The Construction Veteran Podcast

Building Bridges: Trevor Murray's Transition from Special Forces to the Construction Industry

November 05, 2023 The Construction Veteran
The Construction Veteran Podcast
Building Bridges: Trevor Murray's Transition from Special Forces to the Construction Industry
The Construction Veteran Podcast +
Become a supporter of the show!
Starting at $3/month
Support
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Today, we're proud to be joined by the inspirational Trevor Murray, a former Special Forces medic who's not just building houses, but building bridges for veterans into the construction industry. Trevor regales us with stories from his service in the 10th Special Forces Group, his deployments to Afghanistan and Eastern Europe, and how those experiences laid the foundation for his new career after leaving active duty. 

We then transition into exploring Trevor's own transition from the military to the high end residential construction industry, detailing how his military background has added a unique perspective and skills to his work. Discover how he found his way into the industry with the help of David Weekly Homes and a friend's passion for construction. Trevor shares about his transition program, a venture that not only helped him navigate his career change, but now serves as a compass for other veterans seeking to do the same.

Finally, we tap into the value veterans bring to the construction industry, discussing the transferable military skills that can be a game changer. Together, we discuss the importance of mentorship and the need for expedited training. Trevor offers valuable insights on communication, time management, responsibility, and the hierarchy of the chain of command in construction. To close, we reflect on organizations like Honor Foundation, SOF Vets, and Veterati that assist veterans during their transition. So, tune in, as Trevor leads the charge in creating a space for veterans in the construction industry, ensuring no veteran is left without the tools to build a new career.

Support the show

  • TCV Email: constructionvetpodcast@gmail.com
  • TCV YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@constructionvet/featured
  • TCV Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/constructionvetpodcast/
Speaker 1:

The value of the skills that you bring from service. No matter what your specialty is, you are likely underselling yourself on what you bring to this world.

Speaker 2:

This is the Construction Veteran Podcast, connecting and celebrating veterans in construction. Now here's your host, scott Friend. Welcome back to the Construction Veteran Podcast. I'm Scott Friend and I'm excited to bring to you guys Trevor Murray, a former Special Forces medic who found his way back into the construction industry and also shares the same passion that I do in getting folks into this industry. Let's dig into it. Hey, trevor, how's it going, man? Good, scott, how are you? Man, I'm very good. Thank you for being able to link up with me. Last time Trevor and I tried to record. He was gracious enough and understanding that I had to take my little girl out to the dove field Family first. I appreciate you doing that, man.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely, scott. Yeah, we talked about obviously we have the connection of both being Texas boys and understanding, getting that relationship that the honey started off early. I can very much appreciate that and family is always going to come first. Yes, sir.

Speaker 2:

So Trevor and I we haven't officially met, but we linked up on LinkedIn after I posted a couple episodes and we've got some mutual contacts, some in the industry and some in special operations. So that's kind of how we know each other. We've gotten to know each other a little bit more since we kept kicking the can down the road with the show. But, trevor, I want to talk about your service background. Yeah, absolutely so. What brands did you serve in? What did you do?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so I served. I did just under nine years with the United States Army. So I came in as an 18X-ray, which for those who don't know is a special program. It's essentially a fast track to US Army special forces to become a green beret. I went straight in 2014 from my civilian career in Austin, texas, to the X-ray pipeline, went straight to Infantry Ocet and then right after that went to Airborne and then got on a bus and shipped up the brag and everything from there was a whirlwind of going through the Q-course.

Speaker 1:

I ended up getting the specialty of medical sergeant. So I was an 18 Delta. So I spent a little extra time in the course, in the long course, which is already long enough, but spent an extra nine months there and specialty of medical sergeant and then went on to the 10 Special Forces Group and did all my active time there at 10th Group, a couple of deployments one to Afghanistan and then one to Eastern Europe and just recently got out off active duty in June of 2022 and then did a year with the National Guard 19th Group up here in Colorado where I'm currently residing. So that's the general rundown, the short rundown of my career.

Speaker 2:

Very cool, yeah, so let's talk about that real quick. 10th Group for people who don't know where's that located at so 10th Group is located at Fort Carson.

Speaker 1:

We have been located at Carson for quite some time now, so specialty is the we're the mountain detachment, high altitude detachment. So we specialize in some of the high altitude specialties. But 10th Group is located in Colorado. A couple of the other groups sporadically located throughout the United States those that are familiar with Special Forces got a few on the East Coast, a few on the West Coast.

Speaker 1:

I was smack dab in the middle, always wanted to live in Colorado, loved the. Obviously the mission set of Special Forces and then getting the opportunity to live in the state of Colorado was opportunity couldn't pass up. You have some say over that. But I definitely got lucky in where I ended up. Spent all my time at 10th Maine in Colorado and was very lucky and fortunate on the teams I ended up on. I was on the dive team, so my specialty was diving, along with all the other tasks that come along with being a green beret. And then my focus was medicine, so a lot of time training in the medical field, doing a lot of diving down in Florida. So I got a lot of opportunity to travel around the world, around the country and had some really amazing experiences with my time with 10th Group Very cool.

Speaker 2:

And yeah, so Fort Carson, colorado. My opinion, man, that's of all the bases you could be stationed at that is that place is gorgeous. That area is in Colorado Springs. That's got to be one of my favorite areas in the West.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's incredible, man Like it's really hard to complain at all about this as a duty station. You've got no excuse not to be avidly involved in the outdoors. Obviously, we're right here in either mountains or our backyard, so I've taken full advantage of that. I'm outside as much as I can be with my boys and my wife and we love it so much that we stayed here. You know my wife's got a great career here and I found a job life after the military. We wanted to stay in Colorado so we set down roots here. We're both originally from Texas, had talks about going back in Colorado, just had too much of an lure for us. So for the foreseeable future we'll be here in Colorado. Man, I can imagine.

Speaker 2:

I mean, I do love being in Texas. I'm not a Texas guy myself originally, I grew up in Kentucky, but we've been in Texas for over nine years now and you know there's great things, there's some not so great things, but there's so much variety. But we've always said Colorado has got to be in the top three of places we would move man. So that's awesome, and you stuck there after you got out. So let's talk about what you do now in the industry.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, absolutely so, as I was coming up to that time of transition, obviously understanding that I needed to make a decision on what I wanted to do when I grew up, for lack of a better term. I had spent my entire career in medicine, so a lot of the thought process was really focused towards continuing in the medical field. I looked at going the PA route, going to PA school, finding other alternatives to stay in medicine, whether it be Fire Paramedic or going PA or MD route. While I love medicine, trauma med was my true love and obviously being in combat arms, that was the heavy focus for us, as 18 Veltas was combat med with a good mix of surgical med and clinical medicine as well. But really having to fight that dichotomy or that decision making process of do I stay in this field that I've spent all this time and invested this time in, or do I really delve into what fills my cup and that's really what brought me into the decision and finding this opportunity. So, to backtrack a bit, I had worked in the construction and landscape design field for a little bit of time before the military, so graduated from Texas A&M in 2012.

Speaker 1:

Actually, got my first job out of college was with David Weekly Homes building houses in Austin. So really early introduction to home building and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I didn't stick with it long. I actually tried to pursue the Navy route originally and didn't shake out for a couple reasons, but it's a blessing in the skies. I love my experience with the Army. So, yeah, I got an introduction to it with David Weekly and then after I left that, I got another opportunity a few months down the road to work for a buddy of mine in landscape design and high end pool building and that's really where my passion for construction started to build. So I got to work for my buddy, ben, back home in Austin building these incredible pools out in Westlake and Lake Travis and seeing Ben's passion for construction and how much he was able to fully throw himself and inundate himself with his you know, his career field, that it become a passion. What he did every day for, you know, for a paycheck, was an epiphany for me. You know I eventually obviously had to go scratch the itch and do my service time, but that always stuck with me.

Speaker 1:

So coming back around, understanding that I really had a clean slate on deciding what I wanted to do was going through so transition programs and pose the question of you know, what is what really matters to you? What are your core values, what? What lights your fire, what is going to be something that's tangible for you, that really keeps that passion going in your, in your career after the military? So I had an opportunity to reach out to a buddy of mine, a childhood friend, who was actually the senior PM for the company I work for now at the time and told him hey man, I'm, you know, I'm interested in getting back into the industry. I don't even know what it looks like. Obviously I don't have I've got a tenure gap in my tenure in construction. But what I do have is is almost a decade of what I would consider high level project management experience, and I know that that's the wrong you're in, so kind of picked his brain about what that looked like. And he you know this the company I work for now is based out at Denver. We solely focus in high end residential homes.

Speaker 1:

So very complex projects for you know, forecasted over an extended period of time. You know our projects can take anywhere from 24, 36, sometimes 48 months. There's a lot of complexity to each project, a lot of detail that goes into each scope of work. And that really appealed to me right is the finer details of focusing on the micro level details and then having a back out to macro level of what is the big picture. How does this all come together, the logistics of it, you know, forward forecasting, time management, all these things that I built skills towards in my military career and how I could potentially bring that to the construction realm. So I got really lucky.

Speaker 1:

The company I work for right now, cadre they gave me a shot and they essentially created my own skill bridge program. So I did an internship with Cadre for three months as I was transitioning off active and as soon as I got off active duty they hired me on full time. So I've been a PM with Cadre for about a year and a half now and have loved every second of it. Man, it's exactly what I wanted.

Speaker 1:

You know, the biggest thing for me was I wanted something tangible, and I know what I know about myself is that I, you know I don't find a lot of value or I'm just not really passionate about the traditional nine to five, putting on a suit and going into, you know, the corporate office every day. I like being outside, working with my hands, working with different trades, but also getting to mix it up with the architects and the interior designers and the engineers and be able to speak a different language every single day. So that's really what drew me to it and it's it's proving to be the right route for me. And you know, right now I think a big passion project of mine is connecting with veterans that are working through transition or have transitioned off their service time and really helping them to figure out what it is that they're passionate about and how they can potentially turn that into a career post-military service.

Speaker 2:

Well, we got the same mission there, brother, so I appreciate that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I know you spoke to earlier, scott, but really what brought me to your broadcast was was seeking out, you know, avenues and resources that were making that connection for veterans, specifically in the construction industry. Because you know, and I'm sure we'll get into it more but the the correlation and the parallels between a lot of what we did in the military and what we do in the construction field now is is so evident, but I don't think a lot of people are aware of that. So, yeah, try to figure out how to get that word out.

Speaker 2:

I definitely agree with that too. And, as you were talking, I'm just thinking about all these parallels you spoke of, and I always like to hit on the fact that very, very rarely well people say, well, I learned this technical skill too. It's a lot of those planning and the soft skills, so that's. That's awesome too, especially coming from your background, with a little bit of time in the industry before you got in. But but going from like trauma medical to what you're doing now, I mean it's a huge, huge difference. But the similarities are definitely in the teams and the group on site. Yes, absolutely.

Speaker 1:

And attention to detail, forecasting, time management, personnel management, I mean, the list goes on and on and I'm sure you've you've delved into that quite a few times on your podcast, but the more evident it becomes, the more you know, the evident, the more evident it is to me that this connection needs to be made between vets and the service industry. You know, whether it be trades or the construction realm, gc realm, pm, superintendent, and then you start talking about the aging workforce and you know the issues we have in our industry right now of getting people that understand the value of hard work and actually getting, after finishing, a project out to fruition. I mean, what better, what better community to tap into than the veteran populace for a work ethic?

Speaker 2:

you know? Yeah, for sure. And you've got such a good opportunity where you're at, since you're so close to a base. I mean you got third ID. There's a. There's a ton of people there, you know, guys in your community that are getting out and showing them that this is a very viable way to make your income and have a successful career post military service. Yeah, absolutely. So I gotta ask Cadre, that has something to do with the service. So is the owner, is he or she prior service? Cadre, general contractors, you?

Speaker 1:

know I should probably delve into it a bit more with how the main came about, but what I'll say about the owner of the company, rusty, is a phenomenal guy. He's one of the most patriotic dudes I've ever met and it is serendipitous. I've told him several times. I got hired on just recently, in the past few months hired another green beret that I worked with as a PM who's shown great value in the position. But it's tangible results showing that individuals coming from that background can fit the mold of what cadre is and looking up the definition of cadre a high performing group of individuals with a set task at hand.

Speaker 1:

That couldn't be more true for what we do in our, our job in high-end construction and these luxury home builds.

Speaker 1:

And it could be more true for veterans coming out of their service of really what a lot of us see as our core values, of really putting ourselves behind something that we believe in and there's value and meaning to it.

Speaker 1:

And for me, getting to wake up every day and coming to the job site to build somebody's dream home there's no more rewarding feeling than getting through a big milestone, for a scope of work to be completed or getting something to line up for the finance piece or how we're logistically sourcing and procuring materials we need.

Speaker 1:

We are constantly problem-solving and it's that high-level, complex puzzle pieces that you're having to put together on the job site every day. So really transitioning that mentality of what we did in the military to the construction industry and finding out how we can make that more available to people right, because the briefs you get coming out of the military is a lot of talk about the services and trades, a lot of times for lower enlisted people that didn't have a lot of experience prior to the military. But I really think that we do a disservice to all levels, whether it's the NCO core or the officer core, whether it's conventional military or special operations. Like the skills that we learned in those realms are very, very transferable, very much transferable into this industry and it's become more and more apparent the more time I've spent here. So you know, really finding a way to connect people with those opportunities, whether it's on the commercial side, residential specialty, architectural detail, whatever it may be it's just getting people connected to that, like we have other programs for the corporate side of things.

Speaker 2:

Yeah for sure. Just real quick for people wondering why I mentioned cadre. You want to talk about why it was that? I might have thought that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so typically in the military when you hear cadre, cadre is related to you know you're going to a school or you're going to a specialty pipeline that you refer to the instructors as the cadre, so it's cadre. Some people say cadre. That term really brings up thoughts of you know individuals that are highly skilled. They're very much experienced in whatever facet you're going to train in. So if it's going to dive school or you know, ranger school, whatever your cadre would be the instructors that have years of experience in that. So that term definitely ties into the military, I'd say, the most directly. So it definitely brings up thoughts of like how the name would be connected to the military. I say now that we're just it was forward forecasting for what cadre was going to become, with veterans coming onto the team and really fitting the mold.

Speaker 1:

But the cool thing about the company I work for is that they are the cadre of their industry. I mean the way that they have operated specifically in this high-end luxury realm in residential. The individuals that I work with I mean these guys have forgotten more construction knowledge than I will probably know in the next decade. It's absolutely impressive to work with some of these superintendents and PMs and the office staff that have been in this industry for years, but they absolutely epitomize the cadre of the construction realm. So I think it's more than fitting. I just think it's funny now that we're bringing on some veterans that you know it harkens you back. It takes you back to a time of sometimes good times, sometimes bad times. Cadre can be your best friend or your worst enemy, depending on how you look at it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I'm sure some people shudder when they see the name of the company. Probably brings up some bad memories for some, absolutely. Very cool man. I'm really motivated, too, the fact that you use these skills. You found something that you love. That's not typically the case for people that are, you know, just over a year out of the service. It can be a long journey for some, so that's really cool. You had those connections and a little bit of the background first. Yeah, and I think yeah, good.

Speaker 1:

I was going to say.

Speaker 1:

Obviously it helps to have the bit of the background, but I think that my experience specifically I was about as fresh of a start you could get coming into the construction realm. So if I can be a blueprint for people to realize that you can step into something new and actually have tangible results almost immediately, that those skills are transferable, then that's really what I want to be. I want to be an example for people to understand that it doesn't have to be the set blueprint of what you do after life, after military. There are a lot of options out there and people value your skills. You are very much an asset to any company you're going to become a part of.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so let's talk about that a little bit. Why do you think that is especially for people that haven't served? What do you think they're seeing in veterans that attracts them and makes them want to hire these people?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean, I think that there are a lot of tangibles and there's a lot of intangibles, but one of them that really stands out to me is that we all know baseline in the military is like the basics that you can bring to a job, whether you're fresh off of basic training or you're 20 years in, is like right place, right time, right uniform. How many times have you heard that it's just the basics of your military service? But that really ties into the core of a work ethic for an individual coming out of the military and their understanding of the importance of the responsibility of the role that they take on, right that showing up to work with a positive attitude to try to lend as much knowledge and experience as they can. I always said what I lack in construction knowledge I'll make up for an efficiency and time management, personnel management, because you have to know right.

Speaker 1:

The SF used to say a lot you know what you don't know. You start out you don't know what you don't know and then you get to the point where you know what you don't know and then eventually, at some point hopefully, you become a master of your trade and that's when you realize that you still have a lot of learning to do. But when you're able to really dissect what you do bring to the table versus the pen and paper of what's on a job description, I think that's really the benefit that the veterans can bring. Is how do you correlate the skills that you had in the military to what you're going to do on the civilian side? So, even as simple as time management, forward forecasting. Looking at how we used to, we were always forecasting out for extended periods to the time, whether it was 12 months, 24 months, for training calendars, deployment cycles, whatever it may be.

Speaker 1:

The logistics piece that almost every military person has to deal with inventorying and procurement of material and equipment that you need, and just the responsibility of taking that and then the hierarchy, the chain of command right is how do we communicate efficiently? That's a huge thing. Is communication is key Is transparency up front and early as possible and being honest with your clients and your consultants and all of the different personnel and groups that you work with. Having a strong communication background and a baseline for communications here is huge, and I think veterans bring that to the table from day one because of the skills we've learned in the service. Yeah, for sure.

Speaker 2:

So, talking about that journey going from not knowing what you don't know and upward towards being a master, I think the people that I respect the most in the service now are those individuals that have been doing it a while and now they realize it's my turn to turn around and teach the next group, like the best command sergeant majors, command master chiefs that are saying, hey, I'm not making E10. That's not a thing, so I'm here to serve you guys. Have you been able to find a mentor in the industry that's kind of shown you the way and helped you along?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think I have a couple of mentors. I lean back to Ben Laster, who was my buddy, who really gave me my first break, and, while he's in a different industry and operates in a different state, seeing how he operates his business as a business owner in the construction realm and operating at a high level, it's a great blueprint for how to go about my career in the construction industry. But also having the opportunity to be on with a company I got on with with Cadre, there is multiple individuals within this company that I've been able to lean on. A lot of that experience obviously falls in the superintendent's realm In our company specifically, but you're talking about 20 to 30 years of experience for some of these guys focusing in high level details, and a lot of them worked from the carpentry background skilled trim workers, framers, whatever it may be and they worked their way up the ladder, just like we had to do in the military, and so they've seen how the industry's changed. They understand the complexities of how a house comes together from start to finish, and that's the big piece that we have to understand is where we focus our skills and attention, because we need tradesmen, we need the skilled laborers, we need all those pieces, but we also need somebody that's able to manage that, and it doesn't necessarily need to be somebody, and I can only speak to the project manager realm, no-transcript.

Speaker 1:

I was able to bring a lot of tangible skills to the table early on because of the skills I had coming out of the military, and it didn't require me necessarily to understand all of the complexities of construction or the project as a whole.

Speaker 1:

It was just finding the parallels between the skills that I had from the military and what was needed in this job, specifically as a project manager, and realizing that a lot of those skills parallel but yeah, I mean, I think that's hugely important is finding a mentor and even finding somebody that's fresh out you know, like that's what I say all the time now is like anybody that's even curious about coming into the construction industry and talking about what that may look like.

Speaker 1:

I want to open that door to people. I want them to feel comfortable to reach out and have the honest conversation about what that looks like the goods, the bads, the ugliest, the hurdles that you may have to jump over, but understanding that you do bring a lot of value to the table and there are people out there that do want to transfer that knowledge and skills. We've got to do it on somewhat of an expedited timeline because we have what I've seen to be a bit of a gap in knowledge and time of individuals that are coming up. They're a little longer in the tooth in the industry and construction and how you get fresh blood into the industry to really dive in and become passionate about it and have enough of that knowledge transfer to carry on those skills.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, for sure About the transition piece. You know I do like that. The military is a whole. I mean, that's your built-in network, because we know how important that can be in the working world. But you've got that built-in network especially, you know, when I transition, I'm bugging my buddies from my battalion saying what did you do, what can I do? And you're finding all this knowledge and these guys are all over the world now. So it's well, hey, I want to move to Texas, and so you probably know somebody there. And so, out of all these skills that we've been talking about, what would you say is a skill that either everybody that has served in the military has been exposed to or experienced? What do you think that one skill that we bring to the table's vets carries over the best into this industry?

Speaker 1:

I think that's a really good question and if I weren't going to challenge myself to come up with one, I could come up with several. But I'd say the ability to adapt is huge and adaptability is obviously a bread and butter, core value of service members, whether you're adapting on deployment or you're having to adapt within your specialty back at Garrison. But being able to be flexible to changes in the industry or changes within a project is huge. So that adaptability that the military teaches you that sometimes, on a whim, you may not even have all the experience or all the information that you need to action a plan, but you've got to get something together and make it happen. The old adage that 70% plan is better than 100% in two weeks from now or whatever. I'm called a butcher and that's the Sorry, close enough.

Speaker 1:

Conceptually, we're really good at being thrown into a situation that's not as organized or you may not have all the information you want or need, and we always call it organizing chaos.

Speaker 1:

And a lot of times on the construction site that's what you're doing, right. You're herding cats, you're dealing with multiple trades and you're trying to stack trades and you're having to look at the short-term objectives and the long-term objectives at the same time, and having that experience in the military of operating in a rather stressful environment, whatever the setting may be and having to adapt, is crucial and that's an easy skill for people to transition over to the civilian side and really bring that value to the table. Day one hey, I may not have all the knowledge I need right now, but I'm good under pressure and I'm willing to adapt and I'm willing to grow into a position and if you ask me to do something, if I don't have the knowledge right now, I'm going to go seek it out and I'm going to do my best to be the best at this within the next few weeks or months or whatever it may be, because we're all very driven coming out of the circles. Yeah, for sure.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think about that ability to adapt is kind of similar, Like I'll give you an example when I got out, I think the one thing I miss the most is that we all, a lot of us, will say I don't want the office job or I don't want the same thing day after day, because in the service no day is the same.

Speaker 2:

It seems like every day is different, good or bad. But I do agree with you in that ability to adapt. But that's what excited me about the industry is that on site and more times than not, it's probably not a good thing, but nothing stays the same and I hate to say I rarely do things go exactly as planned. But that's, I think, what makes us strong in this industry too is that we're okay with it. We're not going to blow our top typically and we find a way to adapt and we come together as a team and look for those solutions. So that's a really good way to put it. Man, I really like that answer. I don't think any other guest has said that. That ability to adapt, that's key.

Speaker 1:

Well, and you make a really great point, scott, and I think that we're going to see it more and more in this industry because, whether we like it or not, the construction industry has been a little bit behind the times on how we operate, and I think we all can see that it's just difficult to transition some of the old habits of the industry into new age, let's say, but it's happening, it's happening full time, and whether it be transition to tech platforms or how you're managing your projects, or what it looks like in the future with AI, whatever it may be, there's going to be a lot of requirements to adapt in this industry if you want to continue to operate, and I think the reason why veterans will be great at that is because we're so used to it.

Speaker 1:

Right, and so bringing in people that have been exposed to tech or they're young and hungry and they're eager to learn a new skill, but they're also adaptable and they're flexible and they can take on new tasks and they understand the tech piece to some degree, they're going to be able to grow with the industry a lot better, while also learning from those that carry on this Ooh revival knowledge that we just cannot let go of it comes from years and years of construction.

Speaker 2:

So yeah for sure. So in your journey, since you are that exception to the rule, because you had a pretty smooth transition, it seems like, in respect to getting into the working world, what do you think you might have changed along the way, whether it's in service, out of service, what do you think, if anything, I think that a big thing for me would have been, earlier on in the process of transition, opening my mind to what possibilities were out there.

Speaker 1:

I was so stuck in the one-track mind of I've only done medicine, so the responsible decision is to stay in medicine. It's what I should do, it's what I have done, it's what I'm comfortable with, it's what I'm familiar with, but really opening my mind up to different opportunities and seeking out organizations that were willing to try to connect me there. I know there's a lot of great nonprofits out there. There's some specific to the software that I came out, but there's plenty out there for all service members that really are there to help and they want to just connect you with organizations. There's a lot of construction companies on the commercial side that want to connect with people coming out of the service and residential too, but I think it's just a little newer in the residential side.

Speaker 1:

I would say yeah, just opening my mind up to the possibilities and not being stuck in that one-track mind of it's got to be corporate or it's got to be in the medical realm. Really delving into, like I said earlier, what fills your cup, what are your core values, what motivates you, how does that align with an opportunity outside of the military, outside of your service, and find a way to make it a career. Believe in yourself that you can find an opportunity that fits those core values and fits what you're passionate about and you can make a living off of it. And you're going to bring a lot to the table with your skills and knowledge that you carry out of the military service.

Speaker 2:

Some of those companies you're talking about and organizations like the Honor Foundation for the SoftVets. Veterati is another really good one. I didn't even know about some of these till recently, but I do help out with them and for anybody listening that they're really easy to find. For those that are in the SpecOps community, I would definitely suggest the Honor Foundation. There's one on East Coast and West Coast, but you can connect to people throughout the US. I do like the coffee mentor chat, so people that are interested in the industry can reach out to me directly, and I felt a couple folks steer their career in the right direction. And then Veterati is another free one with tons and tons of vets that are willing to help. So there's always somebody out there to lend a hand. So if we do have people transitioning out and that want to get into this industry, so we named a couple ways to do that. What are some other suggestions you would have?

Speaker 1:

Yeah. So those are all great. Honor Foundation I know a bunch of buddies that have used them. I went through the Commit Foundation. They were fantastic and really focused on not so much placement in a career but really delving into what makes you tick and what you're passionate about. So I recommend Commit Foundation to anybody that wants to get connected and really dive into what their passions are and how they connect to a career.

Speaker 1:

But I would say just as simple as reaching out to local organizations or local companies, that let's say you know where you're going to be after you get out of the service. If you're going to locate back to home state or whatever, start reaching out to local companies and find out if they have a transition program. I will say this that, just like in the military, sometimes making your own opportunity is the best way to go. The DOD Skill Bridge Program there's opportunities out there to get on with some construction companies. But I made my own internship up and if you find a company that you feel would be a good fit for you, there's nothing. There's no harm in reaching out to them and seeing if they do want to sponsor you on an internship. A lot of these companies just don't know that veterans are passionate about coming into an industry like construction, and so if you reach out to them and you're able to get your resume or your career bullet points in front of them, I'd say another big piece is getting with some of these organizations that can help you build out a resume. I feel like that's starting to change. But having somebody help you translate the verb image and language of military service into tangible skills that are applicable to the civilian side, it's a little easier for civilian companies to digest.

Speaker 1:

You're still going to do some explanation as to this. Is this title what I actually did in the service? I tell people all the time the biggest thing is, no matter where you want to go, no matter what you find you want to do obviously it's not permanent. If you end up realizing that you're suited to do something else, that's totally fine, right, but don't sell yourself short. I tell people all the time and veterans I just feel like they get stuck in this thought process loop of I'm only tracked to do this and I've only got these skills like, please do not sell yourself short the value of the skills that you bring from service, no matter what your specialty was.

Speaker 1:

You are likely underselling yourself on what you bring to the civilian realm. Just as simple as what we were talking about earlier. It's like right time, right uniform, right place, being responsible for your own actions, being able to manage time, being adaptable, having a positive attitude. All of that is very tangible in the civilian realm and it can pay dividends. Don't sell yourself short. I'm more than happy to connect with anybody that's interested in the industry, whether they're coming from the self realm or conventional. I really, really, am just passionate about connecting people and telling my story and maybe changing the game, changing the narrative of what construction looks like. It's not the one track mind of getting out on the site and framing a house, but that may be what you're passionate about and that's awesome. But there are so many different avenues you can take within the construction industry and in my mind, there is no better group of people to build and rebuild and really take on this workforce in construction and veterans.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I love it. I don't think you can stress enough that. Don't selling yourself short. I know I did it because we think, oh, I only did this. Only I only did that. There are some good resume writers out there to help you quantify some of the stuff you did. People like numbers, especially in this industry. How do you put that on a resume?

Speaker 2:

I might be kicking myself in the butt for doing this, considering I'm trying to get people into construction, but I will say, man, when you transition out, the world's your oyster, typically. I mean, you have a fresh start. I know if I were to change something, I'd be in the mountains guiding for elk or something. I might have chosen a different path. Not that I don't love this industry by any means, but I just didn't know what was out there and I don't know what your experience was when you transitioned out. But I know that nobody was really talking about construction in my transition assistance program. I just happened to be a CB, so it was easy enough to find people in the industry. Yeah, definitely, look for what appeals to you and, trevor, like you said, just find your passion and really what sets you on fire. Thanks for saying that, yeah.

Speaker 1:

I think that that's an important point right Understanding what you're passionate about and if you are extremely committed to it, you can likely make a career out of it. I've seen plenty of people do it, and it doesn't have to be right away. You can kind of slow roll that, you can take on a career and find a way to kind of jockey yourself into that position. But I've seen plenty of people make their passions into a career and I will absolutely echo that sentiment, scott, that I don't think it's talked about enough.

Speaker 1:

Construction is not pushed as an option coming out of the service. I think that the companies in this industry, whether it be on the commercial side or residential, are missing out on a great opportunity to tap into the veteran community, and I think that's one of the roles that we have now right is connecting not only veterans to companies. But if companies are really trying to understand the language of what a veteran brings to the table, please reach out. And if I can give a better understanding of what vets can bring to your organization, I think it's huge and I think more companies should be tapping into that and setting up opportunities to work with vets in the SFLTAP program or the transition program, depending on the service that you're in. I think that would be hugely beneficial, not only for veterans themselves, but for all these companies and corporations looking for a bolstered workforce and people that have a strong work ethic.

Speaker 2:

Awesome man. Trevor, I know you got to get running. I really appreciate your time. Thank you so much, and I love your story, man. Especially with you just being over a year out, that's just so cool to see you doing what you love and being successful man. Thank you so much.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I got a little time, scott, so I just want to say that if I can be an example for anybody, I'm nothing special man. We've said a lot of times in special.

Speaker 2:

The special forces guy saying he's nothing special. Huh Well I was going to say. I hope all the seals hear this.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and maybe we're very much clutons for punishment on the Army stuff. That's why I keep this humble. But we got told all the time and I appreciate it more and more every day but in SF it really wasn't about doing the high speed skill sets. You get the opportunity to do that but really what it came down to is doing the basics right every single time, and I feel that veterans are primed to do that because of our experience in the service and so having that opportunity to connect with vets and kind of tell my story and I'm definitely not the one to be pushing on to podcasts anytime soon.

Speaker 1:

I'm not the most well spoken, but if I can be an advocate for change, for people to understand that there are opportunities out there to do incredible things and you can work with your hands, you can work outside, you can do something outside of the suit and tie nine to five Not that there's anything wrong with that. There's people that love that and that feels they're coming out of the service. But for those that are looking for alternative means of career field after service, I really think that this is a valuable industry to look into and we need it right. You and I both know we need a strong workforce and we need people that are passionate, that want to come in and learn these skills and take it on for the long term. We have too much turnover and a lot of industries do, but the veteran population, I think, is primed to come into an industry like construction and really affect some massively positive change and really carry on this industry for the years to come.

Speaker 2:

Yep, wholeheartedly agree. Man Well, trevor, thanks for your time.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, thank you, scott, thanks for connecting with me, man, and thank you for what you're doing for veterans. This is amazing, like getting the voice out there and taking the time to connect with vets from all backgrounds and just sharing the stories. I think is huge and, like I said, I found you on the limb of Search and LinkedIn one day trying to find if there's some sort of connection for vets, and you're doing it, man. So whatever I can do and my small skill to help you out with your mission, please let me know. I am very passionate about this and I'm adamant that veterans have a place in this industry and I think there would be more than welcome here.

Speaker 2:

Man. I appreciate you saying that. Thank you very much. Absolutely All right, man. If you're a military veteran in the construction industry or you're in the construction industry and support our military vets and you'd like to be a guest on the podcast, you can find me at constructionvetpodcastgmailcom or send me a message on LinkedIn If you can find me there at Scott Friend, let's share the stories and motivate others.

Skills for Veterans in Construction
Transitioning From Military to Construction
Value of Veterans in the Workforce
Transitioning Into the Construction Industry
Promoting Opportunities for Veterans in Construction