Straight Outta Combat Radio-Honoring Combat Wisdom
SOCRS118- Kevin Connelly- “Why Not Made in America?”

SOCRS118- Kevin Connelly- “Why Not Made in America?”

March 27, 2020

Vietnam veteran Kevin Connelly graduated with a bachelor’s in business administration in marketing from the University of Notre Dame in 1962 and immediately launched a 28-year career in the United States Army.

Kevin joined the military after being commissioned as an Armor Officer from an ROTC Program. Fresh out of college, his first assignment was in Germany, where he served as a Tank Platoon leader, an Armored Cavalry Platoon leader and S-3Air for the First Battalion, 35th Armor, 4th Armored Division.

In 1965, Kevin volunteered to join the Vietnam War efforts. He underwent special operations training and learned to speak Vietnamese at The Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA. From there, he served on a five-man advisory team to train South Vietnamese counterparts in combat in Mekong Delta. His team averaged over 150 combat missions during his tour in Vietnam. He was awarded a Combat Infantryman’s Badge for his service. Kevin remained in the U.S. Army Reserves, serving in several assignments including the Pentagon that culminated to his ultimate retirement as a Lieutenant Colonel.

 Following his active duty in Vietnam, Kevin joined the U.S. Department of State’s Agency for International Development as an Area Development Director for the Go Cong Province of Vietnam. In that role, he was responsible for economic development efforts, including road and school construction and agricultural programs. He received several awards for this service.

In 1981, Kevin was appointed the Administrative Director for Suffolk County’s Industrial Development Agency. In this role, he helped issue more than $500 million Industrial Revenue Bonds to assist hundreds of growing companies. This resulted in the creation and retention of more than 30,000 jobs in the New York county.

 

“One of the rules that military officers live by is the responsibility to accomplish the mission and take care of your people. At Apollo Sunguard, we take care of our customers. Every product we sell is backed by a team of professionals who care about your total satisfaction.”

             – Kevin Connelly

Kevin decided to relocate to Florida after entering Florida waters in his 43-foot fishing boat. He had traveled from New York.

In 1997, Kevin founded Apollo Sunguard, which became one of the country’s leading shade solution providers. Apollo Sunguard is the only Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business shade manufacturer in the United States.

Since he founded the company, Apollo Sunguard has received numerous awards for its state-of-the-art technology, including a small business award from NASA’s Space Alliance Technology Outreach Program. Apollo Sunguard also is the first manufacturer to receive a prestigious Gold Triangle from the American Academy of Dermatology for shade structures on playgrounds. Kevin continues to bring new economic opportunities to Apollo Sunguard, including the addition of EV charging stations and solar-powered Sunguard Solar Structures™.

Kevin remains active within the business community and supporting veterans. He was president of the Sarasota-Manatee Manufacturers Association for five years and remains on the Board of Directors. He also is a member of the Board of Directors for the Sarasota Veterans Commission and a member of the Board of Directors for the Florida Veterans for Common Sense.

SOCRS117- “Freedom Matters 6- “What Does Freedom Mean to You?”

SOCRS117- “Freedom Matters 6- “What Does Freedom Mean to You?”

March 5, 2020

We posed the very important question: "Whats Does Freedom Mean To You?"

A compilation of answers from our fellow veterans Lane Belone, Michael Hartford, Robert Garcia, Isaac Belden, Ethan Samuels, Scott Kinder, and Fazel Rahim Kaihan.  

May God Bless America and all of you for your commitment, loyalty & sacrifices in the Support of Freedom!

SOCRS116 “Freedom Matters 5: What Does FREEDOM Mean To You?”

SOCRS116 “Freedom Matters 5: What Does FREEDOM Mean To You?”

February 27, 2020

We posed the very important question: "Whats Does Freedom Mean To You?"

A compilation of answers from our fellow veterans Ben Knisely, Shawn Rhodes, Bob & Melissa Sebastian, Osee Fagan, Lani Hankins, Boone Cutler, Darrell Hernanadez, Stephen Colon, Annette Whittenberger and Anthony Maggert.  

May God Bless America and all of you for your commitment, loyalty & sacrifices in the Support of Freedom!

 
 
SOCRS115: “Freedom Matters 4: What Does FREEDOM Mean To You?”

SOCRS115: “Freedom Matters 4: What Does FREEDOM Mean To You?”

February 15, 2020

We posed the very important question: "Whats Does Freedom Mean To You?"

A compilation of answers from our fellow veterans Mykel Hawke, Christopher Cockrille, Jake Bublitz, Mark E. Black, J.P. Lane, Scott Neil and Gold Star Mother Jill Stephenson.

May God Bless America and all of you for your commitment, loyalty & sacrifices in the Support of Freedom!

SOCRS114- Mykel Hawke- “Mykel Hawke: Renaissance Man, Survivalist & Defender of Freedom”

SOCRS114- Mykel Hawke- “Mykel Hawke: Renaissance Man, Survivalist & Defender of Freedom”

January 23, 2020
Mykel Hawke is a Retired Special Forces Combat Commander. 
He is known for his work on TV in shows such as Man Woman Wild & One Man Army.
Hawke has written a dozen books and has created dozens of survival products.
Mykel is rated in 7 languages, holds 2 black belts and a Master's degree.
He is a married father of 3 sons and has 2 grandchildren.  
Mykel currently works for DOS doing CSAR in a war zone.
SOCRS113- CDR Janette M. Arencibia- “A Conversation on DEPLOYMENT”

SOCRS113- CDR Janette M. Arencibia- “A Conversation on DEPLOYMENT”

January 16, 2020

U.S. Navy CDR JANETTE M. ARENCIBIA

Health Security Cooperation, Readiness & Training Officer, 

ENTOMOLOGY Center of Excellence, Jacksonville Naval Air Station

Global Health Professional, Plans, Operations and Medical Intelligence Officer

Janette Arencibia is a 1988 graduate of Mercer County High School in Harrodsburg, Kentucky. She graduated from Eastern Kentucky University in 1995 and in 1996 from the EKU MPA program where she was a Patricia Roberts Harris Fellow and Presidential Internship Management Candidate. She is a graduate of the U.S. Navy War College where she earned a Masters in National Security and Strategic Studies. LCDR Arencibia is, as well, a graduate of the Marine Corps Command and Staff, Marine Corps University and is currently enrolled in the Uniformed Services University Global Health Engagement program.

In support of Operation Enduring Freedom, she was the first Medical Service Corps officer to deploy from a training command reporting as Chief, Joint Visitor’s Bureau with BCT 41 - Task Force Phoenix V to Afghanistan. Arencibia became one of the first female officers to instruct security and weapons training for females in the Afghan National Army ranks. She well represented the U.S. Navy among Army ranks earning the Keith L. Ware Award for her photography and additional written submissions throughout the course of her assignment in Afghanistan. She was awarded by the Afghan National Army for training and instruction provided and is also an honorable member of The Order of St. Barbara, a military honor society of the U.S. for both the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marine Corps Artillery, including Field Artillery and Air Defense Artillery as a result of her involvement in artillery field training.

Arencibia’s initial sea tour was aboard USNS MERCY where she was a medical planner and patient regulator managing over 200,000 casualties during OPERATION UNIFIED RESPONSE –HAITI. Immediately following her redeployment from Haiti, she deployed onboard the USS IWO JIMA (CP 10) as the Lead Medical Planner. While serving aboard the IWO JIMA, she liaised with Central and South American embassies on behalf of FST-2. As the Plans, Operations and Medical Intelligence DUINS awardee, she reported to the Joint Staff Surgeon’s office in 2012. During her Joint Staff assignment, she was the Project Manager for the Joint Medical Planning Tool; now the required verification and validation analytical tool for the Joint Forces. She was requested to extend at the Joint Staff Surgeon’s office then accepted the Lead Medical Planner Position at NORAD-USNORTHCOM in 2013 where she served until 2016. Arencibia transferred to Marine Forces Central Command where she served as the Lead Medical Planner for exercises EAGER LION and NATIVE FURY and is currently the USCENTCOM Theater Security Cooperation Manager for the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

Her shore assignments include the Navy School of Health Sciences Security Manager, NNMC-Bethesda Officer in Charge of Contingency Operations, BUMED M3 Readiness Officer, and Medical Officer Recruiter. 

Currently, CDR. Arencibia coordinates Global Health Initiatives, Force Readiness, Force Protection and Theater Security Operation specific to building Global Medical Force multiplier capacity. She is a Joint Qualified Officer. Her military awards include: Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Commendation Medal, the Navy Marine Commendation Medal (2 awards), and other unit and service awards specific on CV. She serves as an Executive Board Member for the Gratitude Professor Foundation and volunteers with Remember, Honor, Support of the Tampa and St. Petersburg Bay area.

 

SOCRS112- Christopher Lewis Cockrille- “Trust is A Key, Hang on to Hope…Be Relentless”

SOCRS112- Christopher Lewis Cockrille- “Trust is A Key, Hang on to Hope…Be Relentless”

January 9, 2020

My name is Christopher Lewis Cockrille. I am the host of “The Kristof Lewis Podcast”. I was born in the United States of America, growing up at 8,500 feet in a small mountain town in Colorado. I have also been fortunate enough to have lived in Budapest, Hungary where my family is from (where the name “Kristóf” comes from, which my family calls me). I absolutely love traveling and have visited 26 countries which has opened my eyes to many cultures and people of different backgrounds. Currently, I am living in Norfolk, Virginia with my wife, baby girl and Golden Retriever.

I created The Kristof Lewis Podcast in March of 2018, five months before I was honorably discharged from the United States Navy after serving nine years. I currently work in the ‘tech’ sector while I continue to create and build upon the podcast. I have always had a deep desire to help others, and I love speaking with other people that share this passion. I am a huge advocate of self-education, or focused learning, and a growth mindset. I understand that the learning process is different for each person, which is why I love the variety of the guests that I am able to converse with. I dropped out of college and dropped right into self-education, and never looked back.

Too many times in my life, I underestimated myself and set my goals too low. People told me that I would never find a job that I truly enjoyed. Through each Conversation I will show you that it is indeed possible to do what you want in life as long as you’re adding value to others. We can pursue anything we want and we alone are responsible for our success as long as we work hard enough for it. We should not keep what we know and learn to only ourselves.

SOCRS111- Demetrius Thigpen- “Motown Marine: Against All Odds”

SOCRS111- Demetrius Thigpen- “Motown Marine: Against All Odds”

December 26, 2019

Demetrius' story is no different than many youths, born in a metropolitan area riddled with drugs, crime, and plagued with addiction.  He was the middle child of three siblings raised by a single mother due to the absence of his father. Demetrius had to experience at an early age just how detrimental addiction was and the damage it can do to a family. Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, drugs, crime, addiction, and violence were the norm; and it was a life expected for most. With the lack of jobs and the poverty this city had to offer; Demetrius’s mother did the best she could in raising her two young children all on her own.

With the loss of her job combined with the recession, the trajectory of their lives would shift from barely getting by to barely being able to keep the lights on. By the time Demetrius was graduating high school, a majority of the kids he grew up with had already begun to employ the lessons our environment had taught them; and many had already received the outcome. Demetrius was faced with the cruel realization about his future and what he could get out of this city. Eventually, this led him to make a tough decision at the tender age of 18; join the United States Marine Corps upon graduating high school.

The time came and he enlisted in 2009. Demetrius has served 10 faithful years. Throughout his service he has faced obstacles and overcame adversity; he also deployed to different countries in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, and the Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force. These tours along with many other challenges would go on to transform him into the man he is today. A Sergeant and Martial Arts Instructor Trainer within the United States Marine Corps, Demetrius has had the privilege to train, lead, guide, and mentor fellow Marines.

  

SOCRS110- Andrew Och- “The First Ladies Man: Educating, Paying Homage & Respect Where Due”

SOCRS110- Andrew Och- “The First Ladies Man: Educating, Paying Homage & Respect Where Due”

December 12, 2019

Andrew Och

Andy Och is an award winning television and multi-media producer who has traveled the world with his pen, paper and camera. A Radio/Television and Film graduate from the University of Maryland, Andy started his production career in music – recording and touring with his band in the 80s & 90s. Soon after that he added his camera to the mix, and all the pieces fell into place. A storyteller from a young age, Andy enjoys the art of communication, and will go anywhere in the world for more knowledge, greater understanding and a good story. He is a true documentarian of life.

Most recently, for the C-SPAN series – “First Ladies: Influence and Image”, Andy spent over a year traveling to nearly every location that helped tell the stories of every First Lady of the United States of America. He covered Martha Washington through Michelle Obama, and visited with people and places all across the country. From Colonial Williamsburg to Stanford University, he was given an ALL ACCESS – BACKSTAGE PASS to some of the nation’s most treasured collections and historical landmarks. He spent time in libraries and museums – homes and schools – birthplaces and cemeteries – train stations and churches. No stone was left unturned, no door left unlocked, in his unique and historical journey to learn everything he could about these women before, during and after their time in the White House.

Historians, archivists and enthusiasts agree – Andy’s recent project and travels put him in a small and rare group of people. He is responsible for one of the most complete and vast collections of material and information about this unique sorority of women ever assembled. He IS the First Ladies Man, and he is excited to share the stories of his adventures.

Mr. Och states, “I think it’s important to be aware of the first ladies that did things or put policies into place that are still relevant today, and not just the obvious ones we learned about in school.” He brings a fresh look and a new passion to an often overlooked subject in American History.

The First Ladies Man is set to publish his first book, Unusual For Their Time (Dec 2015) that is a companion to his speaking program; it allows him to tell all the tales from the road. Mr. Och’s travels were extensive; from Fredericksburg VA to California, Mr. Och relates, “On my very first stop in Fredericksburg for Elizabeth Monroe, I held earrings that were woven from her actual hair. I knew this was going to be the adventure of a lifetime.”

Andrew continues and adds, “One of my last stops on the West Coast was the Reagan Museum and Library in Simi Valley, CA to research Nancy Reagan.  The true love story that is the Reagan’s was a powerful way to wind things up, and reaffirm that these women are people. Real people who live; love, laugh and cry.”

Bringing education and entertainment together, Andrew Och has accumulated one of the most intricate and complete historical collections of America’s First Ladies. He is a historian, teacher, lecturer and producer who lives and breathes his work. During his lectures, he’s often asked- who was his favorite First Lady? Mr. Och’s answer sums up his lecture series, “I can’t name just one lady. Their separate contributions need to be looked at as a whole because together they’ve helped sew the unique fabric of our country and for that we’re extremely lucky.”

SOCRS109- Bob & Melissa Sebastian- “HOOAH: Helping Out Our American Heroes”

SOCRS109- Bob & Melissa Sebastian- “HOOAH: Helping Out Our American Heroes”

December 6, 2019
Bob Sebastian enlisted in the United States Army in May of 1983. Following the completion of One Station Unit Training and Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia, he was sent to Fort Lewis, Washington where he completed the Ranger Indoctrination Program. Then, SPC was assigned to 2nd Platoon, Charlie Company, 2nd Ranger Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment. SPC Sebastian conducted himself with the upmost honor and integrity throughout his service to the 75th Ranger Regiment. While conducting a jungle training exercise in Panama, SPC Sebastian injured his right knee. SPC Sebastian continued to selflessly serve the 2nd Ranger Battalion; however, due to complications of his injury, SPC Sebastian was honorably discharged from the military in February 1986.