Friday, April 22, 2011

Combat to Corporate

Yesterday on GallantFew's The New American Veteran internet radio show, I interviewed Ranger veteran and author Chad Storlie.  Chad said: "Despite service to their country, military veterans face an unemployment rate 20 percent above the overall U.S. figure. There is no question that the military-to-civilian transition is difficult, especially when it comes to entering the workforce. Happily, vets can use military experience and training to establish, improve, and propel their civilian careers.  Combat Leader to Corporate Leader: 20 Lessons to Advance Your Civilian Career outlines 20 lessons describing how veterans can apply their universal military training to succeed and excel in the business world. Combat Leader to Corporate Leader teaches Army, Navy, Marine, and Air Force veterans and non-military professionals how to apply successfully the skills that have made the U.S. military successful."

The interview is quite interesting, and we had a surprise caller towards the last 15 minutes of the show when CSM Jeff Mellinger called in to discuss some of the issues he has seen with veterans applying for government positions.  Please listen to the interview here.  Order a copy of Chad's book here, and visit his website here - there is a great deal of information available.  Chad also is an editorial writer for

A quick report on the T10RR project started by the US Army Rangers LinkedIn networking group.  We have identified key Rangers at numerous defense contractors and are working to establish a referral process for any Ranger leaving active duty that desires to work for one of them.  If you are a Ranger interested in participating in the program, sign in to LinkedIn and search for the group US Army Rangers.  There are several Ranger groups out there, so make sure you get the correct one.  It is a closed group, you will have to send the administrator a message describing your Ranger qualifications in order to gain access.  Currently there are 895 Rangers participating in this group.  If you have difficulties finding us, email me.

We continue to seek Ranger veterans, now successful in their post-military careers to buddy up and be a mentor to a Ranger just now leaving active duty.  We ask you to be a mentor and to introduce the new veteran to the ways of civilian life.  For more information go to GallantFew's website and enroll.  If you are (or know a) Ranger leaving active duty, direct them to the website and tell them to sign up.

Congratulations to this year's Best Rangers MSG Turk and SGM Zajkowski, both from USASOC!

GallantFew will soon be officially announcing our first ever fund-raising campaign.  As a nonprofit dedicated to matching Ranger veterans leaving active duty with Ranger veteran mentors who are now successful in their post-military careers, we have costs associated with running a quality operation.  We have a goal of raising $111,111 by 11/11/11, Veterans Day.  Please help us by making a tax deductible donation!

RLTW and Happy Easter.  

Executive Director, GallantFew, Inc.

GallantFew, Inc is a 501c3 nonprofit, EIN 27-1779772

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Last week on The New American Veteran I interviewed Ranger veteran Charles DeRosa.  Charles is a Principal Engineer and BAE Systems and is the spark for a program that aims to identify a Ranger veteran at large defense contractors and leverage that contact into job openings and opportunities for other Ranger veterans.  The program is called Top 10 Ranger Referral, or T10RR for short.  Charles is a great example of how one person - YOU - can make a difference.

Wounded USMC veteran and veteran advocate's suicide has many reeling.  Article here.  "We're ... efficient at making warriors ... but ... impotent at making them civilians."  Two other articles on Clay here and here.  Clay Hunt, RIP, you're back with your brothers now.

Oregon University program for veterans.  Article here.

Healers and Heroes - a New Jersey program just launched.

Good article on transition from battlefield to workforce.  "Over 27% of veterans aged 20-24 were unemployed".

Resiliency article, quote from COL Sean Jenkins, a 101st Brigade Commander.  Jenkins and I served together in 1/75.

Ranger Rendezvous 2011 website released here.

Gary Sinise PSA for veterans.

Apologies for the bullet entries on this blog.  Perhaps soon I'll learn to manage my time better!



Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ranger Mike Schlitz on The Ranger Creed

SFC (ret) Mike Schlitz posted this on facebook today.  Mandatory reading for Rangers and non-Rangers alike.


The Ranger Creed means so much too so many people. The funny part is you could ask each of them what it means and you’ll get a different answer each time. For being such a short and direct Creed it really hits people differently. I was a young SGT serving in a Long Range Surveillance Detachment (LRSD) responsible for recruiting new members of the unit. We ran a small selection program to ensure high quality Soldiers would be accepted. One of the things I made the candidates do is learn the Ranger Creed. Notice I did not say memorize the Ranger Creed. There is a big difference between the two. When I came to test their progress one of the Soldiers had not even attempted to learn it. He basically stated that he had been told to memorize it several times in the past and since he wasn’t in the 75th Ranger Regiment didn’t see the point. I wanted to lose my cool right there and just scuff him up, but realized this would do no good. So I sat him down and went line by line of Creed showing how it related to everything we do both at work and in our private lives. The next day he came in and recited the whole Ranger Creed. I truly believe if you live and embody the Ranger Creed you can’t go wrong in life.

So now we fast forward many years down the road and now I’m a medically retired Sergeant First Class (SFC) with 14 years’ service. I just spent the weekend watching the 2011 Best Ranger Competition where 2-man Ranger teams compete against each to prove who is better. It’s a grueling 3 day 60 hour event with little food and rest. These Rangers truly give it their all and if they don’t win get very little recognition. As I watched these Rangers compete it made me think back to embodying the Ranger Creed.  So here is the Ranger Creed and how it affects my life today.


Recognizing that I volunteered as a Ranger, fully knowing the hazards of my chosen profession, I did volunteer for the US Army and Ranger training and I went to War in Iraq and knew there was a chance of getting killed or hurt. In my case I was injured by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and sustained several injuries.

I will always endeavor to uphold the prestige, honor, and high esprit de corps of my Ranger Regiment. Rangers are known for not quitting, always pushing forward, and completing the mission. Just because I’m injured doesn’t mean I can quit, not be adaptive, or not complete the mission which is living life.

Acknowledging the fact that a Ranger is a more elite soldier who arrives at the cutting edge of battle by land, sea, or air. This means no matter what situation I find myself in I can find a way to get there. Setting goals to achieve and not letting any obstacles get in my way.

 I accept the fact that as a Ranger my country expects me to move further, faster and fight harder than any other soldier. This just means I have to constantly challenge myself in all aspects of my life from daily Physical and Occupational Therapy,  coming up with new ideas how to adapt to the world not the world to me, and waste no time doing it.


Never shall I fail my comrades. Too many of our Veterans are coming home with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Depression, and other illness and I feel it’s my job to help them anyway I ca, If you look at the rising number of suicides among Veterans you cannot afford to fail them.

I will always keep myself mentally alert, physically strong and morally straight and I will shoulder more than my share of the task whatever it may be, one-hundred-percent and then some. I can’t expect people to do things for me or be around 100% of the time. I have to do things for myself and if I don’t keep myself physically and mentally fit there’s no way I can do those things. It might not be the fast and easy way but it definitely is the right way. Sometimes that means shouldering a little more, picking up the slack, and giving it the extra little push to get it accomplished. It also means if someone is in trouble you need to step up and help them.


Gallantly will I show the world that I am a specially selected and well-trained soldier.  I want the world to see that my training and what Military, US Army, and Rangers did for me. They helped me become the man I am today. Without those experiences and lessons along the way there is no way I could deal with the struggles of my new life with understanding I do now.

My courtesy to superior officers, neatness of dress and care of equipment shall set the example for others to follow. If I don’t show respect to people, take care of myself, and not lead by example I would consider myself a failure. This is so important because whether you realize it or not people are always watching and what you do is how they determine the kind of person you are. When I was in the hospital I had other wounded Veterans push me and motivate me and now that I’m well it’s my turn to give back.


Energetically will I meet the enemies of my country. I have two enemies. One I have met and other are the challenges in front of me.

I shall defeat them on the field of battle for I am better trained and will fight with all my might. I have defeated the first enemy because though they blew my ass up they didn’t get the best of me. When I went to Iraq 3 times last year I always had a smile on my face to prove it. As far as the challenges in front me I know I will defeat those too in time.

Surrender is not a Ranger word. Exactly that, never give up

I will never leave a fallen comrade to fall into the hands of the enemy and under no circumstances will I ever embarrass my country. Going back to what I said earlier making sure no Veteran or Ranger feels they are alone, without hope, or the need to give up. We must take care of our own.


Readily will I display the intestinal fortitude required to fight on to the Ranger objective and complete the mission though I be the lone survivor. This is the icing on the cake. Everything leads up to this. No matter what happens I will always continue on no matter what.


I know if I sat down and really thought about it and took my time I could easily write a book on the Ranger Creed and what each Stanza stands for. The important thing is to know is no matter what situation you are in the Ranger Creed can be used as motivation and answers. The Ranger was so well written that when you look at other Creeds like the Soldier’s Creed and Sapper Creed they pretty much use the same words, Stanza set up, and sound very similar. That’s one more reason why


Michael Schlitz
Sergeant First Class, USA (retired)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Care Givers, Warrior Gateway and More

Honor the fallen.  List of all casualties from OIF/OEF on here.

The last few weeks have been very full.  Ranger veteran Mike Schlitz (wounded in Baghdad four years ago) and I went to DC to work GallantFew contacts and met with Congressman Mike Pompeo (KS-R); Ranger (wounded) veteran John Rego; LTG (ret) and Ranger veteran Jim Dubik; Mr. Junior Ortiz, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Veterans' Employment and Training Services, US Depart of Labor; and Mr. Matt Flavin, Director of White House Policy for Veterans and Wounded Warriors.  From DC we went to NY as invited guests of Mr. Chris Brady at the fund-raising dinner for the Disabled Sports USA foundation.  We are very encouraged at the support from each of these levels for our innovative program of matching Ranger veterans with Ranger veteran mentors in their home towns.

Because we were traveling, US Army Veteran Boone Cutler guest-hosted The New American Veteran internet radio show that week.  Boone is the founder of National Warfighter and author of ‘Voodoo in Sadr City, and he chronicled the rewards and challenges of those who care for the greatest of this generation.  Caregivers are the unsung heroes to our most seriously wounded Warfighters.  During the interview Robbi Schlitz; caregiver to her son Iraq War Hero SFC Michael Schlitz, shared her story from when she received the painful news that SFC Schlitz had been badly burned in an IED explosion during the Surge in Iraq and through his step-by-step process of continual recovery.  Cheryl Lawhorne-Scott, author of ‘Combat-Related Traumatic Brain Injury and PTSD: A Resource and Recovery Guide, joined the conversation and gave us all a powerful perspective about what needs to be done to improve Warfighter care and how to locate difficult-to-find resources.   Special call in guest was Steve Newton of Silverstar Families asking for caregivers to join his organization to create political power.  Please listen to the interview here.

Last week I interviewed Mr. Devin Holmes, Executive Director of Warrior Gateway.  Warrior Gateway is a nonprofit (non-government funded) listing of resources for veterans.  Think "Jane's List".  A veteran can search for resources in his or her own local area and see how others who have used the services have rated them.  The veteran can add his/her own rating as well.  Devin estimates the services costs less than one dollar a year for every veteran of OIF/OEF so it is very cost-effective.  He also pointed out an interesting fact, that less than 49% of OIF/OEF veterans are registered with the VA.  Listen to the interview here.

General Stanley McChrystal recently spoke in the TED series.  Watch the video here.

Suicide Rate Triples for Female Soldiers at War

The suicide rate for female Soldiers triples when they go to war, according to the first round of preliminary data from an Army study.  The findings show that the suicide rate rises from five per 100,000 to 15 per 100,000 among female Soldiers at war.  Scientists are not sure why but say they will look into whether women feel isolated in a male-dominated war zone or suffer greater anxieties about leaving behind children and other loved ones.

A key goal of the five-year research effort, led by the National Institute of Mental Health, is to identify categories of Soldiers most at risk for suicide.  The Army suicide rate has more than doubled since 2004 from 10 to 22 per 100,000 among active-duty Soldiers, surpassing the rate for civilians of the same age and gender.  To read this article in full, please go to:

Love this quote - pulled from an email sent to me last week:

"The willingness with which our young are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation. "

George Washington

RLTW and V/R


Monday, April 4, 2011

Top 10 Ranger Referrals for Conference Call

Top 10 Ranger Referrals Kickoff Meeting Agenda
Times below are listed in EST

17:00 to 17:05 Welcome
  • Deepest thanks and appreciation to all who volunteered online and all who dialed in today

17:05 to 17:10 Attendence -
  • Attendees list taken by voice
  • Follow-up for contact details to follow by individual e-mails or link invitations to all attendees

17:10 to 17:15 Problem statement for Rangers leaving the Army
  • High veteran unemployment after leaving the service
  • High veteran suicide rate
  • High veteran homeless rate
  • Veteran substance abuse problems
  • Veteran depression
  • Higher than average number of physically and mentally wounded among Ranger combat veterans (TBI, PTSD, bodily injuries)
  • High stress on Ranger families
  • Lack of visibility into the overall job market for those with Ranger skills

17:15 to 17:20 Gallant Few efforts to date to help Rangers leaving the Army

17:20 to 17:25 Gallant Few mentoring/Ranger buddy role

17:25 to 17:30 Top 10 Ranger Referrals Idea Overview
  • The concept is outlined in the online discussion, no need to repeat it here in print.  We will just have a brief overview.

17:25 to 17:30  Top 10 Ranger Referrals Zero Funding Concept -
  • Lack of funding will never stop us or slow us down.  
  • This will be managed as a zero-budget, all volunteer operation.  
  • We will use free online resources and the power of our excellent people as much as possible.  
  • We will show that Rangers can make amazing things happen even without a nickel of outside funding.  We are Rangers.  We don’t just do more with less, we do more with nothing!
  • Any hiring bonus money that an employer might pay to whoever creates an employee referral may be used as the person receiving it best sees fit.  For those who want to donate such funds back to the Ranger community, a charity coordinator can help determine where it might do the most good.

17:30:to 17:40 Operational Concept (CONOPS), Roles & Responsibilities (R&R)
  • First Contact - A Ranger shortly before of after leaving the service contacts the group himself or through a buddy (As we get rolling, we hope to also include the Regimental and Battalion officers to feed us contact info for Rangers who are nearing their ETS date)
  • Vetting - Ranger is verified to be who he says he is so we keep posers from infiltrating the group.
  • Mentor - Ranger is assigned a mentor who will help coordinate his contact with any other group members and make sure he gets what he needs.  Mentor will look for any roadblocks in our processes and work to clear them.  This is very similar to the Gallant Few mentor role.  We hope to bring lessons learned from Gallant Few to bear here.
  • Resource Counselor - The resource counselor will help create a resource locator list for Rangers whose families might need short-term assistance of any kind.  The resource counselor will help ensure that the Ranger and his family are getting health care, treatment for any physical or mental conditions he may have, short or long term disability for the wounded, unemployment or food assistance, addiction assistance, housing assistance, help with getting to an interview in another state (perhaps a car ride or a donation of unused airline miles) and help with getting interview clothing if needed.  This is the embodiment of “I will never leave a fallen comrade”, Rangers look out for each other and each other’s families.  We are all one big Ranger family.
  • Career Counselor - Ranger is assigned a career counselor who will help the Ranger figure out where he wants to live and what types of work he is open to doing.  Career counselor will help track the Ranger’s progress with all jobs he applies for and all employers where he has a referral entered into their system.
  • Job Mapper - The career counselor will coordinate with the job mapper to see what employers have jobs in the cities & states the Ranger can work in. The job mapper will help track jobs where Secret and Top Secret clearances Rangers have can be used and renewed.
  • Resume Counselor - The career counselor will work with the resume counselor to tailor a resume and cover letter to fit the type of jobs the Ranger wants to apply for.
  • Employer Point Man - The career counselor will work with the employer point man where a Ranger wants to apply for a job.  The employer point man will take the customized resume and cover letter and enter an employee referral for that Ranger.  The employer point man will often have access to inside information such as the recruiter’s name and the hiring manager’s name.  The employer point man will follow up with the recruiter and hiring manager and forward the Ranger’s nicely formatted resume and cover letter to them.

17:40 to 17:50 Volunteer List and Open Slots Review
  • I am overwhelmed by how many excellent Rangers volunteered to help this effort.  I won’t list all the names here, I will publish them following the call.
  • Confirmation of Rangers who volunteered for various roles and requests for volunteers to fill open slots:
    • Employer point man for various companies
      • Creates and coordinates employee referrals for a specific employer (this can be a Ranger at a DOD contractor or any of the great Rangers who volunteered to help from other industries)
    • IT support
      • Sets up and manages an online space for us all to communicate
      • Manages group member contact details and e-mail lists
      • Helps build and manages posting online of resources such as
        • Ranger resource locator (list of available services for Ranger families)
        • DOD Contractor (and other Ranger-friendly employers) jobs map
        • Resume statement bank (DOD-speak to civilian-speak translator)
    • Mentor
      • Karl Monger has this role very well defined in his “Gallant Few” organization.  It’s Ranger buddy and adopted uncle all rolled into one.
    • Resource counselor
      • Helps the Ranger and his family with any services they might need outside of the specific areas already outlined
    • Career counselor
      • Helps the Ranger figure out what his own personal skill set and credentials bring to the table, where he might like to work, and what type of jobs he is open to performing.
    • Resume counselor
      • Helps the Ranger build a very professional looking resume and cover letter tailored to specific job types, specific jobs, or specific companies.  
      • Works to keep the resume statement bank up to date with our best translations of military skills.
    • Education & training counselor
      • Helps the Ranger understand where his GI Bill money can go to do him the most good.  
      • Works to keep the resource locator up to date with education and training resources that are not rip-offs

17:50 to 18:00 Community Questions and Suggestions