Civic Warriors Podcast Episode 3: Night Stalker Foundation
It’s not about what your job is. It’s about the mission.
Chairman LTG Kevin Mangum, Board Member LTC Bill Golden and Executive Director Brian Supko share how their past experiences serving in the 160th special operations aviation regiment (airborne) drove them to lead the Night Stalker Foundation and achieve a mission that fills the important gaps in support for those who serve.
Listen in as Withum’s Brad Caruso uncovers how the Night Stalker Foundation cultivates a culture that defines overall success, uses legacy and reputation to grow and sustain organizational impact and operates with a focused desire to execute, ultimately, ‘serving those who serve.’
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Hosts: Innovative, dynamic, gritty, determined warrior. This podcast is about the innovators, the leaders on the front lines of adversity, the all around good people doing good deeds. They are the civic warriors of the world. Our guests are the leaders in the nonprofit industry affecting change. They try, they fail, they overcome. Through their stories we can join forces to become civic warriors.
Brad: Welcome everybody out there. Today we are with a very exciting organization, the Night Stalker Foundation. The Night Stalker Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that provides scholarships to the families of the Night Stalkers as well as other individuals. So what we’re going to talk about today is getting into what the Foundation does, how they go about their mission and talk about really the impact that they’re having in the world. Because you know as men and women living in the United States, first and foremost, we just want to thank you all for your service to our country. I think many in the world should be going in that direction and thanking their service men and women.
Brad: And the Night Stalkers have a very interesting mission, whereby, I’m not going to get into it other than, turning over the floor to my friends around me. So with us today, we have General Kevin Mangum, Brian Supko and Bill Golden. And they serve in a leadership capacity for the Night Stalker Foundation and they really guide the direction and strategy to make the biggest impact in the world for those that need it the most. So thank you all for being here, I really appreciate it. Thank you. So Kevin, maybe tell us a little about, what is the mission of the Night Stalker Foundation?
Kevin: So, the mission of the Night Stalker Foundation, our aim is to develop an endowment to support the Night Stalker soldiers past and present, and their families using best practices in governance. And with a world-class team, board members and officers. Its to have an impact on those who give so much every day.
Brad: Okay. And so, you know, you support the men and women that served as a night stalker. Maybe talk a little bit about what is a night stalker. So for those out there that have no idea when we’re talking about the Night Stalker Foundation, what is a Night Stalker?
Kevin: Night Stalker is a member of the one 60th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. The most elite aviation unit in the world. Night Stalkers execute on a regular basis, high risk, high stakes, high value missions that others can’t do, won’t do or don’t do. And they don’t do them cause they’re not trained, they’re not equipped. Nor do they have the unit focus to do so. So, they are the Washington Nationals. So really, they are the best of the best. And, certainly in the last 18 years in the global world and terror, any significant mission against our foes, our terrorist foes, there was a Night Stalker there. You may not read about it, you may not hear about it, but it’s a unit that’s been in contact, been deployed, in the global war on terror since September 28, 2001.
Brad: And so obviously this is one of the elite of the elite. And many of you have served in this capacity and have been involved both operationally and after the fact. And so when one hears that this is an elite task force or an elite group, not even task force, an elite group, you know, how does one go from a cadet at West point – cause I know Kevin, you’re a West point graduate, Brian you’re an ROTC graduate from Ville. And so how does one go from saying number one, I want to be a Night Stalker, because obviously there’s a significant risk and a significant personal sacrifice both yourself and your family and your close loved ones make for you to be able to do that. How does one go to making that choice as well as go from, you know, what is the training process from, from straight out of West Point or straight out of out of college to actually operationally they’re either flying a bird or going about that.
Kevin: So I think, and certainly interested in what Brian and Bill’s thoughts are, but generally, folks who want to be Night Stalkers want to be part of the best. When I was a battalion commander at one of our selection boards, I remember a young captain from the a hundred first when we were going through the process was asked, “why do you want to come here”? He said that he looked across the ramp on the 1st of October, 2001 and realize that he was not on the varsity team. He wanted to be on the varsity team. So I think for any of us, we want to be part of, anybody that has come there and wants to be part of the best unit, uh that they can serve in. And this certainly is the one, um, there’s a number of different routes to get here, but generally there’s a selection process that is very rigorous.
Kevin: Once elected, there’s a training process that is very rigorous up to nine months for an army aviator that’s already trained, comes to the unit and starts a new with another nine to twelve month training process. Once a Night Stalker completes that, what we call green platoon – and Brian just gave up command of our special operations aviation training battalion – once they complete that, it’s really a license to learn and go to a unit and continue to develop and to better understand the mission and how they can… what their role is, in executing that mission.
Bill: So for me the big thing was initially just to serve the Nation. So I went to West point to initially just be an officer in the United States army and that’s how it all started. And then, I’m a little bit younger than General Mangum, so I actually found out about the Night Stalkers through this movie/book called Black Hawk Down. So that alerted me to what a Night Stalker was. So from that moment on, the minute I knew I was going to be in the Army, I wanted to be an Army aviator. I wanted to be a helicopter pilot. The very minute that I achieved the ability to even go to flight school and become an aviator, I wanted to be a Night Stalker because of what I saw that those guys were capable of doing. And it’s been pretty remarkable seeing what they do and just being a part of it for 15 years in special operations aviation. It’s been literally incredible. That’s my experience.
Brian: Yeah. I mean when I was in college, one of the guys that I respected the most was a Master Sergeant, Special Forces Master Sergeant, MIRTC detachment. And as I progressed through the years and got ready to graduate, I was picked to get Army aviation. I’ve still got a picture that he gave me one day on it. I didn’t know about the Night Stalkers, but he wrote that on there, hey, go Night Stalkers. And he wrote that on this thing. And so October ’93 happens. I just graduated from college, was getting ready to go off to flight school. And that was the first time I really heard about this organization. Not just saw the pictures on CNN of, you know, members of the unit being drug through the streets. And then as I spent the next seven years serving in the conventional army, I was deployed to Bosnia and I ran a Ford arming and refueling point at Camp Comanche. And in the middle of the night, these guys with black helicopters would land and they got gas and they took off. I didn’t know who they were. They didn’t act like or look like anyone else. They seemed like they always had a very focused desire to execute. And so then as I come up to assess, and I dropped through the compound at ’99, I think we were in Korea. I see the names written on these buildings and they’re the names of the men from Black Hawk Down. So you start to realize the significance of the organization because the great people that you run into throughout your career. And even to this day, that’s the reason I wanted to be here because these were people I wanted to be measured against. The Mike Durant’s, the Carl Myers. These are men I wanted to be measured against. And so you gotta come to the 18 to be measured against them everyday. And even if you come up lacking, you got measured against great human beings. So for me, I think that’s what makes the place special. It’s mission and it’s people. Not only the men and women that serve here, but the families as well. And I think that’s what’s so important for us as a Night Stalker Foundation is because you’ve got really unique people who have made a significant sacrifice on behalf of their Nation.
Kevin: Many of them at this point have been deploying since 2001. I mean, certainly those folks are starting to leave the unit as they retire or their term of service is over. But there are still a number of folks who were there on the first missions that we flew into Afghanistan in 2001. So it’s a unit that has born more than its fair share of casualties because when the helicopter goes down it’s normally not one soldier who is a casualty. And it’s one who the wear and tear on the soldiers and their families, parents, spouses and children is pretty remarkable. And this is an opportunity for us to give back and continue to serve our family. You know, the family that we grew up in. And I do consider it, having come to the unit as a Lieutenant, I was one of the youngest officers in the unit when I got here. And I do consider it to be a family. I don’t wear my West Point ring, I wear my regiment ring cause I learned a hell of a lot more as a Night Stalker than I did at West point.
Bill: To add on to his piece about giving back. One of the most interesting things is, even after they retire, and were finished their term of service. All of our instructors that are in the unit are previous Night Stalkers for the most part. So every single one of them, after they’re done wearing their boots and their uniform, they dawn on their instructor uniform and they are teaching the new and upcoming Nights Stalkers how to do exactly what they did except to do it better, to do it, you know, more efficiently and most importantly safer. You know, one of the, one of the most impressive things that I’ve ever done in helicopters air to air refueling, which no other army helicopter unit can do.
Brad: Air to air refueling… talk about that.
Bill: And so that is, that is going to get, essentially refueling your helicopter in-flight from a air force tanker that flies.
Kevin: C-130 tanker.
Bill: And their purpose is to refuel helicopters. And our purpose obviously is to continue to get gas so we can keep flying our mission. But the most interesting thing about that was the person that taught me how to do air to air refueling was the person who wrote the manual for the Army on air to air refueling. He was the very first one. And I can’t imagine what that must’ve been like to be the first one on that science experiment of doing this capability cause it did not exist. And then he was teaching guys, decades later how to do that because he was the very best.
Brian: Yeah, man. I think when you look at, you know, guys like Igor Sikorsky, right? Figured this thing out from the very beginning. While we may not have figured out rotor wing flight, we figured out how to take that and turn it into an absolute war machine. Weather its aerial refuel flying at night under goggles. We were the first unit to do that. You know, to build these machines that you see today, if you take the MH 47 G that we have an absolute war wagon and it’s because of its nonstop service and the organization and the innovative people like our crew members in the back of the aircraft. While it may be, you know, our warrant officers teaching them how to fly, everybody out on that flight line that’s retired doing maintenance on them or teaching, all of them served here as young enlisted guys, Sergeant majors, they’re back still giving back.
Kevin: And I think there’s something, that is magical about the culture and the ethos because it’s,not about what your job is, it’s about the mission. So it doesn’t matter if you’re a private or a Colonel.If there’s something that needs to be done and you can do it, you get after it. And that’s, that’s different. It absolutely is a laser like focus on the mission and getting it done. And whatever it takes to get it done.
Brian: We used to have a saying that your proximity to the target does not determine your significance to the outcome. Right. And that could be the young avionics kid who’s just getting your radios, working to the guy running the farp, who’s putting gas in the helicopter, to the crew chief in the back, to the pilot flying the mission of the AMC command. You know, everybody has got an integral piece. And when you look at what this organization emerged from, it was a screwed up Ford refueling point in a desert in Iran. That’s why we exist today. We exist today because of the great failure on behalf of this Nation. And so I think, you know, when you have presidents that say their biggest regret was, I didn’t send one more helicopter. We said, well that will not be. This organization will never be that kind of a comment. And so we’re, laser focused on executing on behalf of this nation for the greatest customers in the world.
Brad: And from that, you know, I think when we talk about… yeah I think every organization in the world can benefit from just that strong core teamwork aspect. We’re here to accomplish a mission. I love hearing that and I want the world really to think that way because if everybody thought that way. I think we’d all be in a better place just in general. But from your all perspective, what are you most proud of in your service? You know, I’m sure you’ve had some interesting missions. There’s probably some stories I’d like to talk about, we probably can’t, but if you were to say something, you know, you’re proud of accomplishing being a Night Stalker, what would you say it would be?
Kevin: Wow. Being on the team. For one.
Brad: No doubt.
Kevin: You know, so my story’s a little different than theirs. In flight school they would bring warrant officers in to talk to new lieutenants about what a warrant officer was, and two guys on this panel of warrant officers were from the 160th. And so I went up to him afterwards and said, “Hey, can I get a –“, they talked about it being the best unit in the world and all this and you know, secretive unit, “okay, well can I get the phone number?” So I called and I was the first lieutenant that was assessed in the selection process. Jury’s still out on whether or not it was a good idea or not, but I was a first lieutenant that was assessed. So all I wanted to do was be on the team. And it didn’t matter if in subsequent years if I was a lieutenant, a captain, a major, a lieutenant colonel or a colonel. All I wanted to do was do my part for the team. So that, similar to Bill’s comments, it was about, you know, what’s my role, how can I do the best for the team? I think the thing that I’m most proud of, was when we did the first mission into Afghanistan. It was really a mission that we didn’t know whether or not we could do. And Bill talks about the mission, and the fail mission, in Desert One that from which our unit was born. It was longer and more complicated than that mission. You know, we really didn’t know if we could do it and, I mean we were confident we could do it, but it was on the ragged edge of capability at the time. And so it was successful. And then the biggest lesson I learned from that mission and subsequent missions was, is that Night Stalkers will expose themselves to a level of risk. They’ll put themselves and their machines at risk to do the mission and support each other. And then my job as a commander was to, in many ways tell them when it was inappropriate for them to assume that risk,
Brian: When to throttle back. It was rarely to accelerate or take more risks. Almost never.
Kevin: It was pulling the bridle. It was not, it was not putting the whip to them. But that was a big lesson to me was I got to tell these guys when it’s worth the hanging out.
Brian: When to ratchet it back, yeah.
Brian: But I think that’s also the culture of the organization in which we serve. When we talk about the 160th, that’s important. But we serve a much larger organization. We don’t exist for us. We are a client focused organization, right? So the ground force, whether it be Seals, Special Forces, Special Mission Units, Rangers, you name it, we are here to, you know, execute missions on their behalf. And that culture just permeates throughout the organization. You know, things in your motto that say, I’d rather die than quit. That is like ingrained in the organization. Never shall I fail a comrade. Those kinds of things are big. Right. And so you know, it’s culture. So I think that is really what is hugely important for us.
Bill: Yeah. I think that, a couple of different things really. And like general Mangum said one, I’m just proud that during our assessment process I was able to convince somebody that, I barely got enough buy to be considered to be on the team. And then I went to a a breakfast one time and a guy named Matt Eversmann was the speaker and he was from the movie black Hawk down. He is the young sergeant who takes over this team and they go through and do stuff. And the first thing that he said was how much he respected the Night Stalkers and what they did for his ground force unit, which we refer to as our customers. Being a client based organization, as Bill said, they truly are our customer. And so to have someone else make that statement about your team is pretty incredible. And then as a leader or being a part of that team, seeing young soldiers that you interact with at the very beginning of your career as I’m at the twilight of my army career, a young soldier is now in a command sergeant major position that I’ve seen move all the way up. And just to be a part of his growth and, and just, you know, to be working him at any point in his career is very gratifying.
Kevin: I think another key piece that we need to talk about is, you know, not only is the 160th known for being the most elite helicopter unit in the world and that its time on target plus or minus 30 seconds, anytime, anywhere. The unit is also known as being the best in class, best in breed and taking care of families. And that’s thanks to an old boss of mine who really started that family support, family focus. And as a result, it is a family and an extended family. And we have learned over the years the sacrifices that those family members face and endure, but also where we can help now as a Night Stalker Foundation to support soldiers currently serving in their families and the extended Night Stalker family for soldiers who have left the unit. As well as those that you know, a family of fallen Night Stalkers, who we say it’s not enough to never forget, we have to always remember. And that’s a critical piece of this. So we’ve got the legacy of being the best aircraft helicopter unit in the world. We also have the reputation, and bona fides of being the unit that takes care of its families better than any other.
Brian: Yeah. I think for us, you know, it’s, it’s fine and any gaps that might exist out there, and then how can we reinforce those? Right? So, you know, we look at things like scholarships, we look at like caring for our family members, currently serving unit members, and then really perpetuating the legacy of the organization. Right? And so as a foundation, you know, we built it around people that are very focused on customers. I mean, you look at the people that are sitting on our board, they run businesses, they are customer oriented people. Or they served in the unit. And so I think that passion comes through on our board and it really helps focus us on delivering for our customer. Which is, as we said, those who served in the organization. And, you know, desire to be best in class. I mean, that is, we are competitors from the day we were born. I’ve told people, I will compete with you on how quick I can open a beer. I don’t care what it is, if I will compete I will compete. And that’s what you find in this organization. We will compete about everything.
Bill: Yeah. You know, and the word gap is an important one to think of? Because whenever something happens to a soldier, whether it be a Night Stalker or anybody else, um, you know, the service does a, they do a pretty good job of, at least initially trying to take care of the families. Cause they, you know, the ultimate sacrifice is exactly that. But there are many of these gaps. One, they can only sustain the support that they give to the families for so long, and it’s not very long. And they also don’t have the funding to do that. And that’s where we are really coming in because obviously the loss of a loved one is you know, somewhat everlasting. And so, particularly for children and for spouses and for parents. But to be able to fill any of those gaps, whether it is to, um, whether it’s an injury to get the family there to be with their Night’s Stalker. Or to you know, take them to a different country. Cause we don’t only train in the continental United States, and a training accident does not really warrant a whole lot of federal assistance. And so being able to bring that family to that time of crisis to be there for them really makes a big, a big point and shows them that the families are just as important to us as their soldier.
Brad: So where do you feel that there’s like a funding gap? If you were to say there was a funding gap, between the public and those that served our country, where would you feel that funding gap would be?
Kevin: There are an awful lot of programs. There are a tremendous number of programs, that the department of defense and the U.S. Army have to take care of soldiers and families. Sometimes though they are not as responsive as they need to be, could be or need to be. There are also some examples like Brian just mentioned where support isn’t authorized based on certain conditions that might exist. So there are there spa, I think there’s some space for us to help certainly with the families to become more resilient and have the coping skills, working on the coping skills. The other is somewhat transactional. That if Bill Golden’s house burns down tonight, where is Bill Golden and his family going to go? There’s a family aspect of that, but there’s also a mission aspect of that, is we got to keep Bill Golden in the fight. And so despite all of the very effective programs out there, there’s a responsiveness aspect and the gaps tend to be on who qualifies support for support at what time, under what conditions. And so that’s, those gaps are small, but they’re, you know, they’re minor gaps, but they’re significant in their impact on both the unit and the family.
Brian: And if you’re the one standing in the gap, that’s significant. Great example, right? You’ve got a father in Guam who is on the verge of passing away, six kids in your family and you want to get all your family members over there to be with this father before he passes away. That’s not the Army’s problem, right? That is you, that service member’s problem. You need to figure that out. What we want to do though is we want you to serve this organization for a very long time. These aren’t, these are not generally rotational assignments. So I mean, I did 12 years here. How long did you do, Kevin?
Brian: So these are, I mean, you’re spending a huge part of your youth here. And so the way we sustain that is we create a best in class organization and we also have to enable that best in class care, right? So I think it’s super important that while those gaps may be small, if you’re the one in the middle of it, it’s a big deal.
Kevin: It’s an abyss.
Brian: It is. And you can’t see how to, my house just got hit by a tornado. I’ve got insurance. It will take care of me. It’s going to take time, but I need my family to come around me right now and do that. That’s a quick infusion of cash from us saying, hey, here’s a way to help out tonight. Right? Um, so I think it’s about just creating a world class organization around them that can fill those gaps.
Kevin: It’s an old saying that, we enlist soldiers, but we re-enlist families. And a big part of this is, is that both soldiers and their family members know that they’re going to be supported when the time comes, when the need arises, when they are standing in that gap. That who’s gonna take care of me? And particularly when, particularly when, soldiers are deployed, when stuff happens on the home front.
Brian: And we’ve got a sacred trust to these families, right? Not just the service member. So just because your car won’t crank this morning, how do we help you out so that you can stay deployed, stay focused on your mission and not worry about the fact that something just happened to your family. If we can step in there and help out.
Bill: Yeah. General Mangum briefly mentioned a part that is a big significant factor is usually nothing bad happens when you’re at home and you’re prepared to deal with it. Oftentimes happens when they are clearly across across the globe. And you know, the military or the organizations does a very good job to move the soldier.. But they oftentimes need to get to a different location. So now they’re trying to close in on one place to get there in a very quick amount of time because that may be a small period of time that they have left with a loved one. One coming from overseas, one coming from one side, the of the continental United States and joining them is one of those gaps because the military is going to move that soldier to get him there in time. We’re going to move the family and the kids so that they don’t incur a bunch of costs to get them to be where they need to be at that very important time in their life.
Brad: So as a foundation and kind of leading into that, you know, where do you feel, you know, how do you help, how are you helping, both those who have served as well as the family members? How is the Foundation currently helping? What kind of impact are you making that is making a difference?
Brian: Yeah. So I think, you know, if you’re a Patriot and you’re sitting out there listening to this podcast, that should be the question you ask. How can, how can I help you help be an impact? Right? So it’s things like scholarships. So while the army does have a 9/11 scholarship for the service member, or it can be transferred to one family member. When you got three, four, five kids, it isn’t going to cover that. And while you’re a young Sergeant or even a young officer serving, it’s hard to save up the kind of money it takes to send kids to college. We want to help partner with that, right? And come alongside and be a part of that legacy that you as a serving member want to leave for your family. We want to help enable that, you know? And then there’s other things where it might be just us stepping in to provide some resources, counseling for maybe children, spouses and other things. But, you know, that would just be a couple things where, you know, if you said, hey, how could I have an impact? What do you do? And those are the kinds of things we’re looking to do. Enable long-term service focus and that best in class execution.
Kevin: And I think, in two words, what we do is help the unit build trust. That and unit soldiers and families build trust that they will be taken care of. And that the sacrifices that they endure that they’re, one, they’re recognized. And two, when they need help, help will be there. The second word is investment that. You know, we’re helping invest in their family’s future with the scholarships so that, you know, the soldiers can set the conditions to better the lives of their children and their families for the future.
Brad: So as the Night Stalker Foundation, you’ve been operating for a few years now, but have gone through a strategic process. You’ve brought in a lot of strategic individuals onto your board that really driving this organization forward that’s gonna make a bigger impact each year and there on after. You know, approximately how many scholarships do you give out a year now?
Brad: So over the life of the organization, you’ve given out more than a million dollars in funds that wouldn’t have otherwise been available.
Brad: I think that’s important to know. And not even that, it’s just the… not even the pure dollar amount, the amount of individuals that have been the benefit of that has been a significant number. And, and you know, I think I you can’t discount that fact because it definitely makes an impact. And you know, I think just from my, you know, being a civilian, not serving in the military. I think most of the public concentrates more on the servicemen, less on the families. Just in general, you hear more people say, you know, thank you to the servicemen, but how often do you hear how often you see someone in an airport walking up to the wife? Thank you for both of you. And I think that’s a very important aspect of what you do and why what I learned in working with you, was just seeing how it’s a family. It’s not just an individual.
Bill: Yeah. The, you know, that money thing is just not a way that operationalize the connection that we have with our families. And then also with our, the legacy, like was mentioned before. Cause one, we reach out and were helping the families of today, but all those, you know, all of our named scholarships then creates a lineage and a legacy for night stalkers from, you know, from when we’ve started. So when that young 18 year old kid is going through school and they get a check for ‘X’ amount of money that’s helping them, you know, given on behalf of somebody and a named fallen Night Stalker then they inherently just start some sort of relationship. Whether they become terribly interested or they’re grateful for their money from, you know, named ‘X’ scholarship. But either way it starts that relationship and then it carries our legacy forward for those that have given the ultimate sacrifice.
Kevin: One thing I think it’s important to mention is, in the middle of the regimental compound at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, is the Memorial wall. And a visionary commander years ago said we need to memorialize our folks. I said, you know, it’s not enough to never forget, we need to always remember. So centerpiece of the compound is a memorial wall. There are 98 names on that wall who perished either in combat or in training. And that is a very reminder to every soldier and civilian that works at Fort Campbell, Kentucky on that compound every day that that’s the legacy and those are the shoulders that they stand on as they continue to serve. So that they do always remember. And to date we have named scholarships for 28 of those 90, 29 of those 98. And you know, certainly, aspire to recognizing as many of our dear fallen who fell with name scholarships.
Brian: It’s not just about impacting a person going to college. You’re impacting the family member of that Night Stalker who passed away, right? So it’s creating the connective tissue of how do we keep the family together? How do we sustain the family? How do we continue the culture? Because you know, a lot of these kids, their dad may have passed away in 1983. Right? So how do we reconnect with them so that they understand why/what their dad did was significant, you know? Or why does their mom serve today? Why is that significant? Why do they continue to serve? And I think that’s a part of the legacy that we want to perpetuate as an organization.
Brad: So how does, take me for an example, how do I in the public help further your mission, help those that have served, and the families? What can we do?
Brian: Yeah, I think there’s some, at least one obvious one, right? The obvious one would be to come alongside of us financially and support us and enable us to have the impact. Right? The other one I would say is come to one of our events. I mean we’re going to host a number of Night Stalker Foundation fundraisers over the next year across the nation. And just come experience for just a couple of hours, the unit and the people that are there. I think as an American, if you’re a Patriot, you’ll be unbelievably proud of what you as a taxpayer and a citizen have created. I mean, we’re not here because of us, we’re because of you, right? So come spend a little bit of time with us. Help us financially. If you can’t help us financially, connect us to your network, right? Because we want to get the word out about the organization. We want to have an impact and we want you to experience a piece of it. If you can.
Kevin: Spread the word. If nothing else, please spread the word on who we are and what our cause is. But we’ll accept any combination of your time, talent, or treasure in pursuit of our cause. So, and certainly visit our website, nightstalkerfoundation.com. And learn more about the unit. Learn more about the foundation, what we do and how we do it.
Brian: Yeah. I mean, you’re a great example Brad. You’re, you know, what you do. You’re an accountant by trade. You donate your time to help us make our organization better. You’re helping us with this podcast. We’ve got people who are lawyers helping us, right? If you’re a communications person, and marketing person, you’ve got a skill that you think you’d like to bring to bear, reach out. And if we could find out a way to add some leverage through people with great skills, we’d love to tell you about who we are, what we’re doing and how you can help.
Bill: Yeah. The internet is a curse and a treasurer at the same time, you know. Obviously and that can help anybody who just has any bit of curiosity. All they have to do is, you can just look us up now. You can look up Night Stalkers, Special Operations Aviation Regiment.
Brian: Night Stalker two words.
Bill: Yep. And Night Stalker Foundation. Any of those you can learn about, what we do. And then it doesn’t take, you don’t have to go far to learn, you know, some of the challenges that soldiers have getting through any emergency that they have. And you know, and that’s our goal, is to bridge those gaps.
Brad: I think anyone, just in my experience, I know Dwayne had some new folks at our organization. He reached out and I mean the second that our folks reached out to me, just being in the nonprofit practice. And the second they reached out, I knew right away I wanted to help. Right. And I think even from then to getting to when we first had our first conversation, you know… I mean, everyone here, you know, this is probably the first time I’ve ever been in the presence of a General, someone that has a significant rank in the military as well as every individual I’ve worked with, Brian, Bill and all those on the board have been very gracious with us. I don’t see a rank, I don’t see any of that. And I see how dedicated everybody has been. I see how buttoned up everyone has been. And I can say out of the whole podcast thing, how both strategic and tactical everybody is. Because some organizations I’ll reach out, “okay, we’ll think about it”. I think within eight minutes I got a response back with like eighteen thoughts structured in a very detailed structured manner. And then everybody commented on it within a short period of time. And this is exactly, you know, when you say when you served up until now, I mean, you carry those same values. You know, you get assigned a task, you respond to it right away, you deal with it right away and you put your best foot forward. And I think that’s just outsider looking in, I’ve learned a lot, you know, just in my experience working with you all, just how dedicated you are and how important it is, what you’re doing.
Kevin: And I think the laser focus on the mission that was imbued in us in the unit; you can take the boy out of the army, you can’t take the army out of the boy. And that’s where we are. You know, you can take somebody out of the Night Stalkers, but one of the sayings is, there’s no such thing… well there’s two. There are Night Stalkers and former Night Stalkers. Or Night Stalkers assigned elsewhere. You’re always a Night Stalker. And we’re bringing that same ethos, that same laser focus to our mission and our task now.
Brad: Okay. Well thank you very much for being here. You know, I have to end with beat Navy. You know everyone at this table…
Kevin: Beat the hell out of Navy.
Brad: You know, originally my friends, both my friends, are West Point graduates and they told me to make sure I slipped that into this conversation.
Kevin: Winning matters.
Brad: Yeah, winning matters. That’s right.
Brian: Results matter.
Brad: Results matter. And that’s why we’re here. So thank you very much for your time. We really appreciate it and we look forward to everyone out there checking out their website, checking out what they do and supporting in any capacity you can. So have a great day, everybody. Bye. Bye.
Brad: Hey warriors. Thanks for tuning in. On the next episode of Civic Warriors we’ll talk to Christopher Perry from Spectrum for Living about developing an impactful employee recognition program. Make sure to subscribe to Civic Warriors and thanks for all your support. Have a great day.