JOB ENVY: Military Olympian Makes Transition To International Wellness Guide

career
Photo courtesy of Sarah Plummer

Name: Sarah Plummer


Branch: Marines

Job Field: Wellness

Title: Founder, SEMPER Sarah

Sarah Plummer is on a roll. The 33-year-old founder of SEMPERSarah.com, a wellness mentoring brand, keeps a busy schedule of international travel, speaking, coaching, writing, and teaching. Her powerful drive to help people transition from trauma has not gone unnoticed. From Katie Couric’s talk show, to “NBC Nightly News” with Brian Williams, to one-on-one and group coaching sessions, Plummer is advancing her mission to teach resiliency to those who need it most.

Plummer, a University of Virginia graduate, left active duty five years ago after serving as a U.S. Marine intelligence officer for seven years. Her military service, which included two deployments to Iraq and several years as a military Olympian, equipped her well for the work she does today.

“People are hungry for guidance, leadership, and role models as they work to transition from miserable situations to being happy and healthy,” said Plummer. “My goal is to reach people who might feel isolated by their trauma, to connect with them through my own story, and to equip them with tools for wellness.”

On her most pivotal experiences while serving

Plummer’s first pivotal military moment came during her final years at the University of Virginia when she switched from Air Force ROTC to Marine ROTC.

“I went against the advice of almost everyone in my life to make that switch,” said Plummer. “As a young adult, tapping into my intuitive wisdom for the first time was really powerful. Even though the Marine Corps contained some of my toughest challenges, and even when the proverbial shit hit the fan, I was able to accept it all because I had chosen that path.”

A second critical moment occurred when Plummer was raped by a close friend just before receiving her commission. The event called into question everything Plummer thought she knew about military camaraderie, her goals, and her future.

Still, Plummer pressed forward and accepted her commission. She also sought counseling. The move --- despite assurances to the contrary --- was penalized with a medical disqualification for flight school, and she was reclassified as an intelligence officer.

Though Plummer was initially frustrated and disillusioned by the move, the transfer into the intel field turned out to be a good fit.

“Intelligence work combines geography, imagery, sociology, anthropology, and intelligence analysis,” she noted. “It’s the perfect combination of my favorite academic disciplines.”

Plummer’s current focus on teaching resilience to veterans and civilians alike is heavily informed by her years of experience in the intelligence field.

“Today, my technical skillset is about health and wellness, but it still falls under the larger umbrella of understanding people,” Plummer said. “The more perspectives you have on the human condition the better.”

On what she took away from the military

Plummer’s first months as a newly commissioned second lieutenant represent a series of particularly intimidating moments. Still, she credits those early experiences of feeling scared but doing the work anyway with her ability to be bold in business today.

“As an entrepreneur, you have a lot of moments when you feel fear,” Plummer said. “But you have to move through it.”

Since leaving active duty in 2009, Plummer has had ample opportunity to flex her mentorship, leadership, and self-discipline muscles.

“Being a motivated person is, in some ways, almost harder outside the military,” she said. “You don’t have that structure anymore. But you do have a type of muscle memory --- a certain temperament that’s been developed, and I rely on those key elements to operate effectively.”

Her advice for transitioning veterans

“Approach your transition from a place of curiosity rather than fear,” Plummer advises. “Don’t focus on what you’re giving up, but on the new journey you’re about to embark upon.”

The myriad resources available to transitioning veterans --- from free yoga classes to professional development opportunities to entrepreneurial support --- should be met with a sense of openness, flexibility, and gratitude, says Plummer.

“It’s interesting how it can all come together,” she said. “You can adapt what worked in the military to a new environment --- you don’t have to recreate the wheel. I mean, I turned ‘SEMPER’ into an acronym that works in the private sector!”

Lydia Davey is an entrepreneur and U.S. Marine veteran. She is the founder of Moriah Creatives Public Relations.

A Coast Guard lieutenant arrested this week planned to "murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country," according to a court filing requesting he be detained until his trial.

Read More Show Less
(From left to right) Chris Osman, Chris McKinley, Kent Kroeker, and Talon Burton

At least four American veterans were among a group of eight men arrested by police in Haiti earlier this week for driving without license plates and possessing an arsenal of weaponry and tactical gear.

Police in Port-au-Prince arrested five Americans, two Serbians, and one Haitian man at a police checkpoint on Sunday, according to The Miami-Herald. The men told police they were on a "government mission" but did not specify for which government, according to The Herald.

They also told police that "their boss was going to call their boss," implying that someone high in Haiti's government would vouch for them and secure their release, Herald reporter Jacqueline Charles told NPR.

What they were actually doing or who they were potentially working for remains unclear. A State Department spokesperson told Task & Purpose they were aware that Haitian police arrested a "group of individuals, including some U.S. citizens," but declined to answer whether the men were employed by or operating under contract with the U.S. government.

Read More Show Less
A photo shared by Hoda Muthana on her now-closed @ZumarulJannaTwitter account. (Twitter/ZumarulJannah)

The State Department announced Wednesday that notorious ISIS bride Hoda Muthana, a U.S.-born woman who left Alabama to join ISIS but began begging to return to the U.S. after recently deserting the terror group, is not a U.S. citizen and will not be allowed to return home.

Read More Show Less
Heckler & Koch's first batch of M27 Infantry Automatic Rifles

Have you ever wondered what would happen if the employee behind a firearm company's Facebook page decided to goad a bunch of Marines into destroying their brand new firearms? Now you know.

Read More Show Less

A top Senate Republican and fierce ally of President Donald Trump reportedly exploded at Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan recently about the U.S. military's plans to withdraw all troops from Syria by the end of April.

"That's the dumbest f******g idea I've ever heard," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) reportedly replied when Shanahan confirmed the Trump administration still plans to complete the Syria withdrawal by April 30.

Later, Graham told Shanahan, "I am now your adversary, not your friend."

Read More Show Less