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Holding the Line

Holding the Line

By Guy Snodgrass
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.
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Episode 25 - What Can Silicon Valley Teach the Military?
What do you get when you take an incredibly large bureaucracy and combine it with a fast-paced environment and unrelenting technological change?  Join Ben Van Buskirk as we explore innovation within large organizations, what he learned during a one-year fellowship with a Silicon Valley tech company, and how we can all apply these lessons in our daily lives. A career naval officer, U.S. Navy Captain Ben van Buskirk held command of a naval aviation squadron and is now taking the helm at NavalX, the U.S. Navy's innovation lab charged with connecting experts and solutions to workforce needs and challenges.
41:44
March 4, 2021
Episode 24 - Texas Power Outages and Resiliency
Living through last week's power outages, water shutoff, gasoline shortages, and 'run' on grocery stores brings to mind just how important it is to ensure resiliency for our nation's critical infrastructure, especially when we can forecast when and how challenges can occur. But what happens when a cyber-attack comes from nowhere to wreck havoc? Will we be prepared? What are the cascading societal effects of such actions? A shortened episode, we'll resume with a full-length episode next week with Ben van Buskirk as we discuss career diversity and how broadening experiences across a wide variety of industries can turbocharge your innovative potential. As mentioned in this episode, here are links to my latest book (TOPGUN's Top 10), as well as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter pages. Drop a line! 
15:59
February 26, 2021
Episode 23 - Broaden Your Horizons with Jim Stavridis
Few people have had the breadth of experience that Jim Stavridis brings to the table. A retired U.S. Navy 4-star admiral, Jim is an operating executive with the Carlyle Group, a global investment firm, and Chair of the Board of Counselors for McLarty Associates, an international consulting firm. He previously served as Dean of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, is the author of numerous books, and serves as chief international diplomacy and national security analyst for NBC News in New York. His latest book, a novel authored with Elliot Ackerman, is titled 2034. Join us for a conversation about Jim's many lessons learned, what he views as key tools for finding success in life, and how he views opportunities in 2021 and beyond. You can reach me at my website, via Twitter @guysnodgrass, and can find my latest book, TOPGUN's Top 10: Leadership Lessons from the Cockpit, at your favorite bookseller (like Amazon and Barnes and Noble).
42:30
February 11, 2021
Episode 22 - Innovation with John Ferrari
Join us for a conversation on innovation, cybersecurity, and the information economy with retired U.S. Army Major General John Ferrari. John is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute think tank as well as the Chief Administration Officer for QOMPLX, a cybersecurity firm, both located in Washington, D.C. Feel free to contact me at guy@guysnodgrass.com with any comments or show recommendations. Additionally, if you haven't already done so, I highly encourage you to check out my latest book, TOPGUN's Top 10: Leadership Lessons from the Cockpit. You can follow me on Twitter @guysnodgrass.
50:02
February 3, 2021
Episode 21 - Wired for War with Author Peter Singer
Join for a conversation on artificial intelligence, robotics, autonomy, and what our national security future looks like with noted author and strategist Peter Singer. Peter is a senior fellow at New America and the author of several bestselling books like Wired For War, Burn-In, and Ghost Fleet. The Wall Street Journal described Peter as "the premier futurist in the national- security environment” and he was named by the Smithsonian as one of the nation’s 100 leading innovators. You can follow him on Twitter at @peterwsinger. 
01:08:47
January 27, 2021
Episode 20 - Inauguration and SolarWinds cyber attack with Adm. Mike Rogers
This week's episode is a discussion of two important milestones in American history: the inauguration for the 46th President of the United States and the recent SolarWinds cyber attack. The inauguration and our response to it will define the next four years of political discourse in this country, but when we contemplate the long-term, few things are more critical to our "all-digital" national and economy than cybersecurity. Join retired U.S. Navy Admiral Mike Rogers, the recent National Security Agency director and U.S. Cyber Command commander, for a discussion about America's cyber vulnerabilities, the dangers this poses to our nation, and what we've learned from the recent SolarWinds attack.
48:06
January 20, 2021
Episode 19 - Storming the Capitol with Mackenzie Eaglen
No, MacKenzie and I did not participate in yesterday's tragic events on Capitol Hill. Rather, we had a discussion just prior to the election that sounds incredibly prescient given what occurred in our nation's capitol. We dive into issues about the U.S. military and, most importantly with the incoming Biden administration, what is likely to occur with defense budgets and how that can affect national security during the next 3-4 years. Mackenzie Eaglen is a resident fellow at American Enterprise Institute, a think tank in Washington, D.C. Mackenzie works on defense strategy, defense budgets, and military readiness. She is also a regular guest lecturer at universities, a member of the board of advisers of the Alexander Hamilton Society, and a member of the steering committee of the Leadership Council for Women in National Security. My recent book, Holding the Line: Inside Trump's Pentagon with Secretary Mattis, may be of particular interest to you given everything that has occurred in recent days. You can find it online at Amazon, B&N, or at your local bookseller. As always, please leave a 5-star review and positive comment -- these go a long way. Additionally, you can follow me on Twitter @guysnodgrass or online at www.guysnodgrass.com.
01:04:31
January 7, 2021
Episode 18 - The Confirmation of Lloyd Austin
President-elect Biden's nomination of retired U.S. Army General Lloyd Austin to serve as Secretary of Defense was contentious from the start. Civilian-military scholars decried his nomination as an erosion of civil-military norms, at risk of 'politicizing' the military, and diminishing civilian control of the military. But is this handwringing justified? Should a U.S. President have the latitude to bring in the people he or she desires into this position? Does a prohibition against military members serving as Secretary of Defense--created in very different times in 1947--still have merit today? Thanks to our longtime listeners for your patience as we took a break while I launched my second book, TOPGUN'S TOP 10: Leadership Lessons from the Cockpit, now available at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and local bookstores. It's not too late to grab a copy as a stocking stuffer. Send me an email if you'd like to offer direct feedback, have ideas for future episodes, or want to strike up a conversation.
35:07
December 17, 2020
Episode 17 - Cyberspace (Part 2) with Adm. Mike Rogers
Join former National Security Agency director and U.S. Cyber Commander commander Mike Rogers as he discusses the soft digital underbelly of America's technological infrastructure.  Attack vectors. Russian interference in the 2016 election. How to protect your children's digital footprint. Russian penetration of the Pentagon's computer network. It's all here as Admiral Mike Rogers shares with us his perspective as the recently departed director for one of the world's largest intelligence agencies and as a senior leader who was charged with protecting America's digital infrastructure. I'm also excited to announce the upcoming release of my second book, TOPGUN'S TOP 10: Leadership Lessons from the Cockpit, now available at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and other booksellers! Send me an email if you'd like to offer direct feedback, have ideas for future episodes, or want to strike up a conversation.
54:09
August 4, 2020
Episode 16 - Cyberspace (Part 1) with Mark Hagerott
Join cyber expert and historian Mark Hagerott for a riveting discussion regarding the numerous threats facing America in the digital realm, including the vulnerabilities of our ever-expanding digital domain, the dangers of moving too fast into automation, and the critical nature of our electoral system. Mark Hagerott is currently the Chancellor for the North Dakota University System. Previously, he held numerous academic leadership roles at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, including as deputy director for the Center for Cyber Security Studies. Chancellor Hagerott’s research and writing are focused on the evolution of technology, education, and changes in technical career paths, and he is the author of multiple articles and book chapters, with a recent emphasis on unmanned systems. I'm excited to announce my second book, TOPGUN'S TOP 10: Leadership Lessons from the Cockpit, is now available here! Send me an email if you'd like to offer direct feedback, ideas for future episodes, or to strike up a conversation.
47:42
July 28, 2020
Special Episode - Leadership Lessons from the Crozier Affair
Join guests Ward Carroll and Brett Odom as we discuss the behind-the-scenes issues at play during the firing of Captain Brett Crozier, the former commanding officer of USS Theodore Roosevelt. More importantly, we openly discuss the outcomes, current-day realities, and leadership lessons important for leaders in any organization, not just the U.S. military. Ward Carroll is a retired U.S. Navy commander and naval aviator who currently serves as the director of outreach and engagements for the U.S. Naval Institute. Brett Odom is a former U.S. Navy fighter pilot, Harvard business school graduate, and managing director of Azimuth, a management consulting firm located in Arlington, Virginia. Follow Ward on Twitter @wardcarroll. Send me an email if you'd like to offer direct feedback, ideas for future episodes, or to strike up a conversation.
57:12
July 21, 2020
Episode 15 - Adversarial AI
Join Guy Snodgrass and guest co-host Mark Solomons as they discuss adversarial AI with Russian experts Mike Kofman and Sam Bendett.  Adversarial AI is incredibly important, as nations competing with America seek to overtake our technological capabilities or hinder our ability to use AI in military applications. In this episode, Mike and Sam walk us through Russia's current AI program, how Russians view the world, and the current state of U.S.-Russian-Chinese competition. Mike Kofman is Director of the Russian Studies Program at the Center for Naval Analyses, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank. Sam Bendett is also with CNA was an advisor on the Russian military and decision-making calculus during military crises.
57:07
July 14, 2020
Special Report - Firing of Captain Brett Crozier (again)
Join Holding the Line for a discussion on the U.S. Navy's decision to reverse course yet again on Captain Brett Crozier, the former commanding officer of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt.  Admiral Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations, decided on Friday to uphold the firing of Captain Crozier. Mark and I discuss his press conference and the report released by the U.S. Navy to elaborate on the reasons for his removal from command. Was the Navy's decision the right one? Tune in to find out. We also discuss Amb. John Bolton's memoir, The Room Where It Happened, and whether or not he should have written the book in the first place.
42:41
June 23, 2020
Episode 14 - Innovation
What is innovation? How can organizations harness its transformational power to accelerate success? Why do innovators run a risk to their careers and what can leaders do to protect those who innovate? Join us as we speak with Ben Kohlmann, a serial entrepreneur, former U.S. Navy pilot, and current McKinsey consultant for a discuss about innovation. A member of the CNO's Rapid Innovation Cell and co-founder of the Defense Entrepreneurs Forum, Ben has studied--and implemented--innovation across multiple disciplines. If you're an innovator, listen in to determine ways to thrive in an organization without being pushed to the side.
58:06
June 16, 2020
Episode 13 - Operationalizing AI
Join hosts Guy Snodgrass and Mark Solomons as they discuss operationalizing AI--where the rubber meets the road with artificial intelligence--with Joe Larson. Joe was recently the deputy director for the Pentagon's Project MAVEN and has years of experience introducing AI to large, diverse organizations. Listen in to hear about the lessons ANY organization can benefit from when seeking to explore AI's advantages... and the potential pitfalls you'll want to avoid. At the end of the day, Mark is concerned about one thing: is AI coming for his job? 
01:04:27
June 9, 2020
Special Report - Mattis Speaks!
Join us as we discuss former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis's decision to release a scathing statement about President Trump's leadership. Was it the right move, an opportunistic grab for attention, or needlessly partisan? Does it help or hurt civil-military relationships?
33:13
June 5, 2020
Episode 12 - AI Strategy
Join Joe Larson as we discuss the national security strategy behind the Department of Defense's pursuit of artificial intelligence. Joe is a retired U.S. Marine Corps Reserve lieutenant colonel who served as deputy director for Project MAVEN, an intelligence program using AI to rapidly categorize video imagery. Joe has years of experience with artificial intelligence and in this episode he walks us through the "why" behind many of today's AI-related issues.
01:03:04
June 2, 2020
Episode 11 - The Basics of AI
Join us for part 1 of a three-part series on artificial intelligence (AI). Steve Escaravage (Booz Allen Hamilton SVP for Analytics and Artificial Intelligence) joins us as our guide as we explore the brave new world of artificial intelligence. What IS artificial intelligence? What can it do? What are the common myths and perceptions? How should organizations avoid common pitfalls while seeking to implement AI-based solutions? Two AI references cited in this episode are Booz Allen's Primer on Artificial Intelligence (link) and Mike Kanaan's new book, T-Minus AI (link).
49:32
May 26, 2020
Episode 10 - Reopening America for Business
Join hosts Guy Snodgrass and Mark Solomons as they discuss the Trump Administration's decision to relax Coronavirus restrictions to fire up the U.S. economy. What are the likely outcomes? How will America's competitors (China, in particular) seek to take advantage of the situation? To answer these questions, Guy and Mark explore the impacts of COVID-19 using the "DIME" construct, discussing America's diplomatic, information, military, and economic sources of strength.
41:57
May 12, 2020
Episode 9 - Latest Headlines and 2020 Election
Join host Guy Snodgrass and co-host Mark Solomons as they catch up on the latest "news of note," including North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un's return from the dead, the latest on the U.S. Navy and Captain Brett Crozier saga, concern over possible degradation of GPS, and the national security implications of the 2020 election.
37:15
May 5, 2020
Episode 8 - Third Offset Strategy (Part II)
Join former Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work for part two of our discussion on the Third Offset Strategy. In this episode we discuss how the Third Offset Strategy is being affected by coronavirus, prevailing economic factors, and a forecasted decline in the defense budget. Deputy Secretary Work served as a U.S. Marine from 1974 until his retirement as a colonel in 2001. He then served at two different Washington, D.C.-based think tanks and as the Under Secretary of the Navy before re-entering government service in 2013 to serve as the 32nd Deputy Secretary of Defense. During his tenure he campaigned for a rapid advancement in U.S. military capabilities to sustain our military advantage against challenges from other competitors, such as China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran. Bob currently serves as CEO for Team Work, LLC and is co-Chair of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence.
52:56
April 28, 2020
Episode 7 - Third Offset Strategy (Part I)
Join former Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work as we discuss the Third Offset Strategy. But first, what's an "offset strategy" and why is it important to America's national security? If this is the third one, what defined the first two?  Deputy Secretary Work served as a U.S. Marine from 1974 until his retirement as a colonel in 2001. He then served at two different Washington, D.C.-based think tanks and as the Under Secretary of the Navy before re-entering government service in 2013 to serve as the 32nd Deputy Secretary of Defense. During his tenure he campaigned for a rapid advancement in U.S. military capabilities to sustain our military advantage against challenges from other competitors, such as China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran. Bob currently serves as CEO for Team Work, LLC and is co-Chair of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence.
52:31
April 24, 2020
Episode 6 - Professionalism with Col. Andy Milburn, USMC (ret.)
Join retired Marine Colonel Andy Milburn as we discuss his concerns about the increasingly partisan nature of the U.S. military, the risks this poses for professionalism, and his career as a member of the special forces community. Col. Milburn enlisted as a private in the U.S. Marine Corps immediately following graduation from law school. A first-generation immigrant, Andy then commissioned as an officer and rose through the ranks before retiring as a colonel in 2019 from his job as the chief of staff for Special Operations in U.S. Central Command. Andy's first book is When the Tempest Gathers, which relays his experiences as the first Marine to lead a special forces combat task force as well as his journey from private to colonel. Also, check out his MilitaryTimes op-ed which serves as the foundation for our discussion.
58:24
April 20, 2020
Episode 5 - The Meaning of Service
Join Kentucky U.S. Senate candidate Amy McGrath as we discuss the meaning of service, whether in uniform or in your local community. A 1997 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Amy served for 20 years in the U.S. Marine Corps as a naval aviator. A Kentucky native, following retirement she and her family returned home where she won the 2018 Democratic primary for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Despite not winning against the Republican incumbent, her personal story and ability to galvanize support led Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to ask her to run against Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in the 2020 election.  Dedicated to putting country before party, Amy wants to put her "can do" attitude to work for all Kentuckians. You can learn more about Amy, her backstory, and her campaign at www.AmyMcGrath.com.
57:25
April 16, 2020
Episode 4 - Civilian-Military Relationships
Join Dr. Pauline Shanks Kaurin and Dr. Doyle Hodges as they discuss the critical relationship that exists between members of the U.S. military and the American public they serve. Along the way we discuss the dangers of an increasingly partisan military, who controls nuclear weapons, when military members should disobey orders, and how the situation broke down between U.S. Navy Captain Brett Crozier and Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly. Dr. Shanks Kaurin is the Admiral James B. Stockdale Chair in Professional Military Ethics at the U.S. Naval War College. Her recently released book On Obedience can be found at Amazon. Dr. Doyle Hodges is a retired U.S. Navy commander, Executive Editor for Texas National Security Review, and Senior Editor for War on the Rocks.
52:56
April 13, 2020
Episode 3 - Relationship Between Military & Media
As the firing of Captain Brett Crozier demonstrates, the only thing more deadly than combat action to a service member is choosing to interact with the media.  Lara Seligman (Politico) and Chris Servello (Provision Advisors) discuss the important relationship between the military and media, and why this relationship is a critical part of informing the American public about the military that serves their interests--both at home and abroad. Our discussion covers the basics of building relationships, the difference between on and off the record conversations, and why the military must increase its engagement with members of the press.
54:15
April 9, 2020
Episode 2 - Coronavirus Pt II w/ Dr. Tom Nichols
Join Guy and Mark as the discuss the national security implications of coronavirus with Dr. Tom Nichols, an academic specialist on international affairs.  We know coronavirus is already having a significant impacts on our day-to-day lives and the economic health of our nation, but how will this global pandemic affect America's interests? What does it mean for the national security community, what should we learn from it and, worse, what are our adversaries and competitors learning about US based on our response to a widespread outbreak?
56:54
April 5, 2020
Special Report - Firing of U.S. Navy Captain Brett Crozier
Join Guy Snodgrass and co-host Mark Solomons as they walk through the recent firing of commanding officer for the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, U.S. Navy Captain Brett Crozier. Captain Crozier caught America's attention when his four-page memorandum urging greater U.S. Navy support for a coronavirus outbreak onboard his carrier was leaked to the public... and he was subsequently fired by senior Navy leadership. Join Guy and Mark as they discuss the circumstances around the firing and what leaders in any organization can learn from this tragic turn of events.
25:37
April 3, 2020
Episode 1 - Coronavirus Pt 1 w/ Dr. Sam Ward
Join host Guy Snodgrass and co-host Mark Solomons as they discuss coronavirus pandemic facts and projections with Dr. Sam Ward, Vice Chairman of Research for the University of California San Diego's Orthopedic Surgery Department. Sam explains why we're seeing coronavirus behave differently around the country and what it means for America's long-term recovery. Guy and Sam also discuss the critical importance of capturing the lessons learned from this coronavirus wave, as a second wave is predicted to occur in the Fall. Part I serves as a baseline and foundation for Part II, where Guy and Mark explore the national security and foreign policy ramifications of coronavirus.
47:47
April 3, 2020
Episode 0 - Introduction to the Podcast
Host Guy Snodgrass joins with co-host Mark Solomons to introduce the Holding the Line Podcast, their respective careers as U.S. Navy and U.S. Army officers, and why they decided to fire up a new podcast in the midst of coronavirus (and a host of other challenges facing America and it's military).
07:59
April 3, 2020