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What do I need to do to network with all existing resources?: Engage

Monday, May 25, 2020 11:24 | chad pearce

As I rise to the surface of my deep dive into the 14 Levels of Reintegration Blog, I discover that I am in somewhat uncharted territory.  107 others have started this blog but few have made it to the halfway point (post 7 of 14).  The difference though in my situation is that I am participating in this blog as part of my DoD SkillBridge internship with the ARRC.  So, I am still on Active Duty and fortunate enough to be going through a program that allows me to “decompress” some prior to rising to the surface that is my next journey post military service. 

I feel that the design of this blog program focuses on supporting and empowering a veteran as they navigate the myriad of possibilities in front of them post service. The Blogger is forced to both look in the mirror and look out the window as they navigate through the blog topics.  All the while, the blogger must engage their existing network and grow their network in the process. Seems easy enough, but 107 others would probably tell you that's not the case.  The Founder of this blog/ The 14 Levels of Reintegration, is a Marine.  An old school Marine. Easy does not compute, that's why part of my training for this program was to study the refuse to fail landscape.  If it's easy, everyone would be able to do it right? Well, nothing worth having comes easy.  So, let's continue to rise to the surface!

What do I need to do to network with all existing resources? 

Existing Resources: 

-Veteran Affairs (VA)

-American Legion             

-Mil Retiree Associations       

-Disabled American Veteran (DAV)     

-Small Business Administration (SBA)

-Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)

-Southwest Veterans Business Resource Center

-Numerous Veteran Entrepreneur Programs

- Local Church, Family and Friends, Fellow Veterans 

There are so many more resources than this, I know.  What do I need to do to network with my existing resources? Honestly, start engaging with my resources.  I need to learn what I don't know. No better time than the present! 

I would also say that I need to change my mindset some.  Adopting a mindset of a lifelong learner is something I aspire to embody. Things in our world are changing daily and require us to constantly learn, unlearn, and relearn.  

Furthermore, I am realizing more each day that so much can be learned about our resources if we actually take the time to slow down and listen to the people who are willing to share their experiences and knowledge.  One of the best parts of my internship so far has been meeting other Veteran business owners who share so freely their knowledge.  Each encounter with another Veteran business owner uncovers a nugget of knowledge on how to utilize a resource. 

For those of you who have followed me and supported me through each post, thank you.  I am humbled that my network would take the time to provide feedback on guidance as support on my journey through the 14 Levels of Reintegration.   If you feel this blog could benefit anyone in your network, please share and invite them to engage. 

What are other resources of any kind that you can recommend? 

NEXT TOPIC: Am I registered with the VA, local groups and national groups? 

Stay tuned. 



  • Wednesday, May 27, 2020 13:24 | Milton Jackson
    Correct the more resources one has is the abundant but it is not the benefactor. When your viewing yourself in a class setting why is it easier to learn in a room with the minimal amount of students. It’s a simple fact that less is more. Learn from that teacher then apply the good features to your implementation. Only then it is a full on master plan of collected genius.
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    • Wednesday, May 27, 2020 15:55 | chad pearce

      Correct, sometimes less is more. Going through TAP, it was somewhat of a fire hose, some retention but not as much as I would have liked. Now, with the SB program, I am researching some of these resources more in depth and starting to realize the benefits.

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      • Thursday, May 28, 2020 16:43 | Donald Cantrell
        Slow and steady wins the race! When you are researching a new resource or benefit run it to ground, build interpersonal relationships with members of the DAV, SBA, and VFW. We need our leaders to become the subject matter expert or at least have the information and POCs to assist the next person who separates. Even though you are retired the enlisted corps will still look to you for guidance because of your rank and experience. As retired members, we must continue to care for the less than 1% of Americans who have served.
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        • Thursday, May 28, 2020 19:04 | chad pearce
          Don, I love your comments. You attacked it the same way when you wore the uniform and I know the troops still look to you for advice. Way to lead from the front! Thank you for your support!
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  • Sunday, May 31, 2020 17:19 | Jaime Acevedo
    Hey Chad,

    It’s good to hear about others self-reflection as they’re preparing for the next chapter of their life. I went through the same thing a couple of years ago when I retired, but the self-reflection is going to continue to be a process. One other resource you didn’t mention is your internal network from your time in our community. That can sometimes be the best resource because it can open opportunities that you never knew existed. I know everything is going to be good with you, but keep that slow-down approach on your next journey. I’ll be here to support you my friend.

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    • Sunday, May 31, 2020 18:25 | chad pearce
      Jaime, you are right, the internal network helps keep me informed and is always a resource for support. I Am learning mode each day that the best source of information can come from connecting with people and learning from them. As always, thank you for being one of those people.

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  • Sunday, May 31, 2020 19:02 | Jamie Pearce
    One resource we took and advantage of and will continue to take advantage of are the local bases. From the BX and Commissary to Camping, we have been fortunate to have these resources. This is a great resource for camping around the US.
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    • Sunday, May 31, 2020 19:49 | chad pearce
      I agree! The base have been a huge resource. I’m excited about supporting these bases and giving back in our next chapter post retirement.
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  • Monday, June 01, 2020 08:36 | Vance Jackson
    Great post Chad! "Slow down ... and listen" those words sound all too familiar. I completely agree with your point. having the ability to actually listen to those experiences from veteran owners and the existing could very well allow you to see a different perspective on issues or life in general. I'm excited to see how your journey continues to develop!
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    • Monday, June 01, 2020 10:26 | chad pearce

      Good old networking can be huge. Just the other day I met a Marine while camping at Camp Pendleton. We got to talking and he informed me of a program called My Career Advancement account (MYCAA). This DoD program covers up to $4,000 in a scholarship for spouses to obtain financial assistance for a licence, certification, or associates degree. details can be found at
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  • Tuesday, June 02, 2020 19:33 | Paul Petersen
    You hit on so many great resources for networking, but I would like to add one more. I feel the simple act of kindness which can be accomplished in so many ways, especially in this time of unrest in our country. Just the simple act of a smile to that person who needs a friendly face. I believe our whole life is networking in some form and is the way we have friends, choose careers, along with so many other things on our journey. This DOD SkillBridge is such a great transition tool, so thank you for sharing.
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    • Wednesday, June 03, 2020 08:58 | chad pearce
      Paul, your words are spot on. I have been fortunate enough to have many smiling faces and helpful people who have gone out of their way to support me (like you!) both while I was in uniform and now that I am transitioning out. Our mission is to always put that back into the world.

      "Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing"
      1 Thessalonians 5:11
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    • Wednesday, June 03, 2020 12:18 | Deleted user
      I agree there are great resources here. Sometimes we may have to keep going to the resource more than once to get a yes or the right person. Keep going back. If you get a no from one person don't take that no as an absolute.
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      • Wednesday, June 03, 2020 16:51 | chad pearce

        Thanks for your comment. Like my mom says "the squeaky wheel gets the oil"

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