Pro Soccer Player Becomes Army Officer

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1st Lt. Anthony Uriarte playing ball

By Sgt. Ian Ives

What would you give to serve your country? Would you turn down an opportunity to play a professional sport? Though soccer has always been a large part 1st Lt. Anthony Uriarte’s life, he declined multiple professional soccer contracts to follow his calling of being an officer in the United States Army.

Now a medical service officer with the 25th Sustainment Brigade, the 26-year-old Uriarte has led an interesting life due to his talent on the soccer field.

At the age of 15, Uriarte was selected to play on a team that would represent the United States on a tour of England and played many prestigious teams during the trip. Several years later, he found himself in college. “I was taking a physical education course and I remember this girl walking in, in an Army Combat Uniform one day, and I was like ‘What,'” said Uriarte. “At the time I didn’t know anything about the military, but I found it so interesting that you could be a student and be in the Army. She always came in on time, and acted very professional. I admired her for that.”

Recalling the female in ACU’s during his physical education class, Uriarte decided to research what the Reserve Officer Training Corps was. After looking at his options, Uriarte applied and was accepted into The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina.

After graduating in 2015 with a bachelor’s in political science with an emphasis on pre-law, Uriarte had to choose which branch of the Army he was going to commission into.

“One of my big things is figuring out what I can do to help other people,” said Uriarte. “So when I found out that I could commission as a medical service officer, I thought ‘That’s perfect.'”

After being commissioned and doing a year of gold-bar recruiting, Uriarte was stationed at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division in 2016. While with the ‘Bronco’ brigade, he played on an Armed Forces Soccer team where a fellow player, who had played in All-Army Soccer before, suggested he try out for the team.

After being selected for the All-Army soccer team, Uriarte and his fellow players traveled to Fort 1st Lt. Anthony Uriarte playing ballBenning, Ga. to compete in the Armed Forces soccer tournament against the other branches of the military.

With 2017 came a new assignment in the form of an inter-post transfer to the 25th Sustainment Brigade and another year of All-Army Soccer. Tryouts were also different for Uriarte due to his selection the year prior, giving him an almost guaranteed position on the team.

“No matter what you tell yourself, no matter how much you prepare, when the referee blows that whistle… you’ll think to yourself, ‘Oh crap this is really happening!'” laughed Uriarte.

Since returning from the All-Army Team this year, Uriarte has begun coaching soccer for Hawaii Rush Youth Soccer for boys around the age of 15 years old. Coaching is something that Uriarte says he is becoming increasingly passionate about. He has even spoke with officials from Moanalua High School, Honolulu about becoming a coach for their soccer team.

“As unfortunate as it sounds we all have to get older,” said Uriarte. “Hopefully when my playing days over I will be able to step into a coaching position for All-Army. Even if I am not on the field playing, I can continue contributing in some way.”

Source: army.mil

DraftKings’ High-Tech Jobs Skills Training Program Now Open for Texas Veterans

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BOSTON, MA–DraftKings Inc. recently announced that it is expanding its Tech for Heroes initiative to Austin, Texas. The eight-week course, beginning October 9 and offered free of charge, is designed to provide high-tech job skills training to current and returning veterans and military spouses, so they can expand their knowledge base and find gainful employment in the tech sector.

“The Tech for Heroes program was designed with one goal in mind–help veterans gain a real advantage in an extremely competitive tech industry,” said Paul Liberman, co-founder and COO of DraftKings. “The skills acquired through the program can be applied to nearly any company, no matter their size or industry, giving each individual the ability to explore career paths of all types. These individuals have all made tremendous sacrifices in service to our country and this program is one way we are showing our collective appreciation.”

Working in partnership with the national nonprofit VetsinTech, DraftKings launched the company’s first corporate social responsibility initiative in June with its inaugural Tech for Heroes training class taking place in Boston. Last month, the company announced an expansion of the program to San Francisco, California, where it is training more than 30 veterans and military spouses in web development.

“We are excited to continue the expansion of the Tech for Heroes program to Austin. The partnership with DraftKings has allowed us to impact so many veterans and their families all across the country, and we look forward to the opportunity to bring this life changing training to Texas,” said Katherine Webster, founder and CEO of VetsinTech.

DraftKings’ employees will be working with the veterans to grow their understanding of employment opportunities at high-tech companies and to further support the veteran graduates pursuing careers in tech. Efforts include resume development, career roadmapping and skills translation as well as peer to peer networking.

The deadline for signing-up is October 8.

For additional information on the DraftKings Tech For Heroes program and to inquire about joining a class, please visit Tech for Heroes.

###

About DraftKings

DraftKings is a global sports technology and entertainment company that believes life is more fun with skin in the game. Its mission is to bring fans closer to the games they love via a unique combination of daily fantasy sports, sports betting and media platforms that, combined, deliver “The Game Inside The Game.” Founded in 2012 by Matt Kalish, Paul Liberman and Jason Robins, DraftKings is headquartered in Boston, MA, and offers daily fantasy sports contests across 11 professional sports in 8 countries including the U.S., Canada, U.K and Australia. Now a licensed operator in New Jersey, DraftKings Sportsbook allows players in the state to engage in betting for major U.S. and international sports.

About VetsinTech

VetsinTech supports current and returning veterans with re-integration services, and by connecting them to the national technology ecosystem. VIT is committed to bringing together a tech-specific network, resources, and programs for our veterans interested in education, entrepreneurship, and employment.

The Power of First Impressions

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You only get one shot at a first impression—and that shot may count for more than you think.

Why do so many job search posts deal with perfecting your handshake, making strong eye contact, and dressing properly? The reality is that those small factors comprise the first impression you make on a person. That impression frames your entire interaction, fairly or not.

Blink – a book by bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell – investigates thin-slicing, a concept in psychology describing a person’s ability to make accurate assessments of people and situations based on brief observations and limited information.

The implications of thin-slicing on first impressions have been explored in great detail. The conclusion: First impressions are formed quickly and accurately.

During networking events and job interviews – environments where people are short on time and hypersensitive to perceived “red flags” – making your best impression during the “thin slice” of interactions takes on even greater importance.

Unfortunately, simply knowing the importance of first impressions doesn’t necessarily follow that you’ll make a better one. Understand the elements that make up a first impression (what they are, what they communicate), however, and you can begin to improve how you are perceived in the opening moments of meeting someone new.

Before diving too deep, it is important to caution against missing the forest for the trees. Impressions matter. But the substance of who you are and the value you have matters considerably more.

Consider perfecting your first impression as the equivalent of a chef plating their dish; you want to present yourself in an appealing way, but the meal (and you) has to be satisfying beginning to end.

What influences a first impression?

Appearance
What you wear is up to you. We choose clothes based on their utility, their comfort, their style. We also choose clothes to express who we are and how we would like to be viewed.

But often, we can’t control how others view us based on those choices. Clothing and appearance matter when making a first impression. Snap judgements can be – and are – made based on the fit of your suit, the length of your skirt, or the color of your shoes.

A study published by psychologists in the UK compared snap judgements made about the same model wearing two slightly different suits. In one photo, he’s shown wearing a tailored suit and in another he’s wearing a suit of similar color and style, but off-the-rack. In a 3-second snap judgement, participants rated the model in a tailored suit as more successful and confident.

Not everyone can go out and get a tailored suit. However, you can make a concerted effort to dress the part for job interviews and networking events. If the event/interview is formal, match or exceed the formality of the interviewer. But if you’re networking at a Meetup.com gathering for web developers, you can probably lose the tie and wear something more relaxed.

Body language
Our bodies provide constant clues about how we feel, what we’re thinking, and who we are, often without us realizing.

Your body can reveal anxiety and nervousness often manifested in the tapping of your feet/hands, touching of your face, and biting of your nails.

Clearly, the best solution is to not be nervous. For most of us, including myself, this simply isn’t an option during a job interview or when meeting someone you admire.

Adequate preparation for a job interview or a networking event should limit your nervousness which, in turn, will lessen negative body language signals. You can also take steps to reduce jittery hands and face touching by holding something, like a coffee, pen or bag.

You can also make a conscious effort promote positive signals – like confidence and comfortability – through your body language. Maintain an open and upright posture. Limit the crossing of your arms or legs and avoid hunching your shoulders.

The introduction
You’ve already walked into the room dressed for success and with a posture that screams confidence. Next up is the introduction and obligatory handshake. Nothing has been pored over more by career, business and job search blogs than the handshake. And with good reason: the handshake matters.

A firm handshake is a strong indicator of extroversion and openness to new experiences. People with firm handshakes are also seen as less neurotic and shy. So if you have to, practice your handshake until you can deliver a firm, confident introduction.

The second part of a strong introduction is eye contact. Making consistent eye contact shows that you are confident and engaged. Avoiding eye contact shows anxiety and, potentially, deceptiveness.

You are looking to build trust and project confidence with your first impression, so make consistent eye contact. Avoid staring too long, however, as that can be intimidating.

Body temperature
Warm beverages may be the key to warm thoughts.

Researchers at Yale University conducted a study to show that physical warmth promoted interpersonal warmth. The study revealed that participants were more likely to view a person in a positive light if they were holding a warm object (like a cup of coffee), than if they were holding a cold object (like an iced coffee).

Physical warmth promotes positive feelings, so when setting up a first meeting or an interview try sitting down over a cup of coffee.

Of course, if your interviewer has an iced coffee habit, it doesn’t mean that you’re chances of making a good first impression are ruined. It just means your chances may be slightly improved if that interviewer is also wearing a sweater.

What is the takeaway
Understand that first impressions matter, but that they aren’t the whole story of who you are and what you can accomplish.

You can study the factors that go into making a positive first impression. You can buy the perfect outfit, master the handshake, use all the right body language and calculate an exact equation for appropriate eye contact. But at the end of the day you need to back up your first impression with actual substance, otherwise it’s all a show.

The best way to project confidence, aptitude and personality is to possess confidence, aptitude and personality.

You have to recognize what you can control. You can control your preparation. You can control your own abilities. You can control how you communicate your value.

You can’t, however, fully control how another person will view you. You just have to put the best version of yourself forward and hope for the best.

Author: Jeff Ayers at silvermanmcgovern.com

8 Secrets That Can Revolutionize Your Job Search

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interview-veteran tips

You might think that in the era of LinkedIn and social media that you no longer need to have a resume. That is unequivocally wrong. A resume is a key component of a job search, and cannot be replaced by a LinkedIn profile, or your digital presence.

This article will offer a number of resume tips, all of which are designed to help you succeed in your job search. We’ll review the importance of customization, best resume format, and the various resume sections you need to include, to name a few. Let’s get started with our review of the key resume tips you need to keep in mind when creating yours.

  1. A resume is a marketing tool.

The sad truth is that most people do not write particularly well. Make sure that your resume is impeccably written, and make sure it stands out. A well-constructed resume conveys that you’re an organized person. Concise resume language gives the feeling that you’re a no-nonsense individual who gets right to the point. A great resume can convince a hiring manager that you have the background that will be an asset to the company and can compel them to contact you for an interview.

  1. It helps the hiring manager decide that you have the necessary skills and experiences.

A well-written, concise resume does the job of quickly telling the hiring manager that you’re the answer to their problems. When you’re writing your resume, be sure to use clear, succinct language, and focus on your achievements (especially the ones that are quantifiable), rather than on your job duties or tasks. One of the biggest resume tips you can keep in mind is this: the purpose of the resume is to sell you, and what you can do to help a company succeed. The purpose of the resume is to not catalog all of your duties and tasks from the past.

  1. Customization is key.

A question I’m frequently asked is whether or not it’s necessary to customize the resume for each application. My answer is always a resounding YES. This is one the key resume tips! You have only about six seconds to impress the reader, so be sure that your resume speaks to exactly what the company is seeking. You do this by studying the job description and optimizing your resume with relevant keywords.

  1. Your resume helps with your personal branding.

A resume is a marketing document that you craft to sell yourself. But in addition to that, it is also a component of your brand. You want to ensure that your resume conveys the key messages of your brand; that is, what your strengths are, what you can deliver on, and what you’re passionate about.

  1. Add a little humanity and originality.

Let’s face it, most resumes read pretty much the same, and most of them are boring and sterile. How many resumes for a PR Director role can someone read before they all begin to blur together? Every single applicant is going to say they’re expert at media relations and that they’ve overseen a team of communications professionals. Say something different, and say something that makes you sound like an actual person and not a machine.

Here’s one of my key resume tips: Instead of writing something like “Crisis communications expert who maximizes brand potential via various channels” in the Summary section of your resume, try “I don’t put out fires. I start them. I ignite excitement and engagement among clients. When something inevitably explodes, I add another log to the fire.”

  1. What resume sections should be included?

Resume tips about resume sections are abundant; here are the key ones you need to be including in today’s day and age. Your resume should consist of a header that includes your name and contact information; a Summary section, which should provide a high-level overview of your qualifications, and what you can do for the company; a Work Experience section, which details current and previous positions you’ve held during your career; a Skills section, which should list the hard and soft skills you possess, particularly, the ones that align to the job advertisement; and an Education section, which should list the educational degrees you’ve acquired.

  1. What’s the best resume format?

The reverse chronological format is, in my opinion, the best resume format. The reason it’s the best resume format is simple—it makes it very easy for the right people to see your employment history and achievements. If you’re unsure on what reverse chronological means, it means this—you start off the Work Experience section of your resume with your most recent position, and work backwards from there.

  1. Here’s the bottom line.

A resume remains one of the foundational tools in the job seeker’s toolkit. Hiring managers and recruiters still want resumes, and they want them to be easy to read and to quickly answer the key questions they have. A good resume is one that benefits both the hiring manager and the job seeker; hopefully, the resume tips offered here will put you on the path to success with creating yours!

About the Author
Debra Wheatman is a certified professional resume writer and career coach, and the president of Careers Done Write, a leader in professional resume and career services. careersdonewrite.com/

Wisconsin taps transitioning veterans for 90,000 job opportunities in the state

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Wisconsin partners with Hiring Our Heroes to highlight career and lifestyle opportunities in the state for transitioning veterans

A delegation from the State of Wisconsin was  in Camp Pendleton recently to launch a transitioning veteran outreach program to help fill the more than 90,000 job opportunities in the state.

The delegation of representatives from state government and Wisconsin businesses highlighted the state’s career and lifestyle opportunities at the Hiring Our Heroes Transition Summit that took place on Aug. 29-30. Hiring Our Heroes is an initiative of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, a non-profit organization, aimed at helping the nearly 250,000 annual transitioning service members and their spouses prepare for civilian careers.

Leading the country in offering the most state-funded benefits to veterans and their families, Wisconsin is the first and only state to nationally and internationally partner with Hiring Our Heroes to encourage transitioning military personnel and their spouses to live and work in the state once they leave the service.

Representatives from the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, and the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, along with Wisconsin business WPS Health Solutions, will engage one-on-one with service members to highlight the businesses in Wisconsin that are recruiting transitioning veterans as well as the quality of life attributes the state has to offer them and their families.

“Wisconsin has long led the nation in state benefits for veterans and their families. And now we are leading the nation in employment, endeavoring to get veterans AND spouses jobs several months prior to their separation from service,” said Daniel J. Zimmerman, secretary, Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs. “Wisconsin understands the incredible contributions veterans and their families make to the communities in which they live and we look forward to welcoming them to our great state.”

“The service members and military spouses who attend our events are looking to connect with the resources and tools they need to successfully transition out of military service and into civilian life,” said Eric Eversole, president at Hiring Our Heroes and vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “We are honored that the State of Wisconsin is partnering with us to showcase their commitment to our veterans and their families as they invite them to work, live, and thrive in their state.”

Veterans who have settled in Wisconsin say the state’s employers offer numerous opportunities for those about to enter civilian life.

“Since moving to Wisconsin, I’ve had a lot of great career opportunities. I don’t have a college degree, but companies here in Wisconsin view veterans as though we do have a college degree,” said Karl Johnson, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who is now the vice president of sales at Lippert Flooring and Tile in Menomonee Falls, Wis. “[Veterans] have an unbelievable work ethic and we’ve shown commitment by following through on our service.”

“Wisconsin is a great state for veterans to reside because of the opportunities for education and employment,” added Charles Williams, a member of the Army Reserve stationed in Florida who plans to return to Wisconsin in October. “Wisconsin also provides veterans with resources to assist them with pursuing entrepreneurship. There is a lot of community support and Wisconsin has one of the largest outdoor recreation communities for families to enjoy.”

Following the Camp Pendleton event, the Wisconsin delegation will attend the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Hiring Our Heroes event in Washington on Sept. 25-26.

The transitioning veterans initiative is part of the state’s $6.8 million targeted, multiagency campaign to attract talent to Wisconsin. The state’s talent and attraction efforts embody Think-Make-Happen In Wisconsin®, a new unifying message that celebrates Wisconsin as a premier destination for business, career and personal fulfillment.

To find out more about Wisconsin and what it offers for veterans, visit In Wisconsin.com/veterans.

Guardians of Rescue in Dire Need of Assistance Rescuing Animals in Hurricane Florence’s Path

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Many people find it difficult enough to get themselves and their family evacuated when a hurricane is headed their way. Add to the stress that they may have pets and often times they simply have no idea what to do with them, opting to leave them behind.

Guardians of Rescue are now on the ground working nonstop in Wilmington, North Carolina and surrounding areas to help rescue the many animals that were left behind. The rescue group is assisting the Pender County Humane Society. The city has been hard hit by the hurricane and is now completely cut off as all roads leading into it have been flooded.

“We’ve helped rescue animals in many hurricanes, but this one has to be one of the worst hurricanes to get access to the animals in need,” explains Robert Misseri, president of Guardians of Rescue, an animal rescue organization. “So many animals were left behind. We are getting calls about dogs left in kennels in backyards that are completely flooded, cats on rooftops, and horses in flooded fields etc.”

Many animals have already been rescued with many more still waiting to be. The rescue group has been getting many phone calls from people who have left behind animals or who have seen animals in dire situations in need of help. Road closures all around the area are making it extremely challenging and dangerous to reach the animals in need, but the group continues on, making as many rescues as possible. Guardians of Rescue are asking the public to assist in the rescue efforts to help make the mission a success. They need financial assistance, volunteers, pet food, and medicine.

It’s important that those with pets know what to do if a hurricane were to become a threat. Here are some tips pre and post hurricane situations to keep in mind:

  • Have a plan in place.Important to have a plan so you know what you will do if a hurricane becomes an issue. Be sure that you know where local shelters are that will accept pets, locate pet-friendly hotels and boarding houses outside of your evacuation area, or have a list of friends or family outside the area who you could call on for assistance.
  • Get your pet microchipped. If your pet were to become lost from you during a hurricane it’s important that you have them microchipped so they can be reunited after the storm is over. Those with large animals, such as horses or livestock, should make sure they all have identification, evacuate the animals whenever possible, and ensure they have food and water if they must be left behind.
  • Have an emergency kit.Your emergency kit should have any medication your pet needs, food, water, a leash, sanitation items (litter box, trash bags, etc.) and a carrier. Also, have a picture of your pet in the kit so that if you become separated you can use it to help locate them again.
  • Leaving them behind.While for many people it is unfathomable to leave a pet behind during a hurricane, some people feel they have no choice but to do so. If you feel you have no other option than to leave your pet behind, do not confine them to a room or crate. Let them have the ability to move about so they can try to seek out safety, and be sure to leave plenty of food and water.

“What we are seeing out here is nothing short of heartbreaking,” adds Misseri. “We are doing everything we can to help these animals who are in desperate need of being rescued. We need the help of the public to provide the support that is needed to make this mission a success. It’s something we can’t do alone.”

Guardians of Rescue has a goal of raising $80,000 to help with the animal rescue from Hurricane Florence. If every person reading this donates just $5 it will be easy to reach that goal. Those wanting to help support their efforts can log online to make a donation: guardiansofrescue.networkforgood.com/projects.

Guardians of Rescue provides assistance to animals out on the streets. They are located in Long Island, New York, and have chapters in Louisiana and Miami but they help animals in many places beyond where their chapters are located on a national/international level. They are also instrumental in helping military members with their pets. To learn more, get involved, or to make a donation to support the Guardians of Rescue, log onto guardiansofrescue.org.

About Guardians of Rescue
Based in New York, Guardians of Rescue is an organization whose mission is to protect the well-being of all animals. They provide aid to animals in distress, including rehabilitation, assisting other rescue groups, and providing support to families, both military and not, who need assistance due to economic factors. To learn more about Guardians of Rescue, visit the site at guardiansofrescue.org.

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Sharon Caples McDougle is somewhat of a “hidden figure”

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Sharon McDougle with Mae Jamison

Everyone knows that Dr. Mae Jemison was the first African American woman to travel into space – but many don’t know that an African American woman “suited her up”. McDougle was Jemison’s suit tech for the historic mission STS-47 aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor September 12, 1992.

McDougle worked closely with her during her training leading up to launch, as well as actual launch day and landing of the space shuttle – taking care of all of her assigned crew escape equipment – her suit, helmet, writing utensils, even her diaper.

McDougle joined the NASA family through Boeing Aerospace Operations in 1990 where she worked as a Flight Equipment Processing Contract team member in the Space Shuttle Crew Escape Equipment (CEE) department. She began her career as a CEE Suit Technician and was responsible for processing the orange launch and entry suit (LES) assemblies worn by all NASA space shuttle astronauts. She was assigned to her first mission STS-37 within a year. McDougle was one of only two women CEE Suit Technicians and the only African American technician when she began her career.

In 1994 McDougle was promoted to the position of Crew Chief making her the first female and first African American Crew Chief in CEE. In her new position she was responsible for leading a team of technicians to suit up astronaut crews. She was responsible for leading her team and ensuring the astronaut crews were provided with outstanding support during suited astronaut training, launch, and landing events. In 1998, United Space Alliance (USA) absorbed the Boeing Aerospace Operations contract and McDougle continued in her position as a CEE Crew Chief employed by USA. She traveled to Kennedy Space Center quite often where she worked in support of many space shuttle launches. As Crew Chief McDougle had the honor of leading the first and only all-female suit tech crew supporting space shuttle mission STS-78.

In 2004 McDougle became the first female and first African American promoted to the position of Manager of the CEE Processing department. In this position, she managed the team of 25+ employees responsible for processing the Advanced Crew Escape Suit (ACES) and related equipment worn by the astronaut crews aboard the space shuttle. Her team assisted the astronaut Sharon McDougle and Lt. Uhuracrews in donning/doffing the suit, testing the equipment, strapping the astronauts into the space shuttle before launch, and recovering the crew upon landing. She held this position until the Space Shuttle Program ended in 2011. Sharon continued working until 2012 to help close-out the program, ending an illustrious 22 year career with the space shuttle program.

Other notable African-American astronauts McDougle has suited up: Charles Bolden, Frederick Gregory, and Dr. Bernard Harris.

During her career she was recognized with the Astronaut “Silver Snoopy” Award, Space Flight Awareness Honoree Award, USA Employee of the Month Teamwork Award, USA Employee of the Month Community Service Award, and the coveted Women of Color in Flight Award from Dr. Mae Jemison recognizing her career as the first and only African American woman suit tech/crew chief in her field. She absolutely loved her job and is proud to have been a part of our nation’s historic Space Shuttle Program.

McDougle was recognized by her home state as a 2018 Mississippi Trailblazer at the 16th Annual Mississippi Trailblazers Awards Ceremony and Black Tie Gala where she received two awards: the Calvin “Buck” Buchanan “FIRST” Award named for Mississippi’s first United States Attorney for the Northern District – honoring a Mississippian who holds the distinction of being the “first” in their profession and the Dr. Cindy Ayers “Legacy” Award honoring a Trailblazer whose singular work and contributions will leave a legacy long after their life has ended.

Most recently, McDougle received the Lifetime Achievement award from the Moss Point Visionary Circle during their 6th Annual Living Legends Ball for her military service and NASA career.

McDougle is also a United States Air Force (USAF) veteran, which is where she began her aerospace career in 1982 after graduating from high school. She served proudly in the Strategic Air Command (SAC) as an Aerospace Physiology Specialist at Beale Air Force Base, CA (1982-1990), reaching the rank of Sergeant (E-4).

During her enlistment she was a member of the Physiological Support Division (PSD). McDougle was responsible for training the SR-71 and U-2/TR-1 (“spy planes”) reconnaissance aircraft pilots on high altitude operations. She performed hazardous duty as an inside observer chamber technician and as a chamber operations team member during hypobaric (altitude) and hyperbaric (dive) chamber operations. During the hypobaric chamber flights crewmembers learned firsthand how hypoxia affects their judgment while flying an aircraft. The crewmembers were taught and practiced how they would handle these types of situations and the importance of wearing all equipment correctly.

McDougle also inspected and maintained flight equipment used for the SR-71 and U-2/TR-1 missions. The equipment included full pressure suit ensembles (helmet, gloves, boots, etc.), harness assemblies, and survival equipment (seat kits and parachutes, and emergency oxygen systems). She sized and fitted crewmembers’ pressure suits, assisted crewmembers in donning and doffing their suits, and performed functional tests before takeoff. She also loaded the survival seat kits and parachutes into the aircraft, strapped-in the crewmembers before take-off, and recovered the crew upon landing.

• 1982 – Graduated from Moss Point High School (Moss Point, MS)
• 1982-1990 – served in the United States Air Force as an Aerospace Physiology Specialist
• 1990 – Joined Boeing Aerospace Operations/Space Shuttle Crew Escape Equipment (CEE), becoming the first African American CEE Suit Technician
• 1992 – Suited up Dr. Mae Jemison, the first woman of color to travel into space (STS-47)
• 1994 – Promoted to Crew Chief, becoming first African American (male or female) CEE Crew Chief
• 1996 – Led the first and only all-female suit tech crew (STS-78)
• 2004 – First and only African American (male or female) promoted to the position of Manager of the CEE department

McDougle spent much of her enlistment on temporary assignment traveling abroad to Greece, Korea, Japan, and England, as well as stateside locations, in support of the SR-71 and U-2/TR-1 reconnaissance aircraft missions. She separated from the Air Force in 1990 with an honorable discharge. During her enlistment she was awarded the Humanitarian Service Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (2 devices), Good Conduct Medal (1 oak leaf cluster), Training Ribbon, NCO Professional Military Education Ribbon, Longevity Service Award, and was also recognized as Airman of the Month.

Military Veterans Find New Purpose In Diving For Lost Artifacts

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Treasure Hunters

Jeff MacKinnon is a second-generation diver and treasure hunter who operates a dive team in Cape Breton.  One of his partners – retired US Recon Marine, Dan Griego – has helped recruit fellow veterans to their project — recovering treasure from the ocean off Cape Breton Island.

“Our team is US military veterans,” says MacKinnon.  “They were trained to accomplish extremely difficult missions with considerable personal risk. Once you’ve lived with that kind of adrenaline, returning to normal life is very difficult.  Diving provides the kind of focus and intensity they are used to, which helps them transition to civvy life and cope with PTSD.”

Jeff MacKinnon
Jeff MacKinnon

MacKinnon and his team are working with PTSD specialist Dr. John Whelan of Halifax.  Dr. Whelan provides counseling services to the veterans and documents the results of the program.  One of their goals is to expand the program to other service personnel from Canada and the US who suffer from work-related trauma.

“It would be great to have both Canadian and US veterans working together,” says MacKinnon.  “Not only will it build new relationships, but these folks are all service people, and being able to serve helps with the healing process.”

The purpose of the dive missions is to recover lost artifacts from the many historically-significant shipwrecks that dot the Cape Breton coastline.  MacKinnon hopes to partner with the Nova Scotia government on the project, and eventually establish a museum in Sydney to house some of the recovered items.

Dan Griego
Dan Griego

MacKinnon and his partners also plan to produce a reality-TV series based upon the adventures of the dive team.  The show is in the early stages of development, and has a working title — Operation Recovery.

Read about Jeff and Dan’s dive team treasure hunting partners on their blogs at:

Eric Kocher (retired marine)

imfdb.org/wiki/Eric_Kocher

Eddie Wright (retired marine)

cbsnews.com/news/wounded-iraq-veteran-gets-by-with-a-little-help-from-friends

Cody Miranda (retired marine)

worldteamsports.org/2010/cody-miranda/

Mike Pizzio (retired FBI)

expeditionnews.com/Archives/EN1706.html

Mike Haas (retired Sgt NJ policeman)

Working for the federal government

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Employer welcoming veteran

If you’re making the military-to-civilian transition, there are a number of benefits to working for the federal government. If you have been separated or retired from military service for a while and working in the civilian world, you know things are different on the outside. Some people make the military-to-civilian transition easily while others have a harder time with it. Some never fully adjust.

If you are one that has given adequate time to make the adjustment and it just is not happening, you could be a good candidate for employment in government service at the federal level. Besides having a structure similar to the military, there are a host of benefits that you can get from working for the federal government, like:

✪✪Annual Leave
✪✪Sick Leave
✪✪Military Leave
✪✪Credit for Retirement
✪✪Participation in the Thrift Savings Plan

Annual Leave
Annual Leave is a term the federal government uses for“vacation time.” Most new employees coming in from the civilian world without prior military or federal service start at the bottom of the benefits ladder at 4 hours per bi weekly pay period, which equates to 13 days per year. However, military service can count toward annual leave accrual. With at least three years of military service but less than 15 years, annual leave starts at 6 hours per pay period or 20 days of leave per year, instead of 4 hours/13 days. More than 15 years of military service (but less than retirement eligibility at 20 years in most cases) starts at an even higher rate at one day per pay period or 26 days per year.

Sick Leave
In addition to annual leave, the federal government gives you paid time off if you are sick— 4 hours per pay period. While annual leave accrual increases with longevity, sick leave does not; it is a constant 4 hours per pay period.

Military Leave
Federal government employees also serving their country as members of the National Guard or Reserves get up to 15 days per year of paid military leave they can use to fulfill their military obligations. Not only do they get paid from their job, but they also collect their military pay. Most civilian companies make employees take vacation time or leave without pay for military training. Some companies make up the difference between the two pays if military pay is lower than their civilian pay.

Credit for Retirement
Former military members have an option worth considering—making a deposit for military service. Under this benefit, one can make a deposit into their retirement account based on their amount of basic military pay. For example, for a FERS employee the amount is 3 percent. This deposit increases the amount of retirement from the federal government service once retirement eligible. For military separated employees, it is a way to use their military service time to increase retirement pay.

On the other hand, members retired from military service have the option to draw their military retirement pay without making a deposit or to waive their military retirement in lieu of making a deposit into their retirement account. An experienced financial planner in this area can advise which is the better way to go.

Participate in the Thrift Savings Plan
The federal government also has its own retirement savings and investment plan called Thrift Savings Plan or TSP—the same basic plan used by the military. Similar in nature to 401(k) plans on the outside, federal government employees can designate an amount each pay period that will go into their TSP account. The advantage over many civilian companies is that the federal government also contributes to your account: 1 percent automatic and up to 5 percent matching. In other words, you automatically get 1 percent put into your TSP account whether you contribute to it or not. However, if you do contribute to your account, they will match what you put in up to a maximum of 5 percent per pay period, along with the automatic 1 percent. TSP is above and beyond the standard retirement pay. And if you left your TSP in when you got out of the military, you can transfer it over to the federal government side.

As you can see, being a former military member and working for the federal government has many advantages to it besides being a structured environment more like you were used to while serving in the military. Paid leaves, retirement credit, TSP, retirement and job stability just add to the appeal of continuing service to your country by working for the federal government.

Source: clearancejobs.com

About the Author
Ron Kness retired in November 2007 as a Senior Noncommissioned Officer after serving 36 years of service with the Minnesota Army National Guard of which 32 of those years were in a fulltime status, along with being a traditional guardsman. Kness takes pride in being able to still help veterans, military members, and families as they struggle through veteran and dependent education issues.

Patriots and Animal Lovers Unite to Help Guardians of Rescue Save Hilal

LinkedIn
Soldier holding Hilal

SMITHTOWN, New York– Imagine being an American soldier stationed in a part of the world where a “holy war on dogs” has been declared. In America, dogs are considered man’s best friend. But in some places in the Middle East, the complete opposite is true, creating a harsh environment for the animals.

One U.S. Army Specialist stationed in the Middle East couldn’t idly stand by and watch a puppy being left for dead. Not only did he step in to save it, but he reached out to Guardians of Rescue to help relocate it back to America, where he will make the dog, he named Hilal, a part of his fur-ever family.

“He has a heart of gold, has saved this dog, and can’t bear to leave it behind in a place where it will likely lead to its death,” explains Robert Misseri, president of Guardians of Rescue, an animal rescue organization. “Hilal deserves better than that, and so does this soldier who has served his country and is only asking in return that we help get his dog back to the states for him.”

Army Specialist Joseph Gomez found Hilal as a puppy and saved her from the despair that so many dogs in that part of the Middle East succumb to. While for security purposes he cannot share the details of how he rescued her, he can share the condition he was in. He was extremely dehydrated, starving, and in need of medical care. He rescued him, led him to good health, and has created a solid bond with him. Knowing that he would return to the U.S., he reached out to Guardians of Rescue to see if they could help with the risky mission of helping him relocate the dog back to America.

“I saved Hilal once and now I’m hoping that through the Guardians of Rescue people can help me save him a second time,” added Gomez. “I can’t live with the idea of leaving him behind, because I know what will happen to him, and we have a strong bond. I need to take him back to Oklahoma with me.”

Guardians of Rescue are experience at helping soldiers bring their dogs back to the country. They have a team of experts who work at every step of the mission to ensure the dog makes it safely back to the country. Hilal will first be flown into New York, and then will be taken on to Gomez’ home state of Oklahoma, where the two will be reunited for good. It’s a mission that is not only risky, but is also costly, which is why the rescue group is teaming up with those in the public who support the mission and can help make it a reality.

“When we pull off a mission like this we cannot do it alone,” adds Misseri. “This is a mission that takes the support of people in the community who want to give back and help this soldier and his dog. Even small donations help, because they all add up quickly.”

This is a time-sensitive mission, so the rescue group will need to act quickly. All donations are welcome and appreciated, with no amount being too small. True patriots and animal lovers who want to help can log online and make a donation: guardiansofrescue.networkforgood.com/projects/57164-bringing-hilal-home.

Guardians of Rescue provides assistance to animals out on the streets. They are located in Long Island, New York, and have chapters in Louisiana and Miami but they help animals in many places beyond where their chapters are located on a national/international level. They are also instrumental in helping military members with their pets. To learn more, get involved, or to make a donation to support the Guardians of Rescue, log onto guardiansofrescue.org.

About Guardians of Rescue
Based in New York, Guardians of Rescue is an organization whose mission is to protect the well-being of all animals. They provide aid to animals in distress, including rehabilitation, assisting other rescue groups, and providing support to families, both military and not, who need assistance due to economic factors. To learn more about Guardians of Rescue, visit the site at guardiansofrescue.org.

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10 Toughest Job Interview Questions — And How to Answer Successfully

LinkedIn
Interview questions

We’ve all been there—pleased that an interview was going really well until the interviewer threw out a real doozy of a question that you just don’t know how to answer. But you don’t have to panic.

We asked career coach Hallie Crawford to give us advice on how to answer the most difficult questions you’ve ever been asked. (Yes, we pulled them from real interviews.) Here’s how to answer each really well.

1. If your current employer had an anniversary party for you, what five words would be written on the cake to describe you?

While it may seem silly, “this question is designed to reveal how you think your manager perceives you,” Crawford says. “Before answering, ask yourself: how do your coworkers describe you? What did your manager commend you on recently?” With the answers to these questions in mind, “don’t be afraid to get a little creative with your reply,” Crawford says. But don’t be too verbose either. “You don’t want to give the impression that your anniversary cake would be too big,” she says, “so try and keep the words short and sweet.”

2. Who in history would you want to go to dinner with and why?

Before you answer this one, ask yourself whom you admire, past and present. “Perhaps a writer, an actor, a scientist, or even someone from your industry,” suggests Crawford. Then, consider, “what do you appreciate about their accomplishments? Why do they inspire you? Why do you feel that you would be friends? What would you want to discuss with them at dinner?” Crawford prompts you to ask yourself. “Use these elements when answering.”

3. Name a brand that represents you as a person.

Yep, not a brand you love—but one that embodies who you are. Now that’s a doozy. But it doesn’t have to be tough, Crawford says. “Think about your top personal values,” Crawford advises. “Now think about brands that also have those values. For example, if you value family and ethical practice, think about companies who are family-based, or create products for families who you know don’t do testing on animals, for example. Explain the values that you feel you share with the brand and why those values are important to you.”

4. Please describe an instance where you had to make a decision without all of the necessary information.

You came to the interview prepared, which means you have a list of accomplishments you can work from. Using an accomplishment for this question, “describe the situation and what information was missing and any measurable results achieved,” Crawford instructs. By using an accomplishment, you will show a hiring manager how you can persevere.

5. Sell me on one idea, and then sell me on the opposite of that idea.

“First of all, you want to think of an idea before you can start answering the question,” says Crawford. You may not have to come up with your own idea. “Ask the hiring manager if they have a specific idea in mind,” says Crawford. “If not, consider a recent idea that you discussed with your team or with coworkers. What was your position and why? What was the opposite position and why? Use those arguments. In this question, it is important that you sound convincing when presenting both ideas. This will provide insight into whether you are able to present ideas to your team—even if you don’t agree with the idea.”

6. If a coworker had an annoying habit, and it hindered your quality of work, how would you resolve it?

This may seem like a perplexing question, but it’s “designed to get to you how you deal with others,” explains Crawford. “Draw from a real-life experience if possible. What annoyed you? How did you resolve it? Is there a more effective way to handle the situation if it would happen again? Identify the annoying habit and then outline the steps you would take to try and resolve the situation while maintaining a good relationship with your coworker.”

7. What part of the newspaper do you read first? What does this say about you?

“This kind of question is asked to get to know you better as a person,” says Crawford. And while “at first glance, this seems a fairly easy question,” she says, it’s not. So, “before you answer, think about what genre of articles appeals to you: technology, fashion, current events,” Crawford advises. “Now determine if there is a way to link the genre that appeals to you as a professional. For example, if you are drawn to articles about technology, you could explain that your love of technology means that you enjoy learning new ways of doing things, you are open to change, and look to stay on top of current trends.”

8. Throw your resume aside and tell me what makes you you.

This is another question designed not to trip you up, Crawford says, but to get to know you better. “Keep in mind that they may have looked you up online and have your cover letter, so do your best not to just repeat something they have already read about you,” she says. “Instead, is there a background story about how you got into your industry? Can you explain your unique selling proposition—why you are unique in your industry? Or, you could explain your top three values and why they are important to you.”

9. What’s wrong with your past or current employer?

At all costs, “remember that you want to avoid bashing your current or past employer and the company,” warns Crawford. “This question is designed to find out why you are looking for a new job. Instead of focusing on them, focus on you. Are you looking for more career growth that what is offered where you currently work? Or a more challenging position?”

10. Tell me about the worst manager you ever had.

Before you bash your last boss, “remember that your hiring manager has your resume and knows where you have worked, so your managers won’t be completely anonymous,” warns Crawford. “However, you might explain a type of management style that wasn’t ideal for you. And if you haven’t had a bad manager, don’t make one up. Let the hiring manager know that you honestly have gotten along with your previous managers, and focus on how you are able to work with different personality and management styles.”

The article was originally posted on Glassdoor.com