Nearly 150 business and community leaders were in attendance to hear Lieutenant Jason Redman address the business community during the Chamber’s Leadership Series luncheon at the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel on April 21. Through an engaging dialogue driven by the audience, Lieutenant Redman delivered an inspirational speech on how to overcome your own challenges and obstacles and how he prevailed over his. He shared his journey with the Navy SEALs, Wounded Warrior, and his notable company, Wounded Wear.
Lt. Redman spent eleven years as an enlisted Navy SEAL and ten years as a SEAL Officer. On September 13, 2007, outside of Fallujah, Iraq, LT Redman’s Assault Team came under heavy machine gun and small arms fire and he was severely wounded in the ensuing firefight. While recovering at Bethesda Naval Medical Center, LT Redman wrote and hung a bright orange sign on his door, which became a statement and symbol for wounded warriors everywhere. The sign read:
Attention to all who enter here. If you are coming into this room with sorrow or to feel sorry for my wounds, go elsewhere. The wounds I received I got in a job I love, doing it for people I love, supporting the freedom of a country I deeply love. I am incredibly tough and will make a full recovery. What is full? That is the absolute utmost physically my body has the ability to recover. Then I will push that about 20 percent further through sheer mental tenacity. This room you are about to enter is a room of fun, optimism, and intense rapid regrowth. If you are not prepared for that, go elsewhere.
It was signed, "The Management."
He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Valor, the Purple Heart, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, two Combat Action Ribbons and the US Army Ranger tab along with numerous other personal and unit awards.
LT Redman retired from the Navy in 2013 and founded Wounded Wear, a Non-Profit organization which supports combat wounded warriors and families of the fallen. In 2014 Redman founded SOF Spoken, a speaking company which focuses on leadership, teamwork, and overcoming adversity for businesses, first responders, sports teams, and government organizations.
Lt. Redman shared the many lessons he learned during his twenty-one year career and detailed his life-threatening, grievous injury that involved thirty-seven reconstructive surgeries. Redman said, “It took over four years to put me back together. And after all that I’ve been through it made me realize some critical things about life and catastrophic events. I realized the mark of any man, individual or organization is not found in their past but how they overcome adversity and build their future. And regardless of the overwhelming opposition in your path, you always have the opportunity to overcome. It is your attitude that will determine the outcome. Quitting is never an option.”
LT Redman is the author of “The Trident: The Forging and Reforging of a Navy SEAL Leader” which details lessons learned in leadership and overcoming adversity throughout his Navy SEAL career, his service in Afghanistan and Iraq and his personal journey with his wife Erica and their three children. At the conclusion of the event he had a book signing and sold approximately three cases of books. Click here to read the book overview.
Stephen Romine of LeClairRyan and member of the Chamber’s Board of Directors was extremely impressed with Lt. Jason Redman and thought the event was well done.
Romine stated, “I thought the leadership principles were superb. What I thought mostly though was how inspirational he (Redman) was. It went beyond just the military application but also the business principles.”
Jason Lavarias, General Manager of iFLY Va Beach INDOOR SKYDIVING attended the event to support his long-time friend.
“Jay and I have been friends for years. We served together in the Navy. I’m glad to see he is living by what he’s preaching, especially the overcome aspect of it,” said Lavarias. He continued, “When you experience that kind of adversity, what else can you do but overcome? Jason has his values and when your values are clear your decisions are easy and Jason certainly lives by those.”
The Chamber would like to extend a special thank you to our series sponsors: Southern Bank (Presenting Sponsor); Newtown Building Supplies (Building the Future Partner); and Sentara Optima Health Plan (Silver).
The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce’s Chamber Leadership Series is designed to give attendees the opportunity to interact with important leaders who provide practical knowledge, sharing what helped them rise to the top of their field. Speakers in the series include leaders in business, industry and government. Join the Chamber for the remaining Chamber Leadership Series events in 2015. For more information and to register, visit www.hrccleadership.com.