Our guest for this week is Damien B., a Senior Consulting Analyst at Accenture, a Marine veteran, and a friend of mine. Damien was a commissioned and enlisted officer in the US Marine Corps from April 2003 to November 2012. He is currently a volunteer at The FourBlock Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that equips veterans to advance their careers. FourBlocks semester-long, university-accredited career readiness program provides professional development, career exploration, and networking in various locations nationwide.
Damien had a colorful early life before and during his time in the military. In high school, he ended up living with his then girlfriend’s family. His girlfriend’s father was a Vietnam era Marine veteran who showed him his guns, and taught him how to shoot and drink cheap bourbon. His girlfriend's family didn't want Damien to join the Marine Corps because of their experiences, but Damien ran out and joined the Corps.
After bootcamp, Damien went to various trainings: MCT (Marine Combat Training) for non-infantry – a 3 week training school, and Communications school which was a total of 16-weeks of training.
In this episode, Damien shares his experience at Camp Pendleton where his Corporal was responsible for bringing large amounts of meth into camp. He also discusses his first deployment in Iraq, the process of coming home from deployment and the challenges of reintegrating back to civilian life, life in Camp Pendleton, his brief stint with modeling, going back to school via MECEP, and how the FourBlock Foundation helped him land a job after the military.
"I had been in sports from middle school to high-school and never once until then been in tears due to physical exercise than I had there (boot camp)" [10:03]
“I didn’t think Marines lie cheat or steal and I tell you what – a few month later, the largest drug bust on Camp Pendleton took place on our parking with headquarters of the Fifth Marine and my Corporal was the leader of the largest amount of meth coming in to Camp Pendleton” (20:53)
"You have experienced what friendship is, what love for another person not your family is at a level that until your experience it as reality, you just can't comprehend it" [38:36]
“I think anything I’ve ever done right in my life has been because of my military experience” [1:17:50]
In This Episode:
- Why he enlisted first, did he come from a military family, Why Marines? (1:25)
- Did 9/11 have an impact on him joining the Marine Corps (5:14)
- What kind of impact did boot camp instructors have on him as a leader? (9:55)
- MCT (Marine Combat Training) after boot camp for non-infantry (15:10)
- Damien’s experience at Camp Pendleton
- Timeline when he checked in to Fifth Marines (23:12)
- Doing CAX (combined arms exercise) and waiting for green light to deploy (24:45)
- Barrack Stories before deployment (25:58)
- First deployment to Iraq in 2006 (28:17)
- Process of coming home back from deployment (32:00)
- When his son had heart surgery (35:10)
- Continuation of his deployment and his promotion (40:10)
- Damien's experience of reintegrating after deployment (49:55)
- Back in camp Pendleton, modeling and going back to school (59:45)
- Damien's life after graduating and being commissioned (1:10:30)
- Did his military training help him find a job as a civilian? [1:17:50)
- Impact of the FourBlock Foundation (1:22:35)
- One story that needs to be talked about (1:27:45)
Links & Resources Mentioned in this Episode:
Times Article: https://www.ocregister.com/2007/02/15/a-salute-to-fallen-of-team-5/
William Rast Jeans: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Rast
Last Lecture Video: https://youtu.be/ji5_MqicxSo
Last Lecture by Randy Pausch - https://amzn.to/2rnLCp2
Website - https://goo.gl/FhoVcc
Instagram - https://goo.gl/5x6iF9
Facebook - https://goo.gl/ZGmURF
Twitter - https://goo.gl/cTYTvj
Gear - https://goo.gl/U5W2Hq
Podcast - https://goo.gl/FhoVcc
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