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Happy 242nd Birthday To The US Army

Happbirthday22y 242nd Birthday To The US Army

This Content Courtesy of USAA.

June 14, 2017 marks the 242nd Birthday of the United States Army. The US Army is the oldest military service (besting the US Navy by just a few months)! Below are some of the traditions, missions, and values that define the US Army as a military service.

Army Birthday Traditions. Every US Army unit celebrates, remembers, and recognizes the US Army birthday in some way. There can be unit formation runs, Army Band concerts, military balls, formal dinners, or a cup of coffee and a piece of cake — cut with a sword or bayonet, of course. The Army Birthday is a time when everyone in the US Army, US Army National Guard, US Army Reserve, US Army Civilians, US Army Veterans, and family members pause, reflect, and join together to recognize all that the US Army has done and is doing.

Mission of The US Army. The U.S. Army’s mission is to fight and win our Nation’s wars by providing prompt, sustained land dominance across the full range of military operations and spectrum of conflict in support of combatant commanders.

The US Army Values: There are seven US Army Values that create a great personal reminder of the combined value of performance, ethics, loyalty, and courage to complete assigned tasks.

  1. LOYALTY — Bearing true faith and allegiance is a matter of believing in and devoting yourself to something or someone.
  2. DUTY — Duty means being able to accomplish tasks as part of a team. The work of the U.S. Army is a complex combination of missions, tasks and responsibilities — all in constant motion.
  3. RESPECT — Treat people as they should be treated. Respect is what allows us to appreciate the best in other people. Respect is trusting that all people have done their jobs and fulfilled their duty.
  4. SELFLESS SERVICE — Put the welfare of the nation, the Army and your subordinates before your own. The basic building block of selfless service is the commitment of each team member to go a little further, endure a little longer, and look a little closer to see how he or she can add to the effort.
  5. HONOR — Honor is a matter of carrying out, acting, and living the values of respect, duty, loyalty, selfless service, integrity and personal courage in everything you do.
  6. INTEGRITY — Do what’s right, legally and morally. Integrity is a quality you develop by adhering to moral principles.
  7. PERSONAL COURAGE — Face fear, danger or adversity (physical or moral). Personal courage has long been associated with our Army.

SOURCE: US ARMY Values, https://www.army.mil/values/index.html

Get to Know More About the US Army:

Other Military Service Birthdays:

  • US Army — June 14, 1775
  • US Navy — October 13, 1775
  • US Marine Corps — November 10, 1775
  • US Coast Guard — August 4, 1790
  • US Air Force — September 18, 1947

Please share your stories of US Army Birthday’s past and present and how you celebrated the day!

Related Posts:

  1. Lessons in Appreciating Diversity from World War II
  2. Teach Your Boss About the Military for National Guard and Reserve Members
  3. How Military Strategy Can Help Your Career Strategy

10 Steps for An Effective Military to Civilian Transition



Here are 10 Easy to Follow and High Impact Steps for An Effective Career Transition:

  1. Attitude is Everything. Attitude is one of the most important mental criteria that will make an employee shine in terms of both performance and leadership.  Ensure you have a positive and constructive attitude for even the most seemingly mundane tasks.  In addition, have a positive attitude even if you believe that your new position is below your level of responsibility in the military.
  1. Be Open to New Experiences. Often, when we are exposed to a vast array of new experiences, we fall back on our military ways and mind sets.  These uncertainties in the economy, fluidity of roles in a commercial organization, and differences between the veteran and non-veteran employees can encourage a status-quo or “pull back” approach by the veteran employee.   No matter the expressed definition of workplace activity and company roles, you should dive into whatever roles and experiences are offered immediately.
  1. Further Your Education. Community colleges offer good overview business classes to improve your baseline knowledge of business in such vital areas as Accounting, Finance, Statistics, or Applied Mathematics.  If possible, take them in person because fellow students, professors, and college staff are great resources for networking.
  1. Leverage Your Military Experience to Your Company and Job. Veterans need to translate their military 8dbb6e22bde6dd23a486f6c0c3798347skills to their businesses and organizations in a fashion that supports the culture and work practices of their company.  Look for ways to translate and apply your military skills in a way that supports your company’s culture, workplace practices, and the rules & regulations of your industry.
  1. Mentor an Individual or Group. Mentoring or coaching is a fantastic skill to help build talent, commitment, and initiative in an organization.  In the military, performance counseling sessions was a way to identify the standard of the organization, how a soldier performed to that standard, and what step (s) would be taken to improve the soldier’s performance.  Ken Hicks, an Army veteran and the CEO of Foot Locker, stated, “So I learned that you’re very dependent on your people to be their best. You train and develop and motivate them.”
  1. Pointerviewrtray a Professional Image in Dress and Conduct. You should strive to portray and supportive physical and mental bearing in the workplace.   John Meyer, an Air Force Veteran and the CEO or Acxiom, stated in a Harvard Business Review Blog post, “I think professionalism and professional appearance is pretty important because it gives you the first impression, the benefit of the doubt. If you look the part, you get the opportunity to show whether you’re competent or not.”  Remember, as a rule, dress for the job you want, not the job you have.  Your quality of speech needs to be clear, understandable, free of non-industry jargon, no use of military acronyms, no use of military phrases, confident, and compelling.  Absolutely avoid swearing, insulting other cultural or ethnic groups, and demeaning language at all costs, even if others portray poor word and language choices.
  1. Teach A Class. Teaching in the military was something everyone did as a part of training no matter your service, rank, and specialty.  Teaching is a wonderful way to build confidence, position yourself as an expert, and improve your presentation skills.  Volunteer with a charity, education, business, or government organization to teach a class or series of classes to show how military skill sets can be translated for business.
  1. Use Only Positive Words & Conduct on Social Media. Ensure that your look on all Social Media is “clean” and portrays you and your company in the best possible light.  Limit any mention of your new employer for at least 6-8 months until you understand all your company’s social media policies.  If in doubt, do not use any social media to talk about your employer.
  1. Watch the Use of Sir / Ma’am and Other Military Speech Patterns. In the corporate world, expect to use a first name, but defer and treat seniors respectfully as if they were higher military officer.  A senior vice president needs to be respected like a general / flag officer even though you use a first name.
  1. Websites to Stay Up to Date – Quick and Easy on Business News. Just like reading the morning and evening intelligence reports, staying current on today’s important news is necessary.  Websites such as the New York Times, Business Week, Fortune, Washington Post, Google News Custom Alerts, Smart Brief, Harvard Business Review Blogs, and the Corporate Advisory Board all have daily e-mail’s that deliver the innovative business news to your e-mail for free.  Scheduled e-mail news is the easiest and most efficient way to stay up to date.


Resources to Support an Effective Military to Civilian Transition:

  1. 5 Keys to a Smoother Military Transition – Great Advice to Succeed By @USAA – http://bit.ly/2rI3qKT
  2. After Service: 3 Routes to a Civilian Career – Solid Military to Civilian Transition Advice By @USAA – http://bit.ly/2q8QzAg
  3. Create a Military Transition Fund to Have a Successful Military to Civilian Transition – http://bit.ly/2qMqrhB
  4. USAA Employment Tools to Help Translate Military Skills to Civilian Jobs – USAA Members Only (Free to Join) – http://bit.ly/2q2zsUF
  5. USAA INSIGHT: 3 Ways to Ease Your Shift from Military Service to Civilian Life From @USAA – http://bit.ly/2qMoz8x
  6. USAA Leaving the Military Guide – Advice & Support for a Smooth Transition – USAA Members Only (Free to Join) – http://bit.ly/2rI53Iu
  7. USAA Military Separation Assessment Tool for Financial Planning – USAA Members Only (Free to Join) – http://bit.ly/2q8R8tS
  8. USAA Military Separation Checklist Tool for Planning Your Military to Civilian Transition – USAA Members Only (Free to Join) – bit.ly/2q2RGp5
  9. USAA News – Member’s Easy Military Transition? He Credits Education and Planning – http://bit.ly/2qOdMJc




Remember On A Personal Level This Memorial Day


Memorial Day is a solemn holiday that is difficult to appreciate. What makes it difficult is how to honor and how to remember in an appropriate and respectful manner for the military members who fell in battle. The best way to remember the fallen on Memorial Day is to make Memorial Day a day of personal memories, sharing, and respect.

Fly a Flag at Your Home. Flying a flag at your home is a wonderful way to make sure that you remember the sacrifice of Memorial Day the entire day. If you can, have everyone in your neighborhood fly their flags. Memorial Day helps remind us how special America is and the fluttering of flags along neighborhoods, on lawns, and from windows makes everyone pause, remember, and appreciate the greatest sacrifice a service member can make.

Remember the Favorite Times & Share the Stories of Fallen Friends. This is one of the hardest pieces of advice to give about Memorial Day. Remembering and appreciating fallen friends is very hard because it brings back such intense emotions that do not fade quickly. However, it transforms Memorial Day into a day of personal memory and growth. A few stories about my friends that fell. One of my friends was a Special Forces, military ski instructor the day I first met him. I was brand new to my Special Forces unit and I was trying (and failing) to ski some intermediate downhill terrain in my military issue skis and boots. I was, literally, pulling my head from a snow bank when I looked up and saw him beautifully skiing swiftly down the terrain that I had just tumbled down. He skied down to me, helped me up, and then taught me how to ski better. He helped inspire me to be a better officer from that day forward. These are the memories of my friends that I want to share and I want others to remember. Memorial Day is not a day to remember how military members died. I want my friend remembered for being a great leader, for being a skilled Special Forces Non-Commissioned Officer, and for being an inspiration to everyone that met him. Memorial Day is a day to remember the men and women and what made them great soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen.

Go & Visit a National Cemetery to Respect Fallen Military Members. Finding a national or state cemetery close to your home is a moving way to begin Memorial Day. If you can, go at dawn and watch the sunrise over the headstones. Walking among the graves, reading the names, and remembering the conflict that the soldier, sailor, marine, or airmen fell in is a moving and instructive way for children to remember Memorial Day. What always, always strikes me when I visit National Cemeteries is the sheer number of the fallen. I always see soldiers in formations which then fades into the images of the headstone. Every headstone has a memory, a face, and a family. Look up the closest National Cemetery through the Department of Veteran’s Affairs website at https://www.cem.va.gov/cem/cems/listcem.asp

Memorial Day3

Reach Out to Surviving Family Members of the Fallen. If you know someone personally who had a family member fall in battle reach out to them before or after Memorial Day. When you talk to them, tell them one or several of your own stories of what you remember about the person who gave their life for the country. This simple act of reaching out, listening, and sharing your own memories is invaluable for their remembrances. Sharing and remembering funny stories and special occasions re-creates and remembers everything that made that person special.

Donate to the Children of the Fallen. Remembering the children of the fallen is a meaningful way to make a difference on Memorial Day. If you can, donate to a program that creates college scholarships for these children. Even better, serve as a coach, as a tutor, or as a mentor to help these children overcome the loss of a parent and become the great person that is inside each one of them. Helping a child of the fallen is one of the best things to help continue the memory of their fallen parent.

This Memorial Day remember and re-appreciate the fallen on a personal level. Share the stories and special memories of fallen friends and make others see how they were special not because they fell, but by being the people they were. Visiting a National Cemetery and reaching out to surviving family members is a profound way to listen and understand how special and unique the fallen servicemember was. Finally, find a way through donations, mentoring, or other forms of support to help the children of the fallen to become great people. Memorial Day is special when we remember the fallen at a personal level.


Related stories and information:

Demonstrate Your Military Values at Work Every Day

Bring the Advice from Your Military Mentors to Work

Commemorate the Service of Military Veterans With Together We Served


The Memorial Day poppy is inspired by the World War I poem, “In Flanders Fields” by Lt.Col. John McCrae of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. Visit USAA’s virtual poppy wall where you can dedicate a #PoppyinMemory at  http://poppyinmemory.com

How To Prepare To Join The Military

Preparing to join the military is a great way to get your military and civilian career off to a great start. To start your military career right from Day One, there are some vitally important factors for you to consider so you can be successful in your initial training as well as your follow on or advanced training. This advice is for anyone planning to join any military service.

Prepare To Join The Military

Prepare To Join The Military

Preparing To Join The Military Tip #1 – Start Talking to Recruiters A Year Out. If you are considering enlisting or joining an officer commissioning program, make a plan to go and speak to all the service recruiters. If you are set on the Marines, then go and explore your options with the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, and the Air Force. If you are just interested in the Air Force, then talk to the Army, Marines, Coast Guard, and the Navy. At this point, you “don’t know what you don’t know.” Speaking to recruiters from all military services will give you a very good idea of the full range of positions, training, and signing bonus that are available to you. At any point in joining the military, there are a range of opportunities that are and are not available based on the current size of the respective services. Speaking to all the recruiters gives you a good idea of what is truly available.


Preparing to Join The Military Tip #2 – Drugs, Legal Violations, Some Tattoo’s, Obesity & Fitness Level Are What Ruin People’s Military Dreams. There is a large group of people that want desperately to join the military but cannot due to violations of the military service standards that bar them from joining the military and entering service. As a broad rule, the use of illegal drugs; legal convictions of criminal activity; some tattoo’s on the face, neck or hands; personal weight levels above the service standard, and the inability to successfully complete a basic physical fitness test are what remove candidates from consideration for military service. The best advice is to avoid any and all activities that will disqualify you from military service.

Preparing to Join The Military Tip #3 – Get In Good Overall Shape. Your goal for fitness and bodyweight should be to get in the best overall shape that you can. You want to balance strength training and cardiovascular fitness because too much strength training could hurt your run times and too much running may leave you susceptible to injury and not passing the push-ups and pull-ups to military standard. There are a number of excellent fitness programs that you can pursue.

Preparing to Join The Military Tip #4 – Do Well On Your High School GPA & Graduate. After the fitness disqualifications to military service, a lack of a high school degree with a decent GPA is next. A high school degree and a good GPA that will help you do well on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) – a test that partially controls what military specialties that you can sign up to perform. Graduating high school on time and with a good GPA is a must have to start your military career.

Preparing To Join The Military Tip #5 – Prepare for Times When Military Service Is Awful. At my first duty station in Korea, the January weather was so cold that the water buffalo’s froze inside of heated tents which made serving hot food impossible. We had limited MRE’s because they were all in the Middle East so we ate beef jerky or nothing because the peanut butter sandwiches froze. It was a horrible time in the field. You can do all the fitness and preparation, but your mind has to be prepared to suffer, and suffer mightily. Military recruits that are not prepared to suffer and to perform their best while suffering are challenged to complete a term of military service.

Talking early to recruiters, staying away from activities that disqualify you for military service, being in good shape, possessing a completed high school degree, and having your attitude focused on surpassing suffering while still serving well is how you succeed.  Have a successful military career and have fun.


Just Published on USAA – How To Build a Military Diversity Group At Your Company

Company Employee Resource Groups (ERG’s), Employee Affinity Groups (EAG) and employee network groups are well established in most businesses today. ERG’s consist of different ethnicities, different genders, and different sexual orientations.  The purpose of ERG’s is to simultaneously advance the careers of their members and the performance and the well-being of the company they are employed at.  ERG’s help the company and they help the company’s employees.


Employee Resource Groups began to slowly populate across corporations large and small over the past two to three decades.   Military Veteran ERG’s or Military Veteran affinity groups began about a decade ago and have taken off over the past three to five years.  There are a number of ways to establish, build, and grow a military veteran ERG at your company.


Here are Five Ways to Build a Military Veteran ERG at your Company


#1 – Meet with Existing ERG’s. One of the best ways to establish a military veteran ERG in your company is to meet and learn from existing ERG’s in your company.  Most companies have a fairly complex and time-consuming administrative process to justify, approve, and create a new ERG.  Learning from and following the lessons from those that have already created and validated an ERG is the best way to follow through.  An additional benefit is that when existing ERG’s support and recommend the formation of a new ERG for military veterans, it makes the process easier.


#2 – Create Content Focused on Career Advancement. To build membership quickly, offering content based on how to advance and improve careers is one of the most appropriate and asked about content for ERG members.  Content that improves interview skills, helps members learn about other departments, content that creates mentor-mentee relationships for personal improvement, and resume workshops are increasingly in demand.  Finally, a way to expand value throughout the company is to offer career workshops to all ERG member groups, not just military veteran ERG members.  Sharing content with other ERG’s promotes the military concept of teamwork and improvement.


#3 – Tell the Value of Military Skills for Business Through History. As a rule, nearly everyone loves learning about military history.  World War II is an area of high interest that has a lot of content potential that translates easily from military history into business and leadership lessons.  The Red Ball Express, a US Army African-American logistical unit that provided critical supplies during the Battle of the Bulge counter attacks, tells the story of teamwork, leadership by example, the critical importance of logistics, and the value of training.  These business lessons related through the stories of the Red Ball Express during World War II show the lessons of business from history, the value that diversity brings to create high performing teams, and educates employees on a critical period of US history.


#4 – Translate Military Skills Into Business Use. Military veterans transitioning into a company or Guard / Reserve military personnel returning from deployment all need assistance translating and applying their military skills to meet business challenges.  There are immediate ways to apply military safety procedures to make a company’s operations safer, ways the military contracts for services and receives bids for new business  that a company can use for improved purchasing, or how a military coaching session of the Task, Condition, Standard, and Observed Performance can be used to improve employees.  There are an immense number of uses for military skills in business – a military veteran ERG helps all military members benefit from military skill sets.


#5 – Make a Place for All Employees. One of the best ways to expand and build an ERG is to make a dedicated and unique place for non-military veterans.  There are a large number of employees that want to learn about the military, help military veterans transition effectively, and learn military skill sets they can apply to their careers.  Have a place for non-military veterans in the military veteran ERG to expand the membership base and employee advocates for the military veteran ERG.


Military Veteran Employee Resource Groups expand military veteran skill sets, help retain and attract military veteran employees, and bring new skills to make the company better. Military Veteran ERG’s are a critical business asset to help a company succeed.