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Warrior Transition Panels: Putting VALUE into Action for SAME

The Greater Kansas City Post Warrior Transition Committee continues to make significant progress assisting military members in transition—as of this writing, we’ve assisted about 400 military personnel in transition.  This concept, which began in April 2014, has been sustained at Fort Riley, Kansas since inception and also expanded locally to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri.  In the past two years, the program has also been embraced by the Seattle and Mount Tacoma Posts, hosting transition panels with the 555th Engineer Brigade in May 2016, October 2016 and again in June 2017.  Likewise, the Pike’s Peak Post assisted the 52nd Engineer Battalion in hosting their first-ever SAME Transition Panel in March 2017.  These military units and SAME Posts clearly see the value these panels bring to those in transition as well as their respective organizations—a true “win-win” for all.

 

Momentum continues to build.  The concept is supported by SAME’s Executive Director, retired Brigadier General Joe Schroedel (FSAME), who attended the most recent session at Joint Base Lewis-McChord last month.  Joe has been an ardent supporter of the Warrior Transition Panels, providing funding for travel from the national level and promoting the concept.  Using the adage of “seeing is believing”, his schedule allowed him to participate at JBLM just a few weeks ago.  Together with other Posts, we’re thinking strategically how our concept can be leveraged to fully maximize the value for SAME…stay tuned!

 

The key to success starts with energetic leaders working TOGETHER as one Team; this has been the case working with Joe as well as the following Post leaders from Seattle, Mount Tacoma and Seattle Posts:  Cindy Lincicome, Caroline Roberts, Monica Manthey and Kevin Stoll.  Likewise, our key leaders in the Greater Kansas City Post continue to provide support and “tweaks” to make these sessions the best they can be.  Special thanks to Merrill Watt and Jackie Hacker for their stalwart efforts. 

 

The key to these sessions remains the panel members participating.  Essentially, these are SAME members that are military veterans, sacrificing their time (and thanks to their respective employers!) to give back through their own transition journey into the civilian sector.  Therein is the power of the Warrior Transition Panels…veterans helping veterans, allowing the transitioning military member to see their future and have an idea of the road map they may want to consider as they depart the military.

 

As importantly, the military units supporting SAME to assist their transitioning military members is nothing short of AWESOME!  These leaders—such as LTC Brian Brobeck, LTC Geoff Kuhlmann, COL Larry Dillard and MAJ Chris Adkins—are providing a unique opportunity for transitioning personnel in their ranks. 

 

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Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington Warrior Transition Panel, 555th Engineer Brigade (E1-E5 breakout session) June 2017


 

 

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SAME Executive Director Joe Schroedel providing comments to the Warrior Transition Panel, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington June 2017


 

 

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GKC Post’s Tony Hofmann sets the conditions for the Warrior Transition Panel discussion, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington June 2017


 

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SAME Team Effort:  Seattle Post’s Monica Manthey and Caroline Roberts; SAME Executive Director Joe Schroedel; Seattle Post’s Kevin Stoll; and GKC Post’s Tony Hofmann


So…where do we go from here? Our journey continues to evolve.  We’ll continue to expand beyond the Posts currently embracing this concept.  We are literally “building the airplane as it is flying”.  However, one thing is certain:  Warrior Transition Panels are unique and have a proven track record of success for military personnel in transition.  Likewise, it allows SAME to provide a unique VALUE that other organizations are not providing. 

 

The Warrior Transition Committee thanks all participants in making this a continued success.  We will continue to work with SAME National and various Posts interested in replicating our model as well as refining each panel session that we host—all to assist the transitioning Warrior!

 

 




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