Tuesday, September 27, 2011


..."a man who has demonstrated through voluntary and difficult service that he places the welfare of the group ahead of personal advantage" Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers

Last weekend I had the privilege of reuniting with nearly a dozen soldiers who I commanded in Bravo Company, 5th Battalion 14th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division (Light).  For over a year and a half we shared the steep, red clay gullies of the Kahukus; the razor sharp lava rock fields of Pohakuloa Training Area; the beaches of Waikiki; the chill of Korea; and the scrubby low hills of Arkansas.

It's been over twenty years since we served together.  Some of us stayed in the Army, many now retired.  One recently returned from Afghanistan where he was the Command Sergeant Major of an Infantry Battalion.  One is a Lieutenant Colonel.  Another left the Army only to return after 9/11.  One invented a better safety strap for a HUMVEE turret gunner and started a successful company providing them to the military.  One is drummer for a rock band.  Each and every one of them talked about how they were forever changed by our time together.

Brothers from B/5-14 Infantry, 20+ years later

I was struck by the number of times these men told me the influence I had on their lives.  As their company commander, I was responsible for everything from training them for combat to caring for their families - a privilege I have treasured every day since I first touched their guidon.  One of the proudest and saddest moments of my life was when I had to return that guidon to my battalion commander so another could take my place.  My heart swelled with pride again as we stood in a circle, talking into the evening and each one looked me in the eye and said "if we had gone to war together we knew you had prepared us well and we would have been a force to be reckoned with".

Sometimes the smallest things have a profound effect.  One man told me that he re-enlisted because I sent him on a detail mission - probably a pain in the butt at the time, to load vehicles up at a port.  His life changed when he arrived at the port and realized the Army had boats!  He decided then and there to re-up and loved his subsequent assignment with Army transport ships.  Another remembered how I went to bat for him when he faced punishment before the Battalion Commander for an error in judgement.

There are really no words adequate to explain the bond between combat soldiers.  Although we did not deploy to war, the hardships we shared - the successes we celebrated - we did as a family.  We did as brothers.  Looking around that circle, I didn't see the gray hair, the extra pounds.  I saw the same young, lean, mean fighters that I led so many years ago.

There are men out there who will never know the closeness of a team such as this - the pride of knowing that you are ready to undertake any mission - no matter how dangerous or difficult, and have the confidence to know you will succeed.  What a privilege to be a part of this few, this happy few, this gallant few.

Last week I had a phone call with an Army veteran.  He served as a military policeman during a different time than I.  He reached out to me as a GallantFew volunteer, because after leaving the Army he went to school, became a CPA, secured a great job and now, some five years later he felt a longing to reconnect.  Although professionally successful, he missed the camaraderie, the closeness of the team of which he had been part.  He looked at how he might be able to connect with veterans and found GallantFew.  To have the opportunity to again be a part of the team, to feel the camaraderie, brought him to us and is the reason why we will be successful in our mission to reduce veteran unemployment, homelessness, and stop the next veteran suicide - and the next...

"...a man who has demonstrated through voluntary and difficult service that he places the welfare of the group ahead of personal advantage".  

This is what sets us apart, what binds us together.  This is what makes it so difficult at times to work with people who have never demonstrated the ability to place anything above their own personal advantage.  This is what makes us yearn to be back among those who we trust with our very lives, with our honor.

I live my life hoping that I've made a difference.  I had that rare honor of being told that small actions, some taken unknowingly, made a positive difference in another's life.  I've lived and worked with men that have demonstrated through their actions in terrible circumstances that they love others more than themselves.  Today I thank God for these blessings in my life.

"And Gentlemen in England now abed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here..."

Strike hard, strike fast, strike first - Bushmasters!

Commander, B Company 5-14th Infantry, 1988-89

PS.  www.gallantfew.org is moving to a new server this weekend.  There may be periods of interruption and some of the functionality will change.  Also, GallantFew has a renewed partnership with the Kansas Small Business Development Center, helping veterans start or expand small businesses.  For more information, go here:  http://ksbdc.kansas.gov/Pages/militaryveterans.aspx

help us achieve our mission - your donation is tax deductible.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Texas Job Opening - Veteran Preferred

Tasks and responsibilities

The Mud Engineer provides onsite services under general supervision by testing, measuring and supervising the operation of fluid pumping and mixing, which includes technical analysis in addition to specific product and practical recommendations for the control of fluid properties. The Mud Engineer is responsible for maintaining fluid properties on rig sites by accurately testing the properties of the fluid. In addition, the Mud Engineer also maintains the inventory at customer well sites. The Mud Engineer is responsible for providing effectual customer service by giving coordinators and rig-site customers information related to the progress of a rig site in addition to creating and implementing solutions to various rig site problems. Mud Engineers may make sales calls in the field and on a field office level from time to time. He or she may also accompany a sales representative making sales calls. A Mud Engineer provides constant support to aid operations in providing customers the most efficient, environmentally safe drilling fluids that are available. 

What the official outline doesn't say is that the leadership & mission focus skills are the very most important assets of the position. 

Starting salary for an entry level, inexperienced Technician/Trainee is ~50k per year, plus company vehicle, expense account, etc. 

As experience increases, so does the salary.  It is feasible to be earning, upwards of, $100k p/yr within 5-7 yrs. 

Relocation to the operational region is, in most cases, required.   For more information, email kcaulder@horizonmud.com

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The New American Veteran August Recap

I've been remiss about summarizing the past few weeks - especially my guests on GallantFew's BlogTalkRadio show The New American Veteran.

August 11th, 2011:  David Bancroft of USA Patriotism!  USA Patriotism! is a non-political, patriotic showcase with a mission to foster better awareness and display of love and pride of America by her citizens with  the hope of developing a better understanding and friendlier attitude about the USA from citizens of other countries.  David founded USA Patriotism! after the hateful terrorist attack on September 11, 2001.  His youngest son is a USMC veteran of Iraq.  This is a great repository of information on our nation and is a quality resource for anyone - especially students - researching the USA.

August 18th, 2011:  Boone Cutler, author of Voodoo in Sadr City returned as guest host.  The broadcast starts abut 45 seconds into the show - so disregard the white space at the start.  Boone interviewed Jerry Evans, Evans Broadcasting.  Jerry is putting together programming with Nevada Matters Media that covers the veteran world.  This is the first time that a major media outlet has focused on veterans issues and dedicated a weekly program to that.

August 25th, 2011:  Retired Lieutenant Colonel John Lock.  John has authored a number of books, including The Coveted Black and Gold and Chain of Destiny.  John has also appeared in TV episodes, most recently Deadliest Warrior, US Army Rangers versus North Korean Special Operations Forces.  Listen to this interview as he talks about transitioning, applying his military experiences, and about show biz.

September 1st, 2011:  Retired Command Sergeant Major Mike Hall.  CSM (RET) Mike Hall has served in virtually every leadership position in the 75th Ranger Regiment, including the Regimental Command Sergeant Major.  He has also served as the CSM of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) and as CSM of United States Special Operations Command (USASOC).  He retired in 2008 after 32 years of service only to be recalled back to active duty a year later to serve with GEN McChrystal as the CSM of the International Security and Assistance Forces - Afghanistan.  Listen as we talk about the US Army's transition over the past 30 years.

US veteran kills four, commits suicide.  A 37 year old army captain, recently completed his third combat deployment.

Memphis VA fights veteran suicide.

I recently learned of this song, all proceeds from the sales on 9/11 will go to Families of September 11.  Sales the week prior will go to other veteran supporting groups.  Check it out - it's pretty good.

US Chamber of Commerce Veteran Hiring Fairs.  Go check this site out for job fairs geared towards veterans.  Full schedules and details at the link.

GallantFew is now working with the Kansas Small Business Development Center to help veterans start and grow their businesses.  Our focus is on the process and documentation to achieve "verification" by the Veterans Administration as a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB).  This service is offered at no charge to a veteran, and is not restricted to Kansas.

The VA has ratcheted down its verification process following a scathing IG report that found 70% of companies receiving SDVOSB set-aside contracts with the VA were not eligible to receive those contracts.  The entire SDVOSB market is well over $15 billion per year - yet only half is actually awarded to SDVOSBs, and now it appears that half is well over estimated.  I attended the National Veteran Business Conference in New Orleans a couple of weeks ago and learned a great deal more about this program.  This is a GREAT opportunity for a veteran with a 0-100% rating from the VA.  Contact me for more information by emailing ranger@gallantfew.org or call 316-633-4599.

There are several more new resources about which you need to know:
  • Vetsuccess.gov is a new VA initiative.  It contains job application and resume tips, encourages all veterans to establish a profile and upload their resume, and has a sign up area for businesses.
  • Veterans Employment Coordination Service.  If you are a veteran and are interested in working for the VA, this site is for you.
We have a phenomenal team of volunteers helping get GallantFew organized to better serve our Ranger/Special Operations Forces veterans.  We are currently looking for volunteers in these areas:  IT/Sales Force, fund-raising, volunteer coordination, and mentor training material development.  If you would like to participate, contact ranger@gallantfew.org.

Finally, the GallantFew website, www.gallantfew.org is moving to a new hosting service.  Please bear with us as we will have times where the site will be down.  We hope to minimize this as much as possible.  Please consider helping us with a tax deductible donation - mail your check to GallantFew, Inc., 6505 E. Central Ave, #205, Wichita KS 67206.

As we move into the week marking the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, please keep in your prayers those lost that day, their families and friends, and the men and women that have stood tall to defend our nation - many of them receiving significant wounds visible and invisible.  May we never forget any of their sacrifices, may we expend every effort to care for them, and may true freedom forever reign on this planet.

Rangers Lead the Way!