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!

Announcing the 43 Project- Telling the Mission43 Story

Over the coming months, Mission43 will be bringing to light a series of stories featuring Idaho veterans and spouses transitioning to ‘their next.’ Their ‘next’ may be a new career they didn't know was possible. Their ‘next’ may be a new community they feel proud to be part of. We will also see stories of employers and community members who have been impacted by those who have worked with Mission43.

These are stories of leaders and lifelong learners. Military service, which includes the service of our spouses, is an inspiration for Idaho. Now, with The 43 Project, what most didn't know existed around them will come to light.

Get started with Adonis Jones and hear how a little boost from Hire Heroes USA changed his outlook on what was possible.

“My transition happened in phases. I went from active duty to Idaho National Guard. It was 2004 when I started working full-time for the Idaho National Guard. At that point, I kind of lost my way as far as how to be a civilian. And so working with Mission43 and Hire Heroes USA, kind of got me back into that mindset of how to transition from that whole military mindset to becoming a civilian and handling business in a whole different perspective.” - Adonis Jones

Check out the full line-up of the 43 Project stories on YouTube!

Not What You Are Used To. The Hire Heroes USA Workshop and Career Day.

A lot of us have been required to attend transition programs run by the DoD (starts with a “T” and ends in “APS”). You may have been to a well-intentioned civilian employer event at your base. However, these experiences have always left us wondering if it was worth our time, and the answer is usually the same.

Enter the Hire Heroes USA team. They are not what you are used to. They are a performance-based organization that empowers you (military, veterans, and military spouses) to transition to your next career. Fortunately for us, we have our own Idaho team that works directly with Mission43 to make sure Idaho can be a possibility for military families after their service.

The Idaho Hire Heroes USA team just completed back-to-back employment events over two days. The first was a transition workshop, which transforms a candidate into the ‘package deal’ for employers. Attendees built their resumes and LinkedIn profiles, learned how to “dress for success” thanks to Men’s Wearhouse, and developed crucial interviewing “TTPs”...wait no military acronyms when interviewing! It’s tough to replicate the quality and experience behind what is accomplished in a Hire Heroes USA workshop. Special thanks to Deloitte Boise for providing the venue and volunteer support!

The second event was Career Day (aka full dress rehearsal) where the lessons from Hire Heroes USA were put into practice. Check the stats:

  • 34 job ready candidates attended
  • 3 traveled from out of state intending to move to Idaho
  • A minimum of 3 mock interviews per candidate were completed (over 100 total!)
  • 11 companies brought Human Resources staff to do the interviews
  • A team of 17 volunteers from Deloitte kept everything on track

All this resulted in career ready ready veterans, military spouses, and transitioning military in addition to multiple actual job opportunities.

A sample of the companies who participated: HP INC, NY Life, St. Luke’s Health System, St. Alphonsus, Zions Bank, Micron, PacificSource, Albertsons.

Expect more of these to come from the Hire Heroes USA team! In the meantime, if you want to start working with your own Transition Specialist join Mission43 and be sure to select Hire Heroes USA on your registration!

Team Rubicon Cleans Up After Flood Waters Recede

When a group of Idaho Team Rubicon members heard there were contaminated sandbags and debris along the Boise River that needed to be cleaned up, they got to work and helped Ada County Emergency Management restore the riverbank to normal as flood waters receded.

Rivers swelled and stayed in flood state all across Idaho after a record 2017-2018 winter. While the sandbags helped defend local homes and apartments against the rising waters, when the river returned to normal levels massive amounts of debris and hundreds of sandbags remained along the riverbank.

"This was dirty but important work. The contaminated sandbags needed to be removed before causing health issues for residents of the affected community. This is a great example of how former military are still serving their communities. Local Team Rubicon members came together, worked in 100 degree heat, and made quick work of the task, saving Ada County money in clean-up costs and helping a community return to normal." - Brian J. Von Herbulis, Team Rubicon Idaho.

There are opportunities to get involved for both military and civilians. Learn more: Team Rubicon Idaho Facebook page or Join Mission43 and select “Team Rubicon.”

Upcoming in August

Another busy month and opportunities to get involved. Check out a few events and items of note coming up in August!

  • Hire Heroes USA Employment Workshop on August 8th: If you have not previously registered and worked with an HHUSA Transition Specialist, get started and knock out everything you need to be employment ready in one day. Your next step will be to show up for your job interview for your next career.

  • Hire Heroes USA Career Panel on August 9th: If you have previously registered with HHUSA, have everything done with your Transition Specialist, and are actively looking for your next career, then Career Day is for you. Hire Heroes USA Idaho Area Manager, Tony Torres, has lined up top-shelf Idaho employers who will conduct mock interviews, give the critical feedback you really need, and will take a hard look at the talent HHUSA has brought into the room - this could be you. This is not a job fair, this is an important step that could lead to your next career!

  • 43INC Happy Hour on August 24th: It’s becoming a staple of networking and connecting for Mission43. Create opportunities you didn’t know existed. Standby for location!

  • Welcome Kits. As a thank you for providing a little more insight into the military population in our state, these will be shipped to everyone who takes our new survey. We’ll send you the highly sought after Mission43 trucker hat, Yeti-style M43 camo tumbler, and sticker pack.

  • Victory Kits. Our way of saying thank you for working with Hire Heroes USA to find your next career, or Guild Education to head back to school and earn your next degree. This is a big deal and it goes to the heart of why Mission43 exists. The Victory Kit includes a Timbuktu backpack, large M43 camo tumbler, and camo notebook. Keep an eye out - these are going to be a hot commodity!

July 2017 After Action Review

July was a solid month for the Mission43 team. We wanted to check in and give you an update on what was accomplished and what was happening behind the scenes. So first, central to Mission43’s purpose, are the four pillar organizations:

UNIVERSITY OF DENVER NOW ADDED TO GUILD DEGREE PROGRAMS

Education: Guild Education brought another school on board for Mission43. The University of Denver brings the total number of schools we are working with to five. This is important because we are finding more schools that give appropriate academic credit for military service, while expanding the number and types of degrees available. Coupled with Guild Education’s expertise in using your benefits, this is starting to change the standard for our academia friends in supporting military students.

176 CAREERS IN IDAHO FOUND THROUGH HIRE HEROES USA

Employment: 176 hires in 16 months; average starting salary of $51,000, 94% full-time positions. Think careers, not jobs. The Hire Heroes USA machine is achieving unmatched results in Idaho.

TEAM RUBICON FLOOD CLEAN-UP

Purpose: Team Rubicon conducted another Idaho disaster relief operation, this time supporting flood clean-up as the high waters from winter runoff have receded. TR members removed sand bags and debris, showing service to the community doesn’t end after the military. In addition, Brian Von Herbulis, Idaho’s TR lead and National Wildland Firefighter Coordinator, has facilitated the deployment of over 50 veterans to fires around the country.

TEAM RED, WHITE, & BLUE PROGRAM MANAGER HIRED

Connection: Team Red, White & Blue continues to stay active with weekly runs, mountain bike rides, and social events. Chad Rohr, the Boise chapter captain, is now known as the “guy carrying the flag” everywhere he goes! Team RWB also recently hired their Boise-based Program Manager, Cody Sohn. She joins us from Fort Benning, GA and will be re-locating to the area in August. We are excited to have her on the ground and helping to grow chapters around the state!

TWILIGHT CRITERIUM VIP TENT

Mid-July also welcomed the 31st Annual Twilight Criterium to Boise, one of the top cycling road races in the country, so we kicked off the event with a Mission43 INC Happy Hour at the veteran-owned Powderhaus Brewery. Our official partner, Team Twenty20, a pro-cycling team with their eyes on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics joined us to hang out and raffle off a ton of prizes from their sponsors. After that, we hosted a VIP tent at the Criterium and watched Team Twenty20 take the win in the women’s pro race. We had a great turnout at both and enjoyed the opportunity to network and connect with Mission43 friends and families! Check out our photos from the event.

We have good momentum heading into August. Keep an eye on our events and feel free to join us when the time is right!

Great Turnout and Big Win at the Twilight Criterium

On Saturday, July 15th the Mission43 team hosted a VIP tent at this year's Boise Twilight Criterium. This event is one of those you just have to see, and we loved the opportunity to host our M43 friends and families to be part of it. The Criterium is a day full of bike races through the streets of downtown with a fan expo area featuring local food and drink. We had over 150 guests, including families, supporters, and employers who are all involved making Idaho an incredible place to be after the military. 

To cap off this great day, our partner, Team Twenty20, pulled off the win in the women's pro race. Our tent was in the perfect location to cheer them across the finish line. This incredible group of women hung out at the Mission43 tent after their victory, signed autographs, and talked about their experiences.

Thanks to all who joined us. It was great to see the many new faces and we hope new connections were made while you enjoyed the Criterium. Keep an eye out for next year. We may be out there again!

Sword & Plough On Stage at 43INC

Emily Núñez Cavness and Betsy Núñez, entrepreneurs who excel at using their military experience as business owners, shared incredible lessons they learned on their journey to create Sword & Plough. In 2013, they took a concept and turned it into a reality. They truly live by their company motto, "Repurposed for a Purpose," by taking surplus military materials and turning them into stylish handbags and accessories. 

The Mission43 team was honored to bring Emily and Betsy to Boise and enjoy an evening with them at our June Mission43 INC (Innovate + Network + Connect) event. 

Here are three key take-aways from their story that we can all use in our lives:

  • They raised $20,000 on Kickstarter in 2 hours, which was their 30-day goal. This didn't happen overnight, a year of planning went into the launch. Plan, prepare, and execute!
  • Betsy wished she learned more about supply chain management in school. She had to become an expert in acquiring thousands of yards of leather for their products just as Emily had started a 7-month Afghanistan deployment. Innovate and be persistent to get the results you need!
  • They sought out mentors and used free online resources to educate themselves on running their business. The resources are out there, but you need to go to them vs. thinking they will come to you! 

World Class Athletes- Our Partnership With Team Twenty20

Mission43 truly appreciates the veterans and military spouses who work hard, are disciplined, and will never give up. That is why we are proud to partner with Idaho's all-women professional cycling team that shares our same values, Team Twenty20. Coming off of five gold medals in Rio, they now have their eye on the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics; and under the guidance of Kristin Armstrong, three-time gold medalist and Boise native, there is a good chance they'll find their way to the podiums.

As part of our partnership, Team Twenty20 is sporting the Mission43 logo on their jerseys and are helping share our message throughout their travels this season. They are racing in places like California, Hong Kong, Europe, South America, and Colorado. They'll be racing here in our backyard at the Twilight Criterium on July 15th, and we hope you'll come out to join us in cheering them on. Every win has to be earned, just like a transition when you get out of the military. So keep an eye on Twenty20 through social media and we will help keep you posted on their successes!

Announcing the Caldwell Veterans Memorial Hall Mission43 Firebase

Over the past few months, we have been working closely with the Caldwell Veterans Memorial Hall (CVMH) to develop a way to integrate the Mission43 pillars (education, employment, purpose, and connection) into their future programmatic offerings. It has been incredible to see how the Canyon County community has rallied behind their efforts to renovate this turn of the century building, originally built as a Carnegie Library in 1903. But what role was the building going to serve, and was it something the next generation of veterans who are starting to leave the military want to be part of? We knew that just because you build it does not mean they will come. 

We worked closely with CVMH to create the vision of what a modernized version of a veteran service organization (VSO) could look like. It can't be overstated that even though we shared the same vision, it was absolutely essential that CVMH had the right leader in place to make this happen. Through this, the Caldwell Veterans Memorial Hall Mission43 Firebase was born.

When you walk into the newly renovated building, scheduled to open November 2017, you will know that the CVMH is focused on integrating Mission43 opportunities for military families in Canyon County. These are some of the things you can expect at our first Mission43 Firebase:

  • Military spouses can meet face-to-face with their Guild Education advisor and apply for their Master's degree at one of four partner universities.
  • Hire Heroes USA is finding quality and meaningful careers for the young men and women fresh out of the military. 
  • Team Red, White, and Blue meets up on the steps of the building before heading out on their weekly Monday night run.
  • Team Rubicon stages people and equipment for the next operation like Op Payette Forward, where they did flood mitigation and snow removal last winter. 

Through this partnership with CVMH, we are hopeful to create a model for other communities that want to empower, not enable, Idaho military families.

create a model for other communities

Investing in Volunteer Leaders- Team Red, White, & Blue's Eagle Leader Academy Came To Boise

Team Red, White, and Blue is growing incredibly fast across the country, and this isn't happening because people just want to meet up for a run. It is happening because this organization invests in their volunteer leaders and then empowers them to grow in their local communities.

During the last weekend in April, we got to see firsthand what this looks like and we met absolute all-stars who embody the Eagle ethos and are on the front lines of enriching veterans lives. Twenty-four leaders from Northwest Region (California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Colorado, and Idaho) consolidated in Boise for the region's first ever Leadership Academy. This included discussions on Eagle leader attributes: empathy, authenticity, and engagement. They exchanged ideas and practices from across the region and in true RWB fashion, carried Old Glory on a scavenger hunt to discover the local iconic sites of Boise.

We were also lucky to have J.J. Pinter, the soon-to-be Executive Director of Team RWB, take part in the weekend. He highlighted what is happening nationally and where they are headed in the next few years.

  • Leader training, like this event in Boise, will continue to be an integral part of the strategy. They have over 2,000 volunteers in leadership roles across the country!

  • Behind the scenes, a transition to Salesforce is taking place which will be coupled with a very deliberate analysis of measuring how they are enriching member's lives and have partnered with Syracuse University to do this!

  • The Eagle brand, which so many are proud to wear, will be brought to us through a new partnership with GoRuck and their online store and fulfillment capability.

We couldn't be more proud to have the opportunity to work with Team Red, White, and Blue in Mission43. The Executive Director all the way down to our local chapter members in Idaho are incredible people. Come on out and get involved, there is plenty to do with the warmer weather!

Learn more about Team Red, White, and Blue!

$15,000 Winner of the Idaho Entrepreneur Challenge

Brian Von Herbulis, Team Rubicon BLM Program Coordinator, just took home a $15,000 first place prize for his tech-focused idea at the 2017 Idaho Entrepreneur Challenge. Class I, V, and VI (food, ammo, and booze....well not really booze) is often hard to re-supply for those on the front lines. Brian knows this from experience as a commander of warriors in Afghanistan, and he used that knowledge and a lot of ingenuity to develop a one-time use drone that glides to predetermined coordinates with almost 700 lbs of supplies. He says this isn't limited to military use because there is much more this technology can do in terms of opportunity and capability. Think of the potential for disaster relief or support to wildland fire fighters! 

The Idaho Entrepreneur Challenge was hosted by the Boise State University Venture College and was open to any college or graduate student throughout the state of Idaho. Brian competed against over 70 other entrepreneurs, ideas, and teams.

Brian is the epitome of "Lead. Learn. Inspire." and we just want to congratulate him on a hard earned and much deserved first place prize. Nicely done!