Show cover of Military Matters

Military Matters

Military Veterans and hosts Rod Rodriguez and Jack Murphy bring you stories and topics affecting our military, servicemembers, and veterans. Listen to the stories that matter, this is Military Matters.


ICYMI Pseudoscience, the occult and the rise of Nazi Germany
While we're in pre-production on the next season of Military Matters, we're releasing some episodes from prior seasons we think you'll love and might have missed! With Halloween just around the corner, I thought it would be fun to share this episode from Season 4. In this episode Jack Murphy talks with Dr. Eric Kurlander, author of "Hitler's Monsters: A Supernatural History of the Third Reich" about the Nazi obsession with the occult and how Hitler convinced a country to abandon science for the allure of mysticism. It's a really interesting episode that brings together the discussion of nationalism along with vampires and werewolves. Leave a review for us at Apple Podcasts, and if you have an idea for an episode email us at
60:49 09/15/2022
Fast Take - NATO, Nukes, and Season 5 Finale!
Military Matters hosts Rod Rodriguez and Jack Murphy wrap up the season talking about last week's episode, covering a war story in real-time, and this season's stand-out episodes! Thank you all for an amazing Season 5! We'll see you all ... at Season 6!
42:42 08/25/2022
NATO and Nukes!
It's our season finale and in this episode, we're talking about NATO and nukes! What exactly is NATO and why is it important to the US? What does NATO have to do with the war in Ukraine? Are we on the brink of nuclear disaster? All that and more on this episode of Military Matters! GUESTS Dr. Timothy Sayles - author of Enduring Alliance: A History of NATO and the Postwar Global Order Dr. Jeffrey Michaels - IEN senior fellow for American Foreign Policy and International Security, Barcelona Institute for International Studies Dr. Ulrich Kuhn - Head of the research area “Arms Control and Emerging Technologies” at the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (IFSH)
68:54 08/16/2022
Fast Take - Bowe Bergdahl, an American Cipher
Rod Rodriguez and Jack Murphy discuss last week's episode, an interview with the co-author of "American Cipher: Bowe Bergdahl and the U.S. Tragedy in Afghanistan." Why was Bergdahl allowed to even join the military, were CONOPS fabricated, and did we all get the story wrong on Bergdahl?
37:51 07/28/2022
Bowe Bergdahl, American Cipher
Thirteen years ago Army infantryman Bowe Berghdal walked off of Observation Post Mest near the town of Yahya Kheyl in the Paktika Province of Afghanistan. He was held captive for almost five years. Jack Murphy sat down with Michael Ames, co-author of "American Cipher: Bowe Bergdahl and the U.S. Tragedy in Afghanistan." Is there more to the story of Bowe Bergdahl's capture and detention? Over a decade later, new questions are being raised and the answers aren’t what you think.
51:02 07/21/2022
Suicide in the Secret World of Intelligence
Check out last week's episode on the death of intelligence professional Michael Froede. Jack Murphy and Rod Rodriguez discuss the secret world of intel, secrets and suicide, and some of the strange issues surrounding Froede's death. --- This Episode is brought to you by Tekto Gear. TEKTO Gear is giving 15% off the entire purchase. Go to and use discount code, Stripes.
37:25 07/05/2022
A "Secret Soldier", a mysterious suicide, and PTSD in the intelligence world
Michael Froede was a US Army Human Intelligence (HUMINT) collector working in clandestine special operations programs. After struggling with hallucinations and depression related to PTSD and TBIs, he jumped to his death from a parking garage. His death has left many unanswered questions for his mother, who remains skeptical about the circumstances of her son's death. Then, retired senior intelligence professional Erick Miyares takes us into the world of a clandestine intelligence operator, and the stress, fatigue and pressure that's leading more intelligence service members to suicide.
66:03 06/23/2022
Fast Take - Andrew Milburn, Mozart Group, and the war in Ukraine
Rod Rodriguez and Jack Murphy discuss the war in Ukraine, how a former SOF Commander is making a difference, and what the presence of contractors in a war against Russia could mean for us all.
30:02 06/16/2022
Former SOF Commander teaching Ukrainians how to fight!
Why is the former Deputy Commander of Special Operations Central (SOCCENT) in Ukraine? Jack Murphy brings us an incredible interview with Col. (R) Andrew Milburn about why he decided to join the fight and how his company The Mozart Group is helping "build sustainable capacity in the Ukrainian military and territorial defense units so that Ukraine can defend itself from Russia’s invasion."
50:27 06/09/2022
Fast Take — A letter to the SECDEF, woo-woo lingo, and 4-star accommodations?
Rose Thayer and Rod Rodriguez discuss last week's episode about the insane corruption that is military housing. We talk about the lethargy some folks feel about this topic, a 'strongly worded letter' to the SECDEF, and how many homes could the government have purchased for the price of a general's home in Austin (just curious)?
18:30 06/02/2022
Corrupt contracts, children falling out of windows, and do you even care?
Commanders are taking the side of Military housing companies against their own service members. Children are falling out of military housing windows at an alarming rate and the fix is not economical for housing companies. If you're in a wheelchair in government housing you're screwed, and much much more. This episode was written and reported by Stars and Stripes reporter Rose Thayer. ---This episode is brought to you by Tekto Gear. TEKTO Gear is giving 15% off the entire purchase. Go to and use discount code, Stripes.
42:43 05/26/2022
A Tenant Bill of Rights and dead infants on Fort Bragg REPLAY
Next week, Stripes reporter Rose Thayer gives us an update on the tenant bill of rights and whether its working. Before then though, we suggest you listen to two other episodes to help prime you for that update. We suggest "Black mold and lead in military housing, and the law letting it happen" and this episode, which you're about to hear. Is the military just bad at environmental testing, or is there more? Could the deaths of infants on Fort Bragg have been prevented? If you have a tip, lead, or story idea email us at
21:31 05/19/2022
Fast Take - Oil, Crypto, and Weed Coin?
Jack Murphy and Rod Rodriguez discuss last week's episode on the effects of sanctions against Russia, oil, and cryptocurrency. Do we have to tell you the conversation goes off the rails? Check out last week's episode!
27:47 05/03/2022
Sanctions, Guns, and Cryptocurrency
Russian commodities analyst Nick Trickett talks with Jack Murphy about sanctions against Russia, the squeeze on European oil, and what role China plays in Russia's down-trending economy. Then cybersecurity and cryptocurrency expert Rick Jordan talks with us about the role cryptocurrency is playing in today's world economy and what any of that matters in war. Guest Links Nick Trickett - TW: @ntrickett16 - - Rick Jordan - - TW: @mrrickjordan - --- This Episode is brought to you by Tekto Gear. TEKTO Gear is giving 15% off the entire purchase. Go to and use discount code, Stripes.
56:17 04/21/2022
Fast Take - Thinking of joining the fight in Ukraine? Not so fast...
Before you decide to volunteer for the Ukraine Foreign Legion, listen to our conversation with Marine veteran and experienced overseas contractor Tim Lynch about what you need to know before making that commitment. There's more at stake than you might realize... ---This Episode is brought to you by Tekto Gear. TEKTO Gear is giving 15% off the entire purchase. Go to and use discount code, Stripes.
19:36 04/07/2022
Future War: Urban warfare and the Russian perspective
The Russian perspective on the war in Ukraine, the Russian army in urban warfare, and can Putin survive a failed invasion? GUESTS Dr. Rita Konaev is an Associate Director of analysis at the Center for Security and Emergent Technology. Twitter: @RitaKonaev Dr. Golfo Alexopoulos, professor at the School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies at USF and director of the USF Institute on Russia. Twitter: @GolfoAlexopoulo  
62:48 03/31/2022
Fast Take - Zelensky's ask, the Tik Tok war, and a new proxy war
Military Matters hosts Rod Rodriguez and Jack Murphy talk about Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's address to the U.S. Congress, war tourists, and do YOU think Zelenskyy should have worn a suit? Send your comments to or find us on Twitter @stripesmmpod
17:05 03/24/2022
Future War: Russia's Military and Warfare
Tanks, Spetsnaz, "Little Green Men" and information warfare. Jack Murphy takes us beyond the headlines and into Russia's military, strategy, and how they envision victory. This is part two of our Future War series on Russia. Leave us a review on Apple Podcasts.
47:52 03/17/2022
Fast Take - Who knew Russia would be this bad?
Military Matters hosts Rod Rodriguez and Jack Murphy discuss last week's episode on the Russia/Ukraine crises. How the collapse of the Soviet Union has everything to do with this war, Putin's slipping power, and whether nukes could play a role in this. Subscribe today. Part 2 of our Future War Series on Russia coming soon!
17:05 03/10/2022
Future War: Russia and Ukraine
The invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces has sent shockwaves throughout the world resulting in the highest tensions between the East and the West since the Cold War.  Russia analyst Nick Trickett and former Russian FSB Officer Jan Neumann explain how Russia got to this point, what this war could mean for Russia's leader Vladimir Putin, and what could happen next. Leave us a review on Apple Podcasts
48:47 03/01/2022
ICYMI Kabul Embassy the Taliban and the Fall of Afghanistan
This is our final ICYMI before we kick of season 5! Former U.S. Special Forces service member and current intelligence professional shares an insider's view of the Taliban's takeover of the country, the chaos at the US embassy, and how it all went so wrong.  Follow Military Matters on Twitter and Facebook
41:45 02/24/2022
The Death of Mark Leshikar ICYMI
The recent deaths of Army Delta Force member William J. Lavigne and Army Veteran Timothy Dumas are being investigated as homicides. Their deaths have brought attention back to another fatal shooting Lavigne was involved in, the shooting of his best friend and Special Forces soldier Mark Leshikar. Jack Murphy takes us into the life and death of Mark Leshikar. We talk with his sister and widow, uncovering details never before revealed about this mysterious case. Missing evidence, redacted reports, and a witness who's only now able to speak out.
56:07 02/17/2022
QAnon - exposing extremists views within the ranks ICYMI
We are revisiting our Qanon episode, in which we explored the murky world of QAnon, the far-right conspiracy theory that falsely claims President Donald Trump is fighting a shadowy cabal of Satanist pedophiles. To find out how child pedophilia rings, Pizzagate, and the existence of a deep state made their way into the mainstream consciousness, and also to learn about the conspiracy theory’s links to the military and veteran community, we talk with QAnon Anonymous podcast co-host and Washington Post contributor Travis View, as well as with journalist and former Green Beret Jack Murphy. Does QAnon have the potential for stoking extremist violence? Why do it and other extremist organizations work to recruit service members and veterans? 
28:48 02/10/2022
What Happened to Vanessa Guillen? ICYMI
The story of Vanessa Guillen rocked the military and lead to drastic changes not only at Fort Hood but throughout the DOD. The passing of the Vanessa Guillen bill was one of those major changes that came out of this tragedy. Stars and Stripes reporter Rose Thayer walks us through what the Vanessa Guillen bill is and an update to the Vanessa Guillen case. Then we're revisiting our Season 2 episode, "What Really Happened to Vanessa Guillen?" Email us at and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
44:43 02/03/2022
Afghanistan, China, Covid, and #wokemilitary
It's our season 4 wrap-up! Rod Rodriguez and Jack Murphy discuss the stories covered this season from the Afghan evacuation to our "woke" military story. Leave us a review on Apple Podcasts and send us your thoughts and story suggestions to
55:30 01/13/2022
The CIA and the Afghan Evacuation
Mick Mulroy is a former CIA Paramilitary Operations Officer and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD) for the Middle East. In this interview with Jack Murphy, Mick discusses the CIA's efforts to rescue Afghan allies as the Taliban reseized the country and why it was so important to the agency to do so. 
28:35 01/06/2022
Task Force Pineapple
Retired Special Forces officer Scott Mann shares the incredible story of veterans helping their Afghan partners find their way out of Afghanistan as the Taliban retake the country. These veterans accomplished this harrowing task from their kitchens, cars, and front rooms! Find out how in this episode of Military Matters! For more information on Task Force Pineapple go to Also, check out SOFcast's episode "Reflecting on 9/11 and Afghanistan", available everywhere you listen to podcasts.  
31:05 12/30/2021
Fast Take: The Mission to Save Our Allies
Rod Rodriguez and Jack Murphy discuss last week's episode about the broken State Department visa program that foreshadowed the debacle that was their NEO operation. Also, the Tim Kennedy situation and why did the military need civilians to do their job for them? Share your ideas or hit us up with a tip at
32:53 12/16/2021
The mission to Save Our Allies
With the Taliban now in control and U.S. forces withdrawing, Afghans desperate to find a way out turned to U.S. veterans they had served alongside for help. Some of those veterans heeded their call and went to their rescue. Save Our Allies Coalition's Chad Robichaux, Nick Palmisciano, and The Diplomat's Catherine Putz take us into the story of a broken immigrant visa program, a high stakes rescue mission, and the tragic story of how busloads of orphans were left behind...
59:32 12/09/2021
Quick message about this week's episode
In order to tell the next story about the recent Afghan evacuations, we need a little more production time, so we won't have a new episode for you this week. In the meantime, I highly recommend you check out our previous episodes The Battle for Kunduz and its accompanying Fast Take: Kabul Embassy, the Taliban, and the Fall of Afghanistan. Thank you for your patience!
01:59 12/02/2021