Yeoman 1st Class Michael Wilson, from Costa Mesa assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group (EODGRU) 1, left, and Operations Specialist 1st Class Christopher Walgenbach, from Batavia, Illinois, assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 1, give a student at Meadowlark Elementary School a hands-on demonstration of their equipment during Salt Lake City Navy Week 2017.
Navy Week programs serve as the principal outreach effort into areas of the country without a significant Navy presence, helping Americans understand that their Navy is deployed around the world, around the clock, ready to defend America at all times.
Navy Weeks are organized around an “anchor event” or large community event such as a state fair or a public holiday celebration. By planning Navy Weeks around or in conjunction with these larger public events, Navy Week participants are able to increase the awareness of a larger number of people from diverse geographic areas in regions all across the United States.
About 20 Navy Weeks are led by the Navy Office of Community Outreach (NAVCO) each year. Cities and towns are selected based on a wide range of criteria with careful consideration given to aspects such as anchor events, Blue Angels air shows, asset availability, city size, demographic make-up, geographic region, relationship building, relationship sustainment and new outreach opportunities.
A typical Navy Week has two main elements:
A regional Navy Band’s Top-40 rock group or Jazz ensemble will perform in the selected city at multiple locations.
A Navy Admiral or Flag Officer will speak to civic and educational organizations at various public speaking engagements in the area. Admirals from commands throughout the world volunteer to participate and in many cases he or she has a tie to the community, e.g., he or she attended high school in the area. The typical speaking venues are rotary club meetings, colleges, TV and news radio shows and other non-profit groups such as Lions Clubs and Project Hope.
(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class Nathan K. Serpico/ Released)
The first annual Salute The Troops Music And Comedy Festival will take place on Friday, March 22nd and Saturday, March 23rd at the historic March Field Air Museum in Riverside, CA.
A diverse, multi-genre lineup of musicians and comedians will perform at this series honoring troops and veterans. Snoop Dogg, Cold War Kids, Dashboard Confessional, Capital Cities, members of the Wu-Tang Clan (Method Man, Inspectah Deck, Ghostface Killah, Masta Killa, Cappadonna, U-God), Redman, Cheat Codes, Yellowcard’s William Ryan Key and more musical guests will perform, as well as comedians Adam Carolla, Rob Riggle and more. The event is aimed at raising awareness of Post-Traumatic Stress and the epidemic suicide rates among returning soldiers and veterans. Two-day tickets are on sale now at www.SaluteTheTroops.com
“I’m looking forward to the show and putting on a great show for the troops. Thank you for all you do for our country,” Snoop Dogg said.
For each ticket sold, a free ticket will be provided to active service men and women. Veterans will receive discounted ticket prices. Veterans and active duty service members can claim tickets online at www.SaluteTheTroops.com
“We are truly humbled at the support we receive from our community. An event such as this, honoring the men and women of the armed forces, is greatly appreciated,” said Major Perry Covington, USAF.
“We are honored to produce events that bring significant entertainment options to our troops, veterans, as well as the general public, and hope to help heal silent wounds through music and comedy. I know for a fact through speaking with many veterans and active service members that music and comedy can provide a momentary release and a long term healing effect that we hope to offer to our men and women, active and veterans,” Nate Parienti said.
Salute The Troops Music And Comedy Festival was founded by Nate Parienti and co-founded with John Wertz (USMC 2001-2006) of Semper Fi Productions. Salute The Troops will take place at March Air Reserve Base on an annual basis with select artists interacting with troops and participating in military activities. Attendees can view and take photos with over 80 aircraft on display at the festival grounds. Other highlights include a Prince tribute from his former band, The New Power Generation, as well as DJs, craft beverages, meals and more.
Although Gary Sinise didn’t initially set out for a career in service, after four decades of making a difference for military veterans and first responders, he’s exactly where he’s supposed to be.
Sinise, 63, who reflects on his journey from “self to service” in his new book Grateful American, details the major turning points in his life, which include learning the details of his family connections to the military, playing Lieutenant Dan in Forrest Gump and feeling “broken” after the terrorist attacks on 9/11.
“I’ve found that service is the best way to heal,” he tells PEOPLE in the latest issue. Sinise’s foundation The Gary Sinise Foundation now raises now raises $30 million annually – 90% of which goes toward the organization’s programs, like building specially adapted smart homes for severely disabled vets and bringing military families to Disney World.
(Via Fox 5, Good Day DC)
“If every person in every neighborhood around the country took a little bit of responsibility for patting these folks on the back, all the problems that we hear about with regards to veterans not getting services or falling through the cracks would disappear,” he says. “If citizens would look at their freedom providers in a little bit different way.”
Active duty service members and veterans alike are big fans of Richard Rawlings. From outposts around the world, they tune into Fast N’ Loud, a Discovery Channel TV show that features Rawlings and his crew restoring broken down, classic cars in the Gas Monkey Garage. Rawlings’ products—energy drinks, tequila, sweatshirts—are available at more than 200 military bases in the United States and abroad.
Our military men and women may be fans of Rawlings, but Rawlings is an even bigger fan of them. “I can never express enough gratitude to them for keeping us safe,” he said, in an interview with U.S. Veterans Magazine. “I hope they all come back safe and happy.”
In 2017, Rawlings spent Thanksgiving with the troops in South Korea. He wanted to serve dinner to the men and women stationed in Seoul, but military tradition calls for the brass to serve the front-liners, so he made the rounds, broke bread, and offered his personal thank-yous. “It was an amazing experience,” said Rawlings, who was a police officer, firefighter, and paramedic before becoming a businessman. “It really hit me in the gut how young some of these people are …. It was great. We talked about cars.”
That our troops are fans of his shows and his famous—or is it infamous?—”Gas Monkeys” and request that his merchandise get trucked, flown, and shipped to bases from Camp Pendleton to South Korea to Guam never ceases to amaze him. “It’s an absolute honor,” he said.
As for what servicemen and women do as professionals and as patriots, he said, “It’s just very noble.” Rawlings is nothing if not relatable. He’s Texan, folksy, funny, and a bit of a gearhead, and he drinks Miller Lite and razzes his pals. He’s the consummate guy next door. And he’s a family man.
Let’s face it: In the car and garage business, dudes are the demographic, right guys? But that’s not entirely so with Fast N’ Loud and his other show, Garage Rehab, on which he helps struggling shop owners. Garage Rehab debuted in 2017 and is now in its second season. And yes, men can’t get enough of watching the crew cherry out a Ferrari F40 or 1930 Ford L-29, but women love it, too, and families also watch the show together. That’s exactly how Rawlings planned it after watching hours and hours of machismo car shows.
“It’s family accessible,” he said. “Grandmas come up to me, and I’m proud of that.” He says the family feel of his shows reminds him of his home life. Here’s how he describes it: “Come on over, watch the Cowboys game, and tinker around in the garage.” He adds, “It’s not an act.”
In 2002, Rawlings launched Gas Monkey Garage in Dallas. The shop created automobiles for customers worldwide. Soon after, he got out of the printing business when he sold Lincoln Press. Now, it was all cars, all the time. Since 2012, the facility has been the focus of Fast N’ Loud.
In September 2013, Rawlings started Gas Monkey Bar N’ Grill in Northwest Dallas, then set up a second location at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport in March 2014. Rawlings is working to launch a third Texas grill outside the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area.
In 2014, Gas Monkey Live, a venue dedicated predominantly to live music, was opened. In 2015, Rawlings published his first autobiography, Fast N’ Loud: Blood, Sweat and Beers, which includes such colorful lines as: “If we’re gonna have fun, it better have a motor,” and “We turn rust into gold. We make it fast and loud.”
All the entertainment activity on top of multiple lines of merchandise? He’ll never admit it, but Richard Rawlings—the car kid, the self-admitted daydreamer, the maniac who broke the Cannonball Run record with a time of 32 hours, 51 minutes from New York City to Los Angeles—is a mogul.
Rawlings, born in Fort Worth in 1969, got his love of cars from his dad, who liked to fuss about in the garage and go to car shows. He learned the business of buying and selling cars in high school. His first car: a 1974 Mercury Comet. But back then, all he wanted to do was scrape together enough dough to buy his next cool ride.
After graduating from Eastern Hills High School in Fort Worth, he worked as a police officer, firefighter, and paramedic. Then he got bit by the entrepreneur bug and opened a printing business. But his first and abiding love has always been cars.
Rawlings learned early on that if you’ve got cash in your pocket, you can buy ramshackle rides on the cheap, then fix, shine, and sell them for a profit. But it wasn’t all about money; it was about taking a no-hope car and making her new again. He pitched a reality TV show built around that concept for eight years and heard, “sorry, no thanks” about a million times before landing Fast N’ Loud.
Even he couldn’t have dreamed that he’d meet the coolest car guy ever, the original Cannon
Ball Runner, the handsome man at the wheel of a Trans Am: Burt Reynolds. Reynolds passed away last September, but not before Rawlings got the chance to meet him and pay homage. Several years ago, in what’s become a classic episode of Fast N’ Loud, Rawlings rolled up to Reynold’s Florida home in a 1978 black bandit Trans Am and shook hands with the star. He was also trying to collect on a bet—a $25,000 roll of the dice—that he could get Reynolds to sign the Trans Am.
“I’m almost at a loss for words,” he said. “I mean, here I am, standing there with Burt Reynolds, and I’m trying to get his signature so I can make twenty-five grand, yet I feel like I should just give him the twenty-five grand for even gracing me with his presence.”
Rawlings considers himself lucky and feels a responsibility to give back. He teamed up with Gary Sinise Foundation for a future two-part episode of Fast N’ Loud, which finds Richard and his team restoring a classic ’81 Jeep CJ7 that is being auctioned off at Barrett Jackson in Scottsdale—all proceeds go to the Foundation. Also, an upcoming episode of Garage Rehab focuses on American Warrior Garage, where veterans train to learn the automotive industry and land jobs. Of that, Rawlings says, “I think there could be one of those in every city.”
Who knows what his next big project will be? Even he doesn’t know. He’s certain of one thing, though: “I have a platform that I can use.”
View the Spring U.S. Veterans Magazine’s Digital Issue featuring Richard Rawlings coming soon!
If you’re a veteran or about to become one, you might want to consider moving to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. It’s first on Navy Federal Credit Union’s recently released list of The Best Cities After Service, a “unique look at the places best suited for servicemembers to consider living in after leaving the military.”
To create the list, Navy Federal Credit Union, in partnership with Sperling’s Best Places, considered 11 metrics of veteran success and wellness—including income, unemployment rates, and proximity to VA hospitals and military bases—then coupled it with a suite of such quality-of-life measures as affordability, local economy, and access to health resources, colleges and the arts, and more.
The top 10 cities are:
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Area
Grand Forks, North Dakota
San Antonio, Texas
Rapid City, South Dakota
“Right now, a number of factors make certain areas of the country ideal for veterans who are moving into civilian life,” said Robert Frick, corporate economist for Navy Federal. “The key factors are where the economic expansion is still going full throttle, which is creating new job and business opportunities for millions of Americans. Personal success is much easier when the economy around you is healthy, and a healthy economy is also a major factor in a better quality of life. The Best Cities After Service list helps veterans find these pockets of prosperity.”
“Oklahoma City earns its top ranking with some of the strongest scores for both veteran-specific metrics and for overall quality-of-life measures,” said Bert Sperling, founder of Sperling’s BestPlaces. “Oklahoma City scored particularly well in the categories of high incomes and income growth for veterans, low unemployment among veterans, and the number of veteran-owned businesses.”
In continuing with the effort to make its members’ goals its mission, Navy Federal launched Best Cities After Service to make one of life’s biggest decisions a little simpler.
To casual observers of either military service or the practice of yoga, the path from Oorah to Om may not seem obvious. But the intersection of yogi and veteran is natural if unexpected, beginning with the five classic yoga poses known as warriors.
While veterans make up a small percentage of yoga instructors, their ranks are growing. Many members of the military now often include yoga — sometimes taught by veterans — as an element of their workout routine, and veterans turn to the practice for therapeutic applications. The Department of Veterans Affairs has successfully used yoga to help treat opioid addiction and post-traumatic stress.
(via CBS News)
“A lot of vets have post-traumatic stress,” said Thierry Chiapello, who served in the Marines and now teaches yoga at the National Defense University in Washington. “By lengthening the exhalation of breath, this gets people out of those fight-or-flight instincts that drain you,” he continued, putting them in a mode of “rest and recovery that definitely is associated with less aggressive behaviors.”
Veterans, long schooled in discipline and concentration, also make excellent yoga teachers, both to other veterans, whose experiences they understand, and to active-duty military members, whose trust they often gain. They are becoming a welcome addition in civilian yoga studios, where students are usually attracted to their compassionate yet frequently no-nonsense approach.
It’s a great time to be searching for jobs and exploring different opportunities. And ideally, that’ll mean going to lots of interviews.
Now, you’re surely aware that as part of the interview process, you’ll be asked a number of questions about your work experience, skills, and goals. But at some point during each conversation, you’ll most likely also be asked to come up with questions of your own. And that’s where a lot of job candidates find themselves stumped. Rather than let that happen, go in prepared with a list of insightful questions that show you’ve put thought into the role at hand. Here are a few you can start with.
1. How has the company evolved over the past few years?
Generally speaking, it’s best to work for a company that’s been showing signs of growth. And a good way to figure out whether the employer you’re applying to falls into that category is to see how it’s changed over the past few years. Ideally, your interviewer will give you insight as to how the company has progressed and developed its staff and product or service line. As a follow-up question, you might also ask how the company has adapted to recent challenges to get a sense of how it operates. Not only are these thoughtful questions, but they’re ones whose answers will inform your decision of whether to accept a job offer if you get one.
2. What has your experience been like working for this company?
Asking your interviewer about his or her personal experience working for the company you’re applying to is a good way to gain insight as to what your own experience might entail. It also shows that you’re taking an interest in your interviewer, and that you value his or her opinion.
3. What’s the company culture like?
You want to enjoy going to work, and a company whose culture promotes a pleasant environment is generally one worth pursuing. It’s always smart to ask about company culture during an interview because it can give you great insight into what your days might be like. Ask how the typical day goes for the average employee, and what steps the company takes to foster collaboration and teamwork. Along these lines, don’t hesitate to ask whether employees generally manage to maintain a decent work-life balance. While the answer might vary on a case-by-case basis, you should try to get a general sense of whether employees get enough personal time or are pushed too hard to always be available for work purposes.
4. What made the last person who filled this role successful?
Assuming you’re not the first person to land the position at hand, it pays to ask what made the previous employee good at what he or she did. Was that person a strong project manager? Was he or she a risk-taker? Asking this question shows you’re invested in being successful yourself.
The last thing you want to do during a job interview is come off as apathetic or unprepared. Before you sit down to meet with a prospective employer, jot down some important questions to ask in advance, or use the ones we’ve discussed here.
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Since the beginning of this partnership in 2015, Penske Automotive Group has raised more than $4 million to support PVA.
Throughout 2018, Penske Automotive Group’s dealerships encouraged customers to donate toward its “Service Matters” campaign. To maximize the donation, Penske Automotive Group matched each donation up to $500,000. All funds raised go toward supporting PVA’s programs and services, including: veterans’ benefits assistance; legislative and advocacy efforts; employment counseling; medical services and health policy guidance; investment in spinal cord injury and disease research and education; adaptive sports programs; and architectural support—all of which are provided free of charge to veterans and their families.
“Through our great partnership with Penske Automotive Group, we have been able to continue providing veterans with disabilities the programs and services they need to help them live full and productive lives,” said David Zurfluh, national president of Paralyzed Veterans of America. “We thank Penske Automotive Group for its enduring commitment to our nation’s veterans, and for the wonderful support of the company’s employees and customers, all of which helps veterans with disabilities access the care, jobs and benefits they’ve earned and deserve.”
About Paralyzed Veterans of America
For more than 70 years, Paralyzed Veterans of America has ensured that veterans receive the benefits earned through service to our nation; monitored their care in VA spinal cord injury units; and funded research and education in the search for a cure and improved care for individuals with paralysis.
As a life-long partner and advocate for veterans and all people with disabilities, Paralyzed Veterans of America also develops training and career services, works to ensure accessibility in public buildings and spaces, and provides health and rehabilitation opportunities through sports and recreation. With more than 70 offices and 33 chapters, Paralyzed Veterans of America serves veterans, their families and their caregivers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Learn more at pva.org.
About Penske Automotive
Penske Automotive Group, Inc., headquartered in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, is an international transportation services company that operates automotive and commercial truck dealerships principally in the United States, Canada and Western Europe, and distributes commercial vehicles, diesel engines, gas engines, power systems and related parts and services principally in Australia and New Zealand. PAG employs nearly 27,000 people worldwide and is a member of the Fortune 500 and Russell 2000, and is ranked among the World’s Most Admired Companies by Fortune Magazine.
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Over 6,500 Soldiers are already hoping to be part of a new Army esports team that will compete in video game tournaments nationwide in an effort to attract potential recruits.
“It’s essentially connecting America to its Army through the passion of the gaming community,” said Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Jones, NCO-in-charge of the budding team.
About 30 Soldiers are expected to be picked for the team and some of the first positions could be filled this summer. Only active-duty and Reserve Soldiers are currently allowed to apply.
Those chosen will be assigned to the Marketing and Engagement Brigade for three years at Fort Knox, Kentucky, where the Army Recruiting Command is headquartered.
While they will not become recruiters, team members will receive a crash course on Army enlistment programs to answer questions from those interested in learning about the service.
Once built up, the team will fall under an outreach company that will also include an Army rock band and a functional fitness team.
Not everyone on the team will compete. Those who will may train up to six hours per day on video games, Jones said, adding that gameplay sessions would be live streamed or recorded for spectators to watch.
Esports has ballooned in popularity in recent years with millions of followers.
In August, the Washington Post reported that esports could generate about $345 million in revenue this year in North America. In 2017, a major esports tournament in China also drew a peak of more than 106 million viewers — roughly the same number of those who watched last year’s Super Bowl.
“It’s something really new and it’s been gaining a lot of steam,” Jones said.
While on the team, Soldiers will still conduct physical training, weapons qualifications and other responsibilities that come with being a Soldier. They will also have to maintain certifications in their military occupational specialty.
“Outside of that, there will be esports training,” Jones said. “So whatever game they’re playing in, they’ll not only be playing it, but be coached in it to get better.”
The team, he said, shares a similar concept to that of other Army competitive teams that continually train, such as the Golden Knights parachute team, World Class Athlete Program and Army Marksmanship Unit.
“Esports is like traditional sports,” he said. “Nobody can just walk in and expect to play at a competitive level.”
The Army, he said, already has talented gamers out there who can compete in events.
Last weekend, a few Soldiers competed at PAX South in San Antonio as a way to introduce Army esports to the greater gamer community.
In one of the events, a Street Fighter V tournament, two Soldiers placed first and second.
“This is the perfect opportunity to showcase not only to the Army, but to the civilian populace and the esports industry that we also have what it takes,” Jones said of the events.
Dual-career couples have unique relocation challenges.
Couples career-planning can be challenging under the best of circumstances. When one partner’s occupation requires relocation, it may be difficult to ensure both people can build fulfilling careers. “I do think it’s incumbent on couples to be strategic and have conversations about who is willing to do what,” says Lisa Wolf-Wendel, professor of higher education administration at the University of Kansas and co-author of “The Two-Body Problem: Dual-Career-Couple Hiring Practices in Higher Education.” “It’s quite miserable to move somewhere for one person’s job and the other person isn’t doing something that is satisfying.”
Several professions require relocation.
Moving is the norm in several professions. Military spouses have it particularly rough, since active-duty service members typically move every two to three years, sometimes without much notice. Members of the foreign service also relocate fairly frequently, to countries throughout the world, exposing their families to many unique cultures and labor markets. And when academics snag rare opportunities to research and teach at universities, their partners may find themselves having to pick up and move to far-flung college towns. Who are accompanying partners?
In active-duty military families, 93 percent of spouses are women, according to the Syracuse University Institute for Veterans and Military Families. Their average age is 33, just a few years away from when women tend to reach their peak earning potential. More than a third of professors are partnered to other professors, according to Stanford University’s Clayman Institute for Gender Research. These couples may find it especially difficult to build mutually satisfying careers, since it’s rare for a university to offer two perfect-match jobs simultaneously. Women who work in academia are more likely than men to be partnered with other people who work in academia; 83 percent of women in the natural sciences are partnered with scientists compared to 54 percent of men.
When college students can spend several months at top international firms like Goldman Sachs, they naturally come away with valuable résumé-building experience. But what’s often left out of the conversation is the value that students inject back into the business.
Joseph Camarda, a managing director in private wealth management at Goldman Sachs in San Francisco, cited this mutually beneficial exchange when explaining why the company has partnered with Drexel University in Philadelphia to place 145 students in cooperative education positions at its U.S. offices since 2014.
“They bring a young, vibrant, innovative mind to the team and that adds a value that we want to use over and over,” he said.
By collaborating with businesses, colleges and universities can deliver on the promise of relevance for career-minded students. From co-ops and internships, to mentoring and research opportunities, they can also invigorate programs on campus and bring value to firms.
Ashley Inman, a human resources expert who has worked with college interns in several industries, recalled one intern at a construction firm who developed an app for the company to better track inventory — a strategic innovation that helped streamline sales.
“Organizations can get stuck in their ways,” she said. “The value that the students bring is a fresh perspective.”
It’s part of the reason Goldman values its partnership with the university today — 13 years after the co-op relationship began with just a few students in the company’s Philadelphia office. A number of graduates since that time have gone on to work for Goldman full-time.
“The work ethic of these students is just phenomenal,” Camarda said. “It shows up every day.”
Students, in turn, bring valuable perspectives back to campus with them – including “bottom-line” urgency that can sometimes be lacking in academia, said Inman, who sits on the talent acquisition panel of the Society for Human Resource Management.
Strong and meaningful links to industry can inform curricula and programming on campus – helping to make sure academic offerings remain relevant to the needs of industry and students seeking jobs.
Higher education, however, has typically struggled to create and maintain those links, leading to a skills gap that leaves companies with jobs they can’t fill and students who can’t get jobs.
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