Life After The Military: Don Gleason and Matt Scherer; Military Transition Roundtable

Do you want to know a secret to success?

Do you want to follow a principle of the most successful people in the world?

Are you familiar with Napoleon Hill and his book Think and Grow Rich?

Ever hear of the Mastermind Principle?

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If you are a transitioning veteran or know any, you will get so much value from this week’s episode of Life After The Military with our guests and Air Force veterans Matt Scherer and Don Gleason – two highly successful veteran entrepreneurs who serve as the President and Vice President of the Military Transition Roundtable (MTR).

This veteran service organization applies one of Napoleon Hill’s principles of success: the Mastermind Principle. It simply states that if you want to achieve a level of success, you must surround yourself with people who have already achieved that level of success.


In the episode, Don and Matt explain how transitioning veterans will increase their transition success and lower their stress by doing the following:

  • taking control of your transition
  • Networking
  • Enrolling in higher education
  • Following through with connections
  • Researching companies and working to understand how their profits are made, and how your position fits into that equation


Matt shares why doing the following will increase your transition success:

  • Joining non-military groups
  • Volunteering in the community
  • Finding out the kinds of people you like to work with
  • Gaining technical skills in the military pre-transition/using LinkedIn to connect with people with those same skills


Learn more about the MTR:

  • The DISC personality assessment to start
  • How the group helps veterans understand what they want when searching for a new job
  • How having an accountability partner produces a staggering 500% uptick in the probability of reaching a goal



Don Gleason:

Matt Scherer:



Don Gleason: @DonGleason15

Matt Scherer:@Matt_scherer


The Military Transition Roundtable:

Scherer Communications:

Achieve New Heights, LLC:

Military Transition: From Combat Boots to Business Suits

Military officers spend a significant portion of their lives servicing our country to protect their fellow brethren. While transitioning to civilian jobs, military personnel have faced many difficulties, a severe issue for countries with big-armed forces like the United States.

After a time of service, such employees seek to develop a career, frequently without the credentials required for current or future employment openings. Military environments generally have their hierarchies and language, making it challenging for most veterans to transition into the civilian sector because of the stark differences.

In this podcast, Lee Elias and Howie Cohen interview Kriby Watson, a retired military officer for 30 years, shares his experience and the must-haves of being able to excel in your transition to civilian employment. His rich experiences have big takeaways for virtually anyone in the beginning stages of their career. Here are eight things to do to give yourself an edge in every interview.

Starting brand new.

Beginning a new journey is complex, and the anxiety often gets the best of us. Realizing that every transition benefits from your past experiences are critical; it’s always the same skills but applied differently.

Your previous career is over.

Having a goal-oriented mindset and an earnest desire to start in a new direction will help you but moving on from your previous career is equally essential to success. Having a sincere desire allows you to be open to new understandings that may differ from how things are in the military.

Mental, physical, and emotional well-being.

All three levels of your health are equally important. You will only be able to take care of others if you take care of yourself first. It is vital to take new beginnings as a challenge than a setback from your previous career.


When interviewing for new jobs, platforms like LinkedIn will come in handy as they will highlight common connections. The platform is also significant in building new relationships, which will help you understand the company culture you’re applying in.

Asking for help is okay.

Military veterans have a strong mindset that, believe it or not, can get in the way of success. Remember that success is all about the team; relying on your team and asking for help is okay. Together we are strong.

Ice breakers.

For your interviews, researching and looking up company leaders and the interviewer is vital to draw common factors to use as ice-breakers. Make a memorable impression.

Having an open-mind.

Military operations are very different from the civilian sector. Hence, applying the same principles might not work out perfectly, so having an open mind to new learning curves will play a significant role in your success.

Have compassion.

The emotional drive is essential for your team to thrive. This may sound like a cliche, but taking care of those around you and having compassion for your team will instill a positive value system. It will also help your team transition from a simple work environment to a family-oriented environment.

Watch to Learn More


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Life After The Military: Colonel (Retired) Kirby Watson

Do you want to learn the lessons of what to do and what not to do IOT to have a low stress and highly successful transition from the military to the public or private sector?

Did you say “YES?

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Then check out the newest Pivotal Moments Media, Life After The Military podcast with Army Colonel (Retired) Kirby Watson!

Kirby is one of the finest, most authentic, and genuinely caring leaders that our co-host, Howie Cohen, EVER served with during his 27+ year military career!

Kirby spent 33 years as an Army Signal Officer and candidly discusses everything he did right and wrong

  • what he did wrong while transitioning – overscheduling interviews, not focusing on one area of need, not properly informing colleagues of the transition
  • what he got right – focusing on finding a good team, taking advantage of the TAP program, being honest about his health state, sourcing colleagues and job applications and honest company reviews through his LinkedIn network, carefully preparing for interviews
  • Discusses how he transitioned out as a veteran by taking the initiative to seek out mentors and carefully going through each step leading up to the job search process

Howie, Lee and Kirby implore listeners to

  • Be honest about medical needs during the transition
  • Put yourself and your needs (and the needs of your family) first
  • Connect with colleagues on LinkedIn and extensively research positions
  • Focus on team building rather than resume building

Kirby also shares advice and guidance for veterans looking to enter the government contracting space and what mental fitness means to him


Show Notes:

00:00 Lee introduces Kirby Watson, a decorated 33-year Army veteran

3:08 After 33 years, Kirby discusses what he did to prepare to transition – focusing on the TAP programs and educational opportunities available at the Pentagon

6:44 Kirby gets specific about what he did wrong while transitioning – overscheduling interviews, not focusing on one area of need, not properly informing colleagues of the transition

10:46 Howie relays an important point, that transitions are just as important for long-time servicemembers once they believe their military career has ended

14:09 The discussion shifts to the need for servicemembers to sometimes put themselves first – a difficult task for those who are trained to serve others

17:48 Kirby discusses what he got right – focusing on finding a good team, taking advantage of the TAP program, being honest about his health state, sourcing colleagues and job applications and honest company reviews through his LinkedIn network

22:48 The group recaps Kirby’s most important steps during the transition – owning the process, taking advantage of LinkedIn, starting as early as possible

27:45 Kirby tees up his final important steps during transitioning: careful preparation for interviews

32:40 Howie shares parallels between Kirby’s story and his own, imploring listeners to speak up for themselves and their health during their transition

37:28 Kirby shares advice and guidance for veterans looking to enter the government contracting space: ask questions and seek to understanding the language of the place you’re at, find a good team and constantly expand it

45:03 Lee relates to Kirby’s lessons on the extreme importance of networking/network-building

48:00 Howie implores veterans transitioning to learn about basic business principles for for-profit companies, noting the difference in the employment model of the military

52:18 The discussion shifts to business acumen over time

54:36 Lee gives Kirby his created book title

56:40 Kirby answers the question, “what does mental fitness mean to you?” – surrounding yourself with good people, maintaining a sense of camaraderie, and being careful about what defines you

1:07:13 Lee and Howie close the show, “never verbalize a negative thought”

Life After the Military: Jai Salters

Do you know who David Goggins is?

Have you read or listened to his book Can’t Hurt Me!?

Have you seen/listened to any of his podcasts with Joe Rogan or Ed Mylett or the other great interviews he’s conducted over the last 3-4 years?

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If you answered Yes to any of these questions, I want to introduce you to the David Goggins of Veteran Service Organizations: Navy Officer Jai Salters, founder of ACT NOW EDUCATION!

If you answered NO to any of these questions, then check out David Goggins on YouTube, read or listen to his book, Can’t Hurt Me, then listen to or view this Pivotal Moments Media  podcast episode of Life After the Military with Jai Salers as our guest! Jai and his story is amazing!

Learn how Jai consistently did the following:

– Overcame repeated adversity in his childhood and his life as a child in the foster care system and built a life of pure grit and resilience

– Pursued education as a way to better himself

– Committed himself to help active duty service members, veterans, military spouses and family members thrive and successfully transition to life after the military by creating and leading ACT NOW EDUCATION

– Flexed his mental fitness muscles 

– Never hesitated to seek help when he needed it







InstaGram: @jai_salters


Show Notes:

00:00 Lee and Howie introduce Jai to the PMM audience, noting his work with ACT NOW EDUCATION, an organization that has helped over 14,000 military members and families with educational resources 

3:03 Jai discusses what motivated him to create the organization while he was an active duty officer, starting with a series of awkward presentations 

8:27 Jai tells the story of how his personal family history affected his early years and eventual enlistment into the military on September 11, 2002

11:00 Howie and Jai discuss the David Goggins story noting some of the parallels between he and Jai’s backstory

16:11 Jai shares very intimate details of his early beginnings and experiences in the foster care system and how it influenced his will to overcome painful circumstances

23:23 Lee and Jai discuss how Jai’s experience has equipped him to impact others, and to see the signs of a hurting comrade

33:27 Howie shares an anecdote of an important comrade in his life

37:08 Jai discusses his mentorship work with organizations like Veterati and ACP, and the process of onboarding mentees

43:37 Lee, Jai and Howie urgently implore all transitioning veterans to ‘do it NOW’; get started on the transition process ASAP 

55:05 Howie tells the story of how a chance encounter at a networking event led to his compensation package being almost doubled

57:32 Jai tells the audience some of what he does to strengthen his mental fitness – positive self talk, taking a mental pause, enlisting people who can help him with the problem, etc. 

1:06:15 Lee transitions to Jai’s prospective book title, and Howie takes a stab at it also!

1:09:54 Show closing

Life After The Military: Jay Santiago Jr. Colonel (Retired)

Does anyone ever say “Thank You for your service”  to you when they know you serve or previously served in the military? Ever hear a response like, “Thank You! You are worth it!” Well, you will hear it in this Life After the Military episode!

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This episode of Life After the Military, features Army Colonel (Retired) Jay Santiago – who represents three (3) generations of Army Officers (Jay, his father, and his two sons).

Jay provides his insights into the transition process, shares his lessons learned, and describes how he treated it as a “mission.” 

Unlike most transitioning senior officers and noncommissioned officers, Jay is still with the same company, Worldwide Technologies, that he joined over 11 years ago. Learn about the transition preparation and criteria Jay applied to make such a great choice!


Show notes

00:00 Lees introduces Jay Santiago, Jr.; Jay starts off the interview with very detailed advice for a smooth transition

08:37 Jay lists the things he did well during his transition, noting that the most important thing was to take the time to think, to understand the need, and to develop the right connections

13:20 Howie and Jay implore you to consider how important the transition will be for your family

18:00 Howie and Jay get specific; Howie drops a big tip about health insurance premiums for transitioning vets

20:48 Jay discusses how he carefully chose the company he transitioned into, World Wide Technology, and how he has been progressing with the company for the last 10 years

36:04 The extreme importance of community within and throughout any industry

40:55 Lee asks, “What advice do you have for the specific trajectory of government contracting?

44:26 Howie shares what went wrong during his experiences in contracting noting how a good mentor saved his career

51:35 The discussion shifts back into the need for developing relationships, asking for help, and becoming a lifelong learner

1:03:54 Personal mission and identity aren’t defined by military titles

1:08:43 Howie’s favorite part of the show

1:14:06 Jay details how following his faith and staying purposeful in a community adds significance to his life and aids with mental fitness  

1:21:09 Howie closes the show – “you reap what you sow”

Life After The Military: Dr. Crystal Redding

Crystal is a clinical psychologist who supported the Joint Special Operations Command, America’s premier counter-terrorism force.

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Crystal is a clinical psychologist who supported the Joint Special Operations Command, America’s premier counter-terrorism force.

This episode focuses on how Dr. Redding:

-Treats super highly skilled service members.

-Likens the journey of working with a therapist as a “sherpa”, helping humans climb the mountain to achieve mental wellness and fitness

-Discusses stigmas surrounding therapy for service-members, noting that the history of therapy includes labeling people

-Shares her view of modern view of psychology which must focus on help with everyday life and tasks

-That the first 3 years out of the military have the highest rates of suicide

-She describes the story of a military sniper who needed help with anxiety – how the sniper already knew how to use breathing queues due to their training, and how that was utilized in their diagnosis

-“Its ok to say, I need someone to have my six on this”

-“Leadership is key” – Dr. Redding explains how great leadership can assist healthcare providers by providing confidential recommendations and pushing service members to get help without fear of consequences


Show notes

00:00 Lee introduces the audience to Dr. Crystal Redding

3:28 Dr. Redding describes her experience as a clinical psychologist for the Joint Special Operations Command

6:27 Dr. Redding talks about the stigmas surrounding therapy and gives a brilliant analogy of therapy and mountain climbing

10:21 Howie explains the Joint Special Operations Command, America’s premier counter-terrorism force, giving context to Dr. Redding’s experience as a psychologist

12:20 Dr. Redding details her process for helping a soldier with their mental fitness

19:42 Howie and Lee get real about Howie’s experiences with mental health challenges

23:58 Dr. Redding addresses the serious confidentiality concerns of service members

32:18 Howie asks Dr. Redding – how can veterans take care of themselves?

33:45 Dr. Redding discusses how military skills can be translated and applied as healing tactics

37:45 Howie discusses how transitioning veterans sometimes don’t seek help

41:14 The conversation shifts to the incredibly important issue of problematic veteran transitions and its relation to veteran suicides

49:58 The ebbs and flows of mental fitness

55:12 Lee gives Dr. Redding her prospective book title and asks the final question

1:09:00 Dr. Redding tells us how she flexes her mental fitness by having clear boundaries

1:06:50 Show closing

Life After The Military: Tim Cochrane, former Marine Corps Electronics Technician

In this week’s Pivotal Moments Media Charlie Mike Channel episode of Life After the Military, meet former Marine Tim Cochrane!

Tim discusses his life’s journey from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange as an electronics technician to American Corporate Partners (ACP), a national nonprofit organization focused on helping returning veterans find their next career through one-on-one mentoring, networking and online career advice and his current work with Tenova, LLC and Hire Military.

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Howie, Lee and Tim discuss the following:

  • A deep dive on the negative environmental factors surrounding veteran suicide
  • Discussion of Tim’s phenomenal work with HireMilitary
  • Discussion on building grit and determination through overcoming adversity
  • The beginnings of the ACP


Social Media:





Tenova LLC:

American Corporate Partners:


Show notes

00:00 Lee introduces Tim to the Pivotal Moments Media audience

2:38 Tim talks about his experience transitioning out of the Marines to the New York Stock Exchange as a technician in the 80’s

6:07 Howie mentions American Corporate Partners (ACP), an organization that mentors transitioning veterans for the corporate world

11:13 Tim describes his journey from the New York Stock Exchange to present

16:04 Lee quotes David Goggins, “don’t stop when you’re tired, stop when you’re done”

19:56 A discussion on grit and responsibility

25:51 Tim tells the audience how ACP started, and how the org works to help transitioning veterans

33:21 The discussion shifts to the incredible importance of finding purpose and value in daily work

37:25 Howie and Tim get real about veteran suicide

51:08 Tim talks about his business history in NYC and how he built a tailored strategic retention system for veterans within ACP

1:02:23 Howie discusses the current landscape of veteran transitions

1:07:51 Lee gives Tim the title for his book

1:10:04 Tim tells the audience how he flexes his mental fitness

Life After the Military: LTC (Retired) Ken Patterson

Listen to this awesome new Life After the Military episode with our good friend and exceptional leader, LTC (Ret) Ken Patterson, if you want to have a low stress, high success transition to the private sector.

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Listen to this awesome new Life After the Military episode with our good friend and exceptional leader, LTC (Ret) Ken Patterson, if you want to have a low stress, high success transition to the private sector.

Ken shares some absolute gold nuggets for all transitioning veterans.

Learn how Ken did the following:

  • Made his transition planning a part-time job!
  • Created a plan – just like a strategic military operation – with specified and implied tasks!
  • Took the time to educate himself to figure out what he wanted to do and where he want to do it!
  • How he answered two really tough interview questions and absolutely nailed them to the wall!
  • Conceptualized and built his own highly successful medical consulting business!

If you watch/listen to this episode and apply the lessons learned from Ken Patterson, you will be well on your way to a highly successful and very low stress transition!

Show notes

00:00 Introduction to Ken Patterson

2:38 Ken discusses his experience with transitioning to the private sector after 21 years of military service, focusing on his use of professional resume-writers

11:11 Ken details the primary tasks he focused on while preparing for this transition – updating his resume, creating a planned strategy for his transition, and educating himself

18:25 The discussion shifts to the extreme importance of doing the work to have a smooth transition

21:40 Ken and Howie respond to Lee’s question – what was the mental process behind your extreme focus and successful transition?

27:04 Howie discusses how ego can negatively influence a veteran’s mindstate when preparing for transition

33:45 Ken tells the story of how his career in the private sector began through a series of extremely memorable interviews

35:42 Ken’s gift of making strong connections leads to award-winning success within the first few years of landing the role

52:26 Ken tells the audience about his motivations for starting his company, True North Advantage, what it took to get started, and where it’s headed

1:03 Lee hilariously names Ken’s future biography

1:05 Ken explains how keeping a consistent schedule, spending time with loved ones, mentoring and journaling all contribute to how he flexes his mental fitness

1:11 Lee closes the show

Life After the Military: Second Class Petty Officer Alfredo Torres

Are you missing 1000 moments thinking you have 1000 more?

Are you letting your arrogance prevent a low-stress and highly successful transition from the military?

Do you like to drink a cup of coffee to relax, expand your network and develop trusted relationships with others?

Do you suffer from PTS, depression, or have suicidal thoughts?

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If you answered yes to any of these questions, meet former Petty Officer Two Alfredo Torres!

In this episode of Life After the Military, Howie and Lee talk with Alfredo about the work he does with the Virginia Department of Veteran Services as a Military Transition Regional Coordinator transitioning veterans.

Alfredo transparently and courageously talks about his problematic transition and how he overcomes his depressive tendencies.

Alfredo is a fun-loving, caring, bear of a man who cares deeply about helping all veterans plan, prepare, and execute a highly successful transition. If you listen to Alfredo and heed his advice, guidance, and mentoring – you will be well on your way to that outcome!


Virginia Department of Veteran Services:

Alfredo’s Sunday Coffee:   Sundays from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM EDT: connect with Alfredo

Torres ( or Hope White ( to get a link to join the conversation

Show notes

0:00 Lee opens the podcast

00:30 Lee introduces Alfredo Torres

03:07 Alfredo talks about his departure from the Navy, his troubled transition

experience and his arrogance

06:25 Alfredo shares how he mentors and advises men and women to transition to their life after of the military

19:40 Alfredo discusses the stressors transitioning military members face and dispels many rumors and toxic perceptions they have and listen to

26:52 Howie reinforces the value of connecting to men and women like Alfredo and other Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs) for help

28:02 Lee, Howie and Alfredo talk about the high rate of veteran suicide and how problematic transitions significantly add to this problem

31:09 Lee, Howie and Alfredo tackle the challenge veterans face with losing their community, tribe and sense of purpose and the need to replace them quickly

28:44 Alfredo talks about the importance of building trusted relationships + translating their skills/experience into language that employers and recruiters understand

41:58 Alfredo describes Alfredo’s Coffee House, a networking event he holds for transitioning service members on Sunday afternoons

47:06 Lee gives Alfredo his book title

52:08 Alfredo shares transparently and courageously about his challenges with PTS, depression, and suicidal ideations and what he does to manage them

56:19 Howie and Alfredo talk about the need for transitioning veterans to be OK with asking for help

1:04:17 Lee closes out the episode

Life After the Military: Madeline Moulder

Do you want to meet a Superhero?

Are you a Military Spouse?

Meet the military spouse version of Captain America: Madeline Moulder!

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In this episode of Life After the Military, Howie and Lee talk with military spouse, Madeline Moulder, the wife to former combat medic, Sergeant Jeremy Moulder.

Madeline describes the challenges of:

  • being married at 19
  • moving to Fort Lewis, Washington and expecting a newborn where she initially had no support structures to lean on
  • preparing for her husband’s multiple combat deployments to Afghanistan
  • helping Jeremy navigate through his challenges with post-traumatic stress
  • helping Jeremy manage his medical separation for the Army with only 90 days of notice and preparation
  • earning her higher education degrees while providing care to her dad, Jeremy, and her son, Jake
  • helping Jeremy take an entrepreneurial step to create their business, USA Flagworks

Madeline transparently talks about how she and Jeremy tackled the challenge of dealing with Jeremy’s multiple combat deployments as a combat medic treating hundreds of casualties which led to his episodes of post-traumatic stress.

You will be inspired by this incredibly strong woman who so magnificently represents the incredible strength, talents and abilities of so many military spouses past and present!



USA Flagworks:

Instagram: @madeline.moulder

Twitter: @madelinemoulder

Show notes

0:00   Lee opens the podcast

00:30  Lee introduces Madeline

02:40  Madeline tells the story about how she and her husband, Jeremy, met and

describes their early life together after getting married

04:58 Madeline describes her childhood experiences growing up in a military family

09:57 Madeline talks about the challenges she had as a young military spouse who was expecting a child with a husband who immediately deployed to combat

16:43 Madeline shares how she prepared for Jeremy’s first combat deployment and describes the challenges she had to overcome

22:42 Madeline transparently talks about challenges she and Jeremy had when he returned from his first deployment and showed signs of post-traumatic stress

26:21  Madeline shares how she and Jeremy tackled the challenge of dealing with Jeremy’s PTS

28:44 Madeline talks about the signs of PTS that Jeremy exhibited

33:15 Madeline describes the volunteer work she did as a Family Readiness Group leader

37:46 Madeline talks about how she found things to keep her active which enabled her to deal with Jeremy’s absence while deployed

41:02 Madeline describes the challenges of dealing with exiting the Army with only 90 days of preparation as Jeremy was medically separated from the military

49:39 Madeline talks about how she earned her higher education degrees while being a caregiver to Jeremy and Madeline’s Dad

54:40 Madeline tells how she pursued employment after her father’s passing

57:37 Madeline describes how she and Jeremy created their business, USA Flagworks

1:05:10 Lee closes out the episode