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New Pentagon Channel Podcast Brings Troops, Entertainers Together

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 2009 – The Pentagon Channel is giving troops a chance to get to know their favorite entertainers a little better with a new video podcast called “Command Performance.”

The podcast consists of an interactive session with popular entertainers, using questions submitted online by military members and their families.

“‘Command Performance’ is designed to reach more of our audience members and is one of the many products the Pentagon Channel produces to keep servicemembers and their families informed and entertained,” Brian Natwick, the channel’s general manager, said.

The broad range of questions submitted and the entertainers’ answers will define common ground between the two groups. For example, the rock band The Killers will provide insight into how they stay close to their families while on tour, and one artist will tell of a personal struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Available through iTunes or directly from the Pentagon Channel’s Web site, “Command Performance” gives the audience a chance to submit questions online for the roster of upcoming shows, which will be available in early spring when the program officially launches. Two podcasts are available now for download.

Channel officials said they hope the interactive format of the new video podcast will keep servicemembers engaged not only with the show, but also, by extension, with military news available on the Pentagon Channel site.

The “Command Performance” playlist offers something for everyone, with a range of entertainers from rock to jazz scenes and pop to blues. Current episodes feature interviews with jazz trumpeter Chris Botti, indie rock singer Cat Power and members of the rock band 3 Doors Down.

“Going behind the scenes and watching the process of how a concert is put together is really fascinating,” said Pentagon Channel anchor Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Liz Murray. “But being able to sit down and talk to the artist while all that is going on is even better!”

The program puts the spotlight on the servicemember, Marine Sgt. Ted Macdonald said. “A big part of what makes ‘Command Performance’ so special is the fact that artists seem just as interested in learning about the military as we are in getting to know them,” he said.

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