Rachel Martin

Rachel Martin is the host of Weekend Edition Sunday.

Prior to moving into the host position in the fall of 2012, Martin started as National Security Correspondent for NPR in May 2010. In that position she covered both defense and intelligence issues. She traveled regularly to Iraq and Afghanistan with the Secretary of Defense, reporting on the US wars and the effectiveness of the Pentagon's counterinsurgency strategy. Martin also reported extensively on the changing demographic of the US military – from the debate over whether to allow women to fight in combat units – to the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell. Her reporting on how the military is changing also took her to a US Air Force base in New Mexico where the military for a rare look at how the military trains drone pilots.

Martin was part of the team that launched NPR's experimental morning news show, The Bryant Park Project, based in New York — a two-hour daily multimedia program that she co-hosted with Alison Stewart and Mike Pesca.

In 2006-2007, Martin served as NPR's religion correspondent. Her piece on Islam in America was awarded "Best Radio Feature" by the Religion News Writers Association in 2007. As one of NPR's reporters assigned to cover the Virginia Tech massacre that same year, she was on the school's campus within hours of the shooting and on the ground in Blacksburg, Va., covering the investigation and emotional aftermath in the following days.

Based in Berlin, Germany, Martin worked as a NPR foreign correspondent from 2005-2006. During her time in Europe, she covered the London terrorist attacks, the federal elections in Germany, the 2006 World Cup and issues surrounding immigration and shifting cultural identities in Europe.

Her foreign reporting experience extends beyond Europe. Martin has also worked extensively in Afghanistan. She began reporting from there as a freelancer during the summer of 2003, covering the reconstruction effort in the wake of the U.S. invasion. In fall 2004, Martin returned for several months to cover Afghanistan's first democratic presidential election. She has reported widely on women's issues in Afghanistan, the fledgling political and governance system and the US-NATO fight against the insurgency. She has also reported from Iraq, where she covered U.S. military operations and the strategic alliance between Sunni sheiks and the U.S. military in Anbar province.

Martin started her career at public radio station KQED in San Francisco, as a producer and reporter.

She holds an undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, and a Master's degree in International Affairs from Columbia University.

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Europe
8:07 am
Sun April 20, 2014

Tiny Liechtenstein Loses A Precious Quarter-Acre

Originally published on Sun April 20, 2014 9:37 am

The tiny principality of Liechtenstein spreads across a grand total of 62 square miles. Now, it's getting smaller.

Music News
8:40 am
Sun March 9, 2014

After A Bitter Struggle, DSO Brings 'Joy' To The People Again

Like many regional orchestras, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra has struggled financially. But after a lot of work, it's set itself on solid footing and become a bright spot in a struggling city.
Courtesy DSO

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 9:55 am

Detroit's Orchestra Hall is one of the best symphony concert halls in the country. The acoustics are top-notch. The theater itself is grand. Important music is made there by some of the country's most talented classical musicians.

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Around the Nation
7:46 am
Sun October 27, 2013

Is Rebuilding Storm-Struck Coastlines Worth The Cost?

The Long Beach High School marching band prepares to march down the Long Beach boardwalk during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 27, 2013 2:10 pm

One year ago Tuesday, Hurricane Sandy bore down on the East Coast, devastating shoreline communities from Florida to Maine.

Many of these areas have been rebuilt, including the Long Beach boardwalk, about 30 miles outside New York City. Officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new boardwalk Friday.

Ninety percent of the funding for the restoration came from the federal government. The Federal Emergency Management Agency paid $44 million to repair the devastation.

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U.S.
1:32 am
Sun November 11, 2012

Petraeus' Fall As Stunning As The Career Before It

Gen. David Petraeus greets an Iraqi man at a tea shop in Baghdad in 2007. In 2011, Petraeus left the Army to become CIA director. He resigned Friday, citing an extramarital affair.
Chris Hondros Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 11, 2012 6:25 pm

The resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus, the retired four-star general who stepped down late Friday citing an extramarital affair, brings to an end one of the most storied careers in modern U.S. military history.

Petraeus left the Army in August 2011 after nearly four decades in uniform. Before his retirement ceremony had even begun, he walked up on the empty stage, went over to the podium and tapped on the microphone. The general was doing his own mic check.

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Presidential Race
6:32 am
Sun October 21, 2012

Turns Out, There Are Rules For The Debates. Lots

The candidates agreed to 21 pages of debate rules, but whether they obey them is another story.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 8:03 am

When President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney meet for their third presidential debate on Monday, there will be some rules for the candidates — and the audience.

In the first debate, Jim Lehrer of PBS demanded "Absolute silence!" Although Lehrer caught some flack for letting the candidates freewheel in that debate, he meant business when it came to keeping the audience quiet.

"If you hear something that's really terrific, sit on it!" he told the audience. "If you hear something you don't like, sit on it!"

But that's not the only debate rule — not by far.

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Home Front: Soldiers Learn To Live After War
5:42 am
Sun June 17, 2012

Frontlines Of Fatherhood: Catching Up After War

Sgt. Michael Clark and his fiancee, Kaitlin Forant, hold their son, Michael Clark Jr. It took time for the 18-month-old to recognize his father after Clark's deployment.
Tom Dreisbach NPR

Originally published on Sun June 17, 2012 7:58 pm

Last year, members of the 182nd National Guard regiment marked Father's Day far away from their loved ones. This year, they're home with their kids after a year in Afghanistan.

Spc. Bryan Tolley, 29, knows the challenges of being both a soldier and a dad. His son, Ryan, is a shy, blond 18-month-old who happily clings to his dad.

"Seeing his face light up when he sees Dada come through his bedroom door instead of Mama — because he's so used to his mother — it's awesome. I love it," says Tolley of Plymouth, Mass.

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Home Front: Soldiers Learn To Live After War
6:02 am
Sun June 10, 2012

Help And Hope, From Soldiers, For Soldiers

A recent Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program event in Boston offered help for members of the 182nd Infantry Regiment of the Army National Guard as they transition back to being civilians.
Tom Dreisbach NPR

Originally published on Sun June 10, 2012 4:43 pm

The 182nd Infantry Regiment of the Army National Guard landed back in the U.S. last March after a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan.

After two months of leave, however, their official transition time is over and the deployment paychecks have stopped. It's now time to get back to regular life, and for the members from Massachusetts, that means a mandatory check-in with the unit's leadership.

From Soldier To Civilian

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Home Front: Soldiers Learn To Live After War
6:25 am
Sun April 29, 2012

National Guard Members' Next Battle: The Job Hunt

The National Guard's 182nd Infantry Regiment returned home in March from a year in Afghanistan. One in three said they were unemployed or looking for work.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Originally published on Mon April 30, 2012 12:31 pm

Before the soldiers of the 182nd Regiment of the Army National Guard came home, they were asked how many were unemployed or looking for work. The answer: about one in three.

As more soldiers return to civilian life, a civilian job may not be there waiting. Service members with the National Guard have the extra challenge of convincing employers to hire them when they may be called to active duty for a year or more. There are laws designed to protect vets from losing their jobs or promotions because of their service, but it's hard to prove when it happens.

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Religion
8:00 am
Sun April 8, 2012

The Army Chaplain: A Kind Of Mission Specialist

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

There is one group in the military with a unique role in helping soldiers and their families through difficult times. So, on this Easter Sunday, an Army chaplain describes his work helping soldiers who have just returned from war.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RICK EBB: My name is Chaplain Rick Ebb. I'm the post chaplain here at Camp Atterbury. I am one of the first people they see, and I think that's very important that the representative of faith is there. And we say a prayer, a quick prayer, for God's safety bringing them back.

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Home Front: Soldiers Learn To Live After War
6:01 am
Sun April 8, 2012

Dismissed: Military Families Reunite, Face The Future

A portrait of Spc. Jonathan Nestico, 27, is displayed in his family's home in Woburn, Mass.
Becky Lettenberger Becky Lettenberger/NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:53 am

Back from a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan, the 182nd Infantry Regiment of the Army National Guard had to make a pit stop before heading home. At Camp Atterbury in Indiana, the service members were far from their families, most of which are in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

The returning soldiers had to go through a series of checkups and assessments before their welcome-home ceremony, which marks the moment they return to civilian life and the people they left behind.

Before they got there, there was anxiety on both sides — for soldiers and their families.

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