E8 - Leading the Blue Angels & Thunderbirds

1h 15m | Mar 19, 2023

Mike joins forces with The Afterburn Podcast’s John “Rain” Waters to co-host an epic interview with the Commander of the Air Force Thunderbirds AND the Executive Officer of the Navy Blue Angels. We go behind the scenes with both teams to learn about leadership, flying, teamwork in a way you’ve never heard before.



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Show Notes

(01:20) intro

(2:45) icebreaker

(10:06) sitting in the same room

(12:53) learning from each other

(13:55) T-birds rough period

(14:47) sometimes you can see culture

(15:40) cultural waves in the two teams

(16:36) the T-birds T-38 cultural era

(19:02) President Carter’s Crisis of Confidence

(26:02) Blue’s “glad to be here” culture

(27:59) how tough is the flying?

(29:44) there is no off-season

(33:37) team dynamics of an exemplar squadron

(35:08) The T-birds’ hangar

(36:27) contagious culture of excellence

(36:42) Agile Combat Employment

(37:27) Blue Angels' hangar

(39:57) how they travel

(43:28) authority and trust are key

(45:19) Fat Albert

(46:12) Van Halen M&Ms

(47:15) they’ve never canceled due to maintenance

(48:47) Angels on arrival

(50:01) debrief culture

(50:52) Fat Albert JATO

(52:18) Top Gun Maverick

(54:10) new Super Hornets

(57:30) T-Birds’ tricks to flying that good

(1:03:00) Angels’ tricks to flying that good

(1:04:43) counting feathers

(1:06:17) aiming to crash

(1:07:57) most memorable experience on the teams

(1:08:59) Chris Darnell

(1:14:12) outro

The Merge