Tag Archives: Military
Minor League Baseball player and Surface Warfare Officer Luke Gillingham shares his memories of playing baseball at the United States Naval Academy for Coach Paul Kostacopoulos, his recollection of being drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays, and the options the Navy presented to him as he fulfilled his commitment to serving his country through the Navy Reserve while having the opportunity to play professional baseball. Gillingham also shares his thoughts on playing professional baseball and baseball during the global health crisis of COVID-19.
Judge Michael Allen speaks about his path to serving as one of nine judges on the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, the youngest federal court, created in 1988. Appeals of all benefits administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs are heard by the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Judge Allen speaks about the family members and teachers who mentored him and made a difference in his life. Hear his special stories of visiting the White House to interview for the seat on the bench before being confirmed by the Senate in August of 2017, when Chief Justice John Roberts swore him in and the unique impact a lawyer had in his parents’ lives. Judge Allen explains that the goal of a judge is much like that of a baseball umpire: to get it right.
Retired Fleet Master Chief Scott Benning speaks about the opportunities presented by the military for individuals to improve themselves while serving one’s country and receiving an education. It is vital to our country that the military is on the leading edge of technology and human capital development. Chief Benning speaks about the sacrifices people make in life and the meaning of a purpose driven life, including setting goals and overcoming setbacks. The more one puts into something, the more one receives from their efforts. You get in life what you give in life. Scott speaks about learning from our mistakes and passing that information on to the future generation. His book Power of Positive Leadership “challenges you to focus on your personal attitude, focus, and the importance of growing yourself so you can grow others to strengthen your team and grow a positive attitude” (pop-leadership.com). ICE leadership includes three steps: inspire, challenge, and empower.
Air Force Veteran, TEDx Speaker, Award-Winning Entrepreneur, Seasoned Brand Ambassador, Girl Scout Gold Award Winner Charlynda Scales on her time in acquisition in the Air Force and lessons learned from entrepreneurship.
Ms. Charlynda Scales speaks of her time as an acquisitions officer in the United States Air Force, the bond she shared with her grandfather Charlie “Mutt” Ferrell, Jr., who encouraged Charlynda to pursue a career in the military and left her with his recipe. Today, Charlynda leads Mutt’s Sauce, with “every bottle of Mutt’s Sauce made with love and determination to continue his legacy.” Hear about the difficulty and excitement of being the first active-duty service member to appear on Shark Tank and how Charlynda has managed business success as someone from modest beginnings.
“In 1956, Mutt got the idea to make a sauce he could use for every meal. Mutt’s sauce was a multi-purpose specialty sauce, infusing sweet, tangy and a little bit of heat into each spoonful. When Mutt deployed with the U.S. Air Force in support of Vietnam and the Korean War, he packed up his wife, kids and of course the sauce, and headed over to Japan. While in Japan, Mutt would host parties and his sauce was always the highlight. The laughter, food, and friendship was always successful at breaking down any cultural or language barriers. What started as one man’s quest to make a multi-purpose sauce quickly became a symbol of unity and brotherhood wherever he went.” (Muttssauce.com/pages/about).
“Retiring after 21 years of active service in the United States Navy, Alan Bottorff earned his Bachelor of Business Administration – Healthcare Management from Strayer University, graduating Summa Cum Laude. He completed his MBA at Duke University, The Fuqua School of Business in December 2018. Mr. Bottorff has acquired 27 years of professional leadership, entrepreneurship, business, and team development experiences. He has successfully built two healthcare startup companies, urgent care practices and a Medicare-certified home health agency. Alan enjoys being involved in his community. Serving as Board Member, Trustee and Chairperson of a number of organizations, his willingness to give back has helped shape several executives and leaders in the healthcare and political landscapes” (Teledacyl.com).
“I wore this Country’s uniform for over two decades while serving in the United States Navy. Upon retirement, I promised myself that I would do whatever it took to help provide a better quality of life to our Veterans. I’m going to honor my commitment by providing better access to healthcare, housing and other Veteran services using innovative technology. This is not just another application added to the hundreds on the market today; this technology connects existing services on a single platform to simplify the way Veterans receive the help they need. No Veteran should be without the necessities to survive or have to live on the street after sacrificing so much. Period. At Teledactyl, we help change that narrative completely.”
Alan E. Bottorff, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Over 20 veterans take their lives each day, evidence of a suicide epidemic within our country, a problem specifically prevalent within the veteran community. The Suicide Awareness and Prevention flag is a symbolic combination of the Prisoner of War (POW) and Gold Star flags. The Gold Star is displayed on a service flag to indicate that a relative of the family was killed while serving in the armed forces during wartime. This is a conversation about warrior culture, removing stigma, expressing feelings, mental wellness, and what we can do to improve the situation together.
Rear Admiral Frank Thorp speaks about his family’s longstanding service, within and outside of the military. He speaks about the principle of America’s service men and women serving and defending our Constitution, representing freedom and people’s desire to fight for it and give up what they have, as embodied by Bob Feller. Rear Admiral Thorp speaks about being in the Pentagon on 9/11 and reminds listeners that valor is not a word to be taken lightly.
“In his final active duty assignment in the Navy, Rear Adm. (ret) Frank Thorp, IV was the U.S. Navy’s Chief of Information (CHINFO), serving as principal spokesman for the Department of the Navy and providing strategic communication counsel to the Secretary of the Navy and the Chief of Naval Operations. He led the Navy’s Public Affairs community of more than 2,500 active and reserve officer, enlisted, and civilian communication professionals.
Prior to this assignment, Thorp served as the deputy assistant secretary of defense (joint communication) where he was responsible for overseeing Department of Defense (DoD) efforts to shape department-wide communication doctrine, organization, and training for the joint force. As director of the strategic communication integration group (SCIG) secretariat, Thorp also led DoD efforts for strategic communication auspices of the deputy secretary of defense, DoD strategic communication plans.
He served as the special assistant for public affairs to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 2003 until 2005. In 2003 during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Thorp was deployed to Qatar as the chief of media for U.S. Central Command (forward).
From 2000 to 2003, he served as special assistant for public affairs to the Chief of Naval Operations. His other assignments have included serving as the public affairs officer for the Bureau of Naval Personnel; Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet; Joint Task Force Middle East; Cruiser Destroyer Group 12 and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). He has also served as director of public affairs and congressional notification at the Navy Office of Legislative Affairs.
Thorp has also had several previous assignments at the Navy’s Office of Information. As a commander, he served as assistant chief of information for media operations. Other assignments include executive assistant to the chief of information, national news desk action officer, and aide to the chief of information.
Prior to specializing in public affairs, Thorp served as a surface warfare officer forward-deployed to Sasebo, Japan.
In 1999, Thorp completed a fellowship at Hill & Knowlton Worldwide Public Affairs in Washington D.C. He has a master’s degree in broadcast journalism and public affairs from American University and a master’s degree in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College. Thorp is a 1986 graduate of the Defense Information School and a 1981 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy with a degree in operations analysis.
His decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal (2), Legion of Merit (2), Meritorious Service Medal (3), Joint Service Commendation Medal (2), and the Navy Commendation Medal (3)” (United States Navy website).
Captain Greg Zettler speaks about lessons of integrity as a priority of his education at the United States Naval Academy. Captain Zettler speaks about the significance of service and recommends one assumes that everyone on their team has noble intent. Captain Zettler stresses the importance of creating individual ownership of the collective mission. The best advice Captain Zettler has received was to not try to by perfect: to rely on his innate ability and the training he has been provided. Zettler’s advice for those entering the military is relevant life advice for any person, especially youth: “Come in ready to learn, ready to work hard, ready to embrace the opportunities that come your way. Strive to achieve the mission. Embrace your own ownership for the mission.” For Captain Greg Zettler, valor is the willingness to do the right thing in the face of potential consequences to yourself.
“Captain Greg Zettler became the USS Norfolk’s 16th Commanding Officer November 18, 2011. He graduated from the Naval Academy in May of 1994 with a Bachelor of Science in General Engineering. He has also earned a Master’s Degree in Leadership and Human Resource Development from the Naval Postgraduate School and a Master’s Degree in National Security Resources from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He has received several decorations in his career” (United States Navy).
Mr. Ed Randall speaks about his love of baseball while growing up, leading him to broadcast, report, and anchor professionally. He speaks about the challenges of reaching Major League Baseball, being grateful for his experiences and respecting the past. Mr. Randall shares his memory of making it to the Major Leagues when he filled in for Bob Shepherd, the legendary public address announcer at Yankee Stadium. Mr. Randall speaks about his close relationship with Baseball Hall of Famer Ernie Harwell and shares stories of National Baseball Hall of Famer and World War II and Korean War veteran Mr. Ted Williams. Hear about how Ed’s battle with prostate cancer has led him to help men understand that there is a 99% cure rate when cancer is detected early through testing.
“Ed Randall is the Founder and CEO of Fans for the Cure, a 501(c)(3) charity he started in 2003 to promote prostate cancer awareness, provide free PSA screenings, and focus on the importance of early detection in achieving best outcomes.
Since the start of the charity’s annual Baseball Road Trip in 2009, Fans for the Cure has conducted nearly 1,500 prostate cancer awareness days/nights at MLB and Minor League ballparks around the country. In cooperation with the teams’ healthcare partners and the charity’s network of physicians and hospitals, Fans for the Cure has provided over 5,000 PSA screenings as part of this program.
In addition to his work with Fans for the Cure, Ed just began his forty-sixth season in baseball broadcasting, hosting Remember When with Rico Petrocelli on Sirius XM as well as Ed Randall’s Talking Baseball on New York’s WFANThe author of three books about baseball, Ed’s most recent release is Baseball for the Utterly Confused, published by McGraw-Hill. His most notable collaboration was conducting the interviews with celebrity golfers and well-known PGA players that provided the content for The Best Golf Advice I Ever Received by Donald J. Trump. (Crown, 2005)
A graduate of Fordham University, Ed is a member of the school’s College Alumni Board as well as an inductee in the All Hallows High School Hall of Fame. Ed and his wife Louisa reside in Westchester County, New York” (Fansforthecure.org).
We were very fortunate to feature Mrs. Anne Feller, the widow of Mr. Bob Feller, on the American Valor Podcast. Mrs. Feller shares incredible stories of Mr. Feller’s recollection of his experiences in World War II and pride in his country, sharing insight into what made individuals like Mr. Feller and World War II and Korean War veteran Mr. Ted Williams so special.
Afterwards, hear about the upcoming baseball season.