Kellie Pickler: On a Mission to Serve

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Interview and Story by Tawanah Reeves-Ligon

Not everyone has been called to serve as a member of our Armed Forces, but country star, actress, television host and philanthropist Kellie Pickler feels it’s her duty to serve the called.

By partnering with the USO (United Service Organizations), one of the nation’s leading nonprofit charities dedicated to members of the military and their families, Pickler, alongside other celebrities, gets the chance to give back to a community that means the world to her. “They have enabled me to be a part of something that matters,” she shared. “Working with the USO, it’s really all about keeping the families connected and keeping our servicemen and women connected with their loved ones.

We take a piece of home to them…when we do holiday tours, we take a professional athlete, a singer, comedian, actor, actress and just develop this show with them. We sign [autographs], laugh; we take pictures. We have breakfast, lunch and dinner. If they’re stationed somewhere where their families are able to be with them, we have family day. We get to break bread together and laugh and share their stories…break up the monotony of what they do.”

And Pickler, a North Carolina native, was a great choice for this role because she is a wiz at putting on a show. The now 35-year-old got her start in the industry in 2005 on the fifth season of American Idol, finishing in sixth place.

WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 27: Kellie Pickler sings with the U.S. Army Chorus at the American Veterans Center’s “American Valor: A Salute to Our Heroes” Veterans Day special on October 27, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Shannon Finney/Getty Images)

Her debut album sold over 900,000 copies, was certified gold and produced three top 20 singles on the Billboard “Hot Country Songs” charts. During her music career, Pickler has won or been nominated for numerous awards, such as the CMT Music Awards Breakthrough Video of the Year, Top New Female Vocalist of the Year, Female Video of the Year, Collaborative Video of the Year and Performance of The Year. She’s also won the prestigious Songwriter Award twice from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers.

Later, after the release of her fourth studio album, The Woman I Am, Pickler went on to win the sixteenth season of Dancing with the Stars, alongside professional dancer Derek Hough in 2013. She would also go on to star in two successful television programs, I Love Killie Pickler, a reality show about her life with husband Kyle Jacobs, as well as Pickler & Ben, a daytime talk show she hosted for two years alongside influencer Ben Aaron.

Pickler has also starred in television movies for Hallmark, Christmas at Graceland, Wedding at Graceland and The Mistletoe Secret. However, for Pickler, these achievements are not the hallmark of her career or representative of her purpose. “…accolades, awards, that don’t matter. People matter,” Pickler said. “You never wake up after doing the right thing and think, ‘I wish I hadn’t done the right thing there.’ It’s easy to be kind; it’s easy to love your neighbor.”

NASHVILLE, TN – APRIL 29: (L-R) Kyle Jacobs, Recording Artist Kellie Pickler, Allison Baker, Andi Zack-Johnson and Ken Johnson attend the St. Jude Rock ‘n’ ROll Nashville Marathon on April 29, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Davis/Getty Images for St. Jude)

For Pickler, her real job is about what happens offstage, “I know that I was not put on this Earth to just be a country singer, performer and entertainer. That’s just my vehicle to get me through the door. I know what my calling is. I know that my purpose in life is to be a voice for the broken, to be a sanctuary for people.

I’m not perfect by no means. I know my heart. I know my integrity. And that’s not for sale. I feel very blessed to be in a position where I can use my gifts and blessings…” As a USO Ambassador, Pickler is excited about taking the opportunity to give back to those who she knows are prepared to give everything for our citizens and our country.

According to her, “It’s imperative that they know (and that the families know) that we have their backs too. It takes a very selfless person to do what they do.” She is especially sensitive to the families of servicemembers, “The families serve. I’m very close with many Gold Star Families and Gold Star Wives. The USO is a community that’s very, very much needed.

When someone gets that folded flag at their front door, that dreaded conversation, it’s imperative that they have community around them, to love them, help them, be there for their children…The USO has kept so many families connected, and even connected me with these families, in a way that I can have a relationship with them and let them know that they aren’t alone.”

KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN: Kellie Pickler signs autographs after performing for U.S. service members as part of USO’s holiday tour.
(Photo by /The Washington Post via Getty Images)

The USO sponsors many programs with these goals in mind and works in over 250 locations. Their programs, predominately, fall into one of four categories: Unites, Delivers, Entertains or Transitions. Each category represents one part of the mission to keep servicemembers in touch with the places, people and positivity they need to keep going.

Programs include, but aren’t limited to: the Bob Hope Legacy Program, which helps servicemembers read to their children virtually; USO Coffee Connections, which gathers military spouses together at monthly gatherings in comfortable spaces where they can share and relate; USO Care Package Program, which delivers familiar snacks, toiletries and hygiene essentials to troops, predominately those overseas; and of course their many resources for those transitioning (or who have transitioned) out of military service.

Participating in the promotion of these programs, as well as having the chance to meet and link with servicemembers and their families, has been a dream for Pickler.

Though she and her immediate family did not come from a military background, she still feels as though she can serve, love on and relate to these families in her own way.

LAS VEGAS, NV – APRIL 07: Singer Kellie Pickler (L) and Staff Sgt. Baily Zimmerman perform onstage during ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute To The Troops in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for ACM)

“We all have so much more in common than we realize,” she said. “I do feel that in my line of work, the music business is all about putting truth in the form of a song. I believe that there’s several songs of mine that have been autobiographical where I was able to put a pinprick of my life into a song. But it’s helped people heal. I do believe in sharing parts of my story…” Pickler continued, saying that her time, her story and her music have “brought people together and helped people find closure in whatever it is that they’re going through.” And that’s where the fulfillment comes from for her.

“There are countless things that the USO has done [for our servicemembers], and, again, it’s been just very life changing for me to be a part of the USO family. I feel that’s the way that I can serve those who serve.”

4 Strategies for Rebounding from a Rejection Letter

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Hunting for a post-military job can sometimes feel like a roller coaster. There are some definite highs in the job search, like spotting the perfect position for you, landing an interview and receiving an offer.

But unfortunately, there are also some lows mixed in – including the dreaded rejection letter.

While it may be disappointing, getting a rejection letter can actually help you in your job search. It offers you an opportunity to learn from the process and improve upon certain areas for the next dream job that crosses your path.

But, while you’re looking for that next opportunity, how can you stay motivated for the next search? While everyone will have their own process, here are our four strategies for rebounding from a rejection letter:

  • Take a minute. There’s no denying it – rejection stings. It’s true in life, love and even work. Before you dive back into the job hunt, take some time to process your disappointment. Talk with friends or fellow service members, go for a walk, meditate, eat a whole bag of chips (okay, maybe not that last one). You might even need more than a minute. It’s okay to take a breather from your job hunt. Though it can be hard to step back when you’re facing the end of your military career, a pause may be the key to landing your first post-military job.
  • Keep perspective. Remember, there’s only so much you can control in a job search. Maybe you were a great candidate, but there was only one open position and a lot of great applicants. “Maintain healthy expectations about the process and don’t lose hope,” said James Marfield, associate director of VA’s National Recruitment Service. “It is not necessarily an indictment on your candidacy – it may just be that the hiring manager had better qualified candidates to choose from.” While it may look from the outside like some people have it easy and catch all the breaks, everyone gets a rejection letter at some point in their career. Transitioning to a post-military career can be an especially big leap, but there are plenty of people who have successfully made the transition. Have faith that you will, too.
  • Look in the rear view mirror. You got as far as an interview, so you know you’re doing a lot of things right. If you’re applying for a federal job like one at VA, you made it through the recruiter and were referred to the hiring manager, which is a big step. Your resume and cover letter are on point, and you’ve completed all the right federal forms to accompany your application. Before you dive back in to your job hunt, take some time to review your interview performance and see if there’s anything you could improve. Do you need to come up with better examples for VA’s performance-based interview format, or did you remember to send a thank you letter after your interview? Each interview is great preparation for the next one, but if you want even more practice, ask a friend or family member to rehearse with you.
  • Move forward. Once the feeling of rejection starts to fade and you’re feeling positive again, jump back in to your search with renewed energy and enthusiasm. As you continue to apply, look for ways you can continue to add to your skills and improve your candidacy for a civilian career, whether that’s through volunteering, additional training or part-time work experiences. Veterans can take advantage of a free year of LinkedIn premium, which includes access to training through LinkedIn Learning. The Department of Defense also offers transition assistance for Veterans, including training, apprenticeships and internships through SkillBridge.

No roller coaster lasts forever – even the job search coaster. While there may be more than one “no” along the way, all you need is one “yes” to land your dream post-military job.

Source: VAntage Point Blog and VA Careers (blogs.va.gov)

35 Best War Movies on Netflix

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This article was originally posted on Yahoo Finance:

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) is inarguably the top choice of the public for streaming videos and entertainment, with reportedly over 200 million paid subscribers in the first quarter of 2021. The popularity of the streaming service lies majorly in the ease of usage that the company provides to its customers.

Moreover, the service is economically priced and has a wide variety of digital content to choose from. In addition, over the years, Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) has expanded from a mere streaming service to a production house that makes original content such as TV serials, films, and even documentaries.

As war is one of the most popular genres of movies to watch in present times, we have compiled a list of the 35 best war movies on Netflix for you to watch and enjoy. Because of geographic restrictions imposed by Netflix, not all movies mentioned in the list are available to stream in the US. We have mentioned the main regions of availability for each movie.

Best War Movies on Netflix

35. Downfall (2004)

Downfall shows a historically accurate account of Adolf Hitler’s final days that he spent in his bunker in Berlin after the end of World War II. The story is based on the memories recalled by the dictator’s secretary Traudl Junge. Due to the insights lent by Junge, the audience is shown precise details about the gruesomeness brought about by the deeds of Hitler and his inner circle. The movie is the 35th in the list of 35 best war movies on Netflix and is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in Denmark and Finland.

34. Ender’s Game (2013)

The movie falls in the war and science fiction genres. The movie follows a gifted child enrolled in a military academy to fight against an alien invasion. Ender’s Game received critical reviews and did not do much business although its first few weeks in theatres seemed to be successful. Hence, Ender’s Game is 34th on the list of 35 best war movies on Netflix and is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Finland.

Apart from Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), the movie may be found on Amazon Prime Video (NASDAQ: AMZN), Youtube (NASDAQ: GOOG), HBO Now (NYSE: T) (NASDAQ: DISCA), and AppleTV+ (NASDAQ: AAPL), subject to its availability on the platforms.

33. The Pianist (2002)

The Pianist is an adaptation of a book, namely The Pianist: The Extraordinary True Story of One Man’s Survival in Warsaw written by Władysław Szpilman. The movie is based on the autobiography of Władysław Szpilman, who was a Jewish pianist and composer. The movie shows the life led by Władysław Szpilman in Warsaw, a city in occupied Poland during World War II. It specifically shows the events of Poland undergoing a massive change from the eyes of the pianist. Due to the accuracy of the first-hand account of events, The Pianist is the 33rd in the 35 best war movies on Netflix and is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States.

32. Defiance (2008)

Defiance is an American war film that numbers 32 out of the 35 best war movies on Netflix. The movie stars Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, Jamie Bell, and George MacKay as Polish-Jewish brothers. The four brothers are shown to save and then recruit Jews in Poland during the Second World War. The movie is set in the years between 1941 and 1944 during the Nazi German occupation of Byelorussia (Belarus) when the Jews were in hiding in occupied territory. Defiance is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States.

Apart from Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), the movie may be found on Amazon Prime Video (NASDAQ: AMZN), Youtube (NASDAQ: GOOG), HBO Now (NYSE: T) (NASDAQ: DISCA), and AppleTV+ (NASDAQ: AAPL), subject to its availability on the platforms.

31. K-19: The Widowmaker (2002)

K-19: The Widowmaker is the 31st of the 35 best war movies on Netflix. The movie is named after the K-19 submarine which was the first ballistic missile launched by the Soviet Union. Hence, the movie is based in the year 1961. The movie was produced as a joint effort of the United States, Germany, Canada, and the United Kingdom. It received much praise for the performance of its actors as well as the dramatic direction but was critiqued on its screenwriting. Although it did not make as much money as it was expected to, the movie is a fine watch. K-19: The Widowmaker is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in Canada, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway.

30. Company of Heroes (2013)

The movie is historically inaccurate and appeals the most to people who play video games since there is a video game by the same name. The movie is set during the Second World War. It follows a platoon of soldiers in the US Army who receive troubling news about Adolf Hitler launching a bomb which could significantly harm the United States. The movie depicts how the soldiers embark on a mission to gain more information and unearth the scientist who would lead the attack. Company of Heroes is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States.

Apart from Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), the movie may be found on Amazon Prime Video (NASDAQ: AMZN), Youtube (NASDAQ: GOOG), HBO Now (NYSE: T) (NASDAQ: DISCA), and AppleTV+ (NASDAQ: AAPL), subject to its availability on the platforms.

29. War Machine (2017)

War Machine is a satirical film that is based on the fictionalized events of a nonfiction book by the name of “The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan” written by Michael Hastings. The movie follows US Army General Glen McMahon who is given the responsibility of writing an assessment for the government so that the US-Afghan war can finally end. Instead, the Army General requests more troops, and his request disturbs the government and the US President. War Machine is 29th of the 35 best war movies on Netflix.

28. Full Metal Jacket (1987)

The movie falls in the war and drama genres and is based on the autobiographical novel named The Short-Timers which was written by U.S. Marine Corps veteran Gustav Hasford in 1979. The novel, and hence the movie, is about the experiences of the veteran and his fellow soldiers during the Vietnam War that lasts from the year 1955 to 1975.

The movie shows the platoon of U.S. Marines all the way from their days of training until their role in the war. The title of the movie refers to the jacket that was worn but military personnel during the days of the war. The movie received much acclaim and is the 28th in the list of 35 best war movies on Netflix and is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States.

27. The Outpost (2020)

The movie depicts the Battle of Kamdesh in Afghanistan that occurred in 2009 when 300 Taliban troops attacked a US outpost in eastern Afghanistan. The battle was reportedly one of the most heinous in the US-Afghan war. The movie is based on the events recorded in the non-fiction book named “The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor” published in 2012 that was written by Jake Tapper. The movie is 27th in the list of 35 best war movies on Netflix. The Outpost is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States.

26. Too Young the Hero (1998)

This American war movie depicts the true story of a twelve-year-old boy who wishes to join the US Army to serve his country during the Second World War. The movie essentially is a biography of the boy named Calvin Graham, who was declared the youngest American serviceman of the Second World War. Too Young the Hero is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States.

Apart from Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), the movie may be found on Amazon Prime Video (NASDAQ: AMZN), Youtube (NASDAQ: GOOG), HBO Now (NYSE: T) (NASDAQ: DISCA), and AppleTV+ (NASDAQ: AAPL), subject to its availability on the platforms.

25. Green Zone (2010)

The movie shows life inside a green zone in Baghdad during the invasion of Iraq by the combined forces of the United States, the United Kingdom, Poland, and Australia. All the armies reportedly invaded Iraq to dethrone President Saddam Hussein and free the people of Iraq. The screenplay of the movie is based on the non-fictional book named Imperial Life in the Emerald City written by Rajiv Chandrasekaran in 2006. Green Zone is available to be streamed and downloaded by the US version of Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX).

24. The Resistance Banker (2018)

The Resistance Banker is set during the Second World War. The movie revolves around the life of a banker named Walraven van Hall who came up with a genius plan in order to sponsor the Dutch resistance and help his people. The movie is entirely in the Dutch language, and American Netflix users may either watch the version dubbed into English or turn on subtitles. The movie is the 24th out of the 35 best war movies on Netflix and is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States.

23. Life is Beautiful (1997)

Life is Beautiful is the 19th out of the 35 best war movies on Netflix. The movie revolves around an Italian Jewish bookshop owner during the Second World War. The lead uses his imagination and gift of storytelling to protect his son and keep him distracted while they are imprisoned in a concentration camp by the Nazis. Life is Beautiful became popular due to it displaying a good eye into the human side of war. The movie became an overwhelming success both in terms of audiences and business. Moreover, it won three Academy Awards along with several others such as in the Cannes Film Festival, David di Donatello Awards, and Nastro d’Argento Awards. The movie uses the Italian, German, and English languages; therefore, US audiences might need to make use of subtitles while viewing it on Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX).

Apart from Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), the movie may be found on Amazon Prime Video (NASDAQ: AMZN), Youtube, HBO Now, and AppleTV+ (NASDAQ: AAPL), subject to its availability on the platforms.

22. Saving Private Ryan (1998)

The war movie is set at the time of the Invasion of Normandy in 1944 during the second World War. The film shows graphic details about the war, especially in scenes that depict the Omaha Beach assault. The movie shows several soldiers who do their best to survive during the troublesome times of war.

The movie received much appreciation for everything from direction and screenplay to realism and the actors’ performances. Moreover, the movie performed exceptionally well commercially and won many awards, such as five Academy Awards. As with All Quiet on The Western Front (1930), Patton (1970), and Apocalypse Now (1979), Saving Private Ryan (1998) was selected to be preserved by the United States National Film Registry as it was culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant. Saving Private Ryan is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States, Finland, and Austria.

21. Da 5 Bloods (2020)

This American movie shows four war veterans who served in the Vietnam War. In the movie, the middle-aged veterans return to the site of the war to search for a fallen soldier who was their squad leader and attempt to find a treasure that they buried during their service in the war. The movie is a Netflix original production; it received spectacular reviews and several awards. The movie is the 21st on our list of 35 best war movies on Netflix. Da 5 Bloods is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States.

20. Tears of the Sun (2003)

The movie follows a rescue mission led by United States Navy SEAL during the Nigerian civil war. The movie shows some gruesome realities of human behavior during the war and is hence lauded for its realistic screenplay. African refugees played roles in the movie’s cast to make the movie more authentic. The movie stars Bruce Willis and Monica Bellucci in the lead roles. However, the movie did not receive much acclaim from critics as they deemed it a stylish action movie. Tears of the Sun is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in Finland, Austria, and Denmark.

19. Rescue Dawn (2006)

This American war movie recreates the real-life story of a German-American pilot. The movie follows the events in his life during the Vietnam War. The pilot’s airplane was shot down and he was captured by villagers during a US military campaign. Although the movie was received well by critics, it was a commercial failure. Rescue Dawn is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States, Denmark, Finland, and Brazil.

Apart from Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), the movie may be found on Amazon Prime Video (NASDAQ: AMZN), Youtube (NASDAQ: GOOG), HBO Now (NYSE: T) (NASDAQ: DISCA), and AppleTV+ (NASDAQ: AAPL), subject to its availability on the platforms.

18. Hitler- A Career (1977)

The movie, as its name suggests, follows the transformation of Adolf Hitler from his early years to the days of the Second World War. It shows the collective psychology of the Germans who required a leader and Hitler’s subsequent rise to power. The movie shows in great detail the leader’s long journey from an artist to one of the most despised people in history.

Hitler – A Career is the 18th out of the 35 best war movies on Netflix and is available on Netflix in Finland and Brazil.

17. Beasts of No Nation (2015)

The movie is set in an unspecified West African country during a brutal civil war. Its story revolves around a young boy who attempts to escape the war with his family but is caught by a rebel faction and is adopted into their ranks. The movie goes on to show his initiation into the faction and how the events unfold further. The movie is in English and is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States, Denmark, Netherlands, Austria, Germany, Norway, Finland, Brazil, New Zealand, and Sweden. Beasts of No Nation is the 17th of the 35 best war movies on Netflix.

16. Das Boot (1981)

The movie is adapted from a German book of the same name written by Lothar-Günther Buchheim in 1973. The writer narrated his experiences while he was aboard the U-96 German submarine during the second world war. The movie follows Lothar-Günther Buchheim and the submarine’s crew during the Battle of the Atlantic. The movie is made to reflect realistic details; it shows the excitement and fear involved in the battle, and the frustration brought about by fruitless endeavors.

The movie’s name is in German and means “the boat” in English, which refers to the submarine itself. It received much praise and several awards for being one of the greatest war films ever made. Das Boot is the 16th on the list of 35 best war movies on Netflix and is available on Netflix in Austria.

Apart from Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), the movie may be found on Amazon Prime Video (NASDAQ: AMZN), Youtube, HBO Now, and AppleTV+ (NASDAQ: AAPL), subject to its availability on the platforms.

15. The 12th Man (2017)

The Norwegian movie is based on the book written by Tore Haug and Astrid Karlsen Scott in 2001 which is named “Jan Baalsrud and Those Who Saved Him”. As the name of the book indicates, the movie follows Jan Baalsrud who was a commando in the Norwegian resistance and was captured, along with his fellow Norwegian resistance fighters, by the Nazis during the Second World War. As all eleven of his fellow men are executed, Baalsrud was accurately the 12th man. The movie shows his struggles and eventual escape from the Nazis. The movie is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States.

14. The Wolf’s Call (2019)

The movie follows a particular sonar officer named Chanteraide who is posted in a submarine. The officer is responsible for using his exceptional hearing to locate the submarine of the enemy and hence save his country from the danger of nuclear war. In the meantime, tensions arise between Russia, France, Finland, and Syria. The movie is entirely in the French language, and American Netflix users may either watch the version dubbed into English or turn on subtitles. The Wolf’s Call is the 14th in the list of 35 best war movies on Netflix. The movie is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States.

Apart from Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), the movie may be found on Amazon Prime Video (NASDAQ: AMZN), Youtube, HBO Now, and AppleTV+ (NASDAQ: AAPL), subject to its availability on the platforms.

13. The Thin Red Line (1998)

The American war movie is adapted from the book The Thin Red Line that was written by James Jones in 1962. The movie recounts an inaccurate version of the Battle of Mount Austen in the second World War. The movie follows the soldiers of the C company in the United States Army and stars actors such as Sean Penn, Jim Caviezel, and George Clooney. Although the movie is fictionalized, it received much appreciation and won many awards for specifics such as direction, cinematography, and screenplay. The Thin Red Line is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in Finland.

12. The Command (2018)

The movie was released as The Command for US audiences and as Kursk: The Last Mission for audiences in the United Kingdom. The movie is based on the true story of the Kursk submarine accident in the year 2000. The movie also follows the screenplay of the book named A Time to Die written by Robert Moore. The Command follows the nuclear-powered Project 949A Antey (Oscar II class) submarine Kursk during the Russian Navel exercise in which all 118 personnel were killed. The Command is available to be streamed on Netflix in the United States.

11. Fury (2014)

Fury portrays US soldiers in battle stationed in Nazi Germany during the Second World War. The movie specifically depicts the final few weeks of the war. The movie is at number 11 out of the 35 best war movies on Netflix. The movie’s director David Ayer made the movie after he was touched by the war stories of several veterans who served in World War II. The movie received much appreciation and was a commercial success. Fury is available to be streamed on Netflix in Canada.

10. Siege of Jadotville (2016)

The movie was based on the book The Siege at Jadotville: The Irish Army’s Forgotten Battle written by Declan Power in 2005. Both the book and the movie follow the activities of a unit in the Irish Army working for the United Nations specifically as a peacekeeping role. The movie is set in Congo in the year 1961. Although the movie received some unfavorable reviews, it conducted fair business and even won awards. We list Siege of Jadotville (2016) as the 10th in the list of 35 best war movies on Netflix. Siege of Jadotville is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States.

Apart from Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), the movie may be found on Amazon Prime Video (NASDAQ: AMZN), Youtube, HBO Now, and AppleTV+ (NASDAQ: AAPL), subject to its availability on the platforms.

9. Black Hawk Down (2001)

The movie was based on the book named “Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War” written by Mark Bowden that was published in 1999. The movie shows the story of a hundred rangers of the US army who conducted a raid in the Mogadishu Sultanate. The movie’s name is based on the name of the Black Hawk helicopter that was shot down during the U.S. military’s 1993 raid in Mogadishu. Black Hawk Down is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States.

8. Jarhead: Law of Return (2019)

The movie follows decorated Major Ronan Jackson and fighter pilot in the Israel Defense Forces who is also the son of a United States senator. The major is shown flying through Syrian airspace when he is shot down. Although the pilot survives, he is taken as a prisoner by a group and requires urgent assistance. Jarhead: Law of Return is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States. Apart from Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), the movie may be found on Amazon Prime Video (NASDAQ: AMZN), Youtube (NASDAQ: GOOG), HBO Now (NYSE: T) (NASDAQ: DISCA), and AppleTV+ (NASDAQ: AAPL), subject to its availability on the platforms.

7. Kajaki: The True Story (2014)

The movie is named after the Kajaki Dam in the Helmand province of Afghanistan. It was released in America under the name Kilo Two Bravo. This British movie follows a platoon of British soldiers during the Kajaki Dam incident in 2006. The incident involved British soldiers in conflict with the Afghan Taliban. Moreover, the British soldiers happened to accidentally detonate several live mines left by Soviet forces in the area, hence losing their limbs and their lives. The movie captures the horrors of human warfare and was hence highly applauded for being realistic. Kajaki: The True Story is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in Canada.

6. Sand Castle (2017)

The movie revolves around Matt Ocre, a young soldier, who was a veteran in the Iraq War in 2003. He is given the mission to restore the water supply in an Iraqi village. Ocre is shown to be faced with multiple challenges such as the enmity of the locals and various attacks from insurgents. The movie contains an accurate description of incidents during and following the Iraq War. Sand Castle is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States.

Apart from Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), the movie may be found on Amazon Prime Video (NASDAQ: AMZN), Youtube, HBO Now, and AppleTV+ (NASDAQ: AAPL), subject to its availability on the platforms.

Click to continue reading and see the 5 Best War Movies on Netflix.

5. Glory (1989)

This historical war movie stands 5th on our list of 35 best war movies on Netflix. The movie follows the first African American regiment ever in the United States Army during the Civil War. The movie shows their entire experiences from their enlistment to the formation of the regiment over the years until the regiment participates in the Second Assault on Morris Island in the year 1863. The screenplay was inspired by two different books, namely One Gallant Rush written by Peter Burchard and Lay This Laurel authored by Lincoln Kirstein. The movie was well-received; it won three Academy Awards besides earning huge profits at the box office.

Glory is available to be streamed and downloaded on Netflix in Germany, Austria, Finland, and Denmark.

4. Ghosts of War (2020)

Ghosts of War brings together the war stories from the Second World War and adds to them a twist by bringing in horror from the supernatural world. The movie follows 5 American soldiers that are responsible for safeguarding a castle owned previously by one of the Nazi commanders. Supernatural incidents begin occurring in the castle, making it more frightening than the battlefield during the war. Ghosts of War is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States.

3. First They Killed My Father (2017)

The movie is set during the time period of the Vietnam War in the year 1975. Much of the fighting had made its way into Cambodia as Vietnamese forces seek refuge in the neighboring country. This resulted in the United States bombing Cambodia as well. As Communist forces drew near, local families left the city as refugees. One such family was taken prisoner and was taken to a camp where they were forced to work under inhumane conditions. A seven-year-old girl, Loung Ung, is separated from her family and is forced to train as a child soldier. The movie follows her journey further and shows the cruelty of war on the people of neighboring countries and innocent children. First They Killed My Father is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States.

2. Schindler’s List (1993)

The historical war drama movie was based on the fiction novel named Schindler’s Ark written by Thomas Keneally in 1982. The movie and the book follow a German industrialist named Oskar Schindler who makes it his life’s goal to save Polish-Jewish refugees from the ongoing Holocaust. In doing so, Schindler employs refugees in his factories during the course of the Second World War. The movie was a commercial success and was well-acclaimed. It won seven Academy Awards and numerous other ones. Although the movie is based on a fictional novel, it was deemed culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant and is preserved in the US National Film Registry. Even today, Schindler’s List is considered to be one of the greatest films ever made.

1. The Imitation Game (2014)

The Imitation Game is a historical movie based in the year 1950. The movie is based on the biography named Alan Turing: The Enigma written by Andrew Hodges in 1983. The Imitation Game shows the team hired by the British government to decrypt German intelligence messages during the Second World War. The movie stars famous actors such as Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley for its main roles. Although critics argued about some inaccuracy in the events it portrayed, the movie did exceptionally well at the box office and received admiration as well as awards for its brilliance. The movie is available on Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) in Canada.

Continue on to Yahoo Finance to read more.

Is a Lack of Soft Skills Keeping You from Opportunity?

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Black man and white man smiling and shaking hands while standing with colleagues

You may have heard that employers are interested in hiring people with good “soft skills.” But what exactly are good soft skills?

Soft skills are sometimes called people skills, or work-readiness skills. They are your personality, attitudes and manners. They can also include how you present yourself. So, the way you talk, the way you listen, the way you make eye contact and even the way you dress are part of your soft skills.

Employers look for soft skills to decide how someone may do at a job. This is important to employers when they hire. Soft skills are often the reason employers decide whether to keep or promote workers.

In fact, one of the best ways to demonstrate your soft skills occurs before you even have the job. During the interview process, employers are not only looking for your technical and educational background, but at the way you communicate. Conversation engagement, active listening and the ability to answer questions carefully and quickly are all traits that carryover no matter what line of work you are applying for.

Typical Soft Skills

Some soft skills can be taught in school. But most you learn in everyday life and can improve at any time. Here are some examples:

  • The ability to adapt to new situations or changes in plans swiftly and with ease
  • Friendliness and respectfulness, regardless of the situation
  • Follows instructions and asks questions, in order to get the job done correctly
  • The ability to work with varying personalities to accomplish a task
  • Responsibility, even when you make mistakes
  • Quick learning
  • Team Work
  • Accepting to criticism
  • Patience
  • Self-Motivation
  • Punctuality
  • Determination
  • Calmness
  • Practicing Your Soft Skills

As mentioned previously, soft skills are often learned from the daily interactions we have with others, whether it’s in a work setting or not. You might have these skills and not even realize they can help an employer or you might struggle with them. If so, it’s always a good idea to practice soft skills.

Here are some ways you can practice your soft skills today:

  • Role play with a friend or family member. Pretending you are in a certain situation with an employer or a customer can help prepare you for the proper response when the time comes.
  • Practice eye contact and active listening. Whether you are buying lunch, going to the grocery store or catching up with your neighbor, there are many opportunities to engage with other people every day. Concentrate on staying engaged in these short conversations as practice; it will make these skills stronger for the workforce.
  • Ask for feedback on your soft skills. Talking to trusted individuals such as family, friends or a counselor to give your insight to your communication can help you to gauge what you need to work on and what you excel at.

No matter where your career journey takes you or what obstacles you will encounter on the way, strengthening your soft skills will always increase your chances of landing your dream job.

Source: CareerOneStop

Adam Driver Talks About Time, The Marines And Making Movies With Lady Gaga And Matt Damon

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Adam Driver closeup at awards ceremony on the red carpet

Currently on location with Lady Gaga in Italy while they film the movie House of Gucci, actor Adam Driver certainly looks the part of the Italian who once headed the great fashion house.

Directed by Ridley Scott, the film is all about Lady Gaga’s character Patrizia Reggiani, who was sentenced to 29 years in prison after planning the assassination of her ex-husband, who was killed in 1995. The pair have been captured by the paparazzi during the photo shoot. On his wrist in his off time, Adam Driver can be seen wearing the new Breitling Top Time Deus Limited Edition watch. He is, after all, a Breitling brand ambassador and part of the brand’s Cinema Squad. (Interestingly enough, Lady Gaga is a brand ambassador for Tudor and the two watch brands have worked together in the past.)

This year Driver, once a United States marine, also stars in the historical drama The Last Duel, a movie slated to be out in fall that takes place in medieval France. Driver plays opposite Matt Damon and the two characters who are best friends are ordered to fight to the death after Driver’s character accuses Damon’s character of raping his wife.

“Being in The Last Duel is really different. I’ve never been in that world before in a movie and I like the diversity. It nice not having an expectation of what I should and shouldn’t do. I like being surprised,” said Driver recently in a private interview. He also shared his take on time and watches.

When Breitling invited him to be part of the brand’s Cinema Squad, Driver said he liked the idea of the different types of squads the brand is forming and he liked the fact that there were others on the squad and it was a team effort. He also likes the Breitling watches, so the affiliation made sense. “Everything I do takes a team. Like the movies, someone has to work it, light it, run the cameras. It’s a whole group effort and I like that Breitling recognizes that with its squads,” said Driver.

According to Driver he had tried to become an actor 20 years ago, but failed and so opted to join the marines instead. “It was right after 911 and I feel like most people my age at that time wanted to do something and get involved. It was a little of that coupled with me being sort of directionless. I had gone out to California to be an actor but I totally crashed and burned because I ran out of money almost as soon as I got there. So I went back to Indiana to get a job and I was aimless, so I joined the Marines.”

So how did the regimented marine later transition to attending the Juilliard School and finally become an accomplished actor?

“Initially it was very rough going,” says Driver. “It was hard even trying to tell the people I was in the military with what I was doing all day. Wearing sweatpants, doing acting exercises like trilling my tongue and learning iambic pentameter. On the surface it seemed just very polar opposite, but then I started to make the connection that the process is the thing you have to follow. It’s similar to the squad idea; it’s having a role within a unit and you have to know your role very well and the success of the story overall, or what the mission is overall, is based on the collective effort, not just knowing your role well. There are so many people there to support you. Obviously, the end result is dramatically different with these things, but the process in which you work on it is almost exactly the same.”

Driver, who also does live performances and plays, has found a way to blend both of his world experiences. He formed a nonprofit called Arts in the Armed Forces, which started out with him reading plays to military forces, but that has grown exponentially.

“I had come from the military where I saw a lot of people in my unit who couldn’t articulate a feeling, and that led to violence. The military prides itself on being official communicators but when there is no space to articulate something that just happened, people need an outlet. I kept reaching out to military divisions and kept getting the same response, ‘people in the military don’t want to see plays.’” According to Driver, he began by reading plays as a monologue in order to give people something abstract that they could identify with. It has become so successful that now they actually read plays with other actors, as well.

Continue on to Forbes to read the complete article.

5 Things I Wish Service Members Knew Ahead of Their Civilian Transition

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young african american man wearing a flag draped across his shoulders standing outside with lake in background looking pensive

By Lawren Bradberry

I remember how confident and prepared I felt when I transitioned from active-duty service. But as soon as I put away my uniform, it hit me: I needed help navigating the difficult and oft-talked about transition to civilian life.

Connecting with other Veterans and Veteran service organizations helped me navigate life after military service. So much so, in fact, it motivated me to focus my career on transitioning service members and Veterans.

Unfortunately, many Veterans I wound up working with struggled to adjust to civilian life more than they expected. 

Many struggled to find their way, unaware of the many resources available to help them find their way after military service.

Each day, more than 500 service members will start their transition. To them and the thousands more who will eventually make the very same transition, I offer five pieces of proactive advice from my own personal experience:

  1. Make the most of your education benefits and career training opportunities. 

Veterans can use their education benefits to pay for training programs, so you should be sure to look into ways to maximize what you’re getting out of benefits. Keep in mind, however, that not all programs are covered in the same way, and not every program includes the same type of training or extra resources to aid you throughout your process. Since 2009, 773,000 Veterans and their family members have utilized these funds for programs ranging from technology to entrepreneurship to foreign affairs and so many more, so do your homework and research your options before making a decision.

  1. Remember that every transition story is different.

While there are certainly some commonalities, no Veteran goes through their transition in the same way – each person has their own strengths and faces their own unique challenges. There is no right way to execute your transition and there’s no need to rush, so take all the time you need to adjust and find your new routine. One thing that took me a while, as silly as it might seem to some, was figuring out what to wear! I wore a uniform every single day for years, so I never even stopped to consider the endless options of what I could wear to work as a civilian, and what message that might communicate.

  1. Take pride in what you bring to the table.

By the time you reach the end of your commitment, you may have led teams into life-or-death situations, made high-level decisions, or managed millions of dollars in equipment. Even though you may be starting your career later than your civilian peers, your experiences are unmatched in comparison. Learn to tell your story with confidence in a way that demonstrates the skills and experiences you gained in the military, and how they translate to future opportunities.

  1. Keep your personal values in mind.

Just like the different branches of the military, every organization has its own unique culture. As you search for employment, take the time to learn about the mission and values of the organizations you’re interested in. Veterans often return home with a very specific set of core values and ideals, and it’s hard enough to make the transition to a different industry with its own cultural norms, so make sure your future workplace stands for values and ethics that align with your own.

  1. Connect with your community and peers.

If you need help, ask! The process can be long, confusing and intimidating, but it’s important to know that there are people and organizations out there who want to help and have dedicated their own post-service careers to doing so. Just be careful to keep in mind what I mentioned earlier and to not measure yourself against others – everyone’s experience is different.

By doing each of these five things, I am confident that as service members work to close one door – at their own pace, of course – they will simultaneously open another full of security, opportunity and continued success.

Lawren Bradberry, MBA is a retired Army NCO and the Senior Manager of Military Programs at Galvanize, the nation’s leading provider of software engineering and data science training. More than 700 active-duty military and Veterans have used Galvanize training to get post-military tech jobs. For more information, visit Galvanize.com.

If Your Elevator Pitch Doesn’t Pack a Punch, You’re Doing it Wrong

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five job interviewees seated in chairs wating for job interview

By Amanda Huffman

No matter if you are an entrepreneur, looking for a job, or networking with others in your sphere of influence, you need to have a go-to elevator pitch that you can modify easily based on who you are talking to or what you hope to gain from the conversation.

The truth is, your moment to make a first impression needs to be short and sweet but have an impact. Your elevator pitch should be an open door to a conversation, not your one shot to get all the information out.

4 KEY PARTS OF A GREAT ELEVATOR PITCH

We will talk about the four things your intro needs to get the information to your audience in four to five short sentences. The best part is these tools are easy to customize based on where you are and who you are talking to. The problem with so many elevator pitches is they are not customizable. They are a one size fits all. It’s better to create a system that you can easily customize and change as you meet different people.

  1. What’s in a name?

It begins with the most important thing people need to know, your name.

You might want to blow right past your name. I mean you only have one name, right? But actually, you might have multiple names, and depending on where you are and who you are talking to will help you determine how to introduce yourself. If you are in a professional setting, you always want to use your full name and not a nickname. Depending on if you are meeting with others in your field and if you have specialized qualifications, you may want to add that too (ie Dr, military rank, etc.).

Deciding on how to introduce yourself is very important. It is the first impression of your intro, so pay attention to the clues around you. And when in doubt, just use your formal first and last name.

  1. Credentials

Depending on who you are talking to will help you determine what credentials you will list. But remember, you can only list up to three, and one may be all you need. For example, if you are meeting with a future employer, you will want to include the three qualifications that you have that make you the right candidate for the job. If you are networking at an event, you will want to use three qualifications relevant to the event you are attending.

The three things you mention are always based on the person or group of people you are talking to. They give you the credibility to talk about whatever you are going to talk about. And if you add in credentials that are not relevant to the topic of conversation, it may confuse the person you are talking to and be less likely to lead to a conversation.

  1. Your if…then statement

It is more an I help…to. But sometimes thinking about who or what you help isn’t easy. So instead, let’s think about it as if I do this then this will happen. You want the people to know who you are helping and what service you can provide to that group. Maybe it is a future employer and you are able to describe how you can help the company by using your technical skills from your experience. Or maybe you are an entrepreneur and your product or service has a direct impact on those in your target market. This statement is customizable based on where you are introducing yourself and the topic of conversation.

  1. Mic drop moment at the end.

This is the point where in the first minute of meeting someone or introducing yourself at an event that you want people to be blown away and ready to hear more or at a minimum to ask more about you. Don’t overthink it.

SAME PERSON BUT 3 ELEVATOR PITCHES

These four tools can help you as you move forward in the next step of your career. It is an easy way to have an elevator pitch that is customizable to your audience instead of focusing on you. It is focused on who you are talking to – because isn’t that who you are trying to impress anyways? Let’s walk through three examples.

  1. When I’m introduced to someone looking for a new career, with a technical degree…

Hi, I’m Amanda Huffman. I am an engineer turned freelance writer and podcaster. I help people realize that they can dream bigger in their future career than they ever thought possible. Because I did with my own life. I walked away from a career in engineering and the military to follow my passion, and I want others to feel fulfillment the way I do.

  1. When talking about my business to female veterans…

Hi, I’m Amanda Huffman. I am an Air Force combat veteran and the creator of the Women of the Military Podcast. I help empower veterans to share their stories, and I want veterans to know that their story matters.

  1. When I’m looking for a career in engineering…

Hi, I’m Amanda Huffman. I am a licensed Civil Engineer with experience in project management. I worked as a Civil Engineer in the Air Force on a number of different construction projects in both the US and overseas. My time in the military taught me to be innovative and work to get the job done. I would love to showcase how my skills can help XYZ business.

Amanda is a military spouse and veteran who served in the Air Force for six years as a Civil Engineer including a deployment to Afghanistan. She traded in her combat boots for a diaper bag to stay home with her two boys and follow her husband’s military career. She published her first book in 2019 titled Women of the Military, sharing the stories of 28 military women. In 2019 she also launched her podcast also titled Women of the Military. In 2020, she was published as a collaborative author in Brave Women Strong Faith. And in 2021, she launched a YouTube channel to help young women answer their questions about military life, Girl’s Guide to the Military. You can learn more about Amanda at her blog Airman to Mom.

Source: Clearance Jobs

Tech Skills To Keep Your Resume Relevant

LinkedIn
Business man pointing finger towards computer screen with a flash of light surrounding screen and his hands on the keyboard

We know companies want to hire the most qualified candidate, but we often don’t take action to give ourselves the skills to make our resume stand out. Companies are incorporating more technology to streamline services and help workers accomplish more. To keep your resume relevant, you need to keep adding skills to your resume and demonstrate your understanding of computer programs.

The Internet is our number one source of information and has been for some time. We often forget how much we rely on the Internet, but it’s woven into the fabric of our lives. We check Google Maps for the fastest route to places we have been a hundred times and use digital coupons at the grocery store. Tech in the workplace is just as prevalent. Nearly every job requires proficiency in Google Workplace to be considered for a role, and that’s not before data analyst programs, customer management tools, or learning management systems.

Adding tech skills to your resume is the quickest way to upskill and gain favor with hiring managers.

Web Design: Because Every Company Has a Website

The information you depend on comes from the Internet. Internal sites at work and your child’s soccer team all have websites with relevant data that you need to make decisions. Some of these websites aren’t the most polished and could use some improvement. Learning web design isn’t always about making beautiful websites; its core function is to make them usable.

While WordPress and GoogleSite seem easy enough, you can really enhance your ability to make the website stand out if you have a solid grasp of web design. Without the proper knowledge, creating a site can take hours of frustrating work.

Data Analysis Is a Universal Skill

Another tech skill that spans across professions and hobbies is the ability to analyze data. Data analysis can help you impress your bosses at work and help your home brewed beer yield better results. Computer systems are constantly collecting data points, but the data isn’t useful in its original form; it has to be organized first.

Learning basic data science can help you earn more clients, improve efficiency, and determine customer trends. Nearly every company is looking for a data guru to improve data collection and analysis. Ironhack has a great data science program that can teach you all the skills you need to add data science to your resume.

Cybersecurity Will Always Be in Demand

Maintaining security online has never been more important. With the amount of data that companies have about their users, it’s vital that companies keep that information away from prying eyes. Since cybercriminals will always keep trying to hack websites, cybersecurity engineers won’t have to worry about job security.

Cybersecurity engineers do a variety of jobs to ensure there aren’t any weak points in a company’s computer systems. Ethical hackers try to break into the system to find any vulnerabilities. If they find any, engineers will fix the issues. This process will happen a lot as companies are frequently updating apps, sites, and algorithms. Cybersecurity engineers will have plenty of work keeping up with the new editions.

Working as a cybersecurity engineer doesn’t mean you are siloed into working exclusively for tech companies. The video games, banking, and business sectors need cybersecurity experts to help companies keep their clients safe. Cybersecurity can be a great way to gain access to an industry you have always wanted to work for but haven’t found an entry point.

Make the Time to Learn a Tech Skill

You don’t have to attend a coding bootcamp or return to school for another degree to learn tech skills. There are thousands of free ways to learn in-demand tech skills that will boost your resume and help you go further in the application process.

The excuse “I don’t have enough time” seems reasonable, but it’s inhibiting our self-improvement. The number of hours in a day doesn’t change, so in order to learn new tech skills, you need to make the time. It doesn’t have to be every day or two hour-long sessions. You merely need to schedule the time to learn the skill.

The world is only getting more technological, and every job is increasingly becoming a tech role. Even professions you wouldn’t associate with tech roles are starting to include more and more tech responsibilities. Teachers, administrators, and writers are beginning to incorporate coding, web design, and data analysis into their everyday work.

Moving? Make Sure Your Personal Property is Insured

LinkedIn
Close up of male hand packing property in cardboard box with spouse in the background

Military life is not without its moves, and you want to be sure your personal property is correctly insured. Standard homeowners and renter’s insurance policies provide coverage for a policyholder’s personal property while their belongings are at their residence, in transit or housed at a storage facility, according to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I).

At the same time, standard homeowners and renter’s insurance policies will not pay for damage done to a policyholder’s personal property (e.g., furniture, beds and kitchen appliances) while the property is being handled by movers.

Before moving, the Triple-I advises homeowners and renters to ask themselves three questions:

Do My Current Insurance Policies Cover the Move?
Contact your insurance professional to make sure your current insurance policies offer the financial protection needed for your move and understand your other options.

What Types of Additional Insurance Coverages Are Available for A Move?
Trip transit insurance covers your personal property for perils including theft, disappearance or fire while the property is either in transit or storage. This type of insurance covers neither property breakage nor flood-caused damage. Special perils contents coverage will cover breakage for all but the most fragile items. A floater will fully protect valuables such as jewelry, collectibles and fine art. Moreover, if your personal property is going to be kept at a self-storage facility, you may want to explore purchasing separate storage coverage.

What Coverages Are Available Through Moving Companies?
Full value protection is a warranty plan under which your mover is liable for the replacement value of the personal property being moved. If any personal property is lost, destroyed or damaged while in the mover’s custody, the mover under the terms of the warranty will either repair or replace the item, or make a cash settlement for the cost of the repairs at the personal property’s current market value. Released value protection provides minimal coverage if your mover either loses or damages your personal property but separate liability coverage may be offered by your mover to supplement released value protection. Movers should provide to the owner written documentation of whatever coverage is purchased through them.

Source: III: Insurance Information Institute

THE TOMORROW WAR starring Chris Pratt – Coming July 2, 2021!

LinkedIn
The Tomorrow War movie poster with Chris Pratt featured holding futuristic weapon

In The Tomorrow War, the world is stunned when a group of time travelers arrive from the year 2051 to deliver an urgent message: Thirty years in the future mankind is losing a global war against a deadly alien species. The only hope for survival is for soldiers and civilians from the present to be transported to the future and join the fight.

Among those recruited is high school teacher and family man Dan Forester (Chris Pratt).

Determined to save the world for his young daughter, Dan teams up with a brilliant scientist (Yvonne Strahovski) and his estranged father (J.K. Simmons) in a desperate quest to rewrite the fate of the planet.

Starring Chris Pratt, Yvonne Strahovski, J.K. Simmons, Betty Gilpin, Sam Richardson, Edwin Hodge, Jasmine Mathews, Ryan Kiera Armstrong, Keith Powers.

 

Amazon Studios will exclusively release THE TOMORROW WAR globally on Prime Video July 2nd, 2021.

Directed by Chris McKay
Written by Zach Dean
Produced by David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Don Granger, Jules Daly, David Goyer, Adam Kolbrenner
Executive Produced by Rob Cowan, Chris Pratt, Brian Oliver, Bradley J. Fischer.

It’s All About Service: 4 Tips for Finding the Right Entrepreneurial Fit

LinkedIn
man in army service attire standing in front of U.S. flag

By Matt Noe

A commonality among veterans is the entrepreneurial spirit that is cultivated through the discipline and skillset that comes with being in the military. These skills include determination, relationship-building, being process-oriented and having a passion for service, which can be easily be transferred into establishing and running a business.

When deciding what to do next after making the ultimate decision of returning home and departing from my active role in the military, I knew I had to be selective and had a laundry list of considerations to keep in mind. I relied heavily on my experience and skills to help find the best fit. Through a lot of my research, it became clear that franchising was the right route for me, and ultimately stumbled upon a drug testing franchise, Fastest Labs, which checked every box I was personally looking to fulfill in this venture.

While the transition back into a more traditional career after being in the military for over 4 years can be an adjustment, I want to share a handful of tips for recent veterans who are vetting opportunities and looking to take that next step, all of which served as a guiding light through this new, riveting venture.

Ask how you can give back to your community
When looking for the perfect business, there are a lot of options to consider, especially in franchising. Ranging from gyms, security companies, manufacturing businesses to restaurant concepts — the options can often be overwhelming at first. When in the first phases of narrowing down your options, I always kept my experiences in the military and deep-rooted appreciation for serving others. This was an aspect of my history with the military, I knew I had to carry into my new business — whatever it may be. Finding what motivates you can help in finding a business that provides a valuable, unique service to the community. One thing that drew me to Fastest Labs was how much it felt like a family. That support system and how well the business is run was a huge driving factor in why I decided to open a Fastest Labs in 2020. Local businesses play an integral role in one’s community, and asking how you can help support it is critical. It is important to look for values in not only the offerings of the concept, but the overall business model, reflect your own. These values play a major role in how you will be supported, which trickles down to the impact you will have on your community.

Search for an industry you have a baseline understanding of
Tapping into your past experience can assist you when considering your next industry for work. There is definitely room to grow and learn, but jumping head first into business ownership can be eased if you understand — or have some level of personal experience — with the industry, even if it’s from the consumer perspective. Coming from a military background, routine and surprise drug tests were part of the equation. When opening up a Fastest Labs, there was a comfort in having knowledge of how the business worked as well as a motivation to learn as much about the industry as possible. Look for an industry that you find interesting and build off of that in your search.

Focus on the skills required not the tasks you’ll complete
When starting a business, the lists of tasks can be intimidating. There were various classes and certifications that were needed before opening up Fastest Labs of Columbus, Ga. not to mention learning and instilling the best practices behind running a successful company. I knew that my military training and experiences — such as delegation, multitasking and problem-solving — would provide an impactful foundation for running and growing a successful business. When you’re looking for a next step in your career, try to not get hung up on the technical tasks required, rather, focus on the skills needed to be successful, and you’ll see the boxes being checked off naturally.

Have the hard discussions early
Money can be a sensitive topic, and it can be hard to factor it into the conversation when your heart is already sold on an idea, which is why your realistic budget should be top-of-mind from the very beginning. It is also important to do your research, because costs can differ depending on what franchises you are considering — think about every aspect of the business and what will be required for you to invest. Knowing that entrepreneurship was on the table, my fiancé and I began to save while I was still overseas, which allowed us to open our business in record time (six weeks) and hit the ground running, even amid the pandemic. Taking financials into consideration is key, and making a plan on how to spend and save early will surely be a pillar in your success story.

About the Author
Matt Noe is the Owner and Operator of Fastest Labs of Columbus, Ga. Noe started his career in the military and served multiple tours overseas with the 3rd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, as well as the 10th Mountain Division. After the military, Noe served as a government contractor. Noe greatly enjoyed serving his country but had dreams to pursue entrepreneurship. While oversees, Noe searched for the perfect franchisee opportunity for him and was drawn to the family-like atmosphere that he found in Fastest Labs. Noe opened the Columbus, Ga. location in 2020 and manages and operates the business with his fiancé, Rebecca.

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  1. Women Veterans Alliance 2021 UnConference
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    October 15, 2021 @ 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
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