Episode 256 Jean Adam Resources Available to Reserve and Guard Members Transcript

This transcript is from episode 256 with guest Jean Adam.

Scott DeLuzio: [00:00:00] Thanks for tuning in to the Drive On Podcast where we are focused on giving hope and strength to the entire military community. Whether you’re a veteran, active duty, guard, reserve, or a family member, this podcast will share inspirational stories and resources that are useful to you. I’m your host, Scott DeLuzio, and now let’s get on with the show.

Scott DeLuzio: Hey everybody. Welcome back to the Drive On Podcast. Today my guest is Jean Adam. Jean is an army reservist who noticed that many of his soldiers were unaware of a lot of the opportunities that were available to them. And he’s here today to talk about some of those opportunities. And how other leaders throughout the military can help their troops to take advantage of some of these opportunities and lead them in the right direction.

Scott DeLuzio: So, welcome to the show, Jean. I’m glad to have

Jean Adam: you here. Oh, I’m glad to be here. Nice to meet you, Scott. How’s everything

Scott DeLuzio: going? Yeah, everything’s great. I’m, and I’m that you’re here because this is this is a topic that’s kind of near and dear to me because basically part of this whole podcast is just exposing the resources [00:01:00] that are out there for people whether they’re absolutely currently serving in the military or they’re veterans or what, whatever the case may be.

Scott DeLuzio: There’s tons of opportunities, there’s tons of resources, there’s just things out there, and a lot of. It’s like I feel like I’m banging my head against wall cause people just don’t know about ’em. And yeah. I gotta imagine that’s a lot of what you are feeling yourself in your situation when you’re, you’re leading troops and you see people out there not taking advantage of some of these resources that are available to them.

Scott DeLuzio: And you’re like, but I know about these things and I gotta let them know about it. So, tell us a little bit. Before we get into that a little bit more, but tell us about yourself and your background, just so people kind of have a idea who we’re talking about here.

Jean Adam: So, so, I’ve been in the Army Reserves eight years, going on nine in about two months.

Jean Adam: And my entire military career has been in the Army Reserve. I have, I did the basic training. Did a it and spent the rest of my time, in the reserve. So I have no no active duty experience with the exception of the Army Reserve orders that, I’ve [00:02:00] particularly done, which necessarily isn’t even active duty.

Jean Adam: I’m an E5 now. I got promoted 2018 looking to hopefully get, you know, E6 soon. And I really think that, My development as a soldier came a lot from leaders in my first unit. And when I got promoted out and now I’m in a unit that’s at company level, I realize that like a lot of these junior enlisted soldiers, many of them come into the unit, great soldiers motivated, ready to get, the ball rolling.

Jean Adam: They just realize it’s just weekend drill and then by the time about a year goes by, they’re already fed up. And I think a lot of it pertains to the fact that they don’t know some of the outlets that you know, and the resources available to them to help them, whether it’s with the military or with just a daily lifestyle.

Jean Adam: So I’ve [00:03:00] seen a lot of great soldier. Turn into, I don’t wanna say bad soldiers, but you know, people who have so much potential just lose it. That’s basically the easiest way to put it. To

Scott DeLuzio: put it. Yeah. They don’t live up to their full potential. Right. They’re there’s more in them. You could see it in them, but it’s like they, they just don’t let all that grow.

Jean Adam: Yeah. And I see it happen so often. I was a squad leader maybe about two years ago, and then like, after I got a new position in the unit some of the soldiers who were in my squad, they’re just like, I, I’m never reenlisting and I can’t wait to get out. And, they came in ready to do 20 or more, and.

Jean Adam: I came in ready to do 20 or more, and I think this is probably gonna be my last contract, but I still, understand that there were a lot of benefits that, I took advantage of that people really didn’t know about. And I think, the first thing we really have to discuss is obviously healthcare and dental.

Jean Adam: Because that’s a big thing today. [00:04:00] Healthcare is expensive, some of these people, they might be either in school, they might, they just might not even have health insurance and not know that. The Army Reserve provides a very affordable health insurance and they also provide affordable dental coverage.

Jean Adam: That’s through tricare and they just, I think dental, I don’t even like have to pay it out of pocket. It just comes out of my drill check. And, some of these leaders are not passing this information onto their soldiers. So something that’s like, that easy, like, I feel like every soldier should know about these things.

Scott DeLuzio: Right. Yeah. And I, that’s a great point that you put because like the amount that you pay comes outta your. Check that’s

Jean Adam: dental. The the actual health coverage, I think it’s like maybe 50 bucks a month. You pay the out of pocket, but you get health, you get health insurance.

Jean Adam: Sure. .

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And that’s, A great thing to have and quite frankly I know I was in the National Guard, so I’m, we probably got paid [00:05:00] similarly as far as things like that. You’re not joining the reserves or the National Guard for the paycheck because Yeah. Quite frankly, you don’t get paid all that much to, to do that.

Scott DeLuzio: Right. And so it’s kinda like, a nice little extra spending money that you have, every month. But when you could take some of that money and you could put it towards something useful, like healthcare, dental care, things like that, why wouldn’t you do that? Yeah. Put it towards that.

Scott DeLuzio: If your job that you have maybe doesn’t offer the those types of benefits or maybe the benefits aren’t all that great, you can have pretty decent coverage through the military. Even though you are a reservist or a National guard soldier. , those things still exist.

Scott DeLuzio: So that, that’s like a great benefit that exists that I didn’t know about it personally when I was in the National Guard that these things existed, and Yeah. Looking after, obviously looking into it a little bit more you find out that certain things were available and then you start to learn that.

Scott DeLuzio: Oh, great. I could have done that, but too late now. Right. But . But yeah, all these people, like, I mean, just health and dental care like that’s a great benefit that’s available to them. So that way their healthcare doesn’t slip [00:06:00] while they’re serving, like that doesn’t make any sense.

Scott DeLuzio: Like you should be in pretty, pretty peak physical condition. Right. Yeah.

Jean Adam: And so, I’d say about a few years into my military service a soldier that I had served with she had to have like surgery. Like surgery that put her out. And I think something was wrong with her lungs.

Jean Adam: And I always thought like for a second, like, because she had started a GoFundMe to help with her medical bills, and I’m like, man, I feel like that’s just failure from leaderships because I would assume that she didn’t know that she could have medical coverage in that sense, where, something so traumatic happened that she didn’t have the bills to pay for it and she had to, start a crowd crowdfunding and, I feel like that shouldn’t happened to soldiers.

Scott DeLuzio: No, it definitely shouldn’t. They should be taken care of. If you’re taking care of, especially while they’re serving, doesn’t matter what branch you’re serving in or what component, whether it’s active duty, reserves, guard any of those, [00:07:00] they all should be getting taken care of with this stuff.

Scott DeLuzio: Because quite frankly, if you don’t have a healthy fighting force, how do you expect to go and fight? Like these things should be taken care of Absolutely. To, to some extent, right. And I know that, so there there’s the medical, there’s the dental. I know, and I know there’s tons of other opportunities available to service members in all the branches.

Scott DeLuzio: And obviously you’re familiar with some of these what are some of the other opportunities that you’ve found yourself discussing with soldiers more often than others? Through, throughout your time in the reserves, A very

Jean Adam: big one is this thing called so of. Mob Cop.

Jean Adam: Okay, so Tour of Duty is, basically the big go-to for, if you want to find a unit who wants help or possibly like just do like a short tour or a long tour of duty is available. The thing that, another thing that it’s kind of. Failure among, leaders is that it’s only available on government computers.

Jean Adam: So , you have to [00:08:00] be at your unit. So naturally, when I found out about this, I would like take it upon myself and like, call an A G R and be like, Hey, can I just come in and look at Tour of Duty? And have, the AGR is, if they, they like seeing people come in anyway.

Jean Adam: So that’s just something They would have absolutely no issue with. So I go in there and you Google, it’s called Mob Cop, M O B C O P. And it’ll take you to, I believe it’s the Mississippi National Guard resource. And then there’s a link that says Tour of Duty. And when you go open it up and you can find whatever is available, and you can also see how many other people have applied for certain positions.

Jean Adam: So like for example, I am a 25 uniform. I am a 92 Alpha, and I am a hazmat NCO, but you can also look up OO golf positions, which are basically like any soldier of any m o s can take care of, like, this job. There’s no jobs that’s like basically for like [00:09:00] cleaning, the building.

Jean Adam: But basically cleaning a building is a job that any soldier can do, right? So. When you go, you can look up like, are there any slots for 25 uniforms for E5 s? Or sometimes they do like, one rank up, one rank down. So I might be able to find an E6 slot and find a tour that’s might, that might be for like, 89 days and then apply.

Jean Adam: there’s a point of context that you can get on the on the website. So you can call these people and be like, Hey, like I know you’re looking for a 25 uniform. Can I come in? Like, is it possible, like if I just send you, like my my ERB and I get, my paperwork done in order to get these orders, they’ll take you, I’ve done, I want to say, Four tours through Tour of Duty.

Jean Adam: One of them was a, it was a 35 day order over at Fort McCoy, and if it’s over 30 days, you get your BAH So you’re gonna get, nice little bulk, bulk pay and like [00:10:00] it’s simple Once you actually get to the website to look up these certain positions where soldiers can, find these types of things.

Jean Adam: And once your unit clears you. Then you belong to the other unit. Once you’re done with that order, they send you right back. And these things, they go there. There’s some that are like two years long, there’s deployments if you wanna look to deploy, you can find an overseas deployment.

Jean Adam: There’s stuff that you can find, like I’m a reservist in Pennsylvania. One of the things that I would love to. Would be to serve in a unit in Hawaii now, like naturally everybody’s gonna apply to those units in Hawaii, but you know, you never know. You might end up finding yourself, doing a tour in Italy or Guam or something like that.

Jean Adam: And like that’s the beauty of, the reserves. Like, I think that, I’d probably say that there’s, with the exception of, deployments, I’d probably say like, A good 98% of just [00:11:00] army reservists, national guards. People have never done anything outside of like schools like A L C or B L C or things like that.

Jean Adam: And just natural growth. But like you can actually find like places where you could go to work. And we’ve gone to a point now that like drill. Basically become like, we’re not even doing our jobs anymore because we’re so focused on being green and being ready and, you have like SRP and things like that, and not enough time is spent doing your job.

Jean Adam: You can find like a little order where you know you can do a job and then if you’re like in E5 or above, you put that on your NCOER, that’s gonna look nice

Scott DeLuzio: all right. Yeah, well that, that is true and especially reservists, like, like yourself where you have the opportunity to put in for deployments, right?

Scott DeLuzio: If there’s a unit that’s deploying and they need to plus up their numbers to, to be able to go on this deployment and [00:12:00] you want to deploy to wherever it is that they’re going and That, that’s a lot of people I know. When I went to Afghanistan, a lot of people I know wanted to go on this deployment because they wanted the money.

Scott DeLuzio: They didn’t have families back home that they were really worried about. They, it’s good money for the time that we’re over there. And that’s what they wanted to do. They signed up to go on this deployment and they volunteered. They weren’t necessarily in that unit, but they decided, Fill in some spots that we needed.

Scott DeLuzio: And that’s how we ended up doing that. But even for, reservists who are looking to, even travel to, to check out other parts of the country, right. You don’t, yeah. You don’t necessarily get to do that. Like, like an active duty. You get moved around from place to place.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. Regularly. And then

Jean Adam: you regularly, and then you might have like 45 days in Germany, come back home and then like, do like another. And then like stay at home for a while and then go to another country. Like they move a lot. Right,

Scott DeLuzio: right. And, but with the Reserves National Guard, they, you don’t have those opportunities.

Scott DeLuzio: You’re usually just staying close to home. And [00:13:00] so with that, you can go to a unit in. California or Florida or some other place Hawaii, like you said that, I’ve always wanted to check that place out. I’m like a cool place and you’re going there and you get, you live there obviously for a period of time and that, that’s a pretty cool opportunity.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah and like you said, that, that looks good when you come to that board and they’re trying to determine like, alright, who, who are we promoting next? And it’s like, oh, how about the guy who’s you. Going off and finding all these opportunities and going and volunteering his time and everything to go help out these other units and everything like that seems like a soldier who’s pretty squared away to me,

Jean Adam: mm-hmm. , and that’s another thing that I was talking about, like from the sense is that like if these soldiers don’t know that, then how will they ever get that opportunity where, where they just don’t know, they can actually, go work somewhere else, but they just don’t know that , they just show up to their unit, they do drill and they go home.

Scott DeLuzio: Well, I think one of the biggest issues is that it may [00:14:00] be it definitely is a leadership issue where, mm-hmm. , it’s a failure of leadership, but if the people who are the leaders, the NCOs and even the officers who are in these units, If at some point they were the Joes coming up through the system.

Scott DeLuzio: They were the privates. They were the, all the way through. Right. And. If they never found out about that opportunity, how are they going to be able to tell their soldiers about those opportunities? Yeah, so I, I think it’s a, it’s an educational thing. Like, like the whole military needs to say, Hey, look, we have all of these opportunities available.

Scott DeLuzio: Here are all these things that nobody’s using, or, very few people are using in comparison to what we think should be done. Yeah and distribute that out instead of doing, Some of this other stuff that, yeah I don’t wanna say instead of, cuz some of the stuff is valuable and I don’t want to like, badmouth any of the stuff that’s being done as far as like some of the trainings and stuff that Yeah.

Scott DeLuzio: That the military puts through. Some of it is valuable. But maybe putting something out there just saying, Hey look. There’s all this stuff. There’s [00:15:00] a tour of duty there. You can, here’s how you get on the system to go and search for it. Here’s how you apply for TRICARE benefits and all this other, like, going through that whole thing so that people actually know not only a, that these things are available to them, but yeah.

Scott DeLuzio: B, how to get access to them. I think that’s another issue too. Mm-hmm. is there’s some barriers to getting access to it, like having to be on a government computer. Yeah. As opposed. Sitting in your boxers at home, Googling this stuff, like,

Jean Adam: yeah, this is my personal computer. I wish I could go on tour duty

Scott DeLuzio: Right, right. You could be doing that right now, looking up for these opportunities. But like you can only do that when you’re, at your unit or wherever it is that you have access to these government computers. So, yeah. And obviously, You wanna do it, but then so does somebody else.

Scott DeLuzio: And yeah. How many computers does the unit really have? And so you gotta be able to get business done too, so, mm-hmm. . So, that that’s a barrier, I think, to being able to access some of these opportunities is just the education piece of it. But also I think the government probably could do a little better in [00:16:00] terms of making that accessibility available to more people, you

Jean Adam: know?

Jean Adam: I think you’re absolutely right as far as like, it’s an educational thing. It, I didn’t know anything about this stuff and, basically like I did take it among myself, but I’m not every soldier, not every soldier’s me, and yeah. At least I can say for my first unit, I was very lucky to have that leadership who was able to assist in anything and was like re like, very not only informative, but if he didn’t know something, he would get the answer from me, in the span of a second.

Jean Adam: And, I’ll just shout him out. He’s retired now, but that was my S6 NCOIC. His name was he was Sergeant First Class Isaac, but I first met him as Staff Sergeant Isaac. And that’s the type of leadership that I think that, really helps soldiers grow. And not only necessarily just like as a ranking structure, but just, like in life as Jeanral in, in, in Jeanral.

Jean Adam: Just know that you. They [00:17:00] can rely on you, just . Sure. Yeah.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And that’s a huge thing I think for soldiers to be able to know that they can rely on their leadership to help them. That’s gonna make a soldier who comes in, who’s all motivated, ready to go, ready to be all in for the next 20 years.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And have that person keep that motivation up throughout the next. A couple decades as opposed to having it dwindle out after the first couple years. Mm-hmm. . And when you know that someone is there looking out for you, who’s got your back, who is gonna make sure that all the opportunities are that are available to you are.

Scott DeLuzio: Are accessible to you. Yeah. Letting you know what they are, first off, and that, that’s definitely a leadership thing. And I think that is something that more leaders should take upon themselves like you did and go out and figure out what. Opportunities are available, if the unit isn’t putting that stuff out there, or the army or whatever, if they don’t have a central resource, which actually that’s another question is there even a central resource that [00:18:00] lists some of these things that are available?

Scott DeLuzio: If the, if there isn’t, then, it’s really on the leaders to go out there and try to compile some of this stuff as best as they can, right? Mm-hmm. .

Jean Adam: Yeah. Another thing that like came up was. The idea of like installations and usage especially for like, a lot of these Army Reserve and National Guards they may or may not drill on an installation for those that don’t drill on an installation and maybe have like a unit building.

Jean Adam: They don’t understand the resources that are available to them on the installation, right? So as a reservist, as a National Guardsman, you can shop at the px. You can shop at the commissary, right? You can use the gym for free. You just have to, know which, installation is closest to home.

Jean Adam: For me, like, I was playing on the soccer team over at Fort Dicks. That was like a great experience and we played against like other teams and. [00:19:00] I was the only reservist on the team. And, here I was playing with active duty soldiers, Marines, air Force, coasties, like all on one team because it’s it’s the joint base and that’s where like, everybody’s there.

Jean Adam: And that was like a really great experience. But a lot of these soldiers don’t even know that they can just find a point of contact from m w. And just ask, Hey, what leagues or what what services are available to me? Like naturally I’ll just reach out to the point of contact and I’ll be, because usually I just do basketball and soccer and I’ll just be like, Hey, are there any basketball leagues available?

Jean Adam: Or any soccer leagues available where I can go play? Because, like, It’s good to get out there, but I also think that it’s gr it’s a great resource for pt. A lot of people , a lot of people in the reserves and the National Guards don’t get the same amount of PT that active duty does.

Jean Adam: And we’ve seen time and time again, like soldiers can’t pass pt and like, I don’t PT [00:20:00] regularly. I’ve never failed a PT test. All I do. Joined soccer leagues, basketball leagues, and then after the the game or something, I’ll go work out and lift. And that’s kept me going, the last nine years.

Jean Adam: So , that was something that, like I never had to worry about because I was naturally getting like the regular doses of pt, like, sure. And I’ve also seen like a lot of people who. Who, they’ll like do one or the other. They’ll either lift and not get enough cardio or they’ll do cardio and not get enough lifting.

Jean Adam: And I think these resources like can really help people. Like, you don’t have to be a basketball player to play basketball in the league. You could just go for Pete. Same thing. They also had, they had a flag football league. They have golf, and like mm-hmm. . These are just things that are available to soldiers.

Jean Adam: And it’s another thing that like, naturally, like when soldiers come to me, I’ll tell them about these resources. But , if I [00:21:00] wasn’t there, , I feel like they, they would just be like left empty. Sure.

Scott DeLuzio: And. Honestly, I, so I was, like I said, national Guard and a lot of times I might have even heard of some of these resources, like, knowing that there’s, golf or some other recreational leagues or something available on an active duty base.

Scott DeLuzio: But I think at the time I probably would’ve just assumed, well, I’m not active duty, so that doesn’t apply to me. I, yeah, I can’t. On the active duty base and take advantage of these active duty resources because, well, I’m not active duty. So, so that, that is just like another misconception that, that people probably have.

Scott DeLuzio: I know I did. Absolutely. And so it’s really just, again, education now the people who are listening now, yeah. And even for some veterans there are things that are available. Active duty basis that you can go and you can shop at the px. You can use some of the the other resources that are available.

Scott DeLuzio: Obviously not everything that, that’s available. You’re not, taking advantage of housing or whatever. I don’t think necessarily there, but, you’re able to [00:22:00] use some of the resources that are available on the bases. And if you live near enough to a base, it may make sense.

Scott DeLuzio: Obviously if it’s a, an hour or two away, it doesn’t make sense. Use the gym there. Obviously yes. That, that doesn’t make sense, but it, it may make sense for certain things. So,

Jean Adam: Hey and honestly, like you might have a gym 30 minutes from you that you pay $50 a month and you might question yourself, is it worth the extra half hour?

Jean Adam: For free .

Scott DeLuzio: That’s true. What is your time worth too? If you can spend that time. And make up that money. Okay, fine. That, that’s fine. If that extra half hour’s worth that 50 bucks to you, okay, fine. That, that makes sense.

Scott DeLuzio: But if not if you would rather not spend the money yeah. You can always make it out’s still stuff available. Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. So, so these are, I mean these are some great resources. We talked about healthcare, dental care tour duty using the military installation and all the things that come along with that.

Scott DeLuzio: Anything else that you could think of off the top of your head that, that might be yeah. Like an unknown

Jean Adam: resources. Yeah. So, knowing, I, [00:23:00] I wanna use the term knowing the system, like, knowing which soldier knows how to help. So I’ll use for example, right? Every building has a career counselor.

Jean Adam: You may not know. That a career counselor is there to help you with your career, whether it be reenlistment, whether you want to transfer, whether you’re looking to do warrant officer school or ocs, and you just might not know like what they’re there for. But you know, it’s kind of another resource to just kind of know your system, know your game, know your chain of command as well.

Jean Adam: I say this with tread lightly, but don’t be afraid to jump the chain, if you feel that something isn’t getting done for you from, whether it be your direct supervisor or something like that, find another, person who may help. And, it doesn’t ha know your chain, but also like, if.

Jean Adam: Career [00:24:00] counselor is knee seven, and you’re an E2, they’re not part of your chain, so don’t be afraid to go knock on the door and ask them how they help you. Or, whether it be what are those folks not the chaplain, but the chaplain’s also a good resource as well.

Jean Adam: But there are civilian people who, they just, you go into their office, you just want to talk about, certain things. They’re there to help. And, you just have to understand like who they are, what they do, how they can help you,

Scott DeLuzio: yeah, absolutely. there’s I know for me there, when I first came back from Afghanistan, there was mental health issues and stuff like that.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. That, that were going around and I ended up going to the vet center to talk to somebody. And there, counselors there who I was able to talk to and get the help that I needed. Like that’s, that is a resource that, that’s available.

Jean Adam: And like, don’t be afraid, like to actually do that stuff, like if you feel like, like you just went through, it could have even, like, it sounds funny, but it could even be like basic training, if, you know some people they can’t [00:25:00] grasp it mentally and don’t be afraid to like go out and just ask for like, some mental help or just, like, help with something or anything like that, because that.

Jean Adam: That’s what’s going to make you better as a person and as a soldier,

Scott DeLuzio: absolutely. Yeah, because when you take care of yourself, whether it’s physically, mentally, emotionally, whatever you’re able to show up. Refresh, ready to go and actually accomplish your mission. Whatever the job is that you have, you’re able to do that.

Scott DeLuzio: But if you are carrying all this other baggage, you got, your physical health is slipping and you have all these issues or your mental health is slipping and you got other things going on you’re not gonna be there a hundred percent. So, yeah, taking care of yourself is not some people think it may be selfish.

Scott DeLuzio: Oh I’m taking too much time for myself. I gotta focus on like, if you do all that. You’re gonna be able to come in at a hundred percent as opposed to coming in at 50% or maybe even lower. And then you’re not gonna be there for people, you’re not gonna be a leader like, like yourself, who’s is taking the time to learn about these [00:26:00] opportunities and educating your troops about these things, right?

Jean Adam: Yeah. Yeah. And just remembered like the example when I said a career counselor, I wanted to say, know your AGRs, um mm-hmm. especially for company level. If you’re at company level, know the ones at battalion level. My first unit I was at brigade level, so I had luxury, with AGRs, but.

Jean Adam: Even like down at company level, know your AGRs and like know their purpose. Specifically things like your S one, your training, NCO, training NCOs. Another thing for like, not necessarily tour duty, but like if you wanna go on orders, say you want to go to combative school or something like that, you can ask your training NCO if there’s any open positions.

Jean Adam: And if you’re all green, they’re not gonna have an issue with sending. High, highly mo, highly motivated junior enlisted to go to combative school. That’s just something that that these people [00:27:00] like they should really know about. Like, and I’m gonna use, not like my unit training NCO, he is good.

Jean Adam: He’s a good NCO. And I think he just, got done being a training NCO, but like he’s there to help. Not enough people taken among themselves to just walk into his office and say, Hey, what schools are available for me? And they don’t really understand that. Yeah.

Scott DeLuzio: And knowing that the, that there are schools out there.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. Is another thing too. I mean, and knowing which ones are even relevant, yeah. To, to your career path and things like that. I was infantry, so, ranger school, airborne, all those kind of things. A lot was very common. Mountain warfare, all those types of things were very common with the people I served with.

Scott DeLuzio: But there may be other things and. Moss that are more relevant to mm-hmm. , what you do. And just, yeah, maybe just go in and talk with the person who’s in charge of training and and just say like, what makes sense, for this career path. Like, I, this [00:28:00] is where I want be in five years.

Scott DeLuzio: What makes the most sense for me to look into to start heading towards that path and

Jean Adam: A year and a half ago, . I got a call from an AGR and he’s like, Hey we wanna send somebody out to this hazmat school. And I was like, okay, what do I gotta do? He was like, do you want to go? And I was like, why not

Jean Adam: And it’s kind of funny because we always joke about this because I thought it was gonna be like an easy school and it was like quite possibly the hardest school that I’ve done since I’ve been in the military. And it was only two weeks, but. These are things that like, as an E5 I was able to do but like I didn’t even know about it, , was just told about it.

Jean Adam: Yeah. But like, if you’re willing to get yourself out there, at some point you can be rewarded with certain things. And like now, like my position in the unit is the hazmat n c and that was just because they had sent somebody to school .

Scott DeLuzio: Right? And so now you. The guy that they look to for anything hazmat related.[00:29:00]

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. Now that’s, now that gives you a little bit more visibility, a little bit more not that you weren’t important before, but a little bit more importance to what it is that you do within your unit. And,

Jean Adam: and it gives me a sham. It gives me a little shammy, , Hey, we need you to do this. Is it asthma related?

Jean Adam: Nah, .

Scott DeLuzio: There you go. No, but you know, honestly, I think, things like that, tho those types of opportunities would be a great thing for the training and NCOs to maybe just take five minutes to just, when the company is formed up or whatever, before or after drill, probably better before drilled because after drill, everyone’s ready to just, Bounce and get out there.

Scott DeLuzio: But just say, Hey, we have these schools available. Anyone interested? Come to my office and we’ll get you hooked up. Yeah. And you just announce it and let people know about it. That like, that’s such, such a super simple way to just solve this problem. Like just ano make an announcement.

Scott DeLuzio: It’s, the first sergeant’s gonna be blabbing his mouth anyway, so just, take five minutes and say something actually useful. Yeah. About whatever, the [00:30:00] schools may be. So, yeah, I mean the, these are great things to, to think about and I think anyone out there who’s listening, who’s still involved either with the reserves, doesn’t matter what your unit is, what doesn’t matter what component of the military you’re in.

Scott DeLuzio: There are opportunities out there available to everybody. And. the opportunities. I don’t know if they go to waste if like no one, like someone eventually is gonna find these opportunities. But yeah, it shouldn’t be hard, as a leader, you shouldn’t make it hard

Jean Adam: for That’s, that’s the thing.

Jean Adam: Yeah. Your people to find it, it should not be hard. Yeah. Right. Right. And I think if more people find some of these resources, more will be readily available too. Like Exactly. Tour, tour Duty’s only so limited. But I think like, once they see like people are actually interested in like, Going and, doing some of these orders, they might start handing out money, more money for like certain units to just do regular missions, and just bring people who may not, or they may be tailored with the unit

Scott DeLuzio: R.

Scott DeLuzio: Right. And even training opportunities like different schools there, there’s only a limited number of spots for [00:31:00] certain schools throughout the year. But if more people are applying and going to these schools and being success. I just knowing the way government works, they’re gonna start throwing more money at these things and the they’ll open up more seats and more opportunities will become available.

Scott DeLuzio: And that eventually is gonna help the military overall. Because you’re gonna have, I

Jean Adam: was just about to say the exact same thing. , you’re gonna

Scott DeLuzio: have a much better trained military force throughout the military, doesn’t

Jean Adam: matter the branch. And, and you get your, I see so often, like, they like, and.

Jean Adam: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram comments. This is why the military’s retention rate is so low, and it’s like . It’s just these simple little things like, and I, like I told you, like I’ve seen just great soldiers, highly motivated come in and, they’re like just done with it, and sure.

Jean Adam: and they’re like, and it’s like, man, like I just, I wish people like. What I knew, now, back then, or even, or even [00:32:00] like, even if they’re still like, just not as motivated, just try and help them as much as I possibly can.

Scott DeLuzio: Right. And do you know of any like central resource, like a website or something like that, that has any of this stuff listed that people.

Scott DeLuzio: Find out on, on their own or when you were looking things up, did you come across anything like that or did you just kind of just trial and error, just start searching for stuff that was available.

Jean Adam: So I can’t think of it off the top of my head where but that website where you get.

Jean Adam: The website where you get like tricare I, I can 100% if you Google, tricare army Reserve or national Guard, it’ll take you right to the website. And that’s a very good resource as well. And ATARs, I believe that’s the one for training NCO. To locate schools that are readily available for, just soldiers.

Jean Adam: I’m not too sure that if you’re not training NCO though, if you can have access to see these things. But that is another one. And there’s, [00:33:00] I don’t know, I think it changed names, but it used to be called ALMS, A L M S, and that’s where there were some other, like online training schools. That, I used to find primarily SSD whether it be SSD 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

Jean Adam: And that was another resource that’s readily available. But I will say this, there should always be someone in your unit who can, whether it’s a leader or somebody who can assist you just to. These types of information to you? I had the luxury of having great leadership, my first unit, and now I just gotta kind of take it upon myself as a leader.

Jean Adam: But it’s just I don’t see as much leadership around, you know what I mean?

Scott DeLuzio: Right. Yeah. No I know what you’re saying. And especially as people. People get out of their unit they move to a different unit or they just get out of the military

Jean Adam: altogether in Jeanral. And that’s another thing, like some of these people, their entire military career.[00:34:00]

Jean Adam: Is like at a company level, at a regular building. Like they never go to an installation unless it’s like for at where, they’re just in the field all 14 days and that’s their entire military experience. And it’s like, why wouldn’t you want to get out after that?

Scott DeLuzio: Right, exactly. And cuz that was very much my military experience was I was in a company and it was, yeah, at was like the only time that we were on active duty basis doing anything at all.

Scott DeLuzio: But it was like, We’re in the field most of the time. Yeah. I mean,

Jean Adam: that’s like, you can’t even do anything there,

Scott DeLuzio: right? Exactly. Yeah. You don’t, you’re not going to take advantage of any of the resources available on the base. You’re out in the field. You’re taking advantage of the ticks and the other crap that you have crawling up your ass as you’re crawling around in the field.

Scott DeLuzio: But No, I mean, even something as simple, like if you are a leader in a unit, a lot of units have like, bulletin board type things like, cork boards outside an office or whatever. If you find [00:35:00] resources and you could put together a list of. 4, 5, 6 different resources that might be available.

Scott DeLuzio: Websites, phone numbers, whatever the case may be. Print them out on a piece of paper, stick ’em on the board so people can check it out as they’re walking by, and yeah, that may be better than, it’s better than nothing. It’s not the, obviously the best solution, but it’s better than nothing.

Scott DeLuzio: So leaders out there, if you know about stuff, put something together. Even ask the other leaders in your unit about things that they know and compile everything into one list. Put it out there for people, a absolutely. So well, this has been a pretty eye-opening conversation I think for me and hopefully for some of the listeners as well, knowing.

Scott DeLuzio: Some of the things that are available to people, especially the reservists and guard service members.

Jean Adam: And with that said, I, I don’t know everything as well. Like there’s Sure resources probably available that I don’t know about, and if you know about something, don’t be afraid to let your soldiers know as well.

Jean Adam: I

Scott DeLuzio: love learning Exactly. Exactly. And I think, I don’t think anybody out there is gonna be like, all right, I know too many resources. Like, no, like, just put ’em out there, like [00:36:00] let people know whether they use them or not. That’s up to them, but you can only leave the horse to water.

Scott DeLuzio: You can’t make ’em drink. So, yeah. Do what you can to to help out the other people. And by the way, we’ve been saying a lot of stuff like leaders need to do this, leaders need to do that. But if. An E3 or something and you’re out there and you found out about some resource from somebody.

Scott DeLuzio: It could be a buddy in another unit or something like that. Or even if you’re listening to this podcast right now and it’s like, Man, I never knew about any of this stuff. Let me go tell some of these other guys that I know from my unit and just share this information with them. And now that many more people will know about it.

Scott DeLuzio: Like a leader can, doesn’t necessarily have to be an NCO or an officer. Mm-hmm. like you, you can lead at any level. So, yeah. Take charge and share that information. Even give it to your NCO, your direct NCO, and let. Distribute some of that information, if need be, but you know, do the work and put it out there and help other people.

Scott DeLuzio: I think that’s really the name of the game, right? Yeah. So well, Jean, it’s been a [00:37:00] pleasure speaking with you today. Absolutely. I really enjoyed this conversation and Me too, and sharing all this stuff. So thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge of these resources with me and the listeners.

Scott DeLuzio: And I just wanted to give you the last couple minutes here. If you had anything else that you wanted to share with the listeners feel free to go ahead and drop that.

Jean Adam: So what I do as a civilian I made a documentary, it’s called Finding Betty, and it’s on Tubi.

Jean Adam: You can watch it for free. Other than that, drive on and keep doing good things. So, I always tell my soldiers, just, you don’t have to be the best soldier. You just have to be the best you. Awesome. Well, thanks again, Scott. Thank you so much.

Scott DeLuzio: Thanks for listening to the Drive On Podcast. If you want to support the show, please check out Scott’s book, Surviving Son on Amazon. All of the sales from that book go directly back into this podcast and work to help veterans in need. You can also follow the Drive On Podcast on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and wherever you listen to podcasts.[00:38:00]

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