Women of the Military

Military Dad in the Navy

Episode Summary

For Father's Day, I love to highlight a military veteran who is also a military dad. David Trenholm has been supporting the work I am doing for the Women of the Military podcast. But as a dad, he has also been excited to watch the growth of the Girl's Guide to the Military on YouTube and other channels. Because of his support I asked him if he would be willing to share his military story on the Women of the Military Podcast.

Episode Notes

Military Dad in the Navy

David joined the Navy right after high school because he wanted to go to college. He did not have a way to pay for college and saw the military as an opportunity to get his degree paid for. He ended up excelling in the Navy and was able to get accepted to a program to go back to school, earn his degree, and become an officer in the Navy. When he came back in he was Naval Flight Officer as a Tactical Coordinator.

September 11th happened while attending college. The Navy changed from being open with minimal security along with a higher ops tempo than before. He loved the work he was doing and deployed around the world for various missions. One mission that he shared about was when they were off the coast of Libya. There they helped to coordinate with the Libyan military who provided the ground forces and the US Marines provided air support. They were able to help liberate Libya from ISIS control.

He got married and had his first child while in college. And they moved through flight school and training until they arrived in Florida. David was able to spend most of his career in Florida and for the tours outside of Florida, he geo-bached to help his family have stability and not have to move. This is a sacrifice a military dad may make to help support his family. The first time was for a tour he knew that he would be gone most of the time. He ended up being deployed/training approximately twenty out of twenty-four months and it was better for his family not to move.

He would travel home on weekends when he could and got creative so he could spend time with his family. The next assignment wasn't as high ops but his oldest was starting high school and they decided they did not want to make everyone move. He was able to travel home from Virginia for long weekends and used leave time to spend more time at home. He ended his career in Florida and now works for Bank of America.

Transitioning out of the military was not easy. He had a community and knew where he was going to live. But he didn't have a plan on where he was going to work. He attributes his success today to Operation New Uniform. There he was able to learn about figuring out what he wanted to do. He also learned about writing a resume. And it was through networking that he was able to land a job at Bank of America. One piece of advice he shared for transition veterans was to think about timetables. For example, Bank of America starts looking for new hires for the next year in late summer early fall. If you start looking for a job when you leave the military it makes takes more time than you expect before the job openings are filled.

Connect with David:


Mentioned in this episode:

Ben Killoy - Dads are so important - episode 79

Operation New Uniform

Related episodes:

Weapon System Officers - Episode 71

Check out the full transcript here.  

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above:
Kevin Barba, Adriana Keefe, Lorraine Diaz

Thank you Patreon members for your support. Become a Patreon member today! Click here.   

Episode Transcription

Amanda Huffman00:00

Welcome to Episode 139 of the women of the military podcast. Last year, I started a tradition that the week of Father's Day, I would interview a male veteran who was a dad to get their perspective on the podcast because my dad played a really pivotal role in my life. And I think dads can play really pivotal roles in their daughter's lives. So I thought it would be fun to say one episode a year for a male veteran to share his experience of military service and give advice to women who are considering joining from Mel's point of view. So this year, I connected with David Trent home, and he has been very supportive of all the work that I've been doing for the blog, the podcast and girls guide to the military. And so I reached out to him and asked him he would be on the podcast. And he said, Yes, I was just so excited to be a part of it. So I'm excited to share his interview about his time in the Navy and what he's doing today. So let's get started. You're listening to season three of the women on the military podcast. Here you will find the real stories of female service members. I'm Amanda Huffman, I am an Air Force veteran, military spouse and mom. I created women in the military podcast in 2019, as a place to share the stories of female service members past and present, with the goal of finding the heart of the story, while uncovering the triumphs and challenges women face while serving in the military. If you want to be encouraged by the stories of military women and be inspired to change the world, keep tuned for this latest episode of women on the military.


David Trentholm01:51

I'm excited to be here.


Amanda Huffman01:53

So yeah, I like doing one podcast episode with a male veteran for Father's Day. I started it last year with enjoy. And I'm excited to continue the tradition this year.


David Trentholm02:07

That's awesome. Because I feel honored that you even you know, I follow everything you do. And I love how supportive you are of women in the military, and just even be thought of to be interviewed by you is a huge honor. Well, I


Amanda Huffman02:20

really appreciate every way you support me in the work that you're doing just to help veterans and, and the conversations that we get to have on LinkedIn. So it was an easy choice. It was easy choice within it was easy choice with us. So thank you for everything that you do. And let's get started with Why did you decide to join the military?


David Trentholm02:42

So why I joined was, for the most part pretty simple. I grew up, you know, lower middle class. None of my family had ever really gone to college. They're all blue collar workers. And, you know, I looked around and saw the people my dad worked for, you know, with big, nice vehicles, you know, working in the air conditioning, I was like, No, I don't want to do that. I want to be in business one day. And so to me that was going to college, it was never really encouraged. I wasn't smart enough. I wasn't athletic enough to get a scholarship. So I did the next best thing is I enlisted in the Navy when I was 17 years old.


Amanda Huffman03:17

So you enlisted into the Navy. What year was that?


David Trentholm03:20

This was 1995. So about two months after I graduated from high school, I went to boot camp, I spent a little over four years enlisted during that time, I did really well get picked up for an officer program. And you know, my dream came true. The Navy was sending me to college to get my degree. So I ended up going to Florida a&m and Florida State earned my degree and while I was there, you know, job placement. They're like, hey, do you want to, you know, be on submarines? No. Do you want to drive ships? No. Do you want to fly in the front of the backseat of an aircraft? Yeah, that sounds really cool. Because those other ones suck. I was selected as a naval flight officer. And after you know, two years in flight school, I got to fly in the back of the p3 Orion. For the last, I don't know 15 or so years of my career.


Amanda Huffman04:04

So how did you get selected for the program when you were enlisted to become an officer.


David Trentholm04:08

So the Navy you know, it's changed over the years, I had several different officer programs I applied for at the time was called boost, broaden officer opportunity selection and training. And so what that was at the time was a they would send you to a Navy prep school. It was more geared towards people that had no college experience and struggled through high school per se. It was it was a one year of college prep, which really helped me I struggled through the college prep classes. But when I actually got the college that preparation made it so that I went from being a C student at the prep school to an A student in college.


Amanda Huffman04:46

Oh, and so they pay your whole tuition and give you a stipend through college.


David Trentholm04:51

So back in the day now it's gotten better now back in the day they had two different programs or ways it did it is they kicked you off active duty and they paid for your school. Or you stayed on active duty, but you had to use your GI Bill, you know, to help pay for your college. And so I was kicked off active duty for four years. So I got a scholarship and like a $300 a month stipend, you know, so thank God, I had the GI Bill, I had, I earned a lot of grants, scholarships, I took out some loans, unfortunately. But it was kind of interesting, because I was making more money as a college student than I was as an e4 with, you know, less than four years in the Navy,


Amanda Huffman05:26

I've been working on, you know, I'm working on a book and I'm working on the girls guide stuff. And the one thing I find is like the officer programs, like they're always changing, and the rules are always changing. So I just kind of do it with like a broad brushstroke. And I'm like, there's a program out there, become an officer go figure out what it's called, and what the different benefits are. Because, yeah, it's always changing. And like you never, it's like a moving target. It's not something that you can always talk about, and then tomorrow, it change. So, so that makes a lot of sense.


David Trentholm05:55

And it was interesting, because when the results came out, I was only considered an alternate. So they had the, you know, 300 that are approved, and they had, you know, 50 or so they're alternates. And, you know, a month or two before the program started up, I got a phone call from you know, higher Navy training headquarters and like, hey, do you still want to do this? He's like, Yeah, and I went and did it. And the rest is history.


Amanda Huffman06:16

Yeah, sounds really interesting. And based on you joined in 95. And then you were in for four years. And then you did college. Four years, were you in college, when September 11 happened,


David Trentholm06:27

I was actually in my naval science class, when the first plane hit the tower one. And by near the end of the class is when the second plane hit the second tower. And at that point, it was very scary, very weird. We all got sent home from school classes were canceled for about a day or two, my phone was ringing off the hook constantly, like are you going to be activating? Are you going back and listed? Are you going to, you know, what, what could happen? Are we going to war and you know, and there was actually some precedence because the RTC unit I was at, I don't know back way in World War Two, or something actually got activated in the middle of college or something like that. There's some weird story. So there was some fear. But for the most part, I told him, like, Look, you know, we're in the pipeline, I don't think I'm going to war unless they institute a draft, you know, because they, the Navy's, you know, put so much money into me, they want me to finish this program, so I can get back out to the active duty Navy. So yeah, so from 99 until 2003, roughly, I was at Florida a&m or Florida State full time. And then after that 2003 to 2005. I was in flight school. And then after that, you know, for the next 14 years, I was flying pretty much all the time in a p3 Orion or on an aircraft carrier helping launch and recover aircraft, or I spent a couple of years on amphibs, you know, working with the Marines while they were flying, you know, and being their support.


Amanda Huffman07:47

Sounds like a crazy adventure. I get really stuff on September 11. But before September 11. And then when you get back in a few years later, was the Navy different? Or were there specific things that you noticed? Or was it just that we were at war, and so that aspect was different?


David Trentholm08:05

So it was it was definitely different, you know, the security postures on bases, were very relaxed, prior to 911. Like, you know, the, there was bars and clubs, that were you know, the clubs, the AAU clubs were more happening place where people out in town would come on base, you know, in party, you know, and there was very little rules, and then all of a sudden, you know, right after 911 it was, they can't be on past 10 o'clock. And then next thing, you know, they're not allowed to unroll. And then on top of that, they started putting fences and security systems all around bases. Because for that, you know, a lot of the bases, they were kind of open and didn't have fences to keep people out. You know, then after that, you know, security was a big thing. And then you can see the mindset of people because, you know, before that we're in peace, we go on deployments, we would do a little power projection, hey, here's an aircraft carrier. We're in town, you know, you guys be cool. But now all of a sudden, it's like no, right as 911 happen. There's an aircraft carrier that was just coming was just about to leave from deployment. 911 happened, they got turned right around. And they ended up doing like a 10 month, almost 11 month deployment, which is, you know, unusual for the Navy. The Navy is usually really good about six to nine month deployment cycles.


Amanda Huffman09:19

Yeah. So they were headed home and then they turn around and they were gone for almost a year after already being done.


David Trentholm09:26

Yeah. So that that caused a lot of a lot of uncertainty, a lot of change, a lot changing, you know, the operation tempo. So, you know, it was a lot more relaxed, you know, and that we went from having like one aircraft carrier, maybe in the in the Persian Gulf to all of a sudden we've got two if not three, and that was a high op tempo for about at least the next 10 to 12 years.


Amanda Huffman09:46

Like when you were back in, it was all high ops.


David Trentholm09:49

Guys, I spent a good majority of my career in the desert either flying out of Djibouti, Africa or Bahrain. So I flew a lot of flights over Somalia. A lot. Have them over Iraq or Syria. Yeah, so flying over hotspots and looking for targets or doing convoy escorts for troops on the ground. Wow.


Amanda Huffman10:09

And for the Navy Do they have like, a pretty consistent like six months home six months done type of schedule or this change.


David Trentholm10:18

So the model for the Navy, which is different than like the army, which always blew me away, how they would be gone for 18 months, and then come home, you know, we were even even in the middle of the height of the wars, you know, as long as nothing crazy happened, you were typically deployed for six months, and then you were home for 18 months, you know, he would calm down, you know, ramp back up, and then be be what we call on ready. So you weren't, you weren't supposed to deploy, but if you know, things happen in the world, you can be deployed right away. And that was, for the most part, give or take was was always a cycle, you know, in peacetime and wartime. So outside of the craziness of, you know, 911 actually happening, that's always been been really good about the Navy is peacetime wartime deployment cycles are the same, unlike what I saw with my friends in the army, who in a four year tour, they spent three years, you know, either in Afghanistan or Iraq. And


Amanda Huffman11:11

yeah, I've interviewed people and they would go for a year and then come home for like three or four months. And they'd be like, okay, you're going here. And they're like, I just got back here, like, so. And I've, I've heard lots of stories where the Air Force has like, very, like a bucket thing where you know, you're in depending on your job, what bucket you land in, and all these every time your bucket changes, because I will see civil engineer and so the buckets were like changing, and we were getting like more and they had like all these briefings about how the height, the offset pose changing, and everyone, you knew what was coming because you knew when it was returned to be on and when to be ready. And no,


David Trentholm11:50

I mean, that being said, even though we had that cycle, like you talked about being surge ready, we had some people that it would be gone for six months, come home for a month, be gone for another two or three months, the home for six months, and then could be gone another six months. So it was there was some high up tempos. And like the last command I was at right before I retired, we had a three months home three months gone rotation. And we do that for two years, just because we were a small specialized unit. And we were a high high in demand. So but we all knew going into this, going to that command that that was what was going to happen. And I actually was was very enjoyable. Because mission satisfaction.


Amanda Huffman12:29

there any deployment that like stuck out that you went on that you want to talk about or any challenge that you experienced while you were in the Navy.


David Trentholm12:37

Oh, there's there's so many great deployment stories. You know, I, I was flying out of Bahrain, and we got the call that hey, you have to stand up an entirely new detachment site in Incirlik, Turkey, you know, because we were trying to fly from the south to go all the way up to the northern Syria and it was taken four hours to fly up there. Hey, guess what, if we take off out of Incirlik Turkey, right in the border, we're right there for 30 minutes, we can give them you know, 910 hours of flight time, you know, so that was a huge accomplishment going up there work with the Air Force working with the Turkish Government, you know, pretty much getting flying on a skeleton crew, you know, until we could get the the establishment fully set up was an amazing accomplishment and the mission success, and we are getting a lot of feedback, because some of the missions we do we just kind of sit on our target and look at it and like we're collecting information, but we don't know what we're really doing. That's that's where the you know, the the guys have the big brains of the Intel weenies put together all their magic, and they're like, Oh, yeah, we're gonna send soft forces, or we'd watch an Air Force v one v come in, you know, and start bombing ISIS. And I was like, Well, we know our work is being done well. And then one of my last deployments I was on was actually one of my most rewarding. I was on the E ojima. So it's a amphibious assault ship. There's, you know, 1500 navy and other 1500 Marines. And we were off the coast of Libya for almost six months straight there after qaddafi had fallen, the government Khan economy, chaos, and guess what ISIS had come in and created a stronghold. So there was an entire city that was completely taken over by ISIS. And over a six month period between taking out their their vehicles, they actually had tanks and stuff, you know, taking out their forces and it was all air support from the Marines and ground support from the Libyan national government at that time, after six months literally watching we did a day where it was like 18 hour straight a bombing. I'm just going after every target we could find we had a low for a day and then the next day they started bombing in the morning, and literally the Libyan ground forces came out and said to the ISIS members like hey, you saw us level an entire city block you know, two days ago, we're about to do the same thing to you right now. If you don't surrender and actually got the watch on video as they came out, surrender gave up put their hands up, you know, in in liberating a town where Over 900 ISIS members were taken care of Not a single civilian casualty and and that night we had a, a WebEx or zoom with our American counterparts on the ground. And they brought in a bunch of Libyans that were so appreciative of everything we done, you know, just the mission accomplishment of bringing a town from ISIS was just amazing. And I didn't get to fly in those. But what I did is I coordinated all the flying with AFRICOM ucomm, Air Force chaox, the AO C's, you know, and making sure all the things were done so that the guys could just go up and do their jobs, you know, taking care of all the diplomatic stuff. And watching what we did in six months was was just amazing.


Amanda Huffman15:44

Yeah, that's a really cool story, and not one that you hear very often because the media doesn't cover stories like that. And I mean, just that you were there in the time, and you could like, see the impact, like one of the hardest parts of my deployment, I was I was there for nine months and like, but like, we didn't really get anything done. And then we just left and I guess, who knows what happened after that, because we didn't have contact with the Afghans and, and the teams behind us, it keep kept rotating, but like, you were there, and you got to see everything that happened and, and even see the people who are so appreciative of what you did.


David Trentholm16:21

Yeah, that was that was huge, actually seeing that. And then, you know, explaining that to the people on the ship, because you got people that are just serving lunch, you know, cleaning up stuff, doing maintenance, you know, they have no no visibility, any of this stuff. And once we explain to them what they're going on, you can see, you know, the extra pep in their step. They're like, Oh, wow, we're actually bringing people in, you would see this on occasion like they would they would be able to free some women and children. You know, and you didn't get much of a news about this, because we had no ground forces. It was all it was all marine aircraft going in taking care of taking care of our enemies with the Libyan ground forces. And because there's no ground forces, you know, you really didn't hear much. We also had no casualties, because there was no ground forces. No, I don't I'm not 100% Sure. There probably were some casualties from the Libyan ground forces. But still, it was it was an amazing time. Yeah,


Amanda Huffman17:15

that makes sense. I mean, you don't have people out on the ground. And it's kind of hard to get photos and the reporting. And so that makes a lot of sense. But it's just kind of cool to hear that, like, American military is doing something like that to support people who need our help and, and defeating ISIS. It's like a win win, of what the military is made to do. So that's really cool. So I want to talk because we're talking about Father's Day, when did you start your family while you were in the military, or after you left? Or when did that all happen?


David Trentholm17:49

So I started, my son was born back in 2001, while I was in college, so I'm off active duty, you know, for college student, you know, my fiance got pregnant, we got married, you know, about six months later after he was born. And that's when I started my family. And about four years later, right after you know, I'm in the middle of Flight School, which flight school for me was probably the hardest time of my life I am. I'm not somebody that can just read something route, memorize it, I'm, I've got a, I've got a monkey salesperson, I've got to put my hands on it. I just can't read it, and know it. And so that was very hard for me at times. And so my daughter was born 2005. Right, as I'm finishing up flight school, and right up to my first operational command and get, you know, doing workups learning my job becoming qualified, and getting prepared for my first deployment.


Amanda Huffman18:44

Yeah, so what was it like to be a dad in the military, especially with high ops simple job that had you coming and going?


David Trentholm18:53

So it was not easy, and I could have never done it without my wife? My wife, Danielle, have you know, we've been married almost 20 years now. Thank God. She's an independent person. Because Murphy's Law happened every single time I deployed a minute I left, the washer broke, you know, the stove broke, the car broke, my wife got rear ended probably three times sitting at a stoplight, you know, and at one point she fainted picking up my chart my kids from the daycare because she was just trying to be Superwoman and doing both mom and dad's job. But every time I was home, I tried to make the best of it. My son started soccer, probably when he was four, immediately became an assistant coach to help out and I loved it so much that I was his head coach for like the next five years in soccer. You know, in doing as many school functions my kids have been homeschooled almost their entire lives. And so they do a lot of recitals and music and different types of events. And I made her priority to be as much as possible, you know, I made some mistakes and my son because when I was a young officer, I made mistakes. Putting the Navy before my family. And after a couple of years, somebody sat me down and said, Hey, guys, you know, the Navy is not forever, but your family is. And so I made a thing to make sure that I never did that again. So my son is now 1920. He's about to graduate with his associates from from college, my daughter's 15. And I'm still playing some softball, and that's her schedule, and her soccer schedule, my schedule and her schedule, have conflicted. And in the past, I made the mistake of Hey, you know, Danielle, you take Shawn to the sports game, I'm gonna go play my sport. And I made sure I didn't make those mistakes again, and I prioritize my daughter's soccer over my softball.


Amanda Huffman20:42

Well, you could be there for her games and be involved in?


David Trentholm20:45

Yep. Yep. I mean, it was as much as I could. I did as good as much as I could for my son. But like I said, I made some mistakes here and there. And I learned from them. And I have refused to repeat them, you know, with my daughter.


Amanda Huffman20:59

Yeah. And military kids. It's April or recording this and military kids are so resilient in their life. And sometimes I feel like they have this like, weird view of the world, cuz I'll ask my kids something. And they'll be like, That's normal. And I'm like, no, that's not. So did they have any trouble with moving or you being gone and coming home?


David Trentholm21:23

So actually, our story's a little bit different than the average because my kids moved to Jacksonville, Florida, back in 2005 2006. And they never moved again. So how did we accomplish that? Well, guess what? Dad moved. So I did three geo bachelor tours, and my naval career. And so for those that don't understand what a geo bachelor tour is, it's where the family stays one place. I'm geographically a bachelor, away from my family. So I spent one stint in Norfolk for two years and other one for two and a half years. And while my family stayed in Jacksonville, Florida, the first time I was gone, and that two years I was on an aircraft carrier. And that one was probably out to see either doing workups or tutor tutor from deployments 20 out of 24 months. So my opportunities to get home are not that great. But every, every opportunity every long weekend, you know, I was I was home, it was to the point where, when we were coming home from deployment, my aircraft carrier is going back to Norfolk, but some of our sister ships, were going back to mayport, I was able to work with my boss and say, hey, I want to jump on that ship, go home, you know, spend time with my family, you know, my vacation time, instead of having go all the way back to northfolk flying down, you know, wasting an extra day or two here or there. So, you know, my command worked with me and got me back to me fort in Jacksonville, Florida. My wife and kids picked me up from the ship, you know, so it was it was awesome event. And then the second time I was in Norco. I was there for two and a half years but I was only deployed six months out of two and a half years roughly. And so Norfolk's about a 10 hour drive, or a Luckily, they had Nilo, which is the civilian military flights. They had a direct flight that would go from Jackson, from Norfolk to Jacksonville, down to Cuba back to Jacksonville up to Norco. So I would get thing was $12 round trip flights on a 45 minute flight hop, you know, so I would spend every three day four day and occasionally I just take vacation leave time in coming home for five days. So there's there's times I was driving home, three weekends a month, that's a 10 hour drive each way, but it was worth it.


Amanda Huffman23:39

At least it's like straight down on 95%. Once you design 95 you're like and we're also


David Trentholm23:46

Oh yeah, it got to the point where I knew exactly what stops I was going to stop at, you know, where I needed to gas South Carolina was the cheapest gas. So I was like, Alright, well, I'm stopping South Carolina. And before I get home, you know, just and I knew the right restaurants, the right stops. But I maximized all my time, listened to a lot of podcasts or ebooks, as I drove home to and from to see my family and spend every every moment I could with them.


Amanda Huffman24:10

That gave them the stability in Florida, especially that two year stint or you were gone most of the time. So it was like uprooting your family and then having them and then be like see later I gotta go work. It added a lot of stability for them.


David Trentholm24:24

Yeah, and that was one of the main reasons we we picked you a bachelor the first time is because I knew I was gonna be gone 20 out of 24 months. So why uproot my wife, hey, I'm going to drop you in a place. You know, nobody, you know, they might get the spouse club, but sometimes they're good. Sometimes they're not when instead you can be here, you're established, everything's great, you know. So we chose for the first first round just to stay here. And then the second time I was going up to Norfolk, guess what, you know, my kid, my son's not going into high school. Alright, so we don't want to uproot everything for him. Hey, this one's a lot easier. I'll be home a lot more often, you know, so we just chose to do that. And then And of course, while I took my last command, my retirement Tour Down in Jacksonville, retired out of here now I work at Bank of America, and I am loving life. I can't I can't love it. And as you can see my backyard Um,


Amanda Huffman25:11

well, yeah, that's so great because my kids are getting older. They're seven and five. And we're like, five or six years away from retirement. And I keep thinking like, Oh, just one more move. Just one more move. And then, and then we don't have to do that anymore. Because as the kids get older, it gets harder to move, especially for them. And, and I think for the parents, or at least for me, it was a lot harder to move when my son was five than when he was one because he just went with us, and he didn't really seem to care. And then the next time he was older, and he had friends and saying goodbye. And then it's hard.


David Trentholm25:50

It's hard to it those ages, you got to start incorporating them into the reasons why you're doing it. And you got to figure out how to make it an adventure. And, and I'll tell you that when I moved during flight school from Allen from Pensacola to San Antonio, Texas, back to Jacksonville, yeah, we moved to the apartments, my son was five, six years of that time, and we turned an entire fort sleeping area, from all the moving boxes, like we made this create created this maze, and he was sleeping on the floor with his with it with our dog. And on a blanket, it was just the most adorable thing. And we just tried to turn it into an adventure as much as possible.


Amanda Huffman 26:24

So we never really talked about your transition out of the military. But what was your transition? Like? It sounds like you already had like farm roots in a community. And so you just transitioned over and you love where you're living and that sort of thing. But did you have any struggle with the transition of military?


David Trentholm26:42

Absolutely. I did struggle. And that was because I struggled with a lot a lot of veterans have been, which is I didn't know what I wanted to do. You know, everybody asked me so what you want to do is like, I don't know, I want to lead lead people like Oh, great. I did the same excuses. Every every person even is Oh, I'm a leader. I want a leadership job. Then I found out there's no job title, or placement or leadership like Oh, great. That's that's a soft skill. You know, what do you want to do? I wish I would have learned a lot of the things I know now early on, because I told you I was at a high up tempo command. I literally went on a short six week detachment came home. Like a week later, I was in tap. Two weeks later, I was doing my retirement ceremony. The week after that I was going to honor the opportunity course, you know, so I was pretty much in Terminal leave. When I was doing my transition, at least got smarter about it. I was working on stuff before I made all the same mistakes everybody does where I applied to jobs with a bad resume. Got no callbacks got ghosted, but then as I learned through going through onward opportunity, and an incredible program here in Jacksonville, Florida that's trying to go national operation a uniform, you know, I learned what I wanted to do, how to do it. And I gained the confidence in being able to apply an interview for what I found and then how I landed bank America's the number one way every transition veteran should networking. I joined thank America through the global technology and operations military development program. It's a two year internship where you spend one year in operations when you're in technology. And there's there's a small window for every year for people to get hired. You know, it's in the summertime. And what happens is they start interviewing people roughly between July and October, bring them on in either February of July the following year. So timing is huge. So if your timing is bad, and you wait till like, Oh, well, I'm just gonna wait till it's June. I want a job now. Guess what, they already hired everybody last year for this year's job. So they're looking for next year's. And I found out about this because I had a friend five years before I retired in the same program I reached out to him was like, Hey, man, you've been with Bank of America for five, six years. You're a smart guy. You must you obviously like this. So tell me about it. We had a great conversations. We were good friends. We we had talked a little bit here and there beforehand. And he said, You know what, you're gonna love it. Here's why you're gonna love it. Let me introduce you to recruiter. Once I met the recruiter, the rest is history. You know, I make a good impression. I learned through operation a uniform, how to do good interviews, you know, put all my skills to the test, pass all the interviews, got the job offer. And a year and a half later, I'm still at Bank of America and loving it. Yeah. And networking is how we met because we met via LinkedIn. And we're connected and, and just today, on the day that we're doing this interview, we were talking about continuing education and we're having a conversation back and forth on the internet and just networking within the military community can help you for your job or for life or just for everything. Yeah, and I've met so many amazing people through LinkedIn like yourself, and like so many others, just by engaging just by commenting on other people's posts. I'd never heard of you before but then I saw this lady fighting for for women in you know, female veterans, you know, and telling their story, which is amazing because I tell people all the time, you know, you can't get over trauma or Get over things unless you tell your story. And, and hearing those stories and actually sharing my inspiring me to share some of my own stories of everything looks like roses now, but there's a lot of bumps in the road to get where I'm at.


Amanda Huffman30:13

Yeah, you it's easy to look at the end point and not see the challenges and and sidesteps and all the lessons learned that are required to get you to the point that you're at, I believe that everyone has a story to share, and that we should share stories and, and this is my therapy, for my PTSD is my deployment or talking to people about their military experience and sharing their stories and empowering them So,


David Trentholm30:41

but hasn't hasn't that helped you, though? Oh, yeah. And that's why I love this week, you know, we're two veterans getting to talk. You know, we can speak the same language within reason, you know, and we can have relatable stories.


Amanda Huffman30:53

Yeah, for sure. It's so easy to talk to veterans, because there's so many commonalities. And it doesn't matter if you're different branches, you know, doesn't matter. Like, there's so many differences, and it doesn't change the fact that you can easily have a conversation. I've really enjoyed learning about your time in the Navy and talking a little bit about your transition. And is there anything from your time in the military or up to now that you didn't cover that you want to talk about? Before I asked the last question,


David Trentholm31:23

you know, the only thing I'd say is give advices, you know, network, look for informational interviews, you know, reach out to people like Amanda, myself, we're always here to help. And that's, that's the biggest stuff. But you know, just good advice, you know, and keep pushing and look for help.


Amanda Huffman31:38

Ask for help when you need it, and then give it when people ask for you. Yeah, so my last question is, what advice would you give to young women who are considering joining the military? Oh, that


David Trentholm31:50

is a great question. So for me, I'm a big advocate for women. I'm the advocate that you should do anything you want to. And don't take the first No, don't take the first closed door, because a lot of times people will tell you no, and they don't know the actual answer. They're just going off with somebody else told them, you know, ask for it in writing, why can't I do this? You know, show me where it says I can't do it. And if it's written there, inquired why it can't be changed, you know, amazing things are happening. We've got, you know, females that are now getting through Ranger School. You know that in the Green Berets, you've got women on submarines, which, which is one of the last, you know, ship hurdles. And you know, it's only a matter of time before we have our first Navy SEAL applicant, if not graduate. And I saw remember back in the mid 80s, when women were first allowed to become pilots, you know, fighter pilots, especially. And now if you go depending what community you go to, like in the p3 pa maritime patrol community in the Navy, it's easy to find 10 15% of all the pilots, and naval flight officers are females now. So if you have dreams, you have aspirations. You want to be an airline pilot, join the military as a pilot, and then and then follow on with that the world's your oyster is and don't ever stop.


Amanda Huffman33:12

That's great advice. And it's so true. There's so many opportunities out there for women in the military and in the world. And it's just exciting to watch all these class ceilings get broken. And if you believe that you can do it, so just go do it. Absolutely. So thank you so much for your time. I really enjoy getting to talk to you and to have you on the podcast so and for all your encouragement, it really makes you feel happy. So thank you. Oh, not a problem.


David Trentholm33:40

It's my pleasure. And like I said, it's been a huge honor to be on your podcast.


Amanda Huffman33:49

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