Jan. 6, 2022

Military Veterans & Cyber Career Trends with John Lehmann of Intellectual Point

Military Veterans & Cyber Career Trends with John Lehmann of Intellectual Point
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Fall in, it’s time for formation! Thank you for joining us today, warriors.

Today we have a guest who’s an Army Veteran, a published author, a proclaimed veteran mentor, an actor, and is currently serving as a Senior Director of Veterans Services for his company. Most importantly and the reason we have him here today is to discuss the trends and the pulse of what is happening in the career transition market with our military veterans. 

So, we have John Lehmann joining us today and he is positioned as the Senior Director for Veterans Services at Intellectual Point, which is an educational platformed company focused in IT training, consulting, and workforce development. John reached out to me because he’s been noticing some developments and trends within the transition of many Veterans seeking careers after the military. So, let’s get into it.

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John Lehman:

And we need to start preparing and thinking in that fashion in a leadership model that's going to be meaningful for the veterans to make a proper transition, where they're not out and homeless. I mean, you know, that's one of the other trends that is going on within our community. And by enlarge the two reasons why veterans commit suicide. And this isn't talked about in the media, it's not.


Warriors fall in, it's time for formation. Thank you for joining us today. Today, we're very fortunate to have a guest who's an Army veteran, a published author, and self proclaimed veteran, mentor, and actor, and is currently serving as a senior director of Veteran Services for his company. Most importantly, and the reason that we have in here today is to discuss the trends and the pulse. What's happening today in the career transition market with our military veterans. Before we get started, I'd like to introduce our podcast assistant and co host, Avi. Avi, how're you doing today?

Avi Dhanraj:

Doing pretty good, KP.


So we have John Layman, joining us today. And he is positioned as a senior director for veteran services at intellectual point, which is an educational platform company focused in IT training, consulting, and workforce development. John reached out to me this week, because he's been noticing some developments and trends with then the transition of many military, veterans seeking careers after the military. So we want to just get into it and start to start digging into what these trends are, and what's going on with the transition of our military veterans. So John, thank you for joining us on the morning formation podcast today. I really appreciate you having me. So thank you. I just want to dig right, right into the topic. Some of the trends that I have been seeing when speaking with veterans that are now transitioning from the military, or they've been out of the military for a while, is there's definitely a cultural clash. And I don't know if this was like this for you. But it was like this for me. So if there's something that contrasts or compares with your experience, just share it with me, because I'd love to hear that. But in my experience, when I got to the military, there was just like a week long class that was called Tap Transition Assistance Program. And they pretty much throw a tool, like a 200 page book at you, and they say, Okay, this is how you write a resume, this is how you're going to look for jobs. And they don't truly prepare you for the transition from the military culture of life, and the way of living to the civilian way of living in the way that you go about looking for jobs as a civilian. So there was quite a long transition period for me, of years for me to become acclimated into the civilian world. You know, you touched on that I was in the army, and I was a medic in the Army. And I was a flight medic in the Army at that. And then I got out of active duty, and I joined the Air National Guard three days after I left active duty, simply because I didn't know how to act outside of the uniform. So he still wanted that, that comfort and that buffer zone for me to be able to feel like I was in my element in the civilian world, you know, so on the weekends, and during the timeframe that I was actively employed by the Air National Guard, I would dawn the uniform, and it would put me back in a comfort zone. But with the soldiers that are getting out, they don't have that they don't have their will be their cultural will be, you know how we use the poncho liners the way so they don't have that warm and fuzzy feeling when they come back to the civilian world because the cultures collide. And that was one of the major trends that I'm seeing when speaking to veterans is that they have a hard time acclimating back to the civilian life because they've been out of it for so long. You know, they learned how to be in uniform, how to speak to people in a particular fashion, how to be immersed in that culture. And then once you take the uniform off, it's almost like you'll lose your identity. And it's really, really bad for people that kind of envelop their psychological being around being in the uniform and and having the comfort of being on base and having a group of people that have like mindset around you. That really benefits you as a soldier or airman or Seaman or Marine, you know, once you have that culture around you, it's hard to step out of it and say, as a third perspective and say, Huh, what are some of the answers for this? And some of the answers for this, I would propose is that us, meaning US veterans, those that have walked out of the uniform, and started growing ourselves in the civilian market need to look back at those that are in uniform, and start to teach and mentor those that are in uniform to tell them one day when you take the uniform off, you know, even if you do put a career in for 2030 years, I'll give you this as an example. There's a a major that I spoke to yesterday that the last time I spoke to him, he was an E seven. And he spent a career of 32 years in the Army, and he's about to retire, he's going to put in two more. He's an amazing person. But you know, we had the discussion. And he said that about three years ago, he started having discussion, discussions, specifically with civilians, in regards to the way that his civilian life was going to work. But he's not in the norm. Most people call me and they say, Hey, John, I'm getting out in a week. And I'm like, we don't have much time to work with you, buddy. So here's this, this, this and this, and then we go through a checklist, and we prioritize and triage what needs to be taken care of. And then, with that being said, I would like to talk about one of the other trends that's going on, there's a lot of soldiers, and a lot of Airmen, a lot of Marines that are starting to matriculate over into cybersecurity, in computing, simply because it's a field where if you have the opportunity to work remote, you can work remote, and it seems to be very appealing to a lot of veterans, because they're in their own environment. And they don't have to deal with the corporate, the corporate culture and corporate environment. So I see a lot of veterans going in this direction, and particularly working with intellectual point in Prem jawaani, I've learned so much in such a short amount of time in regards to the way that the business culture side of the houses, and the military mindset is, and there's a lot of things that are similar, but there's also a lot of things that are different. And when you're dealing particularly with the IT structure, like I try to explain to the veterans that are working with me on LinkedIn, how important LinkedIn is, because it gives you the ability to see people within that corporate environment, and you can read what the corporation's core values are, you can go through in, print out their mission statement, their company mission statement. And you know, just to give you a brass tacks, if there's anybody that's out there listening, and you're looking at pivoting in any career, what I suggest you do is you look at five different companies, and you give yourself that five company contingency plan. And then from there, you print out the company's overall mission statement, or whatever their their statement is a company statement. And then you print out their core values, and then you put all of them on one sheet of paper. So that way, you can see if those core values and if those missions remotely match up, and if they matched up quite well. If they're very similar in nature, then you're in the same wheelhouse you should be kind of gearing for. And the reason why I say that is so that way, you're not wasting time. You can say okay, well, I'm going to go into cybersecurity. But many people don't realize that there's 52 different career pathways in cybersecurity. Now. Yes, I call myself a veteran mentor. But with that being said, I looked at guys like you that are also veteran mentors, and I say, what's your experience in that? And it's opening up that conversation. You know, Paul Cummings is another guy. He's a Navy veteran that's been in cybersecurity for years. I tap him all the time, because he's a great resource. And he's just a wealth of knowledge. You know, and there's Christoph. Blind blonde, I think, is his last name. And he just he wrote a book, and I've been communicating with him. He's a civilian, but he has a heart for veterans. They're both Greek guys. So sometimes we need to suspend ego and just start asking questions and say, Hey, what's this? What does this mean to you? That's something we talk about on this podcast a lot. Now, just for some context, when did you transition out of the military? I transitioned out of the military in 2011 2011 So there weren't very many transitional resources to help you out there, were there. No, not at all. And it's funny that you asked that, because I went through many different jobs. You know, I'm, I have a master's degree in Exercise Science. I have a bachelor's in history and political science. And I've been all over the place as far as careers are concerned. But I really enjoy the whole cybersecurity in IT stuff because I like fixing problems. And I like living pretty much in my head, and dealing with the analytics and the forensics, you know, and, you know, obvious smile in here. So, you know, there's a lot of correlation that I tried to do mentally, and the cybersecurity field and it field. And then speaking to people like Prem, and Paul Cummings, they're just completely on a different level analytically, because they their brains think algorithmically, whereas I come from the art side of the house where I used to draw and paint. So I really like to creatively brick things and try to breathe life back into them. Where is you know, they constructively know how to break things down. I'm like, Where's the water? Where's the hammer? You know, because if you treat all tools like a hammer, you might get something done. Might not be the right mentality. But it's certainly funny to me. That's very true. And I'm glad that you are mentioning some of these cultural clashes. Because I got out, I She resigned, my commission got out in 2007. I did four years enlisted in the National Guard. And then I did four years active duty as a commissioned officer. And I got out in 2007. And I've said this so many times with the hottest thing online, social media wise in 2007 was MySpace. So there was no LinkedIn, there was no clubhouse, there was no Facebook. I mean, Facebook was around, but it just started wasn't even popular. But it was very, very difficult to connect with people very difficult to find transitional resources for veterans, you were kind of just, you were pretty much only available to us, what was there on your base, if you got lucky, you got a chance to reach out to a headhunter, but even that was kind of hit or miss because there was a few out there. And they all had different characters about them. And my transition was, I thought, you know, when I got out, I had my my master's degree, my first I have two Master's degree, have an MBA, and I have an MSA, I thought with my master's degree, and my time as an army captain, that I was going to be able to easily find a job. And I found a job, but it wasn't a good fit for me. And it was kind of one of those things where I started out where it was, I had maybe four opportunities on the table. And but when it was all said and done, I had one, and that was in one location. So I didn't want to go on unemployment when I got out. And I just went ahead and took it. And I was there for about a year. And the overall success of that situation for us was that specific company hired seven military officers. And at the end of the first year, six left, it just, it just wasn't a good fit. I think both sides wanted it to work, but it just didn't work because of the culture clash that you're talking about. And today, I feel like there's a there's a little bit a little bit more veterans today that are there's a little more veterans today, they're actually seeking to make that transitional process smoother, but they're still not enough, I recently walked into a recruiting station. And I just wanted to get the vibe on what's being offered for folks who enlist because I truly believe that the transition process starts either before or when you go into the military. Day one, you need to start going to the Education Center, you need to start thinking about, you know, how do you invest in yourself on day one versus going to the bars and, and doing all the crazy young people stuff, that's cool, but you got to work hard play hard from day one, you really got to start working on yourself and investing in yourself. So I went to the recruiting station, just to get a contact on, you know, what's being offered for enlisted folks. You know, and to make to make that connection with them. And when I started talking to, to the NCOs that were in there about skill bridge Coursera act, no education BTi all these different organizations out there that help our military service members and veterans, you know, make that career transition. I could for some of those NCOs I saw the lights turn out and I saw them kind of like yeah, okay, you know, don't worry. I got this I got this, I know what the undoing I'm doing. And it kind of reminded me of myself, you know, and it's it's kind of disheartening to still see that happening to it, like you said, it's an ego thing. But at the same time, you know, we do have a lot of veterans that are reaching back, trying to help the service members that are coming out, because we've already, we've already forged this path. And we've already been down this road before. So it's, it's nice to hear you know, that you you're now this the senior veteran services director for intellectual point, would you mind talking a little bit about what your position entails and what you what specifically what task you do to help bridge that gap? Absolutely. So at intellectual point, as the Senior Director of Veterans Services, I deal directly with the veterans every day. And I'm also dealing with hiring and recruiting managers, and trying to find out exactly what the market is looking for. So I speak to the hiring recruiting managers, I tried to develop definitive pipelines for veterans to be hired into particular companies. And the best way to do that is to get a hold of the HR department get a hold of the people that are doing the recruiting specific, specifically for the military, and or veterans side. Now, the interesting thing is that in corporate America, they've kind of amalgamated or clumped together military and veterans all in the same deal. And there's, I'm gonna say a term and some people see it as very derogatory. And in some regards, it's meant to be. But it's not verbally that way. So I use the term dead veteran. And that's a veteran that is over 180 days after service, a good majority of the services that are offered, say, through organizations like onward to opportunity, if you're out after 180 days, then you don't necessarily qualify for their program, unless you particularly apply for specific scholarships. There's other programs and scholarships and things like this, that after 190 days, you know, anybody that was in the military, and they get out, you have that six month buffer period, where everything's okay, and you feel okay. And then life really starts to close in on you. And you have this definite effect of feeling like, what did I just do, and anybody that does not say that just isn't being honest, period, if you come from a hyper compressed environment, where you're dealing with, you know, just the military in general, you know, where you're in your formation, you have to be on specific timelines, you have to eat, you have to be dressed, you have to look this way, you have to do this. There's a containment process that happens in your mind mentally while you're doing that. And then when you get out of that, you literally decompress, and where your mental space goes, who knows? Who knows. And you really have to get within a positive thinking circle, to be able to bolster who you want to be in the civilian life, because like you were stating, earlier, culturally, when these vets get in, or the soldiers get in a Party Party Party, but they don't focus on the five year plan, they don't focus on getting out of the military. So there is no forethought. And the leadership that is in command does not. And they're not mandated to teach in this dualistic mindset, because you're in the military, you have to have other presence of mind at the moment that you're there for critical mission, thinking. I totally agree with that. But in the flip side, when you take the uniform off, and it's the weekend, or it's after hours, you shouldn't be thinking like that, you should be thinking more of what's gonna happen to me after this, you know, because there's always just like, there's night and day, there's always career time. And then there's after that career time, and we need to start preparing and thinking in that fashion in a leadership model, that's going to be meaningful for the veterans to make a proper transition, where they're not out and homeless. I mean, you know, that's one of the other trends that is going on with In our community, and by and large, the the two reasons why veterans commit suicide. And this isn't talked about in the media, it's not. So the first is being underemployed and a second is being unemployed. Those two factors alone lead most veterans to commit suicide. And some they say that the stats VAs collected the stats, and they state that the stats have gone down from 22. What about the ones that aren't reported? And we all know that if it's a stat that's collected by some entity, that there's bodies that are not counted or collected, and there's certain classifications that if they, if they got a dishonorable discharge, are they counted? Are they you know, are they still counted? In my opinion, they are, if you spent time in a uniform, you're going to be my brother, you're going to be my sister until the end of time. And that's just the way it is, for me, I don't know the way it is for everybody else. But I can tell you that I have a heart for veterans, I love every single person that spent time in uniform, because there's a connection that we'll have until the day we die that the civilian population just doesn't understand. So John, that sentiment is something that I'm sure a lot of the veteran community always goes through at one point in their life or another, whether it be as soon as the transition out, or as you're saying after that six month period, life, the realization, the weight of everything starts to crush you. Now, you were saying that because of this mentality, a lot of veterans are struggling to maintain their momentum getting out of the military. Now, what are some ways that you can adopt this mentality before transitioning out or perhaps before this realization or the weight of life can get to you so that we can take preventative measures to ensure that veterans or future veterans don't endure this type of challenge? Well, I'm really glad that you asked that question. And being the medic in me, I'm going to have to give you a medicinal answer. And it's not always going to be something that people want to hear. Because whenever you're taking corrective actions, a lot of times there's a lot of work that has to go into that corrective action. And what I found just with people in general is most people are extremely lazy. They just they're lazy, and less they get in the proper motivated circles, you get people that are motivated to do the same thing that you want to do. And then you continue to push, you get mentored, you get molded in that direction. So there's a, there's something that needs to be baked into the culture, and I use that term baked in, because when you make a cake, there's many ingredients that go into that cake. And you have to understand what the right temperature for how long it goes in. And then when you turn it, when you take that product out of the oven, you have something that you can consume, and it nourishes your body. So those things that will nourish your body over a long period of time are reading, you must read. To gain knowledge, people are not reading today, you must listen. actively listening is a skill that is lost on many, many people. And when there are people that are in the room that are smarter than me, I now flip open a notebook and I start taking notes because they have better answers than I do. And just simple things that they say instrumentally have changed my life. I'll use Prem for example, Prem is the CEO with the intellectual point. And Prem has said some things that absolutely blow my mind because he is the only teacher outside have a high school teacher that I had. That can can teach inductive and deductive reasoning in a way that will assist you in breaking down information for your own personal use. And after listening to him in meetings, and just in conversation, I really enjoy it because there's a lot of takeaway on that. And you really have to culture your ear and set away or set aside your ego like we were talking about earlier, and saying okay, I thought I had really good answers for this, but apparently I don't. And how can I reassess that the only way that you can do that is if you start filling your brain with information that you didn't have there before. So that way you can make better articulated decisions on where you want to go, who you want to have around you, and how you're going to foster that environment. So that way you are in a culture that you want to be in. So read, listen, and then tutorials or taking classes to continue your education, right, keeping an open mind, especially when entering this new and potentially scary time in your life is huge for maintaining that momentum. And what you're seeing is that a lot of veterans may have an ego coming out of this thinking that everything is going to be alright, or they have everything figured out. When really, they should be opening their minds and maintaining awareness of all the different types of information out there. I just call that the Who am mentality, or who rah, you know, you know, you get super excited about doing nothing Hoo, hoo, rah, you know, just stand there. I'm really glad that we're having this conversation this morning. Because there's been, there's something that over the years has kind of bothered me about this. And it's one of the reasons why I created the morning formation. I literally got out of the military separated myself got rid of the majority of plaques and all that stuff that I got, because I just wanted to move on with my life. I literally went through a phase of, yeah, I don't want this, I don't want to see I was in the military. But now I'm not. So you know, let's move on with life. And throughout the years, it's kind of bothered me on how I separated myself and military. A lot of veterans go through that to where you go through a phase of you get out all right, I want to move on with my life and just, you know, forget about this stuff. And then you come back to the table later on. Hoping to help because you went I mean, like I went through a process of of getting employment, and then quitting that employment, finding another job. And one thing that I learned, and it's a lot of a lot of current service members out there need to understand is there is a lot of flagwaving when it comes to Oh, yes, we love veterans, we hire veterans, you know, veterans, veterans, veterans. But then in reality, there's really nothing. There's no motivation. There's no passion behind why it's just, we do because it looks good on our website, and it looks good when we say it. And our company is we love veterans. But in reality, how can you love something that you don't understand, first of all? And second of all, how can you love something that you don't really understand the value of a lot of service members need to understand that when you get out, there's not going to be recruiters and employers throwing rose petals at your feet looking to grab you in and pull you in, they're going to be literally sticking you next to someone who went to a high level college who was in a certain fraternity who did certain things. Meanwhile, you were serving your country. And they don't understand what that is or how important that is. They don't know the difference between an army captain and a e4. Like, there's there's a lot of recruiters out there, I had to simply explain in very layman's detail, what a platoon leader was what a captain was. And it was very hard for me to do because I'm used to talking to people who have a certain level of knowledge and language. But now I have to like go all the way down here and get on the floor with the blocks and the Legos and like explain. Okay, Captain is in oh three, and then the two separate, you have NCOs. And you have commissioned officers. And then you have this other thing more officers over here. And it's like, that's explain all that to these recruiters. And I think it's gotten better over the years, but it's still not where it should be. I think a lot of veterans need to ask themselves, what what are you doing, to reach back and help this problem that we have? That's one of the reasons why AVI is on this show. Avi is an aspiring future commissioned officer. And I believe that this, him having this conversation with you today, John and him having all these other conversations that we have emerges him into the issues within the military, and the transition out and our veterans, when he becomes a a lieutenant someday, he's going to already know, okay, I'm in charge of these guys. Here's the things that I know that are important. Education, I need to get these folks to invest in themselves right off the bat as a onesie twosie three's and also to that was one of the reasons why I went to the recruiting station, I really would like to connect with folks that are currently in the service right now. And get them to understand the importance and the value of investing in themselves and understanding the importance of reaching out to folks like you, John, who have been there done that before and pick your brain on hey, I'm looking at getting into cybersecurity someday. John, can you tell me like what are the ins and outs and what should I know what should I know? Versus I got this? Don't worry, I got this and that's something that I'd like to change. I totally agree with you on everything you just said. You know There's the one question that you would asked, that's super outstanding, you know is how can you love something you don't know it. And that's what you just proposed in. You know, a lot of things like the flag waving and all this other stuff that goes on within corporate America in general. If you're a recruiter, and you're listening to this show, you need to understand that if a veterans out of work, they qualify for w iotc. Work tax credits, and they also qualify for veterans tax credits. So a company that's going to hire a veteran on, they will essentially get up to $20,000 per veteran that they hire. And if the more veterans you hire, the more tech credits you get. I can't break that any down any further. There's a guy named Craig Washburn that runs veterans tax He knows his stuff, and he's broken all of that stuff down and demystified it, all of his services do not cost anything to the veteran. So if you're a veteran, you can get pre qualified, and you can show an employer exactly how much tax credits, they're going to get back through his services. And it's absolutely free to you. So it's a good way for you to get your foot in the door and say, Hey, listen, if you hire me, you're going to get $7,000 tax credit back immediately. So if you need to spend that on training, or if you need to spend that on, you know, the guy that's mopping the floors or whatever, then go ahead and do so. But the the issue, one of the other things that I'm seeing market trend wise, is that veterans are not given a lot of opportunities at the mid level positions. So if you're, you mentioned platoon sergeant, I'll use a platoon sergeant for an example. Or even a First Sergeant for that matter, you are in a position where you're dealing with multiple people, multiple personalities, and you have to coordinate so you are a frontline supervisor, for multiple people. And a very intense situation in most times. So within corporate America, when you're talking about intensity, like sometimes premiere laugh, because he's like, you're so even keel. I'm like, well, nobody shooting at me. You know, nobody's shooting at me, of course, I'm going to be even keel, you know, and that's not normal. Like when certain people feel pressure, their pressures, not my pressure. You know, if you've ever been a medic, or if you've ever been in a situation where you had to take care of somebody, you understand what pressure is, you know, or if you're standing on a frontline you understand what pressure is. And I don't think that corporate America truly understands that in a way that would be beneficial for the corporate environment to adopt the veteran mentality of saying, you know, there's, there's, it always could be worse. You know, whenever we were deployed, we would always say, it always could be worse, it always could be worse. And until it got worse, and then you're like, could it get any worse. So a lot of it is just a time adopting that mentality of, you know, we're gonna see our way through this. But in the same regards, when you do that, it bolsters the ego, which prevents you from listening. And it prevents you from learning, reading and growing internally. So it's that that outcomes razor, you really have to look at both both ends of the spectrum and say, Where am I going to fit in this paradigm? And where do I need the most work? And most people aren't honest enough with themselves to say, this is where I need work. They need somebody else to kind of point out a flaw to them. And then it becomes apparent to them. My wife will tell you this, because she's my best friend. And when she tells me stuff, I'm like, I hate it when you're right. But it's it's honesty, you know, but we have, we have a relationship. That's just, it's not common. It's not normal. And when she tells me stuff, I'll sit there and I'll listen, and I'm like, Yep, I don't like it. And she always tells me, well, it's too bad, because that's the truth. And then I sit down for a little while and I'll come back to earn. I'll be like, yep, you're right. And she's like I told you, but it once again, it's having that environment around you to and I want to circle back. How can you know, how can you love something if you don't know it? And that's where having a good support system is my wife knows me. And she also loves me, because she knows me so well. And that's what I encourage veterans to do is find people that they know are genuine, that can give them proper guidance. That's not going to steer them down or wrong. Ave, you know, if you have somebody that's out there partying with you, and they're telling you to go down a certain Avenue, say no. And then go find new friends. It's simple as that. And I wanted to circle back because there was one thing that you said, and I really, I want to take notes on that. You stated that when you got out, you got rid of a lot of stuff. And it was like, right after you got out of the military, I just did that. Not too long ago, I literally took all of my soldier of the year stuff off the wall, I took everything off the wall, and I burned it in my backyard. I took it and I put in a smoker, that a block for Father's Day for myself, and then a smoked everything literally, in my backyard. And my neighbors are like that smells really good. I was like, that's all my military stuff. And I did it in a fashion that was unceremonious, but in the same regards. It was very cathartic for me. Was it like that for you? Did you have a lot of catharsis when you did that? Or was that something that you, you have remorse, something I have remorse. And actually, I wish I wouldn't have done it. Just because it was more or less feeling like I wasn't able to adapt or identify with the civilian world. And there was a number of reasons why that number reasons why I felt that way. And it was because of it was because like you mentioned earlier because of employment. It was very frustrating to have spent a year at this at this new job that I had, and then just, you know, quit and find another job afterwards, I really thought that I was setting myself up for to be in a good position. And in reality, it wasn't a good fit. I knew what I wanted, and I end up settling. And that was the problem. And a lot of service members out there need to understand the difference between, you know, going after what you want versus settling, settling is something that you're just oh, I have to take this and it's a job and I'm going to have a paycheck. And that's not what you earn. Like when you're in the military, you have a lot of blood, sweat and tears, a lot of sacrifice of your time with your family. You deserve to get what you want over just settling for whatever is out there. And so you get that by simply investing in yourself. And the one thing that I want to mention to you mentioned earlier about the recruiters, I there is a huge gap between and I asked the recruiters this I said so when you sign someone up for the military when they enlist, and then they go through basic training and ai t you know, during the process, you obviously ask them, What are your What are your life or career goals? And they tell you and I asked the recruiters, I was like, Do you follow up with him? And I knew the answer was going to be no, because at the end of the day, they're their job is to sign folks up and get them moving, get them down range get them to go to their basic training ai t. And I said no. Well, their answer was well, they send us a picture of them after basic training or ai t and I said no, that's not what I mean. Like, are you following up with them to make sure that they're following through with those goals that they told you? And they said no. So there is a gap between when that soldier goes or that marine or that airman or that sailor goes, leaves home goes to basic training, and then goes to their first duty station, keeping them accountable, and keeping them motivated to stick to those goals. And there's nobody that's following up with that. And so again, that's why I started the podcast, but there's so many great organizations out there and so many folks online look just like yourself who, who, if you contact any veteran out there who's willing to help veteran mentor just like you and I will help you with that. There's actually a young man right now who is in Fort seals, James Jesse met him at the gym, he was getting ready to leave for basic training. He's army basic training. Now he's at Fort seal, he's an artillery mo s 13 Foxtrot, you know, I'm doing my best to stay in his ear and say, Look, man, when you get your first duty station, go to the Education Center, go to the Education Center. And that's really what it takes is for US veterans to go back and reach back and try to get those folks when they're young and say, look, keep yourself accountable. Like you know what your goals are, don't get to your first duty station, get caught up in buying yourself a used a used car used Mustang or whatever, right? They're off base and get ripped off. And don't don't get caught up in being young but understand that, that you have to work hard, play hard, and invest in yourself. And that's one thing that I've been focusing on. And I like what you say about surrounding yourself with the right people because I truly believe that when you surround yourself with with winners and people who are who have the right mindset, you are the tech they say if there's five idiots in a in a group, then you're the sixth idiot in that group. So, you know, it goes to say the opposite direction to so make sure you surround yourself with the right folks. And, you know, we talked about the culture clashes and some of the things going on with you know, our military transition veterans right now. I want to pivot to talking about intellectual point and asking you What is the passion behind intellectual points? interest in providing educational opportunities for for a veteran community? Well, I'm really, I'm really glad you asked this question. So intellectual point. And I want to preface this, because I went through the V rat program, which is a program that if you've exhausted all of your GI benefits, your GI Bill benefits, you can apply for the V rat program. And it would allow you to take some courses, dealing with STEM for you to do a career pivot. And I was working as a union plumber, and they just didn't keep me employed. So then I got involved in private investigation. And I was doing that for six months, I loved the job, I thought it was totally fun. So it worked on the investigative part of my mind. But at that point in time, I just said, Well, there's this program, I'm going to take the Certified Ethical Hacker information. And I'll start using this towards what I'm doing as a private investigator. And I got the talking with Prem, the CEO on the phone. And we had a couple of conversations back and forth. And Prem was like, Well, I want you to come down to Virginia, because I want to offer you a job, I want to interview you. And I was like, Man, I kind of stepped back a little bit because I never really was asked to do something like this. And then I was like, You know what I called Prem again. And I said, Listen, I'm gonna fly down. So I flew, I flew down to Virginia, and met with Prem, and the rest of the staff and intellectual points. And I just, I love them, I absolutely love them. And this is one of those things that they are an extension of like my family, I feel that they are and I feel like they think that I am in a way, that is really hard to explain, because PPROM really, really has a heart for veterans, out of any of the companies that are out there. When it comes to dealing with Prem, he genuinely cares about veterans, like he's, he'll get into a passionate discussion. And he'll be discussing how we're going to get these people in good jobs, he goes, I want them to have good jobs, because I just don't want them to have, you know, a job that they don't feel that they are going to be successful in. And it's hard for me to even discuss this without like, changing my tone and my inflection, because I'm just hearing Prem in my mind is saying it because he's, he's that passionate. And the cool thing with going with intellectual point as a veteran is that the vets don't pay anything for their tuition. If you come through the vet tech program, or you come to the V rep program, the V rep program, you have to pay for your certification cost, but you don't pay for the training. And I came through that leg. So you can put in for reimbursement on that I just never did. Through VA, you can put in through VA for reimbursement on the certification costs. I never did that. But on the vet tech side of the house, everything's paid for. And that's where a lot of these veterans are starting to come into this career pivot into it. And that's more or less where I come in at the junction, I understand the military culture, I understand talking to people that are still in uniform, from general all the way down to, you know, private, like nothing on their uniform. And I speak the language, I understand the culture on that aspect. And I also understand veteran culture. Because when it goes to dealing with veterans from their lowest point, all the way to the point where they're doing really well in functional in society, I see the spectrum on both ends all day long. And I think that I can speak the language of those people. And that's one of the the reasons why Prem brought me on is because I can bridge those gaps. One of the gaps that I'm trying to bridge right now currently is women in STEM. Now, women in STEM and particularly veteran women in STEM, yes, I am giving a shout out to you ladies. So please pay attention. We need to find out exactly why women are not getting in STEM. So if you can shoot me a message on LinkedIn, or you can email me John at intellectual point calm and tell me why you're not getting into STEM why you think women are not getting into STEM? And I truly want to know, because there is a huge, disproportionate applications in applications. Women just are not applying for it. They're not applying for jobs in biology jobs in any STEM field. I want to know why. Tell me why are you not being encouraged if you're not being encouraged? Tell me explain to me show me how you're not being encouraged. So we can help fix this issue. So you can teach me you can mentor me, you can show me how to be a better mentor, how to be a better listener, how to be somebody that can implement things that you're trying to explain or show and you feel that others are not listening. I'll be I'll be yours all day. But you have to give me definitive direction. Because I'm clueless when it comes to being a woman veteran, clueless. You know, there's some women veterans that I talked to that. They're, they're awesome. They're absolutely awesome. But I speak more to the military wives, because they're the ones that are dealing with organizations while the husbands are deployed. So they're still home, but they're working in non nonprofit organizations. And, like, Amy Stoddard, for example, she works for serving together. And I've had multiple conversations with her. Trying to find out brainstorm what this is, but it's difficult. Do you guys have any ideas on why women are not getting in stumped with John? Just to be fair, though, how long have you been in your position right now with intellectual point? Oh, gosh, he's, you're really bringing it out? I've been at intellectual point since September. So that's, with that being said, I mean, just to be fair, like you, you're still making those connections, you're still learning about some of those gaps and how to bridge those gaps. And I think that'll just simply come in time you reaching out to me was absolutely outstanding, in my opinion, because that shows that you're actively seeking those answers. And I hope that we can help you, you know, help you out with getting those those goals, because definitely, that's one of the things that a lot of cyber tech companies right now are trying to do is they're trying to get more veteran women involved with the cyber tech community and get them more involved with the certification process as well. So just to be fair, yeah, you like you just started this. And I think that in due time, you're definitely going to be getting a lot of feedback by coming on podcasts like this and being active like you are on LinkedIn, as well. And then I think Avi, did you have something that you wanted to ask? Yeah, definitely. So John, as you're seeing, following those points of training, and trying to get into the right mentality, trying to figure out what are the causes behind some people not entering certain fields? I definitely want to build on that right here. Now, let's say some veterans are enrolling into intellectual points programs and are going through the training after they've completed it and have an idea of what career field they want to test or go into. Do you guys offer any type of job placement assistance or assistance, locating positions throughout the different industries, once training is completed that could help these veterans out? Absolutely. They each have the veterans a create difference cohort groups, and I have the veterans and I teach the veterans how to use Oh, Sint, and how to flesh out and if you're not familiar with Olsen's Osen, is open source intelligence. So I show the veterans how to use those open source intelligence techniques to flesh out their each of the legs of the companies that they want in their HR departments. So I show them how to collect information to assist them in growing up their own network in a meaningful fashion. And I also assist with job placement. So I will take a veteran that I know is in a specific area in the country, and I'll put them in direct contact with a hiring manager that's in that area. And it's been pretty successful. Because if I understand where a person wants to go, and they're honest with where they want to go, rather than just throwing chalk on a chalkboard, then there's pretty good success, you know, and there's very few people that will say, I want to work for this company. And the reason why I want to work for this company is this. If you can do that, and you've whittled it down that much where you understand exactly where you want to work because the corporate environment fits your needs. Then you have a reason really good fighting chance of getting into that company because you already understand the corporate culture. So what I'm trying to do through the process of doing this job placement is also teach mentor and mold, those that are getting into the civilian work market, particularly within it, how to think, like, the people in it. So, yes, yesterday, when I was speaking to that major in the army, he said that he went to a TED talk. And I haven't found the video yet, but I will, and I'll watch it. But I thought it was really good information. And what Greg told me is that, in his TED Talk, this gentleman was talking about breaking down LinkedIn. And when you build out your network on LinkedIn, you should think about it as a military company. Like, you want to have somebody that's in supply, you want to have somebody that's an S for you want to have somebody that's in s3, and he was breaking down what each of these entities are for military company or a battalion and explained, you know, you want to have an IT guy. So that way, if there's something that goes wrong on LinkedIn, you can have an IT guy that you can reach out to, hey, my routers not working Dude, can you please help me out with this, or if there's somebody that's in the food service industry, and you are about to have a party in your backyard, and you want to make sure that your food doesn't spoil, you can reach out to that guy and say, Hey, I know that you have served safe, is it okay for me to leave these deviled eggs out in the sun all day, you know, use that as an example. You know, but you want to flesh out your network with people that are going to be meaningful to your career, but also within a network of people that are working in different career fields that are still going to have a focus on your best interest. And you can, you can do this by looking at people's posts, and seeing if their personality matches what your personality is. And then you decide to friend them or not. So it's like sticking your toe in the water to see what the temperature is prior to you jumping in. So yes, we do help with career services. I am the direct point of contact for Career Services at intellectual point. And we're trying to flesh out every day, I'm trying to flesh out agreements with companies that are willing to be veteran friendly, and not just wave the flag. And those people that are in companies, and if you are listening to this, please contact me. I'd love to work with you. You know, if you are listening to this, and you are recruiter, God bless you. And if you want to work with somebody that wants to flesh out your organization with it, people, then contact me. You know, I'd love to speak with you guys. It's all about how you are willing to work with your environment and enrich other people's lives. You know, be that selfless, that selfless servant leader, and really put yourself out there, learn how to promote and make it worthwhile. It's a beautiful interview man, I tell you something right now, John, you by reaching out to me this week, you literally skipped the line, there's a lot of other people that have been contacting me to be on the on the podcast, and I brought up like, what how long you've been in your position, because I think that's important, John, you're really on a good start. And I could tell through your message that you sent me how compassionate that you are about what you're doing. And it was to a point where I gotta get this guy on this week. And here we are on a Saturday morning, I got up early to do this interview, as well as AVI did. And and it's because of your your message that you sent. And I could tell even through words that how much you care about this, this specific issue that we have with transition. And I think intellectual point did a great job with bringing you on board. The thing I love about your position is that you can spend 100% of your efforts, your your time towards trying to fix the issues that we have with our military transition in problems that we have even still today. So with that being said, John, I think that you're on a great path. I think that you want barely a month into it as far as doing this, this specific job but all these things you're going to be able to connect with and I'm sure that the next time we speak or I'm sure we're connected now on LinkedIn that you're going to be killing it as far as I'm going to try to connect you with some folks that act now education as well to see if we can work out some type of partnership with active education. They have a great outreach with Military veterans and service members and military spouses. And perhaps there's some something we can do do with as a partnership with them. I'll connect you with those folks. And I believe that the values would align just right. But John, if anyone is interested in reaching out to you, either to contact you about intellectual point, or just to get some information from you, what's the best place that they can reach you reach out? The best place, honestly, they get a hold of me now is on LinkedIn, I almost do 100% off LinkedIn or email. My email is John at intellectual And if you're on LinkedIn, just look up John Layman. And I'll be the guy in the blue suit with the intellectual point. So maybe in the, when you post this, you could post a link to my profile, and anybody that wants to connect, please connect. And, and just really quickly, John, I saw in your LinkedIn that you also have a, you also have a little acting career going on there. And I looked it up on YouTube, I looked up on YouTube, when I saw I saw the trailer, or one of your one of your movies. So you're you're certainly a master of many different trades, for sure. I did acting, I did my hand hit stand up comedy for two years. And I did professional wrestling. And also, MMA I did MMA for a while too. So I kind of ran the whole gamut of everything that I really wanted to do, basically as a huge manchild. And then I got that out of the way. And now I'm hyper focused on assisting veterans in just getting to where they need to go, you know, and part of that is, I didn't spend a time acting like that little getting that craziness out of my 20s. So I did that in my 30s. And now that I'm in my 40s, I'm hyper focused on making sure that the next generation is taken care of. And if you guys are on active duty, and you want to reach out to me, I encourage you to do that. I encourage you to reach out to KP, and Aneesh and talk to us about what you want to do where you want to go in, let's bet this around. So that way we come up with answers that are meaningful and impactful for our environment. And I really appreciate you let me cut the line. You know, that was that's very kind, and very heartfelt. So I appreciate that. Thank you so much. No, honestly, like I said, your compassion through your through your words definitely showed through. And I think that you're on a great path. And for anyone out there that's listening to this, if you're listening to us on podcast, check us out on YouTube as well. The morning formation podcast, we are on video, this will be posted. And we're on Spotify and all major podcasting platforms as well. So check us out check us out there, as well as check out what's going on with academic education who helps power the morning formation podcast. And they have many different opportunities for military servicemembers, military spouses, veterans, so and even some opportunities out there for military brats or military children, as they say, because I can say brat because I was a brat. But, John, I really appreciate you giving us your Saturday morning and sharing with us some of the cultural clashes that are going on and also identified with identified with a lot of things that the frustrations that you had with transitioning out. And hopefully we can fix this issue through some of the things that you mentioned, but also holding our veterans to accountability when it comes to doing something meaningful. Instead of doing push ups or whatever to help bring that number down, get out there and start advocating start pressing those young folks that are enlisting in the military, questioning them say, Hey, what are you doing to invest in yourself? You mentoring doesn't doesn't stop when you retire or when you ETS or when you resign your commission? It continues on for the rest of your life. You'll always be a military veteran no matter what. So my message to everyone out there, get out there. Mentor folks who are getting in the military helped him avoid those pitfalls that you had to deal with when you got out. And so it's been an awesome podcast with you. John, do you have anything you'd like to summarize before we close things out? No, there Oh, actually, I do. There's just one thing. If everybody could do this for me today, it would just be awesome. I just want everybody that's listened to this today. I want you to have a blessed day. And that's all a ask. If this podcast has hit your ears, allow it to be a blessing to you and those that are around you And I just I appreciate everything you do. Thank you guys, honors all our John. Avi, you have anything you'd like to summarize and final out with? No KP I think we had a great interview today. Everything was covered. We had some great experience and ideas from both you and John. I love the way that John, your personal experience with transitioning out of the military has been shaping everything you do up until now. And that's very admirable. That's an awesome way to motivate others as well. And personally as someone who's aiming at going into the military, being able to relate with you guys, not necessarily, oh, I've been through something similar, but as a retrospect, to future insight type of experience relationship is very, very important. So have a great conversation. Gentlemen, I really appreciate it for the folks out there listening. Thank you for listening to the morning formation podcast. As for John AVI and myself, warriors Fallout