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Beyond the Uniform

Beyond the Uniform is a show to help military veterans navigate their civilian career. Each week, I meet with different veterans to learn more about their civilian career, how they got there, and what advice they'd give to other military personnel.
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Now displaying: 2017
Apr 26, 2017

“I was 27 years old, 150 pounds, and I hadn’t played football in five years. And I decided that I wanted to go chase this dream [of joining the NFL]. Literally, people laughed at me. They said you have absolutely no chance - the odds are astronomically against you and you can’t do it.”
- Phil McConkey

Phil McConkey is the President of Academy Securities, our nation’s first and only post 9/11 military veteran and disabled veteran owned and operated investment bank and broker dealer. Phil has served in this capacity for the last 6 years. He started out at the Naval Academy, after which he served for five years as a Naval Aviator. After his military service, spent 6 years in the NFL, with the Packers, Cardinals, Chargers and the Giants - where he won the Super Bowl.

The top reason to listen to this episode is:

  1. Resilience - Phil's first career was in the NFL, where he caught a pass for the winning team in the Super Bowl; he went on to start his own investment bank of which he is now president. He talks about being cut from the NFL multiple times and fighting his way back, about having the tenacity to pursue one's dream no matter what that is.
  2. Finance - Phil's company, Academy Securities, employs many veterans through

Our Sponsor:

  • Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Links

  • Resources
    • Veterans on Wall Street - Veterans on Wall Street (VOWS) is an initiative dedicated to honoring former military personnel and employees currently in the National Guard and Reserve
    • 100,000 Jobs Mission - https://www.veteranjobsmission.com/
    • Man in the Arena - A speech that Phil kept with him at the NFL and has encouraged him to remain resilient through all adversities

Show Notes

  • 2:35 - Phil’s background
  • 3:40 - How Phil approached his decision to leave the military
  • 15:10 - How Phil transitioned from the Navy to the NFL
  • 19:45 - Phil’s advice to those pursuing professional sports or anything that seems like a farfetched dream
  • 23:08 - How Phil started his second civilian career in the world of finance
  • 25:52 - Phil’s advice to veterans seeking a career in finance
  • 28:50 - Advice for veterans seeking to start their own company
  • 37:45 - What life is like as President of Academy Securities
  • 40:48 - Recommended resources
  • 42:52 - What it’s like for a new veteran hire at Academy Securities
  • 44:42 - Final words of wisdom
Apr 19, 2017

“My job now is [compared to my time in the Marine Corps] so delightfully meaningless and inconsequential that the only way that I an look at sports and covering sports is that it is the silliest, most fun thing. It allows me, after the ultimate seriousness of combat in the Marine Corps, to laugh at anything, no matter how seemingly serious it is.”
- Matt Ufford

Matt Ufford is an Editor-at-Large and Video Host at SB Nation - a digital sports media brand and network of team sites built by and for the modern sports fan. He started out at Northwestern University, after which he served in the Marine Corps for four years as a Tank Officer. After the Marines he worked as a columnist at AOL Sports, as well as an editor at Uproxx Media, where he founded their sports and TV blogs.

The top reason to listen to this episode is:

  1. Sports Writing - Matt set out to be a writer, and has worked his way up to a role where he now produced YouTube videos about sports. His story is inspiring, and is an example how through repetition and hard work, veterans can achieve any role.
  2. New Media - when Matt started out, Twitter didn't even exist. Now his role is all about YouTube. He talks about how the Sports and Media environment is rapidly changing, and what it's like to work in this constantly evolving space
  3. Perspective - I love the gratitude and perspective that Matt holds. He talks about how, compared to his military service, his job is stress free, and the gratitude he feels each day to be alive.

Our Sponsor:

  • Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Links

Show Notes

  • 3:32 - Matt's background
  • 4:00 - How Matt approached his decision to leave the Marine Corps
  • 7:07 - What Matt does right now at SB Nation
  • 8:25 - What Matt's day-to-day life looks like covering sports at SB Nation
  • 10:23 - How Matt brings his videos to life on YouTube
  • 17:34 - Matt's journey from the Marine Corps to a career in sports media
  • 22:42 - How Matt started his own blog, which lead to his current career
  • 27:54 - Recommended resources
  • 33:42 - Final words of wisdom
Apr 12, 2017

“Navigating my way through school as a first generation college student, I made a lot of mistakes. I could have done things a lot differently if I’d had mentorship or guidance on how to make decisions. I believe that I went through that and found myself within the military higher education space over six years ago, really just wanting to be what I needed when I got out.”
Justine Evirs

Justine is the Senior Director of Programs at Service to School. She is a Navy veteran and Navy spouse, and has helped countless veterans find and be accepted to their ideal college and grad school programs. She started out as a Fireman in the US Navy, and has dedicated the last 6 years to transforming our active duty, military spouse, and veteran community through academic advising & program development. She has worked at ECPI University, the University of Maryland, and College of San Mateo in veteran services coordinator positions.
The top reason to listen to this episode is:

  1. Education - Justine has spent over 6 years helping veterans find the right school (undergraduate or graduate) and program to accelerate their career. She's got extremely helpful advice about how to maximize your educational experience
  2. Entrepreneurship - Seth talks about starting a business, a brewery, and a foundation all at the same time
  3. Mentors - Seth does a great job of talking about how to find and learn from mentors as veterans pursue their civilian career

Our Sponsor:

  • Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Links

  • Related Episodes - if you liked this episode, I would recommend you check out the following episodes:
    • Tim Hsia - Founder of Service to School
    • David Lee - used Service to School to go from the Marines to the Stanford Graduate School of Business
    • Alex Chivers - Army Ranger NCO to Dartmouth
  • Service 2 School
  • Veterati - Veterati is a free mentorship platform. Our mentors are professionals volunteering to serve those who have served our country.
  • Student Veterans of America (SVA) - Student Veterans of America presents groundbreaking research about student veterans using the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
  • American Corporate Partners - Founded in 2008, ACP aims to ease the transition from the military to the civilian workforce.
  • LinkedIn - essential for networking and very underutilized by veterans

Show Notes

  • 2:39 - Justine’s background
  • 3:47 - How Justine found herself unexpectedly facing a career transition far earlier than she expected
  • 8:00 - Justine’s road from the Navy, through higher education, to Service to School
  • 10:40 - Why Justine advocates education after military service instead of going directly into industry
  • 13:50 - An overview of Service to School
  • 21:30 - Some common mistakes that veterans make when applying to attending higher education after military service
  • 29:20 - How to start to uncover - while on active duty - what you may want to do afterwards
  • 35:10 - How to find the right school for you
  • 41:45 - Advice on pursuing education after the military vs. while on active duty
  • 46:00 - Recommended resources
  • 48:08 - Final words of wisdom

 

Apr 5, 2017

“I wanted to use something that I thought was special that was tied to my Marine Corps time, which is the celebratory nature of using beer as a way to give back. And I'm proud to say that this grew into a movement, and we're excited about the work that we do."
– Seth Jordan

Seth Jordan is the Founder & President of Dog Tag Brewing, a brewery that provides the highest quality crafted beers that deliver a message of gratitude for the selfless sacrifice of our nation’s military. Proceeds from Dog Tag Brewing sales are donated to causes determined by the families of fallen warriors.

He graduated from Clemson University in South Carolina and went to work for ESPN in New York City, but felt compelled to serve after 9/11. He served as an officer in the Marine Corps for nearly 10 years as a Naval Aviator and UH-1 Helicopter pilot with over 250 combat missions. He started Dog Tag Brewing after leaving the Marine Corps.

The top reason to listen to this episode is:

  1. Support - Seth established a Brewery where all of the profits go to supporting veteran families and the causes they believe in. It's a great example of using one's career for a purpose greater than oneself
  2. Entrepreneurship - Seth talks about starting a business, a brewery, and a foundation all at the same time
  3. Mentors - Seth does a great job of talking about how to find and learn from mentors as veterans pursue their civilian career

Our Sponsor:

  • Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Links

Show Notes

  • 3:45 - Seth's Background
  • 4:30 - Seth's decision to join the Military from the civilian sector
  • 5:22 - Seth's decision to leave the Marine Corps
  • 6:28 - When Seth first started to think about starting his own brewery
  • 8:04 - Seth's decision to donate all profits he makes to help veteran causes
  • 12:27 - What it was like to start a brewery and advice to other veterans seeking to start their own company
  • 16:52 - Advice for veterans seeking a mentor - how to find them and evaluate when to bring them on in a more formal capacity
  • 22:00 - How often Seth meets with this mentors and advisors
  • 24:16 - What Seth's day-to-day life looks like
  • 27:16 - Advice on finding work-life balance
  • 31:24 - The most valuable skill Seth took away from the Marine Corps that has helped him at Dog Tag Brewing
  • 32:12 - One skill that Seth had to develop since leaving the Marine Corps
  • 33:50 - What advice Seth would have given to himself when he first left the Marine Corps
  • 39:37 - Resources Seth recommends to all veterans
  • 44:00 - Final words of wisdom
  • 47:50 - Where you can find out more about Dog Tag Brewing and how you can support Seth and his mission
Mar 29, 2017

“Not every conversation that you have should up with a hiring "yes or no" decision at the end of it. You've got to spend some time going out there and finding what's out there. The right job is out there for everybody. It's a matter of us finding it."
– Dan Piontkowski

Dan is the Manager of Sourcing for all the hourly roles at Marriott in the US. He has worked in a variety of recruiting capacities at Amazon, KPMG, Hewlett-Packard, and Booz Allen Hamilton to include leading and launching many of the veteran recruiting pipelines and initiatives. Dan started out as a Corporal in the Marine Corps, before going to the Naval Academy and then serving as a Surface Warfare Officer. His last tour in the Navy was as an Officer Programs Recruiter stationed at Penn State that got him hooked on recruiting.

The top reason to listen to this episode is:

  1. Job Search - Dan has worked with some of the best companies in the world, and has some great advice on common pitfalls veterans can avoid in their job search and interview process
  2. LinkedIn Advice - Dan leverages LinkedIn quite a bit in his job, and has some tactical advice for how veterans can best utilize LinkedIn in advancing their civilian career
  3. Recruiting - for veterans interested in Recruiting as a possible career, Dan provides an overview of what this job looks like. He also talks about how his involvement in recruiting within the military helped prepare him for and inform his decision to pursue this as a civilian. 

Our Sponsor:

  • Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Links

Show Notes

  • 2:07 - Dan's background
  • 2:44 - Dan's decision to leave the military and how he approached this decision
  • 3:48 - Dan's first job search and what he learned from this
  • 8:20 - Based on Dan's experience and having worked with many different veterans, some common mistakes he sees veterans make in their job search
  • 20:35 - What Dan does as a recruiter, and what his job looks like on a typical day
  • 26:40 - Advice for how veterans can best utilize LinkedIn
  • 31:14 - Other resources Dan would recommend for veterans
  • 34:27 - One piece of advice Dan would give to someone on Active Duty on how to prepare for their career transition
  • 38:43 - Final words of wisdom
Mar 22, 2017

“That self-discipline and drive, the foresight and focus on accomplishing a goal larger than yourself and more important than quenching your thirst (literally and figuratively) is what drove me to succeed in boxing and what drives me now to succeed in sales and other positions I may have in the future."
– Mike Benedesso

Mike works in New Business Development at Google as part of Google Cloud. He started out at West Point, where he was the Boxing Team Captain and a National Champion. He served in the Army for five years: first as an Executive Officer (XO) of a Military Intelligence Company and then as a Platoon Leader and Team Captain of the Army Boxing Team in the Army's World Class Athlete Program at Fort Carson, Colorado. There, he trained to earn a spot on the 2012 US Olympic Boxing team. Since leaving the Army in 2012, he has worked at Sony, LinkedIn, Google, and earned his MBA from UCLA.The top reason to listen to this episode is:

  1. Determination - Mike didn't get into Google until his third time;  he is a case study in persistence and he talks about how boxing and the military prepared him for this.
  2. Sales & Account Management - Mike provides a great depiction of an Account Executive role, what the sales aspects of this actually look like. Mike had no experience in this role, and has a great description of what life is like and why other veterans may like this
  3. Google & LinkedIn - Mike has worked at both of these iconic companies and provides a good overview of what life is like here

Our Sponsor:

  • Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Links

Show Notes

  • 2:16 - Mike's Background
  • 3:00 - How Boxing helped Mike prepare for his civilian career
  • 5:38 - When Mike decided to leave the military
  • 7:00 - Mike's first job search
  • 9:20 - An overview of Mike's experience at UCLA's Anderson School of Business getting his MBA
  • 10:40 - What lead Mike to LinkedIn
  • 13:38 - What Mike's role as an Enterprise Account Executive Role looked like
  • 15:40 - Signs that veterans may enjoy an Account Executive Role and indications you might not enjoy it
  • 18:34 - What led Mike to Google
  • 20:22 - What Mike's day-to-day life looks like at Google
  • 22:00 - Advice for veterans seeking to work at LinkedIn, Google, or a highly-desired company like them
  • 27:00 - A mistake Mike made sense the military and what he learned from it
  • 29:29 - What habits Mike has had to break from the military to be successful in his civilian career
  • 31:49 - Final words of wisdom
Mar 15, 2017

“They have no issue negotiating a Syrian and a Kurd ceasefire in the mountains, unarmed with warlords. But if you tell them - what's next for you? They don't know how to do that. Because they've been very frontside focused on the mission in front of them for the last 5, 10, 15, 20+ years. So from that moment it all began for The Honor Foundation."
– Joe Musselman

Joe Musselman is the Founder & CEO of The Honor Foundation. He started out at DePaul University. Joe enlisted in the Navy with intentions of becoming a Navy SEAL, but as he says, “God had other plans.” He sustained an injury that ultimately lead him to found The Honor Foundation. He is also the Founder of The NEXT Series and The SOF Garage.

The top reason to listen to this episode is:

  1. Founding - how he did a simple step to help one veteran, and how that led incrementally to founding an incredible organization. Joe's story is one of obsession - of taking massive action to make a difference in the world.
  2. How to find your dream job - Joe talks about a very prescriptive process that has helped countless members of speical forces though the transition process
  3. Learning - this is a theme of Joe's story - reading everything he can each year, studying happines (in the workplace and in life), studying unhappiness, artificul intelligence, and writing a white paper at the end of the year about he's learned.

Our Sponsor:

  • Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Links

Show Notes

  • 3:21 - Joe's background
  • 3:55 - Joe's unexpected departure from the Navy and how he started The Honor Foundation
  • 15:43 - One of Joe's biggest mistakes in starting The Honor Foundation
  • 18:20 - What it looks like to be involved with The Honor Foundation as a participant
  • 21:30 - Joe's advice for other veterans thinking of starting their own organization
  • 24:45 - Common mistakes that Joe has seen veterans make in their career transition
  • 29:55 - What Joe's day-to-day life looks like
  • 34:30 - How Joe has used interactions with world-class thinkers, leaders and doers to catapult his own learning and The Honor Foundation's growth
  • 36:48 - Joe's involvement with the NEXT Series and the SOF Garage
  • 41:05 - Books, podcasts, and resources Joe would recommend to listeners
  • 46:34 - Things that Joe had to unlearn (and has seen other veterans have to unlearn) from their military experience
  • 50:40 - Final words of wisdom
Mar 8, 2017

“I’m so passionate about entrepreneurship, I think everyone should have their own business on the side. If you’re a career person and you like your day job, I would still encourage you to start a business on the side. It’s really liberating, you learn a lot about customers and about marketing and I think the same rule applies to those who are still in the military."
– Drew Sanocki

Drew is a Founding Partner at Empire Growth Group, a hybrid consulting agency, services provider, and investment vehicle. He started out Harvard, after which he served in the Navy as an intelligence Officer for four years. After his transition from the Navy, Drew attended Stanford Business School. After a role at Commerce.TV in Business Development, Drew co-founded Design Public, an 'inventoryless' ecommerce company focused on the home furnishings market, which Drew bootstrapped from $0 to 7 figures in under one year, eventually selling the company after eight profitable years. Drew also runs the site NerdMarketing.com, where he writes about marketing automation and customer segmentation rules that have driven over $100 million in transactions in 2015.

The top reason to listen to this episode is:

  1. Everyone is an entrepreneur - Drew's advice for veterans is very practical and tactical. He talks about how he got an MBA and took his first job to boost his confidence, but neither of these are necessary for a veteran to start their own company
  2. Lifestyle - Drew has an awesome perspective on lifestyle (and a blog post about it here). He also talks about how e-commerce is great for vets, as they can start these companies without a technical co-founder. He talks about looking at the skill set you have that people would pay for, and how to productize as much as possible
  3. Functional SkillDrew has really grown his expertise in eCommerce of over a decade. He's a great example of one potential route for veterans, and it echoes what Steve Reinemund advised about a Hip Pocket Skill for veterans

Our Sponsor:

  • Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Links

  • Another great interviews that talk about starting a company while on active duty: http://beyondtheuniform.io/btu-20-ian-folau-tactical-advice-for-starting-a-company-even-while-on-active-duty/
  • Drew wrote an EXCEPTIONAL blog post that I speak about in the interview. You can read it here: http://www.nerdmarketing.com/lifestyle-goals-2017/
  • Drew’s site: http://www.nerdmarketing.com
  • Drew recommends Ramitz Seffy - http://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/ . It’s really solid training that spans from getting started to make $1k on the side all the way to building, sourcing, and delivering your own product online

Show Notes

  • 3:55 - Drew’s background
  • 4:55 - The point at which Drew knew he was going to leave the military and how he approached this decision
  • 5:33 - How a lack of confidence lead Drew to graduate school, and advice he has for other vets about how to consider graduate school
  • 7:18 - Advice for steps veterans may take while on active duty to better identify their next move
  • 9:40 - Drew’s experience at CommerceTV in Business Development and Drew’s thoughts on gaining experience prior to starting one’s own company
  • 12:40 - The Genesis of Drew’s company, Design Public
  • 15:09 - One of the most difficult points of growing Design Public
  • 19:33 - “I don’t want to be a billion dollar company, here’s what I want instead” - an exceptional article Drew wrote, and how his thoughts on running his own company has evolved over the years
  • 23:30 - Advice for veterans of thinking of starting their own company
  • 25:58 - Resources that Drew would recommend to aspiring veteran entrepreneurs
  • 28:46 - What lead Drew to start NerdMarketing and what his life looks like on a day-to-day basis
  • 32:20 - Drew’s other venture, the Empire Growth Group
  • 33:30 - How Drew determines how and where to spend his time while he is working on multiple projects simultaneously
  • 36:16 - How Drew has built up Career Capital around e-commerce marketing, and his advice to veterans on doing the same
  • 41:36 - Drew’s final words of wisdom
Mar 1, 2017

 

“Master something and suddenly you’re going to start noticing very compelling opportunities. Start from scratch, and it’s like you’re at the kiddie table - you’re not really going to come up with something the world cares about."
– Cal Newport

Cal Newport is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University, who specializes in the theory of distributed algorithms. He previously earned his Ph.D. from MIT in 2009 and graduated from Dartmouth College in 2004. In addition to studying the theoretical foundations of our digital age as a professor, Cal also writes about the impact of these technologies on the world of work.He is the author of the recent book Deep Work, which I am reading next. The book we’ll discuss mostly today, So Good They Can’t Ignore You, argues that “follow your passion” is bad advice. Inc Magazine listed it as one of the best business books of the year, and Cal’s related Oped in the NYT was one of their most emailed articles for the entire site.

This is one of the MOST influential books I read in 2016, and I feel it is a message that every veteran should hear.s

Our Sponsor:

  • Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Links

Show Notes

  • 2:20 - backstory on this interview and a brief background on Cal Newport
  • 4:08 - the context around which Cal wrote So Good They Can’t Ignore You
  • 5:38 - the central premise of So Good They Can’t Ignore Your - follow your passion is not just bad advice, it is potentially harmful advice
  • 8:15 - how we often focus on “the match” of finding the right job places more pressure on one in their job search
  • 12:30 - the Craftsman Mindset and how this is a more compelling approach than a Passion Mindset
  • 17:55 - Career Capital and how veterans can think about their initial transition from the military, and every career transition thereafter
  • 32:00 - Finding a Mission, and how operating at the cutting edge makes this more achievable
  • 35:35 - Deliberate Practice vs. Hard Work, and how the former is essential for developing expertise
  • 43:44 - Control, and how if it is acquired without career capital it will not be sustainable in a career
Feb 22, 2017

“It’s been amazing and often sometimes very depressing. I mean, it’s not a logical transition to go from Intelligence to Special Operations to Men’s Grooming"
– Nicholas Karnaze

Nick Karnaze is the Founder & CEO of Stubble & Stache, a new breed of skincare for men, and a company that also donates a large of profits to high impact charities helping veterans travel the road to recovery. Nicholas started out at the Naval Academy, after which he served in the Marine Corps for over 7 years as an Intelligence Officer and the Special Operations community. After the Marine Corps he served as the Co-Founder and CEO of The Stabilization Group, and then as Program Lead at Praescient Analytics.

The top reason to listen to this episode is:

  1. Startups - Nick started hist first company directly out of the Marines, and talks about how important it is to pick the right co-founder, and have difficult conversation upfront.  And he talks about starting and growing his second company, Stubble & Stache, without any business school experience, but instead using books, free resources and programs like the Stanford Ignite program to help him scale his business
  2. For profit vs. non-profit - Stubble & Stache is a for profit venture that donates a portion of their revenue to help veterans. He talks about how he made the decision to be for profit rather than a non profit and the big difference that can make in the impact a startup has

Our Sponsor:

  • Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Links

  • Nick talks about his company's philanthropic effort to combat PTSD. A few interviews relevant to this are
    • Tim Avery - Tim provides a TON of great resources for vets in this regard
    • Duane France - Duane focuses on veterans mental health and provide a lot of great advice and resources
    • Anthony Garcia - Anthony discusses his own battle with depression in a way that is very powerful
    • David Smith - David speaks about his own experience with PTSD and struggle with suicide
  • SBA Website - started here, and found it to be a GREAT source of information about starting your own company
  • SCORE - provide mentorship and classes for entrepreneurs. They have offices in every major city
  •  Books
  • Podcasts

Show Notes

  • 1:57 - Nick’s background
  • 2:33 - Nick’s decision to leave the Army and how he approached this decision
  • 4:33 - Starting Nick’s first company directly out of the Army
  • 5:22 - Finding a Co-Founder, mistakes Nick made the first time he did this, and advice for veterans on finding the right co-founder
  • 10:58 - What lead Nick to Praescient Analytics
  • 12:48 - How the loss of one Nick’s good friends in combat lead to the genesis of Stubble & Stache
  • 14:58 - When Stubble & Stache turned from a project into a full-time venture
  • 17:22 - An overview of Stubble & Stache
  • 21:02 - How long until Nick was able to pay himself a salary when starting his own company
  • 23:18 - What the journey has been like for Nick, starting his own company
  • 27:53 - Starting a company directly out the Army, what skills Nick would recommend to someone on active duty thinking of starting their own company
  • 30:20 - Resources about finance and startups that Nick would recommend to other veterans
  • 34:12 - Stanford Ignite and why this is an incredible asset for all veterans
  • 36:33 - Having had experience with a startup before Stanford Ignite, Nick’s thoughts on how veterans can best approach and prepare for Stanford Ignite
  • 39:05 - Advice for veterans thinking of starting their own company
  • 44:33 - Habits that Nick had to break when he transitioned from the military to civilian life
  • 46:50 - Nick’s final words of wisdom
Feb 17, 2017

“You should always apply a couple levels above where you think you fit in. I’ve never applied to a school that I actually thought I’d get into; I never applied for a job I actually thought I’d get. I managed to get all of them - it blows my mind every single time but it’s good; it’s a reality check."
– David Smith

David Smith is the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at Dogu, a Norwegian Business-to-Business (B2B) software company that creates unique solutions that allow businesses to visualize data and and accelerate sales. He started out in the Marine Corps as an infantry rifleman. Since the Marines he has graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, volunteered as a social entrepreneur doing humanitarian work in over 12 countries, has been part of the Stanford Ignite Veterans program, and many other diverse activities I’m sure we’ll get into during the interview.

The top reason to listen to this episode is:

  1. Courage - David is such an awesome example of courage; the courage he showed when he moved to Norway, where he eventually joined a startup as their Chief Marketing Officer. The courage David showed in taking a year to travel to over 12 countries doing humanitarian work and also doing person development work; the courage he has to talk about his struggle with PTSD and very personal experiences he’s had with suicide; and the courage he demonstrates in constantly pushing himself to apply for things just out of his reach… and very often achieving them. I find David to be a passionate and inspiring person, and know you will too.

Our Sponsor:

  • Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Links

Show Notes

  • 1:52 - David’s background
  • 2:30 - David’s decision to leave the Marines Corps and how he approached this decision
  • 3:40 - David’s first job search and what led him to Andrew’s International
  • 4:29 - David’s experience at Berkeley and his advice for veterans considering education after their military service
  • 11:50 - David’s work with Team Rubicon and the George W. Bush Presidential Center
  • 15:12 - International work, touring the world, and David’s work prior to joining Dogu
  • 20:58 - How David moved to Norway after one year of humanitarian work
  • 23:33 - How David found his first job at Dogu when he moved to Norway
  • 27:11 - An overview of Dogu
  • 29:22 - An overview of David’s role as Chief Marketing Officer at a startup
  • 32:14 - Resources that David would recommend to other veterans considering startups
  • 36:32 - How David struggled with PTSD and thought of suicide, and what he learned from this
  • 49:33 - David’s final words of wisdom
Feb 15, 2017

“Always do the best job that you can possibly do, even if it’s not something that you want to do. And always keep relationships open."
– Chris Dattaro

Chris Dattaro is an Operations Manager at Lyft in Washington DC. He started out at the Naval Academy, after which he served as a Surface Warfare Officer for five years. After departing the Navy, Chris participated in the Goldman Sachs 3 month Veterans Integration Program, before joining FBR, an investment bank, in an Institutional Equity Sales role. He briefly worked at Trustify as the Director of Recruiting before joining Lyft. Chris is married to an active duty Lieutenant and HR Officer and he is also active in his spare time coaching veterans about their career transition to the civilian workforce and working with veteran entrepreneurs.

The top three reasons to listen to this episode are:

  1. Goldman Sachs Veterans Integration Program - Chris started his civilian career in this 3 month program, and provides a great overview of why veterans should consider applying
  2. Startups - Chris talks about using angel list and other tools to find the right startup for you
  3. Career Advice - Chris has mentored hundreds of veterans, and I really, really liked the advice he gives throughout our conversation. Things like recognizing how priorities change throughout your life, so there is no single dream job - it changes over time. And how many times our military experiences is a series of sprints from one 2-3 year assignment to another, which is in contrast to the marathon of a civilian career. He’s got some incredible advice any vet would benefit from hearing.

Our Sponsor:

  • Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Links

Show Notes

  • 1:51 - Chris’ background
  • 2:37 - How Chris’ decided to leave the military
  • 3:25 - Chris’ first job search and what drew him to the Goldman Sachs Veterans Integration Program
  • 4:36 - An overview of the Goldman Sachs Veterans Integration Program and advice for veterans considering applying to it
  • 6:18 - The types of work Chris did as part of the Goldman Sachs Veterans Integration Program
  • 7:06 - What lead Chris to FBR, and overview of FBR
  • 9:08 - Chris’ first role in Institutional Equity Sales
  • 13:28 - What brought Chris to Trustify and what this experience was like
  • 15:18 - How Chris found the opportunity at Lyft
  • 19:12 - What it’s like to be part of an extremely high growth company, and an overview of the Operations Manager role
  • 21:25 - Chris’ advice for veterans seeking to work at Lyft or a technology company similar to Lyft
  • 23:35 - Some common mistakes that veterans make, based on Chris’ work helping hundreds of veterans in their career development
  • 33:35 - Resources that Chris would recommend to other veterans
  • 36:00 - Habits that Chris needed to break in order to be successful in his civilian career
  • 40:00 - A failure that Chris faced in his civilian career and how he learned from it
  • 47:37 - Final words of wisdom
Feb 13, 2017

“In the 14 years of financial independence that I've enjoyed since retirement, I've found that you can relax, you can figure out what's really important to you and you can focus on that. And so I do maybe look mellow and free and easy and having a good lifestyle, and some of that is because I've been able to do whatever I want all day for the last 14 years or so. But it also means that you get to design the type of lifestyle that you want, and you really are responsible for your own entertainment."
– Doug Norman

Doug Nordman is an early retiree, who has found financial independence far before he thought it possible. He is the author of The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement - a book where all royalties are donated to military charities. He started out at the Naval Academy, after which he served on submarines for 20 years. Since retiring from the Navy, Doug has worked to help other veterans reach financial independence, for free. Doug's spouse is a Navy Reserve retiree, and his daughter is about to start her 2nd Surface Warfare Officer junior officer sea tour on the USS GERALD R FORD. He holds a Masters in Engineering Science/Computers/Weapons Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School.

This is one of those rare interviews I do that I would recommend to every single listener - whether you're on active duty or have been out for twenty years, this is an episode for you. The top two reasons to listen to this episode are:

  1. Financial Freedom - Doug retired from the military just after he was forty years old and hasn't worked since then. At first, he and his wife didn't even realize they had achieved financial independence. Since he retired, Doug has helped countless others achieve financial independence, and he talks about it in a very open and transparent way that I know you'll find achievable and accessible.
  2. Tactics - Doug talks about "the fog of work" and how easy it us for each of us to get caught up in to do lists and the daily grind. He talks about taking time away from work to gather ones bearings, but also how you can use 20 minutes a day to get perspective and move towards your goals.

Sponsor:

  • Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Links

  • Doug's book, where 100% or royalties go towards charity: The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement
  • Doug's website about financial independence: http://the-military-guide.com
  • A podcast where Doug discusses writing, blogging, philanthropy, and angel investing  - http://jlcollinsnh.com/2016/12/13/angel-investing-or-angel-philanthropy/
  • Recruiting group mentioned: The Lucas Group
  • Book Recommendations
    • Your money or your life - whether your spending is aligned with what you value in your life
    • The Millionaire nextdoor
  • Website Recommendations
    • Early Retirement - Doug found a lot of great and helpful information here
    • The Military Guide - Doug's website where he writes daily and answers every user question
    • FinCon - a network of bloggers for people who want to write, or teach financial independence

Show Notes

  • 2:02 - Doug's background as an early retiree
  • 2:52 - At what point Doug knew he was going to leave the military and how he approached this decision
  • 3:31 - Doug was slow to realize that he and his wife had achieved financial independence. Doug shares actual numbers about what financial independence looks like
  • 6:02 - The 4% withdrawal rate, and why this is critical for financial independence
  • 10:00 - How retiring in the military is a choice... it's not crucial for financial independence. But if you're enjoying it, it's a great option
  • 11:40 - How Doug chose a life pursuing what energizes him, rather than letting a single number - salary - define his life
  • 13:45 - A look at Doug's life, where he is able to pursue whatever fulfills him and makes him happy
  • 16:25 - How completely attainable financial independence is, and how it is something anyone could achieve. It centers around mental shifts rather than monumental changes in your lifestyle
  • 18:26 - Chronic fatigue and "The Fog of Work" and how it can hinder us from reaching fulfillment. We can get caught up racing from one thing to the next, without thinking about what we really want, or what our ultimate destination is
  • 24:37 - Doug's book and website about financial independence, and what started this path
  • 28:00 - What guided Doug to donate 100% of the royalties he receives from his book, and why this was an enormous advantage in the writing process
  • 32:00 - Other resources Doug would recommend to listeners
  • 34:27 - A few of the most common questions Doug has seen over his last 14 years of financial independence
  • 39:23 - Doug's advice for those on active duty who will transition under ten years of service
  • 43:55 - Doug's advice for those on active duty who are past ten years of service or plan to get out after at least ten years of service
  • 46:09 - Final words of wisdom
Feb 10, 2017

Zach: "And so the two of us grabbed beers down in Santiago when we were both overlapping there, and started talking about this same problem. And about three months later we had officially decided to co-found Rhumbix together."
Drew: "My favorite part of that three months later story was that you look at three or four months of being in and around the idea and getting comfortable with it. But then it really took a leap of faith. And the moment for us was we actually did a whiskey tasting in Alameda at St. George's Spirits. And after a great tour and continuing to talk about Rhumbix, we were sipping some whiskey and looked at each other in the eye and said, 'let's do this.'"
– Zach Scheel & Drew DeWalt

Rhumbix is based in San Francisco and is a mobile platform designed for the construction craft workforce. They were founded in 2014 and have raised over $13M in funding from investors including Greylock Partners, Brick & Mortar Ventures, Spectrum 28, and Glynn Capital.

Zach Scheel is the Co-Founder & CEO of Rhumbix. He started out at Duke, after which he served in the Navy for five years as part of the Civil Engineer Corps. After the Navy, he attended Stanford Business School, where he earned an MBA and a MS in Renewable Energy. After Stanford he started Rhumbix.

Drew DeWalt is the Co-Founder & COO of Rhumbix. He started out at Notre Dame, after which he served for over six years as a Submarine Officer. After the Navy he attended the Stanford Graduate School of Business, earning his MBA and his Masters in Public Policy, a 3-year process. After Stanford he started Rhumbix.

The top 2 reasons to listen to this episode are:

  1. Co-Founder: if you’re thinking of starting your own company, one of the first things you’ll need to decide on is whether to go solo or with co-founders. And if you get this wrong, it’s the fastest way to destroy your company. Zach and Drew are both Navy vets who co-founded a successful SV startup, and talk about how they vetted each other and focused on difficult questions up front to make sure they would have a lasting working relationship.
  2. Tactics: Zach & Drew have a wealth of advice on everything from running a company, maximizing your efficiency through scheduling, managing work life balance for the long haul, and committing to continued personal growth as your company grows.

Our Sponsor:

  • Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Links

Show Notes

  • 2:14 - Zach and Drew's backgrounds
  • 3:43 - How Zach and Drew each decided to leave the Navy and how they decided on Business School after they left
  • 5:33 - Advice for veterans thinking about applying to business school (or Stanford in particular)
  • 7:12 - The genesis of Rhumbix
  • 10:05 - Advice on finding - and vetting - the ideal co-founder
  • 13:05 - How they thought about pairing with someone with a similar background, given that they both had served in the Navy
  • 14:55 - An overview of Rhumbix
  • 15:45 - How Zach and Drew decided who would be CEO, and how they delineate their responsibilities
  • 17:40 - How they think about growing together as co-founders, building on the level of trust they established early on (Zach uses a great phrase of, "you're in my swim lane")
  • 20:30 - Advice for veterans about the fundraising process
  • 23:03 - Mistakes they made along the way and what they learned from them
  • 24:30 - Having hired so many employees, advice they have for how to evaluate if someone is a good fit for your team
  • 27:15 - A look at the day-to-day life in an early stage startup
  • 31:50 - Advice for veterans thinking of starting their own company
  • 34:32 - Resources that have been helpful for Zach and Drew that they would recommend to other veterans
  • 38:10 - Habits that they had to break in order to be successful in their civilian career
  • 39:33 - In what ways their roles have changed since starting their company
  • 40:46 - Final words of wisdom
Feb 8, 2017

“I would say that Medical Schools is probably the single most challenging work environment, period, that I've ever been a part of. It's - for the first year and a half to two years - nothing but lectures. You're literally just being talked at for hours and hours and hours. And it is an unbelievable amount of information. It's so much stuff that they tell you right off the bat that you're never going to know everything, because that's just impossible - you're never going to know everything."
– Camilla Maybee

Camilla Maybee is currently in her second year of Medical School at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. She started out at West Point, after which she served as a Medical Supply Officer in the Army for four years. After separation from the Army, she worked at the UVA Health System as Administrative Assistant. She holds a Masters of Science in Health Care Administration from the University of Maryland.

The top 2 reasons to listen to this episode are:

  1. Determination - Camilla is a case study in resolve. Her military career didn’t pan out as expected - she had an unexpected medical discharge. But that didn’t stop her. She wanted to go to Medical School, but was an English Major with no med school prerequisites - that didn’t stop her either. I found her tenacity inspiring.
  2. Med School - Camilla went from an unexpected medical discharge to being accepted into what US News reports is one of the top 10 most competitive medical schools in the country. Camilla is very transparent about the mistakes she made in this process, and how other veterans can learn from her mistakes in their medical school process. She is attending Med School on an 100% scholarship - that is a $250k program, for free. And she started out when she was 28 years old, while the overwhelming majority of her classmates were just 23. If you’re interested in Med School or the Health Services industry, this episode is for you.

Our Sponsor

Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Links

Show Notes

  • 2:29 - Camilla's background
  • 2:58 - How Camilla found herself unexpectedly leaving the Army much earlier than she expected and how that affected her initial job search
  • 4:50 - At what point Camilla realized she wanted to be a doctor 
  • 7:10 - How Camilla went to Goucher College to study pre-medicine as a "delightful accident"
  • 12:17 - Camilla was very proactive in volunteer work; a look at what she learned and how it prepared her for Medical School
  • 14:39 - A look at the Medical School application process and advice to veterans considering this route
  • 17:44 - Camilla's advice for veterans about how to prepare for the MCAT exam
  • 19:21 - Resources that Camilla would recommend to veterans to prepare for the MCAT and Medical School in general
  • 21:13 - Camilla is on a full scholarship to Medical School; she shares more about how she found this scholarship program
  • 25:23 - How Camilla and her husband negotiate where they will work, given the rigidity of placements after Medical School
  • 28:56 - What day-to-day life looks like for Camilla at Medical School
  • 33:02 - What the hours look like for Camilla
  • 38:28 - What it's like being at Medical School, where most people are 23 (while Camilla started at age 28)
  • 44:05 - What the road ahead looks like for Camilla
  • 46:40 - Camilla's final words of wisdom
Feb 6, 2017

“ Stop worrying about the beta, and just get the product out. If you are not embarrased by your first product, then you're doing it wrong. It should be ugly, it should be clunky, it should be what you think it should be... but less. And once you get it in the hands of the customer, the customer is going to tell you what they like and what they don't like. And that's what we realized - we were trying to be perfectionists. You want your product to be perfect, but you make these assumptions that it's going to be valuable. And the best way to do that is get it in the hands of the customer who will tell you if they find value in it."
– Josh Carter

Josh Carter is the Co-Founder & CEO of Brightwork, a microservices platform that enables developers to build faster on a reliable and scalable solution. Since their founding they’ve raised over $300K in funding and have gone through Techstars in Chicago. Josh started out in the Navy, where he served for about 3 years. Since his time in the Navy he’s held multiple engineering roles in the Telecom industry and eventually a Senior Support Engineer at the startup, Twilio, a communication startup that went public earlier this year. Josh founded his own digital marketing agency - Plunk - and is also a former founding board member of Operation Code.

The top reason to listen to today’s show is:

  • Support - Josh has been living in the startup world for a while, and has a great overview of different resources available for other veteran entrepreneurs. In particular, he talks about TechStars, and gives a fantastic overview of this 3 month program, as well as Patriot Bootcamp and other great resources.
    In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

Selected Links

  • Twilio
  • Brightwork.io
  • Plunk
  • TechStars - this was a great help for Josh in starting a venture backed company. It is a 3-month program offered all over the United States. They take 6% of the company in exchange for $120,000 in funding.
  • FounderCon - all TechStar founders get together for one year
  • Patriot Bootcamp - offshoot of the TechStars core program. It's a one weekend program that is very intense, but very targeted in preparing veterans for entrepreneurship
  • Operation Code - Chris was a founding board member; they help transitioning veterans get into coding - finding mentors and sharing advice for becoming a programmer
  • Resources
    • Meetup.com - Coffee with CoFounders - lowkey get togethers are rotating coffee shops for founders to connect with each other and talk about what they're struggling with

Show Notes

  • 1:45 - Josh's background
  • 2:30 - When Josh knew he would leave the military and how he approached this decision
  • 3:20 - What Josh's first job search looked like and how he found the Art Academy to be different than he expected. He talks about how he found his way to the Telecom industry
  • 4:23 - An overview on the Telecom industry and the sorts of jobs Josh held
  • 5:16 - An overview of Josh's work at Brightwork, as well as the engagements he held before then
  • 7:57 - What it was like for Josh to be actively employed at Twilio while running his own digital agency
  • 9:15 - The moment when Josh first had the idea of Brightwork
  • 11:55 - An overview of TechStars and how Josh ended up in Chicago
  • 15:28 - How TechStars provides an investment of $125k for 6% of the company
  • 17:38 - An overview of Patriot Bootcamp and Josh's experience
  • 19:46 - What Josh's founding team looks like and advice to veterans for finding initial team members
  • 25:48 - What Josh's life looks like on a day-to-day basis as part of an early stage startup
  • 28:50 - Josh's advice to other veterans considering starting their own company
  • 35:10 - Other resources Josh would encourage other veterans to check out
  • 39:32 - An overview of Operation Code and how Veterans might engage with them
  • 41:00 - One of the biggest mistakes Josh made in his entrepreneurial journey and what he learned from it
  • 44:00 - Josh's final words of wisdom 
Feb 3, 2017

“I started to try and reverse what I had been doing already, which was complaining with everyone else. And I started to notice that I was able to develop a presence, because I had been there before. That case team might as well have been trying to fix some pump in the engineroom on a submarine on mission. People were frustrated that they were there and that things weren't going the way that they wanted. That lesson I think helped me get promoted faster at Bain, because I started to lead teams outside of the reporting structure. I was able to  a mature force on the team and help drive attitude before I was able to add value at a leadership level."
– Michael Freed

Mike is the President of the Health Physics Division at Mirion Technologies, a provider of radiation detection & monitoring products and services to the nuclear power, medical, military and homeland security markets. He started out at Northwestern University, after which he as an officer in the Navy for ten years, serving on submarines and on the Chief of Naval Operations personal staff. After the Navy he received his MBA from the Darden School of Business, after which he worked at Bain & Company for nearly six years as a Principal.

The top two reasons to listen to today’s show are:

  1. Consulting - Mike spent six years in consulting with Bain & Company and has mentored many veterans who have worked in consulting. He’s got great advice on managing one’s career, a typical career progression within Bain, mistakes that he made, and more.
  2. leadership - Mike talks about how w/in consulting, veterans are often frustrated that they start out as an individual contributor rather than a manager, which more closely matches their previous military experience. He talks about how you have the ability ability to lead - in any organization - no matter what your role is, and has a lot of great insights on taking care of your team, challenging your people, and utilizing your best leadership skills from the military in your civilian career.
    Our Sponsor

Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books 

Selected Links

  • Mike's current company is Mirion Technologies
  • Mike worked at Bain & Company as a Management Consultant, and highly recommends Bain as a great company for veterans
  • Tim Ferriss' podcast - this is actually the show that I based Beyond the Uniform on; each week Tim meets with top experts to "deconstruct" what has made them succeed
  • The Wall Street Journal - Mike reads the front page every day to stay abreast of the latest events
  • Utility Dive - a summary of the utility space where you can pick and choose your articles to stay on top of the latest in this industry

Show Notes

  • 2:30 - Mike's Background
  • 3:11 - The point at which Mike knew he was going to leave submarines and the Navy and how he approached this decision
  • 4:33 - How Mike chose business school over going directly into industry and advice for veterans struggling with this decision
  • 5:41 - What lead Mike to Bain & Company and the world of consulting
  • 7:43 - What sorts of projects Mike worked on while he was at Bain & Company
  •  10:03 - How the frequency of movement within consulting companies keeps you constantly learning and growing
  • 11:45 - Mike's career progression within Bain & Company, and how both his titles and day-to-day work shifted with each progression
  • 15:08 - For a veteran starting a career in consulting, how to best utilize the first 90 days of their job
  • 19:55 - A mistake Mike made while at Bain & Company and what he learned from it
  • 23:10 - What brought Mike to Mirion Technologies from Bain & Company
  • 26:30 - An overview of Mirion Technologies
  • 28:15 - What Mike's day-to-day life looks like for Mike as a President at Mirion Technologies
  • 30:44 - How leadership outside of the military has differed from leadership within the military
  • 37:18 - Resources Mike would recommend to veteran listeners
  • 40:18 - Mike's final words of wisdom
Feb 2, 2017

“That's the main takeaway from things for me: to not limit yourself. I never played football until I was 29 years old. I never long snapped a football until I was 31, and  I somehow had a shot in the NFL. And I'm not a good athlete; I'm an OK athlete - I just worked hard. And that's just one example, but we're all capable of that."
– Nate Boyer

Most recently, Nate Boyer was the long snapper for the Seattle Seahawks, but his is also an actor, public speaker and thought leader. Nate started out as a relief worker in Sudan, building camps for refugees of the War in Darfur. He then joined the Army, where he served for six years with the Green Beret as a Sergeant and earning a Bronze Star. After he transitioned from the Army, although he had never played a down of organized football in his life, he went to the University of Texas and was a walk-on to their football team. He became the team's starting long snapper, and played 38 consecutive games for the Longhorns. [He was a first-team Academic All-Big 12 Conference member in 2013-2014, while also being named an Academic All-American in 2012. After Texas, Nate played with the Seattle Seahawks as a free agent.

Oh man, where to start with this interview. If you are in need to a shot of jet fuel to your soul, you owe it to yourself to listen to this interview. I want Nate Boyer on repeat during my runs - the man is incredible, and I found our interview inspiring.

The top two reasons to listen to this episode are:

  1. Failure - Nate has achieved the impossible - repeatedly in his life. He talks about being a grinder, of just working hard to go after his dreams. And he talks about how it's not about not having fear - it's about having the courage to realize that there is no downside, that the only risk is not taking an opportunity. There are far too many incredible words of wisdom to summarize here, but believe me - it's a lesson every single veteran will benefit from hearing.
  2. Passion - Nate talks about how many veterans fall back on what you know. He talks about how tried many things - and failed at many things - in his journey to find his calling and what he enjoys most. Again, these are lessons I found inspiring and hope you do too.

Selected Links

  • Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books
  • Conquering Kili Waterboys.org - Nate was cut from the Seahawks and was disappointed. Literally the next day, while trying to think of his next mission, Chris Long (Rams, now NE Patriots) had started a clean water project - Waterboys.org - and reached out to Nate
  • Merging Vets and Players - Nate co-founded this with Jay Glazer to connecting veterans with transitioning professional athletes. These groups face similar challenges - going from a position of sacrifice to a dramatic life shift, the locker room and team environment feel, fighting for the person next to you... there's a lot each side from learn from the other and share in common.
  • Nate talks about a Shia Labeouf video that's cheesy but strangely motivational. You can check it out here. This remixed version is even better after you've watched the original

Show Notes

  • 2:09 - Nate's background in the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks. He served for six years in the Green Beret in the Army and was a walk-on at the University of Texas for their football team.
  • 3:05 - A special disclosure for listeners about my extremely poor background with football
  • 3:47 - How Nate has lived his life in the moment, trying new things and diving in, not being afraid of failure and knowing that you are just as qualified as everyone else out there.
  • 12:58 - How Nate decided to join the Army after spending time volunteering in Darfur
  • 26:14 - How Nate approaches his career now, and advice he has for veterans seeking a career that will make them passionate (hint: it's about trying new things and not being afraid of failing as you work towards what you want to do. If you don't know what you're passionate about you need to try something your'e interested in. Nate tried things he wasn't interested in, knowing he wasn't wasting time if he was exploring. If you're not afraid of what you're getting into, you probably shouldn't do it)
  • 32:42 - What resources Nate would recommend to veterans (hint: it all boils down to being open each moment to whatever experience you have, and be open to learning from anyone)
  • 36:31 - an overview of Waterboys.org, and how Nate came to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro as a fundraiser from a random connection the day after he was cut from the Seahawks
  • 43:00 An overview of Nate's venture Merging Vets and Players, and how it came about. It pairs transitioning veterans with transitioning professional athletes, and you'd be surprised at much these two have in common
  • 50: 20 Nate's final words of wisdom...surprisingly to a motivational video from Shia Labeouf, and how you can seize each moment to make the most of your life
Feb 1, 2017

"Be willing to take a step down to take go up. As opposed to thinking, 'I'm going to burst right through this' realize sometimes you have to go down, around and then that's where you finally get the push through. Every single job I've taken, I've taken a pay cut. I made it back within three to six months, but those are the steps you have to do."
– Ben Deda

Ben Deda is the Chief Operations Officer at Galvanize, a network of modern, urban campuses where anyone can access the skills, knowledge, and network you need to make an impact. Since their founding in 2012, Galvanize has raised over $63M in funding. Ben started out at Notre Dame, after which he served in the Marines for seven years. After his transition from the Marines he worked at TruStile Doors in Operations, Marketing, and Sales, and eventually as Vice President of Commercial Sales. He then joined the computer software company, FullContact as their VP of Sales & Business Development. Ben also runs Denver Startup Week, the largest startup event in the US, and holds an MBA from the University of Denver

The top three reasons to listen to today’s show are:

  1. Pay cut - Ben has held some incredible roles at great companies, and he talks about how - at every single step he’s taken forward in his career - it started with a pay cut. No matter what stage you’re at in your civilian career, the perspective he has on this is worth hearing.
  2. Networking - regular listeners to the show know the importance of networking. Ben not only has some great stories about this, but his current company - Galvanize - is approaching this in a new and novel way.
  3. Operations - Ben is the COO for a rapidly growing startup and this is a great story for those interested in startups, in operations, or in sales and marketing.

Our Sponsor

Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Links

Show Notes

  • 1:46 - Ben's background
  • 2:40 - Ben's decision to leave the Marine Corps and how he approaches this decision
  • 4:10 - Ben's very first job search out of the Marine Corps and how he found his way to TruStile Doors
  • 7:28 - Ben's work with recruiters and his advice for veterans about whether or not to consider using them (hint: give it a try, but the onus is on you to make sure the opportunity is right for you)
  • 8:44 - How Ben found FullContact, his second job, and how he made the transition from TruStile Doors
  • 9:57 - Ben left a secure job while having a pregnant wife and a lot of personal responsibilities... how he psyched himself up to make this move and take this risk
  • 11:04 - What it was like to be the non-technical hire at FullContact and what life looked like in this capacity
  • 12:39 - How Ben's work in recruiting in the Marine Corps has helped him in his sales and business development roles
  • 13:53 - How Ben made the transition to Galvanize based on connections and people he knew
  • 14:54 - An overview of Galvanize and what they do
  • 17:25 - An overview of what Ben does as a COO, and what his day-to-day life looks like
  • 19:15 - How leadership for Ben in the civilian sector as opposed to leadership within the military and the US Marine Corps
  • 21:31 - One of the biggest failures Ben has experienced since leaving the Marine Corps and what he learned from it
  • 25:28 - Advice that Ben would provide to veterans interested in starting their own company, based on his experience in startups as well as leading Denver Startup Week
  • 27:40 - Resources that Ben would recommend to veterans interested in startups or operations
  • 30:45 - Ben's final words of wisdom for veterans
Jan 31, 2017

“It's kind of scary when you first get out, because all of a sudden everything about your career is dependent upon you. You're in the driver's seat now; you don't have HRC, the Pentagon to call to ask where you're going next. Where you're going next is where you decide to drive that car. And so, while it might seem like a lot of weight on your shoulders, and something that's a little bit scary, it's also something super exciting because it means you can take yourself wherever you'd like to go, and it's not up to anybody else."
– Sarah Travaglio

Sarah works at LinkedIn, where she is the Senior Manager, Head of Media Account Management for the Americas. She started out at West Point, after which she served in the Army for five years as a Company Commander and Assistant Battalion Operation Officer. While on active duty she obtained her Masters in Human Relations from the University of Oklahoma, and after her transition from the Army she worked at Asurion in Customer Experience positions, before moving on to Accenture. She then moved to LinkedIn, where she has worked for the last three years.

The top three reasons to listen to today’s show are:

  1. Firecracker - Sarah is awesome; she is exceptionally efficient in her advice, the ratio of quality advice per sentence is extremely high, and I think she is spot on in her perspective on the pros & cons of recruiters, remote working, education on active duty, and more
  2. Process improvements - Sarah found her first job, which lead her to consulting and then LinkedIn. She fell in love with the field of process improvements, and it’s a great career options that other vets may want to consider. More than just an overview of the role, Sarah’s passion for it comes through loud and clear
  3. LinkedIn - Sarah works there and has great advice on how to use LinkedIn and other great resources veterans can use in their civilian career

Our Sponsor

Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Links

  • Cameron Brooks - helped Sarah get her first job at Asurion and had a very positive experience with Cameron Brooks as she conducted her first job search.
  • Asurion - Sarah’s first job experience; she speaks really highly of them as an organization in this interview
  • Accenture - although Accenture is known for consulting, Sarah didn't work as a consultant with Accenture but as a Global Candidate Experience Channel Manager
  • NPS (Net Promoter Score or Net Promoter) - a very common term in business to measure satisfaction with a company, product, service, etc.
  • Recommended Resources
    • veterans.linkedin.com - FREE LinkedIn resources for veterans, access to learning courses (Lynda.com), free upgrades for profile, library of resources to have access to
    • Alumni Facebook Groups, Facebook Women's Group (West Point)
    • LinkedIn - the most VALUABLE free resource available - your network, your profile, everything you need

Show Notes

  • 2:05 - Sarah's background at LinkedIn
  • 2:41 - How Sarah decided to leave the Army and how she approached this decision
  • 4:24 - Sarah obtained her master's degree while on Active Duty, and she has a lot of great advice to those on Active Duty on how to best take advantage of this
  • 6:55 - Sarah's experience at Asurion - how she found her way there and what her experience was like
  • 11:00 - Sarah worked with Cameron Brooks as part of her job search and she talks about what this experience was like
  • 14:51 - What lead Sarah from Asurion to Accenture
  • 16:50 - What Sarah's day-to-day life looked like while she was at Asurion
  • 19:40 - Sarah describes what it's like working remotely (rather than in an office) and the pros and cons of each
  • 21:33 - How Sarah made the transition to LinkedIn
  • 24:47 - What Media Account Management, Sarah's role at LinkedIn, is and what life looks like in this role
  • 27:22 - What Sarah's day-to-day life looks like at LinkedIn
  • 31:30 - Resources that Sarah would recommend to other veterans that have helped her in her career
  • 38:22 - Sarah's advice for how veterans can craft an effective LinkedIn profile
  • 39:05 - One of the biggest surprises Sarah faced when she left the military
  • 42:48 - One of the biggest mistakes that Sarah made when she left the military and what she learned from it
  • 49:08 - Sarah's final words of wisdom
Jan 30, 2017

“Just baby step it; don't think 'Where do I need to be in 30 years,' think about 'where do I need to be in the next year or two to set myself up.'"
– Michael Bradley

Michael is the President & Owner of M3S Networking, a small business that focuses on dynamic problem-solving, particularly with startups and small businesses. He Started out at the Naval Academy, after which he served for seven years as a submarine officer. After his transition from the Navy, he spent two years working on a spy satellite job with the National Reconnaissance Office as an Acquisition/Project Officer. Michael is also the Chairman of the Navy Nuclear Power Officer Career Conference (NUPOCC), a career fair helping veterans transition from the military or find new jobs- those of you who have listened to Episode #55 with Ashley Snyder will remember this as the organization that she credited with landing a job at Google directly out of the Air Force. Finally, he's a husband, dad of 3 boys and is a credentialed baseball media member.

The top three reasons to listen to today’s show are:

  1. Work / life balance - I don’t think this is talked about enough, but Michael does a really good job discussing how to factor this in to your career path & decision.
  2. Career fair - those of you who listened to Episode #55 with Ashley Snyder remember how she went directly from the Air Force to Google because she attended a veteran organized career fair… well Michael is the one who runs that career fair. It’s free, it helps a ton of vets… I’d go so far to say that NUPOCC is advantageous to veterans in a way that comes at Michael’s expense. Check it out - it’s really great and I know all of you listening on active duty or who have recently transitioned would benefit from it.
  3. Startups - Michael has started two different companies, and has great advice on starting small.

Our Sponsor

Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Links

  • NUPOCC - Arlington, VA & Pearl, HI, Bremerton. Events. Google, Palantir, Facebook, Blue Origin, JP Morgan (~20 companies). Grad Schools: Harvard, Wharton, Stanford. High end candidates, high end companies and schools, high end venues. $2-3k table fee - get list of candidates & phone numbers
  • Service academy career conference - https://sacc-jobfair.com/
  • Related podcasts you may enjoy
    • Ashley Snyder - Ashley went from the Air Force directly to Google, and attributes NUPOCC for playing a big role in that transition

Show Notes

  • 1:58 - Michael's background, from the Naval Academy and Submarines into starting his own company
  • 3:00 - Michael's experience a baseball media member; it may not generate a lot of money, but it gets him into Pittsburg Pirate games
  • 5:29 - Michael's decision to leave the Navy and how he approached this decision
  • 7:30 - Michael's experience in the Navy Reserves, and his advice on how to best take advantage of the IRR
  • 10:38 - The highlights of Michael's journey from leaving submarines until today
  • 14:00 - Michael's thoughts on work / life balance, and what advice he would give to fellow veterans
  • 18:20 - An overview of the Navy Nuclear Propulsion Officer Career Conference (NUPOCC)
  • 29:43 - Who can attend the NUPOCC conferences (hint: Michael will never turn a veteran away from an event, so contact him)
  • 32:45 - A few common mistakes that Michael sees veterans make in the career transition to civilian life
  • 41:30 - How Michael started M3S and advice he would give to other veterans seeking to work for themselves or create side income
  • 46:00 - Michael's final words of wisdom
Jan 27, 2017

“I don't think that it's easy for people to recognize what their calling is. One, you really have to listen. And sometimes you get pulled into things that you weren't ready for. My wife and I did not plan on leaving a very difficult life as a counter terrorism family to pursue... this. To dig into this really vile crime. We thought we were going to retire in the mountains, and kind of gallop off into the sunset and work leadership issues and things like that. And as I got more called to this problem set, there's a certain amount of duty and obedience you have to walk through and sometimes that can be difficult."

– Jeff Tiegs

Jeff Tiegs is a Counter Terrorism and Counter Insurgency Expert with over 25 years in US Army Special Operations. His combat experience includes operations around the globe to include multiple tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. He is applying this expertise to Counter Trafficking in the United States and is the Chief Operating Officer for Guardian Group. Guardian Group is a non-profit that works with law enforcement to illuminate, disrupt, prosecute and relentlessly pursue child predators. After his transition from the Army, he attended Breakline Education, which we talked about in Episode 54 with Bethany Coates.

The top three reasons to listen to today’s show are:

  1. Experience - Jeff joined the Army when he was just 17 years old and served with Army Special Operations for 25 years. He’s one of the few people I’ve had on the show who transitioned into a career that puts these exact same skills to use but in the civilian sector, and it’s an incredible story.
  2. Doing Good - Jeff is one of the few people I’ve met - in my life - where it seems like he has a calling rather than a career. I’m inspired by how he followed that calling, even though it wasn’t what he thought he wanted to do after the military. He is putting his skills to use in a way that is clearly making the world a better place, and it’s really inspiring.
  3. Second revolution - Jeff talks about WW2’s impact on world and veterans lead a revolution in starting small businesses. He talks about how today is following a second trend, and I found it very energizing.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

To help the Guardian Group in their fight against child predators, you can help encourage hotels to go through the Guardian Group Silver Seal program. This will help hotels recognize child trafficking activities, and is a crucial initial step in stopping this pattern. For your favorite hotel chain, you can can use the following template:

  • @[hotel chain] please join the @GuardianGroupGG Silver Seal program to help put an end human trafficking http://bit.ly/2icMvhc
    • Example: @marriott please join the @GuardianGroupGG Silver Seal program to help put an end human trafficking http://bit.ly/2icMvhc

Sponsor

Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Links

Show Notes

  • 2:39 - Jeff's background, joining the Army at 17 and serving in counter terrorism for twenty-five years
  • 3:35 - How Jeff decided to leave the Army after 25 years of service, and how this was a very gradual process for Jeff
  • 5:50 - Jeff and I discuss how this is a calling - not a career - for Jeff, and he followed that calling
  • 7:35 - What lead Jeff to Breakline and what his experience was like while there
  • 9:35 - How Jeff was first connected to the Guardian Group and how he found his way to join them. He talks about how callings are never overnight, and that it happened after a chance encounter at a retirement ceremony that - years later - turned into a job
  • 11:23 - Jeff provides an overview of the Guardian Group and the work that they do
  • 14:15 - How Jeff found a very purpose-driven career after the Army, and one that utilizes his specific training from within the military. He also talks about the trend after WW2 for veterans to start companies, and how we are in a second revolution now similar to this
  • 17:25 - Jeff and I discuss the power of passion - how mission and vision can drive us to achieve more in our civilian career
  • 21:26 A look at what Jeff's day-to-day life looks like as COO at the Guardian Group
  • 24:48 - How listeners can support the Guardian Group; even if you don't want to work with the Guardian Group, tactical steps you can take - today - to support their cause
  • 29:29 - Jeff shares a short story, of Emily, and how they helped her. It's a powerful example of what the Guardian Group does
  • 33:18 - For listeners who are interested in applying to the Guardian Group or working in this space, advice that Jeff would give
  • 40:00 - The most challenging part of Jeff's job (hint... you've heard it before... it's about having to ask for money and fundraise for his company)
  • 41:37 - Jeff's final words of wisdom
Jan 26, 2017

“The thing that I would say to veterans is that I know that it's scary, I know that it's not something that they maybe thinking of doing, and I know that it seems like a very weird thing to get involved in politics. But our country needs you and our democracy needs you. Regardless of what side of the aisle you're on, we need leaders who are going to put the country first, now more than ever."
– Emily Cherniak

Emily is not a veteran, as I usually have on the show, but she’s built an organization that is helping vets. So I wanted to give you a quick overview on her company - New Politics - and then a bit of background on Emily.

New Politics identifies top talent, helps them build a winning campaign infrastructure, and provides mentorship and support throughout their campaigns. New Politics supported 5 national service candidates in key state and federal races across the country. They won three of those five races, including Congressman Seth Moulton’s unprecedented win in Massachusetts’ Sixth Congressional District. In 2016, New Politics is supporting 23 candidates in local, state, and federal races across the country. They have won 17 primaries and 13 general elections.

Emily has run New Politics for the last four years. Emily has worked with AmeriCorps, City Year AmeriCorps, and part of the founding team of Be the Change--where she led a coalition of over 200 organizations to engage 250,000 people for a Day of Action in support of the $6 billion Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act of 2009. Emily graduated from George Washington University with a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology and a Masters Degree in Education Policy.

The top three reasons to listen to this episode are:

  1. Politics - Emily is not a veteran, but she started an organization - New Politics - that is helping veterans who are interested in politics, regardless of which side of the aisle you come from. She helped out Sean Barney from Episode #66 in his congressional race, and I’m hoping she will be helping a listener to this show very soon. It’s an exceptional program, and something I believe our country greatly needs.
  2. Weaknesses - Although Emily talks about veterans in politics, everything she says parallels incredibly well to weaknesses that veterans have in business - talking about oneself, asking for help, etc. Her thoughts on this are really worthwhile.
  3. Star Wars - Emily has this epic analogy about 28 minutes in on the interview between politics and Star Wars that is simply awesome

Selected Links

  • Sean Barney, from Episode #65, ran in a recent Congressional race and was helped by Emily and her team. It's definitely worth checking out.
  • City Year - $100M organization, where Emily started out
  • AmeriCorps
  • Candidates Journey Manual - available end of january

Show Notes

  • 1:44 - Emily and New Politics background
  • 3:30 - An overview on New Politics and how they are helping veterans
  • 4:36 - Emily's "Theory of Change" and how less than 18% of leaders in office have a military background, whereas this used to be over 70%.
  • 5:50 - How Emily went about starting New Politics, and her background in politics. Her belief that politics is broken, and how vital politics is. 
  • 9:07 - Emily works on both sides of the aisle, rather than embracing one political party. Rather than finding this difficult and conflicting, she finds this invigorating. She focuses on leadership, and realizes that she disagrees with people from both parties - what they're about is trusting good leaders to make the right decisions for our country
  • 12:10 - An overview of the process of working with New Politics
  • 14:06 - From Emily's work with veterans, a few of the most common misconceptions she sees. A lot of veterans don't have a political party allegiance, so having conversations around why they find important is really crucial. Politics is hard in a different way, and its important for veterans to understand the daily grind of raising money and constantly promoting oneself. 
  • 18:21 - Fundraising... how this is the most dominant portion of any election, and Emily's advice on how veterans might go about this
  • 24:03 - Emily shares a few other stories of veterans who have run for office. Often, it doesn't matter if the candidates wins - it's about gaining the experience for a career of public service.
  • 25:30 - Indications that New Politics might be right for you... and an encouraging note to reach out if you're interested, as New Politics is willing to speak with any veteran and answer any questions they may have
  • 26:10 - Other common weaknesses Emily sees in veterans that listeners should be aware of... and an amazing Star Wars analogy
  • 29:42 - Emily's final words of wisdom
Jan 25, 2017

“At this point, I don't think I really could have a boundary [between professional and personal life]. It's not about a forty-hour work week, and being able to accomplish everything in forty hours; I get that. It's about constantly thinking about the product, thinking about the customers we have and the customers we want, where we're going to go and what the next steps are. I just can't turn it off: I dream about it, I think about it every minute, and there is no separation. Maybe that's unhealthy and a bad thing, but at this point if no one is fanatically excited and obsessed with the product we're trying to create than the founders then I don't think it can work at this stage."
– Alex Martin

Alex Martin is the CEO & Co-Founder of AC Global Risk, a company that creates solutions to transform how companies & governments vet, screen and assess internal and external human-based risk. Alex started out at the Naval Academy and served in the Marine Corps for seven years as a Infantry & Ground Reconnaissance Officer. After his transition from the Marines he founded Skye Maritime - maritime security services to commercial shipping - as well as the Kenya Team Leader for the non-profit, Nuru International. Alex is currently a Major in the Marine Corps Reserves.

The top three reasons to listen to this episode are:

  1. Service - Alex has continued to serve in the Marine Corps Reserves, he worked in Kenya with the organization Nuru helping local farmers grow their income, and his own company - AC Global Risk - has a service element as well. He’s a great role model for keeping service an active component in his life, and talks about how to serve as a for-profit venture
  2. Startups - Alex started his first company straight of the Marine Corps and it failed. He learned from it, and is on his second company, AC Global Risk. He is very honest and balanced in this interview about failure, about mistakes, and how these are essential for entrepreneurs
  3. Stanford Ignite - Alex goes in depth on the Stanford Ignite program as well as many other really valuable resources for those of you interested in startups

 

Selected Links

Show Notes

  • 2:08 - Alex's background
  • 2:50 - Alex's decision to transition from the Marine Corps to a civilian career
  • 3:39 - Alex's experience being part of the Reserves and how it has impacted his civilian career
  • 5:32 - Alex's experience as part of the Stanford Ignite program and how this impacted his entrepreneurial experience
  • 7:49 - An overview of Stanford Ignite as a program for veterans
  • 10:22 - Alex's experience at Nuru International
  • 15:15 - The genesis of Alex's second company, AC Global Risk
  • 17:40- An overview of AC Global Risk
  • 19:21  - What Alex's day-to-day life looks like as the CEO of AC Global Risk
  • 21:11 - Alex's lifestyle as an entrepreneur married to another entrepreneur
  • 24:27 - How long it took Alex to be able to pay himself as salary while he was starting his own company
  • 28:43 - Alex's biggest mistake in starting his own company and what he learned from it
  • 33:03 - Alex's team size at AC Global Risk and what his team looks like
  • 34:22 - Advice for any veteran thinking of starting their own company
  • 35:36 - Resources Alex would recommend to any veteran thinking of starting their own company
  • 37:53 - Advice for veterans seeking to raising capital for their own company, and the fundraising experience
  • 43:40 - Habits that Alex had to break when he left the military in order to be successful in his civilian career
  • 45:55 - Other mistakes that Alex made since departing the military and what he learned from them
  • 48:47 - Final words of wisdom for veterans of the Armed Forces
Jan 24, 2017

 “Listen, life is a journey and all of my failures - which were plentiful before EOFire - added to the success of EOFire. They were all life lessons and all experiences I had to learn from and go through in order to launch and run a multi-million dollar a year company, which EOFire has grown into. It's just really looking at life as a marathon: you're 26 when you get out of the military, or you're 36, or you're 56 - whatever it is. You have a LOT of life left. So stop trying to rush, stop trying to sprint everywhere. Just look at life as a marathon, set your site on your goals and then just take them one step at a time."
– John Lee Dumas

John Lee Dumas is the fonder and host of EOFire, a daily podcast that interview entrepreneurs 7 days a week, where, as reported by Forbes, he has generated #2M in sales by his second year in the business. He started out at Providence College where he did Army ROTC, after which he served in the Army as an Armor Platoon Leader for eight years. After his time in the Army, John enrolled in Law School, but left after his first semester. He then worked in corporate finance at John Hancock in Boston, and later at a tech startup in New York. In 2009 he moved to San Diego to work in real estate. During his long drives, he started listening to podcasts, until he decided to start his own podcast, which launched in September of 2012. He is the author of Podcast Launch, the creator of Podcasters’ Paradise, and has been named the Best of iTunes in 2013, with over 7.4 Million downloads. and subscribers in 145 countries. John is very open about his financials - they’re available on his website - it’s worth checking out because the numbers are staggering.

The top two reasons to listen to this episode are:

  1. Entrepreneurship - JLD is a legend as an entrepreneur and has extremely relevant and tactical advice for any veteran interested in working for oneself, earning extra income on the side, or wanting to grow a passion product.
  2. Resources - JLD is a storage vault of resources for entrepreneurs and the interview is full of practical steps veterans can take - today - to get started on their startup journey.

 

Selected Links

Show Notes

  • 3:20 - John's decision to leave the Army and how he approached this decision
  • 4:53 - What habits John had to break from the military in order to be successful in his civilian career
  • 5:37 - Johns road to EOFire and advice he'd give to veterans seeking to start their own company
  • 8:21 - How long it took for John to be able to pay himself a salary while starting his company, EOFire
  • 10:26 - One of the biggest mistakes that John has made with EOFire and what he learned from it
  • 12:07 - What resources John would recommend to veterans thinking of starting their own company
  • 15:01 - The episodes of EOFire John would recommend most to Beyond the Uniform listeners 
  • 16:15 - John's final words of wisdom for veterans
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