WPAOG Podcast
EP36 The Importance of Empathy in Venture Capital with Brad Harrison ‘94, Founder and Managing Partner of Scout Ventures

EP36 The Importance of Empathy in Venture Capital with Brad Harrison ‘94, Founder and Managing Partner of Scout Ventures

June 29, 2022

This episode of On Point features an interview with Brad Harrison, Founder and Managing Partner of Scout Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm making the world a better, safer place by investing in frontier and dual-use technologies built by veterans, intelligence leaders, and premier research labs.

Brad is an entrepreneur and seasoned business development executive with a passion for building companies that are pushing the envelope of technological innovation. He has successfully helped incubate several companies out of the Scout office and has deep experience developing concepts to include co-authoring 3 patents in search, geo-tagging, and personalization. Brad was a distinguished honor graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1994 and served as an Airborne Ranger in the United States Army for five years before retiring as a Captain. He also graduated from the MIT Sloan School of Management where he studied New Product and Venture Development.

In this episode of On Point, Brad discusses his experience in the military as a leader and why he always put the lives of his soldiers first. He explains how the skills and experiences he had at West Point and in the Army helped prepare him to be an entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and mentor. Brad talks about his mission of making the world a better, safer place by guiding and investing in people to help build their business dreams and gain personal successes.

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“The advice that I give to people that come out of the academy and out of the military is you need to understand how special you are. You're different than everybody else out there. Right? If you were in combat, you had to make decisions, split-second decisions in an everly changing environment where it was life or death, right. You've got the capacity to think and process information in a way that your peers just don't have.” - Brad Harrison

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Episode Timestamps

(02:24) Segment: AAR

(03:37) Brad’s West Point experience

(05:37) Impactful classes at West Point

(07:07) How Brad spent his summers

(07:52) Brad’s experience in the Army

(13:00) Mentorship in the Army

(15:59) Segment: SitRep

(30:27) Brad on founder empathy

(34:33) Sports aligning with VC

(36:35) Funding at Scout Ventures

(43:21) Academy Investor Network and the West Point AOG Entrepreneurs Summit

(45:21) Segment: SOP

(48:39) Brad’s daily routine

(52:15) How to cultivate relationships

(57:11) About the Academy Investor Network

(61:14) Segment: Giving Back

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Links

Brad Harrison’s LinkedIn

Brad Harrison’s Twitter

Tim Hsia’s LinkedIn

Lance Dietz’s LinkedIn

West Point Association of Graduates

EP35 Never Apologize for Having High Standards with BG (R) Rebecca S. Halstead ’81, Founder and CEO of STEADFAST Leadership

EP35 Never Apologize for Having High Standards with BG (R) Rebecca S. Halstead ’81, Founder and CEO of STEADFAST Leadership

June 22, 2022

This episode features an interview with General Rebecca S. Halstead  ‘81, Founder and CEO of STEADFAST Leadership, a leading consultancy company she founded after serving for 27 years in the Army. She retired from the military as a Brigadier General. Becky specializes in inspirational and motivational speaking, developing leader training programs, leader coaching and mentoring. Becky has provided hundreds of keynote speeches and leadership training to the corporate and academic sectors at both national and international engagements. 

General Halstead entered West Point in 1977 with just the second class of women, and was the first person from her hometown to graduate from the academy. She was also the first female graduate of West Point (‘81) to be promoted to General Officer in 2004. General Halstead served and commanded in combat as the first female Commanding General at the strategic level of leadership in Iraq. In 2007 she received the National Women’s History Project award for “Generations of Women Moving History Forward”.

In this episode of the WPAOG Network Podcast, General Halstead talks about how she enjoys being a leader and why she sees herself as a role model for both men and women. Becky explains how her time at West Point and in the military provided her with many important skills and experiences that are transferable to the work she does today advising businesses on how to be better. She also gives insight on some of her proudest moments in the military and why it is important to be an honest, open, and direct mentor to help others succeed in the military and life thereafter. 

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Episode Timestamps

(01:45) Becky’s Background

(03:00) Deciding to attend West Point

(05:05) Experiences at the academy

(06:15) Mentorship

(10:30) Significant achievements

(13:38) Early promotions

(15:49) Being a Role Model and Leader

(18:10) Becky’s proudest achievement

(26:15) Valuable lessons learned

(30:00) About STEADFAST Leadership

(31:10) Remaining active in the West Point community

(38:05) Transitioning leadership

(41:05) Becky’s book 

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Links

Rebecca S Halstead’s LinkedIn

Ian Faison’s LinkedIn

Ian Faison’s Twitter

West Point Association of Graduates

EP34 Instilling Practical Wisdom in Young Leaders with LTC Tom Dull, Executive Officer at the Simon Center for the Professional Military Ethic

EP34 Instilling Practical Wisdom in Young Leaders with LTC Tom Dull, Executive Officer at the Simon Center for the Professional Military Ethic

June 22, 2022

This episode features a conversation between Dr. Scott Parsons, Character Education Integrator for the Military Program at the United States Military Academy at West Point, and LTC Tom Dull, Executive Officer at the Simon Center for the Professional Military Ethic.

Dr. Scott Parsons assists universities and institutions in developing leaders of character by designing curriculum, integration techniques, and assessment tools with a focus on character education. As a leader, teacher, and coach, he designs character education programs based on Neo-Aristotelian Virtue Ethics to facilitate a flourishing life for students, faculty, and staff. As a retired Army officer with over 21 years of military experience, Dr. Parsons spent roughly half of his military career in Intelligence and the other half in academia serving as an Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Ethics.

LTC Tom Dull commissioned into the US Infantry in 2005 and has served at Fort Campbell, KY, Fort Bragg, NC and Fort Riley, KS. He has served as a Platoon Leader, Company Executive Officer, Troop and Company Commander, Aide-de-camp, and Battalion and Brigade Executive Officer. LTC Dull has deployed in support of Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, Unified Response, Freedom Sentinel, and Atlantic Resolve. LTC Dull's military education is expansive and includes the United States Army Officer Candidate School, Infantry Officer Basic Course, Airborne Course, Ranger School, Air Assault Course, and the United States Naval War College.

In this episode of the West Point Association of Graduates ‘Character Cut,’ LTC Dull talks about his background as a student of virtue ethics, responding to mission command and discipline initiatives, how the United States Military’s values vary from other nations’, and the importance of character education for young leaders in the academy. Dr. Parsons and LTC Dull also talk about Parsons' use of practical wisdom during combat in Iraq.

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"There's gonna be times where maybe, perhaps, some of these officers, soldiers are kind of alone and generally unafraid, but they're solving problems at the tactical level. And, some of those will be ones where their character will come into question. And so we really want them to kind of come through the other side with their character in tact, right? We want them as they represent not only themselves, the organization they're part of, but the American military that they fought with character, they fought with honor. And they've come back with it. And I think practicing early on, especially here, what we see at the military academy, what we could possibly see in some other initial entry training units, like I think would be such a phenomenal kind of experience." - LTC Tom Dull

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Episode Timestamps

(01:09) LTC Dull’s background as a student of virtue ethics

(05:32) How practical wisdom influences soldiers

(09:34) Virtue ethics in military situations

(13:58) Dr. Parsons on employing practical wisdom in Iraq

(16:50) Mission command and discipline initiative

(18:27) LTC Dull’s whiteboard explained

(21:02) LTC Dull on Army doctrine

(24:06) The importance of character education for young leaders in the academy

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Links

Dr. Scott Parsons’ LinkedIn

LTC Tom Dull’s LinkedIn

West Point Association of Graduates

EP33 Accomplishing What Others Said Couldn’t Be Done with Rolfe Arnhym ‘53, Vistage Chair

EP33 Accomplishing What Others Said Couldn’t Be Done with Rolfe Arnhym ‘53, Vistage Chair

June 10, 2022

This episode features an interview with Rolfe Arnhym ‘53, a Chair for Vistage, the world’s largest and most comprehensive executive coaching organization for small and midsize businesses with $1 million to $1 billion in revenue.

As a Vistage Chair, Rolfe mentors numerous business leaders in the community through three groups he oversees. He has served every community in his personal and professional life with a focus on service to others before oneself, and making each community better for future generations. Rolfe is a West Point graduate and retired Army officer with a distinguished 21-year military career, including two combat tours in Vietnam and commanding an Infantry Brigade in the Army Reserve. He retired with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, and later as a Colonel in the Reserves. Rolfe has held numerous significant leadership positions including serving as CEO of the Pasadena, Long Beach, Palm Springs, and Beverly Hills Chambers of Commerce from 1978-1999.

In this episode of On Point, Rolfe talks about how he works at Vistage with CEOs and executives to develop and add to their professional skill sets and grow as business people. He provides insight on his highly varied career, and what inspired him to write a book for readers to gain insights into mentorship and coaching, being able to walk away with multiple calls to action. Rolfe also touches on the power of the Chamber of Commerce as an important resource to help you succeed in business, and sheds light on the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of moving the Army versus Navy game across the nation.

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“I find a general weakness right now in terms of people holding themselves accountable. They are ready to blame almost anybody else's circumstance, pin the tail on some other’s donkey; never-mind holding their people accountable. I find that internally and I worked very, very hard on this to make sure to help people establish core values. Some would call it a fundamentals and in my book, the number one core value is mutual respect, which is a fast way of saying, ‘treat others as you would have them treat you’, which makes a huge difference.” - Rolfe Arnhym

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EPISODE TIMESTAMPS

(02:22) Rolfe’s role at Vistage

(03:54) Moving the Army v. Navy game across the nation

(11:44) Impact the Army v. Navy game left on the West Coast

(14:38) Using the Army v. Navy game as a West Point marketing initiative

(17:42) Why Rolfe wrote Start Everything, Finish Nothing: The Curse of Modern Management

(19:52) Inviting the Mayor of Moscow to Beverly Hills

(24:49) Transitioning out of the military

(26:04) Creating the MILES system

(27:32) The Chamber of Commerce as a career path

(30:27) Rolfe’s relationship with West Point

(36:58) Lessons learned from over the years

(40:04) Life as a mentor

(41:37) How the Chamber of Commerce can help you

(44:55) Final thoughts

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LINKS

Rolfe Arnhym’s LinkedIn

Rolfe Arnhym’s Twitter

rolfearnhym.com

Ian Faison’s LinkedIn

Ian Faison’s Twitter

West Point Association of Graduates

 

EP32 Ukraine’s Courage & Leadership in the Face of an Invasion with Ambassador William B. Taylor ’69, and Dr. Thomas Sherlock

EP32 Ukraine’s Courage & Leadership in the Face of an Invasion with Ambassador William B. Taylor ’69, and Dr. Thomas Sherlock

June 10, 2022

This episode features an interview between Dr. Thomas Sherlock, Political Science Professor at the United States Military Academy and Ambassador William B. Taylor, Vice President, Russia and Europe at the U.S. Institute of Peace.

Dr. Thomas Sherlock received his doctorate in political science from Columbia University and teaches courses on comparative politics, democracy and democratization, comparative political institutions, international security, nationalism and populism, and the politics of the post-Soviet region. He has written and contributed to many books and publications, providing insight and expertise on Russia, and frequently conducts field research in the post-Soviet space. 

Ambassador William B. Taylor is vice president, Russia and Europe at the U.S. Institute of Peace. He has served as the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, oversaw U.S. assistance and support during the Arab Spring, helped the U.S. government facilitate relationships and reconstruction in parts of the Middle East, coordinated U.S. assistance to the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and worked on the staff of Senator Bill Bradley. Ambassador Taylor is a 1969 graduate of West Point and Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. He also served as an infantry platoon leader and combat company commander in the U.S. Army in Vietnam and Germany.

In this episode of the WPAOG Broadcast Network, Dr. Sherlock and Ambassador Taylor provide perspective and insight on the current war being waged on Ukraine by Russia. The ambassador sheds light on the history of the region, its relationship with Russia, its rapid democratization, and shares his experiences with President Vladimir Zelensky. He talks about how the United States is supporting the Ukrainian people from both sides of America’s political aisle. As well, he details what the conflict means for the country’s people, how it will affect the U.S. and NATO, and what you can do to help support Ukraine as the country fights for its freedom. 

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Episode Timestamps

03:00 History of Ukraine and the Perspective of War from It’s People

08:40 Expectations of the Russian Invasion 

13:20 Character of President Vladimir Zalenski

19:40 United States’ Perspective and Interest in the Ukrainian Conflict

24:20 What the Conflict in Ukraine Means for the United States Military and NATO 

29:50 Major Obstacles that Ukraine Faces in Entry into NATO and EU

35:20 What Americans can do to Support Ukraine

39:20 Ukrainian’s Reaction to Support of the West

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Links

Ambassador Taylor’s Biography 

Dr. Sherlock’s Biography

West Point Association of Graduates

EP31 Be Humble, Tactical, and Technically Efficient with Dan Streetman, Chief Executive Officer of TIBCO

EP31 Be Humble, Tactical, and Technically Efficient with Dan Streetman, Chief Executive Officer of TIBCO

May 25, 2022

This episode features an interview with Dan Streetman ‘91, Chief Executive Officer of TIBCO, a revolutionary software company that allows communication within the financial markets to occur in real-time and without human intervention.

Dan is an expert at leveraging real-time data to enable faster, smarter decisions. Prior to leading TIBCO, Dan helped propel significant data-driven transformations, most recently at BMC, Salesforce, and C3.ai. He is a strong advocate for creating cultures of collaboration, and he honed his leadership skills as a U.S. Army officer, serving in combat operations and receiving decorations including the Bronze Star. Dan is a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and earned an MBA at Harvard Business School.

In this episode of On Point, Dan talks about how always finding the right solution and having humility are critical in everything you do. He explains that teamwork is crucial for success both in business and the military. Dan provides career advice for transitioning veterans, talks about receiving the distinguished MacArthur Leadership Award while at West Point, and gives insight into his post-military career path.

Episode Timestamps

(01:50) Segment 1: AAR

(03:37) Dan’s West Point experience

(08:50) Dan’s time in the Army

(17:11) Receiving the MacArthur Leadership Award

(19:06) Impactful classes at West Point

(20:57) Segment 2: Sit Rep

(25:32) Leadership in military vs. corporate leadership

(28:09) TIBCO merging with Citrix

(31:46) Sales advice for transitioning veterans

(36:49) Segment 3: SOP

(41:59) Dan’s daily routine

(44:19) Balancing work-life and family

(47:10) Segment 4: Giving Back

Links

Dan Streetman’s LinkedIn

Dan Streetman’s Twitter

Tim Hsia LinkedIn

Lance Dietz LinkedIn

West Point Association of Graduates

On Point Podcast

Breakline

VetsinTech

United in Stride

Team with a Vision

EP30 How Success in Leadership Stems from the Virtue of Love with MAJ Benjamin Elliott and Dr. Ryan Erbe

EP30 How Success in Leadership Stems from the Virtue of Love with MAJ Benjamin Elliott and Dr. Ryan Erbe

May 18, 2022

This episode features a conversation between MAJ Benjamin Elliott, instructor for MX400 Officership at the Simon Center for the Professional Military Ethic at the United States Military Academy at West Point, and Dr. Ryan Erbe, Emotional Wellness Integrator with the Character Integration Advisory Group at the United States Military Academy.

MAJ Benjamin Elliott graduated from the United States Military Academy in 2007 with a BS in Psychology. In 2016 he earned an MS in Strategic Intelligence (MSSI) from the National Intelligence University (NIU) in Washington, DC. His first commission was as a Military Intelligence Officer, serving as a Human Intelligence Platoon Leader, Executive Officer, and Battalion Assistant Intelligence Officer. MAJ Elliott then served as a reconnaissance squadron Intelligence Officer and the Brigade Assistant Intelligence Officer. Following that he was assigned to the National Training Center as an Observer, Coach, and Trainer on the Cobra Team, Operations Group. After gaining his MS, MAJ Elliott served as an interagency fellow at the National Counterterrorism Center, Office of the Director of National Intelligence where he was a counterterrorism analyst assigned to the Interagency Intelligence Committee on Terrorism.  

Dr. Erbe has a demonstrated history of working in the higher education field and is skilled in research, teaching, course design, curriculum development, nonprofit organizations, and more. He earned his PhD from Indiana University in Health Behavior and Human Development in 2017. His current focus is on integrating character development into wellness initiatives across the military academy. Previously, he held positions as an Adjunct Professor at the Rocky Mountain School of Ministry and Theology along with the State University of New York at New Paltz, where he taught Counseling Adolescents, Health Psychology, and Research Methods. He most recently was the Lead Minister of the Hudson Valley Church, where he focused on Spiritual Formation and Family Health.

In this episode of On Point and the West Point Association of Graduates ‘Character Cut’ series, Dr. Erbe and MAJ Elliott talk about making people a priority in the military. They discuss the virtues of love, competence, character, and caring, and whether unconditional love has a place in the Army, leadership, and service. MAJ Benjamin Elliott and Dr. Erbe also go into the five forms of love and the ways it impacts life in the military.

Episode Timestamps

(03:05) Introducing Dr. Ryan G. Erbe

(03:25) Talking about the virtue of love

(05:00) Does unconditional love have a place in the Army?

(10:25) The three Cs: competence, character and caring

(14:26) Army doctrine and leadership

(16:35) The five forms of ways to love

EP28 Consistent Routines for Successful Leaders with Rodney Manzo ’04, Founder and CEO of Anvyl

EP28 Consistent Routines for Successful Leaders with Rodney Manzo ’04, Founder and CEO of Anvyl

May 9, 2022

This episode features a conversation with Rodney Manzo, Founder and CEO of Anvyl, a company that strives to bring intelligent and connected supply chains to customers around the world.

Rodney has a demonstrated history of launching products around the world. His skill sets span operations management, international supply chains, cost negotiations, analytics, systems engineering and team building. Prior to starting at Anvyl, Rodney was a Senior Director of Supply Chain at Harry’s and a Global Supply Manager at Apple. He also served in the United States Army as a Combat Engineer during tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. Rodney received his Bachelor's Degree in Management and Systems Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point, and his Masters in Business Administration focused in Finance and Operations from Columbia Business School.

In this episode of On Point, Rodney Manzo discusses his career as a combat engineer in the Army, the effect that maintaining a rigorous daily routine can have on consistency, how mentors are extremely important while in the military and throughout your career, and the trials, tribulations, and ultimate successes related to starting his own supply chain company.

Episode Timestamps 

(01:48) Segment: AAR - After Action Review

(03:13) Rodney’s track and field experience

(03:58) His experience at West Point

(06:35) Life as a combat engineer in the Army

(13:12) Mentorship at West Point

(17:26) Segment: Sit Rep

(21:10) Joining early startups

(22:50) Challenges faced switching companies

(26:03) What is Anvyl?

(27:36) Starting Anvyl

(30:37) Advice for starting a business

(33:01) Segment: SOP - Standard Operating Procedure

(34:34) Structuring a CEO’s daily routine 

(39:24) Strengths of veteran entrepreneurs

(40:36) Segment: Giving Back

Links

Rodney Manzo’s LinkedIn

Anvyl Website

West Point Association of Graduates

EP27 Soaring High and Diving Deep in Military and Business with Chris Gaertner, Partner at Integrity Partners and Co-CEO and CFO of DHC Acquisition Corporation

EP27 Soaring High and Diving Deep in Military and Business with Chris Gaertner, Partner at Integrity Partners and Co-CEO and CFO of DHC Acquisition Corporation

April 27, 2022

This episode of On Point features an interview with Chris Gaertner, Partner at Integrity Partners and Co-CEO and CFO of DHC Acquisition Corporation.

Chris has 25+ years of experience in underwriting, advising, and mergers and acquisitions for some of the best technology companies in the world. He has been a lead advisor on over 100 equity and M&A transactions, including some of the largest deals in technology, and has led IPOs for companies such as Google and OpenTable. He holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point, an MS in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Chris served as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army with the 82nd Airborne Division, XVIII Airborne Corps, and 1st Special Operations Command.

In this episode of On Point, Chris Gaertner talks about how as a first generation American, he felt a need to serve the country. He discusses his experiences in ranger school and serving in the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division. Chris also speaks about his passion for flying and diving that has continued to this day since his time at West Point. In addition, Chris provides insight on moving from the military to civilian life, and shares advice on how to make the transition to business successful.

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Episode Timestamps

(02:15) Segment 1: AAR

(02:39) Chris’ experience at West Point

(03:41) Handling flying and diving on top of everything at West Point

(04:56) Other activities at West Point

(04:03) Advice from Chris’ personal experience

(06:15) Chris’ West Point mentors

(08:08) Why Chris branched Infantry and 82nd

(08:52) Chris’ Army experience

(11:08) Why Chris decided to transition from the Army

(12:11) Segment 2: Sit Rep

(13:30) Going to business school

(13:48) Why investment banking?

(16:41) Chris’ most memorable transaction experiences

(20:38) Transitioning into investment banking

(23:05) Focusing on mobility, infrastructure and digital security at Integrity

(25:47) Segment 3: The SOP

(29:47) Daily work-life balance

(31:51) Piloting his own plane

(33:34) Leadership principles

(36:38) Segment 4: Giving Back

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Links

Chris Gaertner LinkedIn

Integrity Partners

West Point Association of Graduates

EP26 Setting Standards and Records with Jeff Monken, Head Coach of Army West Point Football

EP26 Setting Standards and Records with Jeff Monken, Head Coach of Army West Point Football

April 13, 2022

This episode features a conversation between Rich Demarco, Associate Athletic Director and radio play-by-play announcer for the Army Black Knights, and Jeff Monken, Head Coach of Army West Point Football.

Jeff Monken has an accomplished background in football, both as a coach and a player. Before joining Army West Point football, he was the head coach of the Georgia Southern Eagles football team, and prior to that served under Paul Johnson as a running back’s coach and special teams coordinator at Georgia Southern, Navy, and Georgia Tech. To date, Coach Monken has served eight seasons at the helm of Army West Point football, the 37th individual head coach in program history. His career coaching record stands at 85-55 as a head coach, with a 49-39 mark at Army.

In this episode of On Point and the West Point Association for Graduates ‘Character Cut’ series, Coach Monken talks about the interview process to become the Army West Point head coach, growing the football program as a leader, and the improvements to come for Army football in the future. Coach Monken also talks about the highly anticipated Michie Stadium Preservation Project.

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Episode Timestamps

(02:05) Looking back on football in 2021

(03:38) Jeff’s improvements to come in football 2022

(05:12) Impact of the senior class on current team leaders 

(07:08) Jeff’s transition from assistant to head coach

(07:54) Jeff’s perception of the Army job prior to becoming head coach

(08:22) The interview process for Army West Point head coach

(11:31) Jeff’s initial steps as head coach

(13:24) Biggest strides made early on in Jeff’s army football program

(15:49) Growing the army football program as a leader

(17:12) Impact of Senior classes on the program

(19:27) Jeff’s take on the value of feedback

(20:26) Impact of Mike Buddy on guiding the football program

(21:48) Michie Stadium Preservation Project

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Links

Jeff Monken’s Twitter

Rich Demarco Twitter

West Point Association of Graduates

On Point Podcast

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