The DODReads Team

DODReads was founded in 2018 by an active duty Naval Officer.  The impetus for starting this site was a command board that he nearly failed when he fumbled around and could not come up with an answer to the simple question of “What are you reading”?  Learning through that experience he decided to chronicle his journey of lifelong learning through

DODReads Team

John Laney is a twenty year year Explosive Ordnance Disposal Officer and also the founder of DODReads. He started DODReads after failing to come up with a satisfactory answer to the simple question of “What are you reading?” Through that experience he learned the value of the value of life long learning and the joy of sharing that with others.
John is currently on a one-year service sabbatical in Baja Mexico serving with orphanages, food distribution, and homebuilding. He will return to Oregon in 2021 grow a beard and buy a Christmas Tree farm.

Laura is the Director of Operations. She started working for DODReads in 2018. She’s had various roles within the business and currently serves as the director of operations for the Army-Fitness side, managing sales, customer service and web content. “What I love about the company is the goal of really providing a service to our military members, whether by outfitting units with quality fitness equipment, answering questions or publishing well written content on our blog, the goal is helping our service members to be their best.”Outside of work she’s a mom of two little girls, a MSW student and a new resident of the great state of Idaho!

Mary is the Director of Operations. She started working with DODReads in early 2019. Mary is in charge of all the content for the website and all the social media accounts. She also works with authors on interviews for the site. Mary lives in Oregon with her Husband and 1-year old son.

DODReads Advisory Board

Josh Bowen is a 10-year U.S. Army Engineer Officer and currently serves as a Tactical Officer of a 130 Cadet company at the United States Military Academy (USMA). Additionally, he is an instructor of Military Leadership within USMA’s Department of Behavioral Science & Leadership. Josh holds a BS in Civil Engineering from USMA, a MA in Organizational Psychology & Leadership from Teachers College Columbia University, and a ME in Engineering Management from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. He is the founder of 3×5 Leadership (, a website dedicated to making people and organizations better by providing leader(ship) development resources.

Heather Venable is an assistant professor of military and security studies at the U.S. Air Command and Staff College and teaches in the Department of Airpower. She also is the author of How the Few Became the Proud: Crafting the Marine Corps Mystique, 1874-1918.She received her PhD from Duke University. Her next book project explores the combat motivation and morale of US bomber crews in World War II.

Brandon Jenkins graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2003 where he received a degree in Economics.  He has an MBA from the University of Florida, is a graduate of the Air Command and Staff College, and has earned both the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designations from The American College. He has served in a variety of training and operational commands and is currently serving as the Executive Officer of a Navy helicopter squadron. Additionally, Brandon founded Tier One Life Insurance, LLC, a life insurance agency. He currently resides in Jacksonville, FL, with his wife and two children.

Jason M. Valadao, MD, is family and sports medicine physician, serving on active duty in the United States Navy. Before becoming a physician, he served as a naval flight officer during Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. During his naval career, he taught in the Department of Naval Science at the University of California Berkeley, where he also spent three years as a faculty fellow and volunteer with the football team’s coaching staff and earned a master’s degree in education.Since 2009, he has served as an adjunct professor for Concordia University Irvine’s master’s degree program in coaching and athletic administration, and in 2017 he joined the faculty of the American Academy of Family Physicians Chief Resident Leadership Development Program helping to develop the physician leaders of tomorrow. His passion for leadership and personal growth led Jason to become a certified coach, speaker, and trainer with the John Maxwell Team, where he coaches people on their journeys toward personal growth and development.

Phoebe Kotlikoff is a 2012 Harry S. Truman Scholar and graduated from the United States Naval Academy with distinction in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Quantitative Economics. She was a Public Service Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and graduated with a Masters in Public Policy in 2015. She served onboard USS OHIO (SSGN 726) (GOLD) as the Reactor Control Assistant, Damage Control Assistant, and Special Operations Forces Officer from March 2017 to July 2019. On shore, she has worked at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in the Nuclear Power Technology Development Section and the Center for Naval Analyses. She now serves as a Submarine Tactics Instructor at Trident Training Facility, Kings Bay, Georgia

Ryan W. Pallas is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and commissioned as a Marine. He holds masters degrees in both Leadership & International Relations and has served in San Diego, CA, Yuma, AZ, and Oahu, HI with deployments in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. He has been published by War on the Rocks, The Marine Corps Gazette, and The War Horse.

Hsing Lim is a Strategic Advisor/Consultant and an avid globetrotter. For decades, he has worked with governmental agencies, multi-national corporations and non-profit organizations across the globe. As a testament for his work in emergency responses and large-scale natural disaster operations, he was lauded by MIT Sloan School of Management, where he completed the Leadership and Management course, as an “international man of disaster (in a good way)” in one of its featured articles. Lim has completed his post-graduate education and advanced studies at educational institutions of United Kingdom, United States and Japan.

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