillessen was attached to a Special Forces ODA as an embedded trainer and Marine adviser for Afghan National Army commandos. While returning from a mission, his convoy was ambushed. Cillessen, now a television producer and host on The Sportsman Channel, details the actions in this battle that earned him the Silver Star.


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Oil Terminal Attack: Coast Guardsman Earns Valor During the Iraq War

In April 2004, Joe Ruggiero was a petty officer serving with a Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment aboard the Navy’s USS Firebolt in the Persian Gulf. Ruggiero and a team of Coast Guardsmen and sailors were conducting a boarding operation near an oil terminal when the boat they were intercepting detonated in an apparent suicide bombing, killing two sailors and one Coast Guardsman. For his actions that day, Ruggiero, now a Chief Warrant Officer 2, became the first Coast Guardsman since the Vietnam War to earn a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star with V.


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Marine and Author Elliot Ackerman: On America's End in Afghanistan

As Afghanistan fell to the Taliban in 2021, Elliot Ackerman, a former Marine Corps infantry officer and MARSOC team leader, found himself in the middle of an unofficial evacuation effort to help Afghan allies escape the country. Ackerman, a Silver Star recipient and author, wrote about the effort and his experiences in Afghanistan in his latest book, "The Fifth Act: America's End in Afghanistan."


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Lt. Col. Melissa May: Combat Pilot by Day, Diaper Duty By Night

Melissa May didn’t grow up with fighter pilot dreams but the self-described "tree hugger and snowboarder" was recruited to swim at the the Air Force Academy. In due time May found herself flying combat missions over Libya by day and changing diapers by night. Now a retired lieutenant colonel, May talks about these adventures, the mission over Baghdad that earned her a Distinguished Flying Cross and her transition to a commercial pilot for United.


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Combat Rescue: Two-time Silver Star Recipient Chris Barnett

In this episode Lt. Col. Olivia Nunn, USA (Ret.) speaks with retired Col. Chris Barnett, a U.S. Air Force Pave Hawk pilot, who was pulled off an instructor assignment and sent to Afghanistan to fly combat rescue missions in Helmand Province. His life-saving actions in the spring of 2009 resulted in two Silver Stars. Chris tells our host Olivia Nunn about the high op tempo his unit faced, and the challenge of returning home.


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Inside the Bin Laden Raid: CW5 Doug Englen Tells His Story

Never Stop Serving: Season 3 , Episode 1 War Stories: CW5 Doug Englen In this episode Lt. Col. Olivia Nunn, USA (Ret.) speaks with retired CW5 Doug Englen, an Army Chinook pilot with more than 2,500 combat missions under his belt. Englen started his career as an enlisted crew chief aboard a Huey in Desert Storm. After leaving the service for a brief period, Englen rejoined and went to flight school as a warrant officer. For the next 21 years, Englen flew with the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment and copiloted the first helicopter into Afghanistan following the Sept. 11 attacks. Englen was chosen by Adm. William McRaven to plan the air component of the mission to capture or kill Osama Bin laden, calling him, "without a doubt, the finest Army aviator of our generation." Season 3 is sponsored by MOAA Insurance Plans, administered by Association Member Benefits Advisors (AMBA).


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Stopping an Insider Attack: Silver Star Recipient Delorean Sheridan Tells His Story

In this episode, Silver Star recipient Delorean Sheridan, a retired Air Force senior master sergeant, walks listeners through an insider attack he stopped on March 11, 2013 in Afghanistan. After serving more than 20 years, Sheridan now works on Capitol Hill.


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Project Enlist- The Concussion Legacy Foundation

The Concussion Legacy Foundation (CLF) was founded by Chris Nowinski, Ph.D., and Robert Cantu, M.D. Nowinski met Dr. Cantu, a world-renowned concussion expert while seeking treatment for the Post-Concussion Syndrome (PCS) he developed from a concussion suffered during his career as a professional wrestler with WWE. Trauma, TBI changes a person and leave an impact that lasts a lifetime. The work that Dr. Nowinski has started is vital to the military community. After 20 years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, our veterans are working through mental health, many of who still do not understand the signs and symptoms. It's important we start the discussion now so that we can change the narrative for tomorrow. Listen to Olivia Nunn speak with Dr. Nowinski about the Concussion Legacy Foundation and the vital work they are doing.


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Mental Health with HeadStrong Project

Mental Health. It's more than two buzzwords. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Unfortunately, for many of us in the military, it has been a taboo topic. It's been part of our world, but we don't talk about it. For fear of losing our jobs, our clearances, and our identities, we've kept the conversation of mental health quiet. Listen to Olivia Nunn speak to retired Marine Veteran and retired 1st responder Matt Kress. He serves as the Chief Strategy Officer at HeadStrong Project, about why their organization can tackle the topic "head" on and do it well.


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Integrating back into the home life- life after service with Zachary Bell

You've served your nation honorably, and you've hung up your uniform and tucked away your boots ... so, now what? Life after service can be challenging. Leaving the structure of the military can be scary and stressful. Owning your transition is essential, but what happens when your transition doesn't go as planned? What happens when you are placed under fire to recreate yourself? Listen to Olivia Nunn speak to Zachary Bell, a Marine veteran, about his experience after leaving the Marine Corps. Zachary shares his challenges and how he ended up in the medical industry, and how that led to being known as the "Veteran with a Sign."


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Diversity in Today's Military with Mr. Beach Anselm and Ms. Pat Williams

Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion are these just the latest buzz words, or do they actually mean something in the military? Is the military a diverse fighting force? How do we grow a diverse fighting force? Does diversity matter? Listen to Olivia Nunn speak to Ms. Pat Williams, the Program Director of Engagement Career Transition Services at MOAA and a 35-year Navy Veteran, and Mr. Anselm Beach, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Equity and Inclusion, about the very topic of DEI. Let's get comfortable with the uncomfortable conversation of diversity. So tune in and listen to the changes and what can be done.


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Why the First Job Rarely is a Fit with Katie Spinazzola & Alfredo Torres

So, you've transitioned from the military, and you've landed your first job; life is great! You are on your way to settling into another fantastic career beyond the boots... right? Well... maybe not... Roughly 44% of veterans leave their first civilian job within a year of employment, according to Hiring Our Heroes’ Veteran Employment Survey: Understanding the Challenges and Creating Long-Term Opportunities for Veteran Employees. Although the reasons for leaving their job varied, 31% indicated that they accepted their first job to make ends meet and never intended to stay. Another 30% left due to finding a better job, while 19% left because the job did not align with their expectations. Listen to Olivia Nunn speak to the Virginia Department of Veteran Services experts Katie Spinazzola and Alfredo Torres talk about why your first job may not be a good fit and what to do about it.


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Keep Serving and How to Give Back- How Community is the Key in the War on Mental Health with Dr. David Tharp

Community and tribe are two words we often hear in the military community. But, does it matter when it comes to mental health? When many of us leave the military, we hear that our identity and the sense of giving back are lost. We also know that this sense of loss can impact our mental health. So how do we give back? What is community? Listen to Olivia Nunn speak to Dr. David Tharp, the CEO and Co-Founder of Project Healing Heroes, on why giving back to the community and how to give back is vital.


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Merging Vets and Players and Mental Health Guest: Nate Boyer

What do Special Forces, National Football League, Acting, and Mental Health have in common? Well, in this case, Nate Boyer! This week, Olivia Nunn can catch up with her long-time friend and Army veteran Nate, the co-founder of Merging Vets and Players. If his name sounds familiar, it could be because he played for the University of Texas in Austin football team and the Seattle Seahawks. Listen to Olivia and Nate catch up and chat about his foundation and the importance of coming together off the battlefield and playing field to reduce Soldier suicide.


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Financial Wealth Management- Planning for your Rainy Day with MOAA

You've planned for your future, or have you? What exactly are you planning for your future? Is there a difference between savings and investment planning? Do you need to know what stocks are? Is having a 401K or a Roth IRA essential? Do you feel overwhelmed simply asking these questions? Whew! So many questions about money! You've come to the right podcast if you have ever asked these questions! Listen to Olivia Nunn chat with Lila Quintilani, Program Director Financial Benefits Education Counselor, and MOAA, talk about these money matters and more!


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Olivia Nunn's Story - Our Podcast Host Shares Insights on Her Military Career and Transition

This week we turn the tables on podcast host Olivia Nunn and she shares her story. Find out why Olivia wanted to serve in the U.S. Army, why giving back matters to her and, more importantly, why mental health in the Military Community matters. This is an episode you don't want to miss and well-timed as we conclude Women's History Month. Special thanks to guest host Army veteran Rod Rodriquez.


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Holding Down the Fort - The Military Family and the Backbone that Keeps it Together

The military family stays together because of the glue that binds it. Our unsung heroes are the military spouses who run the household, who play nanny, caregiver, boo-boo fixer, carpool driver, after-school sports practice pick-up, homework enforcer, chef, and so much more. But what we don't talk about is how all of these titles weigh heavily on the military spouse, and how all of these responsibilities day in and day out, year after year, impact their mental health. AND YET, we say to the military spouse ... drive on. Listen to Olivia Nunn speak to Jen Amos and Jenny Lynne, two amazing military spouses and podcast hosts from "Holding Down the Fort."


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Stepping Back from Suicide

The following episode contains content related to a suicide attempt. Discretion is advised. If you or someone you know is in crisis, contact the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 (press 1) or via Mental health and the military is not a new conversation, but it's a conversation that doesn't happen enough or openly enough. Mental health impacts not only the service member but also the military families. When we don't address our mental health journey, or seek help for the trauma we've experienced, it can lead to a dark place for many of us. For some, it could lead to thoughts of suicide. Listen to Olivia Nunn speak with Army veteran Sammy Villela about his journey and how he almost used a permanent solution that could have impacted his family and friends. "Stepping back from Suicide" is a complicated conversation, but one that was needed.