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Swim for SOF 2022

Are you ready for the 2nd Annual THF Swim for SOF event?

The Honor Foundation is excited to announce September 17, 2022 as the date for the 2nd Annual Swim for SOF event in San Diego!

This charity swim across the Coronado Bay — from the beach near Hotel Del Coronado to Tidelands Park to the USS Midway — will be bigger and better than ever.

Participants of the swim will include THF Alumni: U.S. Special Operators who have completed The Honor Foundation Program and have transitioned into their next career after active duty service. These outstanding men and women are fundraising to help support future Fellows of the program as they begin their own journey in finding their next mission in life.

We are also welcoming First Responders to join, as well members of the San Diego community to unite in patriotism across the county.

Stay tuned for more information on registration and volunteer opportunities.

To learn about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Jessica Hunt at jessica@honor.org.

 

2022 Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor

 

Patriot Sponsor

 

Stars & Stripes Sponsor

 

Liberty Sponsor

 

Spotlight on 8×8

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.

Matt Herber, THF Alumnus, 8×8 Equity and Payroll Operations Lead
Jake Miller, THF Alumnus, 8×8 Sr. Manager, Internal Audit and Sox Compliance

Sam Wilson – CFO
Galen Takamura – Sr Project Manager, QTC Transformation
Natalie BonDurant – Investor Relations
Sydney Fox – Talent Acquisition
Mike Weiner – Director, Global Financial Services

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

Matt Herber (MH):  Be patient.  You are leaving a career where you are the SME and potentially entering an industry that you will not understand.  Give yourself time to get adjusted and to begin a new learning process.

Jake Miller (JM):  

  1. Relax. You’ve earned this transition. You are marketable and you will find your job, your career, your purpose. Allow yourself time and latitude to explore the quality of life you’ve been preparing for for all these years. It took you several years to learn, practice, and gain proficiency in your military career. You should expect a similar learning curve going through and past transition. 
  2. Have frequent and candid conversations with your spouse about your goals, preferences, values, etc. Transition can feel very lonely so we have to take advantage of our fellows and mentors as well. The THF coaches are incredible and can be an excellent sounding board for you.

Mike Weiner (MW):  The transition will be one of the most challenging things you’ve done to date. Leaving a tight-knit community, having to learn something new, the stress of a job hunt, financial uncertainty, and a lack of being understood can leave anyone apprehensive. Just as you would on any deployment or operation, keep moving forward to better your position. Reach out to anyone willing to talk, network, ask questions, and above all, set manageable expectations – you likely won’t land your dream job on the first go! 

Galen Takamura (GT):  We are fortunate to leverage incredible Veteran Support Organizations like THF, providing immediate access to support systems to expedite learning through mentorship, insights, and an expanded network. Do everything you can to get around others supportive of your goal to transition. Identify and seek out those who have what you want and inspire you to grow. Also, work towards bypassing the standard resume submission process by networking and building meaningful relationships to gain direct access to recruiters and hiring managers – this is how I was afforded an opportunity at 8×8. Finally, you will be highly successful and be excited about paying it forward, as so many have done ahead of us. 

It’s normal to be unsure of your choice and yourself as you venture into the unknown. What you think you want today may not be what you want a year from now, and that’s ok. Remain open-minded and enjoy the experience of exploration. Most importantly, if you’re married, ensure you are in constant communication with your spouse, as the transition is a family effort. 

Sam Wilson (SW):  Treat it like a mission.  It has an objective, intelligence, supplies, operations, etc. 

 

 

Q2  What experience shaped who you are?

MH:  Deployments allowed me to see different parts of the world and create a new perspective on what things I find important in life. It expanded my horizons and helped me grow as a person.  My emotional intelligence definitely benefited from an increase in empathy.

JM:  Developing my WHY, finding my PURPOSE, and listing my PREFERENCES. They were all very different than what I had in mind before THF. I came to realize that my purpose and preferences prior to THF were only aligned with my “status quo”. I had not considered anything other than contracting and working overseas because that was my comfort zone and what I’ve known for 22 years. After discovering my WHY and listing preferences I found that I wanted something very different. Focusing on happiness and quality of life after transition became my priority. It led me to pursue career options closer to home and even working from home became an option.

MW:  I can’t say there is just one. Our individual experiences and perspectives make us who we are today, big and small. If I were to generalize, I would say the military was the biggest contributor to who I am today.

Sydney Fox (SF):  As Mike said, I don’t think that there is one experience that I could pinpoint and say that made me who I am.  But generally speaking, I think the military has heavily influenced my life and who I am today.  Growing up as a military brat, I was raised to face hard things head-on and with a go-get ‘em attitude.  I was surrounded by a diverse group of people and learned how to find common ground with anyone I talked to.  Now as an adult, I am a military spouse.  Between being thousands of miles away from family, training, and a deployment – I have learned how to be adaptable, strong, and have a positive outlook even when things are really just… shitty.

GT:  Having my first kid affected how I viewed my priorities and changed my perspective on life. After missing too many milestone events of my daughter’s first three years, the desire to be present drove my decision to depart a profession I enjoyed and respected. However, I have no regrets, as I work in a fully remote capacity today and cherish every moment with my wife and kids. 

SW:   grew up in a military household and happily took an ROTC scholarship. The military made me successful, and in particular, being Ranger qualified.  Small unit tactics are the most significant leadership lab in the world. It teaches mission accomplishment, no excuses, being a good teammate, being a leader, and so much more.  Being a Ranger teaches the ability to suck it up, get it done, plan, communicate, and most of all, leading the way.  Lastly, being in the military taught me to learn through experience. All the lessons I’ve had post-Army have been lesions because I was willing and able to do an AAR.    

Natalie BonDurant (NB):  LIFE! Finding a lesson or opportunity for growth in the toughest of situations. 

Q3  What is your favorite interview question?

MH:  Tell me about yourself….and not reciting your résumé but talking about where you come from and who you are as a person.

MW:  Please tell me about the most challenging situation you’ve had to overcome, either professionally or personally. I also really like Galen’s and will steal that from now on.

SF:  What are you really good at, but never want to do anymore?

GT:  Tell me about a time you failed. I like this question because I have many failure stories to choose from. I can’t say I’ve never enjoyed failing, but I value the lessons learned and the character developed through adversity.

NB:   +1 to Galen (great minds!) I love this question because it also allows for a follow up “so what did you do next?/ how did you fix it?” It allows the interviewee to elaborate on how they problem solve. 

SW:  What was your favorite job? I want to see if the job we are interviewing for fits.

 

 

Q4  What similarities did you find between your role at 8×8 and your previous experience in the SOF community?

MH:  Max flex!  As with any mission, your day to day tasks or projects can quickly change due to unforeseen consequences of actions that might not have been yours.  You have to quickly adapt to the new situation, learn via drinking from the fire hose, and finish the job.

JM:  Teamwork and camaraderie are valued at 8×8. Your ideas and experiences are welcomed. The team room may be virtual but team members take care of each other.

Q5  What makes the culture at your company special?

MH:  8×8 emphasizes the importance of work/life balance and promotes it.  They have also demonstrated the desire for more SOF personnel at the company because they understand the potential.

JM:  Leaders and managers value their people.

MW:  We’ve built a small, tight-knit community of SOF veterans who support each other on a weekly, even daily basis. Instead of having to interact with hundreds of people, we’ve built a small network across the company of truly valuable employees who can get things done behind the scenes. It helps break down the bureaucracy and red tape while keeping a positive, small team-like atmosphere.

GT:  From an organizational perspective, it is clear from the top down that people come first. From a team perspective, I am impressed with the intelligence and capability of teammates, with everyone willing to go beyond their scope to support the collective whole.

NB:  I’ve seen several roles at 8×8 shaped around the expertise of the SOF Veteran community. With the help of organizations like THF and with the support of leaders like Sam, 8×8 has been able to translate the experiences and expertise of the SOF community to achieve various business goals.

Also, the community of SOF veterans already at 8×8 are some of the best people/coworkers I’ve worked with throughout my career, they’re continuing efforts to support one another, and the broader community is really awesome to watch and inspires others to get involved. 

Q6  What question are you asked more than any other?

MH:  From transitioning veterans, “What lessons did I learn?”  Let’s have a virtual cup of coffee to answer this one.  To chime in on the above, I agree with Sam.  You shouldn’t grab a certification if it doesn’t interest you or you won’t use it.  It’s extra work for you, so make sure you are learning something you want to learn.

JM:  “What are you going to do next?” This question can be annoying and frustrating when you don’t have the answer! But it’s also a great opportunity to work on your pitch, discuss your WHY, and speak out loud your ideas about your future. You get to hear how they sound out loud and get feedback from anyone who will listen.

MW:   Should I get my PMP or MBA? The most important thing you can put on your resume is real job experience to help your resume look normal. Yes, certifications help, but they are not as good as experience (this is my opinion, so do what you think is best for you and your family!).

GT:  Same as Mike, so I’ll answer his question. Yes, get your PMP (project management certification) to help bridge the gap between military jargon and civilian terminology. It’s essential to effectively communicate your military accomplishments to business terminology during the interview process. Furthermore, the PMP will provide the institutional understanding of scope, schedule, and budget, providing value in any business environment. In addition to the PMP, I’d also recommend an Agile-based certification if interested in tech and Lean Six Sigma to build a solid foundation in continuous improvement and operational excellence. 

SW:   I think if project management interests you, yes, if not no.  Don’t do something because someone tells you to do it, do it because you want to.

Q7  What drives you every day?

MH:  Wanting to provide for my family while being present in their lives.

JM:  My values. Loyalty, Family, and Fun. Once I established and now live my own values, that drive grew and the desire to achieve my purpose became obtainable.

MW:  Getting to come to work and hang out with people that I actually enjoy. While my job may not be the most fun and is full of angry customers or sales reps, my small teams and strong mentors are the reason I don’t throw my computer in the blender.

SF:  Meeting new people and getting to learn new things.  My favorite part of my job is interacting with new hires and other people in the company that I don’t work with regularly.  Everybody has a story and some wisdom to share; I love making connections and learning from others.

GT:  The need to get sh*t done. I’m energized by the desire to work with proactive teams to address and solve challenging systemic issues.

NB:  The fact that no one day is the same, priorities shift, and you’re not always sure what to expect, but working with an incredible team of people makes anything possible. 

SW:  My team!

Q8  What book do you find most valuable?

MH:  I’m not a big reader.  However, I did enjoy Atomic Habits by: James Clear

JM:  The Filthy Thirteen by Jake McNiece. Not necessarily a book on leadership but it was for me for better or worse.

MW:   Colin Powell – It Worked For Me: In Life and Leadership

GT:  This changes depending on what’s going on in my life. I read “Measure What Matter” by John Doerr in my transition. It was inspiring to learn how the most significant tech companies prioritize measurable goals, nested with higher, to advance the organization holistically. 

SW:  The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle or Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown.  Culture Code is the best book on building teams and Boys in the Boat is the best book on teamwork.  Business is a team sport.

 

Q9  What is a lesson you learned the hard way?

MH:  Contrary to the many false statements made by SOF communities about how “easily” you will get a job upon separation from service, I learned that finding a good job was very difficult and time consuming.  After separation, it took me 6 months to land my first job.

MW:  You can’t talk like you’re in the military in corporate meeting settings…

GT:  Break down silos without breaking glass. Relationships are essential, and not all glass is fixable. As Mike said, there is a necessary shift in tact and approach from military to civilian environments.

SW:  If they don’t ask, they don’t want to know your opinion.

Q10  What defines a leader?

MH:  Someone who will lead with humility and integrity.  They will make decisions that are for the greater good versus ones that could be more beneficial for the few.

JM:  How they take care of their employees and quality of leaders they themselves produce.

MW:  This is based entirely on my opinion. For me, their ability to care for the well being of their team.

SF:  Someone who cares about their team members and their success.

GT:  The ability to influence others to row in the same direction and in unison to achieve challenging goals. All while keeping in mind what Mike and Sydney said above. 

NB:   Someone who trusts their team to make decisions and who communicates often, and as transparently as possible.

Q11  What is your favorite quote?

MH:  “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” – Albert Einstein

JM:  “Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them, you are a mile away from them and you have their shoes.” – Jack Handey

MW:  “Take care of your people, and your people will take care of you.”

SW:  What the F***?!?; Onward; 

“It is not the critic who counts, not the one who points out how the strong man stumbled or how the doer of deeds might have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with sweat and dust and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, if he wins, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

SF:  “Work smarter, not harder.”

GT:  “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

NB:  “Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” – George Bernard Shaw

 

 

Q12 (8×8 specific):  What unanticipated skills, talent, and/or competencies did you gain for employing Special Operators at your organization?

SW:  Special Operators bring unique and challenging-to-find skills into the business world. One truism of the business world seems to be: that if you wait for all the information, you will be last. The best business leaders deal with imperfect information and yet still move solutions forward. Special Operators can collect a mosaic of data, form an opinion, and then move forward. They are then willing to adjust as new evidence becomes available, demonstrating the flexibility it takes to be successful in an ever-changing business environment. They have a demonstrated record of success both in the military, passing both challenging schools with high standards and real-world actions. They work exceptionally well at solving complex problems under stressful conditions. In the business world, this may mean a tight deadline, demanding customer, or technology setback. These challenges do not stop from progressing forward. Special Operators generally have solid 360 leadership. They know when to step up and when to follow – they work well with peers. They have very high levels of integrity. When they say it will get done to a high standard, they mean it both in terms of delivering on time and with attention to detail. Lastly, there is an intangible that Special Operators bring to the table: grit. Sometimes in the business world, things do not go as planned. An individual is willing to continue with a focus on the project’s objectives. They use setbacks as learning moments and rally the organization to do its best.

 

THF Launches Program in Eglin!

On Wednesday, August 24, The Honor Foundation officially launched our presence in Eglin to serve the transitioning Special Operators of the Eglin Air Force Base. With the help of our valued partner, Wounded Warrior Project, the opening of our fifth physical location became a reality — an adventure to expand our reach to all members of the Special Operations Enterprise in the area.

Thank you to all those who attended this monumental event:  Kevin Rasch of Wounded Warrior Project; Trisha, Angela and Ashley of the Niceville/Valparasio Chamber of Commerce; Lacy Cole of the Care Coalition; John and Becky Darby of VFW Post 12204; THF Alumni; and all honored guests who were part of today and the establishment of THF Eglin. We could not have done this without you and we look forward to serving thousands of transitioning special operators in the years to come!

And a special shout out to 3rd Planet Brewing for hosting our celebration!

 

Wounded Warrior Project Partners with THF for 2022

The Honor Foundation is thrilled to once again be named as community partner grant recipient of the Wounded Warrior Project to support the transitioning members of the Special Operations Forces community. This partnership plays a monumental role in the launch of our THF Eglin and THF Tampa Campuses this fall. 

“Wounded Warrior Project understands the needs of wounded veterans, service members, caregivers, and military families are growing, and that no single organization can meet these challenges alone,” said WWP CEO Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Michael Linnington. “By working together with others, we can create a truly integrated and collaborative ecosystem of support, ensuring the military and veteran community is able to thrive long term.”

Thank you Wounded Warrior Project for being an advocate of The Honor Foundation and our commitment to “serve others with honor, for life, so their next mission is clear and continues to impact the world.” We will go #furthertogether by combining our efforts to help military veterans succeed in their journey after active duty service.

Read the full list of 2022 community partner grant recipients 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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Spotlight on Greensea

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?

Peter Kerson (PK): You can leave the military on your own timeline. If you’re not ready, it’s OKAY to stay a little longer. I extended by a year, which allowed me to do a six month SkillBridge internship at Greensea, setting me up for a full time position.

Luis Mejia (LM): Trust in the process as each step will support the next. Being scared of transitioning out of the military is natural and expected, but you must consider that the accomplishments that you achieved in the military are equally as achievable within the civilian sector. Do not fear the change, embrace it and have fun with it.

Q2 What experience shaped who you are?

PK: All of them! But picking work and communities where I was surrounded by people who I admired was the most important. That way, THOSE are your influences, helping shape you.

LM: The experience of being in the military and Special Operations helped shape who I am today as it laid the foundation for my personal and professional growth.

 

 

Q3 What is your favorite interview question?

PK: As an interviewee: What do you love about working here? What is the company struggling with? As an interviewer: What do you see as the most important qualities for someone joining a new team?

LM: My favorite interview question is: “Are you ok with your boss being a civilian, can you handle this?” Well of course, being in Special Operations I have worked with all kinds of individuals, the fact that you’re not in the military makes me want to work for you more.

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

PK: It’s still all about creatively solving hard problems, taking care of the team, and delivering.

LM: Uniquely, I work hand in hand with all members of the SOF community as the PM to SOF Technologies therefore it seems as if nothing has changed. My customers are goal oriented people that want to be the best. I speak operator to the operator and translate that to engineers in order to give the end user what they want; they way that they need it.

 

 

Q5 What makes the culture at your company special?

PK: We’re very collaborative, and we focus on solutions: getting the customer what they need to be successful.

LM: The culture at Greensea, places the customer first. There is no cloak and dagger game that the company places over our products. If the operator is going to use the equipment, then they should tell us what he wants out of it and it should exceed his expectations. Greensea uses me as a connecter to active duty SOF members, therefore their culture is dynamic which makes it a pleasure to work here.

Q6 What question are you asked more than any other?

LM: The question I get asked nearly daily is, do I miss it? Generally, I reply with “of course I miss it, but I miss the people more.” In my role at Greensea I still get to connect with the same type “A” personalities that I retired from. This has made my transition so much easier; I love working with people that want to move the ball, regardless of the obstacle in front of them.

 

 

Q7 What drives you every day?

PK: Working with smart people to solve hard problems that matter. I figured that plan out during THF, when we were trying to identify our ideal job. This felt too broad at the time, but actually, it’s been a really good guide for me. I KNOW when something meets these criteria.

LM: The unique thing that drives me every day is that I still get to support the people that defend our freedom day in and day out. Nothing is better than helping make the operators’ jobs easier.

Q8 What unanticipated skills, talent, and/or competencies did you gain for employing Special Operators at your organization?

Greensea: We didn’t anticipate how well our THF hires would fit into our corporate culture which is one of open collaboration. We pride ourselves on being able to work together to remove blockages that might keep us from doing great work that meets our customer expectations. Both Pete and Luis jumped in ready to work and quickly adapted to our culture. It’s a great fit for all of us.

 

 

Q9 What book do you find most valuable?

PK: The Anatomy of Peace and Leadership and Self Deception (they’re by the same people)

LM: Amongst the many books out there, I find myself repeatedly immersed in one book, which is the Holy Bible. Where else can you find stories, trials, and tribulations and how they were overcome. Numerous life lessons can be taken from scripture, the answers you want in life are in every chapter.

Q10 What is a lesson you learned the hard way?

PK: Ask for help! Any time I’m banging my head against a wall, or struggling to get something done, if I just ask for help, there’s someone who knows the answer, or can help me get unstuck.

LM: A lesson that I learned the hard way was that the civilian populace is not as responsive as the military in terms of customer to service provider. Everything is a lot slower and service providers do not seem as eager to push the limits as they work for the clock.

 

 

Q11 What defines a leader?

PK: Someone who can facilitate building a shared vision and a team, and then remove obstacles on the path to victory.

LM: A leader is someone who helps, mentors, and shapes others so that everyone can be better. A leader places his personal agenda to the side for the team. Without a team you can have no leader. Leaders are supposed to retain outside criticism but disseminate outside praise while still working to be better.

 

 

Q12 What is your favorite quote?

PK: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” This is especially true these days, but any time you ask, there’s usually something happening under the surface that you’re not aware of.

LM: Something must be said about an old man in a profession where people die young…

 

 

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.

Event Recap: The Next Course – Tampa

PRESS RELEASE

25 March 2021

The Honor Foundation, along with the Global SOF Foundation, Gathered Tampa Bay Business Leaders and U.S. Special Operators for Unique Networking Event 

Wednesday, March 17, 2021Tampa Bay, FL — The Honor Foundation (THF), a unique transition institute that serves the U.S. Special Operations community, hosted an exclusive networking event, The Next Course, with Event Sponsor Metis Solutions – A PAE Company, to connect members of the U.S. Special Operations community with business executives in Tampa. The event, held on St. Patrick’s Day at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, wrapped up the Global SOF Symposium and offered an opportunity for attendees to mingle over food and wine pairings and a silent auction in support of a good cause. 

The event kicked off numerous appetizer and cocktail stations, live music from Kaitlyn + Zach Duo, and a welcome from THF CEO Matt Stevens who introduced the special guest of the evening, RADM Mitch Bradley, Commanding Officer at Special Operations Command Central. 

Touching on how critical the Special Operations Forces is to the country, RADM Bradley spoke about leadership, the balance of risk to force versus risk to mission, and how the business and military communities symbiotically support the economic engine of our great nation.

“The SOF community provides a unique proving ground that tests the character and competency of its members; those with the strongest character and the highest competency rise through the ranks to become SOF leaders. Standing before many of you today who have made that journey is at the same time an honor and humbling. I wish you all the success and happiness that is your new mission as you pursue new challenges in the private sector. For all the reasons I described today, I know that this group is uniquely equipped to realize those goals. In short, it is good business for the business folks in the room to hire transitioning members of the SOF community.”

Rhett Jeppson, Director of External Military and Veterans Affairs at JP Morgan Chase & Co, followed with words of encouragement to the transitioning individuals in attendance and emphasized why The Honor Foundation is a veteran program of choice for JP Morgan to prepare transitioning military for success in the private sector.

The Next Course welcomed attendees of the GSOF Symposium as well as Tampa businesses and military supporters for an evening of networking and discussing career transition. Several THF Alumni were in attendance to share their experience of the program with potential future Fellows who are planning for their end of service. A silent auction with items including a limited edition bottle of Horse Soldier bourbon, a signed Tampa Bay Lightning jersey, and a custom, one-of-kind Blast Box from Valhalla’s Forge. 

Proceeds from the event benefited The Honor Foundation’s program to help veterans transition out of uniform and apply their skills, work ethic, and leadership to the private sector. 

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For more information about this press release, please contact Kathy Leming at kathy@honor.org

About The Honor Foundation

The Honor Foundation (THF) has developed a world-class transition institute for the U.S. Special Operations Forces community that, through a three-month program, 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. We do this by providing the tools that maximize our fellows’ potential and prepares them to succeed on their own. The Honor Foundation has campuses in San Diego, CA, Virginia Beach, VA, Camp Lejeune, NC (serving the Marine Raider community), and a virtual campus. The Navy SEAL Foundation is a Founding Partner of The Honor Foundation.

 

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.

 

The Honor Journal: Winter 2020

We’ve been busy these past few months! Read the December 2020 edition of The Honor Journal to see what we’ve been up to. From graduating the largest number of Fellows this year to our numerous Fall fundraisers to welcoming new THF Team members, this issue shares all the happenings from the last half of 2020.

THF_December 2020_Newsletter

Wounded Warrior Project Partners with THF in 2021

WASHINGTON, Dec. 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) expanded partnerships to include 12 new and existing veteran and military service organizations to help meet the needs of our nation’s wounded, ill, and injured veterans and their families. WWP provided the following mission delivery partners more than $2.3 million in grants to expand the impact of WWP’s existing efforts and to fill gaps in programs and services.

These grants will support a wide range of services for wounded, ill, and injured veterans and service members, including connecting veterans with volunteer opportunities in their communities, programs for military children, services for special operations forces, resources and funding to combat food insecurity and increase veteran farming opportunities, and much more.

The organizations include:

“The military and veteran community organizations that we work with help us fill critical gaps in care, ensuring that America’s injured veterans and their families have access to the resources they need to thrive,” said WWP CEO Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Mike Linnington. “We’re proud to support these amazing organizations and the diverse spectrum of services and programs they provide. Through these grants we are strengthening the communities where these warriors, and their families, work and live.”

Since 2012, WWP has granted more than $271 million to 192 veteran and military service organizations. Learn more about WWP’s community partnerships.

 

About Wounded Warrior Project
Since 2003, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) has been meeting the growing needs of warriors, their families, and caregivers — helping them achieve their highest ambition. Learn more.

SOURCE Wounded Warrior Project

For further information: Mattison Brooks — Communications Specialist mbrooks@woundedwarriorproject.org, 202.969.1120

RECAP: THF “A Toast to Veterans” Virtual Live Stream Event

PRESS RELEASE

12 November 2020

The Honor Foundation Gathered Senior Military Leaders, Medal of Honor Recipients, Simon Sinek, for Nationwide Tribute to Veterans

Wednesday, November 11, 2020 – The Honor Foundation (THF), a unique transition institute that serves the U.S. Special Operations community, hosted a nationwide live virtual event, A Toast to Veterans, with Presenting Sponsor Morgan Stanley, in celebration of all U.S. Veterans on Veterans Day. The event offered an opportunity for our country to unite in patriotism and in appreciation of the service of all Veterans.

The event kicked off with a special rendition of “Old Glory” by Evangelo Morris and featured a range of senior military officials, Medal of Honor recipients, a bestselling author, THF leadership and alumni to provide remarks to our nation’s veterans. Distinguished speakers included ADM William McRaven (USN, RET), LTG Mike Nagata (USA, RET), Lt Gen Tom Trask (USAF, RET), MajGen Frank Donovan (USMC), Simon Sinek, Optimist and bestselling author, Medal of Honor recipients Britt Slabinski and Florent Groberg, The Honor Foundation CEO, Matt Stevens, and Navy SEAL Foundation CEO, Robin King.

The virtual live stream celebrated the extraordinary men and women who have given and continue to give their lives in service of our country. It was an evening filled with patriotism, inspiration and heartfelt remarks. Speakers described a warrior’s path from joining the military, to active duty experiences, transitioning out of the military and the value of veterans to our country and society post-uniform. The program closed with notable groups such as the LAPD and Boston Bruins paying tribute to all veterans across the country.

Vince Lumia, Head of Field Management for Morgan Stanley, the Presenting Sponsor of the virtual event, shared his tribute during the program.

“We proudly recognize the service of our military veterans, reservists and those on active duty,” said Lumia. “It’s been a privilege to partner with The Honor Foundation which put together a phenomenal program featuring leaders from our military branches to discuss their careers, the lives of veterans, their importance to our society, and the challenges faced while transitioning to a civilian life and potential solutions.”

Matt Stevens, CEO of The Honor Foundation, added: “As a Veteran led organization and a Veteran myself, The Honor Foundation wanted to pay tribute to our nation’s service members with this unique virtual event featuring esteemed speakers, guests and our Alumni. With the support of our Presenting Sponsor, Morgan Stanley, all the supporting sponsors and everyone who had purchased tickets and donated, we are  proud of its inaugural event and look forward to another one next year.

The mission of THF is to help transitioning members of the Special Operations Forces community prepare for their next career after service. We are grateful for the partnerships and continued support of the Navy SEAL foundation, our Founding Partner, PayPal, Wounded Warrior Project, Carrington Charitable Foundation, our donors and all THF Tribes who provide us the opportunity to continue impacting the lives of our nation’s veterans.”

Proceeds from the event benefitted The Honor Foundation’s program to help veterans transition out of uniform and apply their skills, work ethic and leadership to the private sector.

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For more information about this press release, please contact Kathy Leming at kathy@honor.org.

 

 

About The Honor Foundation

The Honor Foundation (THF) has developed a world-class transition institute for the U.S. Special Operations Forces community that, through a three-month program, 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. We do this by providing the tools that maximize our fellows’ potential and prepares them to succeed on their own. The Honor Foundation has campuses in San Diego, CA, Virginia Beach, VA, Camp Lejeune, NC (serving the Marine Raider community), and a virtual campus. The Navy SEAL Foundation is a Founding Fartner of The Honor Foundation.

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THF Mentioned in Military Times

“It’s very tribal and team-oriented,” said Matt Stevens, a former SEAL and CEO of The Honor Foundation. “A lot of times people are really tied into what they did. It becomes everything about them. And stepping away from that to kind of figure out where you’re going to fit in, what your purpose on the planet is because all of the sudden you have choices, is daunting.”

Read the full article in Military Times by visiting this link.

If you are a member of the Special Operations Forces community, please take part in the SOF for Life Survey from our valued partner, Global SOF Foundation. 

 

THF + Q3 Raider Patch: “Transition: The Next Ridgeline”

The Honor Foundation is excited to be 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. The first feature in the Q3 issue focused on “Networking Virtually” with Jason Hadaway. Flip to page 22 to read his full article.

Another THF Alumni, Garret Harrell, is also profiled in this issue. Turn to page 29 to learn more about his transition experience, resources that he found useful, advice to future transitioning Raiders, and what he does today.

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 3rdQ20 148

THF Veteran’s Day Tribute Workout

Roughly 2,500 Special Operators transition out of service annually. Often underutilized in the private sector of business and entrepreneurship, our programs allow the industry to effectively recruit and deploy this talent pool. The Honor Foundation, a career transition institute for U.S. Special Operations Forces, exists to serve these men and women through their transition, and assist in finding a purpose-filled and mission-driven career post their unique military service.

Please join The Honor Foundation and Crossfit for a fun workout to pay tribute to all U.S. Veteran’s. This event can be done virtually or at your local Crossfit gym.

Workout details will be posted the day of the event.

Join the workout and support THF by visiting this link!

         

 

THF Featured in Ranch & Coast

The Honor Foundation was recently featured in the October 2020 issue of Ranch & Coast magazine in San Diego. The article includes THF Founder Joe Musselman, VP of Programs Joe Lara, VP of People Tori Campbell and THF Alumni John Goodson.

Read the full article and publication here.

First Page
Page 2

 

THF Featured in San Diego Veterans Magazine

Flip to pages 38-39 in the July issue of San Diego Veterans Magazine for our mention in “Military to Private Sector Transitions:  Lessons from The Honor Foundation” written by THF Coach Paul Falcone.

San Diego Veterans Magazine July 2020 LR

THF on The Victory Podcast

Life. Leadership. Journey. Join Jacob Werksman, host of The Victory Podcast, for an hour of storytelling and reflection with THF CEO Matt Stevens. 

Listen to Matt’s interview (Episode 18) by visiting the link below!

https://www.victory-podcast.com/episodes