What is it like to be a speechwriter in the military?

While being a speechwriter in the military is just one small piece of Susan career in the Air Force she shares about that experience helped shape where she is today. She attended the Air Force academy and then after graduation had the opportunity to get her masters at Harvard. Then she did a tour in Italy as a Maintenance officer. She was excited about her last winter in Italy when the opportunity to become a speechwriter for a four star general came up and led her to leave Italy a little early and head to Ohio. Today, she is the Founder & CEO for Maly Strategies, a strategy advisory helping small technology and professional services businesses scale and grow.

Being a speechwriter in the military

Even though she was born at West Point when it came to joining the military the Air Force was where she ended up. She fell in love with Colorado and decided to pursue her gaining admission to the Air Force Academy. She also received an ROTC scholarship at Duke University. But Duke wanted her to major in Physics and she was interested in Chemistry. She shared about the community and friends she gained at the Academy. It was hard, but she got a lot out of it.

Life transition

She was excited to attend Harvard after graduating from the Academy, but life was a little different than she expected. She had to learn life skills since she was no longer under the strict regulations of the Air Force Academy. It was hard to adjust to civilian life as a student. And there was a lack of community since everyone’s life situation was so different. We dicussed Student Veterans of America and how they work to help veterans find community on college campuses.

Maintenance and Speechwriting

She was a maintenance officer and got to work in Italy working on F-16s. It was really fun to be part of a team and enjoyed traveling. She also deployed to Iraq while stationed in Italy. Initially, she was planning on winding her time out in Italy when she got the opportunity to become a speech writer for a 4 star general at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio. And although not initially interested it sounded like a great opportunity and she ended up loving it. It also allowed her to be closer to her future spouse who she had met in Italy.

Leaving the military

She left the military and landed a role as a consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton. She really learned a lot and when her kids were born was starting to consider something with more flexibility and starting her own business. Her husband also was given the opportunity to work overseas so she took a year sabbatical and then launched her business in the summer of 2020. She helps create strategies for small businesses and love it.

VA health benefits

We also touched on the PACTAct and the work it is doing to help veterans who were exposed to toxins while serving overseas. Last year I did an episode focused specifically on the PACT Act, you can check it out here. I also did an interview with Aryana Wagner about the VA Women’s HEArt Training created specifically for women veterans to help them get enrolled in VA Health Care. Check it out here. If you are a women veteran and are not enrolled in VA health care make sure to listen to both of these episode to help you learn about the benefits that may be available to you.

Want to connect with Susan:

1. Strategy with Susan Newsletter

2. LinkedIn 

3. Website 

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