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Midrats

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Navy Milbloggers Sal from "CDR Salamander" and EagleOne from "EagleSpeak" discuss leading issues and developments for the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and related national security issues.

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Navy Milbloggers Sal from "CDR Salamander" and EagleOne from "EagleSpeak" discuss leading issues and developments for the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and related national security issues.

iTunes Ratings

46 Ratings
Average Ratings
37
5
3
1
0

The best place for in depth Naval analysis

By Flyingcyclone - Jan 22 2020
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Company grade officer in the Marine Corps- Midrats helps me stay up to date on what’s going on and what the thinking is on the blue team. First naval podcast I listened to, sal and eagle one got me on to cimsec and USNI, as well as getting this jarhead to read “Fleet Tactics”

Excellent analysis

By crankshaft333 - Oct 23 2018
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Excellent analysis and interesting guests. Enjoyable way to stay up to date on maritime news.

iTunes Ratings

46 Ratings
Average Ratings
37
5
3
1
0

The best place for in depth Naval analysis

By Flyingcyclone - Jan 22 2020
Read more
Company grade officer in the Marine Corps- Midrats helps me stay up to date on what’s going on and what the thinking is on the blue team. First naval podcast I listened to, sal and eagle one got me on to cimsec and USNI, as well as getting this jarhead to read “Fleet Tactics”

Excellent analysis

By crankshaft333 - Oct 23 2018
Read more
Excellent analysis and interesting guests. Enjoyable way to stay up to date on maritime news.
Cover image of Midrats

Midrats

Latest release on Aug 03, 2020

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Navy Milbloggers Sal from "CDR Salamander" and EagleOne from "EagleSpeak" discuss leading issues and developments for the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and related national security issues.

Rank #1: Episode 476: August Cole & P.W. Singer's Ghost Fleet, Best of

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The best fiction doesn't just entertain, it informs and causes the reader to think.

Our guest for the full hour this Sunday from 5-6pm Eastern is August Cole, the co-author with P.W. Singer of one of the best received military fiction novels on the last year, Ghost Fleet: An Novel of the Next World War.

August is an author and analyst specializing in national security issues.

He is a nonresident senior fellow at the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security at the Atlantic Council where he directs The Art of the Future Project, which explores narrative fiction and visual media for insight into the future of conflict. He is a non-resident fellow at the Modern War Institute at the United States Military Academy (West Point). He is also writer-in-residence at Avascent, an independent strategy and management consulting firm focused on government-oriented industries.

He also edited the Atlantic Council science fiction collection, War Stories From the Future, published in November 2015. The anthology featured his short story ANTFARM about the intersection of swarm-warfare, additive manufacturing and crowd-sourced intelligence.

He is a former reporter for the Wall Street Journal in Washington and an editor and a reporter for MarketWatch.com.

Feb 24 2019

1hr 3mins

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Rank #2: Episode 159: Best of Counter Narcotics

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This week's 3-day weekend "Best of" will reach back to Episode 39 where we talk about the U.S. Coast Guard's role in defending the USA from the flow of illegal drugs.
Our guest will be CDR E. A. Westfall, CDR, USCG, then Commanding Officer of the USCGC ESCANABA (WMEC 907).

Jan 20 2013

58mins

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Rank #3: Episode 164: Best of With James D. Hornfischer

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You're in for a good treat this Best Of.

When you mention books on naval history, there are but a few authors whose work immediately come to mind, and our guest is one of them.

Unquestionably one of the finest writers of naval history of the last half-century; James D. Hornfischer.

We have talked about his books on a regular basis both on Midrats and over at our homeblogs; The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors &  Ship of Ghosts.  He has a new book out, one that will be required reading for his fans - Neptune's Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal.

We will have him for the full hour, so don't miss the discussion of the U.S. Navy in the opening of WWII, the lessons we should take from history, and the importance of the study of naval history for both the professional and amateur.

Feb 24 2013

59mins

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Rank #4: Episode 182: Marine Recon Best Of

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I cannot believe it has been almost 2.5 years since this show. Unquestionably time to have it again.
Much of the conversation about the USMC over the last decade has been about its "Second Land Army" status .... well .... Marines are still second to none at their core skill set. In case someone forgot that - our next guest and his Marines reminded everyone of not just that - but the power of the Navy-Marine Corp team.
Over a 48 hour period, the 15th MEU/PELARG team conducted offensive air operations in Afghanistan resulting in the deaths of 5 confirmed enemy fighters, provided disaster relief in Pakistan to 120 victims who had been without aid since July, and seized a pirated vessel, rescuing a crew of 11 hostages and detaining 9 suspected pirates off the coast of Somalia.
Our guest will be Captain Alexander Martin, USMC - the leader of the team that took back The Magellan Star.

Jun 30 2013

59mins

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Rank #5: Episode 170: Stolen Seas; Tales of Somali Piracy

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We have heard from industry, military leaders, Marines, and private security providers, this Sunday we are going to look at piracy at a more personal level with director Thymaya Payne of the documentary, Stolen Seas; Tales of Somali Piracy. He will be our guest for the full hour.
From the show promo:
The filmmakers have spent the past three years traveling to some of the world's most violent locales in order to make this documentary on Somali piracy, Stolen Seas. Utilizing exclusive interviews and unparalleled access to real pirates, hostages, hostages' relatives, ship-owners, pirate negotiators and experts on piracy and international policy, Stolen Seas presents a chilling exploration of the Somali pirate phenomenon.
The film throws the viewer, through audio recordings and found video, right into the middle of the real-life hostage negotiation of a Danish shipping vessel, the CEC Future. As the haggling between the ship's stoic owner Per Gullestrup, and the pirate's loquacious negotiator, Ishmael Ali, drags on for 70 days, these two adversaries' relationship takes an unexpected turn and an unlikely friendship is born.
Stolen Seas is an eye opening refutation of preconceived ideas on how or why piracy has become the world's most frightening multi-million dollar growth industry.

Apr 07 2013

1hr 1min

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Rank #6: Episode 489: US Merchant Marine - Not Ready for War, with gCaptain's John Konrad

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What if they gave a war in WESTPAC and we couldn't come?

It is easy to talk tactics, weapons, and warship numbers - but on balance, that is not what ensures victory in any major war.

For a maritime nation, nothing can last very long without a large, sustained, scalable, and resilient merchant marine.

When you look at our numbers, we are not ready.

Our guest for the full hour will be John Konrad, using his recent editorial at gCaptain, Admiral, I'm not Ready for War, as a starting point for our talk.

Captain John Konrad is the founder and CEO of gCaptain and author of the book Fire On The Horizon. John is a USCG licensed Master of Unlimited Tonnage, has sailed a variety of ships from ports around the world and is a distinguished alumnus of SUNY Maritime College.

May 20 2019

1hr 9mins

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Rank #7: Episode 173: Back to the Littorals with Milan Vego

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If the requirement is to be able to operate, fight, and win in the Littorals - is the Littoral Combat Ship the answer?
Other nations have the same requirement - yet have come up with different answers.
Are we defining our requirements properly in face of larger Fleet needs and the threats we expect?
What platforms and systems need to be looked at closer if we are to have the best mix of capabilities to meet our requirements?
Using his article in Armed Forces Journal, Go smaller: Time for the Navy to get serious about the littorals, as a stepping off place, our guest for the full hour will be Milan Vego, PhD, Professor of Joint Military Operations at the US Naval War College.

Apr 28 2013

1hr 4mins

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Rank #8: Episode 204: A Day Without Seapower - Best of

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Almost two and a half years ago we had a show that is a fitting ago now as it was then.  

Almost a decade of involvement in two land wars in Asia combined with a series of costly and ill timed shipbuilding programs that have yet to produce ships anywhere near promised cost and performance has brought our Navy to the growing budget crisis in a delicate position. 

The national security arena suffers from SeaBlindness about the critical requirements of seapower to the long term economic and security needs of a maritime, mercantile republic.

Using their work at The Heritage Foundation, Thinking About a Day Without Sea Power:Implications for U.S. Defense Policy as a starting point, for the full hour we will returning guests Mackenzie Eaglen and Bryan McGrath to discuss the long view on the future direction of our Navy and Marine Corps team.

Dec 01 2013

59mins

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Rank #9: Episode 516: Making the Fleet Ready for a Peer Challenge, with Bryan McGrath

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Keeping a fleet ready for war is a process of years of careful, consistent, and sustained stewardship of both personnel and material.

The easiest parts are the buying of equipment and recruiting new people.The hard parts, maintenance, training, and retention – mostly because they are hard – rarely break in to the open.

For our fleet, the structure we live in is the Optimized Fleet Response Plan (OFRP). It is a system few understand well, but is one designed around a peace time “efficiency” with only a passing interest in wartime “effectiveness.”

Decades of dominance at sea has provided the US Navy the luxury of such, but as China expands her fleet at an alarming rate – do we need a new construct?

Our guest for the full hour to discuss this and related topics will be Bryan McGrath, CDR USN (Ret.).

Bryan McGrath grew up in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, and graduated from the University of Virginia in 1987. He was commissioned upon graduation in the United States Navy, and served as a Surface Warfare Officer until his retirement in 2008. At sea, he served primarily in cruisers and destroyers, rising to command of the Destroyer USS BULKELEY (DDG 84). During his command tour, he won the Surface Navy Association’s Admiral Elmo Zumwalt Award for Inspirational Leadership, and the BULKELEY was awarded the USS ARIZONA Memorial Trophy signifying the fleet’s most combat ready unit. Ashore, Bryan enjoyed four tours in Washington DC, including his final tour in which he acted as Team Leader and primary author of our nation’s 2007 maritime strategy entitled “A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower.”

Since retirement, Bryan has become active in presidential politics, serving first as the Navy Policy Team lead for the Romney Campaign in 2012, and then as the Navy and Marine Corps Policy lead for the Rubio Campaign in 2016.

Nov 25 2019

1hr 8mins

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Rank #10: Episode 201: The 911 Decade Best Of

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Going back 14 months, this Veterans Day weekend, let's review the war we have been soaking in.
There are certain points in a nation's history that define a transition from one era to another.  These moments are so clear that you don't realize it in retrospect - you know it the moment it happens.  No one argues the fact that everything has changed; from all sides, everyone sees it.  September 11th, 2001 was one of those times.
911 was not just a national moment, but a global moment.
Our military has changed, our national strategy has changed, the way we perceive the tradeoff between liberty and freedom has changed - the international order has changed.
Where was our nation and the world on September 10th 2001, and how did the events the following day bring us to where our nation is a decade later?
To discuss this, our extened panel members will include:
- J. Michael Barrett, Partner at Diligent Innovations, Intelligence Officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve, and former Director, Strategy & Resources at the White House Homeland Security Council.
- L. Thomas Bortmes, CAPT USN (Ret), research staff member at IDA, and former Executive Director, Office of Intelligence, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security.
- Claude Berube, LCDR USNR, instructor of Political Science at the United States Naval Academy, Intelligence Officer in the Navy Reserve, author, and former Senate Staff member.

Nov 10 2013

1hr 30mins

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Rank #11: Episode 469: Best of James D. Hornfischer & Neptune's Inferno

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First aired in the second year of the show, still a great listen.

When you mention books on naval history, there are but a few authors whose work immediately come to mind, and our guest is one of them.

Unquestionably one of the finest writers of naval history of the last half-century; James D. Hornfischer. We have talked about his books on a regular basis both on Midrats and over at our homeblogs; The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors & Ship of Ghosts.

We will discuss a great book of his many - Neptune's Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal. We will have him for the full hour, so don't miss the discussion of the U.S. Navy in the opening of WWII, the lessons we should take from history, and the importance of the study of naval history for both the professional and amateur.

Jan 27 2019

58mins

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Rank #12: Episode 433: Reform, Readiness and the Navy's Path Ahead, with Dr. James Holmes

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How is our Navy making progress in adjusting how we man, train, and operate our forces following the series of lessons identified in the wake of 2017's series of mishaps that left ships damaged, reputations destroyed, and 17 Sailors dead?

For the full hour to discuss where we are and the way forward will be returning guest Dr. James Holmes. We will use his recent comments from Asia Times and The National Interest as starting points for a broad ranging conversation.

Dr. Holmes is a professor of strategy and former visiting professor of national security affairs at the Naval War College, where he is the inaugural holder of the J. C. Wylie Chair of Maritime Strategy. A former U.S. Navy surface-warfare officer and combat veteran of the first Gulf War, he served as a weapons and engineering officer in the battleship Wisconsin, engineering and firefighting instructor at the Surface Warfare Officers School Command, and military professor of strategy at the Naval War College. He was the last gunnery officer to fire a battleship’s big guns in anger. 

The book he co-authored with Toshi Yoshihara, Red Star over the Pacific, is out in its second edition this fall.

Apr 22 2018

1hr 5mins

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Rank #13: Episode 467: Military Ethics and the Profession, with Pauline Shanks Kaurin

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Where are the lines between what is legal, what is ethical, and what is moral? Who writes these lines and how rigid are they?

For the individual and the military as an institution, why are these things important?

Are there universals? National? Institutional? Are they at the end of the day, personal?

Is there a hierarchy of ethics? Where do they come in to conflict with loyalty, duty, or mission?

Are there secular ones that come in conflict with religious? How do leaders manage these highly personal - and often high profile - foundational conflicts?

Our guest for the full hour will be Dr. Pauline Shanks Kaurin.

Pauline holds a PhD in Philosophy from Temple University, and is a specialist in military ethics, just war theory, philosophy of law and applied ethics. She is is a professor in the College of Leadership and Ethics at the US Naval War College. Prior to her arrival in Newport, she was Associate Professor and Chair of Philosophy at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA and teaches courses in military ethics, warfare, business ethics, social and political. 

You can follow her on twitter at @queenofthinair.

Dec 16 2018

1hr 1min

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Rank #14: Episode 198: Best of the Darkhorse Battalion

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This week, we'll go back to 2011 for an interview with one of the better reports from an embed this decade. For those who listened to All Things Considered on NPR in 2011, you caught an outstanding series on the 3rd Battalion 5th Marines – the  Darkhorse Battalion — the Marine unit that suffered the highest casualty rate of any Marine unit during the 10-year Afghan war.
Our guest for the full hour is the journalist who brought the American people that story - Tom Bowman, NPR National Desk reporter covering the Pentagon.
In his current role, Bowman has traveled to Iraq and Afghanistan often for month-long visits and embedded with U.S. Marines and soldiers.
Before coming to NPR in April 2006, Bowman spent nine years as a Pentagon reporter at The Baltimore Sun. Altogether he was at The Sun for nearly two decades, covering the Maryland Statehouse, the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Naval Academy, and the National Security Agency (NSA).

Oct 20 2013

1hr

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Rank #15: Episode 492: Making a Better Army Staff Officer, with COL Kirk Dorr, USA

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How does our Army help officers understand military doctrine, history, and theory? How do we ensure that our staffs have leaders capable of generating options for commanders engaged with our most complex operational and strategic problem sets?

It doesn't happen by accident.

To address these questions and related topics, our guest this Sunday will be Colonel Kirk Dorr, USA the Director of the U.S. Army’s School of Advanced Military Studies (commonly known as “SAMS”) at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

COL Dorr is a career Armor Officer, has commanded formations from the company to brigade-levels, and served in staff officer assignments up to the Army Staff and Joint Staff-levels.

COL Dorr’s military education includes attendance at both Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a resident Fellow studying international affairs and security studies. He is also a graduate of the School of Advanced Military Studies, Joint and Combined Warfighting School, and the Army Command and General Staff College.

Jun 12 2019

1hr 5mins

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Rank #16: Episode 457: Russia's Red Banner Year, with Dr. Dmirty Gorenburg

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From is largest exercise since the end of the Cold War, to Syria, to a revival of covert direct action and  intermediated nuclear weapons as an issue - Russia continues to claw back her place on the international stage.

As we approach the last quarter of the 2018 calendar year, what message is Russia trying to give the rest of the world and what should we expect through the end of the decade?

Our guest for the full hour to discuss is a regular here on Midrats, Dr. Dmirty Gorenburg, Senior Research Scientist at CNA, researching security issues in the former Soviet Union, Russian military reform, Russian foreign policy, ethnic politics and identity, and Russian regional politics.

He is the editor of the journal Problems of Post-Communism and a Fellow of the Truman National Security Project. From 2005 through 2010, he previously held positions as the Executive Director of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies and editor of the journal Russian Politics and Law.

Oct 07 2018

54mins

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Rank #17: Episode 519: Going Sideways in Afghanistan & Iraq, with Daniel P. Bolger

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In the 5-years since the publication of his book, Why We Lost, each passing day more and more people are starting to look at what, 18-yrs on, we have brought in to being with our long running land wars in Central Asia and the Middle East.

Using his book as a starting point, this Sunday from 5-6pm Eastern, our guest will be Daniel P. Bolger, Lieutenant General, US Army, (Ret.) to discuss these two conflicts and larger implications of our Long War.

Bolger served 35 years in the U.S. Army, retiring in 2013. He commanded troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan. His military awards include five Bronze Stars (one for valor) and the Combat Action Badge. He earned a bachelor's degree at The Citadel and a master's degree and doctorate from the University of Chicago. The author of nine books and numerous articles, he teaches history at North Carolina State State University in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Dec 16 2019

1hr 2mins

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Rank #18: Episode 271: Red Flag and the Development of USAF Fighter Pilots

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In parallel efforts that in the Navy which led to Top Gun, the US Air Force looked hard at the lessons of air to air combat in the Vietnam War and brought forward "Red Flag,"

Moving beyond the technical focus, they looked to training and fundamentals to bring back a primacy of combat skills.

Our guest for the full hour to discuss this and his new book, The Air Force Way of War: U.S. Tactics and Training after Vietnam, will be Dr. Brian D. Laslie, Deputy Command Historian, North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM). 

A historian of air power studies, Dr. Laslie received his Bachelor’s degree in history from The Citadel: The Military College of South Carolina, his Master’s from Auburn University Montgomery in 2006 and his Doctorate from Kansas State University in 2013.

Dr. Laslie was Honorably Discharged from the United States Air Force in 2007 as a Captain after serving as a logistics officer, doctrine instructor, and Action Officer to the Commander of Air University.

Mar 15 2015

1hr 1min

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Rank #19: Episode 473: The Fort Report on the FITZGERALD Collision with Geoff Ziezulewicz

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Over 18-months after the deadly collision of the USS FITZGERALD with the Philippine-flagged merchant ship ACX Crystal off the Sea of Japan, from the courtroom to the fleet, we still have not come to terms with latent causes, accountability, or even a full understanding about what happened from a human and machine perspective.

Earlier this year, journalist Geoff Ziezulewicz received a copy of the Fort Report made shortly after the collision by Rear Admiral Brian P. Fort, USN.

Geoff will be our guest for the full hour to review the findings, the reactions to it, and further developments.

Geoff is a senior staff reporter for Military Times, focusing on the Navy. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was most recently a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at geoffz@militarytimes.com.

Jan 28 2019

1hr 3mins

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Rank #20: Episode 444: The Slow March to FITZGERALD & MCCAIN, with J. C. Harvey, Jr,.

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The conditions that brought us to the series of events in WESTPAC in 2017 did not happen over night. They did not happen in one PCS cycle, or under one command climate. Layer by layer from many sources, it took time to get to where we found it.

Our guest for the full hour to discuss his views of the latent causes of what is now generally accepted as a systemic failure of a "new normal" will be J.C. Harvey, Jr., Admiral USN (Ret.).

Admiral Harvey retired from the Navy in November, 2012 after serving as the Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, in Norfolk, Virginia.

In his 39 year Navy career, he specialized in naval nuclear propulsion, surface ship & Carrier strike-group operations & Navy-wide manpower management/personnel policy development. He served in a variety of operational command positions at sea, as the Navy’s Chief of Naval Personnel (the senior uniformed human resources official in the Navy) & as the Director, Navy Staff immediately prior to commanding U.S. Fleet Forces.

Since his retirement, Admiral Harvey has joined the Board of Directors of the Navy Memorial Foundation, where he currently serves as Chairman of the Board, & serves as an Outside Director of AT Kearney, PSDS.

On 12 January, 2014, he was sworn in as a member of Governor McAuliffe’s cabinet where he served as the Commonwealth’s Secretary of Veteran & Defense Affairs until 31 August, 2017.

A few months later, he joined the Institute of Defense Analyses as the Director, Strategy, Forces & Resources Division.

Born and raised in Baltimore, MD, Admiral Harvey is a graduate of the Phillips Exeter Academy, the US Naval Academy & the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Admiral Harvey & his wife, Mary Ellen, now reside in Vienna, Virginia & have two grown children, Sarah & David.

Jul 08 2018

1hr 3mins

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Episode 552: Time to Get Serious about Seapower Advocacy with Bryan McGrath

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This week we are returning to a critical topic that, like its subject, needs an ongoing push. At the very moment that the need for American Seapower advocacy is most critical, it is nowhere to be found.

Are there existing institutions that can refocus their efforts or expand their mandate to do the job - or do we need something new?

Building off his article from earlier this week, our guest this week is returning guest, Bryan McGrath, CDR USN (Ret.), Managing Director of The FerryBridge Group LLC defense consultancy.

Bryan grew up in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, and graduated from the University of Virginia in 1987. He was commissioned upon graduation in the United States Navy, and served as a Surface Warfare Officer until his retirement in 2008. At sea, he served primarily in cruisers and destroyers, rising to command of the Destroyer USS BULKELEY (DDG 84). During his command tour, he won the Surface Navy Association’s Admiral Elmo Zumwalt Award for Inspirational Leadership, and the BULKELEY was awarded the USS ARIZONA Memorial Trophy signifying the fleet’s most combat ready unit. Ashore, Bryan enjoyed four tours in Washington DC, including his final tour in which he acted as Team Leader and primary author of our nation’s 2007 maritime strategy entitled “A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower.”

Since retirement, Bryan has become active in presidential politics, serving first as the Navy Policy Team lead for the Romney Campaign in 2012, and then as the Navy and Marine Corps Policy lead for the Rubio Campaign in 2016.

Aug 03 2020

1hr 5mins

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Episode 551: Military Power & Intellectual Property, with Robert M. Farley

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How do different standards related to intellectual property influence the spread and adoption of emerging military technology?

How does the respect for law, process, and customs impact what shows up on the battlefield in the hands of both friend and foe?

In a return visit to Midrats this Sunday, we are going to explore this topic with Robert Farley. As a starting point to our discussion we will look at the issues he raised in the new book he co-authored with Davida H. Isaacs “Patents for Power: Intellectual Property and the Diffusion of Military Technology.”

Rob Farley teaches national security courses at the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce at the University of Kentucky, where he tolerates the Wildcats, although his heart remains committed to the Oregon Ducks. His interests lie in maritime history, airpower theory, and the politics of national defense.

Jul 28 2020

58mins

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Episode 550: The Future of Australian National Security with Peter Dean

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How does Australia best position itself in today's security climate? How does her history shape how she sees her place relative to new and possible future alliances?

Our guest for the next hour to discuss this and more will be Doctor Peter Dean.

Peter is a Professor & Chair, Defence Studies Director, at the University of Western Australia’s Defence and Security Program, and their Public Policy Institute.

Jul 19 2020

1hr 2mins

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Episode 549: What a Navy is For with Sam Tangredi

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Do policy makers and those who design our grand national strategy really understand what a Navy is? How does the planet's premier naval power seem to have trouble explaining why it needs a navy, what a navy does, and how to get it ready for war?

How do navalists set the table when it is time to define, invest, and assign roles, responsibilities, missions and who get what percentage of the DOD pie?

Our returning guest this Sunday to discuss this and related topics will be Sam Tangredi, and we will use his recent article, Does the Pentagon Understand What a Navy Is For?, as a starting point for our conversation.

Professor Tangredi was appointed as the Leidos Chair of Future Warfare Studies in March 2019 and since May 2017, has served as the director of the Institute for Future Warfare Studies. He initially joined the Naval War College as a professor of national, naval and maritime strategy in the Strategic and Operational Research Department, Center for Naval Warfare Studies in October 2016. He has published five books, over 150 journal articles and book chapters, and numerous reports for government and academic organizations. He is a retired Navy captain and surface warfare officer specializing in naval strategy. He held command at sea and directed several strategic planning organizations.

Jul 13 2020

1hr 4mins

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Episode 548: Best of Terrorists on the Ocean with CAPT Bob Hein, USN

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When does the Long War go feet wet?

Given the track record of the preceding couple of decades, it was expected shortly after the start of this phase of the war after 911, that terrorists would take the war to sea. There was an incident now and then, but the threat never really played out to the extent we thought early on.

Recent events point to the possibility that this may be changing, in perhaps ways not originally thought.

What is the threat? Where is it coming from, and how do you deter and defeat it?

Our guest for the full hour to discuss will be CAPT Bob Hein, USN. We will use his latest article with CIMSEC, Terrorists on the Ocean: Sea Monsters in the 21st Century, as a starting out point for discussion.

Captain Hein is a career surface warfare officer. Over the last 28 years, he has served on seven ships around the globe and has had the privilege of commanding two of them: the USS Gettysburg (CG 64), and the USS Nitze (DDG 94),

He completed two tours as a requirements officer on the Navy staff for combatant modernization and for future logistics capabilities. He also served as the current operations officer for U.S. Fleet Forces Command. Additional tours include as an action officer on the Joint Staff, Joint Operations Directorate, and as Chief of Staff to the NATO Mediterranean Fleet.

He is currently the Branch Head for Strategy on the OPNAV Staff (N513) Captain Hein graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a bachelor's in physical science. He also holds a master's in national security affairs and strategic studies from the Naval War College, is a graduate of the Joint Forces Staff College, and a former Navy Fellow at the Brookings Institution. He is also the proud father of two Surface Warfare Officers; it's a family business.

Jul 13 2020

1hr 3mins

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Episode 547: China in the Post-COVID-19 World with Dr. Oriana Skylar Mastro

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From the alpine lakes on the Indo-Tibetan frontier to the sweltering tropics of the South China Sea, China is on the offensive in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Aggressive and persistent in her pursuit of expanding her control and influence in her near-abroad and globally, she is challenging the distracted and slothish West to keep up with her.

What are the latest moves on the global chess board?

Our guest for the full hour covering the full range of China related challenges will be Dr. Oriana Skylar Mastro.

Oriana is an assistant professor of security studies at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. In August, she will join the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University as a Center Fellow where she will continue her research on Chinese military and security policy, Asia-Pacific security issues, war termination, and coercive diplomacy. She is also a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and an inaugural Wilson Center China Fellow. Additionally she serves in the United States Air Force Reserve as a Senior China Analyst at the Pentagon. She holds a B.A. in East Asian Studies from Stanford University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Politics from Princeton University.

Jun 29 2020

1hr 3mins

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Episode 546: Best of Where Youth and Laughter Go; With "The Cutting Edge" in Afghanistan

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First airing in DEC 2016, For the full hour this Sunday our guest will be then Lieutenant Colonel Seth W. B. Folsom, USMC the author of Where Youth and Laughter Go. Described by USNI Books:

It is the culminating chapter of a trilogy that began with The Highway War: A Marine Company Commander in Iraq in 2006 and continued with In the Gray Area: A Marine Advisor Team at War in 2010.

"Where Youth and Laughter Go completes LtCol Seth Folsom’s recounting of his personal experiences in command over a decade of war. It is the culminating chapter of a trilogy that began with The Highway War: A Marine Company Commander in Iraq in 2006 and continued with In the Gray Area: A Marine Advisor Team at War in 2010."

We will discuss not just his latest book, but also larger issues related to command, the nature of the war in Afghanistan, and the Long War.

Jun 28 2020

1hr 2mins

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Episode 545: June Maritime Melee!

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Long deployments, new SECNAV, civ/mil stew bubbling, and everyone who left the USN to the USNR because they couldn't stand being in the yards, are being activated to spend a year ... in the yards.

These are just a few of the topics that we'll be covering in this month's LIVE Melee.

No guests this week, just us and you.

As with all melees, we'll take questions in the chat room or on the phone.

Jun 15 2020

1hr 9mins

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Episode 544: “Dunkirk and the Little Ships" with Dr. Phil Weir

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Most people think they know about the evacuation of Dunkirk in 1940 … or at least they do … but it is an incredibly complicated and enthralling story that was just one part of an almost unimaginable year that was 1940.

Our guest Dr. Phil Weir here to discuss his upcoming book on the topic, “Dunkirk and the Little Ships."

Phil is a naval historian specializing in the Royal Navy in the first half of the twentieth Century. He gained a PhD from the University of Exeter in 2007 looking at the development of naval aviation in the Royal Navy between the two World Wars, and is now an author and sometime broadcaster who has just completed a book on Dunkirk and the Little ships.

Jun 08 2020

1hr 16mins

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Episode 543: AI, Autonomous Systems, Emerging Tech & the Future of War

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The relentless advance of knowledge and technology has always been with us. The speed and impact of the advance can vary, but the key - especially when it comes to those advances related to warfare - is to at least pace the advance, and if possible, be at the front.

There can be box canyons, false trails, mirages and other dead ends you may follow, but mixed in with the wrong is "what's next."

Are the USA and its allies ready for the changes in artificial intelligence, autonomous systems, and other emerging technologies that are already here or right over the horizon?

To discuss this and related issues in his book, The Kill Chain: Defending America in the Future of High-Tech Warfare will be Christian Brose.

Brose is currently Chief Strategy Officer of Anduril Industries, a technology start-up that develops national defense capabilities, and Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He served as Staff Director of the Senate Armed Services Committee (2015-2018), where he was the youngest person to hold the position in the committee’s history. Before that, he served as Senator John McCain’s senior policy advisor (2009-2015). Brose was previously a speechwriter to two secretaries of state, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, and a member of the State Department Policy Planning Staff.

Jun 01 2020

1hr 4mins

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Episode 542: Best of Clausewitz - now more than ever, with Donald Stoker

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He is quoted often, correctly and incorrectly, but few have actually read his works in full - and even fewer know much about the man himself, Major General Carl von Clausewitz, Kingdom of Prussia.

Out guest for the full hour will be Donald Stoker, author of the new book, Clausewitz: His Life and Work. Stoker is a Professor of Strategy and Policy for the U.S. Naval War College's program at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.

His previous book, The Grand Design: Strategy and the U.S. Civil War, won the distinguished Fletcher Pratt award for the best non-fiction Civil War book of 2010. Past winners include Bruce Catton and Shelby Foote.

Jun 01 2020

1hr

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Episode 541: Post COVID-19 China, with Dean Cheng

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From international relations to trade to almost every aspect of modern society, the outbreak of COVID-19 has altered the global landscape in ways we are only now getting a grasp on.

As the world's largest nation and the source of the pandemic, how China responds and how it impacts her growth will be the top-line story of this change.

This Sunday we are going to look at China's response and reaction to COVID-19, in conjunction with cyber, human right abuses, Hong Kong unrest, military power, economic connections and more.

To join us for a wide ranging conversation centered on China in the post-COVID-19 world will be returning guest, Dean Cheng.

Dean is a Senior Research Fellow at the Asian Studies Center, Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy at The Heritage Foundation

May 18 2020

1hr 5mins

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Episode 540: Best of Anniversary of Waterloo with John Kuehn

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This first aired in June of 2015.

18 June 2015 was the 200th Anniversary of the battle of Waterloo, fought in present-day Belgium.

Just in time, regular guest to Midrats, John Kuehn has his latest book out, Napoleonic Warfare: The Operational Art of the Great Campaigns where he covers the operational level analysis of European warfare from 1792 to 1815, including the tactics, operations, and strategy of major conflicts of the time.

More than just a description of set piece battle, there is a discussion of naval warfare, maneuver warfare, compound warfare, and counterinsurgency.

We've got him for the full hour ... we should be able to get to most of it.

Dr. John T. Kuehn is the General William Stofft Chair for Historical Research at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. He retired from the U.S. Navy 2004 at the rank of commander after 23 years of service as a naval flight officer in EP-3s and ES-3s. He authored Agents of Innovation (2008) and co-authored Eyewitness Pacific Theater (2008) with D.M. Giangreco, as well as numerous articles and editorials and was awarded a Moncado Prize from the Society for Military History in 2011.

His previous book was, A military History of Japan: From the Age of the Samurai to the 21st Century.

May 18 2020

1hr 5mins

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Episode 539: COVID-19 and the defense budget with Todd Harrison

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If it hasn't hit you yet, it will soon. Everyone's assumptions about what the defense budget will look like - what it will buy and who gets what part of the pie - are gone.

The larger impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is unknown, but we do know this; at no time has so much debt been piled so high on top of an incredible spike in unemployment and economic collapse - in so little time - in the lifetime of any living American.

What can we expect?

Our guest for the full hour this Sunday from 5-6pm Eastern to discuss this and more will be Todd Harrison, the director of Defense Budget Analysis and the director of the Aerospace Security Project at CSIS.

As a senior fellow in the International Security Program, he leads the Center’s efforts to provide in-depth, nonpartisan research and analysis of defense funding, space security, and air power issues. He has authored publications on trends in the overall defense budget, military space systems, civil space exploration, defense acquisitions, military compensation, military readiness, nuclear forces, and the cost of overseas military operations.

Mr. Harrison joined CSIS from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, where he was a senior fellow for defense budget studies. He previously worked at Booz Allen Hamilton where he consulted for the U.S. Air Force on satellite communications systems and supported a variety of other clients evaluating the performance of acquisition programs. Prior to Booz Allen, he worked for a small startup (AeroAstro Inc.) developing advanced space technologies and as a management consultant at Diamond Cluster International. Mr. Harrison served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force Reserves. He is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with both a B.S. and an M.S. in aeronautics and astronautics.

May 04 2020

1hr 2mins

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Episode 538: End of April Free For All

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Last week, we could have gone another hour, so we thought the easy thing would be to bring it forward to this Sunday.

We will cover the waterfront as the Navy continues to struggle to get past COVID-19's dominating Navy news, not just with the TR, but now the USS Kidd and everything from boot camp to the Naval Academy.

Throw in a pick up game presence missions in the South China Sea, and the Russians ditching their future surface fleet ... and there is more than enough to make a fast hour.

Open topic and open mic.

Apr 27 2020

1hr 6mins

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Episode 537: Midrats in the Time of COVID-19 Melee

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Take a break from trying to find a way to socially distance yourself from the people you are non-self-isolating with this week by joining us LIVE for a free for all Midrats.

We have a lot in the maritime domain to discuss from the response to the outbreaks on the carries Theodore Roosevelt and Charles de Gaulle, PCS, the budget, upcoming FFG(X) selection, Iran, China and more.

As we always do, we will keep the phone and chat room open if you have questions or a topic you would like us to discuss.

Open mind; open topic.

Come join us!

Apr 20 2020

1hr 4mins

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Episode 536: Andrew Jackson’s Navy; Now More Than Ever?

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This first aired in Feb. 2017.

Since his election in November 2016, the administration and several articles have suggested Donald Trump is a new Andrew Jackson whose portrait now hangs in the Oval Office. What might that mean for the Navy? How did Andrew Jackson approach his Navy and what lessons can we draw from that?

Our guest for the full hour for a discussion of an understudied part of our naval history and what it could mean for the current administration is returning guest Dr. Claude Berube.

Claude is the Director of the Naval Academy Museum and has taught in both the Political Science and History Departments at the Naval Academy. He has worked in the U.S. Senate, as a maritime studies fellow at the Heritage Foundation, as the head of a terrorism analysis team for the Office of Naval Intelligence and as a defense contractor. An intelligence officer in the Navy Reserve, he deployed with Expeditionary Strike Group Five in 2004-05. His articles have been published in Orbis, Vietnam Magazine, Naval History, The Washington Times, Jane’s Intelligence Review, Naval Institute Proceedings and others. He’s also written or co-authored five books. He’s received his PhD through the University of Leeds.

Apr 19 2020

1hr 2mins

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Episode 535: Jones Act: National Security Asset or Liability?

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The Jones Act is hailed by many in the maritime community as an essential lifeline to keep the domestic merchant marine viable. There is an equally vocal argument that it is not just unnecessary, but counterproductive.

Are the assumptions being make by the pro-Jones Act faction wrong?

To discuss the Jones Act from the skeptical school this Sunday from 5-6pm Eastern will be Colin Grabow, a policy analyst at the Cato Institute’s Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies.

Apr 07 2020

59mins

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Episode 534: Best of Seapower as a National Imperative, with Bryan McGrath

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First aired in November 2016, in this episode we have returning guest Bryan McGrath, CDR USN (Ret.) discuss, why a Navy? Why a strong Navy? Why is a strong Navy an essential requirement for the United States Navy?

From its ability to project national will, to it hidden hand in the economics of every citizen's life, why is it so critical that we have a Navy second to none.

Bryan McGrath grew up in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, and graduated from the University of Virginia in 1987. He was commissioned upon graduation in the United States Navy, and served as a Surface Warfare Officer until his retirement in 2008. At sea, he served primarily in cruisers and destroyers, rising to command of the Destroyer USS BULKELEY (DDG 84). During his command tour, he won the Surface Navy Association’s Admiral Elmo Zumwalt Award for Inspirational Leadership, and the BULKELEY was awarded the USS ARIZONA Memorial Trophy signifying the fleet’s most combat ready unit. Ashore, Bryan enjoyed four tours in Washington DC, including his final tour in which he acted as Team Leader and primary author of our nation’s 2007 maritime strategy entitled “A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower.”

Since retirement, Bryan has become active in presidential politics, serving first as the Navy Policy Team lead for the Romney Campaign in 2012, and then as the Navy and Marine Corps Policy lead for the Rubio Campaign in 2016.

He is the Assistant Director of Hudson Institute’s Center for American Seapower, and he is the Managing Director of The FerryBridge Group LLC, a small defense consulting firm.

Apr 07 2020

1hr 1min

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Episode 533: Obedience, with Dr. Pauline Shanks Kaurin

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What is the nature of obedience for those in the the profession or arms and the civilian political community?

With a review of classical studies, philosophy, history, international relations, literature and military studies, can you get a firm grounding on what it is, what it means, and how it should shape decisions and behavior?

Returning to Midrats to talk about this and more based around her new book, On Obedience: Contrasting Philosophies for the Military, Citizenry, and Community, will be Dr. Pauline Shanks Kaurin.

Pauline holds a PhD in Philosophy from Temple University, and is a specialist in military ethics, just war theory, philosophy of law and applied ethics. She is is a professor in the College of Leadership and Ethics at the US Naval War College. Prior to her arrival in Newport, she was Associate Professor and Chair of Philosophy at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA and teaches courses in military ethics, warfare, business ethics, social and political.

Mar 23 2020

1hr 5mins

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The best place for in depth Naval analysis

By Flyingcyclone - Jan 22 2020
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Company grade officer in the Marine Corps- Midrats helps me stay up to date on what’s going on and what the thinking is on the blue team. First naval podcast I listened to, sal and eagle one got me on to cimsec and USNI, as well as getting this jarhead to read “Fleet Tactics”

Excellent analysis

By crankshaft333 - Oct 23 2018
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Excellent analysis and interesting guests. Enjoyable way to stay up to date on maritime news.