Soldier for Life: 75th Ranger Regiment Career Development Seminar

By Maj. Tony MayneSeptember 1, 2016

Ranger veteran presenters
1 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Jesse Yandell, American Dream U
2 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Ranger veteran Brett Sandorn
3 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

Rangers from the 75th Ranger Regiment's 3d Ranger Battalion, Special Troops Battalion, and Regimental Headquarters attended a career development seminar hosted by Army veterans under the umbrella of American Dream U, a military transition not for profit, Aug. 19 at McGinnis-Wickham Hall on Fort Benning, Georgia.

Keeping with the spirit of the Army's Solider for Life program, the day-long seminar provided active duty Rangers professional empowerment and career outlook strategies in a variety of career fields from military, business, international policy, technology, and not for profit organizations.

"The Rangers of the 75th Ranger Regiment are unique animals," Master Sgt. Ret. Jesse Yandell said. "Rangers exude confidence and become great leaders in our Army; but the reason for their military success can be a detriment if they do not learn how to transfer their skill set for their future joint assignments in the Department of Defense and in their chosen civilian careers."

The seminar marked the fourth time Yandell, a former 2d Ranger Battalion 1st Sgt., facilitated a Ranger-focused career development seminar to member of the 75th Ranger Regiment. A leadership consultant with Kenning Associates, Yandell also serves a military advisor to American Dream U.

The audience contained a variety of Rangers in the career cycle of a soldier from those preparing to transition after their initial enlistment to senior leaders preparing to their civilian career transition.

Over the course of the eight-hour seminar, the Rangers were introduced to basic principles of career preparation that included finding their vision, developing their purpose, and building a professional network.

Josh Collins, who paddle boarded 3,500 miles from the Gulf of Mexico to New York City after founding of Operation Phoenix stressed the important of vision in formulating a vision of success for a chosen career field.

"The vision that you have in your minds will be the key to the success that you have in your lives," Collins said. "Keep that vision in front of you, where you can see daily."

"You have to bring something to the table for the organization you want to join," stressed Col. Ret. Jared Norell, who transitioned from the Army as a division operations officer. Norell is the vice president of Lyman Ward Military Academy.

"I realized that my experiences where not all directly transferable to the civilian workforce, so I had to get additional education to be competitive," Norell said.

Tripp Melton, Owner Operator of RGR Motorsports a metro Atlanta power sports retailer, spoke to the power of building and maintain a professional network in finding career success.

"I was speaking with members of my network about what I wanted to do and a friend of mine said, 'I can put you into contact with guy,'. And, that is where it all started," Melton said.

To build a professional network in preparation for transition to a civilian career, Melton recommended that the Rangers actively seek out the following five people in the location they plan to live: insurance agent, investment banker, real estate agent, accountant or attorney, and a senior member of Rotary club.

"All of these people have the most robust network in their communities," Melton said.

Brett Sandorn, founder and president of Eamon Chase, LLC, a disabled veteran owned construction firm, reinforced the importance of networking with the reality of the importance of choosing the right people to spend time with.

"You are the sum of the five people you choose to hang out with the most," Sandorn said. "If you want to run marathons, you would hang out with marathoners. If you wanted to build muscles, you would talk to the big guys in the gym. Success is business is no difference."

The day concluded with small group break-out sessions where the Rangers engaged the presenters in smaller groups to discuss the principles examined throughout the day.

Disclaimer: This article is not an official endorsement of the Department of Defense or the 75th Ranger Regiment endorsement of American Dream U or its selected speakers.