Listening ListReading Lists

Top 10 Military Podcasts

Top 10 Military Podcasts for 2020

Ready to get serious about sharpening your leadership?
Want to know what your Commanding Officer listens to as he drives to work?
Interested in hearing what our top leaders are reading? What they are thinking? and what is important to them?

You have come to the right place. The DODReads team has compiled our annual list of the best military podcasts for 2020. These podcasts focus on leadership, life-long learning, and leveraging history to make better decisions.

Take a listen to a few and then reach out to me and let me know your favorite podcast or if we missed one. I’ll be sure to include it in the next update.

“Controversy and Clarity” Podcast

Controversy and Clarity is an educational military podcast aimed at generating critical discussion and honest debate in the US Armed Forces. It focuses on professional military education, decision games, maneuver warfare, and leadership. It is the official podcast of the Warfighting Society, a network of voluntary communities of practice seeking to solve the problems of today’s warfighters, anticipate the challenges of tomorrow, and advance the profession of arms. To learn more about the Warfighting Society, please visit:

While the podcast’s audience is primarily US Marines, it hopes to reach service members in the other branches as well as America’s allies. Future seasons will look at challenges, issues, and opportunities in the US Army, Air Force, Navy, and foreign militaries.
Some of the podcast’s notable guests from Season One include:
-Col T.X. Hammes, USMC (ret.), noted defense thinker and author of the books The Sling and Stone and Forgotten Warriors
-MajGen Ray Smith, USMC (ret.), Navy Cross recipient and commander of Marine forces during the invasion of Grenada in 1982
-General Tony Zinni, USMC (ret.), former Central Command Commander and author of Battle Ready, Before the First Shots Are Fired, and The Battle for Peace
-Ms. Vanya Bellinger, award-winning military historian and author of Marie von Clausewitz: The Woman Behind the Making of On War

The show’s host is Damien O’Connell, facilitator of decision games, founder of the Warfighting Society, and Non-Resident Fellow at Marine Corps University’s Brute Krulak Center for Innovation and Creativity.

“Combat and Classics” Podcast

The Combat and Classics Podcast is a series of podcasts and free online seminars for active duty, reserve, and veteran U.S. military members, sponsored by St. John’s College. The podcasts and seminars encourage deep thought and reflection by leaders in the company of their peers. In the pods and discussion-based seminars, they devote themselves to a greater understanding of what a leader must be and know, participants, study historical and fictional leaders from the great books of the western canon.

Guests have included Claudia Haeur, author of “Strategic Humanism,” former Marine Infantryman, and author Matt Young discussing his book “Eat the Apple,” author Jennifer Wright, and other veterans and scholars who help us understand the nature of man in conflict and cooperation.

You can follow us on, Twitter @combat_classics, and Instagram @combatandclassics or contact us at

“Why We Lead” Podcast & Videos

The Why We Lead podcast focuses on the development of mid-career military leaders through conversations with senior leaders. The focus is on professional military interviews, articles, and videos found on

The Why We Lead Mission is to educate today’s warfighters to be modern and effective military leaders. Vision: Connect and develop leaders at every level to help teams succeed.

Why We Lead is lead by Air Force RQ-4 pilot Christopher Little and can be contacted at:

“American Valor” Podcast

The American Valor Podcast interviews leaders from the United States military and baseball exhibiting valor in their lives to inspire others to do the same. Guests speak about their careers, service, leadership, community, lessons learned, and more. The American Valor Podcast exists to share the community and messages of the Bob Feller Foundation, which represents the values of citizenship, service to country, and sacrifice beyond self in a time of national need, as exhibited by Bob Feller and the 37 National Baseball Hall of Famers who served in the United States military during the world’s time of need in World War II.

Notable guests include National Baseball Hall of Famers and Army veterans Johnny Bench and Tommy Lasorda, and the 70th and 75th Secretaries of the Navy, John Dalton and Ray Mabus

Contact the Bob Feller Foundation and American Valor Podcast at Learn about the Bob Feller Foundation here:

“DODReads: What are you Reading” Podcast

What are you reading podcast is a military podcast dedicated to inspiring a culture of scholarship and lifelong learning in the Armed Forces.
The podcast’s primary guests are senior military leaders who they interview in order to tease out their reading habits, best practices, and leadership practices from other life long learners.
Two of their notable guests were Admiral James Stavridis, the former Supreme Allied Commander of Europe, and General James Cartwright the former commander of STRATCOM.
The podcast is hosted by:

  • Phoebe Kitlikoff, an active duty Naval Officer
  • Jacqueline Parker, a West Point Graduate and former Army Officer
  • Joshua Bowen, an instructor at West Point and the owner of
  • Eugene Yang, a Marine Corps Infantry Officer

The “What are you reading?” Podcast can be contacted at:

“Army Matters” Podcast

AUSA’s Army Matters brings you vital Army conversations and interviews on issues relevant to Soldiers. A rotating cast of hosts covers topics of importance to the Total Army community including Soldiers, military families, and Army supporters. They are the voice for the Army and support for the Soldiers.

They have four rotating segments each publishing once per month on Mondays. Special Edition episodes supplement the calendar.

Notable guests include Margarita Devlin, MA, CRC, Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Benefits, Command Sergeant Major John W. Foley, Senior Enlisted Leader, U.S. Army Recruiting Command and Barbara C. Guy, Director, Career Management Policy Office, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs
Reach out Army Matters at

“They Had To go Out” Podcast

They Had to Go Out Podcast tells the most dangerous, daring, and epic sea stories of U.S. Coast Guard veterans. Get ready to whiten those knuckles and hold fast as we get underway to talk with Coast Guard veterans about the most daring, dangerous, and epic sea stories ever told. Whether facing ruthless men who prey on other mariners or storms that turn calm seas into graveyards, those who go down to the sea and cast off lines enter the most challenging and dangerous environment on earth. Only here will you hear their stories and the lessons gained through their experience.

Reach out to They Had To Go Out here

Sponsored by and supporting the National Coast Guard Museum Association

“Veteran’s PATH” Podcast

THE Mental health podcast for those that have worn the cloth of their nation. Veteran’s PATH – helping veterans find Peace, Acceptance, Transformation, and Honor through practical tools like meditation and mindfulness, physical and outdoor experiences, and a community of camaraderie. Hosted by Jon Macaskill, a Navy SEAL Commander turned Mindfulness Teacher. On the Veteran’s PATH podcast, he interviews veterans, athletes, corporate leaders and many others who’ve overcome obstacles or adversity and found peace through the practices of meditation and mindfulness – breaking down the stigma of pursuing mental health and making it a priority – improving and saving lives!

Noteworthy guests include Hugo Gonzalez, John Krotec, Jeff Bayless and Dot Sheehan

Learn more about the Veteran’s PATH Podcast here

“Don’t Give Up The Ship” Podcast

This podcast directed specifically at the professional and leadership development of junior enlisted Sailors and military members. They recognized what we considered to be a tremendous void in the training and preparation of junior enlisted Sailors for success during their first term in the Navy.

Between Recruit Training and the Senior Enlisted Academy (SEA) in Newport, Rhode Island, there is no formal leadership training for Sailors. Many resources don’t exist to prepare junior Sailors for the tremendous upheaval and challenges they face. We aim to do just that.

The speaker is a 19-year active duty Senior Chief Petty Officer on submarines. He has served in positions such as Division and Department Leading Chief Petty Officer, Command Career Counselor, Naval Military Training Coordinator to name a few, and is currently serving as Food Service Officer on a flagstaff.

Contact the Don’t Give Up The Ship Podcast here

“Holding The Line” Podcast

Join retired U.S. Navy Commander Guy “Bus” Snodgrass for an honest, behind-the-scenes account of America’s military in action.
Guy discusses innovation, technology, and current events, along with their impact on America’s national security and foreign affairs. Each week features new guests who provide an in-depth look at the topic at hand.

Guests have included Ward Carroll, Brett Odom, Mark Hagerott, and commander Mike Rogers.

Contact Holding The Line Podcast Here

Thanks for reading! We hope you get massive value from the best military podcasts of 2020.
What are your best military podcasts? What are your favorite podcasts at the top of your iTunes feed?
Please reach out to the author, John Laney, or the DODReads team and let us know if we missed one of your top military podcasts and we will be sure to include it in next years Best of Military Podcasts article

One thought on “Top 10 Military Podcasts

  • John,
    I would be interesting in your thoughts about “Profiles In Strategy” by the US Naval War College. its on Spotify. thanks.


Leave a Reply....