“Get comfortable being uncomfortable”

Damn, what a contradictory and profound statement…Its something I heard from one of my block instructors in the Air Force. “Things WILL never go exactly as planned…so get comfortable being uncomfortable”. I suppose we can apply this to just about anything in our lives. Simple experiences like working in the elements are the easiest to illustrate. Cold, Wet, Windy weather on a 3-5 mile hike…or a 3 mile run. Its going to be MISERABLE…unless you don’t let it. Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable is mindset, adaptability, and in many cases…conditioning. I will elaborate on each one.

Mindset – I see this from perspective and direction. If the current situation sucks completely…but there is a purpose for it…I must let that settle in. I need a goal oriented and purpose driven mindset to push myself through the SUCK and to the end result. This is true for the work place as much as a cold, wet, and windy 5k run. There are days that things are collapsing, sales are falling through, projections are dwindling, The boss is pacing behind you while you draw up last quarters reports…all of these things can be overcome with the appropriate mindset.  Look for the objective, purpose, or goal of each task, especially in situations where you feel smashed under the circumstances.

Adaptability – This is a matter of addressing the situation and making the appropriate changes to better equip you for them in the future. This is easier understood when we are new to a job, or a position…but it is also important in dynamic work environments with changing company focus or even inventory shift. We have to be willing to adapt to address change and shifts in direction or we become the source of the discomfort. The catalyst may be the change itself, but an unwillingness to adapt is what will create our anxiety or discomfort. That is why its paramount that we are willing to adapt to each shift.

Conditioning – This is exactly what it sounds like. If you want to know what cold weather running is like…you run in cold weather. If you want to know what high stress is in the work place…allow yourself to become enveloped in high stress work situations(relative to your job/position).  Don’t haul off and create these situations, but don’t shy away from them. When they arise, consult with your work group and stay in the situation until a solution materializes. Don’t hide from customer conflicts, approach them tactfully and professionally. I can almost guarantee the client, customer, or co-worker will provide you with the artillery to dodge and a myriad of situations to navigate. BE WILLING…to allow yourself to eventually BE ABLE.

With the right mindset, willingness to adapt, and experience(through conditioning), you should be well prepared to face uncomfortable situations without allowing them to break you down. The best words of advice I have received and that I’ve been able to give…”Never TELL, Always Ask”…”Never Lecture, Always Inform”…”Never degrade, Always Encourage”. ..If you can be comfortable in uncomfortable situations, there is no reason your team cant do the same thing with your guidance.

Springfield Armory/Rock River Arms - Allegiance or Atrocity?

Two Large Illinois based Firearms manufacturers have seemingly hopped on board with questionable legislation in order to preserve their interests in their home state. Illinois SB-1657 in its original form had no mention of manufacturer exemptions when it was pushed out in March of 2017...at that time IFMA(Illinois Firearms Manufacturing Association) opposed the legislation. Which reads:

-Synopsis As Introduced
Creates the Gun Dealer Licensing Act. Provides that it is unlawful for a person to engage in the business of selling, leasing, or otherwise transferring firearms without a license issued by the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. Provides that a dealership agent other than a dealer licensee-in-charge may act on behalf of the licensed dealership without being licensed as a dealer under the Act. Creates the Gun Dealer Licensing Board consisting of 5 members appointed by the Secretary of Financial and Professional Regulation to recommend policies, procedures, and rules relevant to the administration and enforcement of the Act. Provides that the holder of a dealership license issued under the Act may employ in the conduct of his or her business dealership agents. Establishes qualifications for obtaining dealership licenses and for being employed as a dealership agent. Establishes penalties for violations of the Act. Provides for rulemaking, including emergency rulemaking. Amends the Regulatory Sunset Act. Provides that the Act is repealed on January 1, 2028. Amends the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act. Makes conforming changes.

Senate Floor Amendment No. 1
Replaces everything after the enacting clause. Reinserts the provisions of the bill except: (1) provides that "dealer" includes the following Federal Firearms Licenses: Type 01-dealer in firearms other than destructive devices; Type 02-pawnbroker in firearms other than destructive devices; Type 09-dealer of destructive devices; (2) defines "collector" and "licensed collector"; (3) defines "importer"; (4) provides that "manufacturer" includes the following types of Federal Firearms Licenses: Type 06-manufacturer of ammunition for firearms other than ammunition for destructive devices or armor piercing ammunition; Type 07-manufacturer of firearms other than destructive devices; Type 10-manufacturer of destructive devices, ammunition for destructive devices, or armor piercing ammunition; (5) provides that the exemption from licensing under the Gun Dealer Licensing Act for transfers of pieces or parts of a firearm that do not themselves qualify as firearms under the federal Gun Control Act of 1968 by a person who is actually engaged in manufacturing and selling those pieces or parts but only on the activities which are within the lawful scope of that business applies only to the manufacture of which do not require the manufacturer to hold a Federal Firearms License; (6) provides that a person licensed as an auctioneer under the Auction License Act may facilitate a transfer permitted under the Gun Dealer Licensing Act without being registered as a dealer under the Act; (7) provides that a dealer holding a Federal Firearms License Type 01-dealer in firearms other than destructive devices; Type 02-pawnbroker in firearms other than destructive devices; or Type 09-dealer of destructive devices on April 1, 2017, is not exempt from the Gun Dealer Licensing Act by obtaining a Manufacturer Federal Firearms License or Importer Federal Firearms License; and (8) exempts from the requirements of licensure under the Gun Dealer Licensing Act, transfers of firearms by a dealer in which 20% or less of the dealer's annual sales are from the sale of firearms. (http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocNum=1657&GAID=14&DocTypeID=SB&LegID=104404&SessionID=91) -

Once an exemption was made(an amendment produced for the bill) that excluded large firearms retailers and manufacturers, IFMA (Springfield Armory / Rock River Arms) changed their position of OPPOSED (03/2017) to NUETRAL (04/27/2017).

Is this an act of Loyalty to their home state? Is this an act of self preservation? Is this a slap in the face to 2A supporters within the confines of Illinois, and those outside of the state? Hard for one to say...but the empty response made by Springfield CEO Dennis Reese (made to www.gunssavelife.com ) further supports the idea that IFMA never wanted this in the daylight and still doesn't want to seem culpable.


-Nick Shoupe



The RE-4, Resume Writing and Revision System

By the time many service members separate from active service, their civilian resumes have become stale and out of date. Before you go littering the internet landscape, or the literal one for that matter, STOP and apply the basic RE-4 (REFORE) method.

The RE-4 method is best applied to civilian employment/non-government sector resumes. The basic RE-4 method was designed under the expectation that the applicant will use a cover letter to accompany the resume.(IE, the OBJECTIVE portion of the resume is not included and there is no great detail applied with respect to each job).

The basic RE-4 helps create a streamlined and concise single page resume. I have used the basic and advanced RE-4 method for the past 6 years. The method derives from personal experiences as a hiring manager and educational background.

The RE-4 method consists of four steps: REVIEW, REFRESH, REVISE, and REWRITE. Applying the RE-4 method can address most of the major issues with old, cluttered, incomplete, and outright tired resumes.

Step 1. REVIEW

1. Print a copy of your most recent resume.

2. Read over the document and check for key features:

  • Name and Information (Full Name, Address(optional), Contact information)
  • Education (College, HS if within 4 years of graduation)
  • Work Experience (Three most recent employers and 4-5 task statements for each)
  • Applicable Skills and/or Training(Training with certifications, accreditation, etc is preferred)

3. Write notes in the margins addressing missing or outdated information that should be part of the key features.


Anything you noted during the REVIEW process needs to be addressed at this point.

1. Update your contact information, add education, add your most recent employment or job title,  add skills or certifications/training, etc.

2. Add Task statements: Task statements are used to define the scope and expectation of a specific job/duty. For the purpose of a resume, you can use the same recipe but with fewer servings. List five tasks that you performed most often in the course of your job, four tasks you performed occasionally, and three that you rarely performed. This should leave you with 12 tasks that you performed within the course of your job/employment.

3. Group the associated tasks together into Primary, Secondary, and Ancillary task groups. For example, as a Police Officer you may access the NCIC (National Criminal Information Center) from your cruiser every day. This may be one of the tasks you perform MOST often, however, it is not a PRIMARY task. This is an Ancillary task that acts in support of Primary or Secondary Tasks.

Primary tasks define your position or job.

Primary tasks of a Police Patrolman: Protect personnel and property. Enforce laws and regulations, patrols assigned grid or areas

Secondary tasks define your position as it relates to subordinates/peers or is a task that acts in support of your primary tasks.

Secondary tasks of a Police Patrolman: Respond to emergency calls, take witness statements, interview suspects

Ancillary tasks are neither primary, nor secondary. These tasks act in support of primary and/or secondary tasks.

Ancillary tasks of a Police Patrolman: Operate a motor vehicle at high speed, exercise judgement with respect to policy and procedure

4. Pull four tasks from the twelve you listed. These four tasks must accurately encompass the scope of your job(past or current employment) or the job you are pursuing. (Ancillary tasks can be paired with Primary or Secondary tasks to create complete task statements)

5. Create your task statements. Use an action verb and describe the object of the action. (attempt to describe the result of the performed task,reference the source of instruction if possible, and address the frequency at which you performed the task). Make certain to address any tensing issues. If it is a PAST employment make sure that you use past-tense when creating the task statement. This helps keep the resume reviewers mind on task.

For example:

  • Enforce(d) laws and regulations judiciously andin accordance with AFI31-201.
  • Regularly enforce laws and regulations in accordance with AFI31-201.

Step 3. REVISE

This is where you address spelling issues, grammatical errors, statistical specifics or data etc. This is your FINAL revision process.

1. Type your resume into a word processing program (if it is still on paper). Use a Microsoft Word template that is appealing to you but not cluttered or “busy.” The template will address how you organize:

Education – dates Attended/Graduated, Location, degree pursued
Work Experience – Dates Employed/Ended Employment – Location. (USE TASK STATEMENT METHOD)

2. Use the spelling and grammar check to address simple errors.

3. Consult a former co-worker or battle buddy/wingman who held the same position or similar. Work with your wingman to address any technical discrepancies or personal oversight.

4. Find your 12th Grade English Teacher, or English 101 professor…and beg them to PROOF your resume…wouldn’t that be nice! In all seriousness, have a fresh set of eyes look over the resume once you have completed steps 1-3. Most colleges and universities have a career advancement center as well as a resource center that helps students with reports, papers, and even resumes. These resources are invaluable and most are free to students enrolled at that college or university.


This is a discretionary step, but one that I would suggest. There are a lot of people who have exceptional resumes, but they do not tailor the resume to the job they want.

1. Research the general tasks and job description for the job you want.

2. Create task groups for the job you are pursuing.

3. Use the task creation guidelines listed in this article to create task statements that better correspond to the job you want. This is where your 12 Tasks come in to play. Most jobs have an abundance of tasks that are found in most if not all other jobs. This doesn’t require you to be vague about your duties/tasks, it just requires you to focus on the job you want, not the job you have or had.

A Police Patrolman:

Enforced laws and regulations judiciously and in accordance with AFI31-201.
That Patrolman is transitioning and wants to transition out of law enforcement and into international shipping and logistics.

Enforced regulations while maintaining an exemplary compliance record in accordance with AFI31-201 standards and procedures. The second task statement focuses more on Regulations, Standards, Attention to Detail, and Consistency.

4. REVISE the resume and follow all of the steps listed in the REVISE section. (try and speak with someone who works in the field you are pursuing and if possible have them review your REWRITE)

At this point you should be able to reconstruct an existing resume and possibly construct a resume from scratch. The RE-4 method has served me well and has helped many people find jobs, move from underemployment, and seamlessly transition into the civilian workforce.

I will address cover letters, RE-4 GOV resumes, as well as Advanced RE-4 in upcoming articles. Meanwhile, let me know what you think of this in the comments below!