M43 Team Profile: Alison Garrow from Guild Education

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When you register with Mission43 and select "Education", Alison Garrow is the friendly voice on the other end of the line who calls, often within the same day, to connect and learn about your interests and career goals. She has talked to hundreds of veterans and spouses to help match them with a degree program offered at one of six partner universities. Over the past two years, she has become an expert at helping our members use their education benefits and help them get academic credit for all that they have already accomplished. 

We sat down with Alison to help you learn more about her and her lessons learned as the Veteran and Service Member Liaison at Guild Education.

Interesting fact: Alison was hired by Guild Education after signing up for Mission43 and working with Hire Heroes USA to find her next career!


What did you do in the military?

According to my resumé, I was a mentor, educator, asset manager, and keeper of classified documents, but most would say “pointy-head.” I was an avionics systems technician on the greatest fighter in the Air Force, the F15E.

How did you end up in Idaho?

Mountain Home AFB was my first duty station. I fell in love with Idaho then, and when my husband had the chance to choose a follow-on base, Idaho was the first pick! This state has so much to offer, and we plan on retiring here.

Favorite place to eat in Idaho?

Izumi in Meridian - their sushi is the best!

What is your role with Guild Education?

I’m the Veteran and Service Member Liaison with Guild; I have the incredible opportunity to speak with veterans, service members, and spouses that need guidance in finding a quality, flexible education program. If you need to know what your options are, what programs fit certain career fields, how you can best maximize military credits and benefits, or simply where to start, that’s what I’m here for!

Most rewarding moment working with the M43 community?

Wow, this is a tough question! It’s so hard to pick out one moment. On a daily basis, I get to assist truly inspiring members of the military community in reaching their education goals - every day is rewarding! If I HAVE to narrow it down, I would say the most rewarding moment is when I check in with a student and hear that not only are they enjoying the degree program, but they’re THRIVING, putting what they’re learning to work, and credit much of their success in the program to their Success Advisor for being there and helping them overcome some of the hurdles that naturally come up when going to college. To me, this is 100% why we’re here, and proof that the Veteran community can use the tools available to them and overcome statistically low graduation rates.

What is your biggest take-away from your experience serving the M43 community?

I have a couple of takeaways here. Military members and veterans are commonly aware that they receive credit for military training, but it’s up to each university in allocation and allotment of credit. You deserve credit for your training and leadership experience! We have programs specifically designed to make the most of your military experience! Secondly, those that quietly serve - the military spouses - are often unaware of the benefits available to them and sadly, end up being taken advantage of in many private universities. Portable education from quality private colleges doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Guild works with universities that extend their military discount to spouses as well!

What would you recommend to those thinking about going back to school?

Don’t let past experiences define your future education. From academic forgiveness to top-ranked programs, you have options! Whether you’re thinking about returning to college or attending for the first time, the first step is often the biggest hurdle. You don’t have to take that step alone. Rely on your support system, explore your options, and don’t be afraid to ask for assistance!


If you want to learn more about Guild Education and the online degree programs offered for Mission43 members, you can contact Alison directly at alison.garrow@guildeducation.com.

The May 2018 Update

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The Last 30 Days

Here is a recap of what has been going on throughout the Mission43 community during April. 

Hire Heroes USA Employment Workshop in Lewiston, Idaho The Hire Heroes USA Idaho team took their one-day employment workshop on the road and spent a great day on April 11th with veterans and military spouses on the campus of Lewis Clark State College. Big thanks for the support from Stephen Tamm, the Coordinator of Veterans Services at LCSC, and members of the LC Valley Chamber of Commerce for helping make this happen.

43INC Happy Hours 2 for 1 deal in April. We hosted one in Lewiston following the Hire Heroes USA Employment Workshop, and we have to be honest, were surprised by such a large turnout. It was a great evening and we’ll be heading back soon! For our next Happy Hour, we met up at Powderhaus Brewing the night before the TACP Association 24-Hour Challenge for a little pre-race hydration. The event organizers were on hand along with 80 other members of the M43 community. 43INC Happy Hours are a great way to get integrated if you are new to Idaho or to find that sense of camaraderie you remember from the military.

24-Hour Challenge BLUF: We already can’t wait for next year’s TACP Association 24-Hour Challenge. This is the type of event we appreciate being part of; challenging, family-friendly, and creating a sense of community with people from the military who are looking to the future, not the past. The event took place at Ultra Shooting Solutions in Eagle, Idaho to raise money for the TACP Association. Participants completed as many laps as possible over a 24-hour period on a very challenging 2.5-mile course. To date Mission43 has raised over $1,000 by donating 100% of the proceeds from the event t-shirts sold in our M43 online store. There are still some left so grab one while you can! Idaho veteran-owned businesses like Powderhaus Brewing, Cafe Mule, and Nutrishop Boise were all on hand to support the more than 150 participants. Highlight video coming soon from 1890 Productions!

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The Mission43 Store is Up and Running: Head over to the store to get the latest in M43 swag (including the shirt featured above!) 100% of proceeds from the store are donated right back to our partners providing services to Idaho veterans and military spouses. Thanks to our partners in swag, Name Brand Promotions, for making this happen!

Behind the Scenes, The Idaho Tech Sector: The M43 team hosted leaders from the Micron and HP Inc. veterans groups to discuss growing future opportunities for military spouses and veterans in the Idaho tech sector. These groups are led by folks who recently left the military and understand the value of working with Hire Heroes USA during transition. We discussed conducting future Hire Heroes USA workshops in partnership with their groups, having their representatives at M43 networking events to talk about career opportunities, and identifying the education pathways that make our members marketable in this sector and with their companies.

Behind the Scenes, Meeting with Twin Falls Leadership: As Mission43 expands throughout Idaho, our focus is finding great career opportunities and locations for military families as they transition. On April 26th we ventured to Twin Falls and met with city leaders to learn more about industries and employment opportunities in the Magic Valley. Not only is this an incredible place to live, the growth and potential to work for great companies is tough to beat for those with a military background (including spouses). We will be working closely with local industries over the coming months to present the breadth of opportunities and educational degree pathways that result in purposeful work at a great wage.

The Next 30 Days

There is plenty to do, both in person and virtually throughout May. Find more details and registration links over on our Events page!

Team Rubicon Red Card Training (May 4th-7th) Through a unique partnership between the Bureau of Land Management and Team Rubicon, M43 members can earn their qualification as Type 2 Wildland Firefighters (aka Red Card). Those who do this will have the opportunity to deploy and get paid throughout the summer and may find the opportunity to begin a career as a Wildland Firefighter. This is our third year conducting the training in Boise and already there are more than 60 registered to attend.

On the Big Stage at TEDx Boise (Saturday, May 5th) Our good friend, Noah Siple, has been preparing for nearly a year to be part of the lineup at the upcoming TEDx Boise. Noah is an incredible leader and advocate in the Idaho veteran community, and it's very encouraging that someone who portrays veterans as an asset to a community will be on stage. We’ll talk more to Noah throughout the month of May so you can learn more about his background and his message. We’ll also share his TEDx Talk which will be available shortly after the event on YouTube.

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Charity Miles Run/Walk (Monday, May 7th) As it warms up, we are having a monthly 4-mile run/2-mile walk for all ability levels. If you can’t make it in person to Payette Brewing in Boise, you can still participate by downloading the Charity Miles App and joining the Mission43 Team. Log your miles and raise money for charity!

Connect at a 43INC Happy Hour (Friday, May 18th) It’s our monthly networking event and we are heading to Mad Swede Brewing for our May Happy Hour. The veteran teams from Micron and HP Inc. will be on hand, along with many other influential leaders in the community. We set the conditions, it’s up to you to create the opportunities!

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43INC Entrepreneur Garage Course (our refined and updated entrepreneur course) (Starting May 21st) Do you have a business or non-profit idea? Grow alongside other Idaho veteran and military spouse-owned businesses in the 43INC Entrepreneur community. The 43INC Entrepreneur Course brings you graduate level concepts in a fast-paced and challenging environment that doesn’t require you to enroll in school. It’s for those who have the experience and drive to run their own business, as we often see with military spouses or those who served in the military, and also to learn actionable steps to apply at any stage of an idea. If you want to learn more read our blog: Are You an Idaho Veteran with a Business Idea?

Want to register? Head over to our events page and get signed up!

This opportunity is made possible through our partnership with the Boise State University Venture College. The courses are affordable, innovative, and are scheduled in the evening to maximize participation for working adults.

Hire Heroes USA Virtual Workshop (May 9th and May 16th) Put this on your calendar if you haven’t been able to make an in-person workshop. Now, through an interactive learning platform, Hire Heroes USA is preparing transitioning military members, veterans, and military spouses for their civilian job search. Attendees will receive resume-writing guidance, learn how to leverage their personal networks to achieve employment goals, and practice effective and proven interview techniques with a live facilitator. This virtual workshop will also prepare you to navigate aspects of a virtual career fair including the Hire Heroes USA Virtual Career Fair being held the day after each workshop. Space is limited so register soon (link on our events page).

Memorial Day Event in Sun Valley (Monday, May 28th) Our friends at Higher Ground Sun Valley have invited us to take part in their Carry the Load Memorial Day event. Carry the Load is a national non-profit event that honors those who have lost their lives in the line of duty (including first responders) by running, rucking, or walking. This is a meaningful way to honor the day while showing the next generation what it means to live and sacrifice for something bigger than yourself. Join us from 10:00am - 2:00pm in Sun Valley on May 28th!

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Mark Your Calendars

Stay up to date with upcoming opportunities on the Mission43 Events page. Here’s a sample of what we have in the next few months.

  • Saturday, June 23rd: Wear Blue Run to Remember. Learn more about this incredible non-profit started by Gold Star wife, Lisa Hallett. This is our kick-off event with Wear Blue, and from there we’ll be running monthly to honor those who have fallen. Get your shirt today in their online store and use discount code “Mission43WB” for a 15% discount.

Learn more about wear blue: run to remember

 Get your shirts today using coupon code "Mission43WB" in the Wear Blue online store.

Get your shirts today using coupon code "Mission43WB" in the Wear Blue online store.

  • Saturday, July 14th: M43 Twilight Criterium VIP Tent. We'll be inviting friends and families to watch some incredible bike racing in downtown Boise!
  • July 17th-18th: Hire Heroes USA Workshop at Boise State University
  • August: Hire Heroes USA Employment Workshop at Deloitte in Boise
  • August 15th and 22nd: Hire Heroes USA Virtual Employment Workshop. If you can't make an in-person workshop than this is for you.
  • September: 9.11 Moving Tribute. Details coming soon and we’ll also have the 2018 shirt available in the M43 store ASAP!

Earned: The M43 Victory Kit

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In the fall of 2017, we introduced an opportunity for our military and military spouse members to receive our New Member Welcome Kit free of charge. To date, over 800 have been shipped to 27 different states. Now, we are excited to introduce the Victory Kit. The Victory Kit is earned and represents the core reason Mission43 exists; education and employment. It is sent as a thank you and congratulations to those members who have accomplished one of two things.

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What's included in the Victory Kit:

  • Timbuktu backpack
  • M43 Journal / Notebook
  • Large tumbler

The first way a member can earn the Victory Kit is by working with a personal success advisor at Guild Education and going back to school at one of our partner universities. This individual has decided to make a better version of themself and become more valuable in their profession. We believe in the motto “education is freedom” and with hundreds of degree options, incredible education benefits earned through military service, and Guild’s very personalized advising; along every step from enrollment through graduation there is nothing but opportunity for those who want to take it. So we are honored to be able to give the Victory Kit to all those headed back to school.

The second way a member can earn a Victory Kit is by finding their next career using the services of Hire Heroes USA. By far, we have seen that finding quality employment is the top concern for transitioning military and their spouses, and we believe this is one of the most crucial aspects to thriving in life after the military. The members who have done this are finding quality employment, not just low-level positions to fill the gap. Their average starting salary has been above $50,000 in Idaho for over 24 months, and career positions have spanned over 20 different employment sectors. This is exciting to us because this means very talented leaders with military backgrounds are spreading throughout the state, and we believe this has a very positive impact on Idaho and our economy. So, those who have used the tools and proven techniques of Hire Heroes USA to find their next career also earn the Mission43 Victory Kit.

Keep your eye out for the folks carrying a Mission43 backpack and ask to hear their story. They have earned it by seizing the opportunity to succeed after the military. If you are one of those individuals then we want to say thank you and congratulations...best of luck in your future endeavors!

Are You an Idaho Veteran With a Business Idea?

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By Brian Von Herbulis, Director 43INC

Many of us have ideas we think could be turned into great businesses. The challenge is always in the execution of our great ideas. We are often limited by lack of confidence, funding, resources, and knowledge of where to even begin. As post-9/11 veterans re-enter civilian life, many find entrepreneurship to be an appealing option. In fact, there are over 2.4 million veteran-owned businesses in the U.S. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), there is about one veteran-owned firm for every ten veterans, and veteran-owned firms employ 5.8 million individuals.

Starting a business takes a tremendous amount of sacrifice, self-confidence, commitment, determination, perseverance, and perhaps scariest of all, risk. We at Mission43 believe that these are the exact attributes possessed by today’s veterans, and we strive to provide them with an advantage as they pursue entrepreneurship. That is why we launched an initiative to help veterans and their spouses explore entrepreneurship as a viable way for them to transition from the military and enter the civilian workforce here in Idaho.

In 2018, in partnership with Boise State University Venture College, Mission43 launched two pilot entrepreneurship programs for its members, the Entrepreneur Sprint and the Entrepreneur Garage. The Sprint is designed to be an introduction to Lean Startup Methodology and provides enrolled members with tools that will assist in developing their value proposition and understanding their potential customer segments. This exploration is done in four sessions, two hours each.  

The Garage is a follow-on 8-week, evening program intended to be a more in-depth study of the business model tools presented in the Sprint and a closer look at the individual business ideas.  During the Garage, the Venture College staff looks “under the hood” of the business ideas and assists with identifying what it would take to move from an idea to a successful business launch. This program also supports newly created businesses with ideas on how to improve their value proposition, grow their customer segments, and increase potential revenue streams.

Entrepreneurship may be a practical way for Mission43 members to re-enter the civilian workforce after departing the military. There is no better time than now to learn more and see if it is right for you. If you are a member of Mission43 and want to explore your business idea further, we encourage you to sign up for our next Entrepreneur Sprint. Let us help you explore creating a successful and sustainable business here in Idaho.

Click here to get the details on our course offerings! The Mission43 Entrepreneur page.

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Brian Von Herbulis (brian.vonh@mission43.org) is the director of 43INC, the connection pillar of Mission43. Brian retired from the USMC in 2014 after a career culminating as Recon Battalion Commander. After discovering Idaho through a military TDY, he and his family now call it home.

What We Learned From 43INC With Jake Wood, Founder and CEO of Team Rubicon

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Jake Wood is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Team Rubicon USA, the purpose pillar of Mission43. Prior to Team Rubicon, Jake served in the Marine Corps with tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2010, after recently seperating from the USMC and watching disaster unfold in Haiti, he took it upon himself to take a small team down to help the people in a country devastated by an earthquake. That action led to the creation of one of the most impactful veteran focused non-profits in the country.

Team Rubicon’s primary mission is providing disaster relief to those affected by natural disasters, be they domestic or international. By pairing the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders, medical professionals, and technology solutions, Team Rubicon aims to provide the greatest service and impact possible.

On March 15th, 2018, we sat down with Jake Wood for another installment of 43INC. It lived up to its name by creating an opportunity for all of us to “Innovate” with new ideas on display, “Network” with over 125 members of the M43 community, and “Connect” to opportunities to make Idaho a better place. Here are our three takeaways from that great evening:

Be Prepared To Fill The Purpose Void

You have to be very deliberate about filling a void in your life when you depart the military. You served with some of the funniest, most hardworking, and enjoyable people, but all that comes to an end. Jake Wood took this to a whole new level and turned it into something amazing. This didn’t come by accident, he intentionally made the decision to find a way to have purpose in his life. No one does this for you, it’s up to you to seek it out.

Surround Yourself With The Right People

If you are in Team Rubicon you belong to a culture that isn’t satisfied with the status quo, especially in the way relief organizations support people affected by disasters. The TRibe is very intentional about analyzing what they are doing and then seeing things through to make them better. So think about what is it that you value, and do the people you associate with share that same idea? You are a reflection of the company you keep.

Have a Bias For Action

On the battlefield, we inherently had to made quick decisions with imperfect information and limited resources. This is tough to teach, and we are the very few who were fortunate enough to have been through the experiences that require us to be that way. Maintain that bias for action when you leave the military, it brings value to those around you.


CLICK BELOW FOR PHOTOS FROM THE EVENT

 
 

The April Update

Last 30 Days

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Spring Skiing at Bogus Basin It was a first of its kind for Mission43. On March 10th we hosted the M43 Family Day at Bogus Basin and had nearly 200 people turnout for the event. The weather was perfect for spring skiing and we enjoyed some local craft brews and a fajita bar in the Pioneer Lodge. We are already looking forward do doing this again next year and hope you can make this great family-focused event!

43INC with Jake Wood On March 15th we sat down with Jake Wood, one of the top veteran non-profit leaders in the country. In 2010, he co-founded Team Rubicon after taking the initiative to go to Haiti and lead a team supporting those who had not been reached by any disaster response organizations. Since then, the TRibe has deployed on hundreds of operations and has grown to over 75,000 volunteer members.

Jake is a proven leader who found incredible purpose for himself and others after leaving the military. Like all previous guests, we were excited to hear about his experiences and be inspired by what he has accomplished. Be sure to check out our three key takeaways you can apply in your life from our 43INC evening with Jake.

Federal-Focused Employment Workshop Seeking and obtaining federal employment is typically a different process than what you would experience in the civilian market. Many veterans and military spouses find great federal opportunities and are definitely qualified, however they miss out on the opportunity because they don’t know how to be seen in the USA Jobs system. For this reason, Hire Heroes USA has a specialized team that helps those seeking federal employment.

On March 22nd, that team hosted the Federal Employment Workshop on Gowen Field, home of the Idaho National Guard. Over 20 participants including military spouses, active duty, National Guard, and former military members attended. It was clear that their federal-focused resumes and USA Jobs profiles benefited from the one-on-one consultation. True to the Hire Heroes USA mission, they are now empowered to succeed in this system. Keep an eye out for future workshops on our events page and help spread the word about these opportunities.


Next 30 Days

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The TACP Fitness Challenge The TACP (pronounced “Tack-P”), or Tactical Air Control Party, is a small team of Air Force personnel that embed with the Army and Marine Corps to call in air strikes on enemy targets. To get to that point, a TACP has survived close to two years of continuous evaluation that is both physically and mentally challenging. We are excited to be part of this great community event with Idaho TACPs called the 24-Hour TACP Challenge, benefiting the TACP Association that supports the families of the fallen and those in need.

Don’t worry, it’s not a requirement to participate for 24 hours! You can run, walk, or ruck to log as many laps as possible over the 4-mile course in the foothills of Eagle, Idaho. If you just want to be part of the event, there is plenty to do with music, military equipment, and food while enjoying the atmosphere. We’ll finish with a Mission43 BBQ kicking off at 12:00pm on Sunday!

Sign up today! www.teamstone24hourchallenge.com

  • Dates: 12:00pm Saturday, April 21st - 12:00pm Sunday, April 22nd
  • Location: Ultra Shooting Solutions Range in Eagle, Idaho

Get your Team Stone shirt (featured above) while supplies last. All proceeds go towards the TACP Association so this is a great way to give even if you can’t make the event.

PURCHASE 24-HOUR CHALLENGE SHIRT

Hire Heroes USA North Idaho Employment Workshop Hire Heroes USA is heading to Lewiston to host a one-day employment workshop on the campus of Lewis-Clark State College for military spouses, veterans, and currently serving military. Get off to a great start in person with your Transition Specialist that you will be working one-on-one with to be successful in your career transition. Head over to our events page to get registered!

  • Date: April 11th, 2018 (8:00am - 5:00pm)
  • Location: Lewis-Clark State College (Lewiston, Idaho)

You have asked (a lot) and we finally have an answer! For those of you that want to purchase M43 gear, you can now head over to our M43 online store and get some of the most popular gear. We are excited that the proceeds from every purchase will go directly back into veteran non-profit work in Idaho so your dollars spent will continue to have a local impact. Big thanks to Boise-based Name Brand Promotions in helping us create some great swag and getting this out to our friends and family! Feel free to give us feedback on what you’d like to see in the future.

Mark Your Calendars

Stay up to date on all our upcoming opportunities on the Mission43 Events page. Here’s a sample of what we have coming up.

  • Friday, April 20th: 43INC Happy Hour at Powderhaus Brewing. Meet the Team Stone 24-Hour Challenge crew, pick up your event shirt, and take part in the Mission43 foundational networking event.
  • Saturday, April 21st- Sunday April 22nd: Team Stone 24-Hour TACP Challenge. Challenge yourself to log as many laps as possible while you walk, run, or ruck over a 4-mile course in the Eagle foothills.
  • Monday, April 23rd: Charity Miles Monday. Run or walk, this is for all ability levels (and families too)! Join us for this month's Charity Miles Monday, where the M43 community comes together to help raise money for charity by logging miles with the Charity Miles app.
  • Friday, May 4th - Monday, May 7th: Team Rubicon Type II Wildland Firefighter Training. Get qualified to help protect our public lands from fire. Summer fighting season approaches!
  • Saturday, May 5th: TEDx Boise featuring Mission43 speaker, Noah Siple. Noah is an incredible leader and advocate in the Idaho veteran community and we couldn’t be more excited that he is talking about Mission43 at this huge event.

2017 Accomplishments

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At the end of 2017, Mission43 was still less than two years old as an organization. However, we didn’t let our age get in the way of making things happen through our pillars of education, employment, purpose, and connection. By creating quality opportunities in these areas and bringing forward the attributes of veterans and military spouses, we can make Idaho communities a stronger place.

Each pillar organization brought solid leadership to the table with a similar mindset that veterans are not victims. This fresh perspective from those on the team who are currently serving military, recently transitioned, and military spouses, permeated through the opportunities we created throughout the year. We met incredible people along the way who have inspired us and we are proud to now call friends.

Each year, over 200,000 men and women leave the service. Despite billions spent, it is our opinion that military transition programs are largely unaccountable in effectively providing the tools for a successful transition. To that point, here are a few things we can stand behind as 2017 accomplishments in making Idaho possible for families after the military:

  • Guild Education has maintained an 87% retention rate for those enrolled in one of their five partner universities.

  • Hire Heroes USA has empowered over 250 veterans and military spouses in finding their next career in Idaho at an average starting salary of $52,000.

  • Team Rubicon’s membership base in Idaho grew by over 200 new members for a total of 450 throughout the state.

  • 43INC, the new connection pillar, was established and created monthly networking opportunities.

  • We conducted 47 events that included trainings, employment workshops, networking, and fitness opportunities.

  • The Welcome Kits started shipping to those who took our new member survey, getting quality Mission43 gear into the hands of veterans and military spouses.

  • More than 2,000 people are now registered with Mission43

Check out our 2017 highlight video to see what all this looks like in action. We appreciate the support of all those involved and couldn’t be more thankful to have the opportunity to meet incredible people along the way. Looking forward to 2018 and the years to come!

43INC: The New Connection Pillar of Mission43

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Mission43 is focused on the four pillars of education, employment, purpose, and connection. Under each pillar is one incredible organization, and together they form a community of opportunity that can help our currently serving military, veterans, and military spouses succeed in Idaho.

We are excited to announce that moving forward in 2018, 43INC has become the new organization for our connection pillar. INC stands for Innovate + Network + Connect. It’s where we set the conditions and then it is up to you to take the opportunity to succeed with other members, leaders, and risk-takers. So, a little more on INC...

Innovate: New Ideas on Display

This may come in the form of our speaker-panel events where we sit down with people who have accomplished incredible things because of the influence the military has had in their lives. Past guests include Josh Cleghorn and Butch Whiting, co-founders of Idaho-based Kryptek Outdoor Group. In a few short years after flying Apaches together in Iraq, they turned their hunting clothing line into one of the top brands on the market.

If you have a business or non-profit idea, you can pursue this with our entrepreneurial programs through our partnership with the Boise State University Venture College. We run a four-session “sprint” that teaches you the principles of the Lean Startup Methodology. You can then continue on with a $1,000 scholarship to the full semester Mission43 Garage program. The Garage goes “under the hood” of your business over 13-weeks with full access to the Venture College staff and resources.

Network: Every Person Has Value

Quickly integrate and get to know those in the community including our Mission43 civilian supporters, who believe there is so much more to accomplish after the military. We do this through our monthly Happy Hours around the state. They are low drama events, just good people, and a great way to make a difference in someone else’s future. You never know who you will meet!

Connect: Opportunities to Make Our Community Better

Time and again we hear from our members they want to volunteer and give back. Now we have an answer. 43INC will help organize and connect to those opportunities around the state. In the past we have done this through events such as helping to remove the holiday wreaths placed in the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery, or by creating the most lively and memorable water station along the St. Luke’s FitOne Half-Marathon course. These volunteer opportunities are also one of the best ways to bring the kids out and include them in M43 activities.

We have also connected to the community through our September 11th Moving Tribute. Last year, we passed one flag from member to member over 40 miles through the Treasure Valley. 9.11.2001 has faded from too many Americans’ memories, and for some it is new. But, through the Moving Tribute, thousands of people across the Treasure Valley witnessed an honorable way to remember that day.

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All of that said, 43INC is a big step forward for Mission43 in 2018! We are incredibly excited to expand and set the conditions for our members to Innovate + Network + Connect. Keep an eye on our events page for upcoming opportunities to get involved and we hope to see you out there!

Here’s how we are helping veterans lead, learn, and inspire in Idaho

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The following is a guest opinion piece published in the Idaho Statesman on November 10th, 2017. LINK TO ARTICLE

As we mark Veterans Day, it’s good to take a few moments to reflect on how we in Idaho might create a new, more relevant and practical process for helping recently separated military service members make the transition back to civilian life.

I’m the program director for Mission43, a partnership of four premier veteran service organizations dedicated to ensuring that former military and military spouses in Idaho, the 43rd state, have the resources to excel academically, in their next career and in the community.

Ultimately, we want our veterans to lead, learn and inspire.

Why did we create Mission43? The simplest answer is that we wanted to help fill a void between what the mandated transition process and traditional veteran service organizations provide and what we know from experience that veterans actually need and want.

 As a veteran, I know first-hand that the transition from post-9/11 military to civilian life can be difficult. Finding a career that can fulfill the sense of purpose we are used to may require going back to school or moving your family to an unfamiliar community. These changes come abruptly when departing the fast-paced military lifestyle, and they can be disorienting for the veteran and family alike.

Although the federal government mandates that all separating service members take part in the five-day Transition Assistance Program workshop, it’s not unusual to hear from veterans that the training seemed largely irrelevant as they began their transition, and a poor use of their time.

Also, the mandated transition process does not connect military families back to local communities, a major deficiency. For example, a departing serviceman or woman leaving Fort Bragg in North Carolina typically has to coordinate community contacts on his or her own somewhere else. It’s unfortunate, but these federal programs lack accountability and coordination with local resources and providers.

Veterans want opportunities, not handouts. And Mission43 exists to offer opportunities. It’s up to each individual veteran to take advantage of these opportunities. We offer a helping hand, but not hand-holding.

Through research, we know that education and employment are the most pressing needs. So access to employment opportunities and continuing education are the core of what we provide.

By recruiting high-performing national veteran service organizations to establish a full-time local presence in Idaho, Mission43 has established four pillars we consider essential to a successful transition: employment, purpose, connection and education.

Hire Heroes USA is our employment pillar. It offers one-on-one coaching with a transition specialist for veterans and spouses, free workshops focused on creating effective tools to earn gainful employment for new veterans, and cultivation of employers.

Team Rubicon is the organization at the heart of our purpose pillar. It pulls together groups of veterans to respond to natural disasters.

Team Red White and Blue helps veterans connect to one another and like-minded community members through physical fitness and social activities.

Mission43 has also forged a partnership with Guild Education, an organization that provides each veteran with a personal adviser. The adviser works with the veteran to determine the best online degree option at one of six partner colleges, and then helps navigate the application process. Once the veteran is enrolled, the adviser checks in with him/her weekly. This system has resulted in almost unmatched 90 percent retention and graduation rates.

We also stress to veterans that spouses play an equally important role in serving their country, and therefore we support them in their transition with the same opportunities the veterans receive.

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Mission43 provides Idaho veterans and their families with a coordinated and highly effective network of organizations that not only eases the transition from military to civilian life, but helps ensure that veterans connect deeply with their communities, and lead fulfilling, purposeful lives.

Bryan Madden is the director of Mission43, a Boise-based veterans service organization.

October Impact and Upcoming Opportunities

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OCTOBER RECAP

We didn’t slow down much for the month of October. On the 5th, our first cohort of members completed the three-week Entrepreneurs Sprint with the Boise State University Venture College. This fast paced program uses the Lean Startup Methodology and provided an opportunity for our members to propel their non-profit or business idea into an actionable plan. We are about to announce the dates for our next cohort so stay tuned if you are interested! Learn more about the programin our Pathways to Entrepreneurship Blog

Hire Heroes USA hosted a one-day workshop focused on federal employment. They have a special team that is entirely dedicated to helping veterans and military spouses obtain federal jobs and they flew into Boise to provide their expertise. Even if you missed the workshop, you can still tap into these resources. Connect with Hire Heroes USA today!

On October 12th we sat down with three-time Olympic gold medalist, Kristin Armstrong, for our newest installment of Mission43 INC. The military played a big role in her life as she moved around the world in a USMC family, and then even though she didn’t start cycling until later in life, it didn’t stop her from standing at the top of the podium at all levels of cycling. This 43INC didn’t disappoint and provided great opportunities to Innovate + Network + Connect! Read our three take-aways from Kristin Armstrong in our 43INC blog

NOVEMBER OPS

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Finally, we are excited to announce that our Welcome Kits started shipping. The Welcome Kit includes the very popular trucker hat, M43 camo tumbler (great for keeping your coffee warm or beer cold), and then some stickers so you can slap one on your gear and take the road less traveled! How do you get one you ask? Expect an email very soon that gives all Mission43 military and military spouses the opportunity to take our survey, and then we will ship this to you for FREE!

NOVEMBER 6 Hire Heroes USA is conducting a military spouses only one-day employment workshop. All Mission43 pillar programs are equally created for military spouses and this is a great example how organizations like Hire Heroes USA show the importance of making sure military spouses successfully transition into our community. REGISTER TODAY!

NOVEMBER 11 Veteran’s Day approaches and Team Red, White, and Blue will be hosting their annual Wod for Warriors at Crossfit Fireside. Come take part in a Crossfit-style workout (for all fitness levels) at an incredible Veteran Owned gym. 

NOVEMBER 21 We will also be having our monthly 43INC Happy Hour at Telaya Winery. They have been gracious enough to let Mission43 be part of their #SIP2GIVE charity program where 10% of all proceeds for the day go towards a different charity each month. With Veteran’s Day in November we were selected for our work in making Idaho a place for families to thrive after the military. Join us as we create the environment for you to Innovate + Network + Connect, then it is up to you to succeed.

UPCOMING We will be hosting a 43INC VIP tent at this year's Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Join us December 22nd at Albertson's Stadium for food, drink, and great people to Innovate + Network + Connect with! Details coming soon. 

Three Take-Aways from 43INC with a 3x Olympic Gold Medalist

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KRISTIN ARMSTRONG

We have sat down with some incredible guests at Mission43 INC. Josh Cleghorn and Butch Whiting are the co-founders of the Eagle, Idaho based Kryptek Outdoor Group. Brian Stann is the recipient of the Silver Star, fought in the UFC, and is the former CEO of Hire Heroes USA. The Nunez sisters have turned military surplus gear into a highly respected fashion brand with their company, Sword & Plough. Now, we have had the opportunity to hear from the most decorated U.S. women’s cyclist of all time and hear first hand about what it takes to be the best in the world. Incredibly, a lot of these attributes were developed growing up and moving around the world in a USMC family.

Kristin Armstrong is the only female U.S. athlete to win the same individual event (time trial) in three consecutive Olympic Games, taking home the Gold in Beijing 2008, London 2012, and Rio 2016. She is a two-time World Champion and has won six U.S. National Championships. Now, she is the Endurance Performance Director at USA Cycling and more importantly we are so fortunate to have this incredible mom, wife, and leader call Idaho her home.

We had over 130 people join us at Cinder Wines where Kristin spent time talking with our members. She then stepped on stage and answered questions so we could gain insight into the attitude and attributes of someone who has accomplished so much. Here are three take-aways that inspired us and can be applied to your life:

1. DELIVER RESULTS

Prior to Kristin’s third Olympic Games, forces came together to prevent her from heading to Rio. They argued she was too old, she was injured, her time was up. She fought back because she knew they were wrong and she didn’t have an unrealistic belief in her capabilities. Less than a month later, Kristin delivered by winning gold for the USA in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Nothing speaks louder than your performance.

2. GET CLOSURE WITH YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND TRANSITION TO A NEW VISION

Kristin had to dig deep inside to decide who she was going to be after winning her third gold medal. Much like departing the military, this was a major transition period in her life. In fact, just days after winning Olympic gold in Rio, and while the Games were still on, Kristin was back in Boise shopping at Target to buy school supplies for her son (not basking in the glory of Olympic village!). Instead, she found closure with her accomplishments and promised herself she would wake up everyday and enjoy this new chapter in life. More importantly, her new mission is to move the dial in other people's lives and help others become champions. 

"Look at the positives. You get to transition, instead of having to transition."

3. TRUST YOURSELF

When Kristin’s father retired from the USMC and transitioned to his new civilian career, she recalled his willingness to accept a position that he was overqualified to hold. However, he knew he would provide so much value that this would only be a short stop while he earned credibility and rapidly rose in the organization. He sacrificed up front because he trusted in himself to succeed.  

The time we spent with Kristin Armstrong is a big deal and Mission43 is extremely grateful to be able to connect our members with such an incredible person in the community. Check out the pictures from the evening and keep an eye out for our next big event!


Pathways to Entrepreneurship: The M43 Lean Startup Course

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One of the great things about serving our country in uniform is defending the freedom to live out the American dream. For many, this means taking the risk to start your own business. The Mission43 team believes veterans and military spouses are well equipped with the experience and skills to accomplish this, and we have heard from an increasing number of members who are interested in pathways to doing this after the military. Our challenge then became finding a program to make this possible.

We put our heads together and came up with a vision for a flexible, fast-paced, and impactful way to support Mission43 entrepreneurs. The program had to be after business hours because most of our audience is employed and supporting a family. We wanted a “boot-camp” style course that would challenge our experienced members. Finally, if we could combine the attributes people developed through military experience with innovative entrepreneurial concepts we could help launch businesses into the Idaho economy.

The answer for our members came in the form of the Boise State University Venture College Entrepreneurs Sprint using the Lean Startup Methodology.

THE BSU VENTURE COLLEGE ENTREPRENEURS SPRINT

The first Mission43 Entrepreneurs Sprint consisted of six classes over three weeks, meeting every Tuesday and Thursday night from 6:00-8:00pm. The course is based on the Lean Startup Methodology; think the opposite of a traditional rigid business plan. Lean Startup businesses know how to steer, when to pivot, and how to quickly get a product, known as the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to the customer. A lean startup doesn’t ask “Can we build this product?” Instead, in this fast-paced course you will go out and meet with customers to determine “Should I build this product?” and “Can I build a sustainable business around the product and/or service?”

The first Mission43 cohort consisted of 14 members with varying backgrounds including military spouses, current military, former military, officer and enlisted. They showed up with businesses at different stages. Some were just ideas and some have already generated sales. However, the common denominator was this was a room full of leaders and risk takers that quickly formed into a team very willing to help and challenge each other along the way.

TAKE IT FROM THE MEMBERS WHO ATTENDED

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"Most military members, spouses, and veterans are fairly adept at planning--between missions and moves, we have substantive experience planning and executing. However, for first-time entrepreneurs starting a business or a non-profit venture, we often find that we have never conducted planning with a customer in mind. The Entrepreneur Sprint Course fills this gap by introducing lean startup methodology and particularly focusing on how we can identify potential customers, creatively solve real problems for them, and test our assertions before committing large amounts of resources." - Matty Bishop
“The Entrepreneurs Sprint was a great experience for me. I sincerely appreciated Mission43 making such a great program available for such an affordable price for veterans and spouses. In addition to being exposed to alternative and cutting-edge methods of entrepreneurship, I was able to network with some very talented people. The program was very action-based, and I went home each night with new insight and practical knowledge I could use to make my business ideas a reality. I highly recommend this experience to anyone interested in lifelong learning or to those needing a jumpstart to action regarding their ideas for starting a business.” - Noah Siple

WHAT'S NEXT

We can’t wait to highlight the businesses (and non-profits) that grow from this opportunity. Here are just a few that were in the room in this first cohort:

  • Cafe Mule (former USMC infantry): Cold-brew coffee
  • Table Rock Physical Therapy (military spouse): Telehealth physical therapy
  • A business that creates custom table settings for special events (currently serving Air Force officer)
  • Chadillac Customz (former Army): Customized vehicle wrapping

The next cohort is launching soon so keep an eye out for that announcement. We will also be unveiling our follow-on scholarship for the full credentialed Venture College program exclusively designed for the Mission43 community! 

WHEN SEPTEMBER ENDS...

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We can sum up September 2017 with the 9.11 Moving Tribute, Team Rubicon Sawyer Training, and lots more quality hires! The team is always ready for a challenge, so we embarked on a pretty ambitious way to honor 9.11. Last year, the Mission43 pillar organizations carried the flag from sunrise to sunset around Kleiner Park in Meridian and we learned the community really saw this as a meaninful tribute. This year we decided to carry the Flag of Honor, bearing the names of all the first responders and civilians who lost their lives in 2001, 40 mile across the Treasure Valley. It brought awareness to a day that many have already forgotten or don’t even know about and we were able to work with 10 first responder departments who helped as escorts. The brainstorming has already begun on how we can make this even bigger next year! Any thoughts?

Team Rubicon is already preparing for wild fire mitigation in the spring of 2018. On September 23 and 24th, 10 TR members because qualified Sawyer Level 1 operators. This means they can safely operate chainsaws to cut and clear debris, which will be crucial when they go out to clear the kindling that can create a fire danger near our Idaho communities. Sawyer Level II is coming soon!

We also launched our first 3-week Entrepreneur’s Sprint in partnership with the Boise State University Venture College. We have seen more and more demand for this knowledge so we found a way to run a flexible course (after normal work hours), challenging (fast paced and packed with knowledge), and affordable ($48...just enough buy-in that only our serious friends showed up). We had 15 people in the course and it was impressive what was accomplished. New businesses were formed, others refined, and equally important, some folks needed to head back to the drawing board. Keep an eye out for the next one...you don’t want to miss this!

As a result of the quality and consistent services provided by Hire Heroes USA, September brought in 16 more hires for people using their services. Each hire represents a leader heading into the Idaho workforce and we are thankful they put their trust in Hire Heroes USA to help them find their next career. Look for more opportunities to attend an in-person workshop! We have a Federal employment focused workshop in October and our first military spouses specific workshop in November.

Finally, thanks to Jesse Iwuji, NASCAR K&N pro series driver, who hooked up Mission43 with rides in his modified two-seat car. Five people were selected who have been volunteering or going above and beyond to use Mission43 to create opportunities for themselves. And big thanks to all the volunteers who came out to participate in the Fit One Mission43 water station. By far the best one on the course and only one runner yelled at us.  We are pretty sure it was because he didn’t train at all and was suffering by the time he got to us!

Check out our upcoming events!

Prison Partners: Boise Bicycle Project and Mission43

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Boise Bicycle Project and Mission43 have embarked on a partnership called Shifting Gears, to develop incarcerated veterans into highly skilled bicycle mechanics. The prisoners will have the opportunity to learn a trade while making a meaningful contribution to the community. All bicycles they repair are donated through BBP to low-income and refugee children. They learn a trade that, combined with a letter of recommendation we give at graduation, gives them a better chance at finding quality employment upon release. Finally, we educate and connect them to the Mission43 pillars throughout the program, providing hope to a clear pathway to opportunity in their re-integration.

This veterans group in the Idaho State Corrections Center (ISCC) sought an opportunity with Mission43 to serve the community even though they made a major mistake to set themselves back in life. They begin every meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance, still proud of their country, and still seeking ways to give back. Fortunately, they also have support from the ISCC leadership who see this as a positive opportunity for both the prison and prisoners.

Mission43 and Boise Bicycle Project will be at the ISCC twice a week for two hours of instruction and work. BBP will lead the class with a head instructor and Mission43 will provide a dedicated veteran to assist in the training.

If you want to get involved, Mission43 is looking for 5-6 volunteers who can make a long-term commitment to Shifting Gears. If you a have a basic understanding of bicycle maintenance, can educate the veteran prisoners on the four Mission43 pillars, and can commit to one or two days a month, please let us know.

Idaho’s 2017 September 11th Moving Tribute

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2017 marked the 16th anniversary of the the September 11, 2001 attack on our nation. For those who recently served, it is the closest we can come to understanding what Pearl Harbor meant to our grandparents. This year in an effort to honor those we lost, we carried a flag bearing the names of all the first responders and civilians who were killed on 9.11.2001, over 40 miles on a route across the Treasure Valley. This event was called Idaho’s 9.11 Moving Tribute.

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We began at 0846 at Lucky Peak Reservoir, the same time Flight 11 hit the North Tower. Over 60 people carried the flag throughout the day, stopping only to mark the times the planes struck and when the towers collapsed. At 0937, when the Pentagon was hit by Flight 77, we had the family of Brady Howell, one of two Idahoans killed in that moment, carrying the flag in his honor. Ten different police and fire departments provide escort throughout the entire nine-hour tribute, a great symbolism of the respect between first responders and the military.

The pillar organizations of Mission43 came together just like they do on a daily basis supporting the military community in Idaho. Each took responsibility for a leg of the relay by finding volunteers within their organizations to help carry the flag, and by ensuring they met the next pillar organization in time for the hand-off.

60 People Helped Carry the Flag Over 40 Miles. 

At the end of the 40 miles, we arrived at the future home of a Mission43 Firebase, the Caldwell Veterans Memorial Hall. We had food, drinks, and brought closure to the day with a ceremony led by Noah Siple. We couldn’t have been more proud of the way 9.11 was honored by the leaders, volunteers, and public who took part in this tribute.

Keep an eye out for next year. We will be looking to do something bigger and bolder and will need even more people to help carry the flag in honor of September 11th.

CLICK BELOW TO SEE THE MOVING TRIBUTE PHOTO ALBUM

The September 2017 Update

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The August schedule gave us a little breathing room leading up to a busy September! We still accomplished a lot over the past month including: 

  • Hire Heroes USA hosted a one-day employment workshop with 20 veterans, transitioning military, and military spouses at the Deloitte offices in downtown Boise. 
  • On August 9th, Hire Heroes USA hosted a career day which brought in close to 20 Idaho employers to conduct mock interviews for career-ready candidates. Each participant had the opportunity to do 3 interviews and many have already been confirmed as "hired!"
  • Networking and connecting Mission43 members is something we always like to do. Thanks to our friends at Keller Williams Front Porch Boise who sponsored this month's 43INC Happy Hour at the veteran owned Powderhaus Brewing Company. We had over 50 people come out. 
  • Mission43 launched the Project 43 campaign. You may have caught some of the stories on TV or social media that highlight veterans and military spouses transitioning to their "next." Check out this one featuring an NCO who attended the first Hire Heroes USA workshop as he was preparing to leave the military...pretty inspiring!

Upcoming: One of the things we have been consistently hearing from people is an interest in entrepreneurship. There are a lot of different programs out there, and we wanted to find an affordable, flexible, and very high-level program for our members. As a result, you will see on September 19th that we kick off our Entrepreneurs Sprint with the Boise State University Venture College. This can be a life changing course and we can't wait to take part in this and see what opportunities develop from it. We are also working on finalizing the venue, logistics, and guest for our next Mission43 INC. We will announce that next week! Check out all the other upcoming events!