By Joe Nieves
Capital Gazette, January 22, 2020

Fort Meade is known for its secrets and as a place where most everything is classified.

That changed last week when the Fort Meade Public Affairs Office dropped the "Fort Meade Declassified" podcast.

The biweekly podcast will cover topics ranging from housing and potholes to education.

In the inaugural cast, which published Jan. 13, Garrison Commander Col. Erich C. Spragg provided an overview of his 2020 priorities and candidly discussed his handling of the housing crisis, why he closed the gates on a Meade High football game, and how his Clemson Tigers would fare in the national College Football Playoff.

"The goal for the podcast is to have open, informed conversations about what's happening on the fort," Fort Meade Public Affairs Officer Chad Jones said. "Soundoff! and the Facebook page are useful, but you tend to get one side of the conversation. With the podcast, we'll bring the right people together."

Declassified guests will include residents, employees and community leaders -- as well as garrison and tenant leadership -- who will be able to tell the real story behind what they experience.

Listeners will also be a major part of the cast's content and direction.

"Declassified isn't about Fort Meade telling people what's important," Jones said. "We have other command information venues for that.

"Instead, we want our listeners to guide where we take the discussion so it remains relevant."

The community will be able to leave feedback on Fort Meade's various digital platforms including its Facebook and Instagram pages.

Listeners can also send topics and questions to the cast's hosts, Joe Nieves, digital media manager, and Sherry Kuiper, chief of community relations.

Every fifth episode of "Declassified" will have a "mail call" where questions will be answered.

The podcast can be found on all of the Fort Meade Public Affairs social media accounts and the Defense Visual Information Distribution System (DVIDShub.net) as Fort Meade Declassified at https://www.dvidshub.net/unit/FGGMPA.