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Pints for Patriots

Patriotic craft breweries across the nation are banding together during this November to salute our Veterans and support the mission of The Honor Foundation.

If you would like to learn more about how you can participate in this campaign as a brewery or an individual, contact Renee Booth at renee@honor.org.

Matching opportunities are welcome!
Wrightsville Beach Brewery
Campaign Founders

THF Dallas

Join us in Dallas for a special cocktail event featuring cocktails, cigar rolling, bourbon tasting, and a silent auction in support of a good cause.Honored guests of the evening – local businesses and military supporters – will join graduates of The Honor Foundation program for an evening of networking. These THF Alumni will share their experience of the program with potential future Fellows who are planning for their end of service.

For sponsorships or questions regarding the event, please contact Jessica Hunt at jessica@honor.org

 

Presenting Sponsor:

 

Patriot Sponsor:

Spotlight on Dataminr

We’re excited to introduce another valued Employer Partner of The Honor Foundation and an Alumni who is now part of their family.

These are companies and organizations who have hired men and women from our program and/or who have generously given us their time, resources and connections in an effort to help build a stronger network for our Fellows after service — a community post community. 

 

 

Q1:  What advice do you have for those who are experiencing transition?

Joe Levy (JL):  Whatever you jump into next likely won’t be the last job you take ––take a risk. It’s okay if your post-transition career five years from now looks very different from what you imagine today. That is just the next step in your journey!

Josh Morgan (JM):  Networking with people who have gone through the transition can provide helpful insights as you figure out what you want your next step to look like. Once you figure out what that step is and which voices to listen to, I recommend investing in those specific relationships. Oftentimes, you will find yourself with an exhaustive list of individuals that you want to speak with, but will start getting conflicting opinions that may cloud your judgment. So be mindful of who you talk to, and make sure those individuals are just as invested in your growth.

Christopher Blake (CB) Spend some time thinking about what you want to optimize for before you get into the interviewing process. Do you care most about making money? Having flexibility with your schedule? Loving who you work with? Loving what you do? No matter your answer, take a hard look at the organization’s culture, actions, and values and make sure there’s strong alignment between the organization and you. Ask questions about the company during your interview process – remember that interviewing is a two-way conversation! You’ll spend most of your waking hours on the job––make sure that the fit feels right for you.

Andrew Salonen (AS):  Start early. Apply the 3 L’s. Challenge Yourself.

Don’t wait until the last 3-6 months to figure out what your life will be like outside of the service. 12-18 months is what I gave myself, and I used every bit of that to evaluate priorities, set goals, explore opportunities, and take action.

Additionally, when evaluating your priorities, you must consider the “3 L’s”: 1. Love where you are 2. Love who you are 3. Love what you do. This simple concept was brought to my attention by Chris Gannon, Founder & CEO of Bolay Restaurant. I applied it throughout my transition as I filtered through the job market.

Lastly, don’t limit yourself by only exploring options within your comfort zone. Challenge yourself and go after opportunities that require you to learn new things. There is no limit to what you can achieve when combining your military experience, a thirst for knowledge, and a positive mental attitude!

Andrew Tiner (AT):  Network. I have talked to so many Vets who had transitioned without THF, and their approach to getting a job was to spam 1000 resumes to 1000 different jobs. While this may work in the end, what THF taught me is that there is a better way to find a job. Build your network, talk to people, and then use what you have built to strategically step your way into a job. I ended up in the interview pipeline with Dataminr based on only a few conversations I had with people in my network who were able to put me on a fast track to employment. The other aspect to networking is knowledge acquisition. I had hundreds if not thousands of conversations. Most of those did not and were never meant to necessarily turn into a job. I really enjoyed getting to know people, learning their unique professional experiences, and getting their feedback and advice on my personal employment journey. It helped me define what I wanted to do, and even more importantly what I didn’t want to do. Have conversations. Don’t just angle for jobs. You never know where that conversation might lead or what doors it will open. Maybe you’ll just make a friend, and those are good to have too.

Build a backup plan. Then build another. This is something that I struggled with a lot, but thanks to THF I was able to overcome. I would get a hot job lead and focus all my energy on it, putting all my eggs in that one basket. This left me high and dry a few times when the job opportunity fell through, and I had to start over from scratch. Always assume a job opportunity can fall through right up until they give you an offer. With that, having multiple leads to work on can help keep you moving through the dead space, whether that’s waiting for the next interview, waiting to hear what next steps are, or waiting to actually get the offer. Just having people who are happy to talk to you can greatly help your mental state while you are searching for your job. When it comes time to talk offers, having even just two to choose from will help empower your decision, and keep you from being desperate. The key really is to not get desperate. But if you do get in a bind, and here I speak from deep personal experience, fall back to point one: your network. On at least two occasions during my transition journey, I made the conscious choice to walk away from job offers I felt were not a good fit for me, even though that would mean staying unemployed. I had to trust that by working with my network I would be able to find the right job for me. Fortunately, thanks to THF, I had learned to build a network to be able to fall back on, and was able to pivot and begin new conversations and find new leads. Ultimately, this paid off when I found, interviewed, and was accepted for my new job with Dataminr. I am really happy I waited, even if at the time it was an extremely difficult decision.

Get a coach. I was assigned a coach through THF, and she has become a close friend, advisor, and mentor. It is very hard to go on this journey alone, and you need as many people on your side as you can get. Having a coach who isn’t a pre-existing friend, who has a wealth of professional knowledge, and who’s only skin in the game is your success is a powerful thing. It’s a fresh perspective and wealth of knowledge to help cut through your baggage, help you define your goals, and get you to ask the questions you didn’t know needed to be answered.

 

Q2:  What experience shaped who you are?

CB:  My experience with THF helped me to realize that I’m at my best when I’m helping others achieve something meaningful, especially when it involves turning insight into action. It’s what I loved about my time in Naval Intelligence and the SOF community, and it’s what steered me to Dataminr (that, and the incredible people here!). I know that the work I do here on Dataminr’s Public Sector team enables others in critically-important leadership positions to make better decisions and save lives, time, and money.

AS:  There are three experiences in my military career that shaped me professionally. The first was failing Navy SEAL training at 18 years of age. The second was failing Navy SEAL training at 21 years of age. The third was graduating at the top of my class in Navy SWCC school at 26. All three experiences drastically impacted how I matured, approached adversity, and led teams. Everything in between these three experiences was affected by the lessons I learned from them.

AT:  There are two primary experiences that have shaped me and my life over the past five years, and the first was becoming a father. Every parent you ever talk to says having kids changes how you think about everything, and until I had kids of my own, I always kind of wrote them off. But of course, they were right. Once we had our son, my entire perspective on life trajectory changed. I started asking hard questions about who I was, who I wanted to be, and where I wanted to be in 10 years. Ultimately, asking and answering these questions led to the decision to part ways with the Navy. I was grateful for the experiences, the perspectives, and the much needed structure that was key to my growth from teenager to manhood. At the same time, I was confident that the best path forward for me and my family lay in the freedom to chart my own course and balance my own priorities. Now, on the other side of this particular transition and starting my new career with Dataminr, I am still confident in my decision.

The second experience was serving in support of SOF. Starting off in the intel community, I was fairly isolated within the walls of my classified office spaces. After I screened and came to support SOF, I had the opportunity to engage with people from all across the DOD, IC, and government at large. I worked harder than I ever had before. I deployed several times to overseas locations. I met, worked with, and learned from some of the hardest working and highest caliber people on this planet. The experiences, perspectives, and insights I gained over these past almost five years could not be acquired anywhere else. I truly value these experiences, and know that who I am today—my goals, my perspective, and my drive, are a direct result of my time spent supporting the SOF community.

Q3:  What is your favorite interview question?

CB: ‘Tell me about a time when you failed, what you did to recover from it, and what you learned in the process.’

This question is my favorite because I think the way a person handles adversity is a great indicator of the type of teammate and contributor they will be.

AS:  My favorite interview question is “Why should we hire a Navy veteran for an Army focused position?”

AT:  “What is something that you are good at, that you never want to do again?” I think it’s important to be reflective, to understand where you’ve been, but also where you’re going. Just because you’ve spent a lot of time doing something doesn’t mean it’s who you are or who you have to be. This is one of the key areas of my transition success that I owe a great deal to THF. THF was instrumental in helping me reevaluate my assumptions about what I wanted to do in the civilian sector, what my motivators were, and what possible opportunities I should explore. I began my career looking for analytic jobs, since that was officially what I’d done in one shape or another for ten years. THF helped me realize that what really drove me was helping people solve hard problems, and this led me to start looking at more people focused jobs. I eventually decided that a customer success or client engagement style role would be the best initial fit for me, leading me to engage with and eventually be hired at Dataminr into their customer success team.

 

Q4:  THF Alumni: What similarities did you find between your role at Dataminr and your previous experience in the SOF community?

CB:  Above all else, the most impactful similarities are the dedication to mission and the focus on team success above individual accomplishments. The service-centric culture here at Dataminr is really motivating, and having such purpose-driven colleagues has made Dataminr an incredible place to land after transitioning out of the Navy.

AS:  Culture, focus and the service are a few of the standout similarities between the SOF community and Dataminr. Much like the SOF community, Dataminr is a large organization that operates as a small team. There is a family-like atmosphere that I quickly recognized and felt at home with the minute I came aboard.

In terms of focus, Dataminr is dedicated to their mission and, like a SOF element, communicates extremely well both internally and externally. At Dataminr, we share feedback and learn from each other in order to constantly improve our product and deliver excellent customer support. Everyone on the team is passionate about supporting our public sector customers which includes first responders. In many ways, for us veterans, our service to this country continues every day as employees of Dataminr.

AT:  The mutual trust between people. Everyone has each others’ backs, are willing to help out at a moment’s notice, and place mission and team above personal accolades. This was one of my primary criteria as I searched for a civilian job, and one of the primary reasons for choosing Dataminr. I have always preferred pulling as a team rather than alone and I am very happy to have joined a team that feels the same. The organization is also fairly flat with good working relationships and comradery across all levels. This is also a welcome, familiar dynamic.

Q5:  What makes the culture at your company special?

JL:  Dataminr is the first place I’ve worked where everyone genuinely wants to help each other. We are all marching in the same direction, and are bought into the mission we’re working towards.

JM:  The mission, our core values, and the people are what makes Dataminr’s culture standout.

CB:  There’s so much to love about Dataminr’s culture, but the singular focus on helping customers to ‘Know First and Act Faster’ really makes this place special. Everyone approaches their job with a sense of purpose and urgency, all with a focus on making the product and customer experience as good as it can be. Being a part of a purpose-focused, tech-centric, growing company is really exciting!

AS:  Dataminr places a premium on its people! Dataminr promotes a very positive working environment and encourages collaboration across all verticals. Employees are motivated to support each other to meet our goals from the company level down to the individual.

AT:  While I have only been on board a month, the biggest thing that stands out to me about Dataminr’s culture is the diversity of experience united behind a common cause. There is a large veteran community at Dataminr, and the ability to have immediate connection and common ground with my fellow vets has been fantastic especially as a new guy just starting off with the company. That being said, I have equally enjoyed engaging with all the people who do NOT come from a military background. It is so refreshing to work with people (for the first time in ten years) who have a completely different set of life experiences and perspectives from my own. And the fact that everyone works so well together united in their common motivation to support our customer as well as represent and advocate for our awesome product, is truly motivating. I am very happy to be a part of this team and to be able to lend my own experiences, skills, and perspectives to their fight.

 

 

Q6:  What question are you asked more than any other?

CB:  “How did you know about ‘fill-in-the-blank transition resource’???”

Military transition is a team sport, and it’s impossible for any one transitioning veteran to keep track of the tens of thousands of support programs and opportunities that are out there. During my time as a THF Fellow, I learned first-hand the value of keeping an open mind, sharing information and opportunities freely with others, and asking for help. Over the last 18+ months of transition preparation, I’ve been incredibly fortunate to benefit from and learn about a ton of transition resources out there – and I’m always glad to help others find a way to benefit from them all.

AS:  I’m still relatively new to Dataminr; however, one thing I’m frequently asked from my Dataminr colleagues is “How am I doing with the new position, and is there anything they can do to help set me up for success?”

AT:  In my case it’s more a question type rather than a specific question. I am constantly asked “in your experience…”, looking for my unique perspective gained through my time in the military. This is a new experience for me as I enter an entirely new field of work, being asked to weigh in based on a perspective not necessarily shared by my coworkers. It’s an asset that you, as a vet and a THF grad, bring to the table that you should absolutely lean into. One of the benefits of attending a THF cohort is that you learn how to articulate and express this as a value add to your new civilian company. You DO have a unique skill, that you spent years working on and developing. Don’t be afraid to maximize it.

Q7:  What drives you every day?

CB:  Having a sense of purpose beyond self and a team to share the experience with is what drives me. What I do and how I do it needs to be bigger than me for it to mean something, and I’m grateful that I have found that here at Dataminr.

AS:  I am driven each day by the dedication and positivity of my team!

AT:  Family first. I got out of the Navy because it was the right decision for my family and I’m happy that I have found a role with Dataminr that enables me to be home more with my family. I’m able to strike a better work/life balance and I have more emotional availability at the end of every day.

 

Q8:  What book do you find most valuable?

CB:  This is THE HARDEST question for me to answer because I read non-stop! I don’t know if I can narrow it down to one ‘most valuable’ of all time, so instead I’ll share one that’s been really valuable to me as I find my way as a leader and manager in the private sector: ‘What You Do Is Who You Are,’ by Ben Horowitz. Ben’s other book, ‘The Hard Thing About Hard Things’ is a VERY close second!

AS:  In terms of preparing for life outside the military, I found the book “Who: The A Method for Hiring” to be helpful. It helped me understand what companies are looking for in a new hire and how best to communicate that I was the team player that they were looking for.

AT:  This is a tough call but looking specifically at my transition journey, the book that had the single biggest impact on my mindset is, “Every Tool’s a Hammer” by Adam Savage. This may seem an odd choice but the book focuses on finding your creative passion, being true to yourself, and investing in the things that matter most and give you joy in life. As I weighed the security and familiarity of continuing to serve in the Navy versus moving into the unknown, prioritizing family and my own happiness, this book gave me an important push toward the latter. Whether it’s this book, or another that communicates this message to you, it’s important to know that there is more available to you than what you have been, or what you have done. Don’t be afraid to take a chance on yourself and work towards a future you actually want.

Q9:  What is a lesson you learned the hard way?

CB:  That I can do anything, but I can’t do everything. The excitement I have for all of the incredible opportunities out there for transitioning veterans led me to take on too much at once at times during my transition, which created stress rather than alleviating it. I learned that time spent focused on setting priorities and objectives trumps frantic effort invested in a ton of different things all at once. Don’t lose the ‘default yes’ mentality, but be prudent.

AS:  Preparation is paramount for any interview. The “fake it until you make it” technique is ill advised.

AT:  You may have to take an alternate route to achieve your goals. Don’t be too rigid in how you define “success.” When I began my transition journey, I had well-articulated ideas and plans for what success on the other side would look like. I had plans and back up plans. But for a long list of complicated and unrelated reasons, they all fell apart one after the other and I ended up out of the Navy and without work. I had to take a hard pause, start from the ground up, re-engage my network and THF, and most importantly, take a good hard look at what my goals were. Even though my big picture goals of getting out of the Navy and starting a new chapter in my life hadn’t changed, and at that point I was out of the Navy and therefore to a degree successful, I had to challenge many of my expectations about the type of job I was looking for or could actually land. Out of that pause and reassessment rose the opportunity with Dataminr and to this day I’m still a bit taken aback at what a good fit both the company culture and job description are for me. Even though I had used the product for a few years, it hadn’t been a company I had originally considered when I began my journey and I wasn’t sure the first phone call I had would lead anywhere. But only a few months later, I was onboarding and I couldn’t be happier. In short, always have a plan, but don’t be so locked on that you don’t hear opportunity when it knocks.

 

 

Q10:  What defines a leader?

JL:  A leader is someone who inspires others to dream more, do more, and be more.

JM:  A good leader does not require an advanced degree or an incredible amount of experience –– they require a people first mentality. A great leader is someone who has not only expertly adopted this mentality, but is also a master communicator. They are able to listen, process, and ask questions to drive meaningful conversations and limitless potential.

CB:  A leader is someone who drives action with clear intention, together with others, in support of a higher purpose.

AS:  I prescribe to the servant leadership mentality. I believe there must be a foundation of genuine trust within your team in order to be productive long term. A leader is an excellent listener, empathetic, and maintains an acute awareness of the internal and external factors that impact their team. A leader must also be persuasive but does so from a place of credibility and respect.

AT:  Honesty. Being honest with your people, calling a spade a spade, and not overindulging in the company kool-aid. Be passionate about what you do but also be real about your limitations, or the limitations of your organization. It’s easy to lead when the goings good, but it’s the tough times where good leaders truly shine. Towing the line of, “Yes, this sucks, but it’s what we have to do and we’re in this together” goes a lot further than trying to sugar-coat failed policy or bad direction.

The other side of this coin is trust. Trust your people and have their backs, even when they make mistakes or are in the wrong. This doesn’t mean to not be accountable or to not hold your people accountable. This means knowing that there will always be a crowd of people standing by to absolutely crush a person (in this case, your person) at the first misstep or screw up. It’s up to you to determine whether your person will have an ally in that crowd. It’s truly amazing what people will do for you, your team, and themselves if they know you have their back.

Q11:  What is your favorite quote?

JL:  ​​“Some men see things as they are and say, ‘why’; I dream things that never were and say, ‘why not’.” – J.F.K. (adopted from a character in a George Bernard Shaw play).

JM:  “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” – Gen Patton

CB:  “If you don’t know what you want, there’s no chance that you will get it.” Ben Horowitz, ‘What You Do Is Who You Are’

AS:  “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” -Theodore Roosevelt

AT:  It’s hard to pick just one, and I think my favorite quote changes as I move between phases of life. The one that’s motivated me in important ways lately has been, “That which cannot last, will end.” There’s two distinct ways that I approach this quote. The first is motivating myself through difficult and challenging times. Knowing that any transient, temporary problem or situation is not the “end” helps focus my energy, even if just to endure in the short run. Very little is forever and most things can change or end if need be. The second approach is to focus on investment. Viewing my life through the lens of what is permanent and what is not. The question, “What do I WANT to be permanent in my life?” helps focus my goals, determination, and investment. Choosing happiness over security, or family over material acquisition. My entire transition has been framed within this context. Making the decision to re-prioritize my life direction and then navigating the months or even years of work, change, and uncertainty that follow. It has been difficult, but so far it has been worth it.

 

THF Featured in Air Force Times

“While companies have their own programs for veterans and military spouses, there are also several organizations working to help veterans with post-service employment and education. FourBlock, Helping Our Heroes and the Honor Foundation (which works exclusively with former special operations forces personnel) offer training, resume help, career fairs and assessments and other key services to veterans and their spouses.

The Honor Foundation offers executive style cohort experiences focused on helping elite warriors transition to the corporate world. The three-phase program helps veterans find their passion, weaves in what they need for job interviews or graduate level study and then get real-world practice at networking events and company visits.

“‘We help them choose their next adventure,'” said Lindsay Cashin, vice president of people for the Honor Foundation.”

Read the full article HERE.

THF + Surefox North America 2022 Partnership

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release February 28, 2022

 

The Honor Foundation Partners with Surefox North America to Assist the Career Transition of U.S. Special Operators

Surefox North America to support our Nation’s warriors through The Honor Foundation

 

SAN DIEGO (Feb. 28, 2022) – The Honor Foundation (THF) is proud to announce an expanded partnership with Surefox North America, a security consulting firm founded in 2016 by combat veterans who saw an industry-wide need for the planning, skills, and support veterans could provide. The company blends military professionalism with its clients’ unique cultures to provide tailored security solutions with discretion, integrity, and professionalism.

The Surefox vision to be a company of choice for military veterans searching for a career and culture that values their skills and expertise aligns with the THF mission to support and serve our military community.

This partnership will help support the men and women of the Special Operations Forces (SOF) who participate in THF’s tailored transition program, which combines one-on-one executive coaching and industry mentoring, three months of class instruction, and access to a nationwide professional network.

“Surefox is proud to be a dedicated sponsor and, to partner with The Honor Foundation,” said Brian Sweigart, Chief Operating Officer, Surefox.  “After getting to know THF in 2021, we are beyond impressed by the work they do to support our transitioning military veterans, specifically the Special Operations community.  Their efforts to provide a meaningful transition platform to our veterans completely align with Surefox’s goals and values. We are incredibly excited about the partnership between our organizations coming up in 2022!”

“We are thrilled to be working alongside Josh, Brian, and the entire team at Surefox North America – a phenomenal organization that supports our nation’s veterans in a significant way,” said THF CEO Matt Stevens. “It’s an honor for The Honor Foundation to serve our Special Operations Forces in their transitions to civilian life and it’s humbling that Surefox sees the value of that mission. We’re grateful for their support and excited to grow our impact on the lives of transitioning Special Operators.”

To learn more about how The Honor Foundation supports the men and women of the U.S. Special Operations Forces community in the career transition after active-duty service, visit honor.org for more information.  

About The Honor Foundation

The Honor Foundation (THF) is a career transition program for U.S. Special Operations Forces that effectively translates their elite military service to the private sector and helps create the next generation of corporate and community leaders. It achieves this through a three-month program which provides tailored executive education, one-on-one coaching, and access to a nationwide professional network. This program was built by the desire to serve others with honor for life, so that their next mission is always clear and continues to impact the world. Every step is dedicated to preparing these outstanding men and women to continue to realize their maximum potential during and after their service career. The Honor Foundation has 1,300+ graduates to date and has campuses in San Diego, CA; Virginia Beach, VA; Camp Lejeune, NC; Fort Bragg, NC; and a virtual campus (THFv). The Navy SEAL Foundation is a Founding Partner of The Honor Foundation.

About Surefox North America

Surefox North America is a security consulting firm founded in 2016 by combat veterans who saw an industry-wide need for the planning, skills, and support veterans could provide. Our mission is to provide security solutions tailored to individual client needs with discretion, integrity, and professionalism. Our diverse team of professionals has built an inclusive community and culture that differentiates us from our competitors and has directly established Surefox’s personnel retention rate as one of the highest in the security industry.  Because of our tenured and skilled team, our clients receive the highest level of professionalism and attention they need to protect their most vulnerable assets.

 

For more information about this press release, please contact Kathy Leming, Sr. Director of Marketing & Communications at kathy@honor.org.

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The Honor Journal: Winter 2021

Read our 2021 Winter newsletter to see what THF has been up to these past few months! We’ve launched a campus at Ft. Bragg, completed our first-ever SOF for Swim event, graduated a THF record number of Fellows this fall, and much, much more.

Be sure to join our email list on honor.org/contact to receive the newsletter directly to your inbox. 

THF 2021 Winter Newsletter

2021 Swim for SOF

2021 Swim for SOF

On September 18, 2021, The Honor Foundation hosted its first Swim for SOF (Special Operation Forces) event in San Diego, CA to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of 9/11– a 3.3 mile swim from Coronado Island to the USS Midway with 2 tribute workouts to honor those we have lost.

Swim for SOF was transformed from vision into reality by THF Alumni and Race Director, Jason Goyanko, and consisted of 45 Swimmers dominated San Diego’s first-ever open water swim across the bay, in support of THF SOF veterans, with speeds much faster than predicted.

Thank you to the event’s Presenting Sponsor, Surefox, and other event sponsors — Fitbit, Apollo Management, JP Morgan & Chase, R3, Bubs Naturals, and GovX.

Thank you also to the USS Midway Museum; InterContinental San Diego; Maritime Support and Elite Maritime Services; to our Tribe of Volunteers; silent auction donors and Justin Melnick. We are grateful for your support.

We look forward to seeing all of you again next year!

Swim for SOF on 10News

THF’s Swim for SOF on ABC 10News!

The Honor Foundation’s Swim for SOF event on September 18 is a high-performance athletic challenge that will raise awareness and funds for transitioning members of the Special Operations Forces community.

This event is the first of its kind in San Diego and will feature a 3.3-mile open swim, push-ups, pull-ups, a ceremony at the USS Midway Museum and after-party at the Intercontinental San Diego.

Visit the link to view the full clip!

THF Featured on SOFcast Podcast

“Transition is a layered approach and it certainly depends on all the factors like your job, your deployments — things like that. Whatever you do, you have to make sure you have an offramp and not a cliff. You don’t want to come to the cliff and fall off. You want to walk down the ramp and have a smooth landing…” — Matt Stevens

Listen to THF CEO Matt Stevens, SEAL (ret.), and VP of Operations, Michael Halterman, Marine Raider (ret.), share their challenges of transitioning from the world of Special Operations to the civilian sector on the official USSOCOM podcast, SOFcast.

Click to listen to the full interview HERE.

The Honor Journal: Summer 2021

The first half of our 2021 has been off to a strong start! We’re growing our team, launching a new campus, creating new partnerships, planning fun events and collaborating more than ever before. Read what we’ve been up to in our THF June 2021 summer newsletter!

THF Summer Newsletter 2021_Digital

Matt Stevens Featured on the Everyday Coach Podcast

THF CEO Matt Stevens was recently a guest on the Everyday Coach Podcast, hosted by Harrison Bernstein, Founder of Soldiers to Sidelines.

 

 

Listen NOW:

Harrison is the Founder/Executive Director of Soldiers To Sidelines. The organization educates and certifies veterans and service members of every branch to become expert coaches. Then helps them earn coaching positions within their community.
Prior to his work with STS, Harrison has coached in the NFL with the Washington Redskins, Cleveland Browns, a football coach for High School and NCAA, an adjunct teacher of Exercise Science at George Washington University, and an entrepreneur in fitness/wellness/human performance.
Soldiers To Sidelines provides training and opportunities for military members to be excellent coaches in various sports so they will inspire, motivate, and encourage athletes.

Spotlight On STIHL

We’re excited to introduce another valued Employer Partner of The Honor Foundation and an Alumni who is now part of their family.

These are companies and organizations who have hired men and women from our program and/or who have generously given us their time, resources and connections in an effort to help build a stronger network for our Fellows after service — a community post community. 

 

 

Q1 What advice do you have for those who are experiencing transition?

Nate Chundrlek: Pursue what you are passionate about and do not allow doors to close on you. If doors are closed, breach them with the tools THF gives you throughout the process.

Ted Handler: Focus on introspection and commit to the time that it takes to figure out what really makes you tick – what makes you happy. Why did you enjoy working with the people you did? The mission? The culture? The people? Once you know this – your why – you can then seek out opportunities that are complimentary to your values, interests and strengths and then work doesn’t even seem like work! Additionally – don’t expect offers to appear when you are six months out from retirement…we are used to that in the military. Offers will come, but they come much closer to when you are getting out than will be comfortable. Finally, have confidence in your experiences and know you will not see any leadership challenges in the civilian or corporate world that you cannot draw an analogous example from your military experience. The situation is likely different but the leadership skills to navigate the challenge are certainly in your tool kit.

Q2 What experience shaped who you are?

NC:  Dig deeply into your soul and be honest as to what makes you happy. Embrace the cups of coffee with those outside your comfort zone and discover new things. Try to determine what you do not want to do and then narrow down on those things you would like to do.

TH: I think all our collective experiences shape who we are, but obviously some more than others. Ice hockey has always been a big part of my life and a number of coaches, teams, experiences in that realm definitely shaped me. Same is true for surfing and snowboarding and outdoor activities. Obviously, the military shaped who I am today as well, different leaders I worked both for and with, (both good and bad) as well as teammates. In particular, there were a number of teachers that shaped me as well. One in particular had a tremendous impact on my life and he just recently passed away. Never forget to let those that shaped you know about the positive impact they had on you. Take the time to just say thank you and let them know.

 

 

Q3 What is your favorite interview question?

NC:  What are the most important things you would like to see someone accomplish in the first 30, 60, 90, 365 days on the job. This lays out the expectations to you, on what you can expect to be doing during the on onboarding process. It will allow you to make goals to yourself and determine if you and the company are on the same page.

TH:  What do you think makes you qualified for this position? This question is actually much more complex than first glance. It opens the door to not only just talk about professional qualification, but you have an opportunity to talk about your own personal leadership philosophy and how you would apply it to the position and demonstrate a good fit for the organization such as common values etc.

Q4 What similarities did you find between your role at STIHL and your previous experience in the SOF community?

NC:  #1 thing is team work from the bottom up everyone is focused on the same goal

TH: People and places change but leadership challenges are everywhere, even in the greatest of organizations, but with the good ones, the desire to continuously improve exists. I find that to exist here at STIHL and in the SOF community. Better every day.

Q5 What makes the culture at your company special?

NC:  STIHL is the global leader in the Outdoor Power Equipment (OPE) market, and this brings a great sense of pride to every employee. We are also a privately held company, and this brings a sense closeness throughout the organization.

TH:  Long term outlook. People have the freedom to experiment, analyze, dialogue and deliberate about work because we are not concerned about “next quarters earnings numbers”. We are more focused on how can we best position ourselves to remain the market leader for the next ten, twenty, fifty years. The attitude improves and people have fun at work as a result.

 

Q6 What question are you asked more than any other?

NC: Can you help me get a job at STIHL? This is where Networking plays a big role in the civilian life. Getting to know people from various organizations who might be able to recommend you for an open position.

TH:  I had to think about that a bit – but because I work on a particular long-term project that will change the way in which we conduct many of our daily activities, I am frequently being asked “when”.

Q7 What drives you every day?

NC:  To be a part of a global organization with a humble beginning, which almost 100 years later is still growing. The pride in knowing we have the best brand of OPE in the world makes it enjoyable to say I am a part of it.

TH:  To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield in my quest to serve. Long story there…it’s my “why” developed while I was in THF cohort 12…hit me up for a cup of coffee and find out more…lol

Q8 What book do you find most valuable?

NC:  History books are my favorite. I think it is important to know where we came from. The good as well as the bad, so that we can remember the impactful things we did as well as the mistakes, so that they are not repeated. When we analyze the past, we can better understand where we are going.

TH:  Neuro-Ledarskap co-authored by my THF Coach, now friend and mentor Stefan Falk.

 

 

Q9 What is a lesson you learned the hard way?

NC:  Sometimes it’s best to keep quiet and listen to the surrounding conversation before injecting an opinion.

TH:  Some battles aren’t worth fighting. Lot’s to unpack there and again – to the THF fellows…hit me up for a cup of coffee – LOL.

Q10 What defines a leader?

NC:  A leader is only defined by the people who work for them.

TH:  Wow. There’s volumes on that one…but for me it comes down mostly to having a solid base of values and then the courage and discipline to stick to them – the exercise of being the example for the practice of integrity.

Q11 What is your favorite quote?

NC:  “Never tell people how do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity” – General George Patton.

TH:  I have a lot of favorite quotations, but based on having just thought about your last question, this one comes to mind: “Leadership is not about being in charge, Leadership is about taking care of those in your charge.” (Simon Sinek)

 

 

Q12 *STIHL specific: What unanticipated skills, talent, and/or competencies did you gain for employing Special Operators at your organization?
SOF Operators bring a confident can do attitude, critical thinking/questioning and an inquisitive, innovative, objective approach to solving business problems the same way they achieved mission success in the military.

 

THF + Q4 Raider Patch: “Transition: The Next Ridgeline”

The Honor Foundation is part of a quarterly series in the Raider Patch titled, Transition:  The Next Ridgeline, sharing takeaways and advice from the THF Alumni in the Raider community.

Our second feature in the Q4 2020 issue focused on “The Networking Power of LinkedIn ” with John Logan. Flip to page 17 to read his full article.

Thank you to the Marine Raider Association, one of our valued Community Partners, for this great opportunity to contribute to your publication each quarter.

 

Patch 4thQ20 print

Harry J. Leonhardt, Esq. Elected Chairman of the Board of THF in 2021

For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Kathy Leming
kathy@honor.org
661.755.6984

THE HONOR FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES NEW CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Harry J. Leonhardt, Esq. Elected Chairman of the Board of the Foundation Starting in 2021

January 21, 2021 – (San Diego, CA) The Honor Foundation [THF], a unique nonprofit transition institute created for transitioning members of the U.S. Special Operations Forces community has just announced that Harry Leonhardt will assume the role of the Chairman of THF’s Board of Directors, effective immediately. For the last six and a half years, THF has successfully developed and implemented a nationally recognized transition program for elite members of the Special Operations Forces [SOF] Enterprise, helping them to navigate the complicated career transformation from military to civilian life. It accomplishes this via an executive education-style curriculum that combines world class one-on-one executive coaching and industry mentoring, three months of intensive class instruction, and access to an elite nationwide professional network. Leonhardt, who has served as Chairman of the Nominating and Governance Committee of THF’s Board for the last two years, has been a long-time supporter of The Honor Foundation and other military causes.

Leonhardt brings an extensive legal and executive management background as well as a history of philanthropic contributions to his new role. He currently serves as Chief Legal Officer, Chief Compliance Officer & Corporate Secretary at Poseida Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company specializing in the next wave of cellular and gene therapies, including CAR-T. He received his B. Sc. degree from The University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and his Juris Doctorate from the USC School of Law.

Leonhardt is also a Patron and Sustaining Member of the Pacific Council on International Policy and is a member of the National Security Committee of that organization. He also serves as a member of the GTMO Task Force, whose mission is to monitor the GTMO proceedings to ensure compliance with the Military Commissions Act and to impact policy to assist in expediting and bringing greater visibility to the GTMO proceedings. He has served as a legal observer at Camp Justice in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba at the ongoing 9/11 terrorist trial of Khalid Shaikh Mohammad and five other high-value 9/11 detainees.

Mr. Leonhardt has been an avid supporter of The Honor Foundation for several years serving as a THF Ambassador, in fundraising activities and as an industry mentor to numerous THF Fellows.

“As incoming Chairman, I’m privileged to work with my fellow board members, advisors and the dedicated THF Staff to build on the tangible success, and expand the reach, of this compelling organization. I would like to thank J. Scott Adams, our outgoing Chairman, for his outstanding contributions and commitment over the past two years. I will continue to rely on Scott as he will remain an active member on the THF Board moving forward.

The transformational THF transition program, which has already benefited 900+ Alumni, provides Special Operations personnel from four branches of the armed services (Navy SEALs, Army Rangers/Green Berets, Marine Raiders/MARSOC and Air Force SOF) with a comprehensive set of tools, backed by world class coaching and networking, to translate their considerable skills, talents and expertise into fulfilling and impactful leadership positions in the civilian workforce. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve and support these American heroes who, along with their families, have sacrificed so much for our security and welfare. This is especially so during these unusually challenging times. We firmly believe that the very characteristics that distinguish them as elite members of the Special Operations Forces will serve to benefit our nation’s workforce immeasurably — from entry level to the board room — for generations to come.”

Leonhardt is assuming the role of Chairman of the Board at an exciting time for THF as the organization continues to steadily expand its scale and impact while maintaining a high-touch, high-value experience and curriculum. To date, over 1200 individuals and families have benefitted from THF, either through the full transition program or through specially tailored workshops, to assist those in the SOF community who are looking to jumpstart their own transition journey. 

Matt Stevens, CEO of The Honor Foundation, who also serves on the THF Board of Directors prior to his current position, is excited to welcome Leonhardt as Chairman.

“Having worked with Harry over the past several years on the THF Board, I can think of no one better to lead the organization into the next phase of growth.  He has a demonstrated history of passionate support for military and veterans causes and specifically for the Special Operations Community. He has been a complete professional in every regard, and persistent beyond measure to improve our position every single day.  I am looking forward to working closely with him to positively impact the lives of even more service members throughout their transition.”

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About The Honor Foundation

The Honor Foundation (THF) is a career transition program for the U.S. Special Operations Forces community that effectively translates their elite military service to the private sector and helps create the next generation of corporate and community leaders. It provides a clear process for professional development and a diverse ecosystem of world class support and technology, and a program built by the desire to serve others with honor for life so that their next mission is always clear and continues to impact the world. Every step is dedicated to preparing these outstanding men and women to continue to realize their maximum potential during and after their service career. The Honor Foundation has over 900 graduates to date and has three physical campuses in San Diego, CA, Virginia Beach, VA, Camp Lejeune, NC, and a virtual campus (THFv). The Navy SEAL Foundation is the Founding Partner of The Honor Foundation.

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THF Participates in Harvard Business School Case

This November, Harvard Business School published “The Honor Foundation: Accessing Special Operations Talent,” an extensive case study focusing on the THF organization and highlighting the unique skill sets of individuals from the Special Operations Forces community. Though not readily available to the public, it was reflective on the significance of integrating men and women from SOF into the workforce and the value they bring to the private sector, especially in times of crises.

“Amid a pandemic, executives are finally realizing the importance of bringing outsiders who are comfortable dealing with the unexpected onto their teams. As these crises wear on, the singular and eminently portable skills of our country’s highest-trained servicepeople are becoming more and more valuable…”

Read the summary article from Harvard Business Review, “Lessons on Leading Through Chaos from U.S. Special Operations,” for insights from several THF Alumni on how their knowledge gained from their SOF training and experiences greatly play a role in their career outside of the Teams.