(Stars and Stripes)

After more than 150 episodes, the Military Matters podcast has reached the end.

On this final Fast Take, host Rod Rodriguez looks back at the show’s beginnings in January 2020, reflects on some past stories (including deep dives into Russia, China, North Korea and even aliens) and thanks Stars and Stripes Editor in Chief Robert H. Reid for giving him the autonomy to pursue tough stories and “[give] the show its unique voice.”

Rodriguez also had a parting message for listeners.

“Maybe someday we’ll link up again. But until then, all I ask of you is this: Keep all of them accountable,” he said. “Them being those in authority, those in power, those wearing uniforms, those wearing stars, those wearing business suits, those sitting behind big desks, those sitting behind secret desks, those … who we’ve trusted with our well-being. Keep them all accountable. Journalism, whether it’s in print, video or voice, keeps the spotlight on, and without it, we’re lost.”

You can find Military Matters on Twitter @stripesmmpod.

Follow Rod Rodriguez on Twitter @rodpodrod.

A transcript of the episode can be found here.

Go to, use promo code PODCAST and save 50% on your digital subscription.

Brian McElhiney is a digital editor and occasional reporter for Stars and Stripes. He has worked as a music reporter and editor for publications in New Hampshire, Vermont, New York and Oregon. One of his earliest journalistic inspirations came from reading Stars and Stripes as a kid growing up in Okinawa, Japan.

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