The United States Military
These military men and women have successfully led the United States Armed Forces during a very challenging and difficult time in our country’s military history. Being involved in numerous wars and conflicts for more than a decade, these individuals have shaped the debate surrounding the duty and the call to serve. With the Middle East continuing to be a volatile environment for our troops, and politicians continuously posturing on positions that take the fight to the enemy, we can only expect that our military will continue to see high ops tempos.
Shaye Lynne Haver & Kristen Marie Griest, Army Rangers
United States Army
Shaye Lynne Haver and Kristen Marie Griest are the first women to ever graduate from the US Army Ranger School, which occurred on 21 August 2015.
Ranger School is an intense 61-day combat leadership course oriented toward small-unit tactics. It has been called “the most physically and mentally demanding leadership school the Army has to offer.”
Haver graduated from the United States Military Academy in 2012 and Grist graduated in 2011. Lt. Haver is currently an Apache Attack Helicopter pilot and Capt. Griest is a military police officer. Haver and Griest were among a group of 20 women who qualified to attend the first gender- integrated Ranger School beginning in April.
General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., Chairman
Joint Chiefs of Staff
General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr. is the 19th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the nation’s highest-ranking military officer, and the principal military advisor to the President, Secretary of Defense, and National Security Council.
Prior to becoming Chairman on October 1, 2015, General Dunford served as the 36th Commandant of the Marine Corps. He previously served as the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps from 2010 to 2012 and was Commander, International Security Assistance Force and United States Forces-Afghanistan from February 2013 to August 2014.
A native of Boston, Massachusetts, General Dunford graduated from Saint Michael’s College and was commissioned in 1977.
You can follow the General on Twitter Here!
Lieutenant Commander Victor J. Glover, Jr.
United States Navy
Lieutenant Commander Glover, Jr. is a Naval Aviator, currently assigned to the NASA Astronaut program. Glover is an experienced combat pilot, accumulating 2,000 flight hours in more than 40 aircraft, over 400 carrier arrested landings and 24 combat missions.
In 2012, Glover was selected for the Legislative Fellowship program and assigned to the office of Senator John McCain.
Glover was selected in 2013 as one of eight members of the 21st NASA astronaut class. In 2015 he completed Astronaut Candidate Training including scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in International Space Station systems, Extravehicular Activity (EVA), robotics, physiological training, T-38 flight training, and water and wilderness survival training. Glover is now qualified for future assignment and working in the Exploration branch.
Colonel Merryl Tengesdal
United States Air Force
Colonel Merryl Tengesdal is the first and only African American woman to fly the U-2S reconnaissance aircraft. She has also flown in the T-38 and T-6, as well as Navy aircraft including the SH-60B Seahawk and the T-34C. She is currently on the Air Force Inspector General staff at the Pentagon.
She has been the subject of numerous articles for her aviation accomplishments and also for her efforts to inspire kids through speaking engagements and school visits. In 2013 she was honored with a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of New Haven at their 30th Anniversary Alumni ball.
There is a great video of her here!
The media plays an integral part of our political process. In 2014, the following individuals led the way on reporting on VA and the veteran experience. Through their stories, the media has held public and government officials accountable for their actions and promises. The media has also enlightened the public on veterans’ issues and increased their understanding of the sacrifices made by those that chose to serve.
Leo Shane, Reporter
Leo Shane is an award-winning Military and Veterans Affairs reporter whose work has drawn national recognition from policy leaders, media peers, and troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, all of who rely on his insight as an objective voice on issues affecting their lives.
He has worked in Washington, D.C. since 2004, covering Capitol Hill and the White House. His beats include legislation affecting military policy and veterans’ issues. His work also includes overseas coverage of military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Chile and Ecuador. He has become a prominent voice on veterans’ issues, chronicling troops’ transition back to civilian life and the challenges facing the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Follow Leo Shane on Twitter Here
Ward Carroll, Editor in Chief
We Are The Mighty
Ward brings a rich background in military, media and entertainment to We Are The Mighty (WATM), a premier media and lifestyle brand focusing on and representing America’s military and veteran community. His 20-year Navy career, that included tours in a variety of F-14 Tomcat squadrons and the U.S. Naval Academy (his alma mater), was followed by a nine-year stint as editor for Military.com.
His writing has appeared in numerous media outlets, and he’s also the author of five published works, including the groundbreaking Punk’s War trilogy. He has served as technical adviser for military-themed films, including Hunt for Red October and Flight of the Intruder. Ward is also an accomplished musician who has worked with the likes of Steve Morse and Cheap Trick.
Check out Ward’s work here!
Ben Kesling, Reporter
Wall Street Journal
As a veteran of the Marine Corps, and former infantry officer, Ben is no stranger to hostile situations. We can only guess how these skills may have aided his journey to the forefront of covering the Presidential campaign for the Wall Street Journal this election season. Ben is a true exemplar of the versatility of our nation’s veterans. He’s been a fighter, a writer, and winner of Jeopardy! HillVets knows he is just getting started, and we can’t wait to see what he does next.
Read Ben’s work here!
Patricia Kime, Reporter
Patricia Kime is a senior staff writer at Military Times and a leading national expert on military and veterans health care issues.
A military spouse who grew up in a family of servicemembers, she blends her personal experiences with her years of investigative work into military medical issues to provide unmatched insight into issues of mental health treatment, family care issues, and veterans medical policies.
Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Reporter
After being honorably discharged from the Marines as an Infantryman, Thomas made his way to Georgetown University. While at Georgetown, he continued to serve his fellow veterans on campus as President of his Student Veterans of America chapter before graduating in 2015. It’s no coincidence that veterans like Thomas are being noticed for their ability and potential in high profile media roles throughout the country.
Read Thomas’s work here!
Veterans Mean Business!
The veteran community has only grown stronger with the development and progress of veteran owned and operated businesses. These businesses are either founded by veterans, or founded with veterans in mind, and they offer insight into the leadership and entrepreneurial talent that exists within the veteran community. As these individual businesses continue to grow, it will mean more opportunities for veterans employment and their families as we know veterans hire veterans.
Colin Hartman, Co-Founder & CEO
Colin Hartman is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, where he served as a Company Executive Officer in the 2nd Marine Division Communications Company.
After serving and attending the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business, Colin and his wife Sarah co-founded Harper Macaw, a fine chocolate manufacturer based in Washington, D.C. founded on a big yet simple objective: to turn chocolate into a force for tropical reforestation.
As an integral part of the Harper Macaw concept, Colin and Sarah wanted to give back to the rainforests where their cacao trees were grown. The Hartmans take particular pride in their direct trade cocoa beans, sourced directly from specific farms in Brazil, and a portion of their proceeds go to reforestation in Brazil’s Amazon and Atlantic forests. Harper Macaw in fact pays twice the market rate for good beans to give incentives to farmers to stay in the chocolate business.
The Harper Macaw factory is located at 3160 Bladensburg Rd NE. Hours are Saturday from 12-6 p.m. Hour-long factory tours are $10 per person and include a tasting. Tours are every Saturday at 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m., and 5 p.m
Wayne Gatewood, Founder, President, and CEO
Quality Support, Inc.
Wayne Gatewood joined the Marine Corps in June 1966, in Rochester, New York at the age of 17. He served in the Republic of Vietnam during June 1968 through July 1969, with Sub-Unit One, 1st Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company (ANGLICO). Mr. Gatewood retired from active duty at the rank of Master Sergeant.
Mr. Gatewood established Quality Support, Inc., a technical, management, and administrative support services firm, which mirrors the work ethic and values consistent of the U.S. Marine Corps. Mr. Gatewood is an expert in the Service Disabled Veterans Small Business Program under Public Laws 106-50, 108-93, and other related Laws. More importantly, Mr. Gatewood is known as an all-around veterans veteran and tireless advocate to help veterans in many realms.
On a volunteer basis, Wayne disseminates a daily Veterans News e-mail, including to HillVets Net, to an international audience, provides motivational and entrepreneurial seminars and small business briefings to both government and commercial audiences, and provides servicemembers and Veterans with cost-free pre-retirement counseling, mentorship, and networking support.
Learn more about Quality Support Here
Theodore “Ted” Lerner, Managing Principal Owner
We think Ted is great! As a real estate developer, managing principal owner of the Washington Nationals baseball team, and founder of the real estate company Lerner Enterprises, the largest private landowner in the Washington, DC area, with a wide portfolio of commercial, retail, residential and hotel properties. In 2015, Forbes Magazine declared him the richest person in the State of Maryland. Ted Lerner served in the U.S. Army near the end of World War II, and attended the George Washington University on the G.I. Bill.
Buy your Nationals tickets here!
Frederick “Fred” Smith, Founder, Chairman, President & CEO
Graduating from Yale, Smith was commissioned in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving for three years (from 1966 to 1969) as a platoon leader and a forward air controller (FAC). As a Marine, Smith had the opportunity to observe the military’s logistics system first hand. He served two tours of duty in Vietnam, flying with pilots on over 200 combat missions. He was honorably discharged in 1969 with the rank of Captain, having received the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, and two Purple Hearts.
As a student at Yale, he wrote an economics paper about an overnight delivery service in the computer age. Refining his logistics knowledge and experience throughout his military service, he went on to found FEDEX (originally Federal Express) and continues to serve as Chairman and CEO.
Mat Tully, Founding Partner
Tully Rinckey PLLC
On Sept. 11, 2001, while employed in the legal department of Morgan Stanley, Tully Rinckey PLLC Founding Partner and decorated Army veteran Mat Tully escaped from the World Trade Center. After relocating to upstate New York he began providing legal services to his friends and former colleagues who were facing employment discrimination based upon military service.
Mat has become a pioneer of litigation law regarding the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), which protects the civilian employment rights of military personnel.
In 2005, Mat deployed to Iraq with the 42nd Infantry “Rainbow” Division based at Forward Operating Base Danger in Tikrit, Iraq. In 2012, he received the Purple Heart for injuries he sustained during a suicide bombing while serving in Afghanistan. His service there also afforded him the Bronze Star. Mat’s pursuit of disability litigation and veteran’s affairs came about as a result of his experiences during recovery from his combat-related injuries. Mat is the New York State commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH), which assists wounded veterans like him in receiving veterans’ disability benefits, as well as other benefits to which service members are entitled. He recently retired from active duty, having served as an Army combat officer for close to 20 years.
Learn more about Tully Rinckey here!