(Editor's Note: In honor of Veterans' Day, which fell on Sunday, AdvisorOne is re-running this "Advisors Who Serve(d)" slideshow.)
In the middle of fireworks and barbeques on July 4, 2012, the editors of AdvisorOne ask you to consider the true meaning of Independence Day, and to honor your peers and your partners who placed their lives on hold and on the line to help preserve our independence.
This is the third in a series of articles on AdvisorOne that honors those advisors and partners to advisors who served in the military. We've created a special landing page for you to view all three of our slideshows as well. The 18 people on the pages below responded to our call to share the particulars of their service—some in the past and some still serving—and, in most instances, some photos of themselves, when they were in service or today, as well.
Most telling to us, however, were the 18's responses to how their military service helped prepare them for their advisory careers. We began this series of AdvisorOne slideshows last year because anecdotally there seemed to be a large percentage of advisors, both men and women, who had served in one of the branches of the military over the years but in many cases had not received the appreciation they were due for their service.
The comments of this group below on their military experiences speak for themselves—profound and humorous, patriotic and often self-deprecating, but humbly proud of their service as well.
While there are many ways to show our patriotism, we ask you please to pause this Independence Day 2012 and honor the advisors below and all their brothers and sisters in arms in the past and now for their service to our country.
We know there are more of you out there who served, so please consider adding your name and story to the growing list of Advisors Who Serve(d) by filling out this simple questionnaire at AdvisorOne.
Title/Company: Registered Principal - Collaborative Financial Solutions, LLC
Branch/Rank: US Army - Private E2/Sergeant E5
Service Dates: Aug ’80 - Aug ’84
Work you did: Tank Mechanic; seriously.
Brief story that stands out from your service time: In my past 35 years of business dealings, the one principle I took away from the Army came from a very special Sergeant. He was new and had a very hardened, strict and mean demeanor. I became his driver, and after getting to know him I realized he was actually a sweetheart. He was so kind and so nice that I had to ask him why he put on such a cold front. He replied that in order to command respect, you have to be a little hardened. To be taken seriously, one must be firm and strong. He explained that it is easier for someone to be pleasant and kind after gaining respect than to be strict and mean with no respect at all. This token of advice has helped me professionally and more importantly has helped me create sound and rewarding relationships with my staff.
Title/Company: Associate Vice President - Raymond James and Associates
Branch/Rank: US Army – began 2nd Lieutenant, ended Captain
Service Dates: 1981- 87
Work you did: Artillery Officer
Brief story that stands out from your service time: See photo above.
John F. Brosnan III
Title/Company: Financial Advisor & Branch Manager - Raymond James Financial Services
Branch/Rank: US Marine Corps - 2nd Lt. - Captain
Service Dates: March ’90 - Sept ’93
Work you did: Infantry Officer
Brief story that stands out from your service time: Served with the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division during the Persian Gulf War, Operations Desert Shield & Desert Storm. Funny story: my then fiancée and I had been planning our wedding for months. When I reported to the battalion for duty after Infantry Officer Course I was told I wasn't going to be able to go to my own wedding due to the upcoming deployment. Fortunately things worked out, three days after the wedding our unit deployed for the Gulf. Let's just say my wife didn't see the humor in this story. Semper Fi, JB.
Terry R. Carr
Title/Company: Branch Manager - Raymond James
Branch/Rank: US Army - 2d Lieutenant – LTC
Service Dates: Jan ’69 – Oct ’91
Work you did: Special Forces; Most of career in logistics
Brief story that stands out from your service time: When I was serving in Egypt responsible for cooperative development programs for all military services, we had numerous high-level visitors like the Secretary of Defense, former President Jimmy Carter and numerous others. We took Gen Schwarzkopf, CG, US CENTRAL COMMAND, on a “faluka” ride (a small Egyptian sailboat). My wife remarked to me afterwards that she was glad we were not at war because she couldn't imagine Schwarzkopf with such a warm and generous heart as a combat leader, and that he was like a big teddy bear. Soon thereafter he led what was arguably the most successful combat operation in US history, Operation Desert Storm.
Aaron Frye (no photo supplied)
Title/Company: Financial Advisor - Raymond James
Branch/Rank: US Air Force - E-5/SSgt
Service Dates: Aug ’94 – April ’03
Work you did: Aerospace Physiology – Hyperbaric and Hypobaric Chambers
Brief story that stands out from your service time: N/A
Title/Company: SVP, Investments - Emerald Coast Wealth Advisors of RJFS
Branch/Rank: US Army - 2LT – LTC
Service Dates: March ’86 – Sept ’09
Work you did: Special Forces
Brief story that stands out from your service time: Commanded a Special Forces Company along the Afghan-Pakistan border from '02 to '03. Those were some wild times.
Title/Company: Financial Advisor / Branch Manager - Raymond James and Associates
Branch/Rank: US Army - 2nd Lieutenant, 1st Lieutenant
Service Dates: May ’75 - May ’79
Work you did: Infantry Officer with 1st Ranger Battalion
Brief story that stands out from your service time: We parachuted into the Gatun Drop Zone in Panama to conduct a mock raid. I was a platoon leader at the time. I used initiative to cross a stream and attack the objective from the rear. Found out later that we had crossed the old French Canal which was shark infested. Got yelled at; however, we smoked the mission!
Jerold Marc Matherne
Title/Company: Financial Advisor - The Shobe Finanical Group
Branch/Rank: US Navy - Midshipmen - LT, made LCDR in reserves
Service Dates: May ’88 - Sept ’96
Work you did: Surface Warfare Officer
Brief story that stands out from your service time: Most memorable moment was conducting counter narcotics in the Pacific Ocean just on the other side of the Panama Canal. We came across a boat that was suspicious and even more so because we had just spotted bails of cocaine floating in the waters near this vessel. We towed the boat into Rodman Panama and seized one of the largest drug busts of the time. The irony was that the other bails of cocaine in the water near the boat we captured weren't from the same cartel. It sounds like they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. The picture above is from when I was a Midshipman at Tulane University NROTC, 1984-1988.
Title/Company: President - Evergreen Capital Management Inc.
Branch/Rank: US Marines - Corporal
Service Dates: N/A
Work you did: Infantry
Brief story that stands out from your service time: It was the best of times and the worst of times.
Clayton McWhorter (no photo supplied)
Title/Company: Senior Vice President - Raymond James and Associates
Branch/Rank: US Army - 2nd Lieutenant, 1st Lieutenant
Service Dates: Feb ’62 - Feb ’64
Work you did: Platoon leader, Exec Officer, Company Commander
Brief story that stands out from your service time: Two of the very best years of my life I spent as a platoon leader, executive officer and then as tank commander, responsible for 17 tanks and 120 men. I have to say it was absolutely the best job in the world.
Title/Company: Co-Founder and Partner - TABR Capital Management, LLC
Branch/Rank: US Navy - Began as an Ensign and left active duty as a Lieutenant. Currently a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve.
Service Dates: June ’92 - present
Work you did: Submarine Officer
Brief story that stands out from your service time: As a young officer reporting aboard my submarine, I felt prepared for the technical aspects of submarine operations, but I was totally unprepared to help my junior enlisted sailors with some of the financial challenges they faced. Fortunately, the senior enlisted crewmembers had seen it all, and they were experts at extricating our younger shipmates from bad financial decisions (e.g. buying too much car, purchasing life insurance as an investment, etc.). In my eight years of active duty service, I unfortunately saw how the financially unsophisticated can be targeted, but I also learned how financial education can be used to protect against unscrupulous characters. Knowledge is power, and that’s true for our service men and women in addition to all U.S. citizens.
Title/Company: Financial Advisor - First Command Financial
Branch/Rank: US Army - E-1/E-5
Service Dates: 2002-08
Work you did: Combat Engineer/Construction
Brief story that stands out from your service time: Tour of Iraq 2003-2004. Had a great time and while working my duties, worked with the Koreans that we were stationed with. I became English teacher for a Special Forces unit stationed with us. That was one of the greatest times in my life.
Title/Company: Financial Advisor - Raymond James Financial Services
Branch/Rank: US Army - Lt., Major
Service Dates: 1965-81
Work you did: Recon Platoon Leader, S2, S3 Air
Brief story that stands out from your service time: Spending time in both Korea and Vietnam allowed me the opportunity to appreciate the nuances of those cultures and people. As a Ranger/Airborne platoon leader, I had a very special "family" relationship with my soldiers who served and sometimes died. None that I served with ever felt their efforts were wasted and I have felt every day after that was a dividend given to me to help others.
Title/Company: Principal - Schneider Wealth Management
Branch/Rank: US Army - 2nd Lt through Captain
Service Dates: June ’92 - Aug ’96
Work you did: Platoon Leader, Maintenance Officer, S-1, Civil Affairs Officer
Brief story that stands out from your service time: I am honored to have had the opportunity to meet so many people from all over the country who served with great dedication. I will never forget the "Any Solider" letters we received while in Bosnia. Some days they were the only link to life outside of our tents since we had no phone, television, newspaper, Internet, and often no mail from loved ones. I remember a letter in particular from a young boy in Rhode Island who wrote in reply to a letter I wrote back to him. He wrote, "Receiving your letter was the happiest day of my life." Little did he know how happy I was to receive his letter of support.
Title/Company: Financial Advisor - Ameriprise Financial
Branch/Rank: US Air Force - E-1, E-5
Service Dates: June ’67 - June ’71
Work you did: Security Tactical Air Command (SEATO) & Strategic Air Command USA
Brief story that stands out from your service time: A friend of mine was destroying classified secret codes according to procedure. You wad up small pieces of paper (code pages), insert them in a paper grocery bag, staple the bag, and then set it on fire in a barrel. Someone forgot to tell him to punch holes in the bag to let the heated air escape prior to burning. Well, the bag exploded and code pages were flying everywhere. He looked like Barney Fife chasing them down.
Dennis A Suckstorf
Title/Company: Director of Financial Planning - Financial Advantage, Inc.
Branch/Rank: US Air Force - SMSgt
Service Dates: April ’70 – July ’90
Work you did: Cryptologic Linguist
Brief story that stands out from your service time: As a young linguist during the Vietnam War, a veteran Staff Sergeant saw me struggling with the foreign language I had been assigned to learn. He took the time to mentor me in the language and the job. He made a lasting impression on me that led me to work with other airmen during my career. It also gave me the focus and philosophy of helping that has been a major contributor to my success as a financial planner.
Andy Tilp (no photo supplied)
Title/Company: President - Trillium Valley Financial Planning
Branch/Rank: US Air Force - E1-E4
Service Dates: Sept ’73 - June ’77
Work you did: Calibration electronic technician
Brief story that stands out from your service time: I joined just as Vietnam War was winding down and, unfortunately, it was a time where the military was not looked upon with high regard. I am glad that attitudes have changed and returning veterans are now treated with respect.
Title/Company: Financial Advisor - Raymond James
Branch/Rank: US Army - E1 to Spec 5
Service Dates: April ’67 - July ’73
Work you did: Crew Chief Medivac Helicopter
Brief story that stands out from your service time: I was in a small helicopter Medical Evacuation unit in Vietnam. We had six aircraft and about 40 men. After Vietnam we went 35 years with little if any contact. Since 2004 we have gathered at various places in the U.S. Our most recent event was this year over the Memorial Day weekend in New Orleans. It was been very rewarding to see these guys again!
To add your name and story to the growing list of Advisors Who Serve(d), fill out this simple questionnaire at AdvisorOne.