Dr. Jean Perry Interview

Dr. Jean Perry’s achievements and accomplishments are listed below:

  • Founding dean of the University of Nevada’s College of Health and Human Sciences
  • Currently serving as Special Assistant to the President for Athletics Academics and Compliance and Faculty Athletic Representative
  • Dr. Perry works closely with Director of Athletics Cary Groth
    • Tasked with addressing NCAA and Western Athletic Conference academics and compliance
    • Additionally, tasked with drug testing and NCAA education and community outreach expectations
  • Dr. Perry competed in basketball, tennis, and field hockey while in college
    • Pre-Title IX era, women were not eligible for athletics scholarships
  • Dr. Perry is past president of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD), which is the largest professional organization in the world serving professionals in the fields of health, physical education, recreation and dance
  • Dr. Perry has published dozens of athletic- and health-related research papers and is a strong community advocate on numerous health and sports-related issues

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Filed under Athletics, Commitment, Communication, Work Ethic

Lone Survivor

Lone Survivor is Marcus Luttrell’s firsthand account of Operation Redwing, a Special Operations mission that went horribly wrong in the Hindu-Kush mountain range of Afghanistan.  On June 28, 2005 Luttrell and his three SEAL teammates were discovered by approximately 200 Taliban fighters.

By the end of the day, Luttrell’s teammates and 16 Special Forces rescue personnel, including 8 SEALs, were killed in action.  That day marks the largest single-day loss of life in Navy SEAL history.

Luttrell suffered broken vertebrae and leg wound from grenade shrapnel during his attempt to evade and escape the Taliban fighters.  Luttrell managed to crawl several miles away from the initial battle when members of a Pashtun Village discovered the SEAL on the outskirts of the village.  Even though the Taliban operated throughout the village, the elder leader did not side with the Taliban and decided to grant Luttrell “Lokhay.”  “Lokhay” is a Pashtun belief that any stranger in need of shelter and support be given it; additionally, when “Lokhay” is granted, the village vows to protect the stranger from all threats, even if it means fighting to the death.  Luttrell did not fully understand that “Lokhay” most definitely saved him from being turned over to the Taliban and being killed.

Six days after the initial battle, the village elder hiked several miles to locate and inform American Military personnel of Luttrell’s location and condition.  He was rescued that evening by Special Forces operators who were searching the nearby vicinity.

It is obvious Luttrell has a deep seated anger against American “Liberal Media,” as he so eloquently labels any thinking left of the Bush Administration.  Much of this anger presents itself in Lone Survivor as Luttrell describes his frustrations with the Rules of Engagement and his fear of persecution by the media if he were to break those Rules of Engagement.

That being said, the story is an excellent account of the real life situations SEALs encounter.  To survive a situation similar to Operation Redwing, one needs plenty of luck.  In addition to luck, one needs to be extremely committed and prepared to sacrifice a great amount.  Luttrell had to work extremely hard to stay alive during his six day “Hell Week.”  Surprisingly enough, communication skills played a crucial role as Luttrell convinced the Pashtun Village he was a doctor and not a “Special Operations” operator.  (If the Taliban had known he was a SEAL, they would have killed every last village member to get to Luttrell).  Three reoccurring themes are evident in SEAL training and real world operations: COMMITMENT, WORK ETHIC, and COMMUNICATION.

I recommend the Lone Survivor account to anyone interested in a real world story of the fore mentioned themes.  Additionally, anyone interested in gaining insight into a world much different from the one we are used too, a dark world that operates on the principles of fear, violence, and terror, should read this book.


Filed under Commitment, Communication, Military

Marine Shot in Head by Taliban Sniper…Returns to Guard Post Same Day

Last week the New York Times posted an incredible story of luck regarding a Marine, stationed in Afghanistan, who was shot in the forehead directly between the eyes by a Taliban sniper.  The Marine’s combat helmet dissipated the bullet’s energy and ultimately saved his life.  The most amazing part of the story took place a short time after the Marine was hit; he returned to the same guard post where he was shot the same afternoon. 

This story is a tremendous example of the commitment and hard work demonstrated by many of the Armed Forces members serving in Afghanistan.  Unfortunately, most of the amazing stories that occur on a daily basis never make it to our eyes and ears; however, stories that do get printed, like the Marine’s story above, allow me to keep in mind the extreme commitment and sacrifice and appreciate the men and women who voluntarily serve the United States. 

I believe it is important to look for the positive in every situation; at the same time, it is equally important to be reminded of the current struggles and challenges humans face around the world.  When you have a spare moment throughout the day or week, consider these struggles to keep yourself educated and aware of what challenges we face in the months and years to come.

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My commitment to learn the art of diving

Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus (SCUBA) is a form of diving that requires commitment and communication.  I have not yet had the joy of SCUBA diving, however, I have made a commitment to myself to take a certification course and learn how to SCUBA dive this summer.

SCUBA diving requires commitment due to potential for injury or death if not performed correctly.  The human body does not react well when the air we breathe changes quickly from pressurized to atmospheric pressure.

Communication is required because diving is performed with a partner or group the majority of the time.  Unless one can afford state of the art equipment, communication under the water is limited to hand signals and body language.

What is my interest in SCUBA and why have I made a commitment to begin diving?  Approximately 70% of the earth’s surface is covered with water.  I came to the realization that I have been missing out on a unique experience.  What are examples of interests or hobbies you stumbled upon?  And how have you focused your energy and time towards enjoying the activities?


Filed under Commitment, Communication

Reno Mayor Bob Cashell Interview on Commitment, Work Ethic, and Communication

Bob Cashell is currently serving his second term as the Mayor of Reno, Nevada.  Mayor Cashell previously served as the Chairman of the Nevada System Board of Regents and Lt. Governor of the State of Nevada.  Outside of public service, Mayor Cashell serves as the Chairman of the Board of Cashell Enterprises, a management company that specializes in hotels, casinos, and resorts.

Mayor Cashell’s accomplishments and achievements speak volumes of his success in both private and public business arenas.  I contacted Mayor Cashell with the following questions regarding commitment, work ethic, and communication.  He was kind enough to donate his time in returning detailed answers.

Question 1) You have been very successful in creating and expanding your business.  What role has commitment played throughout your career journey?

Mayor Cashell: I find that commitment is only one aspect of a more important quality:  Keeping one’s word. With or without a signed contract, the people you do business with must know that when you say you will do something, they can count on it being done. Commitment is an important part of keeping one’s word; when undertaking a business venture you have to be ready to face challenges and setbacks. But you also have to understand that people are depending on you. Everyone from investors to employees to customers are counting on you to remain committed and see your vision through to the end. Without the ability to stay committed in the face of difficulty, a business man won’t get very far at all.

Question 2) You have served the State of Nevada as a University Regent, Lt. Governor, and Mayor of Reno.  How have communication skills (networking, public speaking, writing, listening, managing first impressions, etc) aided you in public service?

Mayor Cashell: In public life, communication is everything. You need to be able to look constituents in the eye and tell them you’re working on their behalf. You need to be able to talk into a microphone to a room of 200 people and persuade at least some of them to agree with your position. You need to be able to listen carefully when people talk about their experiences or frustrations, so you can find the best solution to their problems. Of all those kinds of communication, though, I’d say listening is the most important. As Mayor, I listen very closely when residents tell me about their priorities for the City, then I listen carefully when the staff tells the City Council about what kind of money we have to deliver on those priorities. I have to understand what the public wants and needs before I can make informed decisions on the City budget, for example. Leading the City Council to make decisions everyone can live with also demands active listening to my fellow elected officials. Each City Council member represents different constituencies throughout Reno, and each brings a different set of experiences and expertise to the conversation. When I chair the City Council meetings it’s my challenge to bring all the different competing interests together and find a solution everyone can support. That requires listening very carefully to everyone who has a stake in the issue. You can’t help solve a problem until you really understand what caused it and what the options are, and that requires a lot of listening.

Question 3) Managing a career in both private business and public service requires, among other things, hard work.  What advice can you give an entrepreneur or young professional about work ethic?

Mayor Cashell: My advice to anyone starting out a career is that if you want to enjoy success down the road, you have to work your butt off now. Over the years I’ve seen many young people who might have a good idea or a particular talent, but they seem to want to reap the rewards before they’ve put in the hard work, and that never works. I’ve found that you can usually predict who will succeed by noticing who’s not afraid to do a little heavy lifting. Demonstrating a strong work ethic impresses your boss, pleases your coworkers (the good ones, anyway) and creates loyalty in your customers.

There’s an old saying that actions become habits, habits become character, and character becomes destiny. That’s certainly true with a work ethic. If you get yourself into the habit of putting in a few more hours than your coworkers and not flinching at carrying an additional workload, you will develop a reputation inside and outside your company as a respectable man who pulls more than his own weight. Later in your career when the material rewards begin to flow, you’ll find that the real reward was available early on and always remains the same:  the satisfaction you get from knowing you did the best job you could do.

Similar post: Ken Wilson Interview on commitment, work ethic, and communication.


Filed under Commitment, Communication, Work Ethic

Commitment and Hard Work: SEAL Hell Week

Each of the Navy SEAL posts in the current blog series is structured around the values of commitment and hard work. My purpose in writing these posts is to relay the sheer power of the human mind and body.  Applying this knowledge to your career or to your business will increase the potential for personal success and achievement.  People I consider successful in business are not defined by their company or organization; they are defined by the commitment to their personal achievement and the hard work they have consistently displayed along the journey.

To culminate this consecutive series of Navy SEAL posts, the infamous BUD/S Hell Week will be detailed.  A common misconception is that Hell Week completes a SEAL candidate’s initial training.  In reality, Hell Week is not even halfway through the strenuous six month BUD/S program; in many ways, training becomes even more difficult in the weeks and months after Hell Week.

That being said, Hell Week is a violent physical and mental challenge that is the ultimate test of commitment, work ethic, sacrifice, and teamwork.  The week begins on Sunday as students anxiously “relax” in a classroom awaiting their departure to Hell.  Sometime between 12:00pm and 5:00pm on Sunday, instructors will crash into the room and create a scene of confusion and panic using simulated gunfire and explosions.  Candidates immediately begin physical evolutions similar to the exercises learned in the previous few weeks.  What makes Hell Week so difficult is training continues for five days straight.  From Sunday evening to Friday afternoon candidates will not sleep for more than a few hours, total; providing the class is performing to expectations, they are given brief naps on Wednesday and Thursday.

Sleep deprivation sets in sometime Monday morning as students realize they have trained for over 12 consecutive hours and yet the end is nowhere in sight.  In addition to the sleep deprivation and continuous training, the major contributor to students Dropping on Request (DOR) is cold water and cold air.  Much of the week is spent in the Pacific Ocean or San Diego bay with water temperatures in the low 50s.  Candidates, under professional medical supervision, are pushed past the early stages of hypothermia.  After a stint in the freezing cold, candidates are put through various physical evolutions, raising their body temperature slightly.  Once the candidates appear to be “warming up” they are placed back in the ocean for additional rounds of “surf torture.”

Most of the accounts of Hell Week I have researched describe Tuesday night as the hardest evolution of the week.  Accordingly, it is the cause for most of the DORs during Hell Week.  Student are immersed in the bay near a steel pier and forced to tread water for lengths of ten to twenty minutes at a time.  The water causes uncontrollable muscle spasms and candidates extremities sting from the blood receding into their bodies to protect vital organs.  Once an exhausting treading session is completed, candidates climb up onto the pier where they face some situation far colder than the water.  Sometimes large fans are used to blow cold air across the shirtless bodies of the “frozen.”  Other times, students are instructed to lie on beds of ice for minutes at a time.  The cycle is endless for much of Tuesday night, continually testing the mental fortitude and will of each candidate.

Once again, my purpose in detailing this extreme sacrifice and commitment is to demonstrate that WE are all capable of much more than our mind lets us on to.  YOU are the only person that is in complete control of your ACTIONS and BEHAVIOR.  Why not commit to periodically stepping out of your comfort zone?  By testing your drive and fortitude, you will continually force your mind to understand that it is stronger and capable of incredible achievements and accomplishments.  As you apply this knowledge and understanding towards your career, you realize that your success is ultimately rooted in your commitment and how hard you are willing to work.

Similar posts: BUD/S Phase I, Indoctrination


Filed under Behavior, Commitment, Military

Phase I – Navy SEAL BUD/S

The candidates that survive Indoctrination graduate to Phase I.  Eight weeks in length, Phase I exponentially increases the workload candidates were introduced to in Indoc.  The training continues to violently rattle candidates via endless physical/ mental evolutions.  Evolutions are constructed as either individual or team exercises.  An example of an individual evolution is the four mile 32 minute timed run.  An example of team evolution is surf passage.  Boat crews are assembled to man 180 lb inflatable boats.  The boat crews must successfully paddle the inflatable boat through six to eight foot waves.  It is not uncommon for boat crews to be violently thrown from their boats when confronting the waves.

A common theme for all evolutions, team or individual, is the focus on victory.  SEAL instructors emphasize the phrase, “It pays to be a winner.”  The majority of SEAL operations occur behind enemy lines, in complete secrecy.  When SEALs encounter enemies, they are often outnumbered by as much as 3 to 1.  Hence the training emphasis on Winning; if a SEAL is not physically and mentally more committed and prepared than his adversaries, winning will be a difficult end result.

A few important aspects of BUD/S that have not been mentioned in this series of SEAL posts are described as follows:

  • Both Officers and Enlisted naval personnel train side by side in BUD/S.  Most Special Forces and traditional military training programs train officers apart from enlisted men/women.  For SEALs, teamwork separates winning from losing, living from dying.  Therefore, officers and enlisted train side by side to build and develop the required teamwork.
  • BUD/S instructors are all current SEALs who have served in one or more operational combat deployments.  This gives the training a sense of real, credible application.  While carrying a 130 lb log above their heads in Log PT may seem like pure torture for a boat crew of six, every evolution is designed to mimic and extreme situation SEALs have faced in history.
  • Candidates are free at any time to remove themselves from training by ringing a historical bell mounted in front of the instructors’ offices.  Dropping on Request (DOR) is the primary way BUD/S classes dwindle from hundreds of candidates down to a few dozen throughout BUD/S training.  Interestingly, candidates are never harassed or ridiculed for DOR; instructors know firsthand that BUD/S training is extremely excruciating and difficult.  For trainees to volunteer and be accepted for BUD/S, they have already demonstrated commitment and work ethic; unfortunately, the training is designed to pass only the best candidates.  Candidates are harassed and verbally assaulted during training, yet when a candidate DORs he is treated with respect and honor.

The next post will be dedicated to the fourth week of Phase 1 training: Hellweek.  Five days.  120 hours of continuous training.

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