Government & Law

BTU #283 - Life after being declared Killed in Action (Justin Constantine)

BTU #283 - Life after being declared Killed in Action (Justin Constantine)

Why Listen:

What to say about Justin? Well, he was shot in the head by a sniper and pronounced killed in action… but that didn’t stick. Justin is a Purple Heart recipient, an author, a lawyer, an motivational speaker, an entrepreneur, and he now works with a company that helps over 24k military members and their families EVERY MONTH - that’s right, every month - find their ideal job and make their career transitions easier. It’s a little disappointing to be on a show with two Justin’s, and realize that the other Justin is kicking a— and you need to try your best to keep up. This is a great interview for any career path, and I think you’ll really enjoy Justin’s story.

About Justin

Justin joined the Marine Corps while in law school at the University of Denver School of Law, and served on active duty as a JAG officer for six years.  Then as a Reservist, Justin deployed to Iraq in 2006, serving as a Civil Affairs Team Leader while attached to an infantry battalion. During a combat patrol, Justin was shot in the head by a sniper. 

Although the original prognosis was that he had been killed in action, Justin survived thanks to risks taken by his fellow Marines and a courageous Navy Corpsman.  In fact, when Corpsman Grant first rolled Justin over, he was no longer breathing.  For his service in Iraq, Justin earned the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon and Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal.

Justin retired from the Marine Corps at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.  He now runs his own business as an inspirational speaker and veteran employment expert.  His writing on military and leadership issues has been published in The Washington Post, Time, CNN, The Atlantic, Forbes Magazine and other media outlets.  In 2015, he completed his first book, My Battlefield, Your Office, which applies military leadership skills to the private sector. And in partnership with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Justin recently authored From “We Will” to “At Will”, an authoritative and interactive guidebook about veteran and military spouse employment. Justin is also a Partner at JobPath, a robust veteran employment platform that provides a variety of solutions to corporations, government agencies and nonprofit organizations that hire veterans.

BTU #261 - A 13 Year Journey to the Perfect Post-Service Career (Robin Brown)

BTU #261 - A 13 Year Journey to the Perfect Post-Service Career (Robin Brown)

Why Listen:
First of all, Robin Brown is one of three Veterans spotlighted in the 30-minute documentary, Adventure Not War. I watched it and consider myself a movie aficionado -it’s fantastic. Google it - it’s also free. It is inspiring, to say the least. In this interview we talk about Robin’s long and complicated transition process from the military - one that took her 13 years to find a career that she loves. And she did it - she’s a relative rarity in that - she found a career that she LOVES, and it shows in this conversation. She talks about how the attributes that made her successful in the military were a liability in the civilian world - how she had to adapt her communication and response to corporate culture in order to be successful. We talk about her job in public service and why this sort of career may be very fulfilling to other veterans.

About Robin:
Robin Brown is the Executive Director at Grand Junction Economic Partnership, a non-profit organization that is your first point of contact if you are looking to expand or relocate your company to the Grand Junction, Colorado area. She served as an Army as an Aviation Officer flying OH-58s for 8 years, where she deployed twice to Iraq- first as an AS3, then as a Company Commander of an attack helicopter company. She is also a self-proclaimed "Army brat from a family of Army brats,” and her husband served as an Army pilot as well.

BTU #255 - Air Force JAG Officer to starting a Law Firm (Mitchell Howie)

BTU #255 - Air Force JAG Officer to starting a Law Firm (Mitchell Howie)

Why Listen:
Mitchell went from an Air Force JAG officer to starting his own company. In this interview, we talk about starting your own business - in this case, a law practice - and how important it is to have sufficient savings (or supplemental income) in order to do so. In starting his own law practice, Mitchell had to network and sell himself a lot - he gives practical advice for Veterans on how to approach this. If you’re interested in either entrepreneurship or the legal field, this is a terrific interview for you.

About Mitchell:
Mitchell John Howie is the owner of the Law Offices of Michell J. Howie. He has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers and Top 40 under 40 by the National Trial Lawyers.  He is also ranked as One of the Top 10 under 40 in criminal law by the National Academy of Criminal Defense. He served in the U.S. Air Force on Active Duty as a Judge Advocate General for over four years, and currently serves in the Reserves. Also has worked in the Texas House of Representatives and has served as a special assistant to the US Attorney's Office.

BTU #246 - Navy SEAL to Founder of EF Overwatch (Michael Sarraille)

BTU #246 - Navy SEAL to Founder of EF Overwatch (Michael Sarraille)

Why Listen:
Mike started EF Overwatch as part of Jocko Willink’s Echelon Front. We talk about the Veteran Transition Map, and the importance of one’s self-assessment about strengths and weaknesses. We talk about the one thing that Mike would encourage Veterans to leave behind in the military, and why this one thing is such a risk. What it’s like starting two organizations and why Mike thinks Veterans should definitely start a for-profit company over a non-profit company. We talk about Extreme Ownership - and why this mindset is revolutionizing the business world. 

About Mike:
Mike Sarraille is a retired U.S. Navy SEAL officer, a graduate of the University of Texas McCombs Business School, and now a leadership instructor, speaker and strategic advisor for Echelon Front. He is President of Echelon Front Overwatch, a company that specializes in the recruiting, training and placement of U.S special operations forces veterans with companies seeking leaders with an Extreme Ownership mindset to build their ranks and dominate on their battlefields. Mike served fifteen years as an officer in the SEAL Teams and five years in the U.S. Marine Corps as an enlisted Recon Marine and Scout-Sniper. Mike served in SEAL Team THREE where he led major combat operations that played a pivotal role in the Battle of Ramadi in 2006. Mike assumed duties as the primary leadership instructor for all officers graduating from the SEAL training pipeline. Mike was then selected for assignment to the Joint Special Operations Command where he completed multiple combat deployments.

BTU #245 - Marine Corps to MMA & the UFC (Liz Carmouche)

BTU #245 - Marine Corps to MMA & the UFC (Liz Carmouche)

Why Listen:
This is one of my favorite episodes. Liz is such an incredible example of determination and resilience. In this interview, she talks about what led her - just one month before her 26th birthday - to start MMA. We talk about commitment, and putting your mind and heart into whatever you do. We talk about how she prepares for a fight, how she takes her head out of a fight to save energy, and what it’s like recovering from failure. We also talk about what it’s like to be thrust - as an introvert - into the public spotlight. She talks about her weekly schedule - and it is insane. And we talk about what it took to get her to this point in her career. Regardless of whether or not you are interested in a career in sports or the MMA, there is something great in this interview for you

About Liz:
Liz “GIRL-RILLA” Carmouche is a Mixed Martial Artist fighter, who currently competes for UFC in the women’s flyweight division, and is currently ranked #6 in the flyweight division. Liz was the first openly lesbian fighter in the UFC. Liz served in the Marine Corps as an aviation electrician for five years during which she did three tours of duty in the Middle East. 

BTU #243 - Army Veteran to starting a $50M, 190 person company (Jared Shepard)

BTU #243 - Army Veteran to starting a $50M, 190 person company (Jared Shepard)

Why Listen:
I loved this conversation. Jared went from living in his car to joining the Army to starting his own government contracting company (now with over 190 employees). He is a wealth of honest information for Veterans aspiring to start their own company. He is also the Founder of Warriors Ethos, which helps Wounded Services Members and their families in their career pursuits. Strap in for an incredibly dense interview full of high-quality advice, and a fair amount of inspirational stories.

About Jared:
Jared Shepard is the CEO of Intelligent Waves and the Director of Warriors Ethos.  Warriors Ethos is dedicated to providing assistance in the career planning, professional development, and placement of Wounded Service Members, Veterans, and their families throughout their transition. Intelligent Waves is specializes in providing information technology and communications support to a wide variety of U.S. government customers. He spent 7 years in the Army as an infantry and communications Soldier, worked as a government contractor, and then started his own IT government contracting company.  

BTU #238 - Army Veteran to Culinary Entrepreneur (Caroline Taft Pestel) - Rebroadcast

BTU #238 - Army Veteran to Culinary Entrepreneur (Caroline Taft Pestel) - Rebroadcast

Why Listen:
Today’s interview originally aired in December of 2016 as episode #40, but it remains one of my favorite interviews. In this interview, Annie talks about what it’s like to start a company while on Active Duty. She talks about her decision to leave the Army, and her initial plans to go to culinary school - which, as you can imagine, is quite a big transition and one that was not always met with the support of those around her. If you’re thinking of starting a company - either on Active Duty or years after your transition to a civilian career - this is a fantastic episode for you.

About Annie:
Annie Taft is the Founder & Executive director of The Brazen Gourmand, which is a Lifestyle brand for the culinarily curious. She started out at West Point, where she graduated 17th in her class and served in the Army for over five years as part of the intelligence community. When she left the Army, she participated in the Stanford Ignite Program, after which she started three different companies, of which The Brazen Gourmand is one.

BTU #225 - 12 Strong and Combatting Terrorism (Mark Mitchell)

BTU #225 - 12 Strong and Combatting Terrorism (Mark Mitchell)

Why Listen:
If you have seen  the movie, 12 Strong, or read the book Horse Soldiers, you know a little bit about Mark’s work. Both in the military and out of it, Mark has played a pivotal role in our countries defense. In this interview, we talk about his work in special operations immediately after September 11th, as well as his career since his military service as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict. Mark works with a $13B budget and a 70,000 person team. This is a great interview for those of you looking to learn about government contracting roles or becoming a Senior Executive Service government employee, or those of you looking to hear some INCREDIBLE military stories.

About George:
Mark Mitchell is the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict at the Office of the Secretary of Defense. For those of you who have read the book Horse Soldiers, or seen the movie 12 Strong, you will be familiar with some of Mark’s incredible work. Mark started his career in the U.S. Army, where he served for over 28 years, most recently as a Colonel. Mark was among the first U.S. soldiers on the ground in Afghanistan after 9/11 and advised the Northern Alliance prior to the fall of the Taliban regime. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions in the November 2001 Battle of Qala-I Jangi in Mazar-e Sharif.

BTU #224 - 24 Year Army Vet to Principal at the McChrystal Group (Patrica Collins)

BTU #224 - 24 Year Army Vet to Principal at the McChrystal Group (Patrica Collins)

Why Listen:
After the loss of her leg, Patty continued to serve on Active Duty and eventually competed for the US in the Paralympics. In this interview she talks about how her accident changed her view on athletics, and how to shift one’s thinking from Post Traumatic Stress to Post Traumatic Growth. We talk about the difficulties Veterans face in their career transition around finding a new identity, and how to get out of your comfort zone and find new goals to combat this. We talk  about the “imposter  syndrome,” workalike balance, consulting, and more.

About Patty:
Patty Collins is a Principal at the McChrystal Group, which has leadership development offerings that are designed to equip leaders with the knowledge and tools to shape culture and cultivate performance within their organizations. Patty served as an Army Communications Officer for over 24 years, and spent over seven years assigned to Special Mission units within the Joint Special Operations Command. After her transition from the military, Patty was a member of the 2016 US Paralympic Team, representing the U.S. in the sport of Triathlon in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Patty holds a Master’s degree from the National War College and a Bachelor of Arts from Rutgers University.

BTU #211 - Running the Bulls, Creating a Documentary, and Team Rubicon (Dennis Clancey)

BTU #211 - Running the Bulls, Creating a Documentary, and Team Rubicon (Dennis Clancey)

Why Listen:
Dennis is a renaissance man. He started his career at Amazon, before transitioning to one of the nation’s pre-eminent nonprofits, Team Rubicon. Along with that, he has done the running of the bulls over 80 times over the last 12 years, and directed a documentary about his experience. Team Rubicon is an organization that should be on every Veterans radar. They unite the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams. This meets a need for purpose, connection, contribution and excitement that many guests on my show have expressed they missed after their military service.

About Dennis:
Dennis Clancey is the Deputy Director of Field Operations for Team Rubicon, a non-profit organization that unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams. He started out at West Point, after which he served in the Army for over six years earning a Bronze Star for combat leadership. Since his military service, he has worked at Amazon as an Operations Manager, and as the Director of the documentary, Chasing Red.

BTU #210 - Army Sergeant to Stanford Law School and Chief of Staff at Hewlett Packard (Drew Kambic)

BTU #210 - Army Sergeant to Stanford Law School and Chief of Staff at Hewlett Packard (Drew Kambic)

Why Listen:
Drew went from Active Duty Army Sergeant to Stanford Law School, which is an incredible leap. He talks about advice for getting into Law School, what it’s like, why Veterans may love (or hate it), what career options it opens, and more. He also talks about his decision to go into the corporate world instead of practicing law. We talk about his work at Hewlett Packard Enterprises, and how he served as Chief of Staff for the Chief Sales & Marketing Officer. We also talk about how Veterans are qualified to do project management and strategic operations work.

About Drew:
Drew Kambic is the Director for Strategy & Planning as well as the Head of Operations for License Verification in the Americas for Micro Focus (formerly Hewlett Packard). He started out in the Army, where he served for over 8 years, most recently as a Sergeant and Infantry Team Leader. While on Active Duty he earned a B.S. and B.A at The Ohio State University, and after his military service he earned his J.D. from Stanford Law School. He has worked at HPE as a Senior Manager for Operations Performance, as well as the Chief of Staff for the Chief sales and Marketing Officer.

BTU #199 - Army Special Forces to the White House & Published Author (John Fenzel)

BTU #199 - Army Special Forces to the White House & Published Author (John Fenzel)

Why Listen:
John has had an incredible career both in and out of the military, including his work as a White House Fellow and the creator of the color coded alert system. He is a published author as well of three books. We talk about failure, resilience, telling your story, and more.

About John:
John Fenzel is a senior Army Special Forces officer who has served on our nation’s battlefields throughout Europe and the Middle East for over 30 years. He has served as a military assistant on the personal staff of the Secretary of Defense, as a Special Assistant to the Vice President, and as a White House Fellow during the Clinton and Bush administrations. He is the author of three books: The Fifth Column, The Sterling Forest, and The Lazarus Covenant. John is a graduate of the Naval War College and the National War College. Born in Iowa and raised outside Chicago, John lives with his wife and three children in Annapolis, MD.

BTU #182 - 21+ Year Air Force Veteran to Executive Director at the Pat Tillman Foundation (Killjan Anderson)

BTU #182 - 21+ Year Air Force Veteran to Executive Director at the Pat Tillman Foundation (Killjan Anderson)

Killjan Anderson is the Executive Director at the Pat Tillman Foundation, an organization that unites and empowers remarkable military veterans and spouses as the next generation of public and private sector leaders committed to service beyond self. He started his career in the United States Air Force, where he served for over 21 years, retiring as a Command Chief Master Sergeant. He holds an MBA from the Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business, and a B.S. in Management from the University of Maryland University College.

Why Listen: 

Kill not only has an incredible story of his own transition from the Air Force, but he is also the Managing Director of one of the preeminent Veteran support organizations - the Pat Tillman Foundation. We discuss his advice on career, passion, approaching a transition as a process rather than an event, the Pat Tillman Foundation and much, much more.

BTU #166 - Marines to Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs (Steve Colley)

BTU #166 - Marines to Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs (Steve Colley)

After his military service, Steve sought out a career in Public Service, and has worked as a Staff Member on the Senate Committee On Veterans’ Affairs. For those of you who are interested in a career in politics or public service, this is a great episode. Also, if you’re curious about what is going on in Capital Hill as it relates to Veterans Affairs, this is also a great interview to check out.

BTU #156 - Attorney at Jenner & Block (LaRue Robinson)

BTU #156 - Attorney at Jenner & Block (LaRue Robinson)

LaRue managed to find a role at one of the most profitable law firms in the United States. He talks about what it’s like to work at a law firm, the common career paths associated with this sort of roles, and advice about the interview and application process. LaRue served in the JAG Corps while in the military, so some of his advice is tailored to JAG Corps Officers. However, if you’re considering a career in law, he provides some exceptional advice.

BTU #108: Team Red, White & Blue (Garrett Cathcart)

BTU #108: Team Red, White & Blue (Garrett Cathcart)

Garrett Cathcart is the Southeast Regional Director at Team Red, White & Blue - an organization that enriches the lives of America's veterans by connecting them to their communities through physical and social activities. He is also the Chief Community Engagement Officer at VETLANTA. He started out at West Point, after which he served in the Army for 8.5 years, with two years in Baghdad as a Recon Scout Platoon Leader and then as an Aide-de-Camp to Commanding General. After his transition from the Army he worked at NuVasive as an Associate Spine Representative before joining team RWB.

BTU #105 - Nathan Smith: Marines to COO at Hire Heroes USA

BTU #105 - Nathan Smith: Marines to COO at Hire Heroes USA

Nathan Smith is the Chief Operating Officer at Hire Heroes USA - which provides free, expert career coaching and job sourcing to hundreds of transitioning U.S. military members, veterans and military spouses each week, and over 16k veterans and spouses since 2007. He started out at the Virginia Military Institute, after which he served in the Marine Corps for seven years as an Infantry Officer. After his transition from the Marine Corps, he started at Hire Heroes USA as a Deputy Director, and was subsequently promoted to Executive Director and then most recently, Chief Operating Officer

BTU #101 - Joshua Jabin: Marines to COO at the Travis Manion Foundation

BTU #101 - Joshua Jabin: Marines to COO at the Travis Manion Foundation

Joshua Jabin is the Chief Operations Officer (COO) at Travis Manion Foundation. He started out at the Naval Academy, after which he served in the Marine Corps for 12 years, first as a Aviation Supply Logistics Officer, obtaining his MS in Operations Analysis at the Naval Postgraduate School, and teaching Mathematics at the Naval Academy. After his transition to the civilian sector, Joshua worked as a Senior Management Consultant at the ReefPoint Group, before joining the Travis Mountain Foundation about 2.5 years ago.

BTU #97: Jonny Coreson - Starting a company while on active duty

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This week I'm trying out a completely new interview format. If you'd like to listened to the full, unedited version of this interview, you can check it out here.

Jonny Coreson is currently on active duty in the military, and has started two different companies while on active duty. His current company - Blue Jacketeer - helps Navy Sailors prepare for their advancement exam. This is a great interview for anyone on Active Duty or recently separated who is interested in entrepreneurship.

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Selected Links

BTU #87 - Joe Musselman: Navy to Founder of The Honor Foundation

BTU #87 - Joe Musselman: Navy to Founder of The Honor Foundation

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.