Trident University International

Phil Johndrow

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Posted by Phil Johndrow on Jun 29, 2017 2:09:32 PM

While I was on my third tour in Iraq, serving as the 1st Cavalry Division Command Sergeant Major (CSM) and the Multi National Division – Baghdad Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Commanding General during the Iraq surge, I was involved in some of the toughest fighting in the war. There were 110,000 coalition soldiers, which at the time was the largest formation under one division colors.

We experienced tremendous losses every day. For about six months, I attended a memorial for a fallen hero almost every night – many were men and women I considered friends. I spent a lot of time in my trailer feeling the loss, sometimes allowing my own thoughts to get the best of me.

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Topics: Veterans, Military, Student Success, Military to Civilian Transition


Posted by Phil Johndrow on Sep 2, 2016 7:23:43 AM

This is the second part of a special two part blog series from United States Army veteran and Trident's National Director of Military and Veterans Alliances, Philip F. Johndrow. Come back to our blog tomorrow to see the final part of this blog. Read the first part here.

After you step back into the civilian world, after many years away, you may experience a myriad of different feelings, such as:

  • Feeling uncomfortable with the lack of structure and goals compared to military life
  • Longing for the adrenaline rush of physical and life-challenging situations
  • Concern about finances due to the lack of job security
  • A perfectionist attitude in work and other areas of life
  • Annoyance at others who seem more easygoing or less detail-oriented than you
  • Isolation or loneliness because others may not understand some of your military experiences

But like many of the challenges that you’ve faced in the past, these are some you can overcome by putting your mind to work. By making a plan and outlining the steps to navigate these challenges, you can have a successful military to civilian transition.

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Topics: Veterans, Military Education, Military, Veteran Education


Posted by Phil Johndrow on Aug 31, 2016 6:00:00 PM

I joined the United States Army when I was 19 years old and I retired when I was 53. As an adult, the military was all I knew. It wasn’t just a job - it was my life – and it shaped me into the person I am today.

Transitioning out of the service can be difficult for some men and women because they’re saying goodbye to a way of life and returning to the civilian world. Some of these folks, like myself, may have spent their entire adult lives in the service, so the civilian world may seem a little foreign to them.

I did my best to avoid being sheltered while in the Army. I was active and engaged with the local community, my children played sports, and I attended social functions and school events, but for the better part of the day my life and my mind were firmly entrenched in the military.

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Topics: Veterans, Military Education, Military, Veteran Education


Posted by Phil Johndrow on Apr 22, 2016 12:54:44 PM

  1. Be Focused & Have a Plan: You need to be focused on what you want to do after the military Phil-Johndrow_250x250.jpgand how to achieve those goals. What do you want to do professionally? Where do you want to live? Make sure you have your transition plan in place, including your education.

    It’s just like going outside the wire – you need to have everything planned and double-checked before you get out into the civilian world. This may be the most important thing on this list.

  2. Stay Motivated: It’s easy to allow yourself to feel down about leaving the military, even to the point of experiencing anxiety. If the military is all you’ve ever known, then it’s going to be a tough transition – but you can do it. Learn from the past, stay in the present, and stay focused on the future. This is the mindset that will keep you motivated.
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Topics: Veterans, Military, Webinars, Careers


Posted by Phil Johndrow on Aug 19, 2015 5:00:00 AM

What is our true potential? Do we know where life is going to take us?

While it’s hard to see the future, we’ll never know what our future holds if we don’t take that first step.

The first step takes courage. It’s a step into the unknown, the start of a journey into unknown territory. It’s easy to be held back. Anxiety, confusion, and even those close to us can hold us back.

We’ll hear voices telling us not to jump in, not to go ahead, to maintain the status quo, and to let it be.

But how will we know our true potential if we listen to all of those voices?

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Topics: Veterans, Military Education


Posted by Phil Johndrow on May 22, 2015 7:00:00 PM

“Our Nation is free because of brave Americans, who volunteered to confront our adversaries abroad so we do not have to face them here at home, and I believe it is our responsibility as Americans to preserve the memory of our fallen.”
- CSM(R) Philip F. Johndrow

What do a lot of Americans think of when they imagine Memorial Day? We think about an additional day off from work, and spending time getting ready for the summer. Or they think about taking time with friends and family to go to the lake for a picnic, but Memorial Day is not about picnics, barbeques, and ball games.

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Topics: Veterans, Military Education, Military


Posted by Phil Johndrow on Apr 27, 2015 8:42:31 AM

This blog is written as part of the "Month of the Military Child," which is acknowledged each April by the Department of Defense.

When someone talks about being a military brat or angel, it does not mean that they have lived a life of luxury.   Rather, this is a child of someone who is proudly serving in the United States military, and it’s a child who has made his or her own sacrifices.

Many may envy a military child since they have the unique opportunity to travel around the world, meet new people, and learn about different cultures, but these unique opportunities also help create resiliency. This resiliency will assist them as they move every few years, having to make new friends and become familiar with new surroundings.

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Topics: Veterans, Military Education