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Brigadier General John E. Michel & Colonel Angela Ochoa



Listen to Learn:

  • How the military cultivates appreciation for others
  • The definition of leadership
  • How Col. Ochoa became the first female Commander of the 19th Airlift Wing at the Little Rock Air Force Base

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    Up In Your Business is a Radio Show by FlagandBanner.com

    You may call it “No Shave November” but we call it “Military Month”. Tune in to hear two of my guests, USAF Brigadier General John Michel and Colonel Angela Ochoa tell their inspiring stories.

    Brigadier General John E. Michel United States Air Force Brigadier General John E. Michel (RET) is a widely recognized expert in culture, strategy and individual & organizational change. An accomplished unconventional leader and proven status quo buster, John has successfully orchestrated several multi-billion-dollar transformation efforts.

    Colonel Angela Ochoa Col. Ochoa is responsible for organizing, training, and equipping the personnel who operate, maintain, and sustain more than 62 C-130 aircraft. The wing provides combat-ready forces to meet combatant commanders' requirements globally. She ensures support for combat, contingency, and humanitarian requirements around the world while providing for the health and welfare of more than 10,000 personnel and families at Little Rock Air Force Base.

    Kerry's original interview with Brigadier General John E Michel

    Kerry's original interview with Colonel Angela Ochoa

    Brigadier General John E. Michel bio

    10 Leadership Lessons from U.S. Commanding General John E. Michel

    Colonel Angela Ochoa Full Bio

    Little Rock Air Force Base Facebook


    Transcript Begins: 

    EPISODE 321

     

    EPISODE 230

    [INTRODUCTION]

    [00:00:09] GM: Welcome to Up in Your Business with Kerry McCoy, a production of flagandbanner.com. Through storytelling and conversational interviews, this weekly radio show and podcast, offers listeners an insider's view into the commonalities of successful people and the ups and down or risk-taking. Connect with Kerry through her candid, funny, informative, and always encouraging weekly blog. And now it's time for Kerry McCoy to get all up in your business.

    [EPISODE]

    [00:00:34] ANNOUNCER: We have a special edition of up in your business with Kerry McCoy. Today, we're going to hear from a couple of military professionals, their perspectives on their military experience and thoughts about the world. Our first guest is going to be retired Brigadier General John Michel.

    [00:00:49] KM: He is a retired United States Air Force brigadier general, who during his stint Afghanistan founded the highly successful Gratitude Café, a makeshift coffee shop with the goal of lifting GI's spirits. John's unconventional approach to leadership has been recognized by Harvard Business Review, Washington Post, National Geographic, Huffington Post and more. Today, we will hear this interesting man's military story. It is my great pleasure to welcome to the table the retired brigadier general and expert in culture strategy and change for individuals or organizations, Mr. John Michel.

    Let's start at the beginning. You had a 26-year career in the Air Force. Did you come from a military family?

    [00:01:39] JM: I did actually. I come from a long line of military servers. My dad immigrated to the United States in the early 60s with one goal, join the United States Air Force.

    [00:01:50] KM: Where is he from?

    [00:01:50] JM: They're from France. And he grew up at a place where there was a US Air Force Base, and every day, he'd watched the airplanes go by. He was so inspired by the GI's and just the culture that he saw. At 18, he bought a one-way ticket, grabbed a single suitcase, and came into New York Harbor. And within several months, he enlisted in the Air Force and he spent 30 years in the air force.

    [00:02:11] KM: Was he a citizen?

    [00:02:13] JM: He's a US citizen. He went back to France, married my mom, brought her back to the US.

    [00:02:18] KM: Back then, did you have to be a US citizen to enlist in that service?

    [00:02:23] JM: You could actually uh get on the path to citizenship that way. So that's exactly how he became a citizen.

    [00:02:27] KM: That's how you get on the path to citizenship. Can you still do it that way?

    [00:02:30] JM: I don't exactly know. There's probably of several different ways. It's gotten a little more stringent as we know. But literally, America was his dream from a very little boy.

    [00:02:38] KM: So are you bilingual?

    [00:02:39] JM: My first language was French. I actually – and then English is my second. We speak it at home when I get to see my parents. On my summer jobs, I would actually be working in France at my grandparents' restaurant. I've had a love of hospitality for a long time all because I love humans, and food, and ways to be able to connect people has always been my passion.

    [00:03:00] KM: You cook French?

    [00:03:01] JM: I do, absolutely. I love to cook.

    [00:03:03] KM: What an interesting guy.

    [00:03:05] GM: She's enamored.

    [00:03:07] KM: He can kick your ass and cook you dinner afterwards.

    [00:03:10] JM: Again, we want a diverse set of skills in the complex world, don't we? So we can hurt you, but then we can heal you.

    [00:03:17] KM: With food. All right. What happened to you first? Was there a turning point in your life that made you decide military life was for you or you just always knew because your parents did and you're like – He just always talked about it all your life, you're just going to grow up and join the Air Force.

    [00:03:30] JM: That's a great question. I like to say, you can refer to me as the accidental general, and here's why I say that.

    [00:03:36] KM: The accidental what?

    [00:03:37] JM: General. And here's why. I joined ROTC just because I had grown up around the military, but I was going to school in Texas, and I thought I was going to be a lawyer. But realistically, I saw, "Well, I can try this ROTC thing. Meet a couple people. Make a couple extra bucks." I just found that I had a natural affinity for leadership. So I ended up throughout that experience going to training, graduating at the top of my class, getting a scholarship to do anything I wanted. So I said, "Okay, I'll go fly jets." Then all of a sudden. I was on this Air Force adventure and I thought, "Okay, I'll do it for four years," then it was 10 years, and then it was 15 years. Then eventually, I was a general. I was like, "Okay, I'm at this magnificent opportunity to lead these 14 nations in Afghanistan." Leading people doing something extraordinarily hard is an extraordinary great gift. Then after that, I realized, "Okay, now I really need to go do some of the other things on my to-do list." That's when I decided to transition into the business world.

    [00:04:29] KM: So where'd you do boot camp? Texas?

    [00:04:31] JM: I did the boot camp in Texas.

    [00:04:33] KM: Were you an Air Force brat? Did you live all over the place?

    [00:04:36] JM: We did. We lived overseas largely. Again, my dad was an Air Force, so he served there. We grew up primarily in Europe at the time. This is when – Think about the '80s, right? '70s, and '80s, the Cold War is raging. I grew up right in that. I'd spend days in East Berlin. The days of the wall, I did all that. I mean, things that you see in history books, now I had the great privilege of getting behind the wall when you still had the secret police. Traveling all over Europe at a time when you still had border checkpoints. I watched this experience and then I've watched the world now become borderless, right? So it's been fascinating.

    [00:05:07] KM: It is borderless.

    [00:05:08] JM: I think that's wonderful actually. I'm glad that we live in a borderless world in many regards. It creates challenges, but it was a really blessed upbringing, because I came to appreciate different cultures, different people, and I got to watch the struggle in a different way. I mean, when folks behind the wall looked at the promise of freedom on the other side, you started to notice these things about people in a sense, and it's the same thing that made this country great. This insistent – this built-in desire we have as human being is to become all we're capable of has been an endless quest. I got to watch it with different eyes as a young person. I think it helped at some level inspire me to go, "There's no greater way to serve than whether it's for four years or 40 years. Put the uniform on. Serve something bigger than yourself and you only can become a better person."

    [00:05:53] KM: So your first assignment was where?

    [00:05:55] JM: After pilot training, I went to Langley right where my dad was stationed. So my dad and I served together on his last tour and my first tour.

    [00:06:02] KM: That is the charmingest thing I've ever heard.

    [00:06:05] JM: Yep. They lived a mile away. It was fabulous. After being gone, you go to college, do your thing. You come back with a new appreciation from your parents. We just happened to be co-located. We got to fly together. It was amazing. It was really a blessing to do that.

    [00:06:18] KM: So you're a jet pilot?

    [00:06:19] JM: Yep. I've got about just under 4,000 hours flying a bunch of different airplanes. In Afghanistan, I got my first exposure to helicopters, which was a different adventure.

    [00:06:27] KM: You like them?

    [00:06:28]] JM: I've come to appreciate helicopters for employment in really diverse environments. What I mean is, that they work really well for a lot of the militaries of the world. They create a lot of flexibility. They can help people as much as they can, well, harm people if that's what you need to do.

    [00:06:44] KM: Are they more dangerous than a jet? Which one's more dangerous?

    [00:06:47] JM: No, they're just different. Really, a jet, your controls are somewhat limited in terms of it's largely driven by – This way to push forward to go faster, and push back to go slower, and then you're controlling the airplane. You're actually adding a dimension in a lateral dimension. You're using your feet, and your hands, and it's really more – when you're flying a helicopter, using all the various things because you're moving in so many different axes. It's more complex in many regards I find.

    [00:07:14] KM: Like a videogame.

    [00:07:15] JM: It is actually. Yeah. Today's kids, oh, they're fabulous at this, because they're so used to now tasking. I watch young people moving seven controllers on each hand and they're hitting all the right buttons. That's kind of what's happened now. But I grew up and I was fortunate, I got to do a little more what we call stick and rudder flying, where you have less stuff and more airplane, and you learn to be really good at your craft. That was the key. It's learning to be really good at your craft, and it doesn't matter if you're flying airplanes.

    [00:07:43] KM: Do you go own an airplane?

    [00:07:44] JM: No, I don't.

    [00:07:45] KM: You fly at all anymore?

    [00:07:45] JM: I really don't. To be honest with you, what I miss is how quiet it is at 50,000 feet by yourself, and you look at the curvature of the earth when the sun's going down. You get a chance to see – I go back to my experience growing up. I got to see people behind the wall yearning for something others took for granted. When you're flying above the horizon, you get to see the beauty of the earth in a much more expansive way, and I just think it opens up your horizons.

    [00:08:10] KM: Literally.

    [00:08:10] JM: Literally.

    [00:08:14] KM: Okay. So then, your job was an airline pilot? Not airline pilot, a jet pilot.

    [00:08:20] JM: Yep. Did that, then moved on to Delaware, then did some stuff, got pulled onto the staff. And then very quickly –

    [00:08:26] KM: How many countries have you lived in?

    [00:08:28] JM: I've actually – so I've lived in just a couple of countries. I would have 14 assignments by the time I went to Afghanistan.

    [00:08:37] KM: Was it what you expected? More or less?

    [00:08:39] JM: It was more than I expected.

    [00:08:41] KM: Were you prepared?

    [00:08:42] JM: I was absolutely prepared.

    [00:08:43] KM: How old were you when you went on your first assignment?

    [00:08:47]JM: Twenty-three years old.

    [00:08:48] KM: Was it dangerous?

    [00:08:50] JM: No, I don't say that was dangerous. I mean, I would tell you this, danger is to some degree a matter of perspective. The reason I say that is, we have the best training programs in the world. We have the best educate – We get people ready to do their job. This is why the military is consistently the most respected because we consistently can do our job. It's because the taxpayer invests in us. I mean, by the time you're flying airplanes, they have on average five million dollars invested in you. That's how much the training the – And it takes two years, so you're really good at what you do. What happens is, it's a matter of, you get the mission done and you want to get a catalyst and really feel a pump. You get moving on the mission and you are completely focused.

    [00:09:33] KM: If it is not comfortable or uncomfortable, you don't have to talk about this, but talk about the pain of war and what you saw.

    [00:09:42] JM: The pain of war really comes from the fact that it's the human cost of war. What I mean by that is, we're well prepared, we're extremely capable technologically. But the part you can never fully get ready for is when you see that the real impact. We can prep for it. You can watch it on TV. But to watch now another human being suffering or the loss of a person, it hits you at a different way, because ultimately the true cost of these – politicians may fight over borders or whatever we're fighting over, whatever the war is over, ultimately. At the end of the day, it's bore out by human beings in all cases. When you see it, you come to appreciate the fact that people are precious.

    [00:10:25] KM: Does it bother you? I had Jim Tucker on here who went to war and was in Japan after it had been bombed, the nuclear bomb. He went all over Asia after Vietnam. Does it bother you? And it really bothers him. But when people, civilians cry war, who don't really know about war, and haven't seen war or its destruction, and how it ruins a whole generation of people. When you see people like saying that on TV like, "Let's go to war."

    [00:11:00] JM: Absolutely. I take it back to – Do you really understand the cost of war? I get we go to war for different reasons, and we have national interests, and other things. At the end of the day, unless you can really understand the implications of what you're asking people to do, and it comes down to the potential cost in human lives. Really understanding is it worth it, and have you really exhausted all the alternatives before you put American sons and daughters in harm's way? When you hear folks who are almost flipping like, “Oh! Well, we're going to go to war over this.”

    War, many people will tell, you should always be the last option. That means, I've exhausted and done my – I've fulfilled my responsibility to find a different way to achieve that ends before I start to risk people's lives. It's just, to me, basic human respect. A leader, if you really – Leadership is about people. Period. It's about creating the conditions for people to flourish and, thrive, and be their best selves, right? Which means you always have to take that into consideration. Going to war, no one should ever take lightly. I think what you're referring to is, sometimes people make it look like it's an easy decision. When they do, they don't know what they're talking about.

    [00:12:08] KM: I had General Wesley Clark on, and he went to WestPoint, and he loved being in the service, because it leveled the playing ground between kids with high school educations and himself who was a West Point graduate. He got shot, and he said, “These guys risked their lives to get me out of there,” and he told his story when he got shot. Have you ever had anything like that happen where you're like, "My brethren got me out of there"?

    [00:12:38] JM: Oh! I mean, absolutely. This goes to why you become once you've been in it. Let's take Afghanistan. I'll remember one morning, I had a – because of my very visible role there and some things, I had a security detail attached to me, right? We lived with the Afghans, because the nature of my job was to lead NATO's efforts to teach them how to build an Air Force. Now, building an Air Force in a non-war zone is hard enough. Imagine doing it in Afghanistan in an active place. and you're doing it with an average eighth grade education as your population group.

    One morning, I get a knock on the door about 4:05 a.m., and it's my security detail, my personal bodyguard. He says, “Look, we got to get out right now because we came under attack.” We had some guys who had gotten in the towers. They'd attacked the camp. We had RPGs, which are rocket-propelled grenades going all around us. I mean, literally, we're hunkered down. You hear the bullets. But the thing about it is not that you're fearful, you're just really in tune with what's happening. But here's to answer your question. I just knew how an amazing organization I was a part of when in the midst of all this, I looked, and across from us, we had our security detail, 26 young Americans, average age, 23 years old. I'll never forget the fire and all the things are raining in on the camp. These kids come out, they have their helmets on, their boots. They still have the stuff they slept in. They ran to the fire, because they knew their job was to defend and take care of every single person in that camp. I just looked at this and I was in awe. I was like, “That is why America is great.” They will go and do what they're trained to do at great risk to personal self. They'll do it smartly. They'll do it as safely as they can. But at the end of the day, what their focused on is getting the mission done. The mission is, protect every single person that was depending on them. They didn't blink an eye or hesitate. About three hours later, it was all dead bad guys and no one injured on our side.

    [00:14:34] KM: Yay!

    [00:14:36] JM: So there you go. There's your superhero movie for the night.

    [00:14:37] KM: I was holding my breath for that one.

    [00:14:40] JM: That's inspiring to me. That's what it's about. When you experience that, all you want to do is create the conditions for them to continue to grow and be better, because that's – I think that's what General Clark was talking about. The military gives you a sense of dependence and trust on other people to where you don't think about it. It's very hard to replicate that in other places. Part of it is because we train that way, we have to do it. But you consistently watch it exemplified. On that day to me, it crystallized like, what an incredible gift we have in these courageous people who raise their hand voluntarily from all walks of life to put that uniform on. No one was forced.

    [00:15:20] KM: For those interested in enlisting, talk about how you would go about getting started today.

    [00:15:23] JM: Absolutely.

    [00:15:24] KM: How would you do it?

    [00:15:25] JM: Go online, but the real thing is go talk to a recruiter. Talk to a human, understand, and don't just talk to one. You may watch a movie, and you're inspired by a particular service. I would tell folks today, talk to a recruiter from all the services. You might be surprised at what you learn. It's an exciting time in America. We finally got our act back together, and are going back to space. The launch of space force gets us back now to think about new horizons. You've got amazing things going on in the Air Forces, the Marine, the Navy. If people understood the kind of mission diversity, anything you want to do, anything, is available to you in the military.

    [00:16:00] KM: I think people think that if they join the military, they're just going to end on the front line, they're going to end up on the front line.

    [00:16:06] JM: Maybe 50 years ago or 30 years ago. But now, think about the way war has changed. We don't really fight standoff wars anymore, right? The way we do it, a lot of it is technology, a lot of it is intelligence, a lot of it is data, so it's a completely different world. It's about being smart, it's about being in tune. It's about learning to collaborate. It's all about being part of a team. The reason I would encourage folks. If you're confused about what to do and you're a young person, talk to all the service recruiters. Then go do it for four years. Why? The education benefits, but more importantly you will grow as a person. You will grow as a leader. You will develop emotional intelligence on how to be part of a team. And your value to the workplace, you could leave there and be 22 years old with four years of world experience behind you, and you'll become a franchise player, because you are learning skills that where else are you going to get them?

    [00:16:55] KM: I talked to a business person one time and asked him. He helps fund businesses, and I said, “What is the best business if somebody wanted to start a new business?” It's funny you used that word franchise. He said, "Buying a franchise that is all structured and ready to go." If you come from a structured environment, you come out, you're like, “I get it. I know how to follow rules. I know how to fill out reports. I know how to –” You would probably be a successful franchise owner.

    [00:17:23] JM: Yeah. That's the discipline that comes from it, right? We live in a checklist world. The one thing about flying airplanes or really doing anything, fixing airplanes, or doing any mission, is you have a list, you're accountable. The first thing is you're accountable. You're trained, you're exceptionally trained. You're used to know, there's a time for structure and process, and then there's a time to be a good wingman or a good teammate. You've got to learn both the hard, and the soft elements of leadership. Just in fitting in, even if it's just leading yourself, just succeed in leading yourself. Not so much you –

    [00:17:53] KM: And parents can't teach that. Parents cannot. I don't care how great a parent you are. It's hard to teach everything you just mentioned.

    [00:18:00] ANNOUNCER: At the beginning of today's program, we told you we would have a unique opportunity to hear the perspective of two professional military people. You just heard a little bit of retired Brigadier General John Michel. I'll let Kerry introduce you to our second guest on tonight's program.

    [00:18:18] KM: Colonel Angela Ochoa, the 19th Airlift Wing Commander at Little Rock Air Force Base. For the first time in the history of the base, the highest position of command belongs to a woman. Colonel Ochoa says her dreams are coming true with her new role, but that doesn't change anything for her. Entering the Air Force in 2001, after graduating from the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Ochoa became a Command Pilot. Having now flown more than 2800 hours in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Resolute Support, Operation Freedom Centennial. For over two decades, Angela has served her country, seen the world, tested her sensibilities and honed her skills. It is my pleasure to welcome to the table the creative, intelligent, and extraordinary woman, mother and wife, Colonel Angela Ochoa.

    [00:19:17] AO: Thank you.

    [00:19:19] KM: Well, thank you. You are very busy. I just want to tell our listeners that it took me months to get you on the radio, because you're so busy, and that you have a very limited time. So we're going to jump right into it.

    [00:19:31] AO: Let's do it.

    [00:19:32] KM: Okay. It wasn't until I read your bio that I realized that you're not a general. You are a colonel. For us layperson, please explain the differences.

    [00:19:43] AO: Well, as a colonel, that is a rank that I hold right now. It's really simply – I’m a colonel in the Air Force. I’m not a general. That is something that the Air Force and all of our military services have different rank structures. A general is a generalist, and they are the most-tiered leaders in our military service.

    [00:20:07] KM: Is that a goal for?

    [00:20:09] AO: My goal right now is to be the best leader I can be for the men and women at Little Rock Air Force Base.

    [00:20:15] KM: Before we talk about training and joining the service in the Air Force Base, let's talk about the beginning of your life. A life that set you on this path. Have you always known you wanted to fly?

    [00:20:24] AO: No, ma'am. Not at all. I know, it sounds a little crazy. But I didn't even know that the Air Force existed when I started. When I was a little girl, I grew up. I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do. I loved math, I loved science, specifically biology. I thought, "Okay. Well, we'll see where this goes." There was a neighbor that was an air liaison officer for the United States Air Force Academy. He lived across the street from me. He was working on his roof one day and called down from the roof as my mom and I were getting the car and said, "Hey, Angela, why don't you come on over to my house and I’ll sit down and tell you about the Air Force Academy." I remember looking at my mom and I told her, "I don't know what the Air Force Academy is, but I don't want anything to do with it. Let's just get in the car and go." She looked at me and she said, "That's fine, but you're going to go over to his house and you're going to sit down and have a conversation, and we'll see where this goes."

    Begrudgingly, I went over to his house and sat down in his office and he told me about the Air Force Academy. I still wasn't convinced at that point in time, but convinced enough that I signed up and was accepted into a program out at the Air Force Academy called the Summer Scientific Seminar. I went out there and quite literally just fell in love with the Air Force, with the people that I met, and knew that it was a team that I wanted to be a part of.

    [00:21:44] KM: How old were you?

    [00:21:45] AO: Right now?

    [00:21:46] KM: No. Right then?

    [00:21:47] AO: Then? I was 16-years-old. When I went out there, and fell in love with the Air Force, I still really didn't quite grasp what it was that they did. This was prior to 9/11. The Air Force existed, but it wasn't quite big in my life or really in my community. Went out there, decided I wanted to apply, I wanted to somehow be involved. But quite frankly, it was a way to get an education, a way to help me get my college degree and move on and figure out what I wanted to do in life.

    I was lucky enough to be accepted to the Air Force Academy, went out there, studied biology. Still didn't know anything about flying. Didn't quite know what I was going to do in the Air Force, but showed up. It was my junior year at the Air Force academy, so I was probably 20, 21 at the time, that General Mark Welsh, he was the Commandant of Cadets at the time. He is now General Retired Mark Welsh, former Chief of Staff of the Air Force. He gave a speech to a presentation, beautiful speech to all the cadets. I remember sitting in there listening to him talk about his experiences as a pilot, as a leader, as a combat warrior. I remember walking out of there at night and thinking to myself, "Hmm, maybe that's what I want to do. Maybe I’ll try that pilot thing." That's where it started. But I didn't know what I was going to do. There's lots of different careers that you can have in the Air Force. I did not realize that that was going to be where I landed.

    [00:23:21] KM: I see. I think people always think you're going to go into active duty when you join the service. But when you just said there's a lot of different careers, do you know what percentage of people in the military of all branches actually ever end up in active duty?

    [00:23:40] AO: I don't know that off the top of my head.

    [00:23:41] KM: Is it large or small, would you say?

    [00:23:42] AO: I would probably say it's not as big as we think it is, especially these days. It is an all-volunteer force that one that you have to choose. You have to choose to serve.

    [00:23:53] KM: I guess I don't have to ask if you come from a military family. What did your parents do that made you so – I don't know. Ambitious?

    [00:24:04] AO: Well, my parents, they raised me and my brothers, I have three younger brothers, with an attitude focused on faith and service. They raised us saying that it really doesn't matter what you do, as long as you do it, do it in love of others, love for God and in service to humanity. That's kind of what led me to this, as I saw this as a way to live out my calling and to live out the way that my parents raised me.

    [00:24:31] KM: It also leads you to the career you need to have if you're serving other. You will always end up where you're supposed to be if you do that. I think when you focus too much on yourself, and where you're going to be, and what you're going to do, you just end up fighting all the time to figure it out. You're kind of your own worst enemy or something.

    [00:24:46] AO: I agree.

    [00:24:49] KM: After you graduated from the academy, what'd you do first? Where were you sent?

    [00:24:55] AO: Graduated from the Air Force Academy in 2001.

    [00:24:58] KM: Is that considered a master's degree when you come out? Or is that just a regular bachelor's degree?

    [00:25:02] AO: Bachelor's degree. Yes, ma'am. Got a bachelor's degree in biological sciences. At first, I was waiting for my pilot slot to open up. My husband and I, we got married in July of 2001. I met him at the Air Force Academy, and I’m convinced that we would not have met, had I not gone there. I don't know how our lives would have crossed otherwise. But we graduated there, and he ended up staying on and taught at the Air Force Academy, and I ended up working in the medical group. That was just a temporary assignment for both of us until we could go off to pilot training, which is about a two-year journey to get to an operational aircraft.

    He worked for the Department of Mathematics there, and then I worked in the hospital. While we were there, that's when 9/11 happened, and OEF kicked off. I ended up running exercises and training for the medical group. It was a really interesting experience, because that entire medical group deployed. Everybody that was left behind had to kind of pick up and run with things.

    [00:26:08] KM: But you're not a trained nurse. You're just taught procedures on how to do an IV or –

    [00:26:08] AO: Oh, no. No, not that. I did help with some CPR classes, and I helped track a lot of training. So some admin work was really what I was helping out with.

    [00:26:23] KM: Let's talk about your husband. He was a pilot.

    [00:26:23] AO: Yes.

    [00:26:28] KM: He had a pretty bad health scare in 2014, which changed your life forever. Does he still teach?

    [00:26:33] AO: It did. No, he does not. Other than, I think, parenting is a lifelong journey in teaching, so he teaches every day when it comes to our kids.

    [00:26:33] KM: So he's become the house husband?

    [00:26:43] AO: He is. He is my right-hand man. But actually, our change in life happened even prior to 2014. In 2009 we were both serving, and he suffered from a heart attack at the age of 30. That is actually what led to him leaving military service. At the time, his condition, and what his status was, he needed to leave, and they medically discharged him. It was a blessing in disguise though for us, because shortly after he was medically separated, our daughter came along, and it was wonderful. He was able to focus on her and focus on our kids, stay at home, and help raise them, which was just a treat, and a joy, and he loves every moment of it. He loves being able to –

    [00:27:25] KM: Oh. Little girls love their dad.

    [00:27:27] AO: Yes.

    [00:27:28] KM: I think this is funny. I read where you said there's not much difference being a female pilot, unless you have a baby.

    [00:27:36] AO: Just a small difference there.

    [00:27:38] KM: Just got to get off the flight line and go nurse for a minute, and I’ll be right back.

    [00:27:38] AO: Or just do it right there.

    [00:27:42] KM: Oh, there you go.

    [00:27:42] AO: There you go.

    [00:27:46] KM: It’s pretty fascinating. You could – I don’t know this. But with your training, could probably kill me with your little finger. But you get up there in these big buses, these C-130s. You fly across the world. You come back, make a baby, feed a baby, go back out, and it’s like this huge –

    [00:28:08] GM: Two different worlds.

    [00:28:08] KM: It’s like these huge two different worlds. I kind of want to sing the Helen Reddy song, “I am woman. Hear me roar.” You know what I mean?

    You have flown in more than 2800 hours in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Resolute Support, Operation Freedom Centennial. Did you see combat?

    [00:28:31] AO: I did.

    [00:28:32] KM: What was your mission? Did you fly those big planes C-130s in? Or what did you do?

    [00:28:37] AO: Yes. I love the Herc. It's been not the only aircraft I’ve flown, but primarily the only aircraft I’ve flown, and I love it. It's a great mission. We are very versatile. Yes, all of my combat experience was in the C-130.

    [00:28:53] KM: Tell everybody what Herc means.

    [00:28:54] AO: What Herc means? Well, Hercules.

    [00:28:56] KM: What Herc nation is?

    [00:28:58] AO: Herc nation. So it's a term – I didn't make it up. I’m not going to claim credit for that. Some of my predecessors did come up with the concept of it. But really, it's a mindset. It's a mindset that we all work together. You give us a problem, we'll find the solution. That's the Herc mindset, and we're really proud of it. But Herc nation is a group of people that come together to get those C-130s out there at Little Rock Air Force Base up in the air, and we're all dedicated to that mission.

    [00:29:26] KM: It's a Lockheed Martin C-130 named Hercules, and so they come out with Herc.

    [00:29:32] AO: That's right.

    [00:29:32] KM: So Herc is a mindset of all those things you just said.

    [00:29:36] AO: I think so.

    [00:29:38] KM: For the people that can't see your face. When you said them, you said it with very –

    [00:29:42] GM: Glowing. You kind of light up a little bit. Yeah.

    [00:29:44] KM: She did very resolute in the way she said that. You flew into, I guess, hostile territory, and dropped packages, dropped people?

    [00:29:57] AO: Yes. We've done a little bit of everything.

    [00:30:00] KM: But for this mission, was it for people to jump out of your plane to drop packages?

    [00:30:09] AO: I’ve been deployed five times. They've all been in support of many different things. Been in Afghanistan, been in Iraq, been in lots of different countries in support of different missions, combat, and combat support. Most of them have been air-land missions. Meaning we take off from one location, and we fly to another location, and land. I have done some combat air drop missions as well, where we've delivered bullets, food, water, humanitarian missions. There is a full spectrum of operations that can happen in any conflict. I’m proud to say that I’ve been a part of all of them.

    [00:30:53] KM: How did your training help you? My teeth would have been chattering.

    [00:30:57] AO: That's the beauty of it. In my mind, we train for this. There is nothing more gratifying than going out the door, knowing that you are fully qualified, fully trained, and you're surrounded by people that are fully qualified and fully trained. We know how to get it done, and it's the training that gets us there. That's why we fly the planes every day, that's why we keep flying those planes every day, because at the end of the day, I want to make sure that we're sending out our crews on their missions with full confidence in their abilities to get whatever it is done that our nation asks of us.

    [00:31:31] KM: So you fly every day.

    [00:31:33] AO: I personally –

    [00:31:34] KM: Yeah. But your base has someone flying every day, continuing training every day.

    [00:31:39] AO: We support operations globally every single day.

    [00:31:43] KM: Oh wow! Not just flying around Little Rock then?

    [00:31:47] AO: We don't just fly around Little Rock.

    [00:31:49] KM: Every day you're going out on a mission somewhere.

    [00:31:53] AO: We have crews all over right now.

    [00:31:56] KM: You still think about that right here. When you said you land, I mean, how do you land those planes anywhere else? I mean, don't you have to have a special runway to land a plane like that?

    [00:31:56] AO: Yes and no. That's the beauty of the Herc, is that we can land on very short strips, very narrow strips, on dirt strips. Those are the fun ones too. Being able to go to unapproved landing zones and landing in a 3000-foot strip in the middle of nowhere. That's fun.

    [00:32:26] KM: It tests your skills, I guess?

    [00:32:29] AO: It does. It challenges you. It pushes you.

    [00:32:29] KM: All right, next one. We stayed a little long on that one. Operation Iraqi Freedom. Where was it? When was it, and what was its mission?

    [00:32:37] AO: Deployed twice there. Iraqi Freedom, one of my favorite memories from there, many missions over there, but one of my favorite memories was taking off out of Baghdad with about 60 army guys, two pallets on Christmas eve. We had lights strung up in the back of the plane. We handed candy canes out. I’ll never forget it, because when we took off, there was this uproar of cheer that happened, that came. I was in the front, they're in the back, and it just came up to the front. I had headphones on, engines are running, but I could hear their cheers over it, because they were going home. That's one of my most memorable missions from Iraq. It was just so amazing.

    [00:33:26] KM: That's a nice one.

    [00:33:27] AO: It was good.

    [00:33:28] KM: Operation Resolute Support. What year? Where? Mission? And your take away from it?

    [00:33:34] AO: Yeah. So Resolute Support and Freedom Sentinel, those were missions that I actually just supported in my last combat deployment. That was when I was a commander in Afghanistan. It was obviously prior to the drawdown of Afghanistan, but we were starting to prepare for that. Definitely, combat missions were going on. It was different in the sense that I was the commander of that unit at the time, so a lot more responsibility. So very rewarding experience to be able to take my own unit, and deploy with my unit, and then bring them home. That was just a phenomenal experience.

    [00:34:08] KM: What do you mean take your unit?

    [00:34:10] AO: I was the Commander of the 61st Airlift Squadron at Little Rock Air Force Base. We prepared for that deployment together as a team. We went out, we deployed and employed as a team. Got our mission done.

    [00:34:21] KM: How long were you out?

    [00:34:22] AO: About four months. And then came home –

    [00:34:22] KM: Were you in Afghanistan?

    [00:34:27] AO: We were in Afghanistan.

    [00:34:28] KM: You were there with your babies?

    [00:34:30] AO: Oh, my children were not there. No, ma'am.

    [00:34:32] KM: Was your husband at home with your babies?

    [00:34:33] AO: My husband was at home.

    [00:34:34] KM: Yeah, I’m glad —

    [00:34:35] AO: My mom came as well.

    [00:34:37] KM: Oh, good.

    [00:34:38] AO: Yeah. My husband had some other challenges, and so he needed some support too. My mom came down. To my mom, and my husband, and the whole village that it takes to keep my family afloat, they made sure they got through it.

    [00:34:52] KM: That's good. Operation Freedom Centennial. What year? Where? Mission?

    [00:34:56] AO: Same thing. Same time as when we were out there in Afghanistan.

    [00:34:59] KM: What do you mean?

    [00:35:00] AO: Sometimes when you're out in a specific area, you can be supporting multiple operations. We were supporting two different operations out there.

    [00:35:10] KM: Oh. What was that one supporting? What were you doing for those people?

    [00:35:13] AO: Same type of mission, just a different focus. We were in Afghanistan and we were doing combat operations out there in Afghanistan.

    [00:35:19] KM: I don't know if you're allowed to have an opinion, but I'll ask. And if you don't want to answer, you don't have to. Do you think we did the right thing the way we pulled out of Afghanistan or could there been another way?

    [00:35:29] AO: I trust that our leaders made the very best decisions with the information that they had.

    [00:35:34] KM: Well, that brings me to another question. How many presidents have you served under?

    [00:35:39] AO: Oh, good question. I have to think about that one and count them up, because I commissioned in 2001.

    [00:35:48] KM: Clinton was out.

    [00:35:48] AO: One, two, three, four.

    [00:35:50] GM: 2001 is Bush. So, Bush, Obama, Trump, Biden?

    [00:35:57] AO: Yes, four.

    [00:35:57] GM: Yeah. There you go.

    [00:36:00] KM: I’ve actually interviewed some other military people, and so I’ve asked them this question before. How do you serve when you might not agree with the war, the mission, or even like the Commander-in-Chief at the time? That's the part that would always get to me in your career.

    [00:36:18] AO: Yeah. That's a great question. At the end of the day, I took an oath, and the oath is to the constitution. It's not to the president. It's through the constitution of the United States. At the end of the day, if I’m challenged, or I’m struggling with something, then I just refer back to my oath. That's what keeps me focused and on purpose, because I will support the constitution of the United States. That's what I took my oath to.

    [00:36:44] KM: Through research, it has been found that one's memory is really enhanced when one's adrenaline is pumping. Hence, traumatic experiences are really hard to get rid of and create PTSD and stuff like that. I’m sure your adrenaline gland has been wide open a lot when you're flying. Is there anything special that sticks out in your memory, which I already know what it is, it was the Baghdad on Christmas eve. You've already told me. But is there anything that you wish you could have done different?

    [00:37:11] AO: Oh, there's a lot of things I wish I could have done differently. We were just talking about this the other day in the office. I honestly can't think of a single day in my life where I’ve done everything right. I fail all the time. I do. I think if somebody were to tell me that they're perfect, and they've never failed or they don't make mistakes, then I don't know that I could trust that person, because we all make mistakes. It's just part of being a human being. My daughter, she actually said this to me one day. She was quite young at the time, which kind of surprised me. But she said, "You know, mom? If we are not making mistakes, then we probably aren't pushing ourselves. We're probably not learning." I said, "Yes. Yes, you keep that mindset, because that's what's going to help you get better and make yourself a better human being every single day of your life."

    [00:38:02] KM: And learn about forgiving yourself.

    [00:38:03] AO: Absolutely.

    [00:38:04] KM: Which is paralyzing if you can't learn to forgive yourself.

    [00:38:06] AO: Absolutely.

    [BREAK]

    [00:38:07] ANNOUNCER: This is a good place to take a break in today's episode of Up in Your Business with Kerry McCoy. It's a special double military perspective program, where we're hearing from retired Brigadier General Michel and Colone Ochoa. We'll be back with more of their perspectives on the military and on life in just a moment in Up in Your Business with Kerry McCoy.

    [00:38:28] GM: You're listening to Up in Your Business with Kerry McCoy, a production of flagandbanner.com. Over 40 years ago, with only $400, Kerry founded Arkansas Flag and Banner. During the last four decades, the business has grown and changed, along with Kerry’s experience and leadership knowledge. In 1995, she embraced the Internet and rebranded her company as simply flagandbanner.com.

    In 2004, she became an early blogger. Since then, she has founded the nonprofit Friends of Dreamland Ballroom. Began publishing her magazine, Brave. In 2016, branched out into this very radio show, YouTube channel and podcast. In 2020, Kerry McCoy Enterprises acquired our cornermarket.com, an online company specializing in American-made plaques, signage, and memorials for over 20 years. If you like to sponsor this show, or get involved with any of Kerry McCoy's enterprises, send an email to me, gray@flagandbanner.com. Telling American-made stories, selling American-made flags, the flagandbanner.com.

    [00:39:34] ANNOUNCER: You know, all previous Up in Your Business shows are available as podcasts, and on YouTube. You might want to look up the individual episodes, featuring General Michel and Colonel Ochoa. While you're there, try to find the episode where we featured guests on the program, not originally from Little Rock. But when they got here, they fell in love with the place. Here are some samples. Chris Olsen.

    [00:40:01] KM: So how did you end up in Little Rock, Arkansas?

    [00:40:03] CO: Well, coming from Connecticut, I moved just a few times. We moved to Atlanta, Georgia for a year and a half and then from there we moved to Little Rock, and we lived in Little Rock for about three and a half years, and then we moved to San Diego.

    [00:40:16] KM: Good night nurse.

    [00:40:18] CO: We kept going west.

    [00:40:19] KM: Why did you daddy – Was it all for career?

    [00:40:21] CO: Every time he moved; he got a better, better job.

    [00:40:24] ANNOUNCER: Sophia Said.

    [00:40:26] KM: So you moved here.

    [00:40:27] SS: Yeah.

    [00:40:29] KM: Tell us a little bit about that.

    [00:40:30] SS: I actually wanted to pursue my PhD after my bachelors. Initially, it was a bummer for me that, “Oh, we're moving to Little Rock,” and there is not a place where I can do my PhD.

    [00:40:41] KM: Did you all hear? She said bummer? Okay, I just want you to know that. Okay, go ahead. She’s very American. All right. Go ahead.

    [00:40:48] SS: But then when I did my research on Little Rock, I found Clinton School of Public Service, which is essentially going to teach me the same things, but at least the work I'll do after that would be same. I was actually pretty excited that we will see American South.

    [00:40:48] ANNOUNCER: Long-time restauranteur, Louis Petit.

    [00:41:05] LP: I was so happily surprised to be a

    [inaudible 00:41:08]. First, the way we are greeted by the – Just to tell you an example.

    [Inaudible 00:41:16] top of the building. When we arrived, the kitchen was not functioning. We were putting still rug on the floor, hanging chandelier and everything. We would go every lunch, the group of all the European. We were about 15 people I think altogether. We would go to the Minuteman downstairs, it was a burger place, to have lunch, and we would sit down in a big table. The public would come to us and say, “Welcome to our city.” Oh my God! Because just hearing us speaking French, laughing – Everything was new to us, and they were so nice — the little girl behind the counter taking our order. and the public coming to us and say, “Welcome to Arkansas.”

    [00:42:00] ANNOUNCER: Please take the time to seek out that podcast on flagandbanner.com, featuring guests of Up in Your Business with Kerry McCoy. Not originally from Little Rock, but who fell in love with our city once they got here. Now back to today's program, which is a compilation of two military professionals. Retired Brigadier General John Michel and Colonel Ochoa, the leader of the Little Rock Air Force Base. First, back to some of the experiences of General Michel.

    [INTERVIEW CONTINUES]

    [00:42:28] KM: You're stationed in Kabul, Afghanistan. What is your main job being there?

    [00:42:35] JM: So I served as the commanding general for NATO in leading the 14-nation effort to build the $7 billion Afghan Air Force.

    [00:42:42] KM: Is that because you spoke – You're were bilingual that they gave you that job?

    [00:42:47] JM: No. What it really is, is when we talk about change and systems and how do you bring, it's a really complex endeavor. So one of the arts of leadership is how can you make the complex seem – How do you break it out? How do you now help people understand and wrap their head around it? And then more importantly motivate them about their part in it. So you almost have to deconstruct the puzzle. Find people's pieces, help them put it back together, call collaboration, so it was a massive system project.

    [00:43:16] KM: Is that how the Gratitude Café came about? Tell our listeners what the Gratitude Café is and how it played a role over there and how you came up with the idea.

    [00:43:28] JM: Thank you for asking that question, because I'm quite fond of Gratitude Café. Because at the heart of all these things, these complex changes and building air – Whatever you're doing, are people again. What made this particular assignment particularly challenging, other than, I'm in a war zone, we're lagging on how fast we had to build the Air Force. We had a lot of pressures to succeed, so we were coming in to build a different way forward. But we had 14 nations. This is a NATO effort that I'm leading. Fourteen different cultures, not all people created equal, and so you have to find a commonality.

    One of the things about if you're going to do something hard, no matter who you have, you quickly got to find a sense of commonality that one can connect to and when you're dealing with that many culture. So I go back to hospitality. The one thing I realize is the human condition is first and foremost social. If you find a way to connect, I don't care what your background is. Once we've done that, we have common ground. I'd been walking by a trailer. I lived literally in a camp in the middle of the Afghan base, because we had to live with the people we served. That's the nature of the mission. It's dangerous, but it's the right thing to do there. I'd walk by this trailer for the first two months I was there and then it struck me one day. What if we took that trailer?” which was literally not being used for anything. Repurposed it, moved it to the middle of the camp where we assembled with our flagpole, and things, and we took something simple and common like coffee. We created an experience that every day all the experience was, we start social. Use it as a way to talk. Use as a way to connect.

    We redid this trailer, we brought some tables, we bought all the materials we needed to turn into a coffee shop, and then we started to invite people. I changed the rules. I said, “The first hour of every day will occur if you will the quad.” We all show up there and we're just going to drink coffee together. We're going to learn about each other. We're going to talk about our mission. But now, it's very informal. I flattened the whole organization. I have everyone –

    [00:45:27] KM: What was it like before that?

    [00:45:28] JM: Well, you have a hierarchy, right? You got generals, and you have colonels, and you have – what I mean by flatten the organization is, it put everyone regardless of rank, culture, or background in a place where you can have a common conversation about whatever you wanted to talk about.

    [00:45:40] KM: And you were kind of meeting in a meeting room with the guys standing up front talking at you. You're talking.

    [00:45:45] JM: Right now, we're meeting in a quad at a coffee shop. Starting it now. Then, the thing about it is we also changed the rules that the only people who could serve in the coffee shop were the highest-ranking people in the camp. It was always the highest ranking serving everybody else, so we wanted to set an example.

    [00:45:59] KM: That is ingenious.

    [00:46:00] JM: So we wanted to do a servant leadership model. So we served, then we tied it to a social media campaign because I wanted America and other countries to be proud of the work that was going on. So we just made it available to them via social media. We created a social media phenom, which is how Perry and I got connected because he found us on social media. So now, goods are pouring from the states. People are consuming them, and creating a common connection point. In short order, I had Italians saying, “Well, I want to do some coffee.”

    So everyone found a way to connect. We actually got more accomplished in that first hour informally. We call this in the workplace kind of like the – They used to call them the water cooler conversations. Do you remember that? That's the place where you go, you get more done because there're no guards up. I don't have a person sitting up giving me a formal briefing in a room with a big wooden table separated by things. Where people are there for a common cause.

    Then we started invite the Afghans. This just became a catalyst. Gratitude Cafe was a way to say thank you for all those who support us, us serving those that were there – That we were there just to serve. Gave us a way to thank them every single day and by simply the act of, "Let me serve your coffee." For some cultures, they were like, “The general is giving me coffee.” I had some countries couldn't wrap their head around it.

    [00:47:11] KM: How did you get them to buy into that, the generals?

    [00:47:13] JM: Well, the fact is they actually enjoyed the opportunity because it really, by upending, if you will, the organizational chart, it made people much more human. Very quickly, they dropped all the inherent barriers. When you're in the military, you got a hierarchy and you need it. You got a rank and order. When you move and create, if you will, a neutral space around a common experience, which is food, I just considered coffee and that kind of an extension of food. You can very quickly just bring people back to be more authentic and it grows authenticity.

    [00:47:44] KM: What social media did you use?

    [00:47:46] JM: Oh, we used to Twitter. We were very prolific on Twitter, on Facebook. We had a huge following, because people got a glimpse into the war.

    [00:47:53] KM: Who knew how to do that?

    [00:47:54] JM: Myself and Matt – We had some really good teammates there and we were quite prolific. Matter of fact, at the time when I left the military, I was the number one social media guy in the United States Air Force. As far as I had seven hundred thousand followers, I was like pretty – I had a live radio show. I mean we had a whole stuff going on.

    [00:48:12] KM: You need a job? I got a job for you.

    [00:48:16] ANNOUNCER: You can hear the pride that General Michel had in creating Café Gratitude. Let's finish up the program with another portion of the visit we had with Colonel Ochoa, and find out about what went into her being chosen as colonel of the Little Rock Air Force Base.

    [00:48:31] KM: Before accepting your current position, you were the Vice Wing Commander at the Scott Air Force Base. For those thinking of a military career, talk about what went into you being chosen as colonel of the Little Rock Air Force Base and how you made the decision to move to Jacksonville, Arkansas, a neighboring city of Little Rock?

    [00:48:50] AO: Yeah. I would say that the selection process is absolutely very challenging and competitive. I feel that it was an honor to be selected to be the installation commander at Little Rock. When my boss called me and said, "Hey, we want you to go to Little Rock Air Force Base." The only answer I could think of was, "Okay, sir. When? And I’m ready to go now." He said, "Why don't go home and talk with your husband?" I said, "Okay. But we're ready. Let's go."

    [00:49:19] KM: You didn't have to interview for the job?

    [00:49:22] AO: We have a very long process that we go through. Our records are screened and our records meet a board. There is a screening process that goes through for selection. There is an interview, but I would say that for the most part, my whole career has been an interview. We are just constantly working and being looked at and evaluated. I was just fortunate enough to be selected.

    [00:49:49] KM: I’ve never heard anybody say that, but your whole life is an interview. I heard somebody say that he hired a guy for a job he was looking for because he was looking out the window, and the guy was walking down the street, and he stopped, and picked up a piece of trash and threw it in the trash can. He was the mayor of North Little Rock, and he said, "I got up, and I went outside and I said, "Do you need a job, son? Because I’m going to find you one." Anybody that picks up trash on the street doesn't just walk by and look at is somebody I want working for me. I mean, who would think that was an interview for a job?

    [00:50:24] AO: You never know.

    [00:50:24] KM: You never know. You just don't walk back past things that need to be done.

    [00:50:27] AO: That's right.

    [00:50:28] KM: How many times have you been promoted and moved your family?

    [00:50:31] AO: Well, when I commissioned, I was a second lieutenant, and that was back in 200. Promoted five times after that to the rank of colonel. How many times have I moved my family? I’d have to count them all up, but we've lived in quite a few houses over time. We started out, like I mentioned, in Colorado. My husband and I moved from there to Laughlin Air Force Base for training. We finished our training at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi Texas. That's where both my husband and I received our pilot wings. Our first operational assignment was out of Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska, and it was awesome.

    [00:51:14] KM: I bet.

    [00:51:15] AO: Then, we moved here to Little Rock for the first time. This is actually our third assignment here at Little Rock Air Force Base.

    [00:51:22] KM: Because you started here first.

    [00:51:23] AO: Well, because we were assigned here. As our second operational assignment, we were assigned here.

    [00:51:29] KM: Where did you first start flying the C-130?

    [00:51:32] AO: We came here through training, and that was about a three and a half month training period that we came through on our way up to Alaska. So, yes. We've been here quite a few times.

    [00:51:41] KM: So you knew Little Rock.

    [00:51:42] AO: We knew Little Rock, yeah.

    [00:51:43] KM: You were fine with it.

    [00:51:45] AO: Yep. Then we came here, and then after that, we went out to Washington, DC. I was stationed at the Pentagon and also had an opportunity to go to school at Georgetown and get a master's degree there. We came back to Little Rock. Then from Little Rock, we went up to Scott Air Force Base, and then now we're back at Little Rock again.

    [00:52:02] KM: Do you have to have a master's degree to continue to get promoted in the Air Force?

    [00:52:06] AO: To the rank of colonel, yes.

    [00:52:09] KM: Do your daughters hate you for moving them around all the time?

    [00:52:12] AO: No. Actually, my daughters are really into joining the Air Force.

    [00:52:15] KM: Are they going to be? Are they're going to be in the Air Force?

    [00:52:18] AO: Maybe. One of my daughters said that she's interested. She wants to fly airplanes. I said, "That's great. If that's what you want to do, I support you. If not, then I support you as well. There's no pressure from mom."

    [00:52:32] KM: I mean, most parents don't teach the life skills that they teach in the military. I mean, get up, get dressed, make your bed. I saw a general one time say, "Every day, get up and make your bed no matter what, because you start off the day doing something."

    [00:52:47] AO: I couldn't agree even more. And I tell my daughters the same thing now. They say, "Mom! Why do I have to make my bed?" I said, "Because, at the end of the day when you come home, you know that you made your bed, and you can look at it and it's going to make you feel good." It makes me feel good when I come home and I see my nice neatly made bed.

    [00:53:03] KM: And you start off with a successful – The minute you walk out of your room, you've done something that day positive.

    [00:53:07] AO: That's right.

    [00:53:08] ANNOUNCER: A final thought from General Michel about the qualities instilled in individuals through the military being adaptable to today's business world.

    [00:53:17] JM: We want to introduce it to the country at the time when I think patriotism know none sense, is exactly what we need. We need to get back to the ideas of service, people, community. This whole conversation we had about leadership, we're living it real time. Holding our team accountable, trying to lead and inspire them.

    [00:53:36] KM: And you can go back, take these experiences.

    [00:53:38] JM: And we can apply it to other businesses, right?

    [00:53:40] KM: Yeah. Thank you. I want to say to our listeners, thank you for spending time with us. We hope you've heard or learned something that's been inspiring or enlightening. Whatever it is will help you up your business, your independence, or your life. I'm Kerry McCoy and I'll see you next time on Up in Your Business. Until then, be brave and keep it up.

    [END OF EPISODE]

    [00:54:00] GM: You've been listening to Up in Your Business with Kerry McCoy. For links to resources you heard discussed on today's show, go to flagandbanner.com, select radio show and choose today's guest. If you'd like to sponsor this show or any show, email me, gray@flagandbanner.com. All interviews are recorded and posted the following week. Stay informed of exciting upcoming guest by subscribing to our YouTube channel or podcast wherever you like to listen. Kerry's goal is simple. To help you live the American dream.

    [END]

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