LLVB: Long Live the Veteran Brotherhood
There is a reason the U.S. military is so successful, and a big part of that success is because of the people, processes, and culture. In fact, as my research shows, Veterans are highly skilled at teamwork because of the superior teamwork training and experiences they gain working in the military but also because of the mission driven culture and type of person who joins the service. After recently speaking with former Navy SEAL and Bottle Breacher Founder & CEO Elijah Crane, he and I have both observed that outside of the military, Veterans are not as unified as they need to be. Fixing that is the vision of Elijah Crane. “The brotherhood should not end when we take off the uniform, it should get stronger and increase,” said Crane in his interview for this article.
Elijah Crane is a good example of why companies should hire Special Operations Veterans. Launching his startup while on active duty as a Navy SEAL is no easy task. Growing his business from him and his wife Jennifer to over 35 employees is more success than most startups achieve. Overcoming difficulty and achieving success is normal for Veterans, but that is also fairly common among many civilians. What sets Veterans apart can be seen in what Elijah Crane is doing now: leveraging his success to help his brothers and sisters come together.
Long Live the Veteran Brotherhood Videos
Perhaps you have seen #LLVB lately in your news feeds on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. If not, I recommend doing a search. What you will find are a series of recent videos with actual Veterans telling their personal stories. But these are not just stories of struggle and success, they are stories of unity and that is the mission of LLVB (Long Live the Veteran Brotherhood). Started by Navy Veteran Elijah Crane, and based in part on his experiences in the Navy SEAL culture, LLVB is movement with the goal of unifying the Veteran community. Veterans like to work together. “When I have Veteran working with me, I know I have an instant ally, someone who is going to cover my back, problem solve, and never give up,” says former Navy SEAL Brian Rafcz in his LLVB video. However, the Veteran community today is dispersed and that needs to change.
When Veterans gather, they win wars. That statement contains a lot of thought. It notes that Veterans have fought and died for our freedoms. But it also notes that Veterans are not successful as individuals, rather, throughout history Veterans have succeeded time and time again by working together. “Your brothers and sisters to the left of you and the right of you will never leave you hanging,” says Army Veteran Terry Hill in his LLVB video.
Veterans in Business
Sometimes Veterans can be seen “stepping on each other” says Crane. As an entrepreneur myself, I noticed this same problem, that Veterans are highly capable of teamwork but are not yet fully unified. I became aware of the unrealized potential of Veteran unity and decided to launch VetStoreUSA.com to unify Veterans through Veteran business. Elijah Crane is working on this problem from a different angle through the LLVB movement, but the goal is the same: to ignite and encourage the Veteran propensity to support each other. Veterans are prone to work together, but they need a reason to gather.
My latest research shows that the 2.5 million fully Veteran owned businesses in the U.S. generate more than $1.14 trillion in revenue each year. Using available employment data, I have estimated that is enough money to employ every currently employed Veteran in the U.S. four times over! Veterans do not need help. I believe Veterans can and will solve their own problems, if they would just gather and work together. Elijah Crane and I are calling on Veterans everywhere to do their part to start working together. “This brotherhood means something to me,” said Crane. When Veterans unify they will win the wars they are facing in the civilian world. Wars no one trained for, no one told them about, wars that are costing the nation too much, and wars that only Veterans can win.
In the words of former Navy SEAL Brian Rafcz, “I know when I have a Veteran with me, I’ve got a brother or sister who will always be there for me, and never let me down.”
If you would like to be a part of unifying Veteran owned companies, VetStoreUSA.com is here to help. If you are a Veteran, jump in and start helping other Veterans today. When enough Veterans gather, this war will be won.
By Josh Cotton, PhD, a Fortune 500 consultant, the Founder of VetStoreUSA, LLC., a major supporter of the MilitaryToken project, the Chairman of the Foundation for VETS, has advised Admirals, Generals, and CEOs, and has been called an analytics expert by the LA Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune.