August 24, 2017

Today is a big day for The Mission Continues — it’s our 10th birthday! Over the years we have strengthened and expanded beyond our core programs, and now have even more innovative opportunities for veterans to serve again, so that the next decade of service can be as kickass as the first.

The Mission Continues family is made by its people — fellows, alumni, platoon members, and supporters. We know that if you want to be part of a community of motivated veteran leaders, this is the place to be. To best support our dedicated volunteers, we are are constantly looking for ways to empower veterans and communities, and do it well.

Here’s what we’ve done to improve and expand our impact, and how we’re going to make it even better:

 

Expanding Our Reach

Today we have a presence in 36 metro areas, dedicating attention to cultivating relationships with veterans and communities in each. By 2020, we plan to be in at least 40 cities. This means more veterans across the country will have access to a service platoon, a fellowship, and our network of veteran leaders.

 

Deploying to a New City Each Year

In June 2016, our first Mass Deployment brought 75+ veterans to Detroit for Operation Motown Muster, and proved this model could work. With our second Mass Deployment, Operation Westside Surge, we took the program a step further, focusing our efforts on the learning and development to seed future leaders.

Future Mass Deployments will build on the successes of their predecessors, so that communities and veterans will both reap the benefits of the lessons we learn along the way. You can expect to see an evolution of the training and leadership development components, as well as the role Ambassadors play as team leaders.

 

Supporting Women Veterans

Over the years it has become clear that women veterans participate in our programs at higher rates than expected — a whopping 30-40%. This inspired us to create an annual Women Veterans Leadership Summit. The goal of this summit is to empower women veterans to serve in their communities with the confidence and tools to lead.

Summits feature inspirational speakers, hands on workshops and networking opportunities — not to mention a service project. We’re excited to see that this is an effective way to support women veterans, and aim to make each Summit new, unique and empowering.

 

Opening our Doors to Guard and Reservists

In January of 2018, we will pilot a new effort within our Fellowship Program to award a limited number of fellowships to Reservists and Guardsmen. (Applications are now being accepted for our next fellowship class!)

It is still true that all fellows must have served in the United States Military after September 1, 2001, and must have residency in one of their 36 metro areas.

 

Giving our Platoon Volunteers a Boost

The leadership development for Platoon Leaders has gone from 2.5 days at orientation to a continuous full-year curriculum. The full scope and sequence of the 12-month curriculum includes a variety of learning opportunities that utilize self-paced learning, in-person learning with regional staff, as well as self-identified areas of focus.

We have also re-imagined our Platoon Leadership Summits. We bring every platoon leader and one member of their leadership team together once a year to focus on connecting to learn from others, to provide established learning from an external source, and task our platoon leaders to leverage their leadership to improve the Platoon Leadership Program.

We’ve got a strong start on building the leadership skills of our volunteers — and will continue to innovate to address volunteer needs and interests.

 

Report for duty in your community with The Mission Continues. Serve with a Service Platoon at an upcoming service event near you or apply for a fellowship. You can learn more about our programs on our website and stay updated on the latest news and announcements on Facebook and Twitter.