Skip to main content
Defense Unicorns, A Podcast

Defense Unicorns, A Podcast

By Rob Slaughter

Welcome to Defense Unicorns, A Podcast for mission focused innovators. We educate, inform, and provide mission heroes with DevSecOps, cybersecurity, and organizational transformation stories from the world's leading problem solvers. I'm your host, Rob Slaughter, and we're excited for you to join us on this journey.
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Castbox Logo

Castbox

Overcast Logo

Overcast

Spotify Logo

Spotify

Stitcher Logo

Stitcher

AI is a Decision Technology with Angela Sheffield
AI is a Decision Technology with Angela Sheffield
“We need technologists to be the commanders,” - Angela Sheffield exclaimed while chatting with Rob about Artificial Intelligence, placing people in the right positions and more. She defines AI as bundle of technology that mimics what can normally be been done by humans. Angela has been around AI since before it was cool. Listen and Connect with Angela on LinkedIn today to stay tuned to whats new for AI.
57:20
November 29, 2022
Active Duty Innovators Solving Warfighter Software Problems with Colin Dablain
Active Duty Innovators Solving Warfighter Software Problems with Colin Dablain
Service members have been solving their own problems since 1775, but the problems and solutions have changed since then. US. Navy Lieutenant Colin Dablain shares his excitement about combining civilians and service members, solving warfighter software problems across all the branches of military. Colin is a surface warfare officer by day and a machine learning officer by night. Connect with Colin and follow his journey on LinkedIn.
48:17
November 01, 2022
Creating Impact through Innovation & Collaboration between Community, State, Universities and the DoD with Aniza Brown
Creating Impact through Innovation & Collaboration between Community, State, Universities and the DoD with Aniza Brown
Aniza Brown has been connecting communities for as long as anyone can remember. A common phrase across Utah is “Aniza knows someone and can get it done.” Join her and Rob as they discuss the power and value of connecting communities city, state, university, industry, and the Department of Defense levels. As Ogden Utah’s Catalyst Campus Executive Director, she is responsible for pushing innovation within the eco-system, driving modernization capabilities, and lowering the barrier of entry for small businesses. Follow and support her journey by connecting with Aniza Brown today on LinkedIn.
42:43
October 18, 2022
Putting the Sec in DevSecOps with Chris Hughes
Putting the Sec in DevSecOps with Chris Hughes
"We need that next generation of folks prepared to step in and lead and drive cultural change, that innovation and those outcomes for the mission.” Join Chris Hughes as Rob asks him how he puts the Security in Development, Security and Operations, (DevSecOps). Chris is co-founder and Chief Information Security Officer at Aquia Inc., and is a proven cloud and cyber security leader with nearly 20 years of experience in both the federal and commercial industries. Connect with Chris on LinkedIn and follow his passion in helping educate individuals in cybersecurity, cloud and DevSecOps.
53:43
October 17, 2022
Software Supply Chain with Dan Lorenc
Software Supply Chain with Dan Lorenc
People tend to trust the software they buy, or download, just because it's available online, that doesn't make it safe. Join Dan Lorenc, the co-founder and CEO of Chainguard, as he explains the importance of a good software supply chain and what happens when you trust software that has vulnerabilities. Lorenc, an expert in his field, is a graduate of MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and came up at companies like Microsoft and Google, while he was chasing his passion for creating software you can trust. You can find and connect with Dan on LinkedIn.
38:41
September 20, 2022
AFWERX Open Topic and Accelerator Origin Stories with Chris Benson
AFWERX Open Topic and Accelerator Origin Stories with Chris Benson
“Crossing the Valley of Death” has become a buzz phrase across the Department of Defense Acquisitions community. Join Chris Benson, a co-founder of AFWERX, as he shares his story on how he helped create what is now known and the SBIR Open Topic and the AFWERX Accelerator Program for the United States Air Force. Key advice Chris also shares is: “Don’t manage your time, manage your motivation.” He has since left the air force but is still doing great things across industry. You can connect with Chris on LinkedIn to learn more and stay tuned to his career and journey.
37:13
September 06, 2022
Never the Tech, Always the Culture with Artem Sherbinin
Never the Tech, Always the Culture with Artem Sherbinin
"Let us work on the problems we're most passionate about with other people that want to move fast and break things,” said Artem Sherbinin as he shared his experiences working true artificial intelligence opportunities in the U.S. Navy. As an active duty Naval Surface Warfare Officer, he is solving problems for sailors with sailors. He goes on about the three elements of a foundational structure: development tools; talented personnel and the right governance. Follow Artem on LinkedIn to follow his career and join him in his fight to bring sailors and service members the tools they need to succeed.
46:42
August 23, 2022
Platform One and the Power of Grassroots software teams with Austen Bryan
Platform One and the Power of Grassroots software teams with Austen Bryan
“A grassroots team really only forms if they like it at their core, they believe in it,” Austen Bryan said while talking to Rob about about his time at Platform One and creating software teams from the ground up. Austen also shares what he would do if he could go back 5 years with the knowledge he has now; one being the value of learning from others in your ecosystem and learn how they did it, instead of just reading about it in books. Connect with Austen today on LinkedIn to stay up with his next adventures.
37:17
August 09, 2022
Challenging the Status Quo with Dr. Will Roper
Challenging the Status Quo with Dr. Will Roper
Innovative vs. Innovation: One is a buzzword, and the other is a way of thinking and is the trait of change agents at every level. Dr. Will Roper is known for challenging the status quo and he shares his experience being a leader who provides top cover to empower the right people to solve problems in both the public and private sectors. Rob inquires about Will’s time as head of Air Force Acquisitions and how he could accomplish what he did in such a short time. Quoting Dr. Roper, “I made sure I had the right people around me, and I gave them the top cover they needed.” Connect with Dr. Will Roper on LinkedIn to learn more about his journey. 
01:08:28
July 19, 2022
Insubordination: Conventionally with Jake Singleton
Insubordination: Conventionally with Jake Singleton
Insubordination: Conventionally recognized as a negative term but Captain Jake Singleton is committed to the idea that its exactly what our military leaders are asking for and what our acquisition community needs. Jake is an acquisitions officer in the US Space Force where he has spent a large part of his career supporting transformative opportunities for defense acquisitions through rapid capability development and working with the emerging commercial sector and international partners. He has been called insubordinate by his greatest champion and to “cease and desist” by lawyers that have become his greatest allies. Most important he has seen success and change! How can we develop more Guardians and Airmen willing to be vulnerable, and to develop practical skills in how to dissent effectively so that our organizations remain creative and relevant in the future? Connect with Jake on LinkedIn today. 
53:16
June 14, 2022
Open Source & HPC Origin Story with Greg Kurtzer
Open Source & HPC Origin Story with Greg Kurtzer
Greg Kurtzer joins Rob to talk about his 20 years working with linux, open source and high performance computing and his rocky origins on the scene, how he has changed his style and understanding of things, to include what he is up to now. He shares that he wishes someone told him at a younger age to challenge the status quo and thinking differently. Greg is well known in the HPC space for designing scalable and easy to manage secure architectures for innovative performance intensive computing while working for the U.S. Department of Energy and joint appointment to UC Berkeley. Greg founded and led several large open source projects such as CentOS Linux, the Warewulf and Perceus cluster toolkits, the container system Singularity, and most recently, the successor to CentOS, Rocky Linux. Connect with Greg on LinkedIn today. 
01:04:15
May 31, 2022
Software Origins of DoD Software Factories with Enrique Oti
Software Origins of DoD Software Factories with Enrique Oti
Enrique Oti joins Rob to discuss the origins of Department of Defense Software Factories and his strategy of innovation used to build Kessel Run, using a strategy opposite to most innovators, instead of keeping their head low and unseen, they made noise, told as many leaders as possible and eventually went all the way to the top for support. Enrique Oti is a retired Air Force Colonel of 23 years and the founding director of Kessel Run, an acquisition and operations unit that rapidly deploys modern software capabilities for Air Force programs, as well as completing many operations in Cyber Warfare and intelligence. He also co-founded the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) is Silicon Valley. 
44:37
May 17, 2022
Istio Service Mesh to Tetrate with Zack Butcher
Istio Service Mesh to Tetrate with Zack Butcher
You may have not met Zack Butcher in person, but those who have used Google Cloud or Istio Service Mesh have shaken hands with his code. And if that doesn’t do it for you, he wrote the recommendations around micro services security for federal with NIST. Zack shares his way of innovating, starting new projects, and what it takes to reach success by finding whats broken and fix it in a way that provides value. He is currently a Founding Engineer at Tetrate and has helped in a variety of roles across the company - currently he’s Head of Product. Connect with Zack on LinkedIn today.
42:37
May 03, 2022
Jason from the Block{Chain}
Jason from the Block{Chain}
Join Air Force Major Jason Lowery as he talks about Bitcoin, its strategic importance for national defense and what it takes to be an innovator. Jason is an Air Force veteran and National Defense Fellow researching Bitcoin while pursuing a master's degree in engineering & management through the System Design & Management program jointly offered by MIT's School of Engineering & Sloan School of Management. You can follow Jason on Twitter at @JasonPLowery
01:08:19
April 19, 2022
Defense Unicorns, A Podcast Trailer
Defense Unicorns, A Podcast Trailer
Welcome to Defense Unicorns, A Podcast for mission focused innovators. We educate, inform, and provide mission heroes with DevSecOps, cybersecurity, and organizational transformation stories from the world's leading problem solvers. I'm your host, Rob Slaughter, and we're excited for you to join us on this journey.
00:20
March 04, 2022