#086: NYC Veterans Day Parade 2022 – SEAL Team’s David Boreanaz & Master Chief Petty Officer Of The Coast Guard Vince Patton

Thursday December 15, 2022

Here We Are….or there we were…front and center of the NYC Veterans Day Parade. Fran Racioppi is joined by fellow Army Veteran, Founder of FitFighter and guest from Episode 51, Sarah Apgar in the back of our 1944 Dodge WC-51 to call it all live and spend some time with the parade’s most influential attendees. 

They kick off the parade with David Boreanaz, star of TV’s SEAL Team on CBS. David shares the respect he’s gained for our Special Operators, the training he’s gone through to accurately portray their mission, the mental health struggles our nation’s finest endure, and what he’s learned about himself through the process.

Next they spoke to the Parade’s Grand Marshall Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Vince Patton. Vince served as the 8th senior-most enlisted leader of the Coast Guard and the first African American to hold the post. He shares the importance of the Coast Guard’s mission to protect $8.7 billion of trade daily,  how the military teaches you to value change and his 3V’s for leading organizations. 

Take a listen to this episode on your favorite podcast platforms but take a minute to check out our YouTube version for full video coverage of the parade from the red carpet.

Don’t miss our other parade episodes with Wounded Warrior Project CEO retired LTG Mike Linnington and the Commissioner of the NYC Department of Veterans’ Services James Hendon. Plus one of NYC’s most iconic entertainers, The Naked Cowboy!   

Special thanks to parade host United War Veterans Council for another great parade!

Listen to the podcast here


NYC Veterans Day Parade 2022 – SEAL Team’s David Boreanaz & Grand Marshall Master Chief Petty Officer Of The Coast Guard Vince Patton

The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, 1918. That’s the moment of the Armistice that ended World War I, the Great War. Now, we know it as Veterans Day. A day each year in which we reflect and honor all those who’ve served and continue to serve America. For 103 years, New York City has been the home of America’s Veterans Day Parade. Running North on Fifth Avenue from Madison Square Park, millions of our nation’s veterans have marched in solidarity and unity.

In 2022, it was an honor and a privilege to take the show to the red carpet. Here we are or there we were, front and center of the parade. Fellow Army veteran, the Founder of FitFighter, and my guests from episode 51, Sarah Apgar joined me in a rare November tropical storm rain in the back of our 1944 Dodge WC-51 to call it all live and spend some time with the parade’s most influential attendees.TJP - E86 Veterans Day Parade with David Boreanaz, SEAL Team on CBS & Grand Marshall of the parade MCPO of the Coast Guard Vince Patton

This is the first of three episodes in our coverage of the 2022 New York City Veterans Day parade. Sarah and I kick off the parade with David Boreanaz, star of TV SEAL Team on CBS. David shares the respect he’s gained for our special operators, the training he’s gone through to accurately portray their mission, the mental health struggles our nation’s finest endure, and what he’s learned about himself through the process.

Next, we spoke to the parade’s Grand Marshall, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard, Vince Patton. Each year, the Parade honors a different service branch highlighting their contribution to America and naming one of their best leaders as Grand Marshall. Vince served as the eighth senior most enlisted leader of the Coast Guard and the first African-American to hold the post. He shares the importance of the Coast Guard’s mission to protect $8.7 billion of trade daily. How the military teaches you to value change and its three Vs for leading organizations.

It took a full team effort to get the WC-51 to 5th and 25th in time for the parade. I want to give special thanks to Brian and his team for picking me up on the side of the road and getting us there in time. Take a minute to check out our YouTube version for the full video coverage of the parade from the red carpet and all of our interviews. Don’t miss our other parade episodes with Wounded Warrior Projects CEO, Retired Lieutenant General, Mike Linnington, and the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Veterans’ Services, James Hendon. Plus, Sarah and I pull in one of New York City’s most iconic entertainers, the Naked Cowboy.

David, welcome to The Jedburgh Podcast.

Thank you for having me. It’s the first time I’ve done something under a military canvas vehicle like this but I have worked under one of these kinds of vehicles.

We’re right here on 5th and 26th. The theme of Veterans Day for Sarah Apgar coming in, the Founder of FitFighter, and the show is, “Here We Are.” I think you mentioned it right here, “Here we are.” We’re in the back of a WC-51 built in 1944. It’s a Dodge. We just got it.

I get emotional.

We just rolled this out. This is the first event that we’re doing live in this thing. You’re the first guest.

Thank you.

We’re talking about being a Jedburgh. It’s called The Jedburgh Podcast because we talk about visionaries and drivers of change, leaders who are dedicated to winning no matter the challenge, and who are leading in all industries. Your work on SEAL Team has been very instrumental not only from an acting perspective but also in the story that you’ve been telling.

That story is about mental health and how your character is evolving over time correlates so closely to the struggles that so many veterans have. It’s important as we sit here on Veterans Day because we got to think about why we’re here. You came to Veterans Day. You’re sitting down with us. Talk to me about what it means to be here on Veterans Day in New York City.

I’m very humbled and emotional to be a part of this energy and this vibe being here right now. You can feel the energy. It’s the same type of energy that one would feel being so proud of your country and standing for the national anthem, being present in this community, and respecting and loving the veterans on Veterans Day, which I feel should be every day, not just on Veterans Day.

It’s an honor to be here not just to represent our show SEAL Team but to represent and be a part of telling stories about these special operators or men and women that suffer from mental health or have problems acclimating themselves back into society or to a new environment after they serve. To be here amongst all of you guys is a blessing, so thank you.

The parade is about to start.

It’s coming at us.

We can see them behind us. Yesterday and tomorrow are like California days. It’s 65 to 70 degrees. There is not a cloud in the sky but they were here.

I didn’t bring the rain, by the way. Someone’s like, “You brought the rain.” I’m like, “I live in California. It never rains in California. What are you talking about?”

We got the rain and that’s okay because it has not stopped anybody from coming out here. There’s an absolutely tremendous amount of outpouring. You see the umbrellas. Sarah, thank you for joining me on this series. You’re spending the day, coming down from Maine, sitting down and telling this story. From your perspective, talk about being a veteran yourself and now coming and sitting here. What does that mean to you?

Fran, this is special to be here with our friends, our extended family, the Jedburgh family, and David. I’m an Army gal through and through. You talk about it every day, David, and I agree with that. I think that Veterans Day, yes. Memorial Day, yes. We take the day off and everybody has a good time. We come out, listen to music, and welcome parades, but every morning when we wake, we are effectively celebrating veterans because we are celebrating our ability to work, to live, to have the opportunity, to have a challenge, to overcome challenges, to talk and to be with each other.

You said to be present. When we talk about, “Here We Are,” it embodies to me two things, presence and togetherness. Here we go. The parade is starting. I said at a thousand steps, “If we stay present and stay together, we’re going to be okay.” Here we go, guys. It’s right by us. What do we see here coming down the pike, David?

Ground Zero Volunteers support our troops, which is a fantastic organization here. They’re coming in right now hard. Here comes the American flag coming down the street, which is beautifully held here.TJP - E86 Veterans Day Parade with David Boreanaz, SEAL Team on CBS & Grand Marshall of the parade MCPO of the Coast Guard Vince Patton

The background is the marching band of New York City.

Once you hear the marching bands come in, you know you’re ready to roll. It’s great.

Look at those stars and stripes. We got every demographic.

We got a Green Beret right here. It is Green Beret.

We got every demographic here from the youngest to the very senior and wise among us holding this enormous American flag.

When you were a kid, they had the parachute thing that you’d go under. They’d hold a big parachute thing. It’s like the flag and you want to go under together. You’re talking about being together. It’s not about being above somebody or treating someone below you. It’s about being side by side. That epitomizes to me what Veterans Day is about. It’s the leadership, taking it side by side, surrounding yourself with the weakest link, and picking the person next to you. To me, that’s what it’s about.

[bctt tweet=”Serving in the military is not about being above somebody. It’s about working side by side, surrounding yourself with the weakest link, and picking the other person up.” username=”talentwargroup”]

It’s what the parade does too. I talked about it this morning too at Chad 1000X. We did Chad 1000X on the Eternal Light Flagstaff over there in Madison Square Park in honor of Senior Chief Petty Officer Chad Wilkinson, who took his own life. That worked out at 1,000 step-ups. What it’s about is coming together as a community because you can’t solve challenges by yourself. We’re going into this time period where the military is not going to be top of the fold anymore. It’s not in the press every day like it has been for the last twenty years. How do we continue to build that community that supports Veterans Day, day in and day out?

Outreach programs like Wounded Warriors and The Headstrong. The NYPD is here. God bless them and salute them.

Let’s take a minute to appreciate these men and women in uniform right here playing music. Not only are these police officers here in New York City, but also play in the marching band and musicians. David, you were talking about your son as a musician. Tell us a little bit about your family.

He’s here studying music. He’s a total artist and he loves music. Growing up as a kid, he was always dancing around as a kid. He got into music more and more and different types of instruments. My wife and I always wanted to encourage that type of artistry among both of our children. He tapped into it heavily. He’s studying music right now. My young daughter, Bella, is thirteen. She’s a big equestrian rider. She does the horse thing, which is amazing to watch.

TJP - E86 Veterans Day Parade with David Boreanaz, SEAL Team on CBS & Grand Marshall of the parade MCPO of the Coast Guard Vince Patton

“It’s not about being above somebody, it’s not about treating someone below you. It’s about being side by side.”

She’s out there right now at Thermal, which is a big horse event. She’s jamming right now. What’s great about her is she’s got that courage and she has that support. For her, it’s about understanding, “I got to get over adversity. I didn’t do a certain jump. It’s like, “Let’s pivot and let’s embrace that fear.” Let’s look at it in a different way. Let’s talk to you about it rather than, “You got to be better here or better there. Embrace the child that’s in them and understand where they’re coming from. You mentioned it a little bit with veterans, where are they coming from and how can we help them and understand it, and even listen to them. I was talking to someone earlier who is like, “I could just listen to you. I’m here just to listen. If you want to vent, go vent. I think that’s important.

I want to ask you about your role on SEAL Team. We talk about preparation a lot on the show and you were joking before that you’re sitting back here with Green Beret, an Army veteran, and you don’t have to play the Navy SEAL. There’s a tremendous amount of preparation and training that goes into what you do to portray reality. One of the great things about the SEAL Team is how well you do that. Can you talk about that preparation? The tagline of the show is, “How you prepare today determines success tomorrow.” We live that every day. Talk a bit about that.

Thank you. I appreciate that. Going into the show, when we shoot all the guys and the gals that are on the show, they maintain their own routine as far as what that may be and as far as their exercise programs. There are workout programs. I play a lot of ice hockey, so being from a warrior aspect of a guy on the ice with blades and with a stick is always for me like St. Michael on the ice with his sword. That was a big strong metaphor for me.TJP - E86 Veterans Day Parade with David Boreanaz, SEAL Team on CBS & Grand Marshall of the parade MCPO of the Coast Guard Vince Patton

I attacked this character more from the mental aspect of it and diving into the heads of guys that were there, the DEVGRU guys, the SEAL Team guys and the team leaders. What were you thinking when you were entering a building? What were you thinking when you were going on a mission? How difficult was it for you to leave your family? What does sacrifice mean to you?

From my perspective, there is physical preparation that you have to do. There are ways around that in order to get through BUD/S like sit-ups and push-ups. I’m like, “How can you do so many at certain times?” One guy was like, “There’s a way to do them where you can get through them pretty fast,” and he showed me. I’m like, “I get it now.”

There are tricks to the trade. I’m taking notes, but there is a physical aspect to it. I do maintain that as best as I can, but the mental aspect to me was always interesting and talking to them about their sacrifices and where they were at that time, what their family was like, and their dynamic. Also, knowing what their weaknesses were and fears.

That’s where I tapped into their stories and I applied those to this character. I use them a lot. As an actor, you have to use what you’re also struggling with in your life in order to portray subtext that’s relatable. It’s not about chemistry. It’s about developing some sense of a connection. A connection to a character that you have. That connection starts with doing your research on what these men and women do.

TJP - E86 Veterans Day Parade with David Boreanaz, SEAL Team on CBS & Grand Marshall of the parade MCPO of the Coast Guard Vince Patton

“As an actor you have to use what you’re also struggling on in your life. It’s really not about chemistry. It’s about developing some sense of a connection.”

We’ve got the Grand Marshall coming by right now.

Look at the car. It’s a ‘76 Caddy.

I know vehicles younger than this vehicle. I can tell you that.

That is epic and now we’ve got the Navy ROTC here.

Here’s the New York City leadership coming up right now and the mayor.

The bagpipes are here. We’re done. Here’s the whiskey.

We’ll see you guys in twenty minutes.

That is going to drown us all out.

Do you guys just adore the bagpipes or what?

You live outside Maine. I was going to say that. I’m not trying to categorize it for you, but fair enough. Look at these guys, but it does something for you, the bagpipes. My brother-in-law is from Scotland, so he does have a kilt and I do appreciate the garb that they wear. I do love the bagpipes and they’re standing here in front of us. When they start to play, we’re done, but respect and understanding for the uniform. I love the details and what it’s all about. You tap into that. With special operators and SEALs, they’re so under the radar.

For me, it was how you blend in. How do you not be so obnoxious? You got to blend in and be a special operator. There are ways to do that. They don’t shave. They’re scruffy guys. They’re normal dudes. I always give the guys on the show a hard time. I’m like, “You guys are wearing tight t-shirts. They wouldn’t do that.” I always love taking the piss out of some of the actors on the show like, “Come on, guys. We know you’re fit. You don’t have to show it. It’s all good. Wear baggy shirts. You got to go undercover. It’s not about a tight suit right now.” We have a good cast and crew. We always like to poke fun at each other.

One of the biggest things we talk about in Special Operations all the time is there’s nothing special about being in Special Forces or Special Operations. It’s the details. It’s the standards. It’s how well you consistently execute against a defined standard that you’re unwilling to compromise. TJP - E86 Veterans Day Parade with David Boreanaz, SEAL Team on CBS & Grand Marshall of the parade MCPO of the Coast Guard Vince Patton

Also, it’s how you pivot. You’re in the middle of something and if something happens, how are you able to pivot and still maintain? I find it so amazing what these guys do. I’d be gone in ten minutes. I talked to AJ who plays Sonny on the show. We made him laugh all the time. We’d be like, “If we were really in this situation,” he looks at me and goes, “I’d be fucking done in five minutes. I’d be crying. I’d be dead.”

The FDNY is coming through right now and the EMS services are. They are true heroes. We talk about the military all the time, but it’s one of the great things about the United War Veterans Council and the way that they set the parade up. Veterans are the honoree but these heroes here in the FDNY and the NYPD are living this life every day to protect people.

We have to support them more. It’s a different time right now.

I was thinking of what you guys think about this notion that a service member is a person and what connects all service members, like the people who live their lives in service. When we think about it, that extends even beyond the veteran and first responder communities. That extends to teachers and public servants of all kinds. When we think about it from that perspective, I love to think about what connects us all because there’s humanity and the idea that we’re service members.

It’s what is so important about celebrating that aspect of what these people do because that’s a lifestyle. That’s something that is in so many of us, especially the veterans and the first responders, but also public servants of other kinds. I was curious, what have you learned in working with the service members who you’ve worked with so closely hand in hand to represent this to the broader public and demographic this lifestyle? This is not a Hollywood TV show. What you are doing is representing to the general public a life of service and what that means for a person.

The people that I’ve met on the show and the real guys that have done it have so much pride for what they’ve done, and also there’s a level of fear of not reaching out. They look so brave and courageous but underneath, there’s so much pain and they’re hurting. They’re struggling. They can maintain and they can go through their lives but underneath it all, they can’t deal. They crack and they break. We talked about how they deal with chaos and chaotic situations.

[bctt tweet=”Veterans have so much pride in what they’ve done for the country. They look so brave, and yet they are hurting and struggling underneath.” username=”talentwargroup”]

They’re addicted to it. How do they go back to that when they’re integrated back in? For me, the answer to that question is you want to help them even more. There are a lot of people like these service guys and these SEALs that need help. A lot of them are can integrate back in and they’re good. They run Fortune 500 companies. There are guys that do very well for themselves in big businesses or whatever that is. They’re public speakers.

They talk at huge events. They go to Major League baseball games or NHL speakers. They’re motivational speakers. They’ve got a successful business, but deep down they are hurting. That’s something that needs to change. How do we bring that together? What do we do? As a community, we need to figure that out better.

We forget about compounding over time. I mentioned the operator syndrome. It’s the deployment after deployment. You get twenty years of the global war on terror and you talk to SEALs, Green Berets, Rangers or Army veterans, whatever you did and they’ll tell you, “I deployed 3 times, 5 times.” For some people, 15 or 18 times. You look at first responders and the state police coming through here now.

These folks are going out every day and we forget that toll that it takes when you have to do that over not just one deployment but 20 years, 30 years. A police officer who spends 35 to 40 years on the force looking at car crashes, murder victims, and fires. As you sit in your role now and you’re able to interact with all these people, what’s your message?

To be able to listen to those stories and hear those types of stories from them, I don’t know if it’s more of a message but more of like there is hope and there’s help. There is support. I come from an understanding of what may work for me may not work for somebody else, but give it a try. If I could sit here today and say, “This helped me.” I do plant medicine. I tried plant medicine. That helped for to accept and understand my demons and my adversities and forgive my young self.

If I can pass that on to somebody of a warrior or a SEAL member who’s never heard of that before and it’s like, “I want to try that,” and that’s helping them, then that’s my message to them because I got into it through SEALs. They’re like, “You got to try this.” I’m part of that community and I’m like, “This is fascinating to me.” I got catapulted into that. The universe brought me there. I guess it’s not more of a message but more of a saying that there are places to go to get that help.

The biggest benefit I’ve gotten from this show is not about the awards and the accolades. It’s when you have an episode and you get a message from somebody that says, “Thank you for saving my life. I was going to kill myself last night and I checked myself in. Thank you for that.” To me, that is the ultimate that I was able to give. They saw that. That’s our work.

TJP - E86 Veterans Day Parade with David Boreanaz, SEAL Team on CBS & Grand Marshall of the parade MCPO of the Coast Guard Vince Patton

“It’s not about the awards and the accolades. It’s when you have an episode and you get a message from somebody that says ‘Thank you for saving my life’.”

It’s so powerful, and it makes you realize. I think it’s a blessing and a curse that we call our service members heroes because, on the one hand, they are, but then that puts this tremendous burden on this person or this human being who is human just like the rest of us. That’s one thing I think about a lot. We want to be doing that and we want to be praising that, but then we got to break it down, remind each other to hold hands and hug each other.

It’s okay to cry and be vulnerable with each other.

Our world now is so fast. Everything on social media is so fast that people forget to listen. Their heads are down. They’re stuck in their phones. Look up and look around. You’re getting beautiful messages from the universe every day, every second and moment. People aren’t seeing it. They’re not.

In the spirit of that, David, why don’t we tell our audience two fun facts about David that nobody knows to date?

We are then going to push you out to the rest of the parade.

Tell us some real juicy dirt that we don’t know and we’re dying to know so they know who you are.

I am a big plant medicine guy. It’s something that I dove into these past months. When I say big, I was curious about it two years ago and did it. I went to a great place in Costa Rica called Rythmia. I had a fantastic journey and I loved it. I was able to heal from a lot of things and transform my life in a lot of ways. I would love to do that again.

They say five days is like twelve years of therapy equivalent and I agree with that. That’s a pretty awesome statement and I felt that. That’s one thing that people don’t know about me. I think the other thing that people don’t know about me is that I’m a huge classic antique car guy. I’m a huge historian that way.David Boreanaz with Fran Racioppi on The Jedburgh Podcast

My brother-in-law would love to be in this old military truck right now. This thing probably moves so it’s an amazing vehicle. I love the ‘60s, the decade of cars and hot rods. I’m a huge fan of that kind of era when times were very simple. I love FDR. I love apple pie and ice cream. I like times when it’s clean and easy, pinups and all that kind of stuff. That’s another thing people don’t know much about me.

Do you have a favorite vehicle?

The ’68 Mustang that I have, GTO. I got a ’66 Ragtop, a red one. I love convertibles.

On our next conversation, we’re going to sit in your ‘68 Mustang.

You got a long day ahead of you. The rain is only going to pick up. I appreciate you spending some time with us. It’s impactful what you’re doing. Keep up the good work.

Thank you. I appreciate you letting me here and spending some time with you and being a part of this vibration and this energy.

Sarah, we have the Grand Marshall. He’s gone down the parade route. They circled him back. He got off the ABC broadcast. You dragged him over here to us. We sent you in search of the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard, Vince Patton. Thank you for coming and spending some time with us.

Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.

How was the route?

Thank God for the rain because I cried, and this is no joke because it was emotional. I’m riding down 5th Avenue or up 5th Avenue as the case may be, and I couldn’t help but see all of these people out here in the rain that came out for this. It did make me cry. I feel like crying now because what’s so great about this city is you can say anything you want about New York, but the fact is these people, the New Yorkers love their people. They love their veterans, and they showed it here. This was so emotional. I saw it. I yelled over and over again, “Thank you for coming. Thank you for being out here.” As I look across from me and see these makeshift signs, support the veterans, all kinds of pro-military, pro-veteran, and pro-support to this country. This is emotional to me.

We created a theme. It was Sarah’s concept. She came up with the theme of “Here We Are.” Sarah, talk about the theme and why that’s so important to everything that he’s said right here.TJP - E86 Veterans Day Parade with David Boreanaz, SEAL Team on CBS & Grand Marshall of the parade MCPO of the Coast Guard Vince Patton

We’ve been talking about “Here We Are” and what that means to us. It’s inspired by Oliver Jeffers’ book that’s talking about us as humans on planet Earth. What is our role? How do we see ourselves? Who are we? We’ve been talking about these two principles of presence and togetherness, and showing up, being present and saying, “I’m here,” even if I’m not sure why or what I’m doing or exactly who I am.

Also, togetherness is sticking together. It’s saying, “I’m here and I’m also here next to you, but I’m here with you.” I felt the spirit of that was something that we, in particular, when we talk about our veterans and the lives of service, it strips them in some ways of that individuality right down to this beautiful idea of a shared experience. It builds back with the spirit of those individuals as part of that larger team. I feel like I’m seeing that right here. Here we are right here in this block that we’re sitting in. How does that feel to you and what are some of the ways in which you feel like this event and the efforts that your role embodies this idea of Here We Are?

TJP - E86 Veterans Day Parade with David Boreanaz, SEAL Team on CBS & Grand Marshall of the parade MCPO of the Coast Guard Vince Patton

“You think this happens in middle America. No, this is happening in our largest city in this country.”

If you were to experience what I experienced along this parade route, the answer all lies on the left and the right side of this route. That’s the people and their sheer presence as well as their enthusiastic greeting that was given out. These people are very real. The parade has been going on for two hours now and they haven’t left. We’re not giving away food, drinks or anything, but these people are here.

Answering your question all lies in the fact that it’s there. What I would say to all of you folks in the land of media is to point out the fact that no matter how bad things are or how we see things from the negative side of the house, there is an extremely positive side, and these people are showing that positive side so brilliantly and efficiently. They renewed my whole sense of pride in this country. I always had pride in this country, but a renewed sense of pride coming from a city that the rest of America doesn’t often see the kind of patriotism of sorts. When you think of New York, you don’t think of this. You’ll think this happens in Middle America. No, this is happening in the largest city in this country. New York doesn’t dispute the fact that they are the best.

[bctt tweet=”No matter how bad things are in the media, there is always an extremely positive side to everything. This is shown by veterans brilliantly, renewing everyone’s sense of pride in this country.” username=”talentwargroup”]

We should do it next time it rains and have a poncho contest. We should look up a poncho contest or maybe a raincoat contest or maybe, in general, the best outfit. We had Naked Cowboy on as our first guest and it occurred to me, I’m like, “He’s got the best outfit out here.”

You brought up service. You’ve had a lifetime of service and you were the eighth Master Chief Petty Officer out of the Coast Guard, but it started in 1952. We met last night and what motivated you to go into the Coast Guard was an operation in 1952 that drove you off the coast of Cape Cod. Can you talk about that and talk about why was that the driving factor to bring you into the Coast Guard?

Let me clarify this to the audience. It’s not that you said anything wrong, but as you were saying it, I wanted to make sure. I didn’t come in in ‘52. I walked into the Coast Guard recruiting office in 1971, and it was by mistake. I was going to join the Navy. I intended to follow in my oldest brother’s footsteps. The short answer to how did I end up in the Coast Guard, I walked into the wrong recruiting office. It was plain old dumb me and not paying attention.

There was a big sign on the door that say “Coast Guard.” I paid no attention to it. What I saw was the recruiter sitting at his desk on the telephone. Back then, the Coast Guard uniform was the same as the Navy uniform. I saw a guy in a sailor suit sitting at his desk. When I walked in, he was on the phone. He said, “Have a seat. I’ll be right with you.” I looked up at the pictures and that was the first time I realized I was not in the Navy recruiting office. I was too embarrassed to turn around and walk out.

I pretended to say, “I did come in and see you, then I’ll go find a Navy recruiter.” While he was on the phone and I’m walking around, I saw this write-up. It was a unit citation of a 1952 rescue. It took place in February of 1952 off the coast of Cape Cod where two freighters, the mortar vessel Pendleton and the mortar vessel Fort Mercer, were stranded out in the waters because the Nor’easter was coming through. The seas were rough and bad. It was so bad to the point that both of the freighters broke in half.TJP - E86 Veterans Day Parade with David Boreanaz, SEAL Team on CBS & Grand Marshall of the parade MCPO of the Coast Guard Vince Patton

When they broke in half, it was going to be a problem. They called the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard sent out a big ship to go after Fort Mercer. Because communications were so bad, they knew more about what condition Fort Mercer was in, but not what the Pendleton was in. They sent out a 36-foot motor lifeboat. I say a 36-foot crew of 4 to take no more than 12 people altogether, including a crew of 4. They took it out primarily to do more of an investigative thing.

When they arrived on the scene, they saw the Pendleton was broken into half as well. The crew of 29 people and the crew of the 36-footer got them off except for one person. One person died out of it and brought them back to Chatham, Massachusetts in bad weather. When I saw this, it was so amazing. This can’t be true. I said, “Wow,” and the recruiter stopped his phone call. He looked at me and says, “I guarantee you’ll do something like that in your first four years in the Coast Guard.”

How many times did you do it in your first four years?

In my first four years, I did it twice. He did tell the truth, but after you read that, it wasn’t as much as the adventure and excitement of it, it was about people. What kind of organization has people like this who are willing to risk their lives? When you think about going into the military, you’re risking your life. As I looked at it from a more visual sense of what happened here, what caught my attention on the people’s side was what an amazing team. That crew of four would not have been successful had it not been for that crew of four working close together. The people back at Coast Guard Station Chatham also did a coordinating effort to make sure they got back safe, and all of these things that happened, “This is the organization I’m going in.”

When we talk about veterans and Veteran’s Day, we always tend to focus on the Army, the Marines, the Navy, and the Air Force. We forget about the Coast Guard. If you think about the Coast Guard, this is a real-world mission that they have every day, not only from a national defense standpoint. What a lot of people don’t know is that Coast Guard cutters deploy alongside the Navy.

They very often are responsible for naval security overseas but also, but this is a homeland mission. We are fortunate in the US, unlike Europe and other areas of the world, where we are surrounded by these oceans. Our neighbors who are North and our South are generally friendly, but these oceans are protected and our waterways are protected by the Coast Guard which reinforces our ability to be this island in many ways, day in and day out.

One thing to remind ourselves is that 70% of US commerce comes by water which is an important part of the Navy as well as the Coast Guard, and the types of things that we do. For the Coast Guard specifically, throughout a number, what is amazing to think about is, on an average day, the Coast Guard is responsible for the assurance that $8.7 billion of goods are transited through our country daily.

TJP - E86 Veterans Day Parade with David Boreanaz, SEAL Team on CBS & Grand Marshall of the parade MCPO of the Coast Guard Vince Patton

“On an average day the Coast Guard is responsible for the assurance that $8.7 billion dollars of goods are transited through our country”

It’s a good percentage of the American GDP.

When you think about that and how important that is, the Coast Guard has some amazing missions beyond. We all know about the search and rescue part, but do we know about the maritime safety aspect, the assurance that anyone who transits on a vessel, that that vessel is safe to operate, that the crew has been trained properly to handle an emergency such as a fire? That’s one of the Coast Guard’s responsibilities or let’s come a little close to the home. We have around New York here, Verrazano Bridge. Did anybody know that the Coast Guard is responsible for the assurance that that bridge is safe? Any bridge that goes over navigable water is the Coast Guard’s responsibility.

That’s a massive bridge. That’s a massive target. That’s critical infrastructure. Look at what happened in Ukraine with the bombing of the bridge.

Tell us the Baywatch story.

Among a million things that I got to do in the Coast Guard, I had the privilege of being selected to go to another service school.

“Another service” in quotes.

I used the term another because it’s a well-sought-after opportunity to train with another service. The Army Sergeants Major Academy is a premier leadership management school not just for the Army but for all of the military, for the senior enlisted. I got chosen to go. I was the alone coastie in the class of 401. This is in the early 1990s. This was my first introduction to the term “Hooah!.” I had no clue what it meant. These guys are running around the school shouting “Hooah!” for just about anything. I had no idea what the hell it meant. I got confused because they would use Hooah as an order. I’m like, “What the hell is Hooah?” The school was six months long. After about halfway through school, I got to understand what Hooah meant and how seriously these Army guys took Hooah.

We all had to do a presentation before our class about something military and it was my turn. I decided my presentation for my class was on the Coast Guard Battle yell. There is no Coast Guard battle yell but I was a little ingenious because I wanted to get back at my Army classmates with this Hooah thing. When it was my turn to get up to talk, I got up in the big lecture hall and on the stage with a big screen projector.

I got up and says, “This is my presentation on the Coast Guard battle yell. I’ve been here for three months now and I learned about Hooah and I had no clue what the heck it meant. Hooah this, Hooah that. I learned Hooah, and when I learned Hooah, nobody bothered to ask me what’s the Coast Guard battle yell. Now, my class is on the Coast Guard battle yell. I told the projectionist to start the video and pull back the curtains so they can see the screen. It all started with the intro to the TV show Baywatch, where the Coast Guard helicopter flies across the screen. Thank you very much.

We got some fans here.

My Army people are coming up. I know what Hooah means now.

Did they give you a definition? The definition means anything and everything.

There is no distinction whatsoever in that word.

Heard, Understood and Acknowledged is what the definition is. That is not the way they put it to me. “Would you hold that door for me? Hooah.”

It means yes, no, great, okay.Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Vince Patton on The Jedburgh Podcast

“Would you like a fork? Hooah.”

It means like, “I’m hungry. I’m tired. I’m okay. I’m good. Yes.” It’s anything and everything.

That is my Hooah story.

I have been loving the floats. We got NBC Comcast coming by.

Being the Grand Marshall is a cool thing. Now, I know how Elvis felt. You go into a crowd and everybody’s coming up to you.

We need to get you your white jumpsuit for next year.

With sunglasses and the whole nine yards. This is way cool. I don’t think I’m going to ever take this sash off.

You got to wear that every day.

We talked about where it started and we also talked about your role at the most senior level of the Coast Guard. When you look back on your journey and how much has changed, it’s something we’ve been asking everyone who’s come through here. We look at where we’re going and we think about where we are now. The military may or may not be at the top of the fold anymore, and you remember newspapers.

You used to fold them in half and read them on the top of the fold the most important stuff. It’s going to drop below that and we got to keep a focus on it, but we also have to look at the development of the next generation of leaders in our military. In the show, we talk about leadership development. That’s the core principle that we care about. How and what are we developing out of our leaders every single day? You look back on your journey. What were those defining leadership lessons that you take away? As you look forward, what are you looking for in the next generation of coasties?

The first thing I’ll tell you is it’s about change. Nobody does it better in the world of change than the military for all kinds of different reasons. People get scared of change. If people will learn the art of change and look at the military from its founding time to over its period of time, the changes in uniform, the changes in different places you go, and the changes in assignments. There’s change all around. That’s something that we learn. Change is a common word for adaptability. That’s probably the most important value that folks in the military bring forward and makes that value to anyone, any employment, any type of role that people would play into.

TJP - E86 Veterans Day Parade with David Boreanaz, SEAL Team on CBS & Grand Marshall of the parade MCPO of the Coast Guard Vince Patton

“With change is the common word of adaptability.”

What I would say to the veterans out there is you embrace change better than anybody else. Some of our veterans, I think about in the military, were the first to bitch and moan about all kinds of stuff but we did it. In the end, we did it for a purpose. We did it with reason and we did it with success. I always bring up how important change is to people because it’s an art that not everybody can take on very well.

I love that as your core principle and you mentioned adaptability. It makes me think a lot about curiosity, which is one of my core principles as I transitioned from the military into a new civilian lifestyle and sort of found my way. That transition is challenging for a lot of veterans. It’s more challenging than people realize because you think, “You’re coming out of the military with a credible skill set and this incredible opportunity in front of you to take the reins in civilian life, but it’s hard when you’re going from that all-encompassing lifestyle that’s oriented around a single mission.

I loved that you used adaptability and change because curiosity is something that if all of us embrace that idea, can diffuse a lot of the achievement-oriented aspects of our lives. Instead, make us think about change and think about being curious and make us think about the adaptability of human nature. If we celebrate and support it, it becomes something that can be beautiful and not considered to be something to shy away from.

Curiosity is a very interesting point that you bring up. When you use curiosity in the sense of change, it’s foresight. I teach a leadership course for Northeast Maritime Institute. I tell people that when you define different ways of how you look at leadership, think of four Vs, Values, Vision, Virtue, I forgot the fourth V. When you think about those core values. Those things are very important to each and every one of us. That best define what makes us grow like our conditions of employment.

When you look at virtue, that’s our behavior. This is where within our behavior, we look at and do the right thing, the ethics part, and so forth. Vision is this part of curiosity, of looking ahead and focusing straightforwardly, and you always got to anticipate. It’s the other part of the vision. You always have that ability to anticipate because that helps you to build your understanding toward change. We’re working towards that.

[bctt tweet=”Always have the ability to anticipate. That will help you to build a better understanding of change.” username=”talentwargroup”]

The good news is we got another float here coming on.

It’s the Brooklyn Veterans.Master Chief Petty Officer of The Coast Guard Vince Patton

The floats are my favorite. We got a little dance party here too.

What’s next for you?

To continue doing what I’m doing.

Let’s get personal.

My daughter says I have more jobs than a Jamaican in the sense that I’m always doing something. I guess Jamaicans do that. I love what I do. To answer that question, I embrace a phrase from a famous Brazilian soccer player, Pelé, who said that success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying and sacrifice, but most of all, love of what you’re doing or learning to do.

When I tell you that, it answers my next because as long as I continue to love what I do, that’ll always be my next. Things change with what I do. Right now, I’m very much embraced with continuing to work with veterans, continuing with my teaching and building the National Coast Guard Museum, which will be opening in October 2024 in New London, Connecticut. I’ve been very much involved with that.

When that opens, we’re going to come to cover it.

That’s $150 million of real true blood, sweat and tears of getting that going. We were so excited about getting that going. This participation in this Veteran’s parade, as I started out in my talk here, is what it’s all about. 17.4 million veterans and that number is dropping because our World War II era, our Korean War era, and our Vietnam War era veterans are getting up there in age and we’re losing them.

The intake of people coming into the military is a much lower number. To some degree, I’m okay with that because what raises numbers are wars. If we do not get involved in conflicts and so forth, and keep the numbers low, that’s good. We still have the responsibility of taking care of our veterans across the board. I intend to be there to do whatever I can.

One of the volunteer things I do as a veteran is in the Washington DC area, I will go and do a funeral for any veteran with no charge anywhere. I do it 4 or 5 times a month because I got my hands on so many other things. I can’t do it every day, but it’s about that other end of the respect. How I got involved with doing that is I had a close friend who works as a chaplain for the Alexandria City Police Department. They had a homeless veteran who died on the streets. No one knew where he lived. They knew he was a veteran, but they knew nothing else about him.

As they planned to put him in a pauper’s grave, he was telling me about it. I said, “We’re not doing that. I don’t know anything about this guy beyond that you were able to get his DD214 and found out he had an honorable discharge. That is good enough for me. What I want to do is I’m going to go past the hat and I’m going to get this guy a proper burial,” and I performed it. I then realized there are a lot of people out there and that’s what I do. It may sound a little morbid, but it’s something that I do. I take a lot of pride in doing that.

I’m sure those families appreciate it more than you know. That’s that togetherness aspect. That’s that presence, showing up and being together.

More importantly, I want our citizens in this country to accept the fact that we have an obligation to our veterans, no matter what. Think of what you can dig deep to give to a veteran to help a veteran out. We do it and that’s what should be helpful.TJP - E86 Veterans Day Parade with David Boreanaz, SEAL Team on CBS & Grand Marshall of the parade MCPO of the Coast Guard Vince Patton

We’ve ended a couple of our conversations by asking, tell us two things that nobody knows about you. Two special things and something juicy.

The first juiciest thing I can tell you and it’ll probably surprise the two of you. I was a habitual stutterer. I could not get a sentence out without stuttering or stammering. I didn’t want to be a stutterer. I tried my best to do what I could. It all started with my father because one day I came home with a permission slip to go to a speech therapist at school. I was in the fifth grade. My father said he wasn’t going to sign it. My mother was upset about him not signing it.

He told her, “He can do this. He can fix this.” He looked at me and says, “Sing the national anthem.” I sang the national anthem. He said, “You didn’t stutter the whole time you sang it. I tell you what, every day when you come home from school, you go out there in the backyard. I don’t care if it’s snowing or raining, and I want you to sing the national anthem. Sing it at the top of your lungs.” I started doing it and I kept realizing that was the start of how I was going to fix my stuttering. Singing the national anthem went to openly reading pieces out of the newspaper and singing other songs, and I kept working at it.

Therapy through music and repetition. That’s an incredible story.

You want to know the other one. I got to dig deep for it because I don’t have that.

It doesn’t have to be super deep. It can be your favorite color.

I don’t know if it’s a secret because the people that know me to know enough that I love people. I have three personal core values, people, passion and performance. They all have a meaning. People reflect my love for people. It reflects my understanding of people. It reflects that even as I moved up in my ranks, it was about helping people along the way and to mentor, helping them to be better than what they could see themselves. It’s almost like my father in terms of singing the national anthem. I helped myself. That was my people.

Passion is enthusiasm. This comes from that saying from Pele that success is no accident. Love what you do. If you love what you do, if you work at loving what you do, you will never ever work a day in your life. That’s how it is with me. Maybe the deep dark secret is I got all these jobs but I don’t work. I never went to work. Performance is quite simply prepared well so you can perform well. and that you’re always learning and developing. Never give up on learning anything new.

It’s the tagline of the show, “How you prepare now determines your success tomorrow.”

I’m going to find out what the other V was.

You owe it to us.

I’m going to go back and sit down and it will all come to me.

We’re going to let you get back to it. Grand Marshall of the 2022 NYC Veterans’ Day Parade, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard, Vince Patton. Thank you for your service.

Thank you for having me.

Thank you so much, sir.

Sarah, we finally made it. We’ve been talking about this for months. We’ve been planning it. It’s been a journey to get down here to the New York City Veterans Day Parade 2022 celebration of it. I couldn’t be more appreciative of you jumping in and FitFighter jumping in on this with me. The team that has come together on this. Everybody around us who’s jumped in starting with Chad 1000X, at the Marine Corps dinner, and this production that everybody has put on here. We have a chance to sit down with so many of the parade’s most important people. I honestly got to start by saying that the most important people to me are you and this team that put this whole thing together.

What I’ve been thinking about is as we’ve come to this morning and we were out last night at the Marine Corps birthday celebration, waking up at 5:30 AM and coming out. What I was thinking is how effortless it has been from the standpoint of the spirit. Not effortless from the standpoint of logistics and heartache and downright gumption to put something like this on, but effortless in terms of spirit and camaraderie and all the reasons why we will be lifelong Army people and friends.Fran Racioppi and Sarah Apgar on The Jedburgh Podcast on Veterans Day

It’s that camaraderie that makes this feel like we’re having fun like we’re being together, and “Here We Are” as our theme. Every time I say that, it makes me feel that it’s an effortless idea. If we embrace that and we take the time to be like, “Cool. That’s great. Let’s come here, be here for a minute, be together and talk and lean on each other.” You start to realize once you take that minute, you start to feel inside the beautiful spirit of why we’re here and why that’s so effortless for us.

I’ve done that a few times since we’ve been here. We sat down with a whole host of people that everybody has listened to at this point in this episode, but there were a few times where I was listening to them talk and I was looking out at the parade go by, looking at the people who formed around us and thinking, “Here we are.”

To be present at that moment to understand the importance of this day that we’ve talked at length about, what it means to serve, and what it means to honor service. We focus a lot and we both asked everybody who came in here about what was next for the military and what was next for them. We talk about Jedburghs and we talk about finding success. We talk about driving to the next challenge and winning no matter the challenge, but that comes with creating opportunities. Veterans do that better than almost anybody out there.

It’s finding opportunities from nothing. Waking up every day and saying, “I’m going to move to my next point. I might not know what it is. I might not know if it’s going to be successful, but I’m going to take that risk. I’m going to get out there. I’m going to put myself out there, be vulnerable, and get after it.

As we look ahead over the next year, what do we need from our military leaders? What’s going to happen in the world? How are we going to be affected economically and geopolitically? How is that going to change our everyday lives and how we conduct our lives? There’s a lot of influx but it’s moments like this where we honor the past. We’re here now, and here we are in the moment, and we think about the future where I believe we grow the most.

I’m going to tap into something we talked about when we were joking around about the day you had yesterday, bringing up this incredible vehicle acquisition that you have acquired over the past week. There’s a video of you on the side of the road wondering how you’re going to get this thing into New York City. How we’re going to be sitting here together. We talked about this idea of putting yourself in a position to either succeed or fall, crash and burn or fall flat on your face.

Sometimes, you’re sitting in this position teetering on the brink of, “Is this going to be a moment of incredible success and achievement and realization or is this going to be a beautiful faceplant? I think for us to put ourselves in that position is one of the things that characterizes and connects the people that we’ve had. Going back on our conversations, I think it’s one of the things that connects veterans, first responders, and people who live lives of service. I love that in you.

I am always reflecting and I was thinking to myself that this is one of the things that connect you and me. We are okay straddling that moment of success and failure. We’ve experienced both things and realized that with both of those outcomes, you can still take the next step forward and you can wake up tomorrow. That is a beautiful idea that I’m so excited to bring to our audience and our community and to celebrate in the spirit of veterans and who they are.

Starting tomorrow, we got to figure out how we’re going to get all this content out. I can tell you that because we got a ton of it. We’re going to wrap up because the last marchers are coming up the parade route. They’re going to kick us out. They’re going to return to New York City to the hustle and bustle. This storm has, by and large, given us a little bit of a reprieve through our entire parade.

I want to take a minute and thank everybody who’s been involved in this, specifically, FitFighter and your organization. What you’ve built continues to be impactful in building amazing programs. I also want to thank GORUCK for their partnership. Chad 1000X was amazing. Rhone came out. Retro Fitness is here and they’ve been amazing partners to me, both Rhone and Retro Fitness.

I want to thank 18A Fitness, one of our core sponsors, and Kevin Edgerton and the work he’s doing in developing the next generation of special operators, Analytix Solutions for all the back office needs and doing great work in leadership development there as well. I want to thank Just Ice Tea because they dropped a pallet of iced tea on this parade and we whooshed out almost all of it. I’m looking at a couple of bottles left, but over 1,000 bottles of Just Ice Tea have gone out.Just Ice Tea on The Jedburgh Podcast

The Talent War Group is our partner in the production of the show. Jersey Mike’s is our title sponsor. Three hundred sandwiches for the hospitality. It continues to be incredibly impactful in communities. They’ve given over $20 million to Special Olympics in 2022. They’re already committed to 2026 and we did a whole episode on that, and now they’re focused on Feeding America over the course of the next couple of weeks. They’ve given over 75 million meals to families in need over the last two years.

Twenty percent of sales on the 19th and 20th of November will go to Feeding America in 2022 and then they’ll be onto Reach across America in December 2022. It is a truly impactful organization. To be able to build great organizations starts with great leaders and that’s why they’ve partnered with us because our goal is to find those great leaders, develop teams, and be able to do some cool things like this.

Thanks to everybody who’s been involved in this and this team here, all the guys and girls and everyone who’s come out to push this. Our production coordinator, Jenny and her brothers. My team from my company FRsix came out in full support and your team was as well. It’s been a truly impactful day and I can’t wait until next year.

May the show continue to inspire for the many months and years to come. Thank you. It is an honor to be a part of it.

We’ll do it again next time.

Let’s do it.


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