Two items first.
FIRST: This company, “Candorful”, understands the value of America’s veterans even out of the military, and excels in helping vets prepare for civilian job interviews.
“Veterans have amazing skills, [such as] leadership skills, and rich experience, but the experience of selling yourself during a job interview doesn’t exist in the military.” (From Candorful co-founder and executive director Pat Hubbell. The other co-founder of Candorful, Peter Suklits, had been an Army captain and “a platoon leader and head planning officer for a 400-soldier battalion in Afghanistan.“
Since 2017, Candorful has conducted one thousand training sessions with veterans. Of those who have gone through their training process and left the military, Hubbell says “98 percent had landed their desired job as of the third quarter of 2019.”
This is not a “pity party” for vets. This is a business enterprise based on the knowledge that the qualities that make a good soldier also make a good leader in civilian life. It’s a win / win for everyone when veterans find a solid job in civilian life – the economy, America, corporations, veterans, and their fellow Americans.
Veterans don’t even have to be out of the service to take Candorful’s interview training: “Our clients can be actively deployed or in a transition program,’ Hubbell says, noting Candorful has even helped a soldier serving in a war zone. ‘They can be anywhere in the world.”
Candorful was assisted in their early phase by some pretty prestigious corporations, and they deserve thanks from all Americans for recognizing our veterans: MIT, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Amazon, PWC, Keystone Strategy, East Boston Savings Bank, and Ernst and Young.
SECOND: The US Coast Guard honors one of its own: Seaman Apprentice William R. Flores, who gave his life to rescue shipmates from “the worst peacetime disaster in Coast Guard history”, a collision between a Coast Guard cutter and a tanker near Tampa Bay.
Seaman Apprentice Flores “selflessly stayed on board to help free survivors, going so far as using ‘his own belt to strap open the lifejacket locker door, allowing additional lifejackets to float to the surface,’ according to a release.” Twenty years before, Flores had been awarded the Coast Guard Medal, for service members who “performed a voluntary act of heroism in the face of great personal danger” while not in combat.
I’d say he passed his Apprentice qualification. May God give you peace and joy, Seaman Flores.
We honor the courage of our veterans, but how often do we stop to think about the incredible discipline, physical agility and strength, endurance, and mental strength they possess? Even those of us who are not prior military have some idea, but it will increase our appreciation for America’s military to become better acquainted with what it takes to be a member of the military. Accordingly, I have submitted all your names for a three-week boot camp exercise. You will receive bus tickets and instructions in the mail within three days.
Just kidding. :E
To start with, how do soldiers get to be soldiers? You can’t just walk into a recruiting center, sign enlistment papers, take the oath, and POOF! you’re a soldier. Or Marine, airman, sailor, or coast guardsman. Take a look, through these videos, at what it takes just to get through boot camp or basic. We’ll follow that with an inside look at what it takes to get one of the tougher, more specialized, jobs in the military.
The basics of Basic Training, no matter which branch of the service you’re in: NOISE! CONFUSION! YELLING INSTRUCTORS YELLING YELLING YELLING AT YOU! “YOU WILL NEVER GET IT RIGHT RECRUIT! ARE YOU DEAF RECRUIT? YOU’RE NOT PAYING ATTENTION RECRUIT! DO IT AGAIN AND DO IT RIGHT RECRUIT!“ And all the time, a DEMAND for detail, for precise and IMMEDIATE execution of orders at top speed. If they can scramble your brain, they will, because if they can, you don’t belong in the military. Because warfare is tougher than any boot camp, and failure means death for you or your brothers and sisters.
“Ordinary” US Army basic training from the beginning. Snowflakes need not apply:
US Army Basic Reception Center, Fort Jackson, SC. 14 minutes: “This is the front leaning rest position. You ever hear someone say, ‘front leaning rest position’, MOVE! … you will get very used to this position …”
USN Recruit Training, 36:10. (No, you don’t have to watch the whole video.) “We put stress on them here, yelling at them 24/7 so that when they get to the fleet and something goes bad, they’ll be able to handle all that pressure and stress …” Like the stress when a torpedo comes through the hull, or a plane crashes and burns on a carrier deck covered with planes. “… at first, they don’t pay attention … if we don’t teach [attention to detail] here, they have the potential to injure each other, or themselves … or even get somebody else killed …”
Marine Corps recruit training, 25:35: when they say “mean green machine”, they mean it!
A little attitude from the US marine Corps: 4:06
US Air Force, 11:24:
Those who want to go beyond the ordinary, push themselves beyond human limits, can join the Marines, or choose one of these options:
Army Special Forces / Rangers, 10:54:
A note about the Robin Sage Unconventional Warfare training: Steve McQueen’s character in “The Great Escape” was based on Robin Sage, former Army Colonel, World War II veteran and Office of Strategic Services officer who taught unconventional-warfare tactics.
Further on Unconventional Warfare:
“Special Forces’ bread and butter is the working with and building rapport with indigenous forces. Nearly every other mission that SF is tasked with will have that as a key component.” What that can do to you should be obvious. I was once introduced to a Special Forces soldier who had teamed with montagnards in Vietnam. He wore a simple brass bracelet on one arm. A buddy of his told me that it had belonged to his montagnard counterpart, who had been killed by the Viet Cong and died as the soldier was trying to save his life. Twenty years later he still wore that bracelet.
Special Forces high altitude jump: this is what it looks like, at least in daytime. Imagine doing this at night in hostile territory:
USCG Rescue Swimmer School, 9:22: “Semper Paratus” (“Always Ready”) You won’t believe how hard these guys train:
Special Forces has their own Underwater Operations School (3:46) with, shall we say, a slightly different emphasis. And a different piece of basic equipment that fits their mission better.
Are you physically fit? Want to compare your physical fitness level to the military fitness level?
The new Army Combat Fitness Test, 5:14: to be fully implemented Army-wide over the next year. Something I was told by a retired General is repeated in this video: “Right now, only 29% of young Americans 17-24 can even qualify” to get into the Army. And the Army is making their fitness standards tougher:
Marine Corps Physical Fitness Test and Combat Fitness Test: you have to scroll down to see the specific requirements.
I could have handled that in my youth, but that was a long time ago. As for the Special Forces, Ranger, Marine Corps … in my ignorant youth, I thought I could. Now … I don’t know if I could have cut the mustard even back then.
Thank you, American warriors and service families. You truly are God’s gift to this nation. We wouldn’t be free without you. And half the rest of this entire planet wouldn’t have been free for the past hundred years, either, without your courage and strength and sacrifice. May God guide you and protect you.