Top Podcasts for Military, Veterans and Their Families

podcasts military

Popular Podcasts for the Military Community

If this past year has done anything for the seeking of entertainment, it’s driven people to find new and interesting ways to occupy themselves. One such way to absorb yourself in a welcomed distraction, possibly learn new things, and potentially multi-task at the same time is to listen to podcasts.

What exactly is a podcast? A dictionary definition states that a podcast is “a digital audio or video file or recording, usually part of a themed series, that can be downloaded from a website to a media player or computer.” That’s not very informative. The modern-day word podcast comes from a combination of iPod and broadcast, but is a concept that actually comes from the 1980s, called audio blogging.

History of Podcasts

Podcasts didn’t really become popular until the early 2000s, when portable audio devices that were able to connect to the internet started to readily emerge for the general public, and internet-based streaming became a common way of life. At first, podcasts were mostly conducted by large companies to promote their businesses and products, but today, podcasts can be created and uploaded by practically anybody for any reason. The most popular form of podcasting is basically an audio version of a tv show (though more and more podcasts are conducting video-recordings of their sessions and uploading these to personal websites or YouTube as well). People have referred to podcasts as “Netflix for audio,” “audio on demand,” and even “downloadable niche talk radio.”

Podcast Popularity

For some additional insight into podcast popularity, current statistics look like this:

  • Over 55% of the US population has listened to a podcast
  • In 2020 over 155 million people listen to a podcast every week
  • There are over 700,000 active podcasts and 29 million podcast episodes available
  • 49% of podcast listening happens at home, 22% happens while driving, 11% at work, and 8% while exercising
  • In 2021, the top five categories for podcasts are society & culture, business, comedy, health, news & politics

There is no right or wrong way to conduct or format a podcast in this day and age. You can find podcasts about anything, from true crime to fandom-themed discussions, to comedy shows, and so much more. That being said, it can oftentimes be difficult to find something relevant or appealing to you. To hopefully make the process of choosing a podcast that’s a perfect fit for you easier, we’ve compiled a list of the most popular podcasts for different types of listeners in the military community.

Popular Podcasts for Active Duty Service Members

Jocko

Hosted by retired Navy SEAL Jocko Willink and Echo Charles, this show focuses on discipline, business, war, relationships and more. The hosts focus on speaking openly, bluntly, and unapologetically.

Women of the Military

Air Force veteran Amanda Huffman brings her experience as a former officer and military spouse while she exclusively interviews female active duty service members and veterans.

DODReads: What are you Reading?

Dedicated to inspiring a culture of scholarship and lifelong learning in the Armed Forces, four active duty and veteran hosts interview senior military leaders to inform upon their reading habits, best practices, and leadership practices.

War on the Rocks

On this show, Ryan Evans, once a deployed U.S. Army civilian in Afghanistan, talks policy, life, and security while enjoying a few drinks.

Combat and Classics

Sponsored by St. John’s College, this is a series of podcasts and free online seminars for active duty, reserve, and veteran U.S. military members.

War College

Discussion revolves around the weapons, tech, and various military stories related to the instruments of war that soldiers need to be familiar with.

Mind of the Warrior

Dr. Mike Simpson, former Special Forces Operator, talks with top-ranking policemen, combat veterans, MMA experts, and more to dive into the psychology of what it takes to be a modern day “warrior.”

Why We Lead

Led by Air Force pilot Christopher Little, this show focuses on developing the careers of military leaders through professional military interviews and discussion of articles and videos. Its aim is to educate, connect with, and develop today’s warfighters.

Popular Podcasts for Transitioning Service Members

Mandatory Fun

A military and pop culture show which focuses on breaking cultural tropes and bridging the military-civilian divide, hosted by veterans representing different branches.

Drop and Give Me 20

A podcast for military entrepreneurs, each episode gives a glimpse into the life of other successful military entrepreneurs by retelling their personal stories, challenges, and wins.

Veteran Transitions

The focus of this show is for military veterans to tell the story of their life, specifically around the period of military-to-civilian transition, hosted by a Marine Corps veteran.

RELATED: Virtual Job Fairs for Military and Veterans

SuccessVets

A resource for transitioning military service members, with inspiring stories, awesome tips, and helpful interviews of other successful veterans.

Mentors for Military

Hosted by 17 veterans, listeners can hear real stories from real people who want to help them improve their daily lives and focus on personal growth.

Popular Podcasts for Veterans

Veteran Artist Program

From veteran BR McDonald, this podcast aims to foster, encourage and promote veterans in the arts by helping you learn about the artists, leaders and organizations making a difference in the veteran artist community.

Frontlines of Freedom

The show covers relevant military news and events that matter to military families, including veterans’ activities and homeland security issues coming from retired Airborne Ranger Lt. Col. Denny Gillem.

Veteran’s PATH

Considered “the” mental health podcast for veterans, this show aims to help you find Peace, Acceptance, Transformation, and Honor through practical tools like meditation and mindfulness, physical and outdoor experiences, and a community of camaraderie.

Veteran Café

A light-hearted approach to veteran and active service member issues. The show is hosted by Wes and Tracy, a husband and wife duo who both served.

Veteran Resource

This show was created to introduce veterans to Veteran Service Organizations by veteran and advocate Jeremy Paris. Each week he interviews a different VSO to find out their mission, projects, challenges, and services.

Popular Podcasts for Military Spouses and Families

Lifegiver

This podcast has honest conversations and real resources military families can use. The host is Corie Weathers, a licensed professional counselor who has spent the last 20 years specializing in women’s issues, PTSD, marriage, divorce, and substance abuse.

MilSpouse Coffeehouse

Leslie and Britni, both military spouses of 10+ years, chat and provide their insight and opinions (and that of their guests) on hot topics in the military spouse community and beyond.

Male MilSpouse Radio

Hosted by Dave Etter, veteran and 2016 Armed Forces Insurance Army Spouse of the Year, this show explores issues affecting male military spouses, financial information, and general military discussions.

MilSpouse Matters

A podcast dedicated to encouraging military spouses, it doesn’t shy away from the hard topics, while providing a practical, humorous look at military life.

Hurry Up and Wait

Army wife and podcast host Carlee Wengel shares tips, tricks, advice, and personal stories to help guide you on your military spouse adventure.

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About the author

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Samantha Cain has 10 years of experience as a freelance writer and content creator, specializing in a variety of topics such as higher education, personal finance, event planning, DIY projects, and military life. She holds a BA in English, is working towards an MS in Higher Education, and has been a military spouse for eight years. Having lived on a number of overseas military bases, she brings a unique perspective to her writing and strives to provide quality and beneficial information to the military community.