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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. www.beyondtheuniform.org
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Now displaying: November, 2019
Nov 25, 2019

Why Listen:

If you listened to my conversation with Stacy Bare or my recent conversation with Dan Cnossen - if you liked the flavor of those conversations, you’ll love this episode. I shut up as much as possible during my time with Micah - he is a force to be reckoned with. He had a thriving career until 9/11, where he was in New York when the towers fell. He ran into the towers, dragging out whoever he could, and swore in that moment to kill whoever was responsible. He wanted to be an Army Ranger, he ran into a Navy recruiter on the way to enlist, and signed up to become a Navy SEAL instead. After ten years as a Navy SEAL and 4 years as Paramilitary, he moved to Montanta. Wackinenss ensued. It led him to start a non-profit called Heroes & Horses. I’m betting money that you will donate to this organization before the episode is over. It’s incredible. In the show notes we have a link to Micah’s TedX talk - in it, Micah talks about how important struggle is. This is something he learned in his 1,110 days - 13 deployments - in which he was deployed to combat zones, but even more so when he returned. We talk about Micah’s struggles, and how we’re doing that to the Veteran community by often coddling them - doing the work for them - prescribing them medications, trying to keep them from the very pain that will heal them. And so, Micah and his team take a different approach. They take 30+ Veterans into the wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights where they face austerity and challenge. They have water, coffee, meat and veggies… not a whole lot else. They ride 400-500 miles on horses. They learn to shoe horses. They take philosophy courses. They wake up at 4AM to workout, and work all day until 10PM. They provide tools so that each individual can mine who they are.



About Micah
Micah Fink is the CEO of Heroes and Horses, where for the last five years he has offered combat veterans an alternative solution for defining and approaching their physical and mental scars – a solution that does not include the overprescribing of medication, or traditional psychotherapy, but rather the opportunity aand tools to redefine their purpose, rediscover their inner-strength, engage in a practice of self-responsibility, and maximize their potential. He started out in the Navy, where he served for ten years as a Navy SEAL and four years in paramilitary service. Since then he has also worked as a professional speaker for Free Matter, as well as the Executive Producer of the film, 500 Miles.

Nov 21, 2019

Why Listen:
No matter what your political affiliation, I’m guessing that you’re pretty upset about our countries state of affairs. In this interview, I talk with Bob Garfield - who, in addition to being one of the world’s foremost podcasters and writers, is also a co-founder for Purple: Project For Democracy. Purple: Project for Democracy is a non-partisan coalition, campaign and movement. They span the breadth of American society to rediscover and recommit to our democratic values.
If you like this interview, be sure to check out BTU #70 - Emily Cherniack: How New Politics is helping veterans of both parties run for office (https://beyondtheuniform.org/blog/btu-70-emily-cherniak-how-new-politics-is-helping-veterans-of-both-parties-run-for-office?rq=emily)
I didn’t have time to read Bob’s bio prior to our interview, so here it is:
Bob Garfield is co-host of public radio’s weekly, Peabody Award-winning On the Media. He is also the founding co-host of Slate’s podcast on language, Lexicon Valley, and Amazon Channels’ The Genius Dialogues. He is the founder of the Media Future Summit, and, on weekends, is on a sporadic national tour with his one-man show, Ruggedly Jewish.
A heroic multimediocrity, Bob has been a columnist or contributing editor for the Washington Post Magazine, The Guardian, Advertising Age, Civilization and the op-ed page of USA Today. He has also written for The New York Times, Playboy, Atlantic, Sports Illustrated, Wired and the Mainichi Shimbun and been employed variously by ABC, CBS, CNBC and the defunct FNN as an on-air analyst. As a lecturer and panelist, he has appeared in 37 countries on six continents. He wrote a shitty episode of a short-lived NBC sitcom, Sweet Surrender, and co-wrote a song recorded by Willie Nelson. (Long story.) He is a five-time New York Times worst-selling author. His sixth book, American Manifesto, will be published in early 2020.

Nov 18, 2019
Why Listen:
Byron Katie, while not a Veteran, has started a movement over the last thirty years that has helped many Veterans, myself included. She is the author of three bestselling books (and over a dozen other books mentioned in the show notes for this episode). The book of hers that I read over four years ago is Loving What Is - it is a book that still influences my life today. She has been interviewed by Oprah, praised by Eckhart Tolle and Time Magazine, and was extremely generous with her time with me on today’s interview.
 
So much of what my guests on the podcast talk about is mindset. Mindset to learn new skills in the workplace. Mindset to find your next mission, purpose, and calling. Mindset in learning what skills to keep from the military, and which ones no longer serve you in your civilian career and life.
 
In this interview Byron shares as simple process - just four questions you can ask yourself - that can help you in whatever challenges life presents you. For some men and women Veterans Byron has worked with, this includes overcoming PTSD, or healing from an abusive relationship. We also talk about how this process relates to simple, every day occurrences like getting angry at other drivers. We talk about how it relates to hiring for a job.
 
I love and respect Byron’s work, and it was a real honor to have her join me for this interview. 
 
About Byron:
Byron Katie is a public speaker, writer, and founder of a 
method of self-inquiry called The Work of Byron Katie or simply The Work. 
 
Byron became severely depressed in her early thirties. After nearly a decade of paranoia, rage, self-loathing, and constant thoughts of suicide, while in a halfway house for women with eating disorders, Byron experienced a life-changing realization. In that moment, she says,
 
I discovered that when I believed my thoughts, I suffered, but that when I didn’t believe them, I didn’t suffer, and that this is true for every human being. Freedom is as simple as that. I found that suffering is optional. I found a joy within me that has never disappeared, not for a single moment.
 
Since then she has shared The Work with millions of people at public events, in prisons, hospitals, churches, V. A. treatment centers, corporations, universities, and schools. “Katie’s events are riveting to watch,” the Times of London reported. Eckhart Tolle calls The Work “a great blessing for our planet.” And Time magazine named Katie a “spiritual innovator for the new millennium.”
 
She has been interviewed by Oprah Winfrey over three times about her book,Loving What Is,and her work has affected countless lives.
Nov 14, 2019
Why Listen:
Shannon’s military career includes time in both the Marine Corps and the National Guard, and so he has faced multiple transitions. Shannon has been a mentor at the University of Minnesota and it comes through - he has so much great advice on topics including: 
  • resumes - how he has nearly a dozen version of his resume based on to what job he is applying.
  • being Clark Kent - not always revealing your super powers. yes, you may have dozens and dozens of crazy stories from the military, but based on the position to which you’re applying, you may just pick one choice gem out and leave the rest in the bag, unused in both your resume and your interview preparation.
  • networking - Shannon has received several jobs and - more importantly - very helpful intel about the jobs to which he is applying - due to his approach to networking.
  • We talk about dealing with depression, we talk about how most of what you need in your civilian career you learned in the military, but it is ALL about lifelong learning - about building skills and adding to them every step of the way. Shannon is a great example of this - he’s held three different jobs and also earned his MBA leading up to his role at Xcel… while he may have gone directly into the energy industry, his circitiuos route was exactly what we needed. and we talk about the Energy Industry - why you don’t have to be a navy nuke like me to go into the energy industry - we talk about all the disruption and changes going on, and how they NEED fresh perspectives, like Shannons, who has no direct background in energy.
 
This is a sponsored interview - which means that Xcel Energy supports Beyond the Uniform financially so that we can continue to do this work, for free to Veterans. I’m very grateful for their support. Although this is a sponsored interview, Shannon and I only talk about Xcel Energy for about 4-5 minutes in this hour long conversation. The rest is packed with tactics and tidbits to help you in your career path, whatever that may be.
 
Why Listen:
Shannon’s military career includes time in both the Marine Corps and the National Guard, and so he has faced multiple transitions. Shannon has been a mentor at the University of Minnesota and it comes through - he has so much great advice on topics including:
* resumes - how he has nearly a dozen version of his resume based on to what job he is applying.
* being Clark Kent - not always revealing your super powers. yes, you may have dozens and dozens of crazy stories from the military, but based on the position to which you’re applying, you may just pick one choice gem out and leave the rest in the bag, unused in both your resume and your interview preparation.
* networking - Shannon has received several jobs and - more importantly - very helpful intel about the jobs to which he is applying - due to his approach to networking.
* We talk about dealing with depression, we talk about how most of what you need in your civilian career you learned in the military, but it is ALL about lifelong learning - about building skills and adding to them every step of the way. Shannon is a great example of this - he’s held three different jobs and also earned his MBA leading up to his role at Xcel… while he may have gone directly into the energy industry, his circitiuos route was exactly what we needed. and we talk about the Energy Industry - why you don’t have to be a navy nuke like me to go into the energy industry - we talk about all the disruption and changes going on, and how they NEED fresh perspectives, like Shannons, who has no direct background in energy.

This is a sponsored interview - which means that Xcel Energy supports Beyond the Uniform financially so that we can continue to do this work, for free to Veterans. I’m very grateful for their support. Although this is a sponsored interview, Shannon and I only talk about Xcel Energy for about 4-5 minutes in this hour long conversation. The rest is packed with tactics and tidbits to help you in your career path, whatever that may be.

About Shannon:
Shannon Gregory is a Program Manager, Enterprise Resiliency for Xcel Energy. He started out in the Marine Corps, where he served in the infantry for over six years. He has also served in the Army National Guard for nearly 8 years. His post military career has included working as a Rotory Wing Pilot at Air Methods, a Senior Corporate Security Manager at Target, and a Safety Business Consultant at Predictive Safety SRP. He holds an MBA from the University of Minnesota and a BS from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Nov 11, 2019
I really enjoyed my conversation with Peter. First, I want to acknowledge that this is a sponsored interview, and we’re grateful to Verizon for their support of Beyond the Uniform, as well as how they have hired over 11,000 Veterans and thousands of military spouses. However, there’s only about six minutes of this interview that are directly about Verizon in a way that may be seen as sales-e.
 
Peter is such a fantastic speaker and storyteller. Immediately after our interview, I set up a call with Peter to chat more, because he is a great guy and has a really valuable perspective on career transitions. One of the aspects I love about our conversation is how Peter took one small aspect of his military service - how much he loved land navigation in the Marine Corps - and how he used this in his search for his next job… which happens to be in commercial real estate as a lawyer. Not a direct connection many would make, and yet it shows how Veterans can find tangential career paths based on smaller aspects they enjoyed while in the military. I also appreciated Peter’s outlook on life - the mere fact that he has his title as “Happy Lawyer” sends a message to everyone he meets and, more importantly, send a strong message to himself about who he wants to be on a daily basis… even on those days where he may not FEEL like a Happy Lawyer. This interview is also a great example of the wide variety of career positions to be found at large companies. For example, with Verizon, many listeners most likely immediately think of phones, or connectivity. But I didn’t think immediately about all the stores, warehouses, and office buildings they have… all that real estate… real estate that needs a strong legal team to obtain and oversee. It’s illustrative of the many potential career aspects below the surface that listeners may not immediately be aware of.
 
About Peter:
Peter Vanderloo is a Happy Lawyer at Verizon, where he has worked for over 18 years. In his current role, he works as a Commercial Real Estate lawyer creating value for internal and external customers from Verizon's amazing, extensive real estate portfolio. He started out in the Marine Corps, where he served for 10 years, most recently as a Company Commanding Officer, where he led an 150 member Light Armored Vehicle company. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Delaware, a JD from the George Washington School of Law, and an MBA from the Darden Graduate School of Business. 
Nov 9, 2019

Why Listen:
In this informal episode, I go through one admin item, two professional items, and a lot of personal items. Listen to as much or as little as serves you.

Nov 7, 2019

Why Listen:
While Floyd has had an impressive 13-year career as a Sales Executive at Cisco and now as an Executive & Team Coach, in this interview we talk about the work that Floyd does with military marriages. Floyd has done extensive work with military and Veteran relationships, helping couples improve their marriage, as well as helping Veterans be more effective in their working relationships. We cover a lot of ground in this conversation about tactics that can help any listener improve their most important relationships.

About Floyd:
Floyd is a Corporate Sales Executive at CRR Global, which is a coach training school. He also works as the President and Executive & Team Coach at Relatance. He served in the U.S. Army for 13 years, originally enlisting in Infantry, going on to ROTC and then serving as a Company Commander and a Management Information Officer. While on Active Duty, he also obtained his Masters in Management Informational Systems. After the Army, he worked at Cisco for over 14 years, most recently as the Director of Operations Supporting Sales. He is the author of the book, Conscious Leadership in Action.

Nov 4, 2019
Why Listen:
I don’t really know what to say about today’s interview. Dan is a classmate of mine from the Naval Academy. I didn’t know him really well while I was there, but I knew of him. This interview really makes me wish I would have had the chance to get to know him better while we were in school together. We recorded this interview, and there were some technical difficulties and we got started a bit late, and I had another meeting right after it. It was actually a video conference that I have with my men’s group each week. So I hung up with Dan and went straight into this men’s group meeting. And we always start off these calls with a round the room check-in - each of the seven guys in my group takes five minutes to share what’s going on in their life. And I just knew I’d be picked to go first. And I was. And I was just coming from my conversation with Dan and the whole weight of our conversation hit me. And I got pretty emotional. 
 
Dan made an enormous sacrifice in the service of our country. He paid a price for his choosing to keep our country safe. And he faced an incomprehensible recovery from that sacrifice - one in which he faced uncertainty, loss, and obstacles that it’s really hard for me to get my head around. And he approached this with a moment-by-moment presence that really shows the man he is. He came back from this loss to win the gold medal at the Paralympics - he made history in doing so. And through it all he maintains himself with such humility, such candor, and such honesty - it really made me feel humbled and honored to have him on the show, and to count him as a classmate. He has been hesitant to stand in the spotlight, to speak publicly about his experience. If you - like me - are touched by his story as I was, I hope that you reach out and let him know. I think he is an incredible human being with an inspiring message, and I cannot wait to see what is ahead for him.
 
At the end of our conversation, I ask Dan about organizations he would recommend listeners support. Each of them are listed in the show notes for this episode at BeyondTheUniform.org - I hope that you’ll check them out and consider supporting them.
 
About Dan:
Cnossen is currently a graduate student at Harvard University, working towards a Master of Public Administration at the John F. Kennedy School of Government as well as a Master of Theological Studies at the Divinity School. In the 2018 at the Winter Paralympics , Dan created history in his second Paralympic appearance after claiming a gold medal in the men's 7.5km sitting biathlon event. In doing so he became the first American male and the second American ever to claim a gold medal in a biathlon event in either the Olympics or Paralympics. 
 
Dan grew up on a fifth-generation family farm in Kansas. He attended the Naval Academy as part of the illustrious class of 2002, after which he served in the Navy as a SEAL. While serving as a platoon commander for SEAL Team One in Afghanistan in September 2009, Dan stepped on an IED (improvised explosive device) and was wounded in the explosion. The accident caused Cnossen to lose both his legs just above the knee. As you will hear in this interview, in both his recovery and achievements since then, Dan continues to be an inspiration to the military and non-military community.
Nov 2, 2019
I’m recording this episode of BBTU a few days early, because as we speak I’m camping in Death Valley as part of the final weekend of the yearlong men’s program I’ve been doing with John Wineland. I’m very excited to be unplugged - to be 100% off my phone and off the internet for 5 days - that in and of itself will be incredible. But, I’m also very much looking forward to seeing this group, doing some incredible work together in the desert, and bringing this program to a conclusion.
I have 5 items to cover today, all of them of the professional nature.
First of all, Donations. Steve and I are working on a lot of ideas to expand our impact at Beyond the Uniform. We’ve offered three webinars in October, and have another six more lined up for the remainder of 2019. We’re playing around with the idea of a digital library, where short articles and videos from our 300+ episodes will be available for free, in addition to articles written and contributed by other Veterans. We have ideas for video courses to also make all the information we’ve learned more accessible to Veterans. All of this takes time and money. We’re putting a sponsorship program in place - where we can get financial support from organizations that like what we’re doing. That takes time. In the interim, if you’d like to support us and our mission, I’ve added back a Support tab in the top right hand of the BeyondTheUniform.org website, where you can donate to help us grow our efforts. Introductions to companies that could support us financially are greatly appreciated, as are any and all feedback on how we can broaden our footprint. 
Second - events. Thank you to all of you who attended our free webinars in October - Networking 101, Veterans in Consulting, and our Town Hall. We have received rave reviews, helpful feedback on how to improve, and suggestions for follow-on events. We have incorporated much of this into six additional events in November and December. You do not want to miss out - they are free, if you cannot attend them live you’ll get a video copy of the presentation mailed to you, so you can review it at your leisure. 
each of these events is listed on our Events page at BeyondTheUniform.org. They are Sales 101 - Building Consensus with Tyler Johnston. Veterans in Finance. Discovering your values. Interviewing 101. And Veterans at the Big Three, which is a sort of Part 2 to our consulting webinar.
There is information on each of these events on the website. The one thing i will say is to act fast for the Discovering your Values workshop. My wife, Rebecca, is an executive coach. CEOs, Vice Presidents of Sales, and other executives pay her a lot of money because she is very good at her work. She has also worked at a discount to help many military Veterans. This is the most powerful work I can think of for those of you deciding your next career transition. Values - alignment - understanding one’s self - these are three of the most important things guests on BTU have mentioned when it comes to making a career transition. And each of these - values - alignment - understanding - can be exceptionally difficult to uncover in isolation. We’re doing this live seminar for free and with a capped classroom size of 6 people. Rebecca will work with each person individually, helping you identify and uncover your values. If that excites you and you want to participate - sign up. If you’re not wanting to put yourself out there and uncover the values driving your career decisions - best to sit this one out.
Lastly, I’d like to cover three interviews that will be released later in November. Overall for November and December we’re taking a step back from our normal format of career overviews. Instead, we are focusing on skills episodes - episodes designed to help our audience build a concrete skill set that will help you throughout your career, regardless of whatever that career path may be. 
The primary exception to that is this coming Monday’s episode. Dan Cnossen. Episode #322 - Navy SEAL to Paralympic Gold Medalist (Dan Cnossen). Coming out Monday.
I don’t really know what to say about Dan Cnossen’s interview. If you listened to Episode #268 - How the Outdoors Saved my Life, with Stacy Bare. An episode where Stacy - seconds in to our phone call, before I even started the episode, shared that a close friend of his had just died in the outdoors. We talked about delaying the interview - of waiting for a better time. We hit record instead. It’s one of my favorite conversations to date - it’s real, vulnerable, and pertinent.
 
Dan’s interview is of the same caliber. Dan is a classmate of mine from the Naval Academy. I didn’t know him really well while I was there, but I knew of him. This interview really makes me wish I would have had the chance to got to know him better while we were in school together. We recorded this interview, and there were some technical difficulties and we got started a bit late, and I had another meeting right after it. It was actually a video conference that I have with my men’s group each week. So I hung up with Dan and went straight into this men’s group meeting. And we always start off these calls with a round the room check-in - each of the seven guys in my group takes five minutes to share what’s going on in their life. And I just knew I’d be picked to go first. And I was. And I was just coming from my conversation with Dan and the whole weight of our conversation hit me. And I got pretty emotional. 
 
Dan made an enormous sacrifice in the service of our country. He paid a price for his choosing to keep our country safe. And he faced an incomprehensible recovery from that sacrifice - one in which he faced uncertainty, loss, and obstacles that it’s really hard for me to get my head around. And he approached this with a moment-by-moment presence that really shows the man he is. He came back from this loss to win the gold medal at theParalympics - he made history in doing so. And through it all he maintains himself with such humility, such candor, and such honesty - it really made me feel humbled and honored to have him on the show, and to count him as a classmate. He has been hesitant to stand in the spotlight, to speak publicly about his experience.
 
That is Episode #322 - Navy SEAL to Paralympic Gold Medalist (Dan Cnossen). Coming out Monday.
Episode #323 - Conscious Leadership (Floyd Carlson). Floyd starts our interview, talking about how, in inspecting a POW while in Iraq, he overlooked a hidden explosive device. When he pulled it from the POWs pocket and heard it engage, he knew he was going to die. What happened next changed his outlook on life, forever.
Floyd was a sales executive for 16 years at Cisco. He worked in Belgium. He obtained his career through networking. We don’t discuss any of that on our call. Floyd works as an executive and team coach with major companies now. We don’t talk about that either. Part of Floyd’s work is working with members of the military about their marriages. We talk about that a lot. Members of the military face unique challenges in relationship - often times one or both partners are taken from their home, deployed for months, and then re-inserted back into their home. This introduces challenges. we talk about tactics to use to improve your marriage, your office relationships, your friendships and family relationships. I’m also in the process of lining up a webinar with Floyd as well - he’s fantastic.
That is Episode #323 - Conscious Leadership (Floyd Carlson), coming out November 7th.
Lastly, Episode #326 - not coming out until November 18th. Episode #326 is Loving What Is (Byron Katie). This was one of the highlights of my time at Beyond the Uniform. I did cold outreach to Byron Katie using the techniques I just taught in Networking 101 - they work. Byron said yes. Byron is a best selling author, she has been interviewed Oprah half a dozen times. It’s worth sharing part of her story.
43 years old, after a 10-year struggle with rage, anxiety and depression, she woke up knowing that she only suffered, if she believed her own thoughts. If she didn’t, there was no suffering. What’s left is joy and gratitude to be alive, and she’s been teaching that ever since.
She’s taught the process, which she calls “The Work” to millions of people over the past three decades. In our interview she talks about this work - and the work she has done with military Veterans. She talks about the four questions that - if you can build the habit of asking them - can change your life. I read her book years and years ago - I still think about these four questions.
It is an interview where you will learn:
  1. You can overcome stress by dissecting your thoughts with these four simple questions.
  2. Give yourself more options to think differently by turning thoughts around.
  3. You can’t change reality by being frustrated about it.
 
I know that this is a softer skill set than we traditionally cover on Beyond the Uniform. There’s a reason for it - these skills will pay dividends in your career, in your relationships, in your life. If you dislike these episodes, you’ve got 320+ other episodes to choose from on our website - Beyond The Uniform.org
 
That is all for today. I will be returning from the desert next week. I’m excited to have Dan’s interview go live Monday, right when I’m getting back into cell service. We have an incredible November and December lined up. I would encourage you to be a part of it. Be a part of it by signing up and joining one of our free webinars - ask your questions, engage, get plugged in. If you know of a company that would financially sponsor the work we are doing in the world, please send them to our website. And if you have benefited and are in a position to donate - every bit counts. There’s a lot we want to do, and we need your support to make that happen.
 
Thank you - i’ll be back soon with more resources to help members of the military, veterans and their family thrive in their post-service career.
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