Since it’s Veterans Day, it’s obviously a good time to rerun this Advisors Who Serve(d) slideshow that ran on Fourth of July and Memorial Day. ThinkAdvisor honored those advisors and partners to advisors—and one famous non-advisor who influences the advisory world, PIMCO’s Bill Gross—who served in the armed forces of the United States.
This is the third year we’ve published this slideshow that is meant, in a small way, to thank all those who served their country. This slideshow features seven “new” advisors from this year and four from Advisors Who Serve(d) slideshows in the years before.
We’ve created a special landing page for you to view our previous slideshows as well. The seven new people on the following pages responded to our call this year 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.
Most telling to us, however, were the vets’ responses to how their military service helped prepared them for their advisory careers. We began this series of slideshows in 2011 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 on their military experiences speak for themselves—profound and humorous, patriotic and often self-deprecating, but humbly proud of their service as well.
Name: John Grover Wilson
Title/Company: Managing Director, Senior Investment Advisor — Raymond James & Associates
Rank held at beginning of service and at end: Lt. at beginning, Col. at the end
Service Dates: 1968-1992
Work you did: Fighter Pilot, F-4, RF-4 and others
Brief story that stands out from your service time: Hold the Air Medal (2) and Distinguished Flying Cross from serving in Vietnam. I’m presently the Chief Chaplain of the Volunteer State Veterans Honor Guard. In my spare time, I presided over 250 military funerals with honor. I am presently on the steering committee for the Medal of Honor Society Conference in 2014 to be held in Knoxville. Flew two tours in SEA. Funny story: I was a White House Social Aide during the Nixon administration.
Name: David S. Chang
Title/Company: President, CEO — WealthBridge
Rank held at beginning of service and at end: Cadet; Major
Service Dates: 1998-2008 (Active duty) 2009 to Present (Hawaii Army National Guard)
Work you did: West Point Cadet, Armor Officer, Ground Scout Platoon Leader, Military Intelligence Officer
Brief story that stands out from your service time: I spent 15 months in Northern Iraq. The work hours were grueling but what made life bearable were the soldiers I served with, we were all one big happy family. I knew that my XO (executive officer) went to high school with Rachael Ray. He knew I was a big fan of hers, especially since I am an eater! During Christmas my XO brought me up to the front of our commanders and staff after a normal meeting and surprised me with an autographed photo of Rachael Ray made out to me! It was one of the best Christmas gifts I got, I am very appreciative that he took the time to reach out to her and she in turn took time to write to me. It was a definite morale booster!
Name: John Thomas Deutsch
Title/Company: Senior VP, Investments — Raymond James & Associates
Branch: U.S. Navy
Rank held at beginning of service and at end: Seaman to CWO(4)
Service Dates: 1962-1985
Work you did: Avionics Commissioned Warrant Officer W-4
Brief story that stands out from your service time: Too many great shipmates and funny stories for one to stand out but, late in my career, I served on the USS Coral Sea CV-43. Our Battle Group as well as the Nimitz’s were stationed in the Indian Ocean in support of the Iranian hostages rescue attempt on Aug. 24, 1980. Tragically, the operation was unsuccessful and ended with the loss of aircraft and eight US service members. Memorably, I was walking on the flight deck with support attack aircraft fully loaded out after midnight when our Captain, Dick Dunleavy, announced on the 1MC that we would be standing down because of the failed outcome. That was one of the first publicized uses of special forces to effect U.S. policy objectives. Today, 30 years hence, both Iran and heroic special forces operators remain in our daily headlines and in my memory.
Name: Kevin Hott
Title/Company: Financial Advisor — Merrill Lynch
Branch: U.S. Navy
Rank held at beginning of service and at end: E1-E4/Seaman Recruit to Petty Officer Third Class
Service Dates: 1997-2001
Work you did: Gas Turbine Systems Electrician
Brief story that stands out from your service time: The first morning after arriving at Recruit Training Center Great Lakes I found myself being awoken abruptly by the Drill Instructor. He was screaming in my face, nose-to-nose, after I overslept by a “few minutes.” I learned quickly when you’re the only one not in formation you get the wrong kind of attention. While we were deployed in the Mediterranean, I remember the roller coaster of emotions we experienced when we all learned of the USS Cole bombing. Oh, and how can I forget the swim call we had in the middle of the Mediterranean? When you have folks jumping off the side of a destroyer into 13,000 feet of water it’s not a pleasant experience when you’re in the water and realize the ship isn’t completely stopped. Name: David Latch
Title/Company: President — Frederick Advisors
Branch: U.S. Army
Rank held at beginning of service and at end: E-3, O-4