Fred Smith – The Marine Who Founded FedEx

Fred Smith – The Marine Who Founded FedEx

Fred Smith – The Marine Who Founded FedEx


By Debbie Gregory

The entrepreneurial spirit is a mindset. It’s an attitude and approach to thinking that actively seeks out change, rather than waiting to adapt to change. It’s a mindset that embraces critical questioning, innovation, service and continuous improvement.

Many millennials get their idea of entrepreneurship from watching Shark Tank, giving little thought to the fact that most of the goods and services they enjoy probably sprang from the imagination of an entrepreneur.

Fred Smith is the founder, chairman, president, and CEO of FedEx. In 1962, Smith entered Yale University. While attending Yale, he wrote a paper for an economics class, outlining overnight delivery service in a computer information age. It is said that his professor told him that, in order for him to get a C, the idea had to be feasible.

Following his graduation, Smith served two tours in Vietnam with the Marine Corps, one as an infantry officer and one as a forward air controller. There he witnessed the military’s logistics operations, using flight to move personnel and equipment on a massive scale.

After leaving the military with a few distinguishing medals, including a Silver Star, a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts, Smith bought an aviation company that would grow to be FedEx. He named the company Federal Express because he believed the patriotic meaning associated with the word “federal” suggested an interest in nationwide economic activity.

Federal Express officially began operations on April 17, 1973. That night, 14 small aircraft took off from Memphis and delivered 186 packages to 25 U.S. cities.

Today, FedEx is consistently recognized as one of the most admired brands in the world and one of the best places to work. But like many innovative companies, it started out as an idea championed by a determined person. and VAMBOA Hit Record Numbers on Social Media

mc and vamboa logos

Gregory Media CEO Debbie Gregory is proud to announce that and its sister organization VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association, achieved new records on social media, surpassing 1.2 million combined fans and followers.

This growth in social media is also having a positive impact and generating increased traffic on the websites., known as “the Go to Site” is one of the most comprehensive online directories of resources and information, with something for everyone. This site connects its audience with excellent jobs and employment resources, military/veteran friendly colleges, universities and vocational schools, benefits, news, resources and much more. There is also a comprehensive directory for each military service branch. is an outstanding online advertising venue to reach military, veterans and their loved ones.

The web site also works with a multitude of non-profits within the military and veteran communities, using it significant reach to help them “get out the word” on their causes and events, and facilitates win/win partnerships with organizations and clients.

“We are excited to see the continued growth of our social media reach, as well as website traffic,” said Gregory. “We know that we are delivering quality resources to our audience, including the daily articles on our Blog and our Newsletter.”

VAMBOA, a 501 (c) 6 non-profit trade association, has over 7,000 members nationwide. VAMBOA focuses on connecting members with corporations seeking a diverse network of suppliers. The association is supported through corporate sponsorships, and does not charge members any membership fees.

“Supporting the businesses of our military members and veterans and contributing to their successes provides us with the opportunity to express our pride and appreciation to and for the many who have served and sacrificed to make our country free,” said Gregory. “ It also enables corporations to work with companies run by America’s heroes.

Resources for Veteran Business Owners

vet owned

By Debbie Gregory.

Many veterans exhibit advanced team building skills, high levels of resiliency and strong organizational commitment, traits that contribute to making them successful entrepreneurs. There are numerous resources that assist veteran business owners thrive, including the following:

VAMBOA, the Veteran and Military Business Owners Association, is a non-profit trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners by providing networking, collaboration, mentoring, education, certification and advocacy. Membership is free.

American Corporate Partners is engaged in national corporate career counseling for returning military. The non-profit connects veterans to business leaders for mentorship and career advice.

BusinessUSA provides users with an interactive questionnaire that guides them to the most relevant federal, state, and local services, tools, trainings, and opportunities, assisting in starting or expanding a veteran owned small business.

DVBE, the Disabled Veteran Business Alliance, empowers, provides resources to, and works side-by-side with disabled veterans to promote and support them in establishing, maintaining and growing viable business enterprises.

EBV Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities offers training in entrepreneurship and business management to post-9/11 veterans with service related disabilities.

Federal Business Opportunities is a portal for all businesses, not just vet owned, looking for active federal contracting opportunities.

Honor Courage Commitment, Inc. provides resources such as grants, scholarships and a fellowship program to veteran entrepreneurs, designed to build leadership qualities.

Institute for Veteran and Military Families provides a wide variety of resources geared towards military veterans re-entering the workforce or looking to start their own businesses.

National Veteran Business Development Council (NVBDC)  is the nation’s leading third party authority for certification of veteran owned businesses of all sizes.

National Veteran Small Business Coalition supports veteran owned small businesses by promoting policies that encourage participation of veteran owned businesses in federal contracting opportunities.

Patriot Boot Camp  focuses on helping active duty military, veterans and their spouses build technology companies. The three day event provides participants with free education, training and mentorship.

Small Business Administration (SBA) provides a multitude of assistance to veterans in their local communities, including Veteran Business Outreach Centers, Boots to Business,

SDVOSBC , the National Center for Veterans Institute for Procurement, Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC), and Leveraging Information and Networks to Access Capital (LINC) .

Streetshares brings together business owners in search of funding and investors looking for both financial and social returns.

21 Gun Salute Initiative supports service-disabled veteran owned businesses with the goal of reserving 3% of contracts for service-disabled veteran owned small businesses.

VetBiz is a VA website that provides information about the Center for Verification and Evaluation’s verification process for veteran owned businesses looking to gain eligibility for the VA’s Veterans First Contracting Program.

VetBizCentral is a veteran run site that assists veteran and active duty military entrepreneurs through training and counseling, networking opportunities, mentoring and advocacy.

Veteran Entrepreneur Portal provides access to a number of business tools and services, from business education to financing opportunities.

Veteran Fast Launch Initiative provides mentoring and training, along with free software and other services, to military veteran entrepreneurs.

Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship  provides resources, courses and mentorship to female veterans who have started businesses or are looking to do so.

Vetrepreneur Mentoring provides mentoring services to help veteran entrepreneurs with everything from contractor registration to website creation.

Victory Spark is an accelerator program focused on startups led by U.S. military veterans. The program includes a 12-week mentor-driven Lean LaunchPad Program, along with grant funding for entrepreneurs who complete the program.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

Service Disabled Veteran Business Owners Info

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The purpose of the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Concern Procurement Program is to provide procuring agencies with the authority to set acquisitions aside for exclusive competition among service-disabled veteran-owned small business concerns. The program also has the authority to make sole source awards to service-disabled veteran-owned small business concerns if certain conditions are met.

At VAMBOA (Veterans and Military Business Owners Association), our focus is connecting Service Disabled Veteran Business Owners, Veteran Business Owners and Military Business Owners with opportunities to grow their businesses.

Statistics show that that 70 percent of Americans would prefer to do business with a veteran-owned business than one that is not veteran-owned. Veterans are trusted by Americans.

The private sector also represents endless contract potential. And while there is a demand for service disabled and veteran businesses qualified for contract opportunities, the certification process can be difficult to navigate.

To become certified as Vet-owned, you will need your DD 214. If you intend to apply for service-disabled status, you will also need a letter from the United States Department of Veteran Affairs stating that you are, indeed, service-disabled. Contact the VA’s benefits office if you have lost or misplaced this disability status letter.

The more important factor centers on whether in fact there exists actual veteran ownership, control, and direct “hands on” operating/ management, or whether a veteran’s status is being used in name only.

There will always be those who are ready, willing and able to play the system, evading laws, regulations, or guidelines to win a contract. But for those who want to play by the rules, help is available.

If you are a veteran or service-disabled veteran, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has a multitude of resources to help you start and grow your small business. From creating a business plan to finding your first customer, the SBA will assist you and help you succeed. They also have funding sources for your business.

And don’t forget to join VAMBOA. Membership is free, and you will receive all of the benefits of membership. Here is a link to join:


IBM and VA Work Together for Improved Brain Health for Veterans


Last year, IBM launched its new Veterans Employment initiative to help veterans and military spouses through its i2 Analyst’s Notebook software. Now, IBM is once again

doing its part for veterans by co-sponsoring and participating in VA’s Brain Trust: Pathways to InnoVAtion in Washington, D.C., April 20 and 21. This is the first ever public-private partnership event focused on brain health.

The Pathways to InnoVAtion is an unprecedented and diverse gathering of world-class brain health leadership and expertise will foster collaboration among private industry, national/professional sports organizations, the Federal government, innovators, scientists, athletes, clinicians, care-givers, and veterans.

Joining many of the world’s brightest brain research scientists at the event are: sports commentator Bob Costas, General Peter Chiarelli, founder of One Mind, and the former Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, former U.S. Women’s Soccer Player Briana Scurry, author Jeanne Marie Laskas former professional wrestler, author, and founder of the Concussion Legacy Foundation Chris Nowinski, emmy award winner Terry O’Neil, representatives from the NFL Players Association, the NFL, the NCAA and DARPA.

Brain Trust: Pathways to InnoVAtion will build upon the outcomes of the VA TBI research conference held in August 2015. Through accelerated teamwork and partnering exercises, the event will endeavor to identify critical brain health solutions in the areas of prevention, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, and the reintegration of individuals stricken with the effects of mTBI and/or PTSD. The work at Brain Trust will not only serve Veterans and Service-members, but ultimately all Americans afflicted with these issues.

The event will be held at the National Press Club and the IBM Institute for Electronic Government .

IBM is a corporate sponsor of VAMBOA, the Veteran and Military Business Owners Association.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

Military Connection: New Co-op for Veteran Businesses: By Joe Silva


Great news for Veteran entrepreneurs! The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is partnering with Brazzlebox to provide more service to Veteran owned businesses.

VAMBOA, your non-profit trade association, was founded by Military Connection CEO Debbie Gregory. Just as Military Connection brings a wealth of information to military Veterans, VAMBOA provides information, networking opportunities, mentoring, education, promoting small businesses owned by Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and military Business Owners.

Brazzlebox is a social media website designed to connect and promote small and home-based businesses. Brazzlebox allows small owners to create profiles and setup their own custom outreach, based not only on their geographic location, but also by their industry. Brazzlebox is establishing a network of support for these businesses.

Founder and CEO Glen Zinszer came up with the idea for Brazzlebox through his own experience as an entrepreneur. Zinszer has owned and operated an insurance firm and a retail store. Brazzlebox is intended to bring small business owners together in order to share ideas and support each other.

Brazzlebox is set to officially launch on September 18, 2014. This resource has been highly anticipated by small business owners from all industries and demographics for some time.

As a team, VAMBOA and Brazzlebox will provide Veteran small business owners with useful information for starting, maintaining and expanding their companies. By joining forces, VAMBOA members can use Brazzlebox to create a network of Veteran small business owners so that they can share knowledge, experience regarding their common needs, concerns and goals.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit, the go to site.

Military Connection: New Co-op for Veteran Businesses: By Joe Silva