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THE LONG BLUE LEADERSHIP PODCAST

THE LONG BLUE LEADERSHIP PODCAST

Author: U.S. Air Force Academy Association and Foundation

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Stories of leadership told by the leaders of character who lived them. This is how the Air Force Academy experience shaped their past, present and future. Presented by the Association of Graduates and Air Force Academy Foundation.
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A conversation between brothers in arms who have known each other since the early 1980s - one an athlete, the other his coach at the time.----more---- SUMMARY Neither has ventured far from the Air Force or the Academy. Lt. Gen. Richard Clark ’86, the Academy’s 21st superintendent, opens up about his leadership journey to Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Mike Gould ’76, the man who first coached him all those years ago. Gen. Clark’s leadership story is exceptional and Gen. Gould does a masterful job of helping him tell it.   OUR FAVORITE QUOTES "The one thing that doesn't change is our mission. And our mission is to develop lieutenants, better leaders of character that are ready to go out and win our wars and that are ready to go out support defend the Constitution. That is it." "Whenever there's Americans on the ground, we're going to do whatever it takes to help them you will do whatever it takes." "Seeing those young guys go out there and do that, and do what they needed to do to help other Americans to help their fellow servicemen that made me prouder than anything." "I am very happy and comfortable to leave this torch with them to hand the torch off to them. And I'm just proud to have served with them." "I am leaving with a lot of gratitude in my heart, just from our cadets from our permanent party, from the alumni that helped us do this and the other supporters."   SHARE THIS EPISODE FACEBOOK  |  LINKEDIN  |  TWITTER  |  EMAIL   CHAPTERS 00:00:  Introduction and Mission of the Air Force Academy 01:09:  Lieutenant General Rich Clark's Background and Career 08:27:  Making the Best of Unexpected Assignments 10:18:  Leadership in Challenging Situations 00:09:  Introduction 07:28:  Enhancing the Academy's Facilities and Programs 14:57:  Developing Leaders of Character 31:11:  The Importance of Alumni and Supporters 37:51:  Transitioning to the Role of Executive Director of the College Football Playoff 45:08:  Conclusion   TAKEAWAYS  - Leadership is developed through challenging experiences like overcoming adversity, mentoring others, and leading in high-pressure situations like combat.  - Support from family, mentors, and sponsor families can help one persevere through difficult times and find purpose.  - Having an open mind and making the most of unexpected opportunities can lead to unexpected benefits and career success.  - Giving back to one's alma mater through things like financial support, mentorship, and service helps continue its mission and benefits future generations.  - Expressing gratitude to those who support your mission helps foster positive relationships and a sense of shared purpose.     LT. GEN. CLARK'S BIO Lt. Gen. Richard M. Clark ’86 is the Superintendent, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado. He directs a four-year regimen of military training, academics, athletic and character development programs leading to a Bachelor of Science degree and a commission as a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force or United States Space Force. Lt. Gen. Clark graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1986. His commands include the 34th Bomb Squadron, Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota; 12th Flying Training Wing, Randolph AFB, Texas; Eighth Air Force, Barksdale AFB, Louisiana, and Joint Functional Component Commander for Global Strike, Offutt AFB, Nebraska. He has also served as a White House Fellow in Washington, D.C.; the Commandant of Cadets, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado; Senior Defense Official/Defense Attaché, Cairo, Egypt, and as the Commander, Third Air Force, Ramstein Air Base, Germany. Prior to his current assignment, Lt. Gen. Clark served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia. - Copy and image credit:  af.mil       ABOUT LONG BLUE LEADERSHIP Long Blue Leadership drops every two weeks on Tuesdays and is available on Apple Podcasts, TuneIn + Alexa, Spotify and all your favorite podcast platforms. Search @AirForceGrads on your favorite social channels for Long Blue Leadership news and updates!            FULL TRANSCRIPT OUR SPEAKERS Our guest is Lt. Gen. Richard Clark ’86  |  Our host is Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Mike Gould ’76   Lt. Gen. Richard Clark  00:12 The one thing that doesn't change is our mission. And our mission is to develop lieutenants, better leaders of character, that are ready to go out and win our wars and that are ready to go out and support and defend the Constitution. That’s it.   Announcer  00:27 Welcome to the Long Blue Leadership podcast. These are powerful conversations with United States Air Force Academy graduates who have lived their lives with distinction. All leaders of character who candidly share their stories, including their best and worst moments, the challenges they've overcome the people and events that have shaped who they are, and who willingly lend their wisdom to advance your leadership journey. Your host for this special presentation of Long Blue Leadership is Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Mike Gould, USAFA class of ’76 and currently serving as a member of the Association and Foundation board of directors. And now, Gen. Mike Gould.   Lt. Gen Mike Gould  01:09 My guest today is Lt. Gen. Rich Clark, the 21st superintendent of the Air Force Academy, Class of ’86 at USAFA, and if I'm not mistaken, you're about 46 days away from retiring. After a 38-year career, that when you think about it, has spanned so much in our country, starting with the Cold War through conflicts in Southwest Asia, in the Middle East, and the culture wars that we all experience today. I think his experience in active duty is highlighted most by seven commands that he's held; a bomb squadron, a training wing, to numbered Air Force's, the joint functional component command for Global Strike, served as the commandant of cadets here at the Academy. And now like I said, as the 21st superintendent. In addition to that, Gen. Clark served as the senior defense official, and the defense attaché in Cairo during some interesting times, and also served as a White House fellow. And if that's not enough, he's flown over 4,200 hours in the B1, both the EC and KC-135, the T1, the T38, the T6 and the T21. And most notably, 400 of those hours are in combat. So Rich, as you look back on the past nearly four decades of service, I'm sure you have a lot to think about as it's all coming to an end. And really, how it all started. I'd like you to please share with us a little bit about your life as a young child. And you know, some of the influential people who you met in your formative years, and then kind of how that led you here to the Air Force Academy.   Lt. Gen. Richard Clark  02:58 Wow, well, first, can I call you Coach, General Gould?   Lt. Gen. Mike Gould  03:02 You (can) call me Coach…   Lt. Gen. Richard Clark  03:03 I’ll call you Coach because you were my coach when I was here, and you saw me walk in the doors here. So, I'll talk a little bit about that. But I just want to thank you for letting me be here today. This is a real honor. So, thank you.   Lt. Gen. Richard Clark  But I grew up in the Bay Area, Oakland, Berkeley, California, and my parents were divorced. So, it was my mother, my brother and I. And then when my mom got remarried, we moved to the East Coast to Richmond, Virginia, and that's where I went to high school, and not a military family. My dad was drafted back in the Vietnam era. He served a short tour, so I don't really remember those days. So, I don't consider myself really from a military family and really hadn't considered joining the military. I played football, I played a lot of sports. Growing up, football was my primary — and track actually, but football the primarily, and I had signed to go to William & Mary in Virginia, and I was going with my best friend from high school and actually in junior high. And Coach Ken Hatfield came to my house. And the Air Force had been recruiting me. So did Army and Navy. And he actually came to my house though and visited my parents. And he had dinner at our house, and my mom thought, “He is such a nice man. And he was like, “Look, just come out and see the Air Force Academy.” Now what he didn’t know was that I wanted to, I was very interested in flying more commercial. I always thought I wanted to be a commercial pilot. And he convinced me to come out. My mom was like, “Just go; it's free.” You know, I was like, OK, and so I still had a couple of college visits left. So, I came to the Air Force Academy. I'll be honest, I got here and after seeing the place and seeing the opportunities to fly — just to have a great education and to play Division I college football, I was hooked. And I, my dad — my stepdad who I consider my dad — made me call the coach at William & Mary tell him I was changing my mind. And I signed and came to Air Force. And when I got off the bus and got on those footprints , and they started yelling at me, I was like, “Hey, wait, I'm a football player. You're not supposed to yell at me.” That's what I thought. And that was not true. And the rest is history. And, you know, it was an important decision in my life, certainly. But, you know, I appreciate Coach Hatfield being persistent and coming to get me and, you know, talk to my parents, formative people, obviously. But it was a great decision. Great decision.   Lt. Gen. Mike Gould  05:48 Did you also visit West Point and or Annapolis?   Lt. Gen. Richard Clark  05:52 I did not because I didn't want to go to a — I wasn't interested, really in a service academy. What I will say, though, I did fill out an application to Air Force before Coach Hatfield came. And I did go and do an interview with my congressional member. Because my guidance counselor convinced me to do that in case I didn't get another good offer from somewhere else. And I actually got a congressional appointment. But then the Academy contacted me, and I told them I was going to turn it down. And that's when Coa
As a child, Lt. Col. (Ret.) Rochelle Kimbrell ’98, dreamt that one day she would defy gravity, taking her rightful place in the sky among the stars.----more---- SUMMARY Rochelle Kimbrell shared her journey of growing up as a young black girl in a small town in Colorado who dreamed of becoming a fighter pilot. Despite being told she couldn't or shouldn't pursue this goal, she developed a strong work ethic and passion for flying from a young age. She meticulously planned her path, gaining leadership experience in Civil Air Patrol and excelling academically to earn an appointment to the Air Force Academy. Kimbrell overcame challenges like failing a class by changing majors and learning from mistakes. As one of the first female fighter pilots, Kimbrell faced obstacles like lack of proper gear and medical issues. She discussed the difficulties of balancing pregnancy/motherhood with her flying career due to changing policies. After 13 years of active duty service, Kimbrell transitioned to the reserves and pursued public speaking and entrepreneurship. This allowed her to find fulfillment in empowering and mentoring others, especially young minorities.   OUR FAVORITE QUOTES "My parents always feel this to just just go out and chase our dreams and follow our dreams, and, you know, to forge our own paths and to be strong." "I think we plan our vacations really well. But I don't think we plan our lives really well." "You've got to have a plan for your life. Like yes, you can change course 100%. But you've got to have first vision, so that you can start working towards it and figure out what it's going to take." "You learn that there are many paths that can lead there. And so it was it was okay. And that everybody's gonna have a setback." "I want to impact people's lives. I want to empower people to be their best selves." - Lt. Col. (Ret.) Rochelle Kimbrell '89   SHARE THIS EPISODE FACEBOOK  |  LINKEDIN  |  TWITTER  |  EMAIL   CHAPTERS 00:00:  Introduction and Background 06:34:  Overcoming Doubts and Breaking Barriers 25:43:  Challenges Faced by Female Fighter Pilots 32:50:  The Importance of Mentorship 49:33:  Dare to Dream and Pursue Your Goals   SOME TAKEAWAYS - Believe in yourself and pursue your dreams, even when others doubt you. - Having a plan and being willing to pivot can lead to unexpected opportunities. - Overcoming challenges and setbacks is part of the journey to success. - Representation matters - being a role model can inspire others to pursue their own dreams. Female fighter pilots faced challenges in terms of camaraderie, gear, and facilities. - Balancing motherhood and a career as a fighter pilot was challenging. - Mentorship is important, and mentors don't have to look like you. - It's important to dare to dream and pursue your goals, despite obstacles and failures. - Planning your life and having a clear vision of where you want to go is crucial.   COL. KIMBRELL'S BIO Retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Rochelle Kimbrell is a charismatic trailblazer whose road to becoming the US military’s first Black female fighter pilot started when she was a little girl growing up in Parker, Colorado. She had a dream that was beyond the imagination of most. In a time before women were allowed to fly fighter aircraft and women being in combat was literally against the law, those boundaries were no deterrent for Rochelle. Powered by a dream, Rochelle crafted a plan to achieve this dream and the journey to success through failure took commitment. The story of her journey is legendary and can ignite a flame in any individual or team and challenge them to dare to dream again. Rochelle not only broke several glass ceilings in the F-16 community, her experiences transformed into operations on the ground and then on to the highly technological remotely piloted aircraft. Rochelle has over 2100 hours piloting military aircraft and over 975 combat and combat support hours. Rochelle retired from the Air Force in 2020 after almost 22 years of service.  She is a full time public servant pouring her time and energy back into her community. She volunteers as an orientation pilot in the Civil Air Patrol, shares her story and teaches leadership and success principles to individuals and organizations across the country through her Dare To Dream (Dare-2-Dream.com) speaking platform and is also a full time mother to 2 amazing boys and wife to an awesome husband. - Copy credit:  AthenasVoiceUSA.com   CONNECT WITH ROCHELLE LINKEDIN  |  WEBSITE   ABOUT LONG BLUE LEADERSHIP Long Blue Leadership drops every two weeks on Tuesdays and is available on Apple Podcasts, TuneIn + Alexa, Spotify and all your favorite podcast platforms. Search @AirForceGrads on your favorite social channels for Long Blue Leadership news and updates!        TRANSCRIPT OUR SPEAKERS Our guest, Lt. Col. (Ret.) Rochelle Kimbrell '98 | Our host is Naviere Walkewicz '99   Naviere Walkewicz Col. Kimbrell, welcome to Long Blue Leadership and thank you for being here today.   Rochelle Kimbrell Thank you so much, Naviere.  That’s an awesome intro and I’m really excited to here today talking with my alma mater.     Naviere Walkewicz  00:49 That's right. Well, that's my pleasure. And you know, I think it's always especially wonderful when I get to speak to someone that I was at the Academy with at the same time. So, we’re kind of going back in the day. And we can say that because, you know, we're amongst friends here. But this is a great opportunity to share with our listeners a little bit about you and your journey. So, we're really excited.   Lt. Col. (Ret.) Rochelle Kimbrell  01:08 Awesome, excited to be here.   Naviere Walkewicz  01:09 Well, let's go back in time a little bit. Let's go back to you as a little girl. Can you share a little bit with our listeners about where you grew up, what your family life was like? Take us on the journey.   Lt. Col. (Ret.) Rochelle Kimbrell  01:21 Take you on the journey. All right. So absolutely. So, my family actually migrated here from Guyana in South America. So, my dad moved out here for college, went to Howard, and then he was getting his Ph.D. in Indiana — Purdue — when I was born. So, I'm the youngest of four. And we moved around a little bit, and then we ended up settling in Colorado. So, I actually grew up in Parker, which is only about an hour down the road, 45 minutes down the road from the Academy. And, you know, we grew up in a time where — Parker now is a thriving metropolis, but it was a really small horse town. Growing up where we were one of two Black families that I was aware of growing up, and I was the only Black person in my class from kindergarten all the way through graduation. So, it was an interesting time; it was an interesting town. But I'm an animal fanatic. I grew up showing horses and showing dogs and you know, when I tell people about where I grew up, and I talk about, you know, Parker had one stoplight and Main Street had a saloon with still saloon doors on it. We used to ride our horses down to the candy store, the Mountain Man Fruit and Candy store, and there was a hitching post outside. And people were like, “You're from Montana?” I'm like, “No, no, no, no, just up the road about 45 minutes.” So, a very different place back then. And my parents just being immigrants, you know, they knew that America was kind of the place where you come to make your dreams come true, the land of opportunity, they believed that you do it through education, and if you were educated, then you could go out and achieve whatever you wanted to. And so they always feel this — to just go out and chase our dreams and follow our dreams, and, you know, to forge our own paths and to be strong and to go for it, you know. They knew that they didn't have all the answers, but that they were out there, and that there was nothing that was stopping us other than ourselves. So, they always fostered that in us growing up, which I really appreciate. So, when I came out of left field with the crazy notion of being a fighter pilot, they had no idea. Military life? What that was like? What that was about? But they said, you know, go after it. You know, figure it out and go do.   Naviere Walkewicz  03:47 That's amazing. I mean, it sounds like, just right from the get-go, you had such wonderful role models of not being afraid, right, and taking the chance at the dream and pursuing things that are greater and bigger and whatever we want to achieve. Maybe you can expand on that. Because from horses to fighter jets, you know, it's like, “Wait, that's a big leap.” Let's talk about how did you know that you wanted to become a fighter pilot.   Lt. Col. (Ret.) Rochelle Kimbrell  04:11 So, from about kindergarten, I wanted to be an astronaut. And I was always just fascinated with space and the stars and the sky and weightlessness and speed and defying gravity. Like, it was all just really interesting to me. And I just wanted to be up there among the stars from day one. And so in kindergarten, I wrote away to NASA and asked, you know, what do I have to do - on that line paper - you know, and said, “How do I become an astronaut?” and they sent back a ginormous package of huge pamphlets and books and things that I never got all the way through. But, you know, kind of laying that process out of what that would look like and all the things that you can do and learn. And as I continue to learn about it, watch a little bit of it, learn you know what that was like, somewhere along the way I found out that not all astronauts get to go to space. I didn't want to do all that training and maybe not get picked, right? So, I think, you know, as I've dissected my life, I kind of go back and I think about, you know, being picked and maybe being, you know, that minority child not always being picked first. I think that was one of my stepping stones to saying, you know, if it really comes down to you've done all the training, and somebody still has to choose you, I w
A conversation with Maj. Julian “Cosmo” Gluck '12, a flyer with the heart of a pilot, the soul of a golden age aviator, and an insatiable yearning to learn. Why? In part to support developing leaders of tomorrow. ----more---- SUMMARY Major Julian "Cosmo" Gluck '12, shares his background and experiences in the Air Force and as a bomber pilot. He discusses his childhood, involvement in various activities, and his decision to join the military. Major Gluck also talks about his leadership roles at the Air Force Academy and the challenges he faced. He then delves into his experience flying B-52s and explains the difference between a pilot and an aviator. Finally, he clarifies the distinction between rated and non-rated officers. He discusses his involvement with the Order of Daedalians, a professional fellowship organization for military aviators. He also shares his experience transitioning to Harvard Business School and the Air Force Reserve and about the importance of leadership across different lanes. Julian reflects on what he has learned about himself and his future plans. He emphasizes the significance of giving back and volunteering, as well as the impact of the Air Force Academy and alumni involvement.   OUR FAVORITE QUOTES "I would say the juxtaposition between the military lifestyle—which often is more regimented—and a desire to both give back and be creative. So these secondary and tertiary desires that I really wanted to have in my personal life and professional life to continue to self-actualize and feel comfortable were always at sort of a crossroads, but the Academy made that possible." "I think there is a lot of strength in knowing that you do not know something. And through my time in business school, there is a lot that I think many of those who are coming from civilian careers—that more directly relate to business—would think is just information that everyone is armed with that is absent for many of us who were not as directly involved in running for-profit organizations or who weren't involved in sales, investment banking, or any of these other careers." "I would say, I'm going to do a plug for the AOG: If there are things that you want your AOG to do, you are the person who can help facilitate that as well, just like I aim to, like many others. An alumni organization, a nonprofit, a charity is only as strong as its membership corps." "I think overall down the road, as long as I'm making a positive impact in my circle and in my community, that's the most important thing to me. Like, I don't want to give up the uniform. I've loved serving in the Air Force, and I'll stay in the Air Force Reserve—hopefully as long as they'll keep me—and it would be great to have more opportunities to lead again." "I would leave you with, if you have some time available, if there's money that you're seeking to donate, there is a cause that will resonate with you. Just go to the search engine of your choice, maybe it's Ask Jeeves … [or] go to Lycos—I think that was a search engine—in your Netscape Navigator. Go look up on AOL these interests, and you'll be able to find a charity that works for you.” - Maj. Julian "Cosmo" Gluck '12   SHARE THIS EPISODE  FACEBOOK  |  LINKEDIN  |  TWITTER  |  EMAIL   CHAPTERS 00:00:  Introduction and Background 04:01:  Childhood and Life Before the Academy 08:01:  Leadership Roles at the Academy 14:53:  Flying B-52s 19:50:  Difference Between Rated and Non-Rated 21:30:  The Order of Daedalians 26:14:  Transitioning to Harvard Business School 30:06:  Leadership Across Different Lanes 33:08:  Learning About Oneself 37:15:  Future Plans 40:10:  Giving Back and Volunteering 42:37:  The Air Force Academy and Alumni Involvement   TAKEAWAYS FOR YOU - The Order of Daedalians is the professional fraternal order of military aviators and commemorates the service and valor of World War I pilots while providing fellowship for current and former flyers today. - Programs like the Civil Air Patrol—the civilian auxiliary of the Air Force—provide another avenue for service members, veterans, and civilians to give back in meaningful ways. - Transitioning from the military to civilian life can provide opportunities for strategic development and new ways to support organizations. - Leadership takes different forms in various contexts, from leading in the military to leading in the classroom. - Humility and the willingness to learn from others are important qualities for personal growth and effective leadership. - Giving back and volunteering in various organizations can provide a sense of fulfillment and make a positive impact in the community. - The Air Force Academy and alumni involvement play a significant role in shaping individuals and fostering a sense of pride and service.   MAJ. GLUCK'S BIO Maj. Julian "Cosmo" Gluck is a reservist in the Defense Innovation Unit in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He additionally serves as Chairman Emeritus of the Department of the Air Force Company Grade Officers’ Council, supporting the 47,000 captains and lieutenants of the Air & Space Forces. Maj. Gluck grew up in LaGrange, Georgia and received his commission in 2012 as a Distinguished Graduate of the United States Air Force Academy. During his career he was selected as the 2018 Air Force Times Airman of the Year, received the 2019 Secretary of the Air Force Leadership Award, was named to the 2020 Forbes 30 Under 30, and chosen as one of the 2023 Ten Outstanding Young Americans by JCI USA. Prior to his current position, Maj. Gluck served on Air Combat Command staff; served as Aide-de-Camp to the Commander of Seventh Air Force; led 64 aircrew flight equipment and SERE personnel; and was Executive Officer for the Department of Defense’s largest bomb group. He is an instructor pilot in the B-52H Stratofortress and is a graduate of Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training. Maj. Gluck flew combat missions in Operations INHERENT RESOLVE and FREEDOM’S SENTINEL out of Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar and has deployed in support of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command. MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS - Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster - Air Medal - Aerial Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster - Air Force Commendation Medal with five oak leaf clusters - Air Force Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster - German Armed Forces Badge for Military Proficiency in Gold PUBLICATIONS “Opening the Door to Cultural Understanding and Mutual Cooperation,” Journal of Indo-Pacific Affairs, June 2021 “The Gray Legion: Information Warfare Within Our Gates,” Journal of Strategic Security, December 2021 “Kasa-obake: A Spirited Case against Abandoning the U.S.-Japan Nuclear Umbrella,” On the Horizon, May 2022 “South Korea’s Second Sight: Risks and Rewards for the ROK-US Alliance with Russia,” Issues & Insights, June 2023 PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS AND ASSOCIATIONS - British-American Project - Center for a New American Security - Council for the United States and Italy - Order of Daedalians - Pacific Forum   CONNECT WITH JULIAN LINKEDIN  |  @JULIANRGLUCK ON INSTAGRAM     ABOUT LONG BLUE LEADERSHIP Long Blue Leadership drops every two weeks on Tuesdays and is available on Apple Podcasts, TuneIn + Alexa, Spotify and all your favorite podcast platforms. Search @AirForceGrads on your favorite social channels for Long Blue Leadership news and updates!        TRANSCRIPT OUR SPEAKERS Guest, Maj. Julian "Cosmo" Gluck '12  |  Your Host, Lt. Col. (Ret.) Naviere Walkewicz '99   Naviere Walkewicz 00:01 My guest today is Maj. Julian “Cosmo” Gluck, USAFA Class of 2012 graduate of distinction based in Boston. He is currently serving in the Air Force Reserve in the Defense Innovation Unit and pursuing his MBA at the Harvard Business School. There is so much in Maj. Gluck's background that we’ll just touch the surface for now. He flew B-52s for more than six years, and in 2023 he was named one of 10 outstanding young Americans, which puts him in the company of American presidents, statesmen and generals, including the Air Force Academy Association and Foundation’s Gen. Mike Gould, Class of ’76, who received the honor in 1985. In 2020, Maj. Gluck was named to Forbes 30 Under 30 list for law and policy. In 2018, he was named Air Force Times airman of the year. He is a published author, public speaker and contributor to international discourse on public policy, sharing his lessons in leadership with students in elementary school, at university, senior leaders in defense, nonprofits, and national level elected policymakers. We’ll talk with Maj. Gluck about his work as a member of the Air Force Reserve, and how that relates to his membership in the Order of Daedalians, a fraternal organization founded after World War I comprised of aviators. He is a gregarious man of warmth, humility and humor, always willing to share what he knows with those aspiring to become aviators, lead or be better leaders, and always ready with an enthusiastic, “Howdy!” This should be a very enjoyable conversation. Joining us from Boston, Julian, welcome to Long Blue Leadership.   Maj. Julian Gluck ’12 01:42 Well, I feel like I have to say howdy now, but I was gonna’ say it anyway. So good to be here.   Naviere Walkewicz 01:46 Howdy. So glad you're here with us today. Thank you for making the time. We are really excited to learn more about your thoughts on leadership. But as we like to, we want to kind of take a step back, rewind the time a little bit and learn about young Julian. Why don't we start there? Tell us about your childhood life before the Academy.   Maj. Julian Gluck ’12 02:06 Sure. So, I grew up all around primarily the southeastern United States. My dad's a pilot and was going through different positions. My mom's an occupational therapist. They had met in Texas, but I was born in Florida. And then over the course of my childhood, I lived in Florida, Tennessee, Maryland, South Carolina and Georgia, where I finished out elementary school
To influence for good, character paired with strong leadership skills is paramount. Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Dana Born '83 brings the two together in Ep. 8 of Long Blue Leadership. ----more---- SUMMARY Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Dana Born discusses the importance of character and leadership in the Air Force Academy's mission. She shares her background and career, including her time as the Dean of Faculty at the Academy. The General reflects on her class reunion experience and the impact of her family's military background. She explores the concept of leaders being born vs. made and highlights the value of curiosity and courage in leadership. Gen. Born emphasizes the importance of seeking help and mentorship and shares recommended readings for developing leadership skills.   OUR FAVORITE QUOTES "Character and leadership are paramount for Air Force Academy graduates to influence for good." "I think that if I were to say there's two really important takeaways, those for me have been, be curious, be more curious. And that is just really asking a lot of questions." "I think leading with your heart and leading with, like the recognition that things that are hard, make your heart rate go up. Courage, you know, our heart rate goes up when we're in danger physically, morally, psychologically. And I think leaning into that to where our heart rate goes up a little bit is how we learn and grow." "I think there's that keeping the both and in the integration of that is what helped me in some of those tough decisions. I mean, I remember having to take a security clearance away from a lieutenant colonel, for all the right reasons, but trying, you know, that person then was going to lose their position in the Air Force, because it required a security clearance. And, and it wasn't a situation that I put that person in, right, they put themselves in that position, but what I didn't want to do was deliver the news in a way that then the individual would feel like they have nothing left right to or would ultimately, you know, take their life, right, that always was present to say, uh, don't want this person to go away with anything other than, you know, your life is not over." "I think courage, you know, the root word of courage is heart. And I think leading with your heart and leading with, like the recognition that things that are hard, make your heart rate go up. Courage, you know, our heart rate goes up when we're in danger physically, morally, psychologically. And I think leaning into that to where our heart rate goes up a little bit is how we learn and grow."  - Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Dana Born '83   SHARE THIS EPISODE FACEBOOK  |  LINKEDIN  |  TWITTER  |  EMAIL     CHAPTERS 00:00  Introduction: Character and Leadership 01:22  General Bourne's Background and Career 05:36  Early Life and Decision to Attend the Air Force Academy 08:19  Becoming the Dean of Faculty at the Air Force Academy 11:49  Challenges and Lessons as Dean 22:59  Discovering Leadership Abilities 24:24  Lessons from Friction Moments 26:19  Pivoting and Overcoming Challenges 27:49  Best Attributes of Leaders 29:46  Seeking Help and Mentorship 32:06  Balancing Compassion and Difficult Decisions 34:26  Family's Influence on Leadership 38:12  Developing Leadership Skills: Curiosity and Courage 40:04  Purpose and Passion 41:53  Recommended Readings 44:42  Conclusion     GEN. BORN'S BIO Dana H. Born (Co-Director, Center for Public Leadership (CPL); Faculty Chair, Senior Executive Fellows (SEF) Program; Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School of Government) is a retired Brigadier General with 30 years of service in the United States Air Force. Prior to coming to Harvard, from 2004-2013, she served two terms as the Dean of the Faculty at the United States Air Force Academy where she was also the Professor and Head of the Behavioral Sciences and Leadership Department. Previously, Dana served as an Exchange Officer with the Royal Australian Air Force, Assistant Director for Recruiting Research and Analysis for the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Force Management Policy), Deputy Chief of the Personnel Issues Team for the Department of the Air Force (DC/Staff Personnel), Aide and Speech Writer to the Secretary of the Air Force, Squadron Commander for 11th Mission Support Squadron at Bolling AFB, DC and in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. A graduate with distinction of the United States Air Force Academy, Professor Born received her B.S. in Behavioral Sciences (1983), M.S. in Experimental Psychology from Trinity University, TX (1985), M.A. in Research Psychology from University of Melbourne (1991) and Doctorate in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Penn State University (1994). She received Penn State University’s Alumni Fellow Award (2012) and Distinguished Alumni Award (2018) and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Simmons College in Humane Administration (2007). Born is the recipient of the Secretary of the Air Force’s Eugene M. Zuckert Award for Outstanding Management Achievement, Air Force Association’s Hoyt S. Vandenberg Award for outstanding contributions to Aerospace education, Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit and Defense Meritorious Service Medal. She has been honored with the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) Annual Teaching Awards as well as the Harvard Kennedy School of Government Innovation in Teaching Award in 2017. Dr. Born is a Trustee on the United States Air Force Academy’s Falcon Foundation – serving on the Strategy, Governance and Scholarship Committees; Supporting Director on the USAFA Endowment Board, Past President of the Massachusetts Women’s Forum; Senior Consultant for the Core Leadership Institute; Peer Evaluator for the Higher Learning Commission; Member of the Women Corporate Directors, International Women’s Forum and Council on Foreign Relations; Council Member on Boston Mayor’s Pay Equity Workforce; Advisory Board Member for “With Honor;” and “A Child’s Guide to War” documentary, “Blue Star Families,” Senior Officer for Mission: Readiness; Past-President of the American Psychological Association (Society for Military Psychology) and previous Independent Director on Board of the Apollo Education Group having served on Compensation, Audit and Special Litigation Committees.  - Copy and image credit:  Harvard University         Gen. Born is a member of the HOW Conversations video (and podcast) series hosting team, bringing together a varied group of experts and leaders to discuss timely issues of our reshaped world through the lenses of moral leadership, principled decision-making, and values-based behavior. VIEW THE VIDEO SERIES  |  LISTEN TO THE PODCAST  - Copy and image credit:  Harvard University     ABOUT LONG BLUE LEADERSHIP Long Blue Leadership is a production of the Long Blue Line Podcast Network, drops every two weeks on Tuesdays, and is available on Apple Podcasts, TuneIn + Alexa, Spotify and all your favorite podcast platforms. Search @AirForceGrads on your favorite social channels for Long Blue Leadership news and updates!          FULL TRANSCRIPT   SPEAKERS Our guest, Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Dana Born '83  |  Our host, Lt. Col. (Ret.) Naviere Walkewicz   Gen. Dana Born  00:06 Through mentorship and wise counsel, in early days actually and magnified through the time at the Air Force Academy, that character is paramount. It's also not enough, because you want to be a person of strong character that also has leadership, qualities that help influence for good. We can have leadership where people are able to influence but maybe not for good. And we can have character but have people of great character that aren't able to mobilize the influence. And so, I have just been, I guess, embracing that character and leadership aspect of our mission.   Naviere Walkewicz  01:19 My guest today is retired Brigadier General Dana Born, a 1983, graduate of the Air Force Academy. I'm excited to host this conversation with General Born, a recognized and widely respected expert in moral leadership, serving as a lecturer in public policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. We're going to explore the trajectory of General Born's own development as a leader. Our conversation will begin with her days as a cadet at the Air Force Academy, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Behavioral Science and Leadership. General Born began building her body of work then, first as a student, then analyst and researcher, now writer, teacher and speaker on public policy and society in the field of moral leadership as a How Institute for Society Distinguished Fellow through her distinguished 30 year military career, and since her retirement from the Air Force in 2013, she has been formally recognized more than 20 times for her exemplary service and academic excellence. In 2004, she became the first female Academy graduate to return to her alma mater as the Dean of Faculty, a role she held for two terms. Her work has been published more than 40 times and she has delivered nearly 200 presentations. General Born has endorsed more than a dozen books on leadership and public policy, and has contributed to five others. In addition to her work at Harvard, she hosts a video podcast series called HOW Conversations during which she discusses the tenets of moral leadership. Her guests include nationally and internationally recognized leaders from the private, military and public sectors. General Born. Welcome, and thank you for being here today.   Gen. Dana Born  02:54 Thank you so much for the wonderful introduction. And it's great to be in the Long Blue Line conversation with you and all our other members of our tremendous extended family in our Air Force. So glad to be here.   Naviere Walkewicz  03:07 Thank you so much, ma'am. And you know, you recently were just here for a reunion. How was that experience?   Gen. Dana Born  03:13 It was spectacular. The only way I can describe it is like going to see famil
The Long Blue Leadership team was in attendance at the 2024 National Character and Leadership Symposium and interviewed several NCLS speakers. ----more---- We set up our studio on site and invited several of the speakers to join us to discuss the what and why behind their messages. Two of the lead cadet organizers of the NCLS event and the 2024 cadet class president visited with us to share why they are so heavily involved and what they took away from the event. And we invited the cadet hosts of the Polaris Hall Podcast to share our studio space for their interviews with NCLS speakers, one of which, they shared with us. In this special edition of Long Blue Leadership, producer, Ted Robertson's, conversations with comedian Jose Sarduy, class of ’99; NCLS organizers cadet 1st class Rachel Parillo and cadet 2nd class Weiss Yuan; and 2024 class president, cadet 1st class, Adedapo Adeboyejo. Also joining us, astronaut Dr. Kjell Lindgren, class of ’95; author and entrepreneur Delovell Earls, class of 2015. Finally, making guest appearances for their interview with NCLS speaker, Olympic gold medal swimmer, Missy Franklin Johnson, Polaris Hall Podcast hosts, cadet 1st class Maya Mandyam and cadet 2nd class Margaret Meehan, hosts of the Polaris Hall Podcast. SEE THE NCLS SPEAKER VIDEOS HERE NCLS 2024 IN REVIEW NCLS 2024 PHOTO GALLERY DOWNLOAD THE NCLS 2024 PROGRAM     SPECIAL THANKS Our very special thanks to C1C Maya Mandyam and C2C Margaret Meehan, hosts of the Polaris Hall Podcast, for their contribution of excerpts from their excellent interview with Olympic Gold Medalist, Missy Franklin-Johnson. GET THE POLARIS HALL PODCAST HERE       ABOUT LONG BLUE LEADERSHIP Long Blue Leadership is a production of the Long Blue Line Podcast Network, drops every two weeks on Tuesdays, and is available on Apple Podcasts, TuneIn + Alexa, Spotify and all your favorite podcast platforms. Search @AirForceGrads on your favorite social channels for Long Blue Leadership news and updates!          PHOTO GALLERY NCLS 2024 Top to Bottom:  Jose Sarduy  |  C1C Rachel Parillo, C1C Adedapo Adeboyejo and C2C Weiss Yuan   Dr. Kjell Lindgren  |   DeLovell Earls   Missy Franklin-Johnson, C1C Maya Mandyam and C2C Margaret Meehan         The Long Blue Line Podcast Network is presented by the U.S. Air Force Academy Association and Foundation    
Does being bold make a good leader or does a good leader have to be bold? Karl Falk '98, is leader who knows bold both ways.  ----more---- SUMMARY But there is much more to leadership than boldness. Join Karl and Long Blue Leadership host, Naviere Walkewicz '99, for a conversation about boldness, the nuanced human spirit and the path to success as a leader.  In this episode, Karl Falk, founder and CEO of Botdoc, shares his journey from the Air Force Academy to entrepreneurship. He discusses the challenges of leading peers and the lessons he learned from playing football. Karl also talks about his transition out of the Air Force and the founding of Botdoc, a tech startup that provides secure data transfer solutions. He emphasizes the importance of taking one step at a time and finding solutions to challenges. Karl encourages listeners to believe that there is always a way to overcome obstacles.   OUR PICKS FOR QUOTES "Probably the hardest thing to do is is is lead your peers, not yell at your peers like some people think that's leadership that's needed sometimes but actually leading your peers and you know, trying to peer into their soul and get them to do something greater and, and that was a lot of fun." "I learned that I didn't want that to happen again. In fact, I, the the army game this year, when Air Force came over to sing, we were on that we were on that side of the stadium, and I took a picture of it. And I sent it to my son I said, remember this? Because when that season, that's what that's what motivated me. That next season was I didn't want that to happen again." "I think I learned more about leadership and who I was. And honestly, probably the hardest thing to do, especially when you're that age is, is lead your peers, not yell at your peers, like some people think that's leadership in the locker room, but that's needed sometimes, but actually leading your peers and you know, trying to peer into their soul and get them to, to do something greater and, and that was a lot of fun." - Karl Falk, Founder '98 and CEO, Botdoc   SHARE THIS EPISODE FACEBOOK  |  LINKEDIN  |  TWITTER  |  EMAIL   CHAPTERS 00:00 Introduction and Leading Peers 02:28Early Life and Upbringing 05:15Childhood and Sports 06:13 Path to the Air Force Academy 07:08 Leadership Lessons from Football 09:29 Transitioning out of the Air Force 13:47 Entrepreneurship and BotDoc 25:12 The Invention of BotDoc 28:06 Lessons in Entrepreneurship 32:55 Closing Remarks   OUR FAVORITE TAKEAWAYS - Leading peers requires understanding and inspiring them to do something greater. - Challenges and tough times can shape and prepare individuals for future success. - Entrepreneurship involves taking risks, making decisions on the fly, and finding solutions to problems. - Believe that there is always a way to overcome obstacles and achieve success.     KARL'S BIO Karl Falk is the Founder and CEO of tech start-up Botdoc. A vision that the movement of data should be easier and more secure. He is helping disrupt the ‘Secure Digital Transport’ industry and pioneering how all data will be transported in the future. The Botdoc software allows companies to transport data and documents in and out of systems with end-to-end encryption without anyone needing a login, pin, password or app to download. And upon delivery the encrypted container and the contents inside of it evaporate, leaving no residual footprint of data. Botdoc is redefining how companies engage data and is the future of the global consumer experience. Karl transitioned out of the Air Force in 2004 into emerging technology consulting. Finding innovative ways to expedite low TRL technology from the DoD labs and National labs to the hands of operators and soldiers in an effort to save lives post 9/11. Using his extensive industry experience in ‘going against the grain’, Karl is a sought-after speaker on innovation, entrepreneurship and efficiency and speaks nationally to help inspire others to spark change. In 2012, he was named one of the “Top 5 Most Influential Young Professionals” by ColoradoBiz Magazine and was named a “Rising Star” by the Colorado Springs Business Journal in 2013. Karl is a Graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, a Football Alum, an Eagle Scout and has been honored by President Clinton in the Oval Office. He sits on the Executive Board for the Pikes Peak Boy Scout Council and is the President Select. He’s a husband and father of 3 and calls home in Monument, Colorado. In his free time, you can find him at soccer games, coaching football and track, and volunteering as an assistant scout master for Boy Scout Troop 6. - Image and copy source:  LinkedIn     ABOUT LONG BLUE LEADERSHIP Long Blue Leadership is a production of the Long Blue Line Podcast Network, drops every two weeks on Tuesdays, and is available on Apple Podcasts, TuneIn + Alexa, Spotify and all your favorite podcast platforms. Search @AirForceGrads on your favorite social channels for Long Blue Leadership news and updates!     FULL TRANSCRIPT SPEAKERS Our guest, Mr. Karl Falk '98, Founder and CEO of Botdoc. |  Lt. Col. (Ret.) Naviere Walkewicz '99   Karl Falk  00:12 Probably the hardest thing to do is lead your peers, not yell at your peers like some people think that's leadership. That's needed sometimes but actually leading your peers and you know, trying to peer into their soul and get them to do something greater and, and that was a lot of fun.   Naviere Walkewicz  00:58 My guest today is Mr. Karl Falk. USAFA class of ‘98, founder and CEO of the Colorado based tech startup Botdoc, husband to April and father of three one (of) whom is a current Air Force Academy cadet in the class of ‘27. Carl transitioned out of the Air Force in 2004 and into the emerging technology consulting space going on after that, in his own words, to use his extensive industry experience, going against the grain to find innovative and industry disruptive ways to move encrypted data, leaving no trail or trace. He is so successful that he has become a nationally known and sought after speaker on innovation, entrepreneurship and efficiency. He has been formally recognized for his work by presidents and peers alike. We'll talk with Carl about his life before and during his days at the Academy, challenges he faced along the way, leadership lessons he learned, and we’ll ask him whether he believes boldness like his makes great leaders, or if leaders need to be bold to be great. Welcome to long leadership.   Karl Falk  02:00 Hey, all right. Thanks for having me. This is great.   Naviere Walkewicz  02:03 I'm so excited. You know, I think some of the greatest things about these podcasts is we're really learning more about our graduates and some of the paths that they've walked. We share a path right now. We both have boys at the Academy.   Karl Falk  02:13 Yes, former preppies now. Now four-degree and on the football team. That's right.   Naviere Walkewicz  02:19 That's right. So it's interesting, though, while we were at the Academy, at the same time, we really didn't cross our paths. So, I think that's the beauty of once you graduate, the Long Blue Line really is enduring. Well, today, we're going to learn more about your journey and your path. And we'd love to start just with a little bit of who Karl is, you know, take us back in the day. Tell us about where you grew up, your family.   Karl Falk  02:39 Yeah, well, so I grew up, back then I had to say (in) a small rice farming community on the west side of Houston, Katy, but now Katy’s, you know, almost a million people. It's a large extension of Houston. So everyone knows where Katy is. But it was me and my mom. She was a, you know, single mom, teacher at the time. Actually, she drove buses at first, and then and then transitioned into teaching and, you know, I look back at those times, and I didn't know how lean it was. And I think, you know, I didn't have things when I was a kid. And you know, I owe a lot to my mom that she worked. Sometimes she had four jobs or her and I cleaned the local community center for extra money. She drove like I said, she drove buses for the school district. And she was actually the trainer. Actually, there's a really funny story. So, my mom, even my kids they looked at me when they first heard the story, and they started laughing so she was part of the they have this like National Bus Rodeo. And I'm like, “Bus Rodeo?” So they would actually, she would drive it through like an obstacle course and have to back up and no, so I know this sounds really funny. But so she was, (because) cuz she would train all the bus drivers for Katy ISD. And we would go around Texas at these national championships or these you know, regional championships and stuff but it was kind of funny. She was a bus rodeo and going driving a bus or an obstacle course she had like, get out and run around the bus and like hit the tires with a hammer. It was it was pretty funny.   Naviere Walkewicz  04:21 So wow, what an amazing woman. I mean, it sounds like you got some leadership lessons right from the get-go at home.   Karl Falk  04:27 Yeah, you know, I learned what it was like in tough times. And my mom's gonna’ kill me for telling the stories but you know, even after soccer games or soccer, you know, we would all go to Mr. Gatty’s pizza, I think was, Mr., or Godfather’s Pizza, I think it was Godfather’s Pizza. And my mom would say, hey, just get the water. And I would sit and watch the other kids play the games. And I was enthralled. You know, but, you know, looking back it kind of makes me sad. But I didn't really care back then, and, you know, so it doesn't really matter where you start.   Naviere Walkewicz  05:05 I mean, you probably have some of those thoughts even now as a parent. And we'll get into some of that, you know, when you think about how you pave ways for your families, from your own upbringing, so what were you like as a kid? I mean, you obviously were very lo
Gen. Pringle discusses her experiences as a cadet, including unique firsts. And she highlights the challenges she faced in her career and the lessons she learned. ----more---- SUMMARY Gen. Pringle '91 shares her journey from the Air Force Academy to commanding the Air Force Research Laboratory. She emphasizes the importance of teamwork and being the best wingman. Gen. Pringle discusses her experiences as a cadet, including unique firsts. She highlights the challenges she faced in her career and the lessons she learned. Gen. Pringle also provides advice for other leaders, emphasizing the value of honesty and feedback. She encourages listeners to pursue their dreams and make a difference in the world.   OUR QUOTE PICKS "The mission gets done 100 times better if the whole team is working in concert it the success or the failure of the mission isn't on one person's shoulders. It never is on one person's shoulders." "Everyone has a story. And so if someone's a supervisor out there, I would say job number one is to listen and know your team, listen to their stories." "I would just say, don't think about me, you know, just go for it. And if you need help, call me. So that's it, that I just said, go for it. There's nothing should be stopping you."   SHARE THIS EPISODE FACEBOOK  |  LINKEDIN  |  TWITTER  |  EMAIL   CHAPTERS 00:00:  Introduction and Teamwork 01:06:  General Pringle's Journey 03:22:  Cadet Life and Experiences 04:22:  Unique Firsts and Exchanges 05:41:  Impressions of Today's Cadets 06:08:  Indoctrination Day and Early Memories 07:30:  Involvement in Clubs and Groups 08:19:  Challenges and Lessons Learned 09:39:  Transition to Air Force Research Laboratory 12:32:  Commanding Air Force Research Laboratory 14:46:  Transition to Civilian Sector and Nonprofit Work 19:05:  Advice for Supervisors and Taking Care of Your Team 20:30:  Overcoming Challenges and Embracing Failure 23:49:  Lessons from Mentors and Leaders 24:46:  Being the Best Wingman and Team Player 25:12:  Commanding Air Force Research Laboratory 27:33:  Transition to Civilian Sector and Nonprofit Work 30:25:  Lessons Learned and Being True to Yourself 34:36:  Final Thoughts and Encouragement   TAKEAWAYS FOR LEADERS AND ASPIRING LEADERS - The importance of teamwork and being a good wingman in achieving mission success. No one person carries the burden alone. - As a leader, it's important to listen to your team's stories to better understand and support them. Everyone comes from a unique background. - Facing challenges and setbacks are an opportunity to learn and grow. Don't get discouraged by failures or non-selections - keep pursuing new opportunities. - It's important to be honest with yourself and others for personal and professional development. Be open to feedback to improve. - Focus on serving others through your work and giving back to your community through service and leadership. - Believe in yourself and pursue your dreams and passions. With perseverance, you are capable of more than you realize.  - The success or failure of a mission is not on one person's shoulders; it requires a whole team working together.  - Embrace challenges and failures as opportunities for growth and learning.  - Be true to yourself and embrace your unique story and background.  - Take care of your team and listen to their stories; everyone has a unique perspective and contribution to make.  - Don't be afraid to ask for help and seek feedback to improve as a leader.   BIO Major General (Ret.) Heather Pringle '91 Gen. Pringle retired as Commander of the Air Force Research Laboratory, Air Force Materiel Command, Dayton, Ohio, and Technology Executive Officer, supporting both the United States Air Force and United States Space Force. She led a $2.5 billion science, technology and innovation enterprise in accelerating the discovery and development of solutions for Airmen and Guardians. She was responsible for formulating a comprehensive technology portfolio that anticipates future warfighter needs, while promoting risk-taking and problem solving across her 6,000-member government workforce. She accelerated the delivery of cross-domain solutions through partnerships with industry, academia, and international allies, and executed an additional $2.3 billion in externally funded research and development. Through the laboratory's technology and functional directorates, AFWERX and the 711th Human Performance Wing, her team produced a deep technical and medical bench, pushed the boundaries of modern technology and improved the science for tomorrow. Prior to her last assignment, Maj. Gen. Pringle served as the Director of Strategic Plans, Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Programs, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia. - Copy and image credit:  www.af.mil     ABOUT LONG BLUE LEADERSHIP Long Blue Leadership drops every two weeks on Tuesdays and is available on Apple Podcasts, TuneIn + Alexa, Spotify and all your favorite podcast platforms. Search @AirForceGrads on your favorite social channels for Long Blue Leadership news and updates!          FULL TRANSCRIPT   SPEAKERS Our Host is Naviere Walkewicz '99 | Our Guest is Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Heather Pringle '91   Major Gen. (Ret.) Heather Pringle '91  00:09 The mission gets done 100 times better if the whole team is working in concert. The success or the failure of the mission isn't on one person's shoulders. It never is on one person's shoulders. Just like being a cadet isn't just on the cadet’s shoulders. There's a whole team of folks out there who, if we are the best wingman that we can be, then the mission will succeed.   Naviere Walkewicz  01:00 My guest today is retired Major General Heather Pringle, a 1991 graduate of the Air Force Academy. General Pringle’s journey from in-processing day to her current role in the nonprofit sector spans 32 years. Along the way, she served in education, warfighter support, research, innovation and global leadership roles culminating in the command of the Air Force Research Laboratory, Air Force Materiel Command. There is a unique first from her days as a fourth degree that stands out. And it makes me wonder how that affected the trajectory of your Air Force career. We'll talk about that with the general and much more. General Pringle, thank you for being here today.   Gen. Heather Pringle  01:36 Thanks for having me, Naviere. And please, call me Heather.   Naviere Walkewicz  01:39 So Heather, let's kind of go back a little bit, you know, to some early days. Back to the beginning. Let's talk about what you were like as a kid where you grew up, about your family?   Gen. Heather Pringle  01:50 Well, I grew up in a small town in Idaho. And I guess before we really dig in, I do want to say, thanks so much for having me here. It's yes, it's an honor to be able to talk to your audience and share some stories. And if there's any way I can be of help, that's what I'm all about.   Naviere Walkewicz  We love that. Thank you.   Gen. Heather Pringle  So, growing up in small town in Idaho, it's well known for the place where Evil Knievel jumped the Snake River Canyon, but he did not land on the other side, or the part of the canyon where I grew up. But the excitement surrounding it really enthralled me. And you asked what I was like growing up, and I love to challenge. I'd love to learn new things. And maybe that was a little difficult on my parents. But boy, they did a such a great job of instilling values in me and always doing my best and working hard and trying to make a difference for others.   Naviere Walkewicz  You grew up, you moved to Idaho.   Gen. Heather Pringle  I’m the oldest of three and my sister served in the Air Force as a nurse and my younger brother, also known as “Zoom”, also served in the Air Force as well. He was a pilot, and yes, so he was a pilot. There you go.   Naviere Walkewicz  03:11 That's awesome. And another long blue line graduate of the Air Force Academy.   Gen. Heather Pringle  03:15 Absolutely. He was class of 1996.   Naviere Walkewicz  03:18 Is that something? Did you know you wanted to go to the academy? How did that come about?   Gen. Heather Pringle  03:22 My aunt and uncle live on a ranch in Wyoming. And that's where I spent my summers. So that part about hard work and doing chores and you know, dawn to dusk type stuff. They taught me a lot about working to make a contribution. And my aunt was a high school teacher. And as part of her curriculum, she went on a trip to Annapolis. And she came back and she said if she had her life to do over again, she would go to a service academy. That was the first I'd ever heard of a service academy. I'm so grateful to my aunt and uncle. And I did my own research and found out about the Air Force Academy in Colorado. And it had an exchange with France…   Naviere Walkewicz  Okay.   Gen. Heather Pringle  …which was really fun. That intrigued me as well. So, I just worked hard and did my best and I got lucky.   Naviere Walkewicz  So did you get to go on an exchange?   Gen. Heather Pringle  While I was a cadet?   Naviere Walkewicz  Wow.   Gen. Heather Pringle  Yes, I did. And I used to joke that it was my favorite semester at the Academy. But there were a lot of great semesters out the Academy, but France was a unique one that is so unique. Yeah, we do. My brother and I have a unique distinction that we're the only brother sister at least couple years ago that was true. The only brothers sister combo that went to the French exchange. Naviere Walkewicz  Oh my goodness. That's cool.   Gen. Heather Pringle  It is kind of cool. But I'm sure today's cadets have already surpassed that milestone and many more.   Naviere Walkewicz  05:02 The level of talent coming in and just how smart they are. I don't know that I would have made it in today’s…, for sure where I was, you know, back, you know, in ’95.   Gen. Heather Pringle  05:13 I completely agree. It's mind blowing. And I'm just so impressed by
What are the top five characteristics great leaders share? Academy graduates, Alison ’15 and Paul ’16 Yang, discuss that answer — and more! ----more----SUMMARY Alison '15 and Paul '15 Yang discuss their backgrounds, experiences at the Air Force Academy, transition to the corporate world, and key qualities of successful leaders. Their leadership lessons and takeaways?  The importance of caring about people, having humility, being resilient, managing stakeholders, and leading through change.   LEARN.  ENGAGE.  LEAD! Read Veterans in Leadership: How Military Careers Can Shape Corporate Success including the contributions of Alison and Paul Yang.    DOWNLOAD THE VETERANS IN LEADERSHIP PDF HERE  |  SPENCERSTUART.COM DOWNLOADABLE PDF - AS FEATURED IN THE SPRING 2024 EDITION OF JOURNAL OF CHARACTER AND LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT   OUR FAVORITE QUOTES - "Care about people, whether that's, you know, asking about how their day was to participate in the flightline and solving everyday problems." - Paul Yang - "You have the humility to set yourself aside. You have a leg up, which enables you to have teams that perform under pressure and operate well through change." - Alison Yang - "I truly did [enjoy the YC advice]. I think sometimes Alison is very good at telling you what you need to hear." - Paul Yang - "Folks that come out of the military have no quit. If when we asked him to expand that out, he talked about how, when someone is asked whether or not they're willing to potentially make the ultimate sacrifice for this country, any other ask following that, in and out of the military becomes, I don't want to say easy, but it's going to fall short of it, right." - Paul Yang - "Care about people. And if you care about people, your interpersonal skills are likely decent, you have the humility to set yourself aside, you have a leg up on stakeholder management, which enables you to have teams that perform under pressure and operate well through change." - Alison Yang   SHARE THIS EPISODE FACEBOOK  |  LINKEDIN  |  TWITTER  |  EMAIL   CHAPTERS 00:00 Introduction and Background 03:47 Childhood and Influences 07:04 High School and Leadership 10:51 Air Force Academy Experience 14:47 Career Choices: Maintenance Officer and Intelligence 20:30 Leadership Skills from the Military 24:03 Transitioning to the Corporate World 29:40 Transitioning as a Couple 35:13 Mistakes and Lessons Learned 46:23 Key Qualities of Successful Leaders 53:20 Advice for Future Leaders 58:02 Closing Remarks and Contact Information 59:05 How They Met 01:00:09 First Impressions 01:01:52 Working Together 01:02:52 Thoughts on Wise Advice   OUR FAVORITE TAKEAWAYS - Caring about people is a key quality of successful leaders. - Humility and resilience are important traits for leaders. - Effective stakeholder management and leading through change are crucial skills. - Transitioning from the military to the corporate world requires support and networking. - Continuous learning and self-improvement are essential for leadership development.   BIOS Alison Yang '16 I lead the delivery of global executive searches for US industrial companies and specialize in engineered products, distribution, and aerospace & defense. Spencer Stuart is the world’s leading leadership advisory firm. Founded in 1956 and privately owned, we are the adviser of choice among organizations seeking guidance and counsel on senior leadership needs. We work with clients across a range of industries, from the world’s largest companies to medium-sized businesses, entrepreneurial startups and nonprofit organizations. Spencer Stuart today has 56 offices in 30 countries. Our global reach, leadership in CEO and senior executive searches, and status as the premier firm for board counsel give us unparalleled access to the world’s top executive talent. CONNECT WITH ALISON - Copy and image credit:  www.linkedin.com   Paul Yang '15 Spencer Stuart is one of the world's leading executive search consulting firms. Founded in 1956 and privately owned, we are the advisor of choice among organizations seeking guidance and counsel on senior leadership needs. We work with clients across a range of industries, from the world's largest companies to medium-sized businesses, entrepreneurial startups and nonprofit organizations. Through 56 offices in 30 countries and a broad range of practice groups, our global reach, leadership in CEO and senior executive searches, and status as the premier firm for board counsel give us unparalleled access to the world’s top executive talent. CONNECT WITH PAUL - Copy and image credit:  www.linkedin.com LEARN MORE ABOUT SPENCER STUART     ABOUT LONG BLUE LEADERSHIP Long Blue Leadership drops every two weeks on Tuesdays and is available on Apple Podcasts, TuneIn + Alexa, Spotify and all your favorite podcast platforms. Search @AirForceGrads on your favorite social channels for Long Blue Leadership news and updates!        FULL TRANSCRIPT SPEAKERS Our Host is Dr. Doug Lindsay '92 | Our Guests are Alison '15 and Paul '16 Yang   Paul Yang  00:08 It’s real lives and young airmen and enlisted folks that you're put in charge of, and really making a true impact in people's lives on a day to day basis.   Alison Yang  00:16 The one theme, if we could say, captures all of this, is care about people.   Paul Yang  00:24 Whether that's, you know, asking about how their day was to supporting flightline and solving everyday problems.   Alison Yang  00:31 You have the humility to set yourself aside. You have a leg up, which enables you to have teams that perform under pressure and operate well through change. And it's also the difference between having people who just get the job done because they have to versus the people who get the job done because they want to. They believe in you.   Doug Lindsay  01:19 My guests today are Allison and Paul Yang, USAFA class of 2015 and 2016, respectively. Allison and Paul are a married couple based in the Washington, DC area and both work at Spencer Stewart, a global executive search and leadership advisory firm as associates in executive search. Both served in the Air Force with distinction winding up their careers in 2022 as officers in intelligence and maintenance leading large teams.  They are accomplished students of leadership and writers, which is how we met Allison and Paul. The pair recently contributed to an article on veterans and leadership in a Spencer Stewart publication. The article featured profiles of 10 prominent CEOs, three of whom are USAFA graduates and currently lead United Airlines, McAfee and Johnstone Supply.  We’ll spend the next few minutes getting to know Allison and Paul, and we'll talk about their work with Spencer Stewart. Then we'll focus on the top five qualities they believe make the best leaders. And finally, we'll ask them to share one or two bits of advice they would give to those who want to be leaders and leaders who want to become even better. Joining us from the DC area, Allison and Paul, welcome to the Long Blue Leadership podcast.   Alison Yang  02:31 Thanks, Doug. We're happy to be here.   Paul Yang  02:32 Hey, Doug, happy to be here as well.   Doug Lindsay  02:34 Glad to have you. As we get started, if you don't mind, would you give us a little bit of a backstory on your lives as children before you got to the Academy? What was that like? And what was your growing up experience like?   Paul Yang  02:46 Sure, I could start. So I come from an immigrant family. My parents moved to the United States in 1993. When I was about two and a half years old, they moved to Queens, New York. My mom was a pharmacist and my dad was a truck driver. And so it was an interesting sort of startup story is what I'd like to call it. In the sense that I spent my weekends teaching my parents the English that I had learned during school and spent the weekend doing that for my parents. It was also a little bit of a challenging household as well. Maybe it's a little too much. But my dad was a bit of an alcoholic. A lot of stress growing up in this country and not knowing the language and trying to navigate it being in a completely different environment. So that led to sometimes an unsafe environment, but heavily influenced how I operate and how I think, being a problem solver paying, attention to detail, facing adversity, etc.   Alison Yang  03:44 I had a bit of a different childhood. I had what you would describe as an all-American childhood. My mom was a first grade teacher, my dad was an Air Force officer and had two younger brothers close in age. We were all best friends, all loved sports and we had to be best friends because we moved every few years or so but that really taught me how to be resilient, how to adapt to a lot of change in life. And I ended up growing this love for people. I loved meeting new people everywhere I went. I know sometimes it can go the other way where you hate moving. But for some reason I really clung on to that.   Doug Lindsay  04:20 So very different kind of origin stories there. But with those kinds of influences, and Paul, you mentioned that some of the challenges you had with that home dynamic and but also, Alison moving around a little bit. How did that translate into wanting to go to the Academy and doing that kind of opportunity? Was that something that's always kind of part of who you were? Alison, you said you like people and was that just part of that idea of service? Or how did that all come to be?    Alison Yang  04:47 Yeah, sure. I think I'd always been a very outgoing kid always driven to be an achiever. So, this passion for people, I would say it especially started in high school and I prided myself on knowing everyone in the in the class so I was class president. And you know, I was friends with the dorks and was friends with the popular kids. And my proudest moment in high school was actually, I was a benchwarmer on the varsity basketball team. And I was voted captain of my varsity basketball team. So, I
Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Bradford J. Shwedo ’87, uniquely suited to his calling, explains how he leverages lessons from the past to equip present-day warriors to dominate future warfare.    ----more---- SUMMARY A leader of warriors can never over-prepare for potential battle. Lt. Gen. Shwedo, director of USAFA’s Institute for Future Conflict, draws on the distant past to teach today’s cadets how to lead tomorrow’s warriors into 21st century battles and win.   LEARN. ENGAGE. LEAD! Read more about the IFC in the first of a three-part series, Future Focus, in December 2023 Checkpoints! (Pg. 42)         OUR FAVORITE QUOTES IN THIS EPISODE "I saw that the Air Force figured out how to win with what you got. They would figure out a way through leadership to win with what they got." "Leadership is all about working with people, and you've got to understand people." "I work for you, I'm removing your impediments so you can do that, you know, kill the bad guys." "Don't forget who you are. There were there were times when we were shoveling show. I have learned to show up when it's crappy." "My focus had to be the Dean. And the direction comes from the national defense strategy. So we actually have a meeting a week with the futures guys. And that gives us insight."   VIDEO:  BRIEF ON THE IFC TO THE ASSOCIATION OF GRADUATES AND FOUNDATION - 1-11-2024   SHARE THIS EPISODE FACEBOOK  |  LINKEDIN  |  TWITTER  |  EMAIL   CHAPTERS 00:00 Introduction and Background 02:24 Early Competitive Streak and Decision to Join Air Force Academy 06:16 Being Open to Opportunities and Trusting the Process 07:38 Preparation and Academic Background 09:30 The Importance of Studying History and Being Prepared 10:56 Leadership Lessons from the West Wing 12:52 The Shift to Special Access Programs and New Ways of Thinking 16:34 Leading in Cyber and Intelligence Operations 17:30 The Decision to Join the Institute for Future Conflict 19:22 Shifting the Focus of Leadership and Academics 20:50 Helping Cadets Understand the Larger System 23:13 Preparing Cadets for the Future Fight 25:43 The Rise of Third Parties in Warfare 26:37 Motivating and Understanding People as a Leader 28:52 Are Leaders Born or Made? 30:19 Lessons in Leadership: Don't Forget Who You Are 31:17 Advice for the Next Generation of Warriors and Leaders 34:07 Leadership is About Working with People 36:21 Final Thoughts and Contact Information   OUR FAVORITE TAKEAWAYS - Leadership is about working with people and understanding what motivates them. - Being open to opportunities and trusting the process can lead to valuable experiences and career paths. - Studying history and being prepared can provide a strong foundation for future challenges. - Leaders must be aware of the changing nature of warfare and the rise of third parties in conflict.   GENERAL SHWEDO'S BIO Lt. Gen. (Ret) Bradford J. Shwedo '87 is the Director, Institute for Future Conflict. Previous to this position, he was the Director for Command, Control, Communications and Computers (C4)/Cyber, Chief Information Officer, Joint Staff, J6, the Pentagon. Lt. Gen. Shwedo has commanded at the detachment, squadron, group, wing and numbered air force levels. During these commands, his units were engaged in direct support to Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and the greater Global War on Terror providing worldwide Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Cyber operations. He also led an Intelligence Team to Desert Shield/Storm. His last command was 25th Air Force at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, where he led 30,000 personnel in worldwide operations, delivering multisource ISR products, applications, capabilities and resources. When he was the Chief, Information Dominance and Chief Information Officer for the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, he led four directorates that supported 77,000 personnel and cyber operations across the globe with a portfolio valued at $17 billion. Lt. Gen. Shwedo graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1987 with a degree in Military History and was also a student athlete, lettering in football. - Copy and image courtesy of www.USAFA.edu LEARN MORE ABOUT THE IFC   ABOUT LONG BLUE LEADERSHIP Long Blue Leadership drops every two weeks on Tuesdays and is available on Apple Podcasts, TuneIn + Alexa, Spotify and all your favorite podcast platforms. Search @AirForceGrads on your favorite social channels for Long Blue Leadership news and updates!        FULL TRANSCRIPT SPEAKERS Our host is Dr. Doug Lindsay '92  |  Our guest is Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Bradford J. Shwedo '87   Gen. Shwedo  00:01 I saw the Air Force figured out how to win with what you got. They would figure out a way through leadership to win with what they got. They would put us in situations where they would facilitate our positives and negate our negatives. So, when you sit there and go, “Well, you didn't give me X, Y or Z, so we lost.” No, my expectation is we'll work to get what you need. But the expectation is still you win with what you got.   Doug Lindsay  00:55 My guest today is Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Bradford J. Shwedo, USAFA Class of 1987. Gen. Shwedo leads the Air Force Academy's Institute for Future Conflict as its first director. Throughout our conversation, you'll hear us refer to the Institute as the IFC. Gen. Shwedo was named to the position in March 2021 by Academy Superintendent, Gen. Richard Clark. The IFC is preparing cadets to wage and win wars in nontraditional domains. As we progress through our conversation with Gen. Shwedo, you will quickly understand why he was chosen to lead this pioneering institution where future-think informs everything they do. The general graduated from the Academy with a bachelor's in military history while also lettering in football. His career led him into an intelligence space, beginning with an assignment at Goodfellow Air Force Base in Texas in 1989, then Germany and Saudi Arabia. He served as threat manager with the 487th Intelligence Group from 1993 to 1995. He moved to the Pentagon as offensive information warfare chief in 1995. Between 1998 and 2020, he spent time in Korea, several assignments at CIA headquarters in Virginia, at Buckley Air Force base here in Colorado, and several more assignments at the Pentagon. He served in multiple command and leadership positions, and at one point was in charge of four directorates supporting 77,000 personnel, global cyber operations and assets valued at $17 billion. He's a consummate warrior, logistician, strategist and leader. Gen. Shwedo. Welcome to Long Blue Leadership.   Gen. Shwedo  02:33 Thanks so much. The pleasure is mine. Thanks a lot for having me.   Doug Lindsay  02:36 Absolutely. Let's, let's start kind of at the beginning if we if we can.  It seems like from an early age that you had a competitive streak.  Can you talk a little bit behind that background and that upbringing?   Gen. Shwedo  02:48 So, I will tell you, I was very, very pleased when the Air Force came knocking. And it started with football, as you brought up. And I was recruited as a high schooler to come out here and play and I think as what you were talking about my earlier career. I think I'm very much a product of the Academy across the board. It's not just one single piece. And one of the larger ones, though, was football, and quite honestly, and we'll talk about history, because that was very much one and then different comms programs, also big influences, but coming here to play football, it was amazing to me. There were so many great athletes, I wasn't one of them. But it was amazing to me every Saturday, we would go out there and we'd look at these guys that any layman would say there's no way these guys are going to win. And I learned a lot about leadership and a lot about, you know, capabilities and competitions in Falcon stadium. And I saw in Air Force that they figured out how to win with what you got. They would figure out a way through leadership to win with what they got. They would put us in situations as individual athletes, where they would facilitate our positives and negate our negatives on that competitive streak. All that background at Falcon Stadium was priceless. I mean, I learned a lot both playing and coaching on how to do that. And once again, that reflects greatly on the people in the Department of Athletics, who every day have to do exactly what I witnessed. But what a great life lesson for when after you graduate and you're no-lie defending the country. We expect you to win with what you got.    Doug Lindsay It's a no fail mission. Right?   Gen. Shwedo Absolutely. Absolutely. And what a great training ground, you know, to kind of lick your wounds when you didn't get the right lesson. But on game day, I felt like we were always there. We always understood what we needed to do. And we put those people in the right places so we could win that day.   Doug Lindsay 04:49 You realized that as you went through football and as you were coaching and doing that, but before that, when the Academy did come knocking or — what was it that intrigued you about it? Obviously the opportunity to play football… What was your thought process of that whole idea of saying, “I'm gonna go out to Colorado and I'm gonna do that?” And there's that service component as well.   Gen. Shwedo 05:07 I think the one thing that really impressed me about the Air Force Academy, and they still do this: They sell you on the whole program. You know, there are some places where, and I was getting recruited from other schools, where they're just focusing on the football, or whatever. And what I loved about the Air Force Academy was they sold you the whole package. And quite honestly, I encourage cadets when I meet with them to think of this place as a buffet. Because there's lots of things you don't know the Air Force does that is really, really cool. And my biggest problem was, I wanted to do everything. I mean, I wanted to be a pilot, I wanted to be an astronaut. I wanted to
Third-generation warrior, RC-135 pilot, and thought leader, Maj. Nathan Dial ’10, describes his connection to USAFA, his bond with the cadets and how the leadership lessons he learned fuel his drive to serve and support the Long Blue Line. ----more---- SUMMARY Maj. Dial shares his journey from growing up in a military family to attending the Air Force Academy and becoming a leader in the Air Force. He emphasizes the importance of relationships, approachability, and accountability in leadership. He's kept his connection to the Academy through mentoring cadets and serving on the Association of Graduates board. He is continuously learning and contributing to the discourse through research and writing. Maj. Dial also discusses the challenges and responsibilities of leadership, including the need to practice what you preach and prioritize personal development, controlling the controllables and dealing with adversity. Finally, the conversation concludes with a discussion on whether leaders are born or made.   OUR FAVORITE QUOTES "Relationships really matter. I think some of my successes would not be available without classmates or upperclassmen who poured into me or offered opportunities or offered help along the way." "Control the controllables. And by that, I mean you control your energy, you control your attitude, you control your effort. And most importantly, you control how you respond to adversity." "Don't be afraid to be vulnerable. Now, you can't be oversharing. But, you're going to know those spots where you can be vulnerable." "I'm a big believer in that you need reps. I think to really hone your skills, your potential, I think you have to have some type of environment that nurtures that out of you." "I think all the best leaders I saw, whether it was cadets or staff or faculty or AOCs, were all approachable and accountable."  - Major Nathan Dial '10   NATE ON OPRAH, AGE 11, APRIL 15, 1999   SHARE THIS EPISODE  FACEBOOK  |  LINKEDIN  |  TWITTER  |  EMAIL   CHAPTERS 00:00:  Introduction and Background 01:32:  Early Life and Influences 03:06:  Choosing the Air Force Academy 05:04:  Journey at the Academy 09:08:  Leadership Development at the Academy 12:50:  Staying Connected to the Academy 18:05:  Leadership Principles 20:20:  Giving Back to the Academy 24:06:  Navigating Highs and Lows 27:40:  Influence of Background on Leadership 29:37:  Making Time for Others 34:06:  Contributing to the Discourse 36:35:  Challenges and Responsibility of Leadership 38:52:  Practicing What You Preach 39:24:  Personal Development and Growth 40:24:  Balancing Personal Interests 41:00:  Controlling the Controllables 42:18:  Dealing with Adversity 43:20:  The Talk: Passing Down Wisdom   OUR FAVORITE TAKEAWAYS - Building strong relationships and treating people with respect are essential in leadership. - Leaders should be approachable and accountable to foster trust and accomplish goals. - Continuous learning and contributing to the discourse are important for personal and professional growth. - Leaders have a responsibility to navigate challenges, practice what they preach, and prioritize their own development. - Balance personal interests to maintain a well-rounded life. - Control the controllables, including energy, attitude, effort, and response to adversity. - Adversity can be a catalyst for growth and empathy. - Passing down wisdom through 'The Talk' is an important tradition that evolves with time. - Leaders are made through nurturing and developing their skills and experiences.     NATE'S BIO 14-year Active-Duty Air Force Officer, Combat Pilot, PhD with a concentration on NATO in the 21st Century. Well-versed in qualitative and quantitative research of public policy and sports analytics. Interested in opportunities advising/helping think-tanks, startups, boards, and private companies analyze, break down, and solve complex problems.  US Air Force Academy 2010  Harvard Kennedy School MPP 2012  ENJJPT 2013  Northwestern Political Science, Ph.D. 2021 ASG Rising Leader 2022 EC-130 Pilot  RC-135 Pilot Facebook:  Nathan Dial  |  Twitter:  therealnatedial  |  Instagram:  dial_like_thesoap  |  Linkedin:  Nathan Dial - Bio copy and image credit:  www.drnathandial.com  CONNECT WITH NATE  |  LEARN MORE  | AN IMPRESSIVE BODY OF WORK   ABOUT LONG BLUE LEADERSHIP Long Blue Leadership drops every two weeks on Tuesdays and is available on Apple Podcasts, TuneIn + Alexa, Spotify and all your favorite podcast platforms. Search @AirForceGrads on your favorite social channels for Long Blue Leadership news and updates!   FULL TRANSCRIPT SPEAKERS Our host is Dr. Doug Lindsay '92  |  Our guest is Major Nathan Dial '10   Maj. Nate Dial  00:00 I think we all have strengths, weaknesses. And so, being authentic to yourself of how are you building a team that highlights your strengths and weaknesses and being self-reflecting self-critical and doing what those are. So, I think that's probably the first thing I think for any leader. I think all the best ones I've been around have all been very, very self-aware. And so, I think that will be the challenge. I think for everybody, how are you self-aware around strengths or weaknesses. Don't be afraid to be vulnerable. I think, you know, you're gonna kind of pick and choose those moments. You'll know those moments. And so, I would try to tell people as they try to think about that.   Doug Lindsay  01:13 My guest today is major Nate Dial, a 2010 graduate of the Air Force Academy, with a bachelor's degree in economics. As a cadet, he was the fall 2009 Cadet Wing Commander, who was also the summer 2009 Basic Cadet Training Director of Operations, soaring instructor, Naval Academy exchange cadet, and he even spent a summer in Peru in an immersion program. He's a 13-year active-duty Air Force officer currently flying RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft out of Omaha, Nebraska. Major Dial’s desire to feed his mind and grow as a leader is pretty insatiable. He earned a Master's in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School in 2012. He completed the Euro NATO joint jet pilot training program in 2013. And he even received a doctorate in political science in 2021, with his concentration being on NATO in the 21st century. He is a 2021 Air Force Academy Young Alumni Excellence Award winner, and in 2022, completed the Aspen Strategy Group Rising Leaders program. He is a student and analyst of public policy, and commits time to solving the complex problems that think tank startups’ boards and private companies sometimes face. He is also a member of the United States Air Force Academy Association of Graduates’ board of directors. Major Dial, thank you for being with us today on the Long Blue Leadership podcast.   Maj. Nate Dial  02:32 Happy to be here. Looking forward to the conversation.   Doug Lindsay  02:35 Do you mind telling us a little bit about where you grew up, you know, kind of where you started and what that was like, and what kind of influences had an impact on you when you started?   Maj. Nate Dial  02:43 For sure. So, my dad was in the Army 30 years. And my mom is a professor who traveled the world with my dad getting a job at the local college, wherever that was. So obviously military was huge for me growing up with around a bunch of the kid. And then education was huge, too with my mom. So naturally with those two items, discipline, reading a lot. And I was a pretty decent little athlete growing up — I played basketball, golf and soccer growing up as a kid. So, you put all that together and naturally kind of led me towards a life of service and a life of service through the military with hopefully one of the academies.   Doug Lindsay  03:18 You moved around a lot during that 30 years. I'm assuming were there any places that really left an impact on your memory for you.   Maj. Nate Dial  03:25 For sure. So, just to give you a quick rundown: So, born in Buffalo, New York, spent time in Seoul, Korea; Richmond, Virginia; Columbia, South Carolina; Carlisle, Pennsylvania; and my dad ultimately retired in ’03 in Richmond — that's pretty much home now. They've been there ever since [in?] the same house. The places that stick out, everybody has a kind of an indelible mark on my life. But Richmond, Virginia, really is home. I mean, I was there kindergarten through third grade, and then I returned 10th through 12th grade. So, it's pretty much my central upbringing at this point. So that's, that's probably the place I would call closest.   Doug Lindsay  04:00 And was that idea of, kind of with your dad serving? And if I remember right, your grandfather served as well. A path for you. Is that why the Academy kind of resonate or you decided to go there? What was that thought process?   Maj. Nate Dial  04:12 That was huge for me. And so, you’re trying to figure out a place to serve that you feel comfortable. As a kid, when my dad was at the Army War College from 1999 to 2003. You get to see a lot of different Academy people come through Naval Air Force army, my dad's ROTC guy from Northern Illinois. So, a lot of those people, when they would see me — especially as a kid — I played a lot of golf. So, my dad ironically didn't play a lot of golf or wasn't very good. And so, as you know, as an officer, especially, oh 506 is at the War College golf huge. And so, he would actually have to go fill in for him a lot of times because I was a pretty decent player. And so, I would be 12, 11 years old playing with these Academy guys like, “Hey, Nate, like if you keep progressing you'd be a great Academy kid.” So that was pretty much embedded in me from age of about 9 to 13. And it kind of never really shook away from me growing up, so it was always kind of in the background in the foreground for me my whole life. Like all kids around my generation, I was 6 years old, I saw “Top Gun.” So, I wanted to be the black Maverick. I wanted to go mach 2 with my hair
A-10 Warthog pilot and combat veteran, Col. (Ret.) Kim “KC” Campbell ’97, recounts an incident over Baghdad leading her to make a decision that changed her life then and informs how she leads to this day. ----more---- SUMMARY Kim shares her leadership journey, from overcoming resistance to pursuing her dreams to describing the life changing effect one very long hour had in the cockpit of her A-10. She emphasizes the importance of continuous improvement and professional development throughout one's career. She discusses the challenges of balancing life and leading, and the lessons she learned from failures and pushing outside her comfort zone. She shares the importance of having a wingman who supports you in both personal and professional aspects of life.   OUR FAVORITE QUOTES "Any leader that isn't working to be better and trying to develop themselves along the way, is probably going to hit an endpoint at some point. We have to constantly learn to improve and adapt and it requires work. Leadership requires work." "When I started out, I had this idea that leadership was like, put on this tough exterior, have the answers, be strong and credible and capable.” "I absolutely think leadership requires work. It's not easy. There are challenges, there are things to learn, things to adapt. It's just constantly one of those things that professional development, for me is something that should continue throughout your career throughout your life, always looking for new ways." "I think one of the things that really sticks out to me that we learned as cadets is the idea of having a wingman by your side personally, professionally. Someone that will have your back someone that will support you." "If you want something, you're going to have to work for it. And it's not going to be easy."  - Col. (Ret.) Kim "KC" Campbell '97   SHARE THIS EPISODE FACEBOOK  |  LINKEDIN  |  TWITTER  |  EMAIL   CHAPTERS 00:00:  Continuous Improvement and Professional Development 03:52:  Overcoming Resistance and Pursuing Dreams 06:36:  Lessons from Running Cross-Country 08:58:  Persistence and Overcoming Rejection 13:02:  Leadership Journey at the Air Force Academy 15:17:  Finding Passion and Purpose in the A-10 16:14:  Life-Changing Moment in Baghdad 19:51:  Lessons and Vulnerability in Writing a Book 22:09:  Balancing Life and Leadership 26:14:  Leadership Development and Growth 28:37:  Authenticity and Human Connection in Leadership 32:16:  Family's Influence on Leadership 36:58:  Learning from Failure and Pushing Outside Comfort Zone 41:11:  Building Human Connections and Getting to Know People 42:34:  The Importance of Having a Wingman 43:31:  The Importance of Having a Wingman 43:59:  How to Get in Touch 44:30:  Connect with Kim 44:55:  Feedback and Connection 45:26:  The Story Behind the Call Sign 45:54:  Book Title and Conclusion   OUR FAVORITE TAKEAWAYS  - Leadership requires continuous improvement and professional development.  - Overcoming resistance and pursuing dreams are essential in leadership.  - Balancing life and leadership is a challenge that requires flexibility and grace.  - Building human connections and having a wingman for support are crucial in leadership.   KIM'S BIO Kim “KC” Campbell is a retired Colonel who served in the Air Force for over 24 years as a fighter pilot and senior military leader. She has flown 1,800 hours in the A-10 Warthog, including more than 100 combat missions protecting troops on the ground in both Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2003, Kim was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for Heroism after successfully recovering her battle-damaged airplane after an intense close air support mission. As a senior military leader, Kim has led hundreds of Airmen both at home and abroad in deployed locations and enabled them to succeed in their missions. She has experience leading complex organizations and driving cultural change. Kim knows what it takes to be a successful leader, to inspire and empower high performance teams to achieve success. Kim is passionate about leadership and feels strongly that leaders earn trust by leading with courage and connecting with their team. - Bio copy and image credit:  www.kim-kc-campbell-com CONNECT WITH KIM  |  LEARN MORE  |   BUY FLYING IN THE FACE OF FEAR   ABOUT LONG BLUE LEADERSHIP Long Blue Leadership drops every two weeks on Tuesdays and is available on Apple Podcasts, TuneIn + Alexa, Spotify and all your favorite podcast platforms. Search @AirForceGrads on your favorite social channels for Long Blue Leadership news and updates!   FULL TRANSCRIPT SPEAKERS Our guest, Col. (Ret.) Kim "KC" Campbell, '97  |  Our host, Naviere Walkewicz '99 Col. (Ret.) Kim "KC" Campbell  00:11 Any leader that isn't working to be better and trying to develop themselves along the way, is probably going to hit an endpoint at some point. We have to constantly learn to improve and adapt and it requires work. Leadership requires work. It's, you know — it's not easy. There are challenges; there are things to learn. Professional development should continue throughout your career, throughout your life, always looking for new ways. Naviere Walkewicz  01:07 My guest today is retired Col. Kim Casey Campbell, a 1997 graduate of the Air Force Academy, a warrior whose career included supporting warfighters on the ground from the cockpit of an A-10 Warthog, where she earned the callsign “Killer Chick.” She's a mom, wife of a retired Air Force colonel and published author. She's a motivational speaker on the topic of leadership. That includes the story of a moment where, if she hadn't also learned to be a good follower, she might not be with us today — as in, not alive. Col. Campbell's path to the Air Force Academy was one of overcoming resistance; she won the first fight of her life to join the wing, then she went on to lead it. We’ll talk with her about her book, “Flying in the Face of Fear,” her time at the Academy, and much more. Kim, thank you for being here today. Col. (Ret.) Kim "KC" Campbell  01:54 Thanks so much for having me. I appreciate it. Naviere Walkewicz  01:56 It's always a pleasure speaking to someone that — we were at the Academy the same time. I was, ’99. You're my upper classmen? You probably had me do pushups or something? And you recently came back for your reunion? Col. (Ret.) Kim "KC" Campbell  02:11 Well, now that I live in Colorado, it's always, you know — I get to spend a lot of time at the Air Force Academy. But it is always so good to see my classmates. And I think it's so much fun, because you kind of forget anything that was bad. And the memories are things that you might want to forget. And it's just, I don't know, fun to bring everybody back together again and see everyone and see what people have accomplished. And you know, their personal life and professional life. It's just a lot of fun. Naviere Walkewicz  02:36 I love that. I find that, you know, things stayed the same, but they're different. What was something that really stood out to you that you thought was a kind of a span that that space of time, it really didn't get touched? What was something that stood out? Col. (Ret.) Kim "KC" Campbell  02:48 I don't know. I mean, having taught at the Air Force Academy as well, I find that, like, the drive to serve. And I just — it's fun to see, like, where the cadets are now and their excitement to serve and to graduate and go out and be lieutenants in the Air Force and Space Force. So that's definitely something new. But that drive that we all had — it's kind of a reminder of where we were back then and that excitement that we felt for what's to come. And it's fun to see that [in] my cadets today, too. Naviere Walkewicz  03:15 I agree, I have the pleasure of being able to come back through work and see some of those cadets, and I'm always blown away at what they're able to accomplish now, much more I think, than what we did when we were here. Col. (Ret.) Kim "KC" Campbell  03:25 I love the opportunity to mentor cadets when I get the chance and, you know, just the amazing things that they have in front of them — challenges and opportunities — but really excited for them about what's ahead. Naviere Walkewicz  03:39 Yes. So, speaking about cadets, let's kind of dial back the time a little bit. Our listeners want to get to know you better. Let's go back in time for you. What were you like as a young girl? What was your childhood like? Where'd you grow up? Things like that. Col. (Ret.) Kim "KC" Campbell  03:54 Well, I grew up in San Jose, California. My dad was an Air Force Academy grad class of 1970. I had zero desire to go to the Air Force Academy or to join the military until 1986. And it was not “Top Gun.” But it was actually the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger. And I think, for me, there was just something in that moment of, you know — obviously the thrill and excitement of flight, but then watching the tragedy that played out. I think there was something in that moment that I just connected with in terms of, like, this idea that the astronauts died doing something that they believed in, something that was bigger and more important than themselves. And that was a turning point for me. I mean, I think before that, I probably wasn’t all that driven, didn’t really have anything that I was going after, kind of along for the ride in school. But once I decided that that’s what I wanted to do — I wanted to be an astronaut — it flipped a switch. I mean, I just became very driven, very committed. I talked to my parents about it. And my dad said, “Well, a lot of those astronauts were pilots and many of them had gone to the Air Force Academy. It might be something you would consider.”  I don’t think he actually thought I would go through with it. And I think it, for me — that was a huge turning point. I think my life changed dramatically from kind of the young social butterfly, not a lot of interest, along for the ride… and then
Long Blue Leadership is a show about leadership and character development.  Distinguished graduates of the Air Force Academy spanning generations of alum openly and candidly share the stories of their careers and offer personal insights on what it means to be a leader of character for the nation. The show also will cover topics of interest to Academy permanent party members, cadets, cadet parents and the general public. Established in 2023, the Long Blue Line Podcast Network is a new United States Air Force Academy Association and Foundation arm of communication and outreach.  It is our platform for producing and sharing leadership, character development and heritage-themed content.  This expansion into podcasting is part of our commitment to engage more with USAFA graduates, parents, families and all  who support the USAFA mission. LEARN | ENGAGE | LEAD (L) Dr. Doug Lindsay '92, Executive Editor of the Journal of Character and Leadership Development (R) Naviere Walkewicz '99, Senior Vice President of Alumni Relations, U.S. Air Force Academy Association and Foundation      The Long Blue Line Podcast Network is presented by the United States Air Force Academy Association and Foundation
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