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7 Must-Listen Podcasts by and for Veterans

The podcast boom has brought us many important voices for the military audience

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Illustration: Rob Dobi

Whether you’re in the gym, walking the dog, gardening, sitting in the car or just waiting for someone, there’s always an opportunity to escape and learn by listening to a podcast.

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You can subscribe here to AARP Veteran Report, a free e-newsletter published every two weeks. If you have feedback or a story idea then please contact us here.

The podcast boom has given us an explosion of content, offering a way to take a deep dive on a subject or to listen to people we grow to trust. There are hundreds of podcasts that appeal to veterans, and we won’t attempt to rank them or tell you which are best — it’s such a personal choice. I’ve been a guest on a number myself.

But here, in no particular order, are some podcasts with particular appeal for veterans that we recommend you try out:

The Team House

A weekly podcast that is livestreamed every Friday evening, The Team House is hosted by Jack Murphy and Dave Parke, both former Rangers. Murphy was a sniper and senior weapons sergeant in the 5th Special Forces Group, and Parke was a Marine, Navy diver, sniper and paramilitary contractor.

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The pair host freewheeling conversations with veterans, spies and authors that can last several hours and sometimes involve a few beers.

Sample review: “Exceptional listen for ALL veterans. The diversity of guests and the way their experiences are conveyed is both entertaining and informative.”

Danger Close with Jack Carr

During a two-decade career as a Navy SEAL, Jack Carr served as a team leader, platoon commander, troop commander, task unit commander and sniper. He’s the author of the best-selling Terminal List book series, which is the basis for the Amazon Prime television show of the same name, starring Chris Pratt.

Carr’s mother was a librarian, and his voracious reading adds depth to his Danger Close interviews with special operators, CIA paramilitaries and authors.

Sample review: “Jack Carr is an American treasure. Warrior, patriot, author, interviewer and citizen … he excels at them all. His easy style keeps me engaged and learning and thinking.”

Mike Drop

Hosted by Mike Ritland, who spent a dozen years as a Navy SEAL, then two decades as a dog trainer whose company won contracts with the military and U.S. government agencies. He describes his Mike Drop podcast as a “not so politically correct discussion of wide-ranging topics that span from government, politics and war to health and fitness, from guns and survival skills to food and nutrition with music, BBQ and a touch of everything else in between.”

Sample review: “Mike does an outstanding job interviewing all sorts of amazing people serving at the tip of the spear and beyond. He gives these men and women a platform to share their experiences and their struggles.”

The Jedburgh Podcast

This podcast is described as a conversation with “transformative leaders, visionaries, drivers of change, and those dedicated to winning no matter the challenge.” The Jedburgh Podcast draws its name from the OSS teams dropped behind enemy lines during World War II.

Fran Racioppi, a former Green Beret, is the host, and guests include veterans but also people from the worlds of business and sports.

Sample review: “Fran does his homework and comes to the table with fascinating questions for every guest. A truly unique mix of people from so many walks of life. Bravo!”

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The Protectors

Former U.S. Army officer Jason Piccolo is a military combat veteran who went on to serve as a federal agent for 23 years. On The Protectors, he interviews guests from military heroes to best-selling authors to people he describes as everyday “protectors.” An author and podcasting pioneer, he often livestreams on YouTube.

Sample review: “Taking the time to showcase those who ‘run towards danger,’ in all their endeavors, is not only brilliant but compelling. Great guests coupled with incredible insight and perspective make for an overall amazing show.”

Eye on Veterans

Each week, Navy veteran and journalist Phil Briggs examines issues from the perspective of military veterans. Produced by CBS Radio, Eye on Veterans deals with topics ranging from medical marijuana to pushing Congress to enact laws. Briggs hosts veterans, highlights employment opportunities and interviews athletes, top actors and musicians.

Sample review: “I love how it’s more than just people ranting. It’s books, jobs and also occasionally addresses all the scary vet issues.”

Team Never Quit

Another podcast by a Navy SEAL (and by the way, check out two others — Cleared Hot by Andy Stumpf and Can You Survive This Podcast? by Clint Emerson), Team Never Quit is hosted every Wednesday by Marcus Luttrell, who was played by Mark Wahlberg in the hit movie based on Luttrell’s book Lone Survivor.

Luttrell’s new cohost is his wife, Melanie. Based in Texas, they specialize in guests who have taken on life’s toughest challenges, met them head-on and prevailed.

Sample review: “This podcast makes me laugh but also picks me up when I’m down. It’s meant a lot to me as I deal with the loss of my wife. It reinforces what we were taught back in battalion.”

You can subscribe here to AARP Veteran Report, a free e-newsletter published every two weeks. If you have feedback or a story idea then please contact us here.

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