Fall 2017 MERG
MERG Fall 2017
Fall 2017 MERG
Memo from a Leatherneck Nearing the end of my active duty service, my mind gravitated to confidently overtaking the civilian sector during my TAPS (Transition Assistance Program) class. TAPS is a program that helps Marines acclimate in to civilian life. Six months of looking for a job with no takers and 14 resume revisions, put me in my place.
owever, through some keenly strategized interviews, I was eventually able to snag a security administrator position with the Booz Allen Hamilton consulting firm, keeping me in the field I know best: security. Through the years I worked in lonely SCIFs and later became a Contract Special Security Officer and Facility Security Officer with Rincon Research Corporation. I had built a distinguished rapport in the northern Virginia and DC area. Though the jobs were excellent and I truly loved the security industry, I wanted to move back to my childhood home in southern Kentucky. However, SCIFs and agencies aren’t quite as prevalent in a small rural area, so I hatched the idea to start my own business.
Now It’s About
As I drudged through school websites with business programs to utilize my Post 9/11 G.I. Bill, my mother one day brought to my attention Lockmasters Security Institute. My area didn’t have a local locksmith so the market was wide open for the venture. I can only assume the sound proofing material in my secured area functioned correctly, because no one from adjacent floors complained about hooting and celebrative OORAH’s coursing through my SCIF. My excitement and anxiety only intensified after a phone call to the school’s director, Deanna DeBorde. She confirmed that my Post 9/11 G.I. Bill benefits were an approved payment method for my tuition.
With a packed-to-capacity UHAUL truck and a 13 hour drive, my thoughts often tracked around the lingering question; “Can this school really properly equip me with the skills I need for the locksmith trade?” We offer a variety of hands-on technical training courses that On October 24, 2011, my 28th birthday, I walked into the will give you real world experience in a short time period. A Professional Locksmithing class for the first time number of our courses are approved for enrollment of veterans, with very little knowledge of locking systems, reservists, service persons, and other eligible persons under the period. By the end of the 2 week course I was provisions of Chapters 30, 32, 33 and 35 GI Bill. picking (or at least attempting) every lock I could get my hands on. I was instantly addicted AVAILABLE COURSES GSA Authorized Safe & Vault Technician & Inspector and even more intrigued by the Lockmasters Professional Locksmithing I & II • Tactical Entry Level 1 organization. It didn’t take long before I had Comprehensive Security Specialist Training taken almost every course in the catalog. ProAccess Control Technician • Kaba X-Lock Certifications lock, Pro-lock 2, Emergency Vehicle Opening, Physical Security SCIF Construction Safe Deposit, Safe Penetration, Access Control, LKM7000 Lock Series Certification Safe Lock Servicing, Safe Lock Manipulation, Mechanical & Electronic Safe Lock Servicing Tactical Entry, GSA Technician and Inspector Professional Safe Lock Opening • Combination Lock Manipulation
LSI Provides the Best Security Technician Training In The Country.
Safe Deposit Lock Servicing
200 John C. Watts Drive 4
MERG Fall 2017
Nicholasville, KY 40356
Enroll Today www.LSIeducation.com
Now It’s About
Your Future. LSI Provides the Best Security Technician Training In The Country.
We offer a variety of hands-on technical training courses that will give you real world experience in a short time period. A number of our courses are approved for enrollment of veterans, reservists, service persons, and other eligible persons under the provisions of Chapters 30, 32, 33 and 35 GI Bill. AVAILABLE COURSES
GSA Authorized Safe & Vault Technician & Inspector Professional Locksmithing I & II • Tactical Entry Level 1 Comprehensive Security Specialist Training Access Control Technician • Kaba X-Lock Certifications Physical Security SCIF Construction LKM7000 Lock Series Certification Mechanical & Electronic Safe Lock Servicing Professional Safe Lock Opening • Combination Lock Manipulation Safe Deposit Lock Servicing
200 John C. Watts Drive
Nicholasville, KY 40356
Enroll Today www.LSIeducation.com
Certification, X-09 Certification, S&G 2740 Certification… I was on a mission. But HERE is the magic. I started passing out business cards to every business that would take one and essentially handed out over 500 business cards in a single week; and calls started coming in. First with lock outs and general rekeys for residences and businesses. I can still remember the first safe I manipulated was a Sentry straight tail piece almost identical to the one covered in class. My amazement was that I KNEW WHAT I WAS DOING! Most everything I got a call for, I had the direct knowledge. I was also invited to contact the instructors if I had a problem for advice while in the field. I had the skills and the resources I needed to not just do the job, but to excel in the market. So from time to time new/prospective students will ask the question, “Can this school really properly equip me with the skills I need for the locksmith trade?” I can only smile when I respond to that question in an email knowing that they will see my signature block at the bottom. Semper Fidelis, Brandon K. Powell Owner/Operator-The Leatherneck Locksmith Content provided by LOCKMASTERS.
Fall 2017 MERG
Empowering U.S. military members, veterans and military spouses to succeed in the civilian workforce. Resume Revision Interview Preparation Networking Guidance Employment Connections
MERG Fall 2017
MILITARY EDUCATION RESOURCE GUIDE 14
Secretary of Veterans Affairs The Honorable David J. Shulkin was nominated by President Trump to serve as the ninth Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Acting Under Secretary for Benefits Thomas J. Murphy is currently the Acting Under Secretary for Benefits
Post-9/11 GI Bill: Benefits
Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty: The facts
Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve: The facts
Yellow Ribbon Program: How to use it
VA benefits: How to maximize them
Post-9/11 GI Bill: The basics
VA Work-Study Program: Earn while you learn
Post-9/11 GI Bill: How to use it
Fully Developed Claim: How to file
Opening a franchise: Whatâ€™s involved?
By Bryan Mitchell
Franchising: The economic outlook
Franchising: The basics
Franchise Financing: An SBA guide
FRANCHISE GUIDE 42
Ready to be your own boss? Check in with some veterans who jumped boots-first into franchising.
Fall 2017 MERG
BECOME SKILLED, EMPLOYABLE AND IN-DEMAND! Aviation Maintenance & Electronics Technicians Transitioning with PIA, your new career is right on the horizon.
PIA Ranks #11 in Top 30 Two-Year Trade Schools in the nation.
PIA is a partner school with Delta TechOps to help fill the Technician demand.
118,000 New Technicians needed in North America by 2035. The Boeing Company’s 2016 Pilot and Technician Outlook projection.
Industry Options & Salary1 Outlook Aircraft and Avionics Mechanics and Technicians..................................... $60,270 Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers.......................... $55,920 Wind Turbine Technicians........................................................... $52,260 Industrial Mechanics, Machinery Maintenance Workers $49,100 Diesel Service Technicians and Mechanics.......... $45,170 Automotive Technicians and Mechanics. $38,470 Small Engine Mechanics.......... $35,280 1 Median wage data based on December 17, 2015 Publication of the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/home.htm
School for Aviation Maintenance & Electronics Pittsburgh, PA • Hagerstown, MD • Myrtle Beach, SC • Youngstown, OH 8
MERG Fall 2017
pia.edu • 800.444.1440
Automotive to Aviation Grant Long
PIA 2014 ......... Hagerstown Branch Campus, MD Program .......... Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT) Length ............. 16 Months Employment ... United States Army Position........... Blackhawk Crew Chief Becoming a solider has been a longtime dream for PIA-Hagerstown graduate, Grant Long. However, after a knee injury that required surgery, Grant’s dream seemed out of reach. As a native to Washington County, Maryland, Grant’s father first learned about PIA.
“I will admit I was unsure about aviation at first, but after the first few months, PIA showed me my passion for aviation that I wouldn’t have found otherwise. I love it.”
“I knew I was interested in mechanics, and I liked working on cars, so I came to an open house with my dad,” Grant said. “I will admit I was unsure about aviation at first, but after the first few months, PIA showed me my passion for aviation that I wouldn’t have found otherwise. I love it.”
Today, Grant is a United States Army Blackhawk Crew Chief. “The Army saw something in me,” Grant said. “I couldn’t join before, but with my PIA work, they wanted me. I was sworn in three months before graduating, and then three weeks later, I left for boot camp.” Armed with his FAA Airframe & Powerplant License, Grant went to four months of Army Blackhawk training school, which he found “significantly easier than PIA.” It was Grant’s 16 months of aviation maintenance training at PIA-Hagerstown that prepared him for his military career. Grant jumped right into his first assignment maintaining Blackhawk helicopters in South Korea for a year. After just five months, he was promoted to Crew Chief, a position of great responsibility, where Grant had in-flight duties in the back seat. As a Blackhawk Crew Chief, Grant was still a part of the maintenance team, but he was also responsible for
School for Aviation Maintenance & Electronics
anyone in or around his aircraft. Duties range from everything to navigation, to combat, to supervisory roles. “I had no idea I wanted to work on Blackhawks when I enlisted. I was prepared to do any aviation job the Army had for me. There were eight or nine options… in my opinion, I got the best one,” Grant said. “I got really lucky.” Grant graduated in December of 2014 in a class of 21 students. He was comfortable with automotive repair, but he wasn’t familiar with some of the shop work at PIA, such as electricity, airframe, and sheet metal. PIA doesn’t require prior experience in aviation or mechanics, so Grant was able to learn everything from the ground up. To this day, Grant is appreciative of his father introducing him to PIA. His father said, “Taking Grant to the Hagerstown open house was one of the best decisions I made for him because he committed to the school. As I have told many, I never paid PIA for Grant's education. Instead, I invested in Grant through PIA. I will be forever grateful to his classmates and instructors. What an awesome, awesome place!”
PIA.edu Fall 2017 MERG
Ready to write the next chapter in your life story?
The American Legion can help. JOBS AND BUSINESS - WWW.LEGION.ORG/CAREERS The American Legion’s Veterans Employment Center, powered by Military.com, offers a range of online tools including a JOB SEARCH function and a MILITARY SKILLS TRANSLATOR, plus best practices for applicants, videos on starting and growing a business, job fairs and more. The American Legion sponsors or produces more than 1,000 HIRING EVENTS a year. Sign up for THE AMERICAN LEGION CAREER CENTER E-NEWSLETTER to stay on top of coming events, job fairs, workshops and more. www.legion.org/newsletters
EDUCATION - WWW.LEGION.ORG/EDUCATION Student veterans are the fastest-growing segment of American Legion membership. Newly chartered campus posts are working with state and local American Legion districts and departments, VA and other agencies to ensure veterans adjust to campus life, get the support they need and understand their GI Bill benefits. The Legion, which drafted the original GI Bill, also helped pass the Post 9/11 version and works continuously with Congress to improve it. The American Legion also leads the fight at the federal and state level to help veterans convert military experience into credits for licenses and certification in a number of career fields, from emergency medicine to transportation.
BENEFITS ASSISTANCE - WWW.LEGION.ORG/SERVICEOFFICERS NEARLY 3,000 ACCREDITED AMERICAN LEGION SERVICE OFFICERS help veterans understand and apply for VA benefits. A well-prepared application can speed up the claims process and lead to accurate ratings and decisions. Find an American Legion service officer near you at legion.org/serviceofficers Download THE AMERICAN LEGION CLAIMS COACH MOBILE APP to find a service officer and manage your VA claim. legion.org/mobileapps
The American Legion 10 MERG Fall 2017
“What’s awesome about the Legion is it’s a tried-and-true organization that can support us while we pursue our endeavors.” Calie Craddock, Post 9/11 Army National Guard veteran, founder of American Legion Post 400 on the campus of North Dakota State University
Fall 2015 2017 MERG 11
12 MERG Fall 2017
Fall 2017 MERG 13
he Honorable David J. Shulkin was nominated by President Trump to serve as the ninth Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) and was confirmed by the United States Senate on February 13, 2017.
Prior to his confirmation as Secretary, Dr. Shulkin served as VA’s Under Secretary for Health for 18 months, leading the Nation’s largest integrated health care system, with over 1,700 sites of care serving nearly nine million Veterans. Before he began his service with VA, Dr. Shulkin held numerous chief executive roles at Morristown Medical Center, and the Atlantic Health System Accountable Care Organization. He also served as President and CEO of Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. Dr. Shulkin has held numerous physician leadership roles including Chief Medical Officer of the University of Pennsylvania Health System, Temple University Hospital, and the Medical College of Pennsylvania Hospital. He has also held academic positions including Chairman of Medicine and Vice Dean at Drexel University School of Medicine. As an entrepreneur, Dr. Shulkin founded and served as Chairman and CEO of DoctorQuality, one of the first consumer-oriented sources of information on quality and safety in healthcare. A board-certified internist, Dr. Shulkin is also a fellow of the American College of Physicians. He received his medical degree from the Medical College of Pennsylvania, and he completed his internship at Yale University School of Medicine and a residency and fellowship in General Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Presbyterian Medical Center. He also received advanced training in outcomes research and economics as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Shulkin has been named as one of the “50 Most Influential Physician Executives in the Country” by Modern Healthcare. He has also previously been named among the “One Hundred Most Influential People in American Healthcare.” He has been married to his wife, Dr. Merle Bari, for 29 years. They are the parents of two grown children.
14 MERG Fall 2017
Secretary of Veterans Affairs DAVID J. SHULKIN
‘FOREVER’ GI PASSES FOR FUTURE VETERANS By Mary Dever Originally the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, the GI Bill was created to help veterans of World War II. It established hospitals, made low-interest mortgages available and granted stipends covering tuition and expenses for veterans attending college or trade schools. Before the war, college and homeownership were—for the most part—unreachable dreams for the average American. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, thanks to the GI Bill, millions who would have flooded the job market instead opted for education. In the peak year of 1947, veterans accounted for 49 percent of college admissions. By 1956, 7.8 million of 16 million World War II veterans had participated in an education or training program. The GI Bill has evolved over the last 73 years to adapt to the ever-changing needs of veterans and to the American economy. In 2009, GI Bill benefits were updated drastically to give veterans more options. The Post-9/11 GI Bill—Chapter 33—provided service members and veterans with 90 or more days of active duty service on, or after, Sept. 11, 2001, enhanced educational benefits to cover more expenses, a living allowance, money for books and the ability to transfer unused educational benefits to spouses or children. “The GI Bill is one of the most valuable benefits available to veterans and their families,” said DAV (Disabled American Veterans) National Service Director Jim Marszalek. “It provides opportunities to veterans in all walks of life, with a myriad of professional goals.” Marszalek should know. Since 2001, DAV benefits experts have driven a fleet of “offices on wheels” to help veterans in small towns and rural communities across the country. The goal of this Mobile Service Office (MSO) Program is to counsel and assist veterans and to educate veterans and their families on the benefits and services available to them in thanks for their service. Stops along the MSO routes include colleges and universities across America where DAV’s experts can help student veterans understand and access their GI Bill benefits, or answer any other veterans benefits questions they may have. In 2016, MSOs visited 77 campuses and hosted an additional 21 information seminars to ensure all veterans attending colleges or universities could be made aware of the benefits they earned through military service. The GI bill is merely one of the most popular benefits awarded to America’s veterans. On Aug. 16, 2017, the popular Post-9/11 GI Bill received a facelift to keep up with the needs of the growing veteran population. Legislation to eliminate the current 15-year-time limit on using those benefits, and to improve the overall benefit for veterans
discharged after Jan. 1, 2013, was signed into law by President Trump. While the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017 (Public Law 115-48), also known as the Forever GI Bill, removes the time eligibility restriction for service members and veterans discharged after Jan. 1, 2013, the 15-year time restriction still applies to veterans separated from military service before 2013. The Forever GI Bill also allows Guard and Reserve members who spent time recovering from war injuries to have recuperation time counted toward GI Bill eligibility. Future National Guard veterans called to active duty by their governor for federal assistance will qualify for Forever GI Bill benefits effective Aug. 1, 2018. Before this new law, National Guard veterans were only entitled if called to active duty by presidential order as a result of a national emergency. Additionally, Guard and Reserve veterans who are receiving Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) benefits, will now be allowed to “pause” their eligibility so their time under the VR&E program is not negatively affected while called up on active duty orders and Purple Heart recipients will be awarded full Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, no matter how long they served and without time restraints. “The Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017 is beneficial to so many veterans who have earned these benefits,” said DAV National Adjutant Marc Burgess. “Before, many veterans may have missed out on the great opportunities and education afforded by the program, simply because life didn’t line up perfectly with the restrictions in place. Now, with the Forever GI Bill, more veterans will be able to get the education and training they earned.” You can find out more about what the Forever GI Bill means for you and receive free benefits counseling and assistance by visiting with a DAV benefits expert near you. Find your closest DAV office at www.dav.org/veterans/find-your-local-office/ or visit one of our transition experts at nearly 100 military installations throughout the nation (see https://www.dav.org/veterans/tso-locations-2/ for a full list of bases covered).
Fall 2017 MERG 15
Acting Under Secretary for Benefits
THOMAS J. MURPHY
homas J. Murphy is currently the Acting Under and was responsible for administering VA benefits and Secretary for Benefits. Prior to his current position, services to over 151,000 Veterans and beneficiaries living he was appointed Principal Deputy Under in Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra, and the U.S. Virgin Secretary for Benefits in the Department of Veterans Islands. Programs included compensation, pension, Affairs. In his current position, he leads more than 20,000 insurance, home loans, and vocational rehabilitation. employees in the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) in the delivery Mr. Murphy joined the Veterans Benefits Through a nationwide of non-medical benefits programs Administration from The Home Depot, for Veterans, including disability network of 56 regional offices, where he was a Director of Merchandise special processing centers, compensation, pension and fiduciary, Planning. In this position, he directed the education, home loan guaranty, life merchandise planning of the hardware and VBA Headquarters, he department in over 1,950 stores with insurance, vocational rehabilitation oversees the execution of over $8.5 billion in annual sales. Prior to and employment, and transition, nearly $96B in direct joining The Home Depot, Mr. Murphy employment and economic impact. benefits to Veterans and Through a nationwide network of 56 was a Senior Tactical Planning Manager their dependents. regional offices, special processing for Qwest Communications, responsible for common systems growth of the local centers, and VBA Headquarters, he telephone network in 5 western states. Earlier in his career, oversees the execution of nearly $96B in direct benefits to Mr. Murphy worked for ten years in the Department Veterans and their dependents. of Defense in a variety of positions, including Logistics Manager, Administrative Officer, Training Manager, Prior to this appointment, Mr. Murphy served as Acting Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Benefits Staffing Specialist, and Chief of Employee Services. from February 2016 to June 2016. From August 2010 to February 2016, Mr. Murphy served as the Director of Mr. Murphy retired from the military as a Major after Compensation Service. In this position, he was responsible 15 years of service in the Colorado National Guard and for the development and implementation of policies and 6 years of service with the Marine Corps Reserve. His military assignments included Assistant Deputy Chief of procedures related to the administration of VA disability Staff for Personnel, Battalion Operations Officer, Battery and death compensation programs, which paid $66.38 Commander, and Battery Fire Direction Officer. billion dollars in benefits in fiscal year 2015 to over 4.5 million eligible Veterans and dependents. Before serving Mr. Murphy and his wife reside in the Washington, DC as Director of Compensation Service, Mr. Murphy served Metropolitan Area. as the Director of the San Juan, Puerto Rico Regional Office
16 MERG Fall 2017
I AM A VETERAN AND THIS IS MY VICTORY. “My victory was finishing my education.” After 38 jumps, CeCe was injured in a parachute accident. Her veterans benefits allowed her to follow her dream and earn a degree. Every year, DAV helps more than a million veterans of all generations—connecting them to the health, disability, and education benefits they’ve earned. Help support more victories for veterans. Go to DAV.org. Fall 2017 MERG 17
Air Force Senior Airman Aubrey Sloan performs pre-loading checks at the beginning of the Team Eglin weapons load competition at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.
PHOTO: Samuel King Jr.
18 MERG Fall 2017
Fall 2017 MERG 19
HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR VA BENEFITS
f you’re new to VA, it can be overwhelming to sift through all of the benefits and services offered and choose which ones are best for you and your family. Here is a quick “how to” guide for VA benefits. VA benefits can be split into two general categories – health care and non-medical benefits like compensation, education and home loans. If you served on active military service and were separated under any condition other than dishonorable, you may qualify for VA health care benefits. Post-9/11 Combat Veterans (OEF/OIF/OND) are eligible for five years of cost-free care for illness and injury related to service and onetime dental care. The second category, non-medical VA benefits, is broken into six areas: Compensation, Education, Home Loans, Insurance, Pension & Fiduciary; and Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment.
VA’s disability claims process is currently undergoing a major transformation, including the creation of more than 40 new initiatives designed to decrease processing time and increase accuracy and service for service members, veterans, their families and survivors. VA is moving toward an electronic, rather than a paperbased, system and toward the goal of eliminating the veterans disability claims backlog and improving rating accuracy to 98% in 2015. The new Fully Developed Claims (FDC) program is now the fastest way to get your compensation or pension claim processed.
Many service members choose to use VA’s education benefits shortly after leaving service or pass the benefits to family members. In addition to undergraduate and graduate degrees, the Post-9/11 GI Bill offers financial assistance for a variety of training programs, including: vocational/technical, on-the-job, flight and licensing/ certification programs. In addition to tuition and fees, veterans may qualify for a monthly housing allowance and book stipend. The Vet Success on Campus program on school campuses
20 MERG Fall 2017
across the country helps connect veterans with other student veterans and a variety of VA services, including free tutoring. VA’s Veterans Retraining and Assistance Program (VRAP) offers 12 months of training to unemployed veterans 35 to 60 years old.
Another frequently used VA benefit is the guaranteed home loan and refinancing assistance. VA also offers special grants for disabled veterans to adapt and acquire housing suitable for their needs.
Service Members and Veterans Group Life Insurance (SGLI) coverage recipients have two options available to them upon release from service: converting to the Veterans’ Group Life Insurance program or a permanent plan with one of the participating commercial insurance companies.
VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION AND EMPLOYMENT
VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) program assists veterans with serviceconnected disabilities to prepare for, find, and keep suitable jobs. Benefits include vocational counseling, on the job training and apprenticeships. More information on all of VA’s benefits and services can be found at www.va.gov. Content provided by the VA.
Lindsey S., Alumna Journalism. Active Duty.
U P TO 50% T U I T I O N
SC H O L ARS H I P
FO R M I LITARY AN D FAM I LY WARRI O RS Advance your career with exclusive benefits toward graduate and undergraduate programs. TROY’s Military and Family Scholarship caps the cost of tuition at $250 per credit hour for active military, Reservists and National Guard. Also, your spouse and dependents receive up to 50% in tuition savings. TROY is committed to keeping higher education affordable. That’s the Trojan Warrior Spirit, and it’s alive and well at Troy University.
© 2016 Troy University
Feel it at troy.edu/militaryspirit or call 1-800-586-9771. Fall 2017 MERG 21
A soldier rappels down the wall at a mountaineering and rappelling event during the 2017 Sapper Stakes Invitational at Camp Butner, N.C.
PHOTO: Staff Sgt. David McLean
22 MERG Fall 2017
FOUND ANOTHER WAY TO SERVE. THAT WAS MY MOMENT.” Scott Green Undergraduate Cybersecurity Student
PROGRAMS IN HIGH-DEMAND FIELDS After serving two tours and returning home, Scott experienced his Moment when he found a passion for cybersecurity and another way to serve his country. Now he’s learning to protect and defend information systems in local and broad-based domains. UMUC can help you transition to a post-military career in a high-demand ﬁeld with • Bachelor’s and master’s degrees in cybersecurity, information technology, business and management, public safety and more • Up to 90 credits for prior college, work and military experience, saving you time and money • Online classes and more than 140 classroom and service locations, including military installations throughout the world Ranked the No. 1 University for Veterans in 2015.*
Visit military.umuc.edu/education to learn more. *Military Times ranked UMUC No. 1 in its Best for Vets: Colleges 2015 annual survey of online and nontraditional colleges and universities.
Copyright © 2016 University of Maryland University College
Fall 2017 MERG 23
Airmen jump from the back of an HC-130J Combat King II aircraft over Moody Air Force Base, Ga. The airmen are pararescuemen who are qualified experts in airborne and military free fall operations.
PHOTO: Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan
24 MERG Fall 2017
Light Our Way and yOur Future
As a member of the military, you’ve trained hard, sacrificed, and led the way. Now it’s your time to shine. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, America will need 4 million college graduates between 2010–2020.* We can help you become one of them. Not everyone has the mindset and discipline for success—but you do. You’ve already handled your share of tough challenges. Use that valuable training to forge a successful new path—one that sparks new opportunities for you and your family.
Bring out that spark inside you. SHINe NOW. military.kaplan.edu
*Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment Outlook 2010-2020: Occupational employment projections to 2020,” January 2012, on the Internet at www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2012/01/art5full.pdf. National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth. Kaplan University cannot guarantee employment or career advancement. For comprehensive consumer information, visit www.kaplanuniversity.edu/student-consumer-information.aspx.
Fall 2017 MERG 25
THE POST-9/11 GI BILL
he Post-9/11 GI Bill provides financial support for education and housing to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service after Sept. 10, 2001, or individuals discharged with a serviceconnected disability after 30 days. You must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Here is some basic information on eligibility and other questions about the bill. Am I eligible? You may be eligible if you served at least 90 aggregate days on active duty after Sept. 10, 2001, or were honorably discharged from active duty for a serviceconnected disability after serving 30 continuous days following September 10, 2001.
What kind of training can I take? You can use the Post-9/11 GI Bill at colleges, universities, trade schools, and for on-the-job training, apprenticeships, and light schools. To see what programs are currently approved for VA benefits, go to www.gibill.va.gov. You can use the Post-9/11 GI Bill for tutorial assistance, licensing (attorney license, cosmetology license, etc.) and certification tests (SAT, LSAT, etc.). Note: If the program you are interested in isn’t on the GI Bill website, contact your State Approving Agency (list available on www.gibill.va.gov) to see if it can be approved. Can I transfer my entitlement to my dependents?
Note: Children of a member of the Armed Forces who died in the line of duty on or after September 11, 2001, may be eligible for Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits under the Marine Gunnery John David Fry Scholarship Program.
You must be a member of the uniformed services to transfer your unused benefits to your spouse or dependent(s). Generally, you must agree to serve four more years when transferring benefits.
What will I receive?
What Is the Yellow Ribbon program?
You may receive a percentage of the following payments:
The Post-9/11 GI Bill can cover all in-state tuition and fees at public degree-granting schools, but may not cover all private degree-granting schools and out-ofstate tuition. The Yellow Ribbon program provides additional support in those situations.
— A Tuition and Fee payment that is paid to your school on your behalf. — A Books and Supplies Stipend of up to $1,000 per year. — A Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA)** that is equal to: • The basic allowance for housing (BAH)payable for the zip code of your school to a military E-5 with dependents for students pursuing resident training. • one-half the BAH national average for students training solely by distance learning. • the national average BAH for students pursuing training at foreign schools. **The MHA is not payable to individuals on active duty or those enrolled at half time or less. How many months of assistance can I receive and how long am I eligible? Generally, you may receive up to 36 months of entitlement under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. You will be eligible for benefits for 15 years from your last period of active duty of at least 90 consecutive days.
26 MERG Fall 2017
Institutions voluntarily enter into an agreement with VA to fund uncovered charges. VA matches each dollar of unmet charges the institution agrees to contribute, up to the total cost of the tuition and fees. Content provided by the VA.
POST-9/11 GI BILL: HOW TO USE IT
he Post-9/11 GI Bill, enacted in 2008, is the most extensive educational assistance program authorized since the original GI Bill was signed into law in 1944. Just as the original GI Bill allowed veterans to take their educational opportunities and leverage them for breakthroughs in automation, business, medicine, science, transportation and technology, today’s Post-9/11 GI Bill provides veterans with the tools that will help them contribute to an economically strong, vibrant and resilient America.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill is a comprehensive education benefit, paying tuition and fees on behalf of veterans or eligible dependents directly to the schools in which they are enrolled. Eligible participants also receive a monthly housing allowance and up to $1,000 annually for books and supplies. GI Bill benefits are tiered based on the number of days served on active duty, giving activated National Guard and Reserve members the same benefits as those on active duty. VA is committed to ensuring all service members, veterans, and family members eligible for the benefit receive a useful education without the burden of substantial student loan debt as they readjust to civilian life. As of July 9, 2013, VA has issued over $30 billion in Post-9/11 GI Bill benefit payments to approximately 992,000 individuals and their educational institutions. Executive Order 13607 directs VA, the Department of Defense (DoD), and Department of Education, with help from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), to develop and implement “Principles of Excellence” to strengthen oversight, enforcement and accountability within veteran and military educational benefit programs.
Schools agreeing to comply with the principles will: • Provide all military and veteran students with a personalized form covering the total cost of the educational program, pre-enrollment program costs, student debt estimates, and financial aid options. • Provide an educational plan for all military and veteran students. • Accommodate service members and reservists who are absent due to service requirements. • Designate points of contact for academic and financial advising • Ensure accreditation of all new programs prior to enrolling students. Participating schools also agree to have tuition refund policies similar to schools receiving Title IV funding. This means that service members, reservists and family members who stop attending school due to service obligations will be entitled to a prorated tuition refund based upon the day the student stops attending. To date, over 6,000 schools have agreed to adhere to the Principles of Excellence. VA has made it easy to identify participating schools by setting up a map on the GI Bill website to help find schools near you. Additional tools for student veterans can be found at www.gibill.va.gov. Content provided by the VA.
The Principles of Excellence are a set of guidelines with which institutions receiving federal funding agree to comply. The principles were designed to help ensure that students are given the right tools to assist them in making informed decisions when choosing a school. The principles also seek to help protect veterans, service members, and their families from aggressive and deceptive marketing tactics.
Fall Fall2017 2017 MERG 27
A trainer with the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program works with Constellation, an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, during training in Truman Harbor at Naval Air Station Key West, Fla.
28 MERG Fall 2017
YOU COULD gAin An On THe
edge competition? As one of America’s top military-friendly schools, Liberty University Online offers more than 45 career-ready degree programs and 100 specializations to prepare you for a military career and beyond.
yellow ribbon program
MOST POPULAR COLLEGES
You serve us. Let us serve you with generous benefits including: + + + + +
Tuition Discounts and Fee Waivers Free Book Vouchers Dedicated Military Affairs Office College Credit for Military Training Heroes Fund Scholarship
Proud partners with the Yellow Ribbon Program, GoArmyEd®, SOC Network and Air University Associate to Baccalaureate Cooperative (AU-ABC).
(877) 660-4796 www.LUOnline.com/defense Fall 2017 MERG 29
HOW TO USE YOUR POST-9/11 GI BILL BENEFITS
pproved training under the Post-9/11 GI Bill includes graduate and undergraduate degrees, vocational/technical training, onthe-job training, flight training, correspondence training, licensing and national testing programs, entrepreneurship training, and tutorial assistance. All training programs must be approved for GI Bill benefits. This benefit provides up to 36 months of education benefits, generally benefits are payable for 15 years following your release from active duty. The Post9/11 GI Bill also offers some service members the opportunity to transfer their GI Bill to dependents. Some of the benefits the Post-9/11 GI Bill will pay include: — Full tuition and fees directly to the school for all public school in-state students. For those attending private or foreign schools tuition & fees are capped at the national maximum rate.
If you are attending a private Institution of Higher Learning in Arizona, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina or Texas you may be eligible for a higher tuition reimbursement rate.
30 MERG Fall 2017
For those attending a more expensive private school or a public school as a non-resident out-of-state student, a program exists which may help to reimburse the difference. This program is called the “Yellow Ribbon Program”. — A monthly housing allowance (MHA). — An annual books & supplies stipend. — A one-time rural benefit payment. As of Aug. 1, 2011, break (or interval pay) is no longer be payable under Post-9/11 GI Bill except during periods your school is closed as a result of an Executive Order of the President or an emergency (such as a natural disaster or strike). For example, if your Fall term ends on Dec. 15 and your Spring term begins Jan. 10, your January housing allowance will cover 15 days in December and your February housing allowance will cover 21 days in January. Content provided by the VA.
Fall 2017 MERG 31
FACTS ABOUT THE MONTGOMERY GI BILL ACTIVE DUTY (MGIB-AD)
he MGIB program provides up to 36 months of education benefits. This benefit may be used for degree and certificate programs, flight training, apprenticeship/on-the-job training and correspondence courses. Remedial, deficiency and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances. Generally, benefits are payable for 10 years following your release from active duty. This program is also commonly known as Chapter 30. $600 Buy-Up Program Some service members may contribute up to an additional $600 to the GI Bill to receive increased monthly benefits. For an additional $600 contribution, you may receive up to $5,400 in additional GI Bill benefits. The additional contribution must be made while on active duty. For more information contact your personnel or payroll office. Who is Eligible? You may be an eligible veteran if you have an Honorable Discharge, AND you have a High School Diploma or GED or in some cases 12 hours of college credit, AND you meet the requirements of one of the categories below: The Montgomery GI Bill - Active Duty provides up to 36 months of education benefits to eligible veterans for: • • • • • • • • •
College Technical or vocational courses Correspondence courses Apprenticeship/job training Flight training High-tech training Licensing & certification tests Entrepreneurship training Certain entrance examinations
CATEGORY I • Entered active duty for the first time after June 30, 1985 • Had military pay reduced by $100 a month for first 12 months
32 MERG Fa;; Fall 2017 2017
• Continuously served for 3 years, OR 2 years if that is what you first enlisted for, OR 2 years if you entered the Selected Reserve within a year of leaving active duty and served 4 years (“2 by 4” Program) CATEGORY II • Entered active duty before Jan. 1, 1977 • Served at least 1 day between 10/19/84 and 6/30/85, and stayed on active duty through 6/30/88, (or 6/30/87 if you entered the Selected Reserve within 1 year of leaving active duty and served 4 years) • On 12/31/89, you had entitlement left from Vietnam-Era GI Bill CATEGORY III • Not eligible for MGIB under Category I or II • On active duty on 9/30/90 AND separated involuntarily after 2/2/91, • OR involuntarily separated on or after 11/30/93, • OR voluntarily separated under either the Voluntary Separation Incentive (VSI) or Special Separation Benefit (SSB) program • Before separation, you had military pay reduced by $1200 CATEGORY IV • On active duty on 10/9/96 AND you had money remaining in a VEAP account on that date AND you elected MGIB by 10/9/97 • OR entered full-time National Guard duty under title 32, USC, between 7/1/85, and 11/28/89 AND you elected MGIB during the period 10/9/96, through 7/8/97 • Had military pay reduced by $100 a month for 12 months or made a $1200 lump-sum contribution
Air Force Senior Airman Antonio Harmon and Tech. Sgt. Michael Gagnier fight a fire during training at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Harmon and Gagnier are firefighters assigned to the 18th Civil Engineer Squadron.
PHOTO: Senior Airman Nick Emerick
How Much Does VA Pay? The monthly benefit paid to you is based on the type of training you take, length of your service, your category, and if DoD put extra money in your MGIB Fund (called “kickers”). You usually have 10 years to use your MGIB benefits, but the time limit can be less, in some cases, and longer under certain circumstances. How Can I Apply? You can apply by filling out VA Form 22-1990, Application for Education Benefits. Beginning August 1, 2011, break (or interval pay) will no longer be payable under MGIB-AD except during periods your school is closed as a result of an Executive Order of the President or an emergency (such as a natural disaster or strike). For example, if your Fall term ends on Dec. 15 and your Spring term begins Jan. 10, your January housing allowance will cover 15 days in December and your February housing allowance will cover 21 days in January. Content provided by the VA.
Fall Fall2017 2017 MERG 33
FACTS ABOUT THE MONTGOMERY GI BILL SELECTED RESERVE (MGIB-SR)
he MGIB-SR program may be available to you if you are a member of the Selected Reserve. The Selected Reserve includes the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve and Coast Guard Reserve, and the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard. You may use this education assistance program for degree programs, certificate or correspondence courses, cooperative training, independent study programs, apprenticeship/on-the-job training, and vocational flight training programs. Remedial, refresher and deficiency training are available under certain circumstances. Eligibility for this program is determined by the Selected Reserve components. VA makes the payments for this program. You may be entitled to receive up to 36 months of education benefits. Your eligibility for the program normally ends on the day you leave the Selected Reserve. One exception to this rule exists if you are mobilized (or recalled to active duty from your reserve status). In this case your eligibility may be extended for the amount of time you are mobilized PLUS four months. For example, if you are mobilized for 12 months your eligibility period is extended for 16 months (12 months active duty PLUS 4 months.) So even if you leave the reserves after mobilization, you may have additional eligibility to the MGIB-SR. If your unit is deactivated during the period beginning on Oct. 1, 2007, through Sept. 30, 2014, or you are involuntarily separated for reasons other than misconduct, you will retain your original period of eligibility, which is 14 years from the date of your first six-year obligation with the selected reserves. Eligibility To qualify, you must meet the following requirements: • Have a six-year obligation to serve in the Selected Reserve signed after June 30, 1985.
34 MERG Fall 2017
If you are an officer, you must have agreed to serve six years in addition to your original obligation. For some types of training, it is necessary to have a six-year commitment that begins after September 30, 1990. • Complete your initial active duty for training (IADT). • Meet the requirement to receive a high school diploma or equivalency certificate before completing IADT. You may not use 12 hours toward a college degree to meet this requirement. • Remain in good standing while serving in an active Selected Reserve unit. You will also retain MGIB - SR eligibility if you were discharged from Selected Reserve service due to a disability that was not caused by misconduct. Your eligibility period may be extended if you are ordered to active duty. How to Apply Your unit will give you a DD Form 2384-1, Notice of Basic Eligibility, when you become eligible for the program. Your unit will also code your eligibility into the Department of Defense personnel system so that VA may verify your eligibility. You should then make sure that your selected program is approved for VA training. If you are not clear on this point, VA will inform you and the school or company about the requirements. Obtain and complete VA Form 22-1990, Application for Education Benefits. Send it to the VA regional office with jurisdiction over the State where you will train. If you have started training, take your application and your Notice of Basic Eligibility to your school or employer. Ask them to complete VA Form 22-1999, (not available online) Enrollment Certification, and send all the forms to VA. Beginning August 1, 2011, break (or interval pay) will no longer be payable under MGIB-SR except during periods your school is closed as a result of
PHOTO: Samuel King Jr.
A wounded warrior’s service dog surrenders to a short nap on the final day of the Air Force training camp at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.
an Executive Order of the President or an emergency (such as a natural disaster or strike). For example, if your Fall term ends on Dec. 15 and your Spring term begins Jan. 10, your January housing allowance will cover 15 days in December and your February housing allowance will cover 21 days in January. Numbers to Call Call 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) Be advised this line only accepts calls from 7 a.m. 7 p.m. central time Monday - Friday and you may experience long hold times. If you are overseas you can contact the VA via telephone during business hours, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time.
Students and School Certifying Officials calling from outside the United States may call the Buffalo Regional Office at 716-857-3196 or 716-857-3197. Once connected, the caller can immediately enter “option 1” to be placed in a special priority queue. This is not a tollfree number, but the caller will be routed to the next available Customer Service Representative for priority service. This is for overseas customers only. All others should call the toll-free number or contact the VA via the website.
Content provided by the VA.
Fall Fall2017 2017 MERG 35
THE YELLOW RIBBON PROGRAM AND HOW TO USE IT The Post-9/11 GI Bill will pay you:
• all resident tuition & fees for a public school • the lower of the actual tuition & fees or the national maximum per academic year for a private school • an exception to this exists for students enrolled in private schools in Arizona, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina or Texas. In these cases the VA will pay the lower of the actual tuition & fees or the highest public in-state undergraduate tuition & fees.
Only veterans entitled to the maximum benefit rate
Your actual tuition & fees costs may exceed these amounts if you are attending a private school or are attending a public school as a nonresident student. Institutions of higher learning (degree-granting Institutions) may elect to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program to make additional funds available for your education program without an additional charge to your GI Bill entitlement.
• You served an aggregate period of active duty after Sept. 10, 2001, of at least 36 months; • You were honorably discharged from active duty for a service-connected disability and you served 30 continuous days after Sept. 10, 2001; • You are a dependent eligible for Transfer of Entitlement under the Post-9/11 GI Bill based on a veteran’s service under the eligibility criteria listed above. • To receive benefits under the Yellow Ribbon Program: • You must be eligible for the maximum benefit rate under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. • You must not be on active duty or a spouse transferee of an active-duty member. • Your school must agree to participate in the Yellow Program. • Your school must have not offered Yellow Ribbon to more than the maximum number of individuals stated in their participation agreement. • Your school must certify your enrollment to VA, including Yellow Ribbon program information.
Institutions that voluntarily enter into a Yellow Ribbon Agreement with VA choose the amount of tuition and fees that will be contributed. VA will match that amount and issue payment directly to the institution.
(based on service requirements) or their designated transferees may receive this funding. Active-duty service members and their spouses are not eligible for this program (child transferees of active-duty service members may be eligible if the service member is qualified at the 100% rate). Therefore, you may be eligible if:
Content provided by the VA.
36 MERG Fall 2017
Internationally Recognized Certifications POST 9/11 GI BILL ACCEPTED CLASSES START EVERY FIVE WEEKS
Proudly training men and women for exciting new careers since 1969. • Post 9/11 GI Bill Accepted • Financial Aid for Those Who Qualify • Job Placement Assistance for Graduates • Internationally Recognized Certification Program Students train at The Ocean Corporation to become commercial divers and industrial NDI inspectors. We have been in the business for over 40 years and we know the “nuts and bolts” of both industries.
10840 Rockley Road, Houston, TX 77099
Approved and Regulated by Texas Workforce Commission Accredited by Accrediting Commission of Career Schools & Colleges
Our hands-on training takes less than 8 months to complete and will give you the knowledge and skills you need to succeed. We invite you to visit our website or call one of our admissions representatives to explore what an education from The Ocean Corporation can do for you.
Fall 2017 MERG 37
EARN WHILE YOU LEARN: VA’S WORK-STUDY PROGRAM
through careers in the field including as public affairs officers for VA medical centers, with veterans service organizations including Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and at VA’s Salt Lake City Regional Office.
Through the VA-work study program, veterans who are three-quarter or full-time students in a college degree, vocational or professional program can “earn while they learn” with a VA work-study allowance. Students with service-connected disabilities of 30% or greater are given priority consideration in the program. Work-study students perform work related to the VA, including at education institutions, VA facilities, DOD facilities and state Veterans agencies.
Through Terry’s work-study opportunity, studentveterans have the opportunity to learn all sides of the business while working with his staff – from direct outreach to veterans through planning and attending outreach events to answering calls and letters from veterans looking for more information on their VA and state veterans benefits. One recent work-study participant was hired full time for the state agency after he designed and launched a veterans database for the department.
A’s work study program gives student-veterans the opportunity for hands-on work experience and a monthly part-time income while they are going back to school as part of the Post-9/11 GI Bill or other VA education benefit program.
As executive director of the Utah Department of Veterans Affairs, Terry Schow has hired and worked with dozens of student-veterans over the past 10 years. His work-study trainees have come from a variety of education institutions, including the University of Utah, Salt Lake City Community College, Weber State University and Utah Valley University; and have gone on to continue their service in the veterans community
Why does Terry utilize VA’s work-study program to help hire student-veterans? Because they understand the mission of his office in the Utah State Department of Veterans Affairs and are comfortable working on a team. “There’s camaraderie between veterans,” which make them a key asset to the team, he says. Content provided by the VA.
A Wyoming Youth Challenge cadet works on computer applications classwork at Eastern Wyoming College in Torrington, Wyo.
PHOTO: 1st Lt. Christian Venhuizen
38 MERG Fall 2017
GET THE FASTEST CLAIM DECISION: HOW TO FILE A FULLY DEVELOPED CLAIM
he Fully Developed Claims (FDC) program is an optional new initiative that offers veterans, service members and survivors faster decisions from VA on compensation, pension, and survivor benefit claims.
When veterans, service members and survivors submit all required records and documentation at the time they make their claim and certify that they have no further evidence, VA can review and process the claim more quickly. Here’s how: Why submit a Fully Developed Claim (FDC)? You get a faster decision because it saves VA time. When you file a claim, the law requires VA to make an exhaustive search on your behalf to obtain service records and other relevant evidence held by federal agencies and requires VA to ask at least twice for relevant evidence held by private parties, unless they are received on the first request. By submitting all your evidence with your FDC, identifying any relevant records held by federal agencies and verifying that you have no more evidence to submit, you shave a lot of the wait time off the process. There is no risk in filing an FDC. If VA finds that there is a piece of relevant evidence you did not submit, but should have included (like private medical records), VA will obtain that evidence on your behalf and process your claim the traditional way. What kind of records do you need to submit? Military personnel and treatment records are vital to establishing your claim for compensation. Military personnel records can contain deployment orders, pay records, medals and certificates not reflected on the DD-214. Other federal records, like those from Social Security Administration (SSA), are often necessary too – they may contain medical evidence and sometimes even evidence as to the cause of a disability.
How do I file an FCD? Go on to the Internet and log on to your eBenefits account. Click Apply for Benefits and then Apply for Disability Compensation. eBenefits will guide you through the process. You can answer the questions and upload all your supporting evidence all at once, or you can start and save your claim online, collect your supporting evidence and log back in to finish applying. Once you hit Save, you have one year to return to eBenefits, upload your evidence and click Submit. Don’t forget to save – in many cases VA may be able to pay benefits as early as the date you first save that application. Your Veterans Service Officer can also log into the Stakeholder Enterprise Portal – a VSO’s window into your eBenefits account – to look over your claim and give you advice before you press Submit. Once you have collected all your supporting evidence, log back into eBenefits and upload all your documents. There is no limit to number of documents you can upload, but each file must be 5 megabytes or smaller (about 150 black-and-white pages at 300 dpi resolution). Once you verify that you have no more evidence, VA can start processing your claim right away. If you do submit more evidence after you submit the claim, VA will remove your claim from the FDC program and process it through our regular channels. For more tips on submitting your claim, click here. The FDC program is the fastest way to get an accurate decision on your VA claim. By ensuring you submit all your evidence with your claim, you allow the VA to get you an accurate decision as quickly as possible.
Content provided by the VA.
Non-federal records, like medical files from your private doctor, are also important to establishing a claim. These can tell VA the degree of your condition, if it has become worse over time and general information needed for rating purposes.
Fall Fall2017 2017 MERG 39
PHOTO: Staff Sgt. David Clemenko
Army Spc. Alisha Howell Sonntag climbs over a high wall obstacle while competing at the Medical Simulation Training Center during the 377th Theater Sustainment Command Best Warrior Competition at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.
40 MERG Fall 2017
Fall Fall2017 2017 MERG 41
TIRED OF TAKING ORDERS? Maybe it’s time to be your own boss
fter years of relocating on demand and deploying to some of the planet’s most inhospitable locales, many former military members want to take control of their post-military lives by launching a business, with all the inherent risks and rewards. Opening a franchise – an established business that has independently operated locations – is one way to temper the risks of going it alone. Franchises offer veterans a tried and true model for success backed by a robust support system, says Terry Hill, who manages the Veterans Franchise program for the Washington-based International Franchise Association. Fast food, shipping companies and business service operations are the most popular franchising opportunities. “Included in the cost of purchasing a franchise are key items such as a tested business concept, training, brand recognition and the support of the parent company, which allows the new owner to focus on operations much more quickly since the start-up phase is already accomplished,” he says. It’s difficult to quantify how many vets operate franchises, but VetFran has helped 1,500 veterans establish a franchise in roughly a decade. It can cost $20,000 or more to start a franchise, but Hill says nearly 400 franchises work with his organization to offer veteran discounts. “The business format holds many similarities to military organizations, which require close adherence to a proven plan, teamwork and mission focus,” Hill says. “Veterans, having been exposed to a culture of discipline and training, adapt well to this structure.” Economic challenges could be leading more veterans to consider franchises, but tightened lending standards could make it more difficult to raise the necessary capital, Hill says. Part of VetFran’s appeal is its longstanding partnership with the Veterans Administration and the
By Bryan Mitchell U.S. Small Business Administration, both excellent resources for those considering a franchise.
fter 30 years and 30 days in an Air Force uniform and more than 4,000 combined hours in the F-15 and F-16, Steve Carey took a moment to survey the landscape after his 2007 retirement. He had offers from defense contractors, but “nothing that rang my bell,” he says. That’s when he turned his attention toward buying a franchise, hoping to settle down in one location and create a legacy for his family. CertaPro Painters – a national operation with an established reputation and more than 300 outlets – caught his attention. “I looked at restaurants and storefront operations, but this business is different in that I am out in the community interacting with homeowners and business owners,” he says. “I get to size them up while they size me up.” His research also helped steer him toward the franchise. “It’s not that I have a passion for painting, but I do have a passion for growing a business,” he says. “CertaPro had a corporate long-term strategy that focused on developing a national reputation as America’s No. 1 home painters, much like the Air Force’s long-term strategy to be the world’s most respected airpower. Running a business, he said, requires leadership similar to commanding a fighter squadron. “It’s about dealing with people and issues every day.” Hill says that type of detailed research is critical. “Although a veteran may be familiar with a certain franchise such as a restaurant, it’s important to look beyond the tables filled with satisfied customers and get a deep understanding of the personal commitment and capital that owning such an establishment would require,” he says. Carey’s Mobile, Ala.,-based outfit was recently named the most successful CertaPro in Alabama. Continued on page 44
42 MERG Fall 2017
Join forces with one of the nation’s fastest growing chains. Launch your American dream. To own a franchise, visit FirehouseSubs.com/Franchising or call 877.877.8330.
A S T R AT EG I C I N I T I AT I V E O F T H E I N T E R N AT I O N A L F R A N C H I S E A S S OC I AT I O N
S I N C E 19 91
©2014 Firehouse Subs
Fall 2017 MERG 43
Continued from page 42
eter Turner served as a naval aviator for 20 years and was ready to keep flying following his retirement. But after taking a hard look at the prospects for commercial pilots, Turner reconsidered. “My focus was transitioning to the airlines originally, but that would have meant too much time away from home. With three teenagers coming up, that worried me, as did the omnipresent threat of a pink slip,” he says. “The worst part is that mergers, strikes or worse are beyond your control.” Research, not love of donuts or piping-hot coffee, led him to Dunkin’ Donuts. He opened his first outlet in 2008 and soon expanded with three additional stores. He says he researched the franchise and learned the company “has superb support in place with architects, construction, operating systems as well as a fiercely loyal following of customers.” Turner said his skills honed as a military commander leading and managing subordinates have been crucial to his success. “Take great care of your people and they will go the extra mile for you. With staffing, four aces beats seven average cards,” he says. “Operations are operations. It doesn’t matter whether you’re running a squadron or a string of restaurants.” But being a savvy businessman doesn’t hurt either. Choosing the right location -- Raleigh, N.C. – helped, because the city escaped the worst of the recession. When the economy was weak he lowered prices to beat out the competition and expanded while interest rates, construction costs and real estate were all less expensive. Besides his wife, Turner also teamed with a financial partner on his first store.
International Franchise Association: www.franchise.org Small Business Administration: www.sba.gov/smallbusinessplanner/ start/buyafranchise/index.html Entrepreneur magazine: www.entrepreneur.com/ franchiseopportunities/index.html Franchise Update Network: www.franchise-update.com
44 MERG Fall 2017
Hill says all franchises should look toward two other key partners: attorneys and accountants. “While that step will incur expenses, it’s much better to have professionals, who know franchising, provide guidance,” he says. For Turner, the sky is once again the limit. He hoped to open 35 stores amid expansion nationwide by Dunkin’ Donuts and, hopefully, to one day own a seaplane.
om Mitchell was the accidental franchisee. After 24 years in the Army in which he learned Chinese and taught at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Mitchell landed a teaching job in suburban Washington, D.C., and thought he would be teaching until his next retirement. But after the family moved to Washington state and he was unable to land a teaching gig, Mitchell considered a franchise. His research led him to open a UPS Store. “They give you the SOP, just like they do in the military,” he says. “You just do what people have done before. You can modify as you see fit over time, but at least you’ve got the playbook.” Nearly any military veteran can appreciate the complexity of logistics. “We provide a reliable product and what many people believe is not a reasonable price, but after doing some analyzing about what it takes to get a package there by 10:30 the next day, we offer a very fair price,” he says. The biggest challenge has been adjusting to the civilian workforce. “After so many years in the Army, it’s really a shock to work with people who don’t carry their weight and to deal with difficult customers,” he says. “But you learn. You learn to cut things off before they become trouble.” Most parent organizations require an eight- to 10year contract, and even the most seemingly fool-proof business could crash and burn in a shaky economy. “During boom times, anybody can open a franchise and do well, but in (recessionary) times … you really have to do all your homework and be prepared to work incredibly hard to make it happen,” Carey says. “But there is still tremendous opportunity for those willing to take the risk and invest themselves in growing a business.”
Air Force Airman 1st Class Adrian Wance welds brackets to roof-support beams during Balikatan 2017 in Ormoc City, Philippines.
PHOTO: Staff Sgt. Peter Reft
Fall 2017 MERG 45
THE BASICS OF FRANCHISE BUSINESSES
ant to be your own boss, but not willing to take on the risk of starting your own business from scratch? Franchising can be a great alternative if you want to have some guidance in the start-up phase of the business. What is Franchising? A franchise is a business model that involves one business owner licensing trademarks and methods to an independent entrepreneur. Sometimes, franchises are referred to as chains. There are two primary forms of franchising: • Product/trade name franchising, in which the franchisor owns the right to the name or trademark and sells that right to a franchisee. • Business format franchising. The franchisor and franchisee have an ongoing relationship, and the franchisor often provides a full range of services, including site selection, training, product supply, marketing plans and even assistance in obtaining financing Before Investing in a Franchise Before you decide to franchise, you need to do your research. You could lose a significant amount of money if you do not investigate a business carefully before you buy. By law, franchise sellers must disclose certain information about their business to potential buyers. Make sure you get all the information you need first before entering into this form of business. To learn more about franchising opportunities, visit the Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Consumer Protection. The decision to purchase a franchise involves many factors. To help you explore if franchising is right for you, consider the following questions: • Do you know how much you can invest? • What are your abilities? • What are your goals? Franchising Strategy You need a strategy before investing in a franchise.
46 MERG Fall 2017
Doing your homework about the franchise first will help you gain a solid understanding of what to expect as well as the risks that could be involved. • Be a Detective In addition to the routine investigation that should be conducted prior to any business purchase, you should be able to contact other franchisees before deciding to invest. You can obtain a Uniform Franchise Offering Circular (UFOC), which contains vital details about the franchise’s legal, financial, and personnel history, before you sign a contract. • Know What You are Getting Into Before entering into any contract as a franchisee, you should make sure that you would have the right to use the franchise name and trademark, receive training and management assistance from the franchisor, use the franchisor’s expertise in marketing, advertising, facility design, layouts, displays and fixtures and do business in an area protected from other competing franchisees. • Watch Out for Possible Pitfalls The contract between the two parties usually benefits the franchisor far more than the franchisee. The franchisee is generally subject to meeting sales quotas and is required to purchase equipment, supplies and inventory exclusively from the franchisor. • Seek Professional Help The tax rules surrounding franchises are often complex, and an attorney, preferably a specialist in franchise law, should assist you to evaluate the franchise package and tax considerations. An accountant may be needed to determine the full costs of purchasing and operating the business as well as to assess the potential profit to the franchisee. Get More Information If you are considering purchasing a franchise, FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection has a wide range of resources and guides to help you buy a franchise and avoid franchise taboos. Content by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Fall 2017 MERG 47
OPENING A FRANCHISE: WHAT’S INVOLVED?
ome people who are interested in becoming owners of a franchise business enthusiastically bring up the fact that they’d like to open more than one franchise.
Let’s find out what’s involved.
Choosing and investigating a franchise First off, you have to choose, investigate and buy the right franchise. Once you do that, you can start thinking about opening your second one. So, let’s start at the beginning. 1. Do you thoroughly understand the franchise business model, including how and why it works so well? 2. Have you done a thorough self-evaluation to make sure that you’re suited for a franchise business? 3. Have you thoroughly investigated the franchise opportunities that you’ve chosen to look into? 4. Did you get proper legal advice before you signed your franchise agreement? 5. Did you obtain the right type of small business loan for your business? Open for business You’ve had your grand opening. Local residents are starting to hear about your new business. More and more of them are checking your franchise out. Things are starting to feel good. Your cash register is ringing up sales. You want more of that. After a few months of being in business – one that’s starting to look like a winner-- you may start visualizing what it would be like to have another franchise location up and running. But, what needs to happen to make it happen? Timing How will you know when it’s the right time? Ask these questions: 1. Is your current location making a profit? 2. Can you use the state of your local commercial real estate market to your advantage? Is it depressed? Are there good deals to be made with landlords who have empty space? 3. Do you have enough employees? Can one or two of them help you open another franchise location? 4. Will your local banker be on-board with you? Will you be able to secure another small business loan with favorable terms? 48 MERG Fall 2017
Where should you open it? If you’re going to open a second franchise location, it’s important to choose your physical location carefully. Not only will you have to make sure that the location you choose is a prime one, you’ll have to make sure that it’s in your territory. The franchise agreement you signed has very specific language with regards to territory. For example, you may have to stay within a certain ZIP code or maybe even a certain county. That’s why it’s important for you to go over your franchise agreement before you talk to a real estate broker or a landlord. That way you won’t be setting yourself up for disappointment if you find out about a hot potential location for your second franchise unit that turns out to be out of your territory. In other words, don’t put the cart before the horse. Family support Is your family going to be on board you on this? Will they be comfortable with the idea of taking on more risk? Think about what went on with those close to you when you were choosing and investigating the franchise that you now own. Did you have to convince your family of your idea to become a franchise business owner? What about when the subject of money came up? How nervous were they? It’s important for you to put yourself in their shoes. Just because you’re excited about the idea of getting another franchise unit open doesn’t mean that they are. Start discussing your ideas with them early on…not right before you’re applying for another business loan, or a week before you’re about to sign a 10-year lease on a new commercial space. Having two successful franchise locations up and running can be great. They’ll enable you to get closer to your personal and professional goals. Just make sure that you have done the things necessary to set you up for success. Reprinted from an SBA.gov Community Guest Blog post by Joel Libava
Content by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
COMET CLEANERS IS EXPANDING BECOME A PART OF HISTORY! Over the last century, dry cleaning methods gradually evolved resulting in cleaner, well-preserved garments for its clients. Due largely to the pioneering efforts of Jack Godfrey & Sons Inc. since the 1920’s, Comet Cleaners’ equipment efficiency and reliability have improved. In the 21st century, Comet Cleaners shall remain a worldwide leader in the dry cleaning business with its revolutionary concepts of providing price, quality and convenience to its clients.
We invite you to consider the Comet Cleaners opportunity today! “Comet Cleaners Franchise showed me how to take the discipline, leadership training, and organizational skills that I learned in the Army and turn it into a successful business in the private sector.” – Dan Schneider, Former U.S. Army AH-1 Cobra Pilot and Gulf War Veteran Comet Cleaners franchisee since 1994, Las Cruces, NM – 3 stores
aThe dry cleaning industry is $9 billion in the US alone a50+ year brand history aLow initial investment aExperienced technicians in plant
construction & equipment installation
“Skills I learned as a Marine help me as an entrepreneur. Listening to the leadership and advise of the Comet Cleaners franchise office has enabled me to grow and expand into a multi-million dollar business.” – Sgt Burt Fisher, USMC. Desert Storm Veteran. Comet franchisee since 1997, Midland, TX –4 stores
aEase of operation aCorporate site location evaluation aLargest family owned dry cleaning chain in the USA aContinues to survive tough economic times aNo late nights, no Sundays
aComprehensive training and support aProven advertising guidelines aNo shrink or inventory spoilage aSBA Approved Franchise aMinimal labor (average 12 employees) … aLow employee to gross sales ratio
For details: 888.461.3555 cometcleaners.com/franchise
Fall 2017 MERG 49
FRANCHISE ECONOMIC OUTLOOK:
Growth slows after three years of steady gains, but franchises continue adding jobs
he Franchise Business Index (FBI), an index of the economic health of the franchising industry, rose 0.2 percent in September to 110.7, the International Franchise Association announced on Oct. 30. Growth of the index slowed as the component measuring employment in franchise-intensive industries showed no monthly gain for the first time in over three years and the small business optimism index declined. “Franchise businesses continue to create jobs and demonstrate that the franchise business model remains the best and most proven vehicle to quickly grow and scale a small business,” said IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira. “While we are pleased the index grew for the fifth consecutive month, we remain concerned about the overall rate of growth in both new business formation and job creation. We believe comprehensive tax reform that eases the burden on small business owners by lowering the effective tax rate is essential to strong job and wage growth for all Americans.” The other four components of the FBI all made small positive contributions to the index. The unemployment
rate declined slightly and the incidence of selfemployment rose. Retail sales in franchise-intensive sectors increased by 0.3 percent and the index of credit conditions ticked up. After incorporating revisions to last month’s data for individual components of the index, the August value of the FBI also showed slower growth – up 0.2 percent over the July value. Designed to provide timelier tracking of the growing role of franchise businesses in the U.S. economy, the Franchise Business Index was developed by IHS Global Insight on behalf of the IFA Educational Foundation. The FBI combines indicators of growth in the industries where franchising is most prevalent and measures of the general economic environment for franchising. “The franchise sector continues to exceed the modest pace of overall economic growth, as improvements in the housing market have had a positive impact on consumer spending,” said IHS Global Insight Senior Economist James Gillula, “and we do not expect higher mortgage rates to choke off the recovery.” Courtesy of the International Franchising Association.
U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Hezekiah Morgan measures the distance for a flood light.
50 MERG Fall 2017
Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Brandon Dacosta teaches children how to properly wash their hands during a Month of the Military Child event in Yokosuka, Japan.
PHOTO: Petty Officer Seaman Patrick Semales
Fall 2017 MERG 51
MILITARY TRAINING SERVES ENTREPRENEURIAL SUCCESS
Husband and Wife Vets Reap Rewards of Running Their Own Hardee’s® Franchise Strong leadership skills, high quality standards, a commitment to succeed and a laser sharp focus on the objective. These are just some of the qualities that U.S. Army veterans Jack and Emily Kemp bring to the table every day while running their Hardee’s® franchise restaurants in Tampa, Florida. “Managing operations at Hardee’s® is not unlike leading a platoon in the Army. We’ve been delighted at how well our military leadership and Army-trained problem solving skills transferred to running our Hardee’s® team and restaurant,” said former Army Signal Corps officer Emily Kemp. “We couldn’t be happier with our business and our success.” The Kemps have 10 successful Hardee’s® restaurants operating in the Tampa area with an 11th store scheduled to open in August 2014 and plans to open four to five more stores in the next two to three years. Their goal is to open at least 50 stores in the Tampa market. CKE Restaurants, parent company of Hardee’s® and Carl’s Jr.®, trusts and encourages this kind of franchisee commitment from U.S. military veterans.
From Army Ranger to Entrepreneur
Jack and Emily Kemp met during their five-year service in the Army. While they both went to West Point and were in the same graduating class, they didn’t know each other until they were stationed in Germany. Jack served as an Infantry officer and Army Ranger; Emily was an Army Signal Corps officer.
they run the business, but also to the premium menu selections and edgy advertising. Along with its industry-leading line of 100 percent Black Angus beef Thickburgers®, Hand-Breaded Chicken Tenders™ and Made from Scratch Biscuits™, Hardee’s® and Carl’s Jr.® are famous for award-winning, cutting edge advertising campaigns that build consumer buzz.
At Home in Florida
The Right Training
The Kemps bought 10 stores in July 2013, all in the Tampa area. All the restaurants they bought were previously corporate-owned by CKE Restaurants. The Kemps were offered the restaurants as part of CKE’s ongoing strategy to increase the percentage of franchise-owned restaurants. The stores were recently refreshed by CKE, so
When they opened their restaurants, the Kemps were relieved to learn that their military training segued well into the restaurant business. “We soon realized that running a restaurant crew is very similar to running a platoon in the Army,” said Emily. “We generally have 35 employees per store, which is similar to the size of a platoon. You have to ensure they show up on time and in uniform. You have to encourage and foster teamwork. You have to lead by example. If we want our crew to smile for every customer, Jack and I have to lead with positive and smiling attitudes. A lot of the strategies on team building and morale come straight out of the Army.”
Why franchise with Hardee’s®?
Emily says they’ve always loved the food. She loves the Mushroom & Swiss Thickburger® and Jack’s favorites are the Hand-Breaded Chicken Tenders™. “The food offering is far superior to other quick service restaurant (QSR) offerings. We wanted to be part of a premium brand and premium food. We also like the brand. We think Hardee’s® Jack and Emily Kemp, U.S. Military Veterans and Hardee’s® franchisees since 2013. has done a good job positioning a premium no significant revamp was needed. The Kemps message to a well-defined core customer base,” With a reputation as the premium burger brand, focused their energies on staffing up. “We hired said Emily. Hardee’s® and Carl’s Jr.® are looking for franchisees and trained a lot of new staff. When we purchased with a hunger for success to develop and operate the restaurants there were 275 employees. Emily and Jack also felt a natural fit and affinity exclusive franchise territories throughout the U.S. We assessed the staffing when we arrived with the CKE corporate team. “We looked at various CKE has partnered with International Franchise and determined that we needed more crew members other major players, but we felt more connected Association’s VetFran program that provides to operate more efficiently, effectively and deliver and excited about the Hardee’s® culture, franchise opportunities for veterans looking to become the highest quality customer service while also offering, premium menu and quality service.” They small business owners. VetFran supplies veterans building career opportunities for crew members. also felt confident with the support received by the with the fundamental resources and support We now have nearly 400 crew members and we corporate team and their field marketing counselor needed to hit the ground running in franchise focus on training, training and more training to who advises on local marketing techniques and helps facilitate relationships with the community operation, including financial incentives and mentoring ensure superior service. ” and with local advertising options. opportunities from participating franchisors, like CKE. The Kemps’ stores have been enormously successful and they attribute that success not only to the way “We’re dedicated to helping military veteran franchisees build successful restaurant operations that are sustainable for the long term,” said Jim Sullivan, Senior Vice President of Franchise Development at CKE Restaurants. “To that end, our strategy is to help franchisees build top-line sales while CKE supports them with our unique offering of best-in-class products, service and marketing.”
TAKE YOUR NEXT STEP TO SUCCESS
Call 866.253.7655 or visit CKEFRANCHISE.COM
52 MERG Fall 2017
HARDEE’S® RANKED #1 FOR 2014 IN THE HAMBURGER CATEGORY BY ENTREPRENEUR MAGAZINE FRANCHISE 500® AWARD-WINNING PERFORMANCE METRICS* OVER $4 BILLION IN SYSTEMWIDE SALES
“We’re dedicated to helping military veteran franchisees build successful restaurant operations that are sustainable for the long term...” - Jim Sullivan, Senior Vice President of Franchise Development at CKE Restaurants
EXCLUSIVE FRANCHISE OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE CONTACT US TO LEARN MORE MIKE D’AREZZO
VP Franchise Sales, North America
Director, Domestic Franchise Develpment
CONSISTENTLY RANKED AMONG THE BEST TASTING AND HIGHEST QUALITY IN THE BURGER BUSINESS* CARL’S JR.® AWARDED 2013 MOST IMPROVED BURGER CHAIN* HARDEE’S® HAS EXPERIENCED 13 CONSECUTIVE YEARS OF AUV SALES GROWTH *Sandelman and Associates, Quick Track FY2012 & Technomic’s 2012 Consumer Brand Metrics Program
© 2014 Carl’s Jr. Restaurants LLC. © 2014 Hardee’s Restaurants LLC. All Rights Reserved. This is not an offer to sell a franchise.
Fall 2017 MERG 53
FINANCING YOUR FRANCHISE:
An SBA Guide
re you looking to buy a franchise, or do you currently own one? If so, you’re part of a growing population. The popularity of franchises over the last several decades has contributed to the massive growth of related jobs and new businesses. To help facilitate their development, the Small Business Administration has created a franchise program to simplify their financing process. What does it mean to be an SBA-approved franchise? SBA-approved franchises are select business opportunities whose agreements have been accepted by the SBA. When it comes to securing an SBA-backed loan, those applying for an approved-franchise have it easier and quicker. Applicants for SBA-approved franchises benefit from a streamlined review process that expedites their loan application. Because the particular franchise is pre-approved, the loan review is less complex and focuses on specific aspects of that brand’s business plan. Where can I find a list of SBA-approved franchises? Through a partnership with SBA, the Franchise Registry provides a list of approved franchises*. This list allows you to search by name if you have a specific franchise in mind or by program/industry if you doing research in related franchise opportunities.
Should I be worried if my franchise is not on the SBAapproved list? Franchises do not appear on the list for a variety of reasons. In some instances, the franchisor may decide not to have it listed. If this is the case, SBA and your commercial lender may need to review and evaluate more financial information when you seek SBA financial assistance, which may add more time to process the request. Being on or off the list is not an endorsement or indication of quality and profitability, so you should still thoroughly research for your potential franchise opportunity. What else is needed by SBA and my bank if my franchise is on the SBA-approved franchise list? Additional eligibility qualifications are required for applicants of financing for an SBA-approved franchise. These qualifications include items such as general eligibility, conflicts of interest, business plans, and use of proceeds. When you apply for an SBA-backed loan, you will still need to submit paperwork according to their application process. An SBA Loan Application Checklist can help you prepare all the necessary documentation. Common documentation includes: 54 MERG Fall 2017
• Purpose of the loan • History of the business • Financial statements for three years (existing businesses) • Schedule of term debts (existing businesses) • Aging of accounts receivable and payable (existing businesses) • Projected opening-day balance sheet (new businesses) • Lease details • Amount of investment in the business by the owner(s) • Projections of income, expenses and cash flow • Signed personal financial statements • Personal résumé(s) How do I proceed? Whether or not your franchise is on the SBA-approved list, there are still steps should take to move your loan application process forward: • Review process for SBA loans -Understanding the SBA process will help minimize the about of time the process will take. Being on top of what you need to submit and when can expedite everything. • Pull together all necessary information and documents More information will be needed to process the request. SBA will require less financial information if the franchise is on the SBA-approved list. There is common information and documentation that you will need to provide to SBA and your potential lender whether or not your franchise is on the SBA-approved list. Being on the SBA-approved franchises list will make the SBA approval portion move faster, but SBA has no control over the actual lenders. • Find a lender- SBA provides a list of Preferred Lenders that are familiar with the SBA process. You are not required to use a preferred lender, but if you have the option it could be beneficial. Throughout the process make sure that you are in contact with your franchisor and keep him or her updated. Whether or not your franchise is on the SBA-approved list, it is important to research your financing options. An expedited process is available for those on the list, but this does not guarantee approval. Remember, items such as general eligibility, conflicts of interest, business plans, and use of proceeds affect your odds, regardless of whether your franchise is pre-approved. Reprinted from SBA.gov
Be Your Own Boss! Territories Available!
The Facts Cars and trucks are getting older and they need to be serviced. Shops need tools and equipment delivered to their door. Technicians donâ€™t have the time to go tool shopping so make it your job to take the store to them! That is the mobile tool business. Franchises are Available We have franchise locations available almost everywhere in the United States. Your own personal ability and the time you put into the business will largely determine how well you do. Start a new career and be your own boss without the need to relocate.
Rick Brown Manassas, Virginia
Dan & Jessica Columbus Nashua, New Hampshire
Details Financing is available, if you qualify, to put you into business. Own your own mobile tool business with a very competitive financial investment.
Henry DeSalvo Cypress, Texas
Tools & Techniques We offer a product line of more than 10,000 items targeted at the professional repair technician. We offer catalogs, online resources, and computerized business systems to help you manage your business. We also have our own in house end user financing program to help you sell high end tools, tool storage and shop equipment to qualified customers.
Mario & Gabriela Mendez Fontana, California
Requirements We are looking for independent sales people interested in controlling all aspects of their own business. This is a business opportunity that will require a substantial commitment of time and money to get started. Experience An automotive or mechanical background is not needed. Many of our dealers entered into business without specific knowledge of the industry. If you have the drive to be successful, want to own your own business and thrive on meeting your customers expectations, you have the basic building blocks to become a successful authorized Cornwell Tool Dealer. Who is the Cornwell Quality Tool CompanyÂŽ? We are a stable, family and employee-owned business established in 1919.
Terry Klein Fayetteville, North Carolina
Scan for more information
Fall 2017 MERG 55
Army Staff Sgt. Kacie Reed shows a student how to connect the shoulder latches on a tactical vest at a school career fair in Zielona Gora, Poland.
56 MERG Fall 2017
PHOTO: Sgt. Justin Geiger
Fall Fall2017 2017 MERG 57
Soldiers participate in a 7.5-mile ruck march at Yakima Training Center, Wash. The soldiers aimed to complete the march in under two hours while carrying a 35-pound sack.
58 MERG Fall 2017
PHOTO: Sgt. Kalie Jones
Fall Fall2017 2017 MERG 59
THE TOP CHOICE OF SERVICEMEMBERS. People talk. And right now, they’re talking about AMU. Built upon student referrals, AMU is the global leader in education for the U.S. military. Since we offer more than 90 online degree programs, from Cybersecurity to Transportation and Logistics, you can do anything you set your mind to—whether in the military or transitioning out.
WITH 60,000 MILITARY STUDENTS, THE WORD IS OUT — BUT WE’RE JUST GETTING STARTED.
LEARN MORE AT WWW.AMUONLINE.COM/DS
*As reported by Military Times, August 2014 We want you to make an informed decision about the university that’s right for you. For more about the graduation rate and median debt of students who completed each program, as well as other important information—visit www.APUS.edu/disclosure.
60Image MERG Fall 2017 Courtesy of the DoD.
School of Arts and Humanities The University is unique in offering a full range of online degrees in arts and humanities that are based on the great ideas, works, and thinkers that have defined civilization as embodied in the “great books” tradition. The curriculum addresses humankind’s fundamental topics through study of courses in humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Coursework is designed to develop high-level research, analytical, and interpersonal skills and prepares students for a broad range of professional careers.
AMERICAN MILITARY UNIVERSITY www.amuonline.com/DS Admission Phone: 877-777-9081 Financial Aid Phone: 877-372-3535 Military Programs Email: email@example.com
ASSOCIATE DEGREES Associate programs are designed for students who seek a two-year degree as either their final degree in higher education or the foundation for further study at the bachelor’s level. An associate degree typically requires 61-64 semester hours (20 courses and 1-4 labs). Students must possess a high school diploma or its equivalent to be admitted to an associate program. BACHELOR’S DEGREES The bachelor’s degree program is also open to students who possess a high school diploma or its equivalent. This minimum 120-124 credit program is the standard “fouryear” undergraduate degree desired by most employers and prepares the student for graduate study. MASTER’S DEGREES AMU accepts students for graduate-level study who have earned a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. To earn a master’s degree, students must complete a minimum of 12 courses and take a final comprehensive examination, thesis options, or capstone/ applied research project at the end of all course work.
American Military University offers more than 90 degree programs at the associate, bachelor’s, and master’s level through its six distinct academic schools.
School of Business The School of Business offers a flexible, dynamic, and interactive program to accommodate many types of learners. We integrate new technologies to keep the classroom interesting and up-todate. Students are taught not only the concepts but also the “real world” application of the materials. The curriculum provides the necessary theoretical and practical knowledge for students seeking preparation or advancement in business and leadership roles in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. Programs dovetail with several university specialties so that students can specifically concentrate in areas of professional or personal interest—ranging from entrepreneurship and global business management to information technology management and homeland security resource allocation. School of Education Graduate programs in the School of Education are designed to meet the most rapid growing demands of the profession. Our certification programs are built to the high state and national content standards. We provide opportunities to practicing teachers to enhance their professional training in critical needs areas such as special education, elementary reading, ELL, instructional leadership and curriculum and instruction for elementary teachers. School of Health Sciences The School of Health Sciences offers an array of career-focused programs to address the learning and development needs of health care, public health, sports and fitness industry professionals— including our flagship “RN to BSN” program. Combining top academic credentials with practical expertise, our faculty is comprised of practicing public health professionals, emergency managers, sports management experts, sports administrators, and more to ensure you’re learning from practitioners who are passionate about improving and optimizing human well-being. School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Science and technology professionals are vital to society’s continued innovation. Academic programs in this school help students cultivate the problem solving, creative, and technological skills necessary for advancements in their chosen field – whether it be pursuing innovations in environmental policy, space studies, or one of the many professions within the information technology field. School of Security and Global Studies The programs taught in the School of Security and Global Studies truly embody our motto, “Educating Those Who Serve.” Students with majors in this school have an understanding of the world— appreciating differences in political, economic, and social cultures. Our faculty members are highly-credentialed and respected leaders in their fields, and many of them currently work in the U.S. government and in the U.S. intelligence community. Our graduates are employed in leadership positions at agencies ranging from the Departments of State, Defense, and Homeland Security to the intelligence services, as well as private businesses throughout the world.
We want you to make an informed decision about the university that’s right for you. For more about the graduation rate and median debt of students who completed each program, Fall 2017 MERG 61 as well as other important information—visit www.APUS.edu/disclosure.
for MILITARY From the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building, through 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and hundreds of other disasters natural or manmade, America has learned many lessons. One of the biggest, is that when it is time to respond, to save lives, no asset should be spared, whether it be civilian, government or military. Each has a unique set of skills and tools that can complement each other. Your military experience has taught you that for success to be achieved, those who take on the mission together must train together. When the unthinkable has happened, there is no time to “work out the kinks”. TEEX offers education and certification through state of the art training and facilities that will enable you to better serve the Nation and your community when you are needed most. • Fire Officer • Hazardous Materials • Fire Instructor • Fire Inspector • Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting • Telecommunications • Driver Operator
62 MERG Fall 2017
S MILITARY & VETERANS g
for VETERANS “Good work soldier”…Your military service is complete. But your desire to serve, to make a difference…that will never go away. Finding a new career at a time when veterans are entering the workforce in historic numbers is a tough mission. Finding a career that uses your military skills, talents and determination that also satisfies your desire to serve, may seem impossible. TEEX is committed to supporting your new mission. We will help you utilize the GI Bill and other programs earned through your service, to attain the skills and certifications to get jobs, be successful and continue to make a difference. • Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) Technician Level 1 • Demining • Heavy Equipment Operator for Ordnance Workers • Basic Peace Officer • Certified Safety and Health Official (CSHO) – Construction • Certified Safety and Health Official (CSHO) – General Industry • Recruit Fire Training Academy
Fall 2017 MERG 63
PHOTO: Gunnery Sgt. Ezekiel R. Kitandwe
A Marine jumps out of a CH-47 Chinook during helocasting training operations as part of a reconnaissance team leader course at Marine Corps Base Hawaii.
64 MERG Fall 2017
Providing quality career-focused programs to meet the needs of high-demand industries.
Fall 2017 MERG 65
66 MERG Fall 2017
Fall 2017 MERG 67
TRANSFORMING EDUCATION. ADVANCING CARE. TOUCHING LIVES. When Roseman University of Health Sciences was founded in Henderson, NV in 1999 and South Jordan, UT in 2005 as a College of Pharmacy, the university aspired to positively impact healthcare in the region. After more than a decade of remarkable growth, Roseman is strengthening its commitment as a transforming force in vital areas of health care education.
ACADEMIC PROGRAMS COLLEGE OF MEDICINE Doctor of Medicine (Nevada - Currently in Development) MASTER OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
COLLEGE OF PHARMACY Doctor of Pharmacy (Nevada & Utah) Professional Continuing Education (Nevada & Utah)
RESEARCH PROGRAMS Diabetes & Obesity | Cancer Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s Diseases Cardiovascular Disease | Adult Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine
COLLEGE OF NURSING Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Nevada & Utah) Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Nevada & Utah)
COLLEGE OF DENTAL MEDICINE AEODO/MBA Residency (Nevada) Doctor of Dental Medicine (Utah)
Orthodontic Clinic (Nevada) Dental Clinic (Utah) Community Outreach for Health
HENDERSON 702-990-4433 | 11 Sunset Way | Henderson, NV 89014 SUMMERLIN 702-990-4433 | 10530 Discovery Drive | Las Vegas, NV 89135 SOUTH JORDAN 801-302-2600 | 10920 S. River Front Pkwy | South Jordan, UT 84095
roseman.edu ROSEMAN UNIVERSITY IS A PRIVATE, 501(C)3 NON-PROFIT UNIVERSITY. REGIONALLY ACCREDITED BY THE NORTHWEST COMMISSION ON COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES.
68 MERG Fall 2017
Fall 2017 MERG 69
NOT EVERY CLASSROOM NEEDS A ROOM NUMBER
Scan for more info
Post-9/11 GI Bill Yellow Ribbon Program Fly. Enjoy life. Repeat as necessary.
70 MERG Fall 2017
“THE BEST FIT” First and foremost: THANKS for your service to our country! You have contributed a great deal to ensure our freedom and the freedom of others around the globe. And, many of you have sacrificed or certainly put on hold a career outside your military service. However, even if you are planning on retiring with the military, you’ll still have many productive years left to begin another career. Many of you are leaving after your initial commitment. And, some are staying in the Guard or Reserves. Regardless of your situation, you need to be planning for a career when you do leave. I understand this is obvious but just because it’s obvious don’t mean it’s easy! Deciding on a career has never been a simple undertaking by most---whether you are leaving the military or graduating from high school. And, once you narrow down the seemingly endless possibilities the next challenge is finding a school that can help you lay a foundation for success. You deserve and certainly need to make a choice that is the “best fit” for you. Are you considering all the important variables that would make a certain institution the best possible fit for your overall education and career preparation? Important factors like: Liberal arts or technical foundation or a combination of both. Size and location. Military friendly designation. Able to use your veteran benefits to the fullest extent. Housing options. Variety of academic majors. Rigor of the curricula. Cost and value. Industry connection to academic programs. Career planning assistance and internship/placement opportunities. Finding the best possible fit for your post military education can be a daunting task. For more than three decades, I have advised thousands of prospective students, including veterans, who are interested in pursuing the challenging aviation program at the University of North Dakota. I ask them to thoroughly research the variables mentioned above (and many more) to ensure that the opportunities at UND overall and specifically within the Aviation Department will be the best fit possible for them as an individual student. Students who don’t do the necessary research may end up at an institution that doesn’t meet their expectations or the expectations of the institution. It works both ways. When all the variables of a right fit come together, however, the results can be very satisfying. Students who devote themselves to their academic program, graduate and become successful professionals in the wide open aviation industry as flight instructors, helicopter pilots, airline and corporate pilots, maintenance/technical managers, air traffic controllers, aviation/airport managers and unmanned aircraft operation specialists extend their best fit by succeeding in and contributing to a very exciting industry. The aviation industry truly needs these qualified graduates. The result is a win-win. As you begin your post military career and education search---do the needed research. It’s simply that important. Like your military training and experience, it’s hard work and may not always be fun. However, with the right approach and dedication you will be successful. Best wishes for YOUR “best fit”!
Assistant Dean, Student Services John D. Odegard of Aerospace Sciences University of North Dakota
Fall 2017 MERG 71
A PORTABLE, LUCRATIVE CAREER
IN REAL ESTATE SALES FOR MILITARY SPOUSES You’re moving. Again. Establishing a fulfilling and financially rewarding career can be a challenge for the spouse of someone serving active duty. The expectation is such that you won’t be in one place for more than a few years and then you’ll be on the move again. You need a flexible schedule to be able to care for children and take time off to be with your spouse during leave. What if there was a way for you to pick up your career and take it with you? What if you could take time off and still receive an income? We sat down with the Honorable Jose Segarra, Mayor of Killeen, Texas, former US Army Staff Sargent and Broker/Owner of EXIT Homevets Realty to discuss the benefits of a career in real estate for military spouses. “We’re located near Fort Hood which is the largest military base in the free world. Most of my agents are military-related and the majority of them are military spouses,” he said. “They tend to move a lot. They’ll be here for three or four years, they’ve got their business established and unfortunately sometimes they don’t want to leave but they have to. At EXIT Realty we train them howMERG to succeed anywhere. If we dropped you from a helicopter 72 Fall 2017
anywhere in the country, you have the tools, knowledge and mindset to succeed no matter where you go.” EXIT Realty has risen to prominence across North America by building strong real estate agents and offices. Most companies focus on the numbers and not the individual. At EXIT Realty, we believe that by working first to strengthen each agent, the team will be more productive and successful. We do this in five ways: We provide the tools for you to become thoroughly oriented and trained in the basics of successful real estate sales. When a military spouse transfers, he or she develops relationships both in the community and with the agents in their new office. “Because you are connected with the military, there are programs for spouses and network groups that meet and support each other,” said Segarra. “When you leave a base, friends and acquaintances always tend to find each other. If you’re new to real estate, you already have a built-in network and the training EXIT Realty provides helps you to talk real estate and take advantage of that extended network.” In addition, we show you how to properly brand yourself then how to present your brand to the marketplace to get more leads. Being part of a well-recognized franchise organization means
that when you transfer, you start off in your new location with established brand recognition. We seek out the latest technology tools available in real estate then teach you to use them. Most of our technology is “in the cloud” and can be accessed anywhere. We have built a team culture that is supportive and fun. We enjoy, mentor and encourage each other much like a family would do.
Mary’s transactions close, EXIT Realty Corp. International pays you an amount equivalent to 10% of Mary’s gross production as a special bonus for helping to grow the company. Sponsoring can be done in any EXIT office right across the continent and it continues for as long as the agent introduced stays and produces business. This is single-level residual income and these bonuses are over and above your commission to a maximum of $10,000 per year per agent sponsored and these bonuses do not affect Mary’s commission whatsoever. These bonuses fill in the gaps between closings, help to pay for college, vacations, provide support for aging parents – anything you like - and provide you with abundant cash flow streams heretofore unavailable in the real estate industry. Let’s say that your family is transferred to Fort Hood and you transfer to an EXIT office nearby. In our example, Mary continues to close transactions back at Fort Bliss and your sponsoring bonuses follow you. And because you’ve made friends and contacts at Fort Bliss, you can refer real estate business to them and continue to sponsor agents into an EXIT office near there as well as into your new location – anywhere in fact where an EXIT office is located in North America. If you decide to take a break from selling real estate or when it comes time for you to retire, your sponsoring bonuses continue at a rate of 7%. And EXIT didn’t forget about your loved ones. Should something happen to you, your sponsoring bonuses convert to a 5% beneficiary residual to help provide financial security for those left behind.
In traditional two-dimensional real estate, agents earn money by taking listings and making sales. They earn commission only when sales close and often there are gaps between closings causing a financial vacuum. Also, when the closings stop, the income stops causing agents to work long hours away from their families with little reward. There is no opportunity to take a break from the business, retire with security or to build family wealth. EXIT Realty is the only real estate company that solves these problems head-on by providing a third income stream through our unique business model known as the EXIT Formula.
“Being in the military is tough and transitioning creates a hardship on families,” Segarra continued. “The one who often handles everything involved in moving a family from one base to another is the spouse. When a real estate agent is also someone who is a military spouse, they share a special connection with their client and understand what they’re going through - that’s critical. The client has someone they can relate to. I think the most Jose Segarra important thing is that with EXIT Realty, you get the training, you get the tools, you get the support and you can carry all of that anywhere you go.”
Let’s say you work as an agent for EXIT Realty in an office near Fort Bliss. You introduce Mary to your broker and she is recruited as a salesperson. This introduction is called sponsoring at EXIT. As
You owe it to yourself and your family to take a closer look. CONTACT US today at 888-668-3948 for a confi dential conversation.
And the thing that makes EXIT Realty truly unique, the thing that allows you to continue to make money even when you’re not actively selling real estate is this. We expose our agents to a plan to make over 100%, to build your own business with passive and single-level residual income.
When a real estate agent is also someone who is a military spouse, they share a special connection with their client and understand what they’re going through .”
www.exitrealty.com/join Fall 2017 MERG
We are serving those who have served. Whether youâ€™re looking to take classes on campus or online, Texas Tech University is here for you. We take great pride in the fact that we currently have nearly 2000 students who are veterans or family members of veterans. We also have more than 250 faculty & staff who have served. The number one priority at Texas Tech is you earning your degree. Thank you for your service and dedication to our country during its time of need. Be proud of who you are, be proud of what you do, and be proud of what you will continue to do in the future. From Here, Itâ€™s Possible!
74 MERG Fall 2017
Texas Tech University is a proud recipient of the following awards:
Student Highlights Maria E. Flores
Classification: Junior Major: Management Branch: US Navy Ret. Rank: EM1 Since my time here at Texas Tech I have been able to appreciate what being in the military and serving my country really means. Working at the MVP office and being a student here at Texas Tech has allowed me to help others who have served the military finish their education and also help the dependents of veterans complete their life dream. I believe that being a Texas Tech student and working at the MVP office has helped me grow as a person and an American.
Classification: Sophomore Major: Electrical Engineering Branch: US Army Rank: E-6/SSG After serving seven years in the U.S. Army, as bomb disposal, getting out and going back to school while raising a newborn was a nightmare. Thanks to the resources, like the Veterans Association of Texas Tech and the Military & Veterans Programs Office available at Texas Tech, I was able to have a smooth transition into the college setting. In return, I try to be an active member of those organizations that helped me transition to help other veterans and family members achieve their educational goals. I truly believe in our motto that “From here it’s possible” and I try to spread that message to others.
Look for this Green Zone symbol across campus to connect with advocates who have been trained to assist service members.
een zone gr
Fall 2017 MERG 75
Air Force Staff Sgt. Scott Watson inspects a parachute at Robins Air Force Base, Ga. Watson is an aircrew flight equipment technician assigned to the 339th Flight Test Squadron.
76 MERG Fall 2017
PHOTO: Jamal D. Sutter
Fall Fall2017 2017 MERG 77
Navy Seaman Humberto Gonzalez works on an F/A-18 E Super Hornet aboard the USS George H.W. Bush in the Arabian Gulf. The aircraft carrier is in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations to support maritime security operations to reassure allies and partners, and preserve the freedom of navigation in the region. Gonzales is an aviation structural mechanic airman apprentice.
78 MERG Fall 2017
PHOTO: Seaman Jennifer M. Kirkman
Fall Fall2017 2017 MERG 79
PHOTO: Tech. Sgt. Brigitte N. Brantley
A CH-47 Chinook helicopter crew chief keeps watch during a flight over Kabul, Afghanistan. The helicopter was carrying Defense Secretary Jim Mattis as he visited the country.
80 MERG Fall 2017
Fall 2017 MERG 81
A wounded warrior awaits the start of the annual Army Ten-Miler in Washington, D.C., Oct. 8, 2017. The race is the third largest ten-miler in the world, combining both joint and international competitors.
PHOTO:â€…Spc. Winterlyn Patterson 82 MERG Fall 2017
Fall 2017 MERG 83
DISCOVER YOUR NEXT MISSION with National University, a veteran-founded nonprofit
“I loved NU’s one-month class format. If you’re looking to balance service and school, there’s no better option.” Shawn VanDiver, U.S. Navy Veteran National University Class ’09 and ’11
National University was founded in 1971 by retired U.S. Navy lieutenant commander David Chigos. Today, we proudly serve active-duty and veteran students from all branches of the military who are earning their degrees at home, on base, and abroad. As San Diego’s largest private nonprofit university, we offer over 100 degree programs on campus, online, and on over a dozen military bases nationwide, plus tuition discounts for military personnel and their dependents.
Learn more at nu.edu/nextmission
84 MERG Fall 2017 © 2017 National University NU17_6839
MERG 2017 Fall Edition