On July 12- 13, 2012, I was a motivational speaker for the South Dakota Army National Guard.
The motivational event was called a Day of Optimism, and was designed to educate, motivate and renew Guard employees' enthusiasm and spirit.
I was in town for the South Dakota Risk Management Conference when the Army National Guard saw me listed as one of the Motivational Speakers. They invited me to give 4 three-hour motivational speeches for the National Guard employees, which meant driving 5 hours across the state between motivational speeches to get to the next location (from Sioux falls to Rapid City, South Dakota).
The audience was very warm and receptive and was eager to engage and interact. The motivational speech, The Nerve to Serve... Say Hello to Humor & Goodbye to Burnout! was designed to help recruits feel bouyant and optimistic given the uncertainty and stress they experience in their roles with the National Guard.
One of the biggest stresses for everyone enlisted with the National Guard is deployment. When Guardsmen are deployed they usually go to a third world country like Iraq or Afganistan to serve in some capacity. The roles they play over seas are usually very different from the duties they are responsible for in their regular jobs.
A typical deployment lasts anywhere from 12 to 18 months. During their deployment, soldiers may visit home for a only couple of weeks' duration. In the meantime families evolve, children grow up and the time away can put a strain on family dynamics.
Enlisting with the Army National Guard is a huge commitment. However the audience consensus overwhelmingly suggested it is a very worthwhile, rewarding and adventurous career.
Everyone at the National Guard was warm, respectful, and enthusiastic. The National Guard trains people in teamwork, communication, leadership and throughout their career recruits develops courage and confidence.
The other motivational speakers for the national guard spoke on balance and stress reduction.