Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Spisso's, Character and Rangers

Last week I interviewed Lona and JB Spisso.  JB is a retired US Army Sergeant Major with extensive experience in the Ranger Regiment.  Lona served both enlisted and as an officer on active duty.  Both have multiple combat deployments.  Together they run a small business, Elite Leadership Training.  The interview is fascinating, and they focus on character development and leadership training for professional and collegiate athletic teams, corporations, law enforcement and individuals.  A highlight of their success is work they did with a Stanley Cup winning hockey team (video link).

In working with individuals who have reached the pinnacle of their careers, such as a professional athlete, JB emphasizes to them that ability may be what got them to that level, but character is what keeps them at that level.  Character development is a crucial component of success in the Spisso world.  It must start early and there must be focus on character as a defining factor in success.

Pro athletes possess the best physical abilities in their fields.  Like army Rangers, they are the best warriors.  Like Rangers however they don't possess the best natural diplomatic skills.  These skills must be developed, and coupled with strong character help spell out success.

When I asked him for advice for new veterans, JB emphasized that the veteran needs to find what you love to do and be motivated!  For more great advice from the Spisso's, listen to the show.  For more information, contact JB and Lona here.

My conversation with JB got me to reflecting on my service in the 1st Ranger Battalion.  When you're a Ranger, and you serve for a period of time with other Rangers, you get spoiled.  You think everyone else is like you, because there - everyone else is!  Everyone is pulling the same direction, with the same mission, and we all have each others' backs.  Then you leave the military, go back home and all of a sudden, not only are you not around other Rangers, now no one else is like you.  That transition is as sudden and can be as traumatic as taking a fish out of water and landing him on the shoreline.

When the Civil War ended, war veterans started walking home.  For many of them it was a very long hike.  This long walk home with other war veterans allowed them to talk, to process, to decompress.  In today's world a veteran can go from battlefield to hometown in days, if not hours.  GallantFew can help provide a version of that long walk home by matching a veteran with another veteran as a mentor in their hometown.  Our focus presently is on veterans of the 75th Ranger Regiment and Ranger Instructors from the Ranger Training Brigade - but we will make every possible effort to help any honorably discharged veteran that seeks a mentor to help them in their transition home.  For more information, please visit our website.

First Saturdays has begun.  We didn't get the turnout we hoped for this month but it's a start.  We are moving the chow linkup time back an hour, to 0900 hours to allow those of you needing beauty rest (and if you're a Ranger you need a lot of it) or those of you who hit the gym early on Saturday.  Check here to see if there is a First Saturday in your neighborhood - and if there isn't one, start one!

GallantFew is also conducting a survey to help identify needs for transitioning wounded warriors.  Check this site for a quick survey and if you processed through a Warrior in Transition Program, please help us collect important information by completing the survey.

We need your help as we expand our efforts.  We need mentors and we need donations.  Thank you in advance for helping us!

Finally, turn in to our show Thursday at 6pm CST, or download it from iTunes.  This week's guest is Ranger veteran and actor Tim Abell.  A former Ranger with the 75th Ranger Regiment, Tim Abell is now an actor and producer.  He currently hosts "GRATEFUL NATION", a show celebrating and thanking our warriors with incredible hunting trips.  A tireless supporter of our Troops and veterans, Tim acted in "WE WERE SOLDIERS" and was one of DB Sweeney's technical advisors on "GARDENS OF STONE".

RLTW  Karl

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