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The Digression Podcast

The Digression Podcast

Author: Chris Rash & Jody Hanks

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Chris and Jody are Air Force vets who enjoy military history and folklore. This is their podcast. They tell stories. They digress. A lot.
62 Episodes
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Where were you 20-years ago when the U.S. war in Afghanistan began? It was September 11, 2001, and al Qaeda terrorists hijacked and crashed two American Airlines passenger jets into the Twin Towers, another into the Pentagon, and a fourth, a United Airlines jet bound for the Capitol Building or the White House, was crashed into a field in Shanksville, PA. That day, 2,997 Americans were murdered by Muslim extremists and three days later, standing at Ground Zero in New York City, President George W. Bush reassured the American people that “I can hear you, the rest of the world can hear you, and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.” Thus, with a promise of revenge for our fallen, the wheels were set in motion and a few days later Congress authorized what was to become the Global War on Terror. A war that would consume four presidential administrations and extract a monumental toll in blood and treasure. Now, we’ve left Afghanistan, and in many ways, we’ve left the country in much worse shape than we found it. It’s certainly a more dangerous place now than it was two decades ago. Many veterans who served during this time, especially those who served in-country, are angrily scratching their heads and asking themselves, was it worth it? what was it all for? Let’s talk about it. Once again, friend-of-the-show Christof Ambroch takes the co-pilot seat in this episode. Regular listeners of this podcast know Christof; he is the producer and host of Tales of Honor, a podcast with a mission to tell the story of every recipient of the Medal of Honor, as well as the Professional American podcast, where he covers it all, from business ownership, to family life, to car stuff, and more! Show notes at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/61 Sponsor: Get 1 month FREE at Wondrium (formerly The Great Courses Plus)! https://thedigressionpodcast.com/wonder Sound Off! With a comment or a question at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/soundoff Like the show? Leave a 5-star rating and review: https://thedigressionpodcast.com/review Become a Patron or support the show in other ways at: https://thedigressionpodcast.com/donate Or just share our podcast with a friend! It's the best way to grow the show!!
60. The Carpetbaggers

60. The Carpetbaggers

2021-09-0336:44

One of the best-kept secrets of World War II was the CARPETBAGGERS, the code name for a joint OSS-8th Air Force covert ops unit. Assisting French underground groups, American Airmen flew agents and supplies to those resistance forces. They flew specially modified, black-painted B-24’s, C-47’s, A-26’s, and British Mosquitoes to carry out these clandestine operations. They flew by night dropping spies and supplies during moonlit skies from late 1943 until the end of the war in Europe. They are among WWII’s unsung heroes. Show notes at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/60 Sponsor: Get 1 month FREE at Wondrium (formerly The Great Courses Plus)! https://thedigressionpodcast.com/wonder Sound Off! With a comment or a question at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/soundoff Like the show? Leave a 5-star rating and review: https://thedigressionpodcast.com/review Become a Patron or support the show in other ways at: https://thedigressionpodcast.com/donate Or just share our podcast with a friend! It's the best way to grow the show!!
59. Be More Objective!

59. Be More Objective!

2021-08-2001:33:40

IN THE NEWS: Setting the record straight on Afghanistan; Capitol Killer; Crenshaw taking whistleblowers to the DoD; Drafting women; SECDEF mulls vaccine mandate; But it’s illegal; GAO has a plan to reduce training deaths; Space Force stepping up in CENTCOM; Space Force LT changes the paradigm; REAL Space Force Update; The Thunderbird maintainer pilot; Air Force says “YES” to scalp tattoos; Mouthy general runs away; No social life for unvaxed soldiers; Arson aboard the “Bonny Dick”; Navy MIA for Iranian attack; The new diverse Marine; Coasties score big!; Burn pit vics getting some recognition. Show notes at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/59 Sponsor: Get 1 month FREE at Wondrium (formerly The Great Courses Plus)! https://thedigressionpodcast.com/wonder Sound Off! With a comment or a question at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/soundoff Like the show? Leave a 5-star rating and review: https://thedigressionpodcast.com/review Support the show by becoming a Patron at https://patreon.com/thedigressionpodcast Or just share our podcast with a friend! It's the best way to grow the show!!
This is the story of a dangerous toxin released on our enemy and our own, all the while being lied to by the government. No, we’re not talking about Covid, we’re talking about Agent Orange. Much of South Vietnam is covered with very thick, dense jungle vegetation. This dense vegetation was used as cover by the forces opposing the United States and South Vietnamese armies. One means of counteracting this tactic was the use of herbicides to kill and defoliate vegetation. Agent Orange was a powerful herbicide used by the U.S. military during the Vietnam War to eliminate forest cover and crops for North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops. These chemicals were applied by airplanes, helicopters, trucks, riverboats, and individual backpacks. Three million acres of South Vietnam were sprayed with 50,000 tons of Agent Orange and other herbicides, containing over 500 pounds of dioxin. Because herbicides were used in Vietnam to destroy crops and defoliate jungle cover, the military used higher concentrations of herbicide per unit area than most domestic applications, which are primarily used to prevent weed growth. Dioxin is a by-product of herbicide production and is the focus of veterans’ continuing health concerns today because of its deadly toxicity. And we knew it all along! ----- Friend of the show Christof Ambroch takes the co-pilot seat in this episode. Regular listeners of this podcast know Christof. He is the producer and host of Tales of Honor, a podcast with a mission to tell every story of every recipient of the Medal of Honor, as well as the Professional American podcast, where he covers it all, from business ownership, to family life, to car stuff, and more! ----- Show notes at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/58 Sponsor: Get 1 month FREE at Wondrium (formerly The Great Courses Plus)! https://thedigressionpodcast.com/wonder Sound Off! With a comment or a question at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/soundoff Like the show? Leave a 5-star rating and review: https://thedigressionpodcast.com/review Support the show by becoming a Patron at https://patreon.com/thedigressionpodcast Or just share our podcast with a friend! It's the best way to grow the show!!
IN THE NEWS: RIP "RUMMY"; Field refutes SECDEF's denial of CRT in the military; The Joint Chief Chair and the search for 'white rage'; The other racial extremist; US troops don't seek extremist content; Rep Crenshaw's woke whistleblowers; Capitol Police using DoD tech to spy on Americans; US sneaks out of Bagram Air Base; And The Onion called it!; Complete withdrawal +/- 1,000; Surprise! US still can't explain UFOs; Space Force says 'good-bye' to promotion tests; Update on the REAL Space Force; Sloppy maintenance and a smoldering F-22; But the drag queen show was a BIG success; The new cringe-worthy USAF fitness test; Army puts corporal before sergeant; Sticker shock at this Army-Navy country club; Report says Navy is woke first, mission-ready second; Marines train opening/closing White House door; Congress hasn't paid the bill for ANG protection. Show notes at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/57 Sponsor: Get 1 month FREE at Wondrium (formerly The Great Courses Plus)! https://thedigressionpodcast.com/wonder Sound Off! With a comment or a question at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/soundoff Like the show? Leave a 5-star rating and review: https://thedigressionpodcast.com/review Support the show by becoming a Patron at https://patreon.com/thedigressionpodcast Or just share our podcast with a friend! It's the best way to grow the show!!
Relive or experience for the first time that day The Digression Podcast went live as we revisit our first episode...the story of RAF Alconbury's Hard Stand Monster. This episode kicked off with just a handful of listeners, but it's now a top Google search result. It's also our second most downloaded episode. Looking back, it may have started off a little slow, but it quickly picked up as we shed our self-conscious reluctance and just "shot the breeze" as we'd always done. Leaders never forget where they came from and neither do creators. Every episode was our best effort. In three years we've grown as podcasters and continue to improve our craft with an ear toward our listener's experience. We've made some good friends within the industry and have learned a ton from them, and we've spoken to some interesting people. But most of all, and this is the most humbling, we continue to gain more and more listeners who engage with the show. People from all around the world give their time to listen to The Digression Podcast and share how they feel about it. They add to the conversation with their praise, their criticism, and their insight. They support the show with their downloads, and on Patreon, and by simply sharing it with friends. We appreciate each and every listener. We may have never met, but we share a common experience, and this is enough to make us friends. Thank you! Show notes at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/56 Show notes for the ORIGINAL Hard Stand Monster episode at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/001 Sponsor: Get 1 month FREE at Wondrium (formerly The Great Courses Plus)! https://thedigressionpodcast.com/wonder Sound Off! With a comment or a question at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/soundoff Like the show? Leave a 5-star rating and review: https://thedigressionpodcast.com/review Support the show by becoming a Patron at https://patreon.com/thedigressionpodcast Or just share our podcast with a friend! It's the best way to grow the show!!
IN THE NEWS: Lotsa "woke"; Military Training Instructor calls home; The bigger picture around the Pentagon's anti-extremism moves; What you need to know about Biden's National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism; Department of Defense doubles down on diversity, inclusion, and equity in the ranks; Diversity essential to national defense; Affirmative action for Special Forces; Navy's highest-ranking officer pitches Marxist book, promotes racism over readiness; In a twist, Pentagon says no Pride flags on bases; and The military's transgender doctor bill. Show notes at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/55 Sound Off! With a comment or a question at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/soundoff Like the show? Leave a 5-star rating and review: https://thedigressionpodcast.com/review Support the show by becoming a Patron at https://patreon.com/thedigressionpodcast Or just share our podcast with a friend! It's the best way to grow the show!! Sponsor: Get 1 month FREE at Wondrium (formerly The Great Courses Plus)! https://thedigressionpodcast.com/wonder
This is the story of a young Korean man, Yang Kyongjong, who was pressed into military service for the Japanese army to fight the Russians in Manchuria. Captured by the Russians, he had spent a year in a labor camp when the German invasion of Russia saw him pressed into a Russian army uniform facing off against the Wehrmacht. Captured again, he was sent to a German prison camp when, as fate would have it, he was conscripted into the German army and soon found himself standing against the allies as they landed in Normandy. Notwithstanding the light-heartedness of this episode, the Japanese occupation was a dark period for the Korean people. The Japanese used Korea as a breadbasket, it stripped their land of trees to support Japanese industry, pressed their young women into prostitution, and their men into military service. Show notes at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/54 Sound Off! With a comment or a question at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/soundoff Like the show? Leave a 5-star rating and review: https://thedigressionpodcast.com/review Support the show by becoming a Patron at https://patreon.com/thedigressionpodcast Or just share our podcast with a friend! It's the best way to grow the show!! Sponsor: Get 1 month FREE at The Great Courses Plus! https://thedigressionpodcast.com/GCP
53. Whistleblower

53. Whistleblower

2021-05-2801:33:52

IN THE NEWS: Social distancing on Mount Everest; Netanyahu says 'no' to Biden; Space Force whistleblower with a book; Vandy is newest Space Force Base; Justice Thomas rags on Feres Doctrine; Pentagon trolling social media; CENTCOM begins Afghanistan drawdown and worries about the vacuum; UFOs are everywhere; U2 talks to F22 and F35; Contractors sell low-class tech data; No guns for Army of One; Take a break from the Army; Navy Secretary pushes DEI; Sailor builds better badges; The Man from LOX; Marine first active-duty charged for Jan 6 "attack"; Burn pit benefits on the way; Bartender trashes military ID; Korean war hero receives Medal of Honor. Shownotes at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/53 Sound Off! With a comment or a question at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/soundoff Like the show? Leave a 5-star rating and review: https://thedigressionpodcast.com/review Support the show by becoming a Patron at https://patreon.com/thedigressionpodcast Or just share our podcast with a friend! It's the best way to grow the show!! Sponsor: Get 1 month FREE at The Great Courses Plus! https://thedigressionpodcast.com/GCP
Detonating a thermonuclear weapon on the moon? It sounds like the devious scheme of a deranged comic-book villain and not a project initiated inside the United States government! But in 1958, as the Cold War space race was heating up, the U.S. Air Force set out to do just that! Code-named "Project A119," it was the U.S. attempt to reclaim the initiative from the Soviets who had just flung the beach-ball sized satellite "Sputnik" into orbit, thus proving to the world it had not lost the space race before it had even begun. What could go wrong? Show notes at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/52 Sound Off! With a comment or a question at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/soundoff Like the show? Leave a 5-star rating and review: https://thedigressionpodcast.com/review Support the show by becoming a Patron at https://patreon.com/thedigressionpodcast Or just share our podcast with a friend! It's the best way to grow the show!! Sponsor: Get 1 month FREE at The Great Courses Plus! https://thedigressionpodcast.com/GCP
The "Go-To" Service; Space Systems Command finds a home; Colorado jumps the gun; The real Space Force update; SECDEF defines extremism; Still not leaving Afghanistan; Pentagon touts transgender docs; military not ready; Why does God need a starship?; ACC's new alignment is old news; Disney (did not) help Thunderbirds create new airshow; Avenger ditches at Cocoa Beach; West Point cheaters; Army super soldiers; Soldiers earn Nordic badge in desert; Stop staring at my breasts; Navy Lt rags on enlisted; Greatest beer run ever!; Coast Guardsmen make olympic team; Burn pit advocate dies; WWI Memorial opens in D.C.; D-Day survivor passes. Show notes at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/51 Sound Off! With a comment or a question at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/soundoff Like the show? Leave a 5-star rating and review: https://thedigressionpodcast.com/review Support the show by becoming a Patron at https://patreon.com/thedigressionpodcast Or just share our podcast with a friend! It's the best way to grow the show!! Sponsor: Get 1 month FREE at The Great Courses Plus! https://thedigressionpodcast.com/GCP
Regular listeners of the show know we like strange tales (and alliteration), so for our 50th episode, we thought we'd have a little fun with some military murders that just don't add up. Fair warning! This episode contains some dark humor. So, what caused the untimely deaths of Lt Paul Whipkey, SPC Chad Langford, Lt Kirk Vanderbur, Col James Sabow, Col Yosef Alon, Sgt William Miller, and Cpl David Cox. We may never know what happened to these men, but one thing we know for sure: suicide is always a convenient explanation. Show notes at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/50 Sound Off! With a comment or a question at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/soundoff Like the show? Leave a 5-star rating and review: https://thedigressionpodcast.com/review Support the show and share our podcast with a friend!
Ryan Kern is a former news anchor and reporter for a Nevada NBC affiliate. Now, as an independent journalist, he is the host/reporter/producer of the Finding Faces podcast.  “Finding Faces: The Search for the Missing Pictures of Fallen Vietnam Heroes” is about the hunt for photos of servicemen who did not return home from Vietnam. In 2001, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (the organization running The Wall memorial in Washington D.C.) started collecting at least one photo of all 58,000+ who died in the war. Twenty years later, they’re down to around 100 servicemen who do not have pictures. These photos are all featured on a virtual “Wall of Faces” online. Ryan's podcast searches for the families of Vietnam servicemen in order to collect the best pictures possible for the Wall of Faces and help investigate or resolve any issues or questions these family members are still dealing with 50-years later. Finding Faces, Season 1, aired in 2020 from September through December. It was 12 episodes long and about 12 hours of content, but day one of recording the series actually began in February of 2019! So while some episodes were recorded over the span of one-week, others covered 17-months...and everything in-between. Season 2 is currently in production and Ryan took time out of his busy schedule to talk to The Digression Podcast guys! Finding Faces Podcast: http://storicmedia.com/finding-faces/ Show notes at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/49 Sound Off! With a comment or a question at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/soundoff Like the show? Leave a 5-star rating and review: https://thedigressionpodcast.com/review Support the show and share our podcast with a friend!
In early February, in the aftermath of the January 6th Capitol “riot,” Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, ordered a 60-day stand-down within all the military branches in order to address extremism in the ranks. Despite an October 2020 Pentagon report commissioned by Congress that concluded extremist views were not widespread and identified "a low number of cases in absolute terms," this was an urgent matter that needed to be addressed immediately. In the weeks following, the Pentagon released training materials to guide military units in conducting their stand-down events. Appropriately, within this guidance were examples of unacceptable and impermissible extremist activities. The only problem? All were examples of white supremacy as if that’s the only form extremism takes. There was no mention of ANTIFA anarchists who assaulted federal facilities, from ICE facilities to courthouses for a year. And the subject of Black Lives Matter (BLM) was described as an acceptable discussion of a social policy issue although BLM was responsible for 90% of the “protest” violence that occurred during the summer of 2020. And let’s not forget Major Nidal Hasan, the Islamic extremist who killed 13 people and wounded 30 others in a Fort Hood killing spree. Are there people serving or who have served in the military who hold extremist views? Certainly. We’re an all-volunteer force, so the military is a reflection of society. However, narrowing the definition of extremism to that of white nationalism without including or ignoring outright its other manifestations, demonstrates the Pentagon’s and Secretary Austin’s lack of seriousness in truly addressing this issue. Show notes at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/48 Sound Off! With a comment or a question at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/soundoff Like the show? Leave a 5-star rating and review: https://thedigressionpodcast.com/review Support the show and share our podcast with a friend!
47. Conduct Unbecoming

47. Conduct Unbecoming

2021-04-0201:16:23

IN THE NEWS: Grandpa Doc; Biden Trips; Space Force growing Techs; SFJROTC; GAO gets in on Space Command HQ relo; UFO report coming due; Space Force NATSEC Nip Slip; National Guard D.C. extension; And we're staying in Afghanistan; Generals acting badly; Where are the cars and buildings we bought in Afghanistan?; Iran satellite psyche-out; A new LGBTQ champion; Searching for the drunk airman who stole a plane; Air Force drone washes up on the beach; Affirmative action for pilots; Ukrainian jet Volkswagen add-on; Army discovers men and women are different; Jetpack soldiers; Navy drone swarms; Stress-o-Meter; Remembering the El Toro Jet joy ride; No benefits for jet fuel lungs. Show notes at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/47 Sound Off! With a comment or a question at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/soundoff Like the show? Leave a 5-star rating and review: https://thedigressionpodcast.com/review Support the show and share our podcast with a friend!
46. Florida Fiasco

46. Florida Fiasco

2021-03-1943:27

In 1812, the United States government tried to annex Spanish East Florida by a combination of covert action and direct invasion. Then the plan went horribly wrong. The “Patriots' War'” in Spanish East Florida during 1812-13 was an early example of a military disaster caused by a secret, flawed political policy. The characteristics of this fiasco bear an uncomfortable resemblance to the United States' undeclared wars in the late 20th century—covert paramilitary operations, convoluted chains of command, restrictive rules of engagement, Congress at odds with the president, and increasing public dissatisfaction. As always, the troops paid the highest price for bad policy. Marine Captain John Williams was one of the few regular military officers assigned to bolster the American government's shadowy effort to subvert Spanish colonial authority in the territory and ultimately annex it to the United States. He had become frustrated by political constraints that conceded the first shot to any adversary. His Marines were increasingly vulnerable to attacks by bands of Seminoles and blacks, who were armed and directed by East Florida's Spanish governor. The Spanish-organized guerrillas had no such restrictions. On the night of September 12, 1812, they ambushed Captain Williams and his Marines in Twelve Mile Swamp, northwest of St. Augustine. The Marines fought fearlessly, averting a massacre, but their leader was mortally wounded. The ambush of Williams' force toppled the ill-advised plot to annex East Florida by armed diplomacy. American forces, their lines of communication effectively severed, immediately abandoned their five-month siege of St. Augustine and retreated toward the St. Johns River. The eventual evacuation of all U.S. troops from Florida ended one of the most disgraceful chapters in American military history. Show notes at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/46 Sound Off! With a comment or a question at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/soundoff Like the show? Leave a 5-star review: https://thedigressionpodcast.com/review Support the show and share our podcast with a friend!
45. TRUMP!

45. TRUMP!

2021-03-0501:37:51

IN THE NEWS: Mike saves Tiger; Space takes a back seat; Trump; Paski mocks Space Force; Floaty Bois; IG probes Space Force relo; Trump; Capitol fence ain't going away any time soon; The National Guard may not either; Biden's Three Stooges Syria Solution; 'American is Back' like it was before; Trump; We ain't leaving Afghanistan; or Iraq; Trump brings deaths to zero!; Weeding out extremists; Taking sexual misconduct out of the chain of command; Sunday Ferrari; Action orders; Army gender issues; Bowe Bergdahl goes to court; Navy learns 3-D printing; Pueblo survivors beat North Korea; Marines need cobra blood; Mohawk drug score; Uranium and Gulf War Illness; Better late than never for 99-year-old soldier; Skynet IS real; Premature detonation. Show notes at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/45 Sound Off! With a comment or a question at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/soundoff Like the show? Leave a 5-star review: https://thedigressionpodcast.com/review Support the show and share our podcast with a friend!
To the mysteries of the sky add the case of the U.S. Navy blimp L-8. Since the dawn of aviation, aircraft have flown into the clouds never to be seen again. The L-8 disappeared into the clouds all right, but when she reappeared and eventually came back down to earth, she was missing her crew! During WWII, the L-8 patrolled the California coast near San Francisco looking for Japanese submarines. On August 16, 1942, she took off from the Treasure Island Naval Base on a routine flight with a two-man crew, Lt (J.G.) Ernest Cody and Ensign Charles Adams of Airship Squadron 32. About two hours into the flight, Lt Cody radioed the control tower at the base and told them they were investigating a large oil slick, which could indicate a Japanese submarine was in the area. Neither Cody nor Adams were heard from again. Their ship returned to earth without them. PLUS: Our thoughts on Gina Carano's new gig! Show notes at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/44 Sound Off! With a comment or a question at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/soundoff Like the show? Leave a 5-star review: https://thedigressionpodcast.com/review Support the show and share our podcast with a friend!
43. Bits and Bytes

43. Bits and Bytes

2021-02-0501:24:41

We were right about COVID; Space Force is here to stay; Star Gate; Alabama wins Space Force; The Cyber Force?; A General understatement; Specialists; Lockheed to the rescue for $5B; Space Force season 2; Biden locked out; National Guard parked in the garage; "Let them eat cookies"; Extremists in the Guard; 404-1776 Commission Report; Waiver for new SECDEF; Back to Afghanistan; Military fights climate change; MIA snoops on cells; Air Force recruits influencers; Electromagnetic woes; Awesome Super Bowl flyover; The combat Cloth Face Covering; Top Army soldier cleared; Army okays bald women; Bradley still broke; China and Iran flex; PC Navy fires CO; Marine grooming on deck; Downtime chess; Private Jerry Garcia? Show notes at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/43 Sound Off! With a comment or a question at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/soundoff Like the show? Leave a 5-star review: https://thedigressionpodcast.com/review Support the show and share our podcast with a friend!
On April 10, 1963, the USS Thresher, the lead boat of her class of nuclear-powered submarines, went down with all hands 220-miles off the coast of Cape Cod. It was the deadliest submarine disaster in U.S. naval history. The loss of the Thresher was never fully explained and the Navy never released the report on the its sinking. That is, until a retired submarine commander sued the Navy, forcing them to come clean! Now we know why she sank...at least what the Navy thinks because analysis of SOSUS data paints a different (and more plausible) picture of events. Still, one thing we do know is the sinking of the Thresher led to sweeping changes in the submarine force that has ensured the safe operating of these vessels ever since. Show notes at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/42 Sound Off! With a comment or a question at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/soundoff Support the show and share our podcast with a friend!
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