16 Years Ago Today...

16 years ago today I got angry. I was sitting at work, like most Americans, and learned that a plane collided into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. At first, I didn't realize exactly what this meant nor grasped the severity, and I went about my business. A few minutes later, I was informed that the second plane hit the South Tower and I went from being neutral to mad and keenly aware that this was an attack. But it was when I heard one of my coworkers running through the office to my desk gripped with fear stating "oh my God, they got the Pentagon" that's when I got scared. Soon after, I learned that a 747 Boeing was missing and unaccounted for, and knew that the plane would never land.

I turned and looked at my Location General Manager and told him that I thought that the sequence of events was the result of a man called Osama bin Laden; the man that attempted to bomb the towers in 1993. Everybody looked at me and asked "who?" a name they didn't know or remember, and it wasn't until three months later that this man's name saturated nation in every newspaper, classroom, watering hole and dinner table.

It was that moment when I realized I needed to do something, but I didn't know what. I sat and watched night after night, the war unfold. I watched our country come together, and then slowly separate. I knew that I needed to do something, but I didn't know what.

Six years ago, on August 6th, I woke to the news of the greatest loss of life in Special Operations Forces. Extortion 17 again triggered my call to action button to do something but this time I didn't know how. I figured out what I want to do, and that was to help Navy SEALs, but I didn't know how.

In September 2014, I was approached by an organization in North Carolina he wanted my help with transitioning Special Operations Forces. I immediately said "sign me up", but after three unanswered phone calls I made to get started, I never heard back. I finally figured out what I wanted to do, I knew who I wanted to help, but I put my actions to rest again knowing that at some point I was going to get where I needed to be when the universe needed me to be there. I needed to be patient. It wasn't the right time.

Then it happened, the fall of 2015 I woke realizing that I needed to help. The time has come, my skills are strong, and the call to action button was pushed and that alarm rang out.

I began by locating small volunteer opportunities in the Navy SEAL community, organizations that I donated to and contributed a great deal of my time to make a difference. Organizations I still contribute to today, but I realized it wasn't enough. I heard about a wide variety of needs from the men I served and I continued to look for other opportunities give back and help within the community. It took time and patience. This journey I was on was filled with nothing but joy.

Today, I sit at the Executive Director for Phase II, a very small organization designed to help Navy SEALs and SEAL owned businesses by providing them free business consulting. It is an effort that goes well beyond transition, and is designed to give them a strategic competitive advantage, supporting their entrepreneurial vision and aspirations. Their companies influence small business growth, adding to the economic footprints in the United States. By supporting their ambitions, it reduces the likelihood that their business is added to statistics of failed companies.

The men we serve are the responders to the events that unfolded 16 years ago today. They paved the way for a new generation of responders that provide us freedom from fear,  a sense of security at night, and peace as we go about our days far from unimaginable horrors that exist in the world. 

Join us by supporting out efforts to make a difference. Please visit us at www.phaseII.org and donate today. Your support provides us with the necessary funding to establish a stronghold for our opreations and we can be there for them when they need it. Help a nation say "thank you for your service" to the men that stood the watch.

Brenda Neckvatal

Memorial Day 2017

I grew up around World War II veterans. When I was younger, every Christmas we spent in Hawaii exposed me to the island activities of December 7th. Over the years, I spent a great deal of time talking to survivors of that day, and have always paid tribute to their service, and the service of others, over the many year that I have come to know Memorial Day to represent.

This is an amazing country, full of wonderful opportunities and fortunes that others in the world may never come to know. We are far from perfect, but we still have loyalty to the values which constituted the foundation of our nation… Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. It is these values that our fallen have fought to defend.

Today, we remember all those that served this great country and have paid the ultimate price. They are heroes. They are fathers. They are mothers. They are brothers. They are sisters. They are sons. They are daughters. They are husbands. They are wives. They span generations. They are rooted in the fabric of this nation’s history.

They are watching over us…

We honor their service…

We pray for their eternal peace…

 

                                                                                                           Brenda Neckvatal

                                                                                                           Founder & Executive Director

Camaraderie

Yesterday I attended a fundraiser for the Navy SEAL Monument that will be in the construction phase on the Virginia Beach boardwalk in the upcoming months. I was surrounded by a powerful fellowship of retired Navy SEALs, celebrating their appreciation and love of each other, fun times, good music, and the indescribable connection to each other within this special community. I met new friends and had a few laughs with old friends, with whom I met just a year ago. None of it felt foreign. I never felt out of place for one moment. It was one of the most amazing experiences I have had to date in this community, and these moments reinforce my resolve to continue serving these amazing men.

Brenda  Neckvatal

Founder and Executive Director

Navy SEALs - The Need for Buѕinеѕѕ Еduсаtiоn

Imagine a career SEAL of 20, 25, or 30 years, sitting in his  new office, weeks after his retirement, looking at a financial report and having no idea what these numbers mean. He has managed a $256 million dollar checkbook to purchase specialized gear and equipment, he has led high risk missions into hostile territory, and successfully achieved objectives of covert operations against the war on terror.

He sits there, reading a report trying to make sense of each column, and does not understand how to assimilate nor interpret a balance sheet or an income statement. He has developed a product that he knows is needed in the economy, but has no idea how to place, price, nor distribute it in mass. There are no resources being presented, no intel coming to him, he doesn’t know what words to use to search in Google, and there is no senior level officer to help him understand this information and how it applies to his new company. He’s concerned about making payroll because he's hired two of his fellow teammates and stresses about ensuring the financial security of their families and his. After serving as an effective leader in a high-performing team environment, this situation is a kick in the gut to a SEAL. Although they will persevere, they are starting off from a position of great disadvantage.

SEAL combat training may seem quite different than any planning or preparation business leaders take on. But these days, when uncertainty has become a given in business and the economy, understanding how to anticipate problems, act quickly the unexpected occurs and execute confidently in ambiguous situations is invaluable. Navy SEALs understand how to operate in this landscape of pandemonium. Yet their years of education and training have never required the necessity to produce a yield of business experience outside of allocating an annual distribution of funds. It is not part of a warrior’s make-up.

Navy SEALs train relentlessly to perform at the highest levels in rapidly changing environments.  Their lives and their mission depend upon it.  

In business, the life of the enterprise and the tenure of its leadership may depend on performing confidently in high-stress though hopefully not life-threatening situations. One of the first things I learned when I first started working with the SEALs during their career transition in 2016, was that these warriors are not a cog in the military. They are the sheepdog – the protectors, loving husbands and fathers – the providers, and they are eternally linked to a community possessing mutual adoration – expressing their profession of love for the brotherhood. They are educated, articulate, wily, intelligent, analytical, and confident.

Navy SEALs have the ability to be at their absolute best while handling the worst possible situations. This is because they have not only the SEAL DNA ingrained into them throughout their careers, the physical and mental endurance to persevere at a high level in a team environment, but also because they are strong leaders and have strong leaders to see them through. They transition from Special Operator to Business Operator arriving at the doors frustrated, feeling circumscribed, and unsure of what the future holds. Their momentum and uncompromising desire to succeed is thwarted by an invisible force that feels like it is propelled against them like a high speed freight train. As I’ve heard it described, it is a feeling equal to trying to bring an aircraft carrier at full speed to a complete stop on a dime.

But, the big difference between you, me, and a SEAL…he will never complain, he won’t make a post about his ire on Facebook, he will not throw his hands up at the first sign of adversity and walk away. He’s humble and will persevere…but will struggle and sometimes for a long time until something clicks. Along the way, he’ll learn the hard lessons as “things they should teach you in business” only become apparent from making mistakes – and some vital and costly.

Phase II is here to close that gap. We provide pro bono shoulder-to-shoulder business consultation and business resources to SEALs. We are a nonprofit organization of volunteers from the small business community dedicated to providing this vital support to the SEAL community.

The pace at which we are growing is astronomical as we realize a need has been deeply tapped. Our Navy Seals have honored their word and it’s now time to provide our support. As our SEALs operate in the private sector, we are standing by their side. We need your support to continue that momentum we have initiated since January 2017. Please visit our web page at www.phaseII.org and submit your donation today. All funds received help support and develop our consulting programs and resources for our warriors as they engage in their next evolution in life. Your support in the form of a corporate sponsorship and personal contribution are a heartfelt “thank you” to the SEAL community and their service to this great nation.

Brenda  Neckvatal

Founder and Executive Director