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Orientation: Start of the 85 Day Reintegration

Thursday, April 30, 2020 12:02 | chad pearce

In the military we are taught a term called BLUF, it means BOTTOM LINE UP FRONT.  Here is my BLUF: The DoD SkillBridge Program has provided me the opportunity to intern with the ARRC.  My efforts in this blog are focused on expanding my network, reintegrating into society post military service and to provide value to the ARRC and my community. 

The DoD SkillBridge Program permits veterans to use up to the last 180 days of Service to work and learn with an industry partner. The intent of this program is to enhance marketability and post-separation career prospects.  I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in this program as it is still somewhat of an under utilized program throughout the DoD.  I hope that my experiences will help other veterans along their journey. 

The ARRC works with communities and businesses to serve Veterans, Active Duty members and spouses through outreach and education programs. It is a benevolent organization. 

I chose this organization to intern with because their mission, vision and guiding principals resonated with me.  Al, the founder of  ARRC and my mentor, created the 14 Levels of Reintegration Learner Program which is a critical part of the internship. During the next 82 days, I will document my reintegration from active service member and soon to be retiree to civilian through the Learner Program. 

During the orientation for the program we covered strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis,  the physical, emotional, and intellect attributes of our being, the analogy of the tile and the carpet, open market process to existing market space and the science of the hunch.  Also covered were the importance of 

  • Remembering why you served

  • Adjust as you forge ahead

  • Pace your approach

  • Be aware of those that won't (believe)

  • Finding fellow Veterans 

  • Creating your network

  • Sharing your knowledge

  • Stay focused

  • Stay connected

I'd be lying to you if I said it all made perfect sense at the moment.  However, I believe that this is all part of the reintegration process and my own personal evolution.  

Have you ever heard the expression, “Like drinking out of a fire hose”?  An internet search of this phrase defines it as  “ To take on or be inundated by more of something than one is capable of handling”.   The orientation for the learner program definitely invoked that feeling.  However, I have faith that the skills I have learned throughout my 20yr career in the Air Force has provided me with the foundation of handling pretty much anything I set out to achieve! Further, the new skills I am learning through my internship are adding to my strength each day!

Thank you for taking the time to read my Blog I invite you to follow along with me on my journey and ask that you share my blog with others as you see fit. 

“We shall not fail or falter; we shall not weaken or tire… give us the tools and we will finish the job.     - Sir Winston Churchill



  • Thursday, April 30, 2020 15:07 | Daniel Renteria (Administrator)
    Welcome aboard Chad, looking forward to having you on the team!
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    • Thursday, April 30, 2020 15:50 | chad pearce
      Thank you Daniel! Looking forward to meeting you.
      Link  •  Reply
    • Thursday, April 30, 2020 20:11 | Samantha Scully
      Hi Chad, it's great that you were able to participate in a structured program and enter the civilian world even more skilled. As I left the Navy, I focused on using the technical skills I gained; and I became a management consultant hiring my self out to small businesses. Navigating various industries and working with international teams has been remarkable. Now, as a veteran business owner, I am exploring other opportunities to grow a sustainable business. Thank you for sharing; I look forward-looking to sharing this program with other veterans.
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      • Thursday, April 30, 2020 23:25 | Albert Renteria (Administrator)
        Sam, together we will make a difference! Glad to see you engaged! Semper Fi Al
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      • Friday, May 01, 2020 07:30 | chad pearce
        Hi Sam! Thanks for your support of my blog. Your experience has been inspirational and I admire the work you continue to put in as a VSOB. Looking forward to our continued work together in the future.
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  • Thursday, April 30, 2020 16:13 | Christian Pearce
    Proud of you Dad! I’m looking forward to following in your footsteps when I join the Air Force.
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    • Thursday, April 30, 2020 16:25 | Albert Renteria (Administrator)
      Christian, we are very proud of you! Thank you for your interest in serving our great Nation. Semper Fi Al
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    • Thursday, April 30, 2020 16:59 | chad pearce
      Thanks Son! Best decision of my life, I'm sure you will look back one day and feel the same way.
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  • Friday, May 01, 2020 07:06 | Chris Kern-Garcia
    Chad – So glad you’ve started your internship. I love the blog!

    You are correct. The SkillBridge Program is extremely underutilized. I’m hoping with Service members like you giving it a shot and sharing your successes we will have more Service members that are interested in the SkillBridge Program experience. This is a great way for Service members to transition. Keep the post coming.

    Link  •  Reply
    • Friday, May 01, 2020 07:27 | chad pearce
      Thanks Chris! You helped play a pivotal role in this journey and for that I am eternally grateful! I will keep the post coming and together we will spread the SkillBridge Program to help other service members.
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    • Friday, May 01, 2020 07:55 | Albert Renteria (Administrator)
      Chris, as you witness how The ARRC will intern Chad, what is now underutilized can easily ramp up!

      I encourage you to guide those meeting you to comment on the Chad's blog so they can get a sense of what is expected of our interns.

      The real challenge of an exiting service member of all branches of service, is not understanding how best to navigate the landscape and unfamiliar with the terrain. The Learner program is designed to be a compass and to harvest knowledge and it is up to the Learner to engage with great imagination. Semper Fi, Al

      P.S. Click the "REFUSE TO FAIL LANDSCAPE" to see what that presents.
      Link  •  Reply
  • Friday, May 01, 2020 11:25 | Matthew Flores
    Congratulations on your upcoming retirement Chad. The SkillBridge program sounds like an amazing opportunity as you transition out of the military.
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    • Friday, May 01, 2020 11:39 | chad pearce
      Thanks Matt! I'm here to help you navigate the program when the time comes!
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  • Friday, May 01, 2020 18:32 | Ernest Rock

    Every once in a while great things come into our lives, sometimes great people and then sometimes great opportunities, I am ever grateful for the opportunity to work with you and even more than that I am happy for you that this opportunity was made available to you by the Air Force and by the company allowing you to be their intern. I know you will make the most of this opportunity because of the drive for success I have seen in the short time I have known you. To be honest it does sound like drinking from a fire hose, but I also realize God and the military have prepared you for this moment and time so I will leave you with some great words of encouragement from Denzel Washington " Keep working, keep striving, never give up. If you fall seven times, get up eight. Without commitment you'll never start, but more importantly without consistency, you'll never finish. Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship. So keep moving, keep growing, keep learning and I'll see you at work!"

    Link  •  Reply
    • Saturday, May 02, 2020 14:05 | chad pearce
      Thank you for your continued support and encouragement. One of the best parts of serving our nation for me was connecting with brothers like you! See you at work Wingman!
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  • Monday, May 04, 2020 13:40 | Albert LaJeunesse
    Welcome aboard Chad. We are all looking forward to having you on the team. I'm continuing my service through this great organization while working overseas in Wiesbaden, Germany. As you know, our service never ends. Semper Fi
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    • Monday, May 04, 2020 14:50 | chad pearce
      Thank you Albert, I appreciate your support! Yes, our service never ends.
      Link  •  Reply
  • Monday, May 04, 2020 14:26 | Jaime Acevedo

    I like your take on this subject because it is one of the most under-utilized programs in the DOD. I was one of the fortunate few who used the DOD Skillbridge program, and as you are aware, it helped me to land my current job. The program was a nice way to help ease the transition because it allowed me to adapt to a civilian setting while I was preparing for terminal leave from the military and my next chapter. This is a good read, and I like your take on the program. Congrats and good luck in your journey to the next chapter in your life.
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    • Monday, May 04, 2020 14:49 | chad pearce
      Thanks Jaime! You helped lay the ground work a few years back and introduced me to the program. One of my goals for this blog is to spread the word so that other veterans will ask questions and take advantage of the program. As always, thanks for your guidance and friendship.
      Link  •  Reply
  • Tuesday, May 12, 2020 08:02 | JAMES COY
    Excellent list of important focus items.
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    • Tuesday, May 12, 2020 08:27 | chad pearce
      Thank you for taking the time to visit each of my posts. The orientation helped set the foundation for the Learner program and motivated me to use this as a growing experience.

      Link  •  Reply
  • Wednesday, May 13, 2020 12:15 | Laura Vogus
    You truly live Romans 12:18.
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  • Friday, May 15, 2020 15:00 | Jim Vogus
    Hmmm, sounds like you’re making a methodical, intentional approach to retirement, Chief! So different than the “going fishin’ “, haphazard tack (sorry, still some old USN terms sneaking in there!) that many retirees have. Then they’re dismayed at the stalled (USAF: stalls are BAD!) path their life takes. Good luck, good plan!
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    • Sunday, May 17, 2020 11:24 | chad pearce
      Thank Jim! One day I'll be "going fishin" but that day is no time soon! I know what you mean, sometimes our community has a challenging transition post service. I think SkillBridge helps that transition and other veterans also play a key role in reaching back to decrease the likelihood of a stall.

      Link  •  Reply
    • Sunday, May 17, 2020 11:25 | chad pearce
      Thanks Jim! One day I'll be "going fishin" but that day is no time soon! I know what you mean, sometimes our community has a challenging transition post service. I think SkillBridge helps that transition and other veterans also play a key role in reaching back to decrease the likelihood of a stall.

      Link  •  Reply
  • Saturday, May 16, 2020 07:15 | Valerie Ormond
    Hi Chad, Nice speaking to you briefly today and look forward to reconnecting with you on Monday. It sounds like you are on a well thought through journey which is a major step toward a successful transition. Continue to Aim High! ~Valerie Ormond, CAPT, USN (Ret.), former Board Member of Southwest Veterans' Business Resource Center and OPPS 4 VETS member
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    • Sunday, May 17, 2020 11:16 | chad pearce

      Thank you for showing your support on my Blog. I look forward to speaking with you and learning from you.

      Link  •  Reply
  • Sunday, May 17, 2020 09:25 | Damian Lovio
    Chad, sounds like a great program. Can’t say I heard of it. Wish I had when I retired. Looking forward to learning more bout it through your internship blogs. Congrats, on all your accomplishments!

    Link  •  Reply
    • Sunday, May 17, 2020 11:20 | chad pearce

      SkillBridge was just starting when you were retiring. It's a great program and part of my work throughout this internship is getting the word out to both businesses and folks in uniform who are eligible.

      Please do take a look at all my posts and feel free to comment.

      You have known me since I was an A1C circa 1999! Great to have you as part of my journey.

      Link  •  Reply
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