To access all our features please use the Goodpods app.

Open the app

headphones

Life After the Uniform

Erin Silver

I hear it all the time. "I wish I would have know that before I retired/separated from the military!" What do you wish you would have known before you left the military? What happens once you have your DD214? How do you navigate life as a civilian? When should I start planning? What are my resources? Life After the Uniform is here to answer all of these questions and more. We will connect the people with the expertise to the people with the questions! Plus, you'll hear stories from Veterans and those still serving. So join Life After the Uniform every week as we learn to navigate the civilian world with a military mindset!
 ...more

All episodes

Best episodes

Top 10 Life After the Uniform Episodes

Best episodes ranked by Goodpods Users most listened

In this episode, Erin talks with US Army Master Sergeant (Retired), Darrell Williams. I could list Darrell's complete bio and CV, and I'm sure you would be impressed (I will provide a few key highlights below), but what is truly special about Darrell is that he is so much more than his professional accomplishments. He is a mentor in every sense of the word, he is passionate about helping others, and he is a natural leader with integrity who inspires others to do their best.

Darrell and I talked about a topic that both of us are passionate about - the military transition process. Darrell gave actionable, real world advice on helping service members leave the military and enter the civilian world. If you are getting ready to retire or separate, this is an episode you won't want to miss!

Darrell is the Chief, Military Human Resources for Operations at the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). He serves as the human resources senior advisor on all military matters. Previously, Darrell, He was also assigned to the White House Communications Agency (WHCA), where he served as a Human Resources Manager, Operations Lead, and Vice Presidential Communications Officer for over 500 Presidential and Vice Presidential missions. a Master Certified Life Coach and Inspirational Speaker, started Alliance Seminars Coaching as a veteran-owned, faith-based organization that provides keynote speaking, certified workshops, and life coaching services to clients. Darrell provides excellent advice and mentoring for veterans seeking to work with the government and how to find and pursue your purpose.

Career highlights include leading several short notice Presidential missions that included examining the effects of Hurricane Andrew in Florida and Tornado Damage in Arkansas; selection as the Staff Support Unit Manager of the Year; selection as a WHCA All-Star; as well as the White House Communications Agency Senior Manager of the Year. Additionally, he was selected as a DISA Outstanding Mentor and Mission Support Services Team Lead of the Year.
He received numerous professional awards to include the Presidential Service Badge. He is also a recipient of the Lacey B. Ivory Service Award; Roy Wilkins Renown Service Award; the National Louis University Reach Award; and the Strayer University Outstanding Alumni Award for his dedicated leadership in the DoD and community.
He was also inducted into the White House Communications Agency Hall of Fame.

To connect with Darrell:
https://speakerhub.com/speaker/darrell-williams
https://www.allianceseminars.org
https://www.facebook.com/allianceseminars
https://www.linkedin.com/in/darrellwilliams

To connect with Erin:
Life After the Uniform Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/lifeaftertheuniform
Life After the Uniform Facebook Podcast Page: https://www.facebook.com/ErinSilverPodcast
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/erinsilverpodcast/

bookmark
share episode

In today’s episode, Erin talks with Bill Kieffer. Bill is a U.S. Army veteran turned career transition coach. His advisory firm focuses on military career transitions, executive coaching, and strategic talent management. Bill is also a coach for the Honor Foundation which is a unique transition institute created exclusively for the U.S. Special Operations community. The Honor foundation works to ensure that every step is dedicated to preparing men and women to continue to realize their maximum potential during and after their service career. In addition to all of this, Bill is also the author of the book, Military Career Transition: Insights from the Employer Side of the Desk, which we got to explore during our conversation.

If you’re looking for tangible, actionable steps to help you with your military transition, then stay tuned!
Bill Kieffer is President & Chief Advisor of Kieffer & Associates Limited, an advisory firm specializing in Military Veteran Career Transition, Leadership Coaching, Strategic Talent Management, and Professional Speaking and Facilitation services.

Bill has coached, advised, mentored and worked with hundreds of service members, veterans and others around the globe regarding career transition, leadership development and performance improvement throughout his career.

He also:
· Serves as a coach and coach advisory board member for “The Honor Foundation”, a non-profit group providing career transition services to the special operations community.
· Is a master trainer for Ranger for Life’s “A More Elite Transition”, serving the U.S. Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment
· Serves as a member the Board of Advisors for “Law Enforcement Connect”, which provides career transition services to members of the law enforcement community

Bill is a senior human resources executive with over 23 years professional experience in multiple large, complex, global companies. His broad-ranging work includes full spectrum HR and talent management, and coaching/advising individual leaders and teams from the c-suite to the shop floor.

Prior to these experiences, Bill served nearly 12 years active duty as a U.S Army Officer in a variety of command and staff positions.

Bill is active in his community being twice appointed and three times elected to public office, and serving with a number of veteran-related organizations.

Bill was honored to present “Investing in the Middle” at TEDx Toledo in 2017, and to guest on over 20 podcasts discussing a broad range of topics.

He has worked in / travelled to 32 countries and has set foot on every continent except Antarctica.

He is married with five grown kids and in his free time loves riding his Harley.

To connect with Bill:
LinkedIn:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/williamkieffer/

Website: https://www.kieffer-associates.com/

Book - Military Career Transition: Insights from the Employer Side of the Desk:
https://www.amazon.com/Military-Career-Transition-Insights-Employer/dp/1737371405

To connect with Erin:
Life After the Uniform Facebook Group:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/lifeaftertheuniform

Life After the Uniform Facebook Podcast Page: https://www.facebook.com/ErinSilverPodcast

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/erinsilverpodcast/

bookmark
share episode

In today’s episode, Erin talks with Sophia Spadacino. Sophia served 9 years Active Duty in the U.S. Air Force before transitioning into the Reserves where she currently serves as a First Sergeant. Sophia earned her graduate degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from UMD and worked for 4 years at the VA as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (Voc Rehab). After the VA, Sophia went to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as a Reasonable Accommodations Case Manager and currently works at Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as a RA Case Manager.

Sophia joined Erin to talk about Ch. 31 Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) Benefits. If you have a service-connected disability that limits your ability to work or prevents you from working, Veteran Readiness and Employment (formerly called Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment) can help. This program, also known as Chapter 31 or VR&E, helps you explore employment options and address education or training needs. In some cases, your family members may also qualify for certain benefits.

You will learn about VR&E tracks for service members and veterans, eligibility, and how to apply.

To learn more about Ch. 31 Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) Benefits:
https://www.va.gov/careers-employment/vocational-rehabilitation/

To connect with Erin:
Life After the Uniform Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/lifeaftertheuniform

Life After the Uniform Facebook Podcast Page: https://www.facebook.com/ErinSilverPodcast

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/erinsilverpodcast/

bookmark
share episode

In today’s episode, Erin talks with Wanda “Sistah Solder” Petty, a 21-year Army Veteran and Chief Voice Officer of She Vet iNC. Erin and Sistah talked about different options for female veterans to get on their feet, be productive citizens, and live a comfortable lifestyle by using their creative talents to work remotely. Also discussed was how to adapt to change, how to prepare for life after the military, and how resiliency can prepare you for life as a civilian.

Wanda “Sistah Soldier” Petty is an inspirational speaker, a God-loving creative thinker, and a serial entrepreneur. She is the creator of SHE VETTM Media and Founder of The National Resource Society for Women Veterans, Inc. where she assumes roles as Creator, Executive Producer, Host, and Visionary of the SHE VETTM iNSPIRES television show. Sistah is also the Master Trainer and Recruiter of SHE WORKS Digital which provides IT Project Management recruitment and virtual training.

Sistah is a Warrior of Light, transformational leader, high impact trainer, and co-author of an Amazon Bestseller, “Behind the Rank, Vol 2, (Camouflaged Sisters, Behind the Rank). As a Spirit Warrior, she’s committed to eradicating unemployment and creating diversity in the workplace. She strategically teaches others how to become masterfully indispensable in their career using their spiritual gifts to build divine relationships and manifest a future filled with possibilities. Sistah is passionate about helping women, service members, and minorities deplete barriers that attempt to stunt their personal and professional development.

To connect with Wanda “Sistah Soldier” Petty:
Website:
https://sistahsoldier.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SistahSoldier3/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/wandapetty/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/therealsistahsoldier/

To connect with Erin:
Life After the Uniform Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/lifeaftertheuniform

Life After the Uniform Facebook Podcast Page: https://www.facebook.com/ErinSilverPodcast

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/erinsilverpodcast/

bookmark
share episode

In today’s episode, Erin talks with Will Orr, U.S. Marine Corps, Retired. Will and Erin had an open and honest conversation about Will’s life.
In his own words:

“I grew up in a very precarious environment; having been born to two high-school dropouts, we struggled as a family to make ends meet. A blended family of 6, we moved often and were homeless at one point. At 14, my bed was a 3-way folding lawn-chair in the dining room of my grandparents' home. I lived with friends; sought guidance from their mothers and fathers; and was adamant that I must break this cycle. I began working to buy my own school clothes and supplies. I wasn't the best-behaved kid and I certainly lacked social-skills, but I would be the first member of my family to graduate high-school.
In 1993, just two days after graduating high-school, I entered the U.S. Marine Corps via MCRD San Diego, CA. I would spend 21 years in this institution, where I honed the leadership skills I possess today. I was a Tank Commander; an Embassy Guard; and a Chem/Bio specialist before I would retire in 2014. There weren't many tanks to operate in the private sector, and I had likely used up my '9 lives in the previous 21 years, so I had to pursue something a little safer; something that I was passionate about. “

Will admits he was naïve when it came to separating from the military and didn’t know exactly what he wanted to do. He was also diagnosed with a mental illness and started treatment in 2012, although had been suffering since 2005. Due to a service-connected disability, Will was eligible for Ch. 31, Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E), Formerly known as Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment services. He was also eligible for Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses (VetTec). By using these two benefits, Will completed his graduate degree, earned several IT certificates, and received counseling.

Will’s story is one of pushing forward, even when you aren’t sure what lies ahead. It’s about finding resources, asking for help, and paying it forward. It’s about not letting your beginnings determine your future.

To connect with Will Orr:
LinkedIn:
www.linkedin.com/in/wjorr

To connect with Erin:
Life After the Uniform Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/lifeaftertheuniform

Life After the Uniform Facebook Podcast Page: https://www.facebook.com/ErinSilverPodcast

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/erinsilverpodcast/

Military One Source: https://www.militaryonesource.mil/health-wellness/mental-health/mental-health-resources/

bookmark
share episode

In today’s episode, Erin talks with Rob Spedden, USMC. Rob grew up in Omaha, NE and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps on October 26, 2004. He had a seemingly typical career – promoted on schedule, deployed, PCSd, took a special duty assignment as a recruiter, got married. For almost 17 years nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

That was until April 13, 2021. On an otherwise uneventful Tuesday afternoon, Rob experienced a full-on manic episode and was subsequently admitted to the hospital. After spending a week in the hospital, Rob was diagnosed with Bipolar 1.

April, 2021 was the beginning of the end of the life Rob had known. His wife filed for divorce. He was notified that he would be discharged from the U.S. Marine Corps after 17 years of service. He was going to need to find a place to live and a job, all while learning to navigate life as a civilian.

Today’s episode is not just about Rob’s diagnosis and transitioning out of the military. It's also about his hopes of destigmatizing the stigmas associated with a mental health diagnosis in the military by using comedy and social media to spread awareness. This episode is Rob's personal experience, but it is also the story of so many other military members, serving and retired.

Note on Mania and Manic episode: A manic episode is more than just a feeling of elation, high energy, or being distracted. During a manic episode, the mania is so intense that it can interfere with your daily activities. It’s difficult to redirect someone in a manic episode toward a calmer, more reasonable state. People who are in the manic phase of bipolar disorder can make very irrational decisions.

To connect with Rob Spedden:
LinkedIn:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/rob-spedden/

Instagram: https://instagram.com/motivation_with_spedden_2.0?r=nametag

TikTok: https://vm.tiktok.com/TTPdSV4PKj/

To connect with Erin:
Life After the Uniform Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/lifeaftertheuniform

Life After the Uniform Facebook Podcast Page: https://www.facebook.com/ErinSilverPodcast

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/erinsilverpodcast/

Military One Source: https://www.militaryonesource.mil/health-wellness/mental-health/mental-health-resources/

bookmark
share episode

What is your gut reaction when you hear anything about the VA Disability Claims process? Do you feel angry? Confused? Overwhelmed?
For many Veterans, interactions with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) seems like a necessary evil. You know you need to work with the VA to find out if you can get disability compensation for an illness or injury that was caused by—or got worse because of—your active military service. So, you proceed with your eligibility determination and submit your documents. And then you wait. According to the VA, Veterans waited an average of 161 days to find out their fate (as of January, 2022). For some Veterans, this was the end of the story. They received an appropriate rating and were done with the process. But for many, this is just the beginning. A 2018 statistic stated that roughly 65% of VA Disability Claims are not approved. Are you part of this number?
My guest today is Steven B. Crane, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran and Founder of The 360 Veteran. Steven is here to provide the information Veterans need to help them navigate the VA Disability Claims process. He will explain when to file a claim, the importance of obtaining an expert medical opinion, what type of evidence you should include, and more. In addition, Steven will share key tips to help veterans secure the benefits they deserve from VA.
Notes on VA Disability Claims: How much Veterans receive in disability compensation depends on how the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) rates your service-connected disability or condition. If you have more than one service-connected condition, the amount of monthly compensation is based on your combined disability rating. To be eligible for VA disability compensation, you must submit a claim, establish a service connection for at least one condition related to your military service (whether on active duty, active duty training, or inactive duty training), and have VA approve your claim and assign a disability rating for that condition. VA assigns a disability rating based on the frequency, duration, and severity of symptoms. VA makes a determination about the severity of your disability based on the evidence you submit as part of your claim, and/or from military records. VA rates disability from 0% to 100%, in 10% increments.

To connect with Steven B. Crane:
The 360 Veteran:
www.the360veteran.com/overview

To connect with Erin:
Life After the Uniform Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/lifeaftertheuniform

Life After the Uniform Facebook Podcast Page: https://www.facebook.com/ErinSilverPodcast

Instagram Page: https://www.instagram.com/erinsilverpodcast/

bookmark
share episode