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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: 2021
Feb 22, 2021

Why Listen:
Today’s interview is the 2nd installment in a series where we take a deep dive into each branch’s respective credentialing service.

Credentialing Assistance is a great way to leverage the transition tools and resources available to service members to accelerate their post-military careers. Certifications add professional capability and credibility and help you stand out to a hiring manager.

In this conversation, we talk with Mike Talley – the Director of Navy COOL, and he breaks down all the nuances of the program. Additionally, Mike offers insight into the DoD Civilian COOL program.

In short, Navy COOL covers credentialing exam fees for all Sailors, regardless of rank or compo for anywhere between 1,400 and 1,600 credentials. Navy COOL has its yearly budget and its first come, first serve. Sailors can utilize funding for as many credentialing exams as they want, but can only pursue one exam at a time on the Navy’s dime. Navy COOL will only fund one exam attempt per credential. Furthermore, Navy COOL will help pay for continuing education units to help Sailors maintain their credential once obtained.

If you’re in the Army, you can find your deep dive in Episode #383. Interviews for the Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard are in the works.

About Mike:
Mike served as a Hospital Corpsman in the Navy, retiring after 20 years of service. After transition, Mike held various customer support and managerial positions with AT&T, Gap, and Old Navy before returning to the U.S. Navy as a civilian employee. Today, Mike is the Director of Navy COOL for the Navy’s Credentialing Programs Office. He holds a Bachelor’s in Workforce Education and Development from Southern Illinois University.

Feb 15, 2021

Why Listen:

I loved hearing John's unique approach to entrepreneurship and life. After 20 years of military service, John was drawn into starting his own business. While starting any company requires sales, John's approach to sales is to simply be curious about whoever he is speaking with, and learn about their pain points. This is such great advice for so many different career paths. I also appreciate how John has constructed his life to have a fulfilling family life, outside of work life, and professional life.

About John:

John Schmitt is a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel who served 20+ years as an Aviator and Acquisition Corps officer. Upon leaving the Army, John started his own consulting firm with a focus on biotech, advanced manufacturing and marketing projects. Additionally, he serves as a board member for multiple local non-profits. John holds a BS in Biological Sciences from UC-Davis and an MS in Microbiology and Immunology from Vanderbilt Univ.

Feb 8, 2021
Why Listen:
In 380 episodes, my guest today - Jess Swanson - is the strongest person I've met. I say that amidst a backdrop of Navy SEALs, Army Rangers, NFL players, UFC Champions and more. At 6 months old, Jess oldest daughter experienced epileptic seizures - usually 8 a day - and shortly after was diagnosed with autism. Rather than letting this derail her life, Jess used it to pave a new path that has helped not only her family, but countless others as well.
 
She pursued a graduate degree to better understand how to help others like her daughter, became an activist who influenced legislation in congress that helped others like her daughter, and started a company to help other families in her situation.
 
Jess' story of (1) lessons versus losses, (2) her advice about finding something to appreciate even in areas you might initially deem them a tragedy, and (3) her perspective on controlling what you can and letting go of the rest, these are all incredible lessons borne from enduring unbelievable hardships but choosing to press on for those she loves and to benefit the world around her.
 
About Jess:
Jessica Swanson is the Executive Director and Owner of Summit Health Services, an Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) company serving the Monterey Bay and San Diego areas in California. They are an in network Tricare-West provider proudly serving active duty families.  She is a military spouse, her husband having served in the Army for nearly 17 years.
 
This episode is brought to you by PassLife. Serving in the military is inherently dangerous - are your affairs in order? The grief a service member's family feels upon learning of their passing is difficult enough, but the days, weeks, and months that follow are filled with stressful decisions. PassLife is a single solution, secure cloud-based platform where Funeral Preparations, Last Wishes, Will Information, Financial Assets, Business Continuation Information, Social Media Account info, etc., can be uploaded to recipients of the user's choosing. PassLife allows you to alleviate the stress and lift the fog for your loved ones, preeminently, by giving them a vital trove of information in multiple areas. 
 
Listeners can save 10% by using the code "BTU” at checkout.
 
Learn more at Pass-Life.com.
Feb 1, 2021

Why Listen:
I was riding a high after my conversation with Jeff for days - I appreciate his strength, vulnerability, and authenticity in this conversation. You can view this interview in two parts - the first part we discuss his transition from the Marine Corps into law enforcement, including work in prisons, on patrol, and with the SWAT teams. In the second half, we both talk about our experience with therapy and mental health. Jeff talks candidly about PTSD and depression, and we both open up about the positive impact therapy has had on our lives.

If this latter topic resonates with you, there are so many great resources out there to support you. The one that comes immediately to mind i learned about in episdoe #368 with Joe Quinn, where he talked about Headstrong - at GetHeadStrong.org - you take a 60 second survey and as a veteran get paired with a best-in-class clinician for unlimited therapy.

But - as we talk about in this interview - I don't want to spin this as a - if you're contemplating suicide, get help. I'm a big believer that therapy is a preventative maintenance - that it is similar to olympic athletes working with an elite coach - it's a great way to deepen as a human being, understand yourself more, and ensure you're operating at your peak capacity.

About Jeff
Jeff McDonald is a Safe School Specialist at the University of Montana. His Career started in the Marine Corps, where he served for four years with two combat deployments and has included work in Law Enforcement and as a SWAT officer.

Our Sponsor
This episode is brought to you by PassLife. Serving in the military is inherently dangerous - are your affairs in order? The grief a service member's family feels upon learning of their passing is difficult enough, but the days, weeks, and months that follow are filled with stressful decisions. PassLife is a single solution, secure cloud-based platform where Funeral Preparations, Last Wishes, Will Information, Financial Assets, Business Continuation Information, Social Media Account info, etc., can be uploaded to recipients of the user's choosing. PassLife allows you to alleviate the stress and lift the fog for your loved ones, preeminently, by giving them a vital trove of information in multiple areas. 

Listeners can save 10% by using the code "BTU” at checkout.

Learn more at Pass-Life.com. That's pass dash life.com. PassLife, pass your loved ones a lifeline.

Jan 28, 2021
After three years of tireless volunteering support for Beyond the Uniform, our Editor, Kathleen Dillon, is moving on to other things. THANK YOU, KATHLEEN for your unbelievable support of Beyond the Uniform.
 
Kathleen is wrapping up school in six months and hopes to enter the sports industry in a strategy or business analytics role . If you have any connections in these areas, drop her a note on LinkedIn - she is a rockstar worthy of support!
 
 
Jan 25, 2021

Why Listen: Well, normally this show is hosted by Justin. But I came to him with an idea. I talk to a lot of transitioning service members, and its eye opening how many of them – regardless of branch – have never heard of the various credentialing programs that are offered.

Today is part 1 in a series where I’ll be interviewing each branch’s credentialing program manager to get the facts on credentialing assistance in an effort to spread awareness to the servicemembers who can use them.

Credentialing Assistance is a great way to leverage the transition tools and resources available to service members to accelerate their post-military careers. Certifications add professional capability and credibility and help you stand out to a hiring manager.

We’ll start with the Army, so if you’re a Soldier, listen up. Today, we’ll talk with Sophia Sweeney, the Program Manager for Army Credentialing Assistance (CA) and Credentialing Opportunities On Line (COOL).

Jan 18, 2021
Why Listen:
Special thanks to Jim Sinai for making the intro to Michael. While Michael had a full career in the Marine Corps, with over 21 years of service, he didn't let either what he did in the Marines, or how successful he was at doing it get in the way of his going on to have a truly exemplary tech career as a Chief Information Officer at some truly incredible companies. Here are a few things to look for in this interview:
  • How Michael is always dreaming of what is next, and then working his tail off to be proactive and bridge any skill gaps in his next career move
  • How Michael is always learning, always pushing himself forward and NEVER playing it safe
  • How Michael uses his network - not just to find a job, but to sharpen his skills and be the best he can be in his current position
  • How Michael "paints the target" to determine what he wants to do, and then doesn't allow himself to lose sight of the bullseye
 
At the end of this episode, Michael rattles off a whole host of books and frameworks. Don't worry, we've listed them all at BeyondTheUniform.org. While you're there, if you've got 400 hours free, be sure to check out over 381 other episodes hand crafted to help you crush your post-military career.
 
About Michael:
Michael Hansen is the Chief Information Officer at Procore Technologies, a company with nearly 2,000 employees that provides cloud-based construction software to clients across the globe. He started out in the Marine Corps, where he served for 21 years as an IT Security Architect. His career has included 2 years in Guantanamo Bay Cuba as the CIO, 2 years as a Cloud Architect for the Federal Government, and   5 years as CISO and then CIO of Mindbody both pre and post IPO.
Jan 11, 2021
Why Listen:
Special thanks to Steve Bane for making this interview happen. My guest today, Justin LeHew, is many things. He earned the Navy Cross for his heroic actions in Iraq in 2003, he has an obstacle at Parris Island named after him: LeHew's Challenge, he achieved the rank of Sergeant Major in the Marine Corps. Yet its not merely these accomplishments that set him apart - it is the way that he focuses on others rather than broadcasting his significant achievements. We talk a lot about that in this interview, as well as his work at History Flight, a private MIA search and recovery organization, responsible for locating and repatriating over 365 missing American servicemen to date. In the show notes for this episode at BeyondTheUniform.org there is an incredible, one-minute YouTube video about this - I highly recommend checking that out, as well as our 380 other episodes just like this one.
 
About Justin LeHew
Justin LeHew is the Chief Operating Officer at History Flight, the world's most successful, private MIA search and recovery organization, responsible for locating and repatriating 365 missing American servicemen to date. Justin has his own Wikipedia page, so here are a few highlights:
  • He served in the Marine Corps for over 25 years, achieving the rank of Sergeant Major
  • Parris Island has an obstacle named in his honor. "LeHew's Challenge" is an 8 ft high suspended log supported by two pedestals that is part of the famed 54-hour crucible event which culminates the basic training of a United States Marine
  • He was awarded the Navy Cross for his heroic actions in Iraq in March of 2003
Most notably, none of this information you'll find on his LInkedIn Page, and I'm guessing none of it would come up if you were at a bar with Justin. We traded emails about this, but I wanted to start off our conversation here - in an era where self-promotion is at an all-time high, you seem to be an example of someone who is not broadcasting his merits, is not touting the unbelievable achievements you've accomplished... what advice do you have for listeners about this.
 
Resources:
Jan 4, 2021
Why Listen:
I'm so excited to start off 2021 with an interview that was so much fun to do. Back in 2017, and Episode 95, I interviewed Andrew watts, who was military veteran who became a full time author. And we reconnected for today's interview, I'm adding in Jason Casper, and a couple things that I loved about this interview. So just for context, Andrew, is a writer who is still a writer, but now also started a publishing company, the Severn river river publishing company, and he publishes over 20 different authors now. So we talk about that journey since our last interview three years ago. And Jason is a another military veteran, best selling author, and now works with Andrew and Andrew publishes his books, although this is a story of maybe would call it the arts of people becoming veterans becoming published authors and extremely successful ones at that. What I really appreciated, comparing it to my own background in entrepreneurship is the number of parallels this has for any form of entrepreneurship, of paving one's own way of taking, making a bet on oneself, of really learning to craft. And I think that that's an element that will come through for listeners with both Jason and Andrew, is how much each of them have devoted themselves to perfecting their art and their craft and how much they use persistence and discipline to succeed in their chosen vocation. And so regardless of your career interest, whether or not you're interested in entrepreneurship, or writing or whatever else, I think there is an element here to learn about that discipline about that constant sharpening of one's toolkit to get better. So, as always, at beyond the uniform.org, you'll find show notes with this. With all the things that we discuss in this interview. I do want to give a plug in there is no financial incentive for me to do so. But I really just enjoyed meeting Jason. He has a new book coming out on January 15 2021, called the enemies of my country. I will put a link to that in the show notes, but I'd encourage you to check it out whether it's on Kindle, whether it's on Audible, whether it's in a physical book. And with that, let's dive in to my conversation with Jason and Andrew.
 
About Jason:
Jason Kasper is a former Army Special Forces officer and a USA Today bestselling author.  His new book, THE ENEMIES OF MY COUNTRY, releases on January 15, 2021.  
 
About Andrew:
Andrew Watts is the USA TODAY bestselling author and founder of Severn River Publishing. He graduated from the US Naval Academy in 2003 and served as a naval officer and helicopter pilot until 2013.
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