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These Veterans Are Realizing Their Dreams As Small-Business Entrepreneurs
During the Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship event in Washington, D.C., on May 30, veteran and military-spouse entrepreneurs gathered to workshop ideas, network and participate in break-out discussion sections.
The event was put on by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families, and included the Realizing Your Dream competition. Six finalists from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Boots to Business and V-Wise entrepreneurship training programs presented their business models and competed for a share of $130,000 seed funding from Citi Foundation.
The competition involved a “Shark Tank”-style Q&A; session, based on the ABC television show format where contestants pitch ideas to a panel of well-known entrepreneurs. Coincidentally, last year’s V-WISE winner, Air Force veteran Kristina Guerrero, appeared on Shark Tank and walked away with a $100,000 investment in her business. This year’s winner for the V-Wise bracket was Air Force veteran Angela Cody-Roeget, and her startup company, Major Mom.
Cody-Roeget’s business model was born from her own experiences as a mother shortly after transitioning out of the military, where she worked as a nuclear and missile operations officer.
“I was in nuclear weapons most of my career. We have ops manuals and checklists and you do not stray from the checklists and ops manual,” Cody-Roeget told Task & Purpose in an interview. “That environment took my natural organizing skills and taught me how to take a lot of chaos and create order out of it.”
After serving on active duty in the Air Force for eight years, and in the reserves for five, Cody-Roeget realized the value of organization, and began to apply it in her own home, and then later, her friends’ homes.
“All of the moms I was meeting when I got out, civilian moms, that didn’t seem to know how to create order and organization, not perfectionism or anything like that, but just having a home for everything seemed to be foreign concept, like putting things away everyday,” she explained. Cody-Roeget’s business helps parents manage their home in a more efficient way. “So I started to grow a place in my heart for that, so I just thought it’s come so naturally to me why not just help people do this.”
For the Boots to Business bracket, Tim Page won first place for his Beltway Auto Spa, a car wash he plans to open at a key intersection in Washington. Page, who served as a signal officer in the Army for 26 years, went on terminal leave the day before the competition.
“Although I had a very successful career, I needed to have something where I had more [say] in what I need to do for my future,” Page told Task & Purpose. He decided to leave active duty and create his own business after the 2013 government shutdown. “That correlated with my decision to retire, and the decision to go into business.”
The competition doesn’t just benefit the winners, but actually helps other participants as well, explained Mike Haynie, executive director and founder for the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University. “Whether or not someone’s walking away with money, they’re all walking away with a plan that’s much further developed than when they started.”
Both Cody-Roquet and Page attribute their success at the conference to what they learned in the military.
“The military is surrounded by attention to detail and measured risk. That transfers into business in that we don’t take on obstacles that are bigger than what we can do.” said Page, adding that, “Jumping out of planes is a very easy task if you pay attention to detail. If you don’t pay attention to detail, that’ll be the last time you jump out of a plane.”
Video footage of a purported "bombing of Kurd civilians" by Turkish military forces shown on ABC News appeared to be a nighttime firing of tracer rounds at a Kentucky gun range.
For U.S. service members who have fought alongside the Kurds, President Donald Trump's decision to approve repositioning U.S. forces in Syria ahead of Turkey's invasion is a naked betrayal of valued allies.
"I am ashamed for the first time in my career," one unnamed special operator told Fox News Jennifer Griffin.
In a Twitter thread that went viral, Griffin wrote the soldier told her the Kurds were continuing to support the United States by guarding tens of thousands of ISIS prisoners even though Turkey had nullified an arrangement under which U.S. and Turkish troops were conducting joint patrols in northeastern Syria to allow the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, to withdraw.
"The Kurds are sticking by us," the soldier told Griffin. "No other partner I have ever dealt with would stand by us."
The U.S. military's seemingly never-ending mission supporting civil authorities along the southwestern border will last at least another year.
On Sept. 3, Defense Secretary Mark Esper approved a request from the Department of Homeland Security to provide a total of up to 5,500 troops along the border until Sept. 30, 2020, Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson, commander of U.S. Army North, said on Monday.
Editor's note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia announced on Monday it would hold a large test of its Strategic Missile Forces that will see it fire ballistic and cruise missiles from the land, sea and air this week.
The exercise, from Oct. 15-17, will involve around 12,000 military personnel, as well as aircraft, including strategic nuclear bombers, surface ships and submarines, Russia's Ministry of Defense said in a statement.