Show cover of The Ambitious VET Show

The Ambitious VET Show

If you're a growth-minded veteran inside the immediate transition window or have been out for years, have realized that immediate transitional education has a shelf life to your goals and aspirations after basic needs are met, and are looking for the #goldengrenades to get yourself out of your own way and fuel your desire to make an impact post-military. This is your podcast built by veterans for veterans as we dive into the trenches with today’s top subject matter experts, share inspiring transition stories, and provide masterclasses to equip you to reach your full potential.


218: Finding Meaning Behind Failure with Marine Corps Officer Chris Pavlak
When you chase things with the wrong motives, the end result has a funny way of teaching you something. Especially when it ends in devasting failure. Chris Pavlak attended law school for all the wrong reasons, though he wouldn’t realize this until years after he repeatedly failed the Bar exam. Versus allowing the failure to beat him, he used it to find purpose by becoming a United States Marine. In this episode, Chris shares more about his story, the primary message behind his best-selling book: Lawyer to Warrior- Failing the Bar, Becoming a Marine, and Finding Meaning, and what he learned about building a life of significance off solid ground.   Impactful Moments of the Show:  4:00: Chris' background 6:00: The why behind writing the book and the primary message behind: Lawyer to Warrior  9:00: Failure and the impact on one’s soul  20:00: The difference between law school culture and military culture 23:00: Building a life off of solid ground  24:00: Chris' last saved rounds  Check out Chris' book website here:  Connect with Chris on LinkedIn here:  Click this link to take advantage of my offer of buying the FIRST THREE people copies of Lawyer to Warrior, who submit their number one #GoldenGrenade gained from the episode and your mailing address here:  More about the guest:  Chris Pavlak graduated from law school in 2006. He failed the bar exam twice before joining the U.S. Marines and becoming a ground intelligence officer. During his service, Chris has led Marine rifle and scout sniper platoons, been a planner for Marine Corps service-level exercises, and served as an advisor to Afghan security forces. Still in the Marine Corps Reserves, Chris is a faculty member at National Intelligence University near Washington, D.C.  As a civilian, he is a consultant on the policies, ethics, governance, and regulations of artificial intelligence and emerging technologies. He lives in Alexandria, VA.  Show Sponsor: Subscribe to our newsletter and receive AVN updates, content, and curated tools and news to fuel your ambitions post-military. You can subscribe here: 
35:48 4/7/23
217: Bunker Labs 23A Veterans In Residence Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas Cohort Spotlights
In this episode, I dive into the trenches with four veteran entrepreneurs based in the Dallas, Texas area who were accepted in the most recent cohort of Bunker Lab's Veteran in Residence Program, sponsored by USAA, WeWork, and Pilot/Flying J. These entrepreneurs share their backgrounds, what they learned about themselves during the military transition process, and why they started their small businesses.  Interview One: Christine Walker Christine is a Desert Storm veteran, having served as a Hospital Corpsman at Camp Lejeune, MCB. She has over 20 collective years of design, writing, and publishing experience, co-founding MAC Publishing as Creative Director and founding Devil Doc Publishing in July 2020, with their first publication, AT EASE! Veterans Magazine was released the same year. To learn more about Christine's small business click here:  Interview Two: Andrea Gepner United States Navy veteran and Founder and CEO of Simply Tax Compliant, a smarter way to manage your small business taxes. Learn more about Andrea's small business here:  Interview Three: Jessica Erickson Jessica is a Marriage and Family Doctoral Candidate and LPC-S. She is an Army Veteran and a Navy wife who has a passion for working with veterans struggling with mental health. She founded Hearts and Minds Counseling in 2019 and created a 12-week program that incorporates glass working with a proven self-worth curriculum. Learn more about Jessica's small business by clicking here:  Interview Four: Kimelyn Coleman Kimelyn is the founder and CEO of KC's Job Serach Coaching, LLC. She is a US Army veteran has a Master of Business Administration degree and is certified as a Career Coach and Professional Resume Writer. For further information, you can contact her by email at 
62:27 3/1/23
216: The Four Fundamentals to Live a Strong Life Post-Military with Dr. PJ Maykish
How do you find that internal compass to guide yourself from where you are to who you want to become post-military? In this episode, PJ Maykish unpackages his four pillars to living a strong post-military life.  Impactful moments in the show:  4:00MM: PJ’s background  8:00MM: How he found passion in tech and its ability to be a warfighting superpower. 12:00MM: The four fundamentals to live strong.  18:00MM: How to find your battle rhythm leveraging the four fundamentals.  23:00MM: Self-acceptance and what you can control when your stock price goes down as an individual.  28:00MM: The two behaviors to audit in your everyday life.  35:00MM: PJ's war cry to all Ambitious VETs.  How to learn more about Dr. PJ Maykish:  LinkedIn:  More around his role as Senior Advisor at Special Competitive Studies Project:  Show Sponsor: Subscribe to our email list and receive your FREE copy of our Ambitious VET Goal Setting Framework:  More about the guest: Dr. PJ Maykish serves the Special Competitive Studies Project as a Senior Advisor. Prior to the SCSP, PJ was the Director for Technology Competition at the National Security Council. He directed classified research for the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence from 2019-2021. In the Strategy Office for the Secretary of Defense (OSD-P/SFD), PJ developed “Third Offset” technology solutions for DoD deterrence credibility issues from 2015-2017. He was promoted early to Lieutenant Colonel and Colonel ranks with 24 years of leadership experience in military operations including Commander of U.S. Central Command’s Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC) from 2017-2019.
41:13 2/22/23
215: SOFA Agreement, Professional Development, and Military Spouse and Veteran Career Advancement with Kasie Valenti
For many military spouses, moving overseas and trying to find employment can be almost impossible. The consequences of not finding employment negatively impact employment history gaps and long-term retirement plans for the whole family. In this episode, Kasie Valenti, Army veteran, military spouse, and Founder and CEO of Sigma Forces shares her story of overcoming employment hurdles as a military spouse moving overseas, how to use a  document called a Status of Forces (SOFA) agreement, and what she is doing to support in veterans and military spouse's career advancement. Impactful moments of the show: 4:00MM: Kasie’s background. 6:00MM: Employment hurdles Kasie hit when looking for employment overseas and helping recruiters over their knee-jerk perceived barriers.  12:00MM: How to kick doors down easier using professional certifications.  19:00MM: Different scenarios on leveraging the (SOFA) for both veterans and mil-spouses. 24:00MM: How a (SOFA) ties to certifications and employment. 28:00MM: Last saved rounds  Connect with Kasie and learn more about her work at Sigma Forces:  LinkedIn  Sigma Forces Website:  Show Sponsor: If you are interested in jumping into the trenches with other ambitious vets looking to grow and advance in life together, feel free to apply here:   
36:38 2/8/23
214: Networking, Building Relationships, and Podcasting with Travis Johnson
When we get out of the military we can forget how to make friends, develop, and nurture those relationships. In this episode, Travis Johnson shares his relationship-building best practices, how to build a solid personal brand, and his podcasting journey to becoming one of the top veteran podcasters in the community.  Impactful Moments of the Show: 4:00MM: Travis’ Background. 8:00MM: Travis’ childhood "librarian yearbook" story that set him up for success in relationship building for the rest of his life.  10:00MM: Prospecting versus Networking. 14:30MM: Practically in building relationships. 20:00MM: How Travis learned how to tame outcome-focused military tendencies in relationships. 24:00MM: The power of personal branding. 20:00MM: Travis’ podcast background. 37:00MM: Travis’ communication learned lessons in an oral board review in his Navy days. 45:00MM: Last saved rounds to break through barriers to your success post-military. Learn more about Travis Johnson here:  Show Sponsor: Want to learn more about the Ambitious VET Community Platform and how you can dive into the trenches with our veterans looking to improve in life? Click here: 
47:26 2/2/23
213: Three Reasons Why You Need to Breakthrough Your Barriers in Attaining the Benefits you Deserve Post Military
The majority who serve in the military are patriots, people down on their luck looking for another chance to make something of themselves, or for economic advancement. What we forget when we transition is the long-term thinking that it takes to realize how much our benefits would increase the overall quality of our life.   In this masterclass, Chris shares the challenges veterans deal with in attaining their benefits, the latest VA and DOD 2023FY budgets, and the three reasons why you need to do the work in getting your benefits to create more margin and wealth in your life post-military.  Resources and Facts shared during the episode:  Applying for VA Healthcare: VA 2023FY budget and where it's being allocated: A great resource to support you along the process of attaining disability compensation around service-connected injuries: Show Sponsor:  Apply to join our exclusive Ambitious VET Community Platform here: 
17:52 1/18/23
212: Getting Out of Your Own Way, Seeking Mentorship, and Career Advice with Eric Brew
One of the most consistent things we hear from veterans at AVN is "I am in my own way", but it becomes a blanket statement over a deep wound when you don't know what that means or how to overcome it. In this episode, Eric Brew (Manager of Military Engagement at American Corporate Partners) and retired Army 1stSgt shares his transition struggles, what it means to get in your own way when pursuing success post-military, and how to leverage mentors to guide you along the process to becoming who you want to be post-military.  Impactful moments of the show: 5:00MM: Eric’s background. 7:00MM: One of the biggest things he learned through his transition struggles. 10:00MM: What does it mean to be in your own way and what key risk factors to identify early on.  15:00MM: What to bring to mentor sessions to get the most out of them. 28:00MM: More on ACP and what it has to offer.  Connect with Eric Brew on LinkedIn here:  Learn more about ACP here:  Show Sponsor: Are you a veteran ready to set your 2023 goals military style? If so, subscribe to our email list and get your copy of our MT5X5 Ambitious VET Goal Setting Framework here:  More on the guest, Eric Brew: Eric is the Manager of Military Engagement at ACP. Eric’s passion is to serve and honor Transitioning Service Members, Veterans, and their families by investing in them and assisting them in building meaningful lives through connections to fulfilling careers and proactively strengthening the Veteran community through, example, leadership, and collaboration.
33:18 1/4/23
211: Overcoming the NO Self Promotion Hurdle Military Veterans Carry, Setting Up an Attractive LinkedIn Profile, And How to Build a Thriving Network On LinkedIn and in Life with Amy Forsythe
If you have gone through any transition program or leveraged a veteran service organization to set up a LinkedIn profile, you have most likely already learned about the FREE 12-month premium subscription. With that said, just because you have a door open doesn't mean you know how to walk through it, am I correct? Meaning, some of you who will read this have already used your 12-month FREE premium account and you haven't done a damn thing to build a personal brand on the platform. Nothing is wrong with that and the goal of this episode is to help you get the basics down on building a solid personal brand on LinkedIn. In this episode, Amy Forsythe an award-winning military journalist and public affairs officer for the U.S. Navy shares how to overcome "the self-promotion is a selfish cry out-for-attention myth" that veterans have, tips on how to build a solid Linkedin Profile, and her personal tactics on how she leverages the platform to build quality and meaningful relationships with professionals.  Learn more about Amy's new book here:  Purchase a signed copy here: Connect with Amy on LinkedIn here:  Show Sponsor: Click here to check out some of the hottest retail veteran-owned, 100% American Made, or organizations with a generous profit donation to military initiatives inside of our 2022 Holiday Gift Guide:  Guest Bio: Amy Forsythe is an award-winning military journalist who served five combat tours supporting Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom and has been on assignment for several other overseas missions. Amy started her career as a U.S. Marine combat correspondent in 1993 and currently serves as Public Affairs Officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve and is assigned to U.S. Special Operations Command. Her imagery taken while covering military operations around the world has been featured in numerous international and national media outlets through the years and continues to be used for historical purposes.  She is also the author of Heroes Live Here: A Tribute to Camp Pendleton Marines Since 9/11.' started as a passion project to showcase the memorials and markers on Camp Pendleton and it turned into a collaborative work of art that honors our fallen heroes of the post-9/11 generation. Amy was first stationed at Camp Pendleton, California, in 1995 and still has strong ties to the base and surrounding communities. She's involved in supporting various veteran service organizations in San Diego County and around the country.
26:54 12/21/22
210: Identifying Your Trusted Confidants in the Trenches of Everyday Life, Doing Wellness Checks, and Thinking Through Impossible Situations as a Struggling Veteran with Chris Roness
What if you had your top five trusted agents in the trenches with you whom you could rely on to share your plans, goals, challenges, and fears on a regular basis vs posting on social hoping that someone cares enough to comment for you to feel supported? It would feel good right? In this episode, Chris "Switch” Roness, USAF (Retired) Colonel of 27 years shares why we as veterans struggle with our ability to vulnerably storytell about ourselves to our support groups, walks you through an acronym called ACRE to equip with a communication framework, and shares a badass wellness accountability check tool that will build your strength, confidence, and resilience in times of struggle.  Impactful moments of the Show: 5:00MM: Chris’ background 8:00MM: Vulnerable storytelling that portrays strength not weakness  12:00MM:  Acre acronym  16:00MM Benefits of telling your story 20:00MM: Interesting statistic around life resilience 23:00MM: Where to start when you don’t where to start communicating from an authentic place with your support system. 25:00MM: Wellness Check tool with confidants 28:00MM: Your personal confidant rules and tools to use to keep in communication 31:00MM: Summary Learn more about Chris Roness' work here: Connect with Chris on LinkedIn here: December 20th, 2022 - Masterclass link:  Show Sponsor: Check out our 2022 Holiday Gift Guide here: 
30:31 12/15/22
209: All New Resilience Book "Cleared Out" and Tactics From an Apache Gunship Pilot on How to Overcome Trauma Post Military with Brian Slade
We can easily play defense with the invisible wounds that come back with us after experiencing combat, i.e. PTSD and other trauma. With that said, you do have a choice in the matter, you may just not be aware of the tools on how to play offense. In this episode, Air Force Lt. Col.  Brian Slade shares his learned lessons from learning how to think fast under pressure and maneuver through a curtain of enemy fire that crippled his aircraft and wounded his co-pilot, ultimately earning him the Distinguished Flying Cross. You will walk away having gained one principle he shares in his book Cleared Hot: Lessons Learned about Life, Love, and Leadership While Flying the Apache Gunship in Afghanistan and Why I Believe a Prepared Mind Can Prevent PTSD.  Impactful moments of the show: 4:00MM: Brian's Background 6:00MM: Why he wrote the book 10:00MM: Introduction to the Chair Flying principle 14:00MM: Story of co-pilot getting hit while on a mission in Afghanistan  20:00MM: Steps to Chair Flying 25:00MM: how to apply the technique in everyday life 28:00MM: Why we cannot buy totally into a man coming home as a shell of himself after combat 32:00MM: Lasting advice for any veteran looking to return to normal life. Learn more about Brian Slade and his book here:  Grab your copy on Amazon here:  Show Sponsor:  Subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter and never miss exclusive content to help you fuel your future ambitions post-military. Click here:   
34:13 11/30/22
208: Building a Story That Sells for Veteran Entrepreneurs and Active-Duty Transitioning Service Members with Dan Manning
We have been telling stories for over 100,000 years as a species to influence and connect with one another. However, when we get out of the military we can often forget this lost art as someone looking for a job, someone looking to raise money from investors, or someone looking to gain customers. In this episode, you will learn the history of storytelling, what stories convey, barriers for veterans to overcome in storytelling and components that make up a great story that sells!  Impactful moments of the show:  4:00MM: Dan's Background. 6:00MM: History of Storytelling. 12:00MM: Barriers to veteran entrepreneurs improving storytelling. 15:00MM: Resume Storytelling tactics. 18:00MM: Components of good storytelling.  22:00MM: Last saved rounds.  Learn more about Dan's work here:  Show Sponsor: Are you looking to join an exclusive community of ambitious veterans looking to improve in the trenches of everyday life? If so check out our community learning platform here:
25:43 11/16/22
207: Military Influencer Conference Takeaways for Aspiring Veteran Entrepreneurs, Corporate and Personal Leaders
Last week (Oct. 26-29, 2022), I attended the Military Influencer Conference in Las Vegas, NV- what others in the military community describe as the place for all things entrepreneurship, transition, social impact, entertainment, and culture in the military community. In this episode, I share my core takeaways from attending key breakout sessions, keynotes, and other events that will support you in your post-military goals.  Resources shared:  VA Claim Insider: a way for you to get the VA rating you deserve in less time:  Ep: 80 Accelerating the response to resources for military veteran leaders with John Boerstler Ep: The Warrior Ethos Behind a Life Fully Lived with Carl Churchill Alpha Coffee: 
19:46 11/2/22
206: Overcoming Your Post Military Career Fears with Andrew Arbogast
Fear is a real thing that all active duty service members and veterans deal with as we navigate the murky water of finding our ideal career pathway post-military. In this episode, Andrew Arbogast, Army retired officer, former apache helicopter pilot, and founder of Arbo's Cheese Dip shares his journey of finding his passion after climbing up a paper mill corporate ladder and overcoming some fears along the way to being willing to jump all into his CHEESY PARADISE.  Impactful Moments of the Show: 4:00MM: Personal fact about Andrew that will surprise you.6:00MM: what keeps him calm in the midst of chaos post-military. 8:00MM: How he navigated the immediate waters of the military transition as an Army Officer. 10:00MM: Some key insights - learned after making some good and ugly decisions during his transition. 14:00MM: The number one differientor for veterans who win and veterans who lose and become the victim vet statistic. 16:00MM: Overcoming his TWO BIGGEST FEARS in life. 24:00MM: One principle Andrew uses to gain the information he needs to be successful quicker. 26:00MM: How he came up with Arbo’s Cheese Dip and executed on the idea. 30:00MM: Two major resources that have helped them out. Learn more about Arbo's Cheese Dip here:  Connect with Andrew on LinkedIn here:  Show Sponsor: Want to learn more about the conference everyone is talking about in the military community, click here: 
36:28 10/21/22
205: A Simple Framework Called "MRBWA" to Hit Black In Landing Your Ideal Career Post Military with Rob Arndt
We veterans can become reactive to the market narrative that we are victims, broken, or even charity cases. AND we both know that if you listen to the show you are looking to use your military experience and benefits as stepping stones to achieving more in your life post-military. Rob Arndt, enlisted Marine Corps veteran and CEO and founder of BufferSprings shares a battle-tested framework to equip you to be proactive in landing the ideal career you love!  More about Rob Arndt:  BufferSprings Founder and CEO, Rob Arndt is a 14-year Veteran of the United States Marine Corps, with 8 of those years focused on armed forces Recruitment & Retention. Since transitioning from military service, Rob has spent the past decade consulting with some of the smartest organizations in the world. Ranging from innovative start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, federal contractors, government agencies, and educational institutions to build effective military veteran and diversity recruitment and compliance initiatives. Rob and the BufferSprings team leverage a vast array of insider connections, cutting-edge HR technology, and expansive online communities to build talent acquisition solutions that provide immediate and ongoing results for smart companies. Connect and learn more about BufferSprings and Rob below:  Rob's LinkedIn:  BufferSprings: 
32:11 10/12/22
204: Veteran Affair Funding Updates and Education Benefits Announcements for FY2023
In this episode, I dive into the Education and Training benefit updates for the Post 9/11 GI BILL for FY2022 through July 2023, share where over 194 million dollars worth of funding is going to combat veteran suicide ideation, and announce the next online event happening inside of the brand new Ambitious VET Network platform.  Resources provided: Education benefit updates:  2022 Staff Sergeant Parker Gordon Fox Suicide Prevention Grantees:  VA MissionBreak Innovation Challenge Awardees:  Ready to dive deeper into an exclusive network of ambitious veterans committed to helping you grow and advance in life post-military? Learn more about our brand new community learning platform here:  
11:29 9/28/22
203: A Simple Framework to Get Ahead of the "Hurry Up and Wait!" Landmine Post Military
If you have served in the military, you have experienced the dreaded hurry-up and wait way of performing and getting shit done. It can definitely be frustrating to even think about and imagine the problems that arise when you repurpose it in your personal and professional life post-military. With that said, what if we could take this intense way of executing and apply it in our everyday lives and use the waiting as an opportunity to receive invaluable feedback, resources, connections, or information that could help us live a more fulfilling and satisfactory life? In this episode, Chris shares a simple framework that can be repurposed in any area of life you may feel like "the hurry up and wait" landmine may be stopping you from living a life you love post-military.  Here is the framework to use in any situation you feel like you are hurrying up and waiting in:  What’s the desired outcome  How can I enjoy the process of getting there? Or how can I make it fun?  What are ways I can ask the right questions from Google, the person in front of me, a group forum, in my network to see it from different perspectives?  How do I have everyone feel included and appreciated?  After execution- ask what feedback is there. Find a way to measure it.  Would you like to learn more about The Ambitious VET Network platform or ask us a clarifying question? If so, click here to dive more into the trenches with us: 
14:54 9/14/22
202: Building The Moral Courage To Take A Stand On Your Beliefs Post Military with Mayor Josh Penner
When we transition out of the military we can lack this individual sense of moral ground to stand on to build teams and teamwork around us. Mainly, because we are used to doing what's best for the overall mission and we don't have the creative space to think critically about our individual beliefs. How do you begin developing the self-awareness to understand your moral ground and then also gain the courage to stand in those beliefs while becoming a public leader in your local community and beyond? In this episode, Mayor Josh Penner shares how he softened the edges of his militant enlisted Marine Corps communication style, learned how to build the moral courage to communicate where he stands on important issues without anger, and how we went about learning the rules of engagement becoming a public leader in Orting, WA and beyond. Impactful Moments of the Show: 4:00MM: Mayor Penner’s background and story of becoming a public leader. 7:00MM: Refining your militant communication style to be more effective post-military. 12:00MM: Mayor Penner’s philosophy on leadership transitional skills from military to public leadership. 15:00MM: Removing labels and having the moral courage to communicate who you are and what you believe. 21:00MM: Penner strategy consulting firm 28:00MM: Last saved rounds from Mayor Penner for veterans looking to improve as a leader post-military. Learn more about Mayor Josh Penner's leadership consulting firm here:  Learn more about The Ambitious VET Exclusive Platform here: 
32:54 9/7/22
201: Celebrating 200 Episodes Milestone: The Top Five Most Listened To Episodes and Learned Lessons Over The Past Two Years
In this episode, we celebrate another 100 episodes produced here at The Ambitious VET Show. I share the top 5 most listened-to episodes and some personal learned lessons over the past two years of being immersed in the veteran community and around podcasting strategy.  Here are the top five most listened-to episodes of the last 100:  121: Diversity, Unity, and Being Treated as an Original with U.S. Army Combat Veteran, Author, And Speaker Cornelius Maxwell 134: Knowing What Drives Your Business Growth with Navy Veteran and CFO4Vets Founder Scott Chesson 139: Connecting Health And Social Care Inside Local Communities With Army Veteran, Taylor Justice 147: Leveraging The Veteran Business Outreach Centers To Start, Grow, and Sell Your Business With Amy Amoroso 149: Life's Real Currency with Retired Air Force Major, Brenda Sanchez Learn more about The Ambitious VET Exclusive Platform here: 
23:07 8/31/22
200: Owning Your Journey Towards Executive Level Leadership After The Military Transition with Bryan Stewart
There are a lot of setbacks and failures along your pathway to becoming who you want to be, finding your ideal career path, and living a life on your terms post-military. In this episode, Bryan Stewart, retired Marine Corps infantry officer, seasoned healthcare executive, board member, and founder of HDO Health shares his learned lessons on how to overcome setbacks and practical tips on how you can own your journey versus being reactive to circumstance.  Impactful Moments of the Show: 4:00MM: Going from decades of executive leadership experience to going into entrepreneurs. 6:00MM: What he learned from always staying inside of a beginner's mindset. 8:00MM: The process that led to his decision to leave the Marine Corps as an Infantry Officer. 12:00MM: Why he is sourcing talent in the healthcare space from the SkillBridge program. 14:00MM: Questions to ask yourself to gain clarity on your pathway to better leadership opportunities post-military. 17:00MM: Bryan's golden rules he learned from being raised in a judgemental household as an executive leader and start-up founder. 32:00MM: Bryan’s three last saved rounds.  Connect with Bryan on LinkedIn here:  More About Bryan Stewart:  Bryan is a United States Marine Corps veteran and a senior executive with decades of servant leadership experience. His background includes big picture expertise, keen operational, financial, and governance skills, and firsthand knowledge of the functions and processes that make teams and businesses work.  His diverse business career spans successful domestic and international roles across various organizations, including large, public companies like Medtronic, Abbott Laboratories, Zimmer Biomet, and Humana. He has also operated in several privately held and private equity-owned companies, including Ventana Medical Systems (Roche Diagnostics), AmeriPath (Quest Diagnostics), Healogics, and Sage Growth Partners. Bryan most recently served as the Chief Executive of PracticeWise and Golden Victory Medical and currently serves as a Director with Victory Strategies and as the Founder and CEO of HDO Health.  Show Sponsor: Take the time and worry out of booking your short-term rentals, book with At Ease here: 
36:44 8/17/22
199: Overcoming Isolation, Building Accountability Support Around You, and Self Care Habits with JB Basaldua and Jay Fondren
When trying to build a life, raise a family, and advance in your career post-military it can be challenging when you are still carrying unhealed wounds that cause you to isolate yourself, numb yourself with vices, or have you neglecting self-care. In this episode, I dive into the trenches with Jay Fondren (Combat Army Veteran and Director of Operations at Wildops) and JB Basaldua (Marine Corps Purple Heart Recipient and operation facilitator at Wildops) where they both share their challenges and how they overcame things like isolation, self-care, and building accountability partners around them to support in their own healing and growth in life after the uniform came off.  Impactful Moments of the Show: 4:00MM: What is isolation and how can we overcome it? 13:00MM: Jay- overcoming numbing behaviors like becoming a workaholic to avoid taking care of what matters most. 20:00MM: JB- catching the red flags to keep your health trending in the right direction. 25:00MM: More about Wildops and how they are fostering deep trusting relationships and healing at their events.  30:00MM: Last few saved rounds! Learn more about Wildops here: More about Jay Fondren:  Jay is originally from Corsicana, Texas. He enlisted in the US Army at age 19 as a forward observer. He was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, and deployed to Iraq in 2004 with C Trp 10th Cav (Brigade Recon Troop), 1BCT, and 1 CD. On November 24, 2004, Jay was severely injured by a roadside bomb and in October 2005 Jay was medically retired from the military. After the military Jay worked for several years for the Department of Veterans Affairs. While at the VA, Jay realized the need for faith-based care and support for Combat Veterans and left his management position at the VA to do full-time ministry work. Jay previously worked for the PTSD Foundation of America. Jay, Anne, and their six children live in the Houston area. Jay is a graduate of Dallas Baptist University (DBU) with a BAS in Christian Ministry.  Jay is also an Ordained Christian Minister. He attended his first Wild Ops trip in 2021 in Tennessee. He currently serves Wild Ops as the Director of Operations.  More about JB Basaldua Filling the Enlisted Veteran seat on the Wild Ops Board of Directors, Lance Corporal Basaldua served in the Marine Corps from 2003-2008. Seriously wounded during his first combat tour in Iraq, he was awarded a Purple Heart. After participating in a Wild Ops Operation in the summer of 2021, JB joined the Leadership team. He serves as an Operation Facilitator and on the Vetting and Access Teams. JB brings an invaluable perspective to the Board as combat wounded veteran whose life is being transformed through his Wild Ops experience. He is committed to working with fellow combat veterans who seek healing from their combat trauma-related wounds. JB and his wife, Melissa have been married for 18 years and have 3 children. A dedicated husband, father, and man of faith, JB is actively involved in ministry at church and raising his family. They reside in Rockwall, TX. Show Sponsor: LocalVest LocalVest's software platform helps military veterans raise capital faster through state-of-the-art technology and the power of the close-knit military community. Instead of blindly pitching to investors all over the country, Veteran business owners can approach accredited Veteran investors that share similar backgrounds, values, and goals. Learn more here:
41:36 8/10/22
198: Veteran Career Opportunities in Education with Daris Mcinnis
When we transition out of the military we can lose our sense of curiosity, silliness, and ability to adapt to the individual needs of each individual. Coming from a military institution where everything is uniform, highly regulated, and structured how do you find that love and joy in serving people's individual needs? In this episode, Daris Mcinnis, will share his journey into the education field after being an ordnance logistics officer in the United States Army, what he learned about himself, and how veterans can bring the missing leadership needed inside the education industry. Impactful Moments of the Show: 4:00MM: What Daris is most excited about right now in life. 6:00MM: Daris’ Higher Education perspective. 9:00MM: What led him from the Army to early childhood education? 14:00MM: How the education field can support developing more flexibly and adaptability to individual needs. 18:00MM: Bringing silliness to a serious life. 24:00MM: Bringing critical thinking to a diverse work environment. 28:00MM: Why veterans are a good fit for the field of education. 32:00MM: A couple of last golden grenades from Daris to support you in your journey of getting into the educational field. More about Daris:  Daris is full-time doctoral student at Penn GSE (Graduate School of Education) and a summer learning curriculum specialist at the Free Library of Philadelphia. Prior to Penn, Daris served as an early childhood teacher in Washington, D.C., an Education Pioneer in New Orleans, LA, and five years on active duty as an Ordnance Logistics Officer in the United States Army Connect with Daris on LinkedIn here:  Show Sponsor:  If you are ready to jump into the trenches with other like-minded ambitious vets, apply to join our exclusive community learning platform here: 
32:47 8/3/22
197: The Challenges of Becoming a Veteran Entrepreneur; Myths, Hacks, Tips, and Resources to Win with Joe Giordano
In this episode, Joe Giordano, retired Army Master Sergeant and founder of Project Opportunity- a free ten-week entrepreneurship training program for veterans based in Salisbury, Maryland shares the challenges to overcome to become a successful veteran entrepreneur. In a world where entrepreneurship is COOL, to be a true success it goes deeper than just an idea. We discuss things like, business plans and the components of them i.e. market research, financial modeling, SWOT analysis, and competitor analysis. Along with how to test your assumptions of product market fit and forecasted revenue growth and fundraising.  By the end of this one Ambitious VET, you will understand what it takes to be a TRUE veteran entrepreneur and why it's important to take programs like Project Opportunity to ensure you aren't wasting your time or resources on a pathway with no GOLD at the end of the tunnel!  Learn more about Project Opportunity here:  Connect with Joe on LinkedIn here:  Show Sponsor: If you are ready to jump into the trenches with other like-minded ambitious vets, apply to join our exclusive social network here: 
40:50 7/20/22
196: Creating Your Own Personal Checklist For Daily Success Post-Military with Jason Belvill
We go from a regimented lifestyle in the military to complete FREEDOM post-military. Which can be overwhelming when you are ambitious and looking to maximize your time. In this episode, Jason Belvill, Co-founder and Director of Operations for a healthcare start-up BodySpec shares his story of getting out of the AirForce and how he began architecting his own personal daily checklist to feel like he's moving forward toward his unique goals post-military. Impactful Moments of the Show: 5:00MM: Jason’s background and how he went from his project management experience in the AirForce to falling into the director of operations role. 10:00MM: how to leave a very regimented lifestyle of the military to thrive inside of an autonomous career culture. 14:00MM: The importance of having a personal checklist for your definition of success. 20:00MM: Understanding what you identify as in the context of creating a WINNING MORNING ROUTINE. Link to book Jason shared: The One Thing:  24:00MM: Being intentional in relationships in the face of a chaotic life. 29:00MM: Jason's last saved rounds. Here is where you can learn more about Jason:  Bodyspec:  Email: Show Sponsor: If you are ready to jump into the trenches with other like-minded ambitious vets, apply to join our exclusive social network here: 
38:03 7/13/22
195: Identifying Your Voice Post Military with Retired Marine Corps Lt. Col. and Voice Over Talent Patrick Kirchner
Learning how to communicate inside a new industry's culture can be a challenge after your military transition. Retired Marine Corps Lt. Col. Patrick Kirchner always aspired to use his voice to influence and persuade people ever since grade school. After 31 years of service and honing his craft as a voice talent while still serving in the Corps, Patrick now is the founder of Sound Attention where he offers voice-over services inside a variety of industries. He shares his journey in the Corps starting as an E-1 all the way to when he decided he would go after voice-over work.  Impactful Moments of the Show:  4:00MM: Personal brand building. 8:00MM: How a retired Lt. Col of Marines never lost his voice and where to focus in the voice-over industry.  12:00MM: The power of getting personal brand feedback from your sphere of influence.  15:00MM: When he identified he had a sexy voice and how he invested in himself to improve. 20:00MM: A Lt. Colonel’s perspective on his military transition.   23:00MM: What are Patrick’s learned lessons in the voice-over industry. 28:00MM: What is his favorite industry to do voiceover work in. Connect and learn more about Lt. Col. Patrick Kirchner here:  Show Sponsor: Ready to get the good times rolling this summer with the next great outdoor game? Check out and at check out make sure to enter "discount code" avnetwork to receive FREE shipping. 
34:40 6/29/22
194: Overcoming Job Loss, Building Skillsets That Help Others WIN, And Empowering Women Veterans with Melissa Washington
Melissa Washington has a great story of overcoming adversity and making the most of the resources in front of her that would later have her empowering thousands of people. She shares in the episode that never stopping to sharpen her saw during the times of financial challenge led her to a global career opportunity with LinkedIn and in the present-day founder of Women Veterans Alliance a platform for women veterans to connect and share resources to empower their growth! Impactful Moments of the Show:  4:00MM: Melissa’s story and what she learned transitioning out of the Navy, marrying a Marine a month afterward, and then dealing with your husband leaving for deployment a month after that.  10:00MM: How she dug herself out of being laid off in 2009. 12:00MM: How an EDD meet-up group turned into teaching open house LinkedIn Workshops. 20:00MM: Landing her LinkedIn job after posting a LinkedIn Ad for FREE training. 25:00MM: Mellissa’s secret sauce in building relationships that support career advancement. 28:00MM: The checklist behind Melissa’s book: “Get Back To Work!” 34:00MM: How Women Veterans Alliance was born - 7 years ago. 37:00MM: What ambitious female veterans can gain by participating in of Women Veterans Alliance. 40:00MM: Last SAVED Golden grenades. Connect and learn more about Melissa's work here:  LinkedIn:  Women Veterans Alliance:  Melissa's Book:  Other Career Seeking resources mentioned:  Show Sponsor: Ready to get the good times rolling this summer with the next great outdoor game? Check out and at check out make sure to enter "discount code" avnetwork to receive FREE shipping. 
41:07 6/22/22
193: Managing People Effectively Post-Military with Mathew Vermilyer
In this episode, you will learn how to not get entrapped by your circumstances, gain new leadership insights on managing people who do not have the same experience as you, and practical tips on how to empower team members to make their own decisions and solve problems. Impactful moments of the show: 3:00MM: Mathew’s Marine Corps transition story  8:00MM: How to not get trapped inside of circumstances 15:00MM: Leveraging military philosophy to manage someone pivoting into an industry they have no experience inside of 20:00MM: Empowering people to make their own decisions and solve problems in the workforce that positively impact. 25:00MM: Last few golden grenades to fuel your growth, fulfillment, and post-military life ambitions. Connect with Mathew Vermilyer on LinkedIn here:  Dive deeper into The Ambitious VET Network here: 
25:46 6/15/22
192: Getting Established In Your Professional Life Post Military with Susan Simoes
Feeling established post-military can take a long time. In this episode, Susan Simoes a Marine veteran who transitioned into the telecommunications industry and never looked back shares her story of getting established, how to be true to who you are, and provides some profitable LinkedIn tactics to create more career advancement opportunities.  Impactful Moments of the Show:  7:00MM: The story of her landing her first job on the ground floor. 12:00MM: How she got established as a professional in the corporate world. 24:00MM: A real framework and tool to leverage to establish your professional network. 29:00MM: Solid practical tips on how to leverage LinkedIn to land a job. 34:00MM: Great resource to leverage to land government jobs. 37:00MM: One last golden grenade Connect with Susan Simoes on LinkedIn here:  Show Sponsor: Dive deeper with The Ambitious VET Network by subscribing to our weekly newsletter here:  
43:06 6/9/22
191: Kicking Down BIG Doors Post Military While Being Curious Along The Way With Scott Haas
As veterans, we can all fall victim to leveraging the same leadership style we were taught in the military, being aggressive and commanding people. What if you kept the aggression. however, switched the twitch from commanding people to seeking to understand them and allowing them to bring diverse ideas to the battle plan? In this episode, retired USMC infantry veteran, Scott Haas shares how he transitioned into the security industry to now leading national-level talent acquisition efforts for a large company, BGIS.  Impactful Moments of the Show:  4:00MM: How he explains how an infantry Marine can win all those awards.  6:00MM: How he leveraged some basic principles to open up more fulfilling and lucrative doors!10:00MM: The power of the pushing back mentality.  13:00MM: The question to ask yourself to stay in action from where you are. 17:00MM: How to get the most out of every conversation.     23:00MM: Last Golden Grenade Segment  Learn more about BGIS' career opportunities here:  Show Sponsor: STZY Socks: Visit and use code: avn for an additional 20% OFF all purchases.
30:51 6/1/22
190: Fostering A Culture Of Inclusion In Your Team
In this episode, you will learn the importance of creating a team environment of belonging, trust, and innovation. In addition, a simple framework on how to inspire and empower team members to bring innovative ideas around your biggest pressing problems. 
16:33 5/27/22
189: Being Present and Focused In the Midst of Chaos, Overwhelm, Stress
In life post-military, we can be responsible for a lot of different roles. Sometimes they can be damn right overwhelming when there are people involved who have expectations from you. I am talking about a spouse, co-workers, friends, and family members, the list goes on. In this episode, you will gain one timeless critical formula to use in the next step if you are feeling the pressure to perform in the midst of chaos, stress, and overwhelm. Show Sponsor:  TZY Socks: Visit and use code: avn for an additional 20% OFF all purchases.
16:05 5/18/22