New York State Command Chief starts podcast to connect with Airmen.

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Jaclyn Lyons, 125th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
  • 109th Airlift Wing

Airmen need a voice to tell their story. This is the reason that Chief Master Sgt. Denny Richardson, the NYANG State Command Chief, has chosen to start a podcast featuring Airmen of all ranks from the five Air National Guard units in New York.

The podcast is named “Journey’s Through Leadership” and during the course of each episode Richardson will sit down with Airmen from different ranks, career fields, and positions and have a one on one interview.

Richardson explained that while leaders are always encouraging Airmen to tell their story, 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” said Richardson.

From these conversations, he wants to shed light on different perspectives.

“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 on March 23rd and features the 109th Airlift Wing Vice Commander, Col. Rob Donaldson.

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,” said Donaldson, “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 being added every day.

According to, more than 80% of podcast listeners are from ages 12-54, the demographic of Airmen that Richardson is trying to reach falls right into that range.

Richardson said he chose podcasting because it is an easy, accessible way to get messaging across. He felt it is convenient to seek out and listen to and it’s not as intimidating to the people participating. He explained that the goal 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 6000 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” said Richardson.

Chief says any Airman who is interested and wants to participate is free to contact him, he wants to be accessible to all the Airmen.

“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 available to listen to through Apple Podcasts, iHeart Radio, and Spotify.  It can also be found at