STRATTON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, New York – Airmen need a voice to tell their story.
New York Air National Guard Command Chief Master Sgt. Denny Richardson decided to give them one through a podcast featuring Airmen of all ranks from across the New York Air National Guard.
Called "Journey's Through Leadership," each episode of the podcast features Richardson talking with Airmen from different ranks, career fields, and positions in a one-on-one interview.
Leaders are always encouraging Airmen to tell their story, but Richardson said he realized most of the time they don't have the opportunity to share their stories and experiences to a wide audience.
"My vision is to have people from all ranks and careers and ask them questions designed to get them talking about their inspirations and motivation for wanting to serve, find the things that have shaped or are shaping their leadership journey," Richardson said.
The conversations should give everybody a chance to share their perspectives, he explained.
"Hopefully the younger Airmen will shed light on what motivates them and the older, higher-ranking Airmen can share mistakes they've made and the defining factors that have helped them get to positions of leadership," he said.
The first episode posted March 23 and features Col. Rob Donaldson, the vice commander of the 109th Airlift Wing at Stratton Air National Guard Base outside Schenectady.
During the episode, Donaldson reflected on his time as an enlisted Airman on active duty, his transition to the Guard and why he thinks it's important for Airmen to voice their ideas and opinions.
"I love getting the word out about what we do," Donaldson said. "We can learn from each other's experiences and bring more approachability to who you are."
Podcasting is becoming a very popular way for people to get their news, information and entertainment. Apple Podcasts reports having 1.75 million podcast shows available for listening, with new shows added every day.
According to Podcasting.org, more than 80% of podcast listeners are from ages 12-54. The Airmen Richard said he wants to reach fall into that demographic.
Richardson said he chose podcasting because it is an easy, accessible way to get messaging across.
He said it is convenient to seek out and listen to and it's not as intimidating to the people participating. The goal, he said, is to have a more intimate setting to have honest and candid conversations.
"It opens up conversation and allows people to get to know each other. We have almost 6,000 Airmen and so much talent and diversity throughout the state. This will hopefully incite more conversations between each other and open up new ways to get to know one another," Richardson said.
Any Airman who is interested and wants to participate is free to contact him to be part of the podcast, Richardson said. His goal, he added, is to be accessible to all the Airmen across New York.
"I want people to know who their state command chief is," he said. "I'm excited to get this off the ground and look forward to helping Airmen share their stories."
"Journey's Through Leadership" is being produced by the Public Affairs office of the 109th Airlift Wing and is available via Apple Podcasts, Google, Spotify and at Journey's Through Leadership