Veteran Non-Profit Trains Warriors to Become Entrepreneurs
Honor Courage Commitment Inc. is a non-profit veteran-run organization dedicated to helping the 200,00 to 300,000 veterans transitioning from military service into private life every year. Graduates of HCC’s program have launched 30 private businesses and 6 non-profits since it opened its doors in 2012.
This Texas-based organization provides mentoring and community service opportunities to military veterans. HCC employs the three pillars of education, mentoring and community service to help vets find their next mission in life: their next career. Offering job research, training, and placement, interview skills and even community outreach services, HCC helps vets reintegrate back into peaceful, prosperous, purposeful employment.
Partnering with dozens of organizations and connecting across social media platforms, HCC offers vets training to help veterans with targeted job searches so as to research companies that best align with their personal skill sets and desires. But it doesn’t stop there. HCC is involved in every step along the veteran’s transition resume writing, etiquette for job interviewing, and even a way to dress the part with a tailor-made new suit through Suiting Warriors.
Job training is only one aspect of HCC’s unique and comprehensive service.
At HCC, the “VET” Program stands for Veteran Entrepreneurial Training. The VET program and the business center are HCC’s biggest initiatives. The VET Program is a complete business development methodology with ascending phases of mentoring, each with a descriptive military jargon and goals.
From developing the veterans’ business interests, network and connections (the Recon or Concept Phase) to assisting vets in obtain necessary legal and website development at the Pre-Deployment or Formation Phase, HCC is there each step of the way. Along the way, HCC guides vets in evaluating marketability and consumer need among other success factors in the Deployment or Validation Stage. In the last phase, dubbed the Occupation or Growth Phase, HCC helps develop strategic partnerships and outside capital to enhance the veterans’ growing businesses.
HCC also combats the mental challenge facing some vets who experience a loss of purpose. The non-profit provides skills and coaching to help vets reconnect to the community by focusing on camaraderie.
In July, HCC will open its veteran business center in Dallas, offering veterans co-woring spaces, meeting rooms, private office spaces, phones lines — in short, everything a returning veteran needs to successfully reintegrate into business and a peacetime profession.
I interviewed two of the fine veterans running this non-profit organization:
Executive Director Cliff Sosamon is the Executive Director of Honor Courage Commitment. A Marine Corps veteran,
Cliff Sosamon enlisted after high school serving on Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti before volunteering for Marine Security Guard School in Quantico, Virginia. He then served at the American Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand and the U.S. Consulate in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In 2014, Cliff began working with Honor Courage Commitment to strengthen its Veteran Entrepreneurship Training (VET) Program. Under his leadership, the program has morphed from two nights a week to a full-time class. In October 2015, Cliff became the Executive Director of HCC.
Director of Operations Urshel Metcalf has served 13 years of active duty in the Marine Corps, leaving the Marine Corps as a Gunnery Sergeant. He is a veteran of the Persian Gulf War. After leaving active service in the Marine Corps, Urshel served the military community as a local pastor, doing missionary work for 9 years working with local churches in Mexico, Brazil, and Italy. Urshel began working with the HCC team to explore opportunities to create a hybrid financial product allowing individuals to both invest and be philanthropic. He officially joined HCC in November of 2016 as the Director of Operations.
Here is a link to my audio interview of these fine men.
To donate or to help veterans connect with Honor Courage Commitment Inc., go to its website, and follow on social media at @HHCvet.org and on Facebook here.
Editor’s Note: This article has been revised to include a description of the “VET” program which was inadvertently omitted in the original.