Dec 7, 2019 | People

Last week, I attended a graduation ceremony held by The Honor Foundation (THF), a San Diego-based nonprofit. THF is a unique transition readiness institute designed to serve Navy SEALs and other members of the U.S. Special Operations community. Since 2013, every aspect of the 120-hour, MBA-style program has been inspired by the way Special Operators work in the field. The graduation ceremonies are no exception.

The commencement speech was given by Mohan Nair, an author, TEDx Speaker, and Chief Innovation Officer for Cambia Health Solutions. “Missions are given. Causes are taken.” With these six words, Nair summed up the real challenge of readying heroes for hire. After serving up to 30 years as a member of the Special Ops community, the path to finding fulfilling work requires more than a paycheck. It requires looking for people who are working on causes versus objectives. Nair suggested that the graduates find an organization based on a transformative model instead of a business model. “If you can do that,” Nair said, “you’ll find your way back to your buddies.”

Thanks to The Honor Foundation, graduates of the program have the tools they need to translate their experience and enter the workforce with confidence. If you are part of a purpose-driven organization bent on making a positive impact in the world, the chances of accomplishing your mission will be greater by considering these heroes ready for hire. Here’s a snapshot of the talents and aspirations of six recent THF graduates, in their own words:



What I bring to the team: My ability to communicate effectively across diverse backgrounds enables me to build and foster relationships between people promoting improved alignment of goals and expectations through teamwork, values, and enthusiasm.

Areas of interest: My ideal role is in Sales, Marketing, or Operations in Technology, Healthcare, Sports or Entertainment. These industries excite and appeal to me in the following ways: helping companies achieve goals through cutting-edge technology, promoting healthcare, fighting disease, and my lifelong passion for sports, fitness, and the outdoors.

Education:  B. S. Sports Medicine, Radford University.  MBA Candidate 2022, Pepperdine Graziadio School of Business.

Preferred Geography: San Diego, Denver, Salt Lake City, or Austin.




What I bring to the team: Effective communicator, well-versed at understanding and translating complex data and technology. Strong ability to absorb, understand, and interpret technical information and skills in dynamic environments.

Areas of interest: With my military career coming to an end, I am exploring a variety of education paths that will set me up for success in my next career. I am passionate about Economics and Finance, as well as Technology. It is my intent to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Economics at a Tier One school. While doing so, I am interested in exploring opportunities for internships and part-time work in the fields of Analytics, Finance, Banking and Fintech.

Education: Defense Language Institute, Associate of Arts Korean Language with Honors

Preferred Geography: Open




What I bring to the team: Highly decorated U.S. Marine Corps senior leader with 22+ years of extensive experience leading change in large, multidisciplinary organizations faced with complex operational, logistical, and personnel challenges. Responsible for a 700+ member counterterrorism organization that equips, trains, and deploys elite forces around the globe. An approachable, engaged, values-driven leader who leverages strong collaboration and communication skills to deliver results in intensely competitive environments.

Areas of interest:  I look forward to working for a company whose mission I firmly believe in; one that values building trust with both clients and teammates while fostering a fast-moving, dynamic culture. I ’m looking to broaden my experience through consistent challenges that allow me to bring the same commitment I had to defending this great Nation.

Education: Marine Corps University, Master of Military Science

Preferred Geography: Southern California




What I bring to the team: I have an emphatic desire to learn new knowledge and skills and then actively seek challenging opportunities to apply these additional skills. My inspiration comes from working with motivated people on challenging problems to achieve superior results. I am intrigued by finding innovative ways to solve problems; whether that means working with subject matter experts or gaining alternate skill sets. By leveraging best in class resources and constantly upleveling my skills, I am a resource who can work in collaboration as well as autonomously to deliver results.

Areas of interest: I am looking to be a member of a team that continues to gain knowledge and diligently contributes to resolve thought provoking projects.

Education: University of California at San Diego, BA Biological Anthropology

Preferred Geography: San Diego County




What I bring to the team: I empower people with positivity and turn great teams into superb teams. With contagious enthusiasm, I understand what drives employees and I bring out their finest strengths.

Areas of interest: I am looking for a leadership role in Business Development and want to showcase my experience as a Special Operations Officer with 30 years’ experience in Naval Special Warfare. I’ve held numerous leadership and managerial positions as a Task Unit Commander, Officer in Charge, Surface Programs Analyst, and Training Officer. Additionally, I just renewed my Top Secret/SCI security Clearance.

Education: Excelsior College, BS in History, Cum Laude

Preferred Geography: Greater San Diego





What I bring to the team: I am able to accomplish goals by leveraging the individual skills of the team members I work with and ensuring that we are early adopters of best in class technology and lean processes. In doing so, I am able to empower the individuals on my team to make autonomous decisions and enable them to derive incremental value from their accomplishments.

Areas of interest: I would enjoy leading a team in an environment that is on the cutting edge of technology testing and adoption. I thrive in an environment that is constantly changing and one where the best ideas are leveraged for decision making and to identify the best path forward.

Education: Gulf Coast State College, Associate of Arts

Preferred Geography: Greater San Diego


If your organization could benefit from service-minded, adaptable, problems solvers like these, there is no more elite group of talent than the graduates of The Honor Foundation. Contact The Honor Foundation here to learn more about employing, mentoring, coaching and sponsorship opportunities for the world-class program.


Question: How much better would your team perform by adding someone with Special Ops experience?  





Driven by the premise that excellence is the result of aligning people, purpose and performance, Center for Executive Excellence facilitates training in leading self, leading teams and leading organizations. To learn more, subscribe to receive CEE News



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