When Team Rubicon’s Clay Hunt Fellows Program (CHFP), named in honor of original Greyshirt and Marine Corps veteran Clay Hunt, launched in 2012 we had no idea how much it would grow. Today, the Clay Hunt Fellows Program is a 6-month leadership and training program that equips veterans with tools to redefine their identity out of uniform and empowers them to lead a life of continued service. Already, 11 cohorts—81 fellows in total—have completed the program.
In 2019, Team Rubicon launched an all-new Base Camp model for CHFP. Instead of running simultaneous fellowship programs for our Rebuild operations and general Team Rubicon operations, Base Camp puts every fellow through the same six-month strengths-discovery and self-awareness curriculum, which features focused discussions, readings, and guided self-reflection assignments.
This March, Team Rubicon selected its newest CHFP cohort. Meet the fellows of BC-2:
Education: Bachelor’s of Applied Science, Campbell University (Pre-PA program)
Job: Active duty, U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Ft. Bragg
Greyshirt Since: 2019
While Ball waits to deploy in his first TR op, he is already a Clay Hunt Fellow. Ball, who has spent the last 23 years active duty, applied to be a CHF to immerse himself in TR’s culture, and because he wanted to learn about humanitarian assistance in the international arena.
Currently Reading: Noise, by Joseph McCormack, “a really interesting read about the strategies for living in a world where we are constantly bombarded with information.” That includes how information addiction develops to the point where people experience anxiety when away from their phones. “As a parent, much of the points hit home in terms of the habits we model for our kids. Scary stuff sometimes.”
Robert D. Cilla
Education: BS in Computer Science, Air Force Academy; MS in Digital Forensic Science, Champlain College
Job: Program Manager, IT
Greyshirt Since: 2017
Cilla served as a Cyber Operations Officer in the U.S. Airforce where he gained IT skills that he continues to use professionally. He first deployed for Operation Hard Hustle, and says that his favorite TR experience has been carving and tossing pumpkins for the Halloween festivities at the Beaumont FOB. He applied to the CHFP because of a desire to grow as a Greyshirt and a person. In particular, he looks forward to discussions among the cohort and hopes to explore some intellectual areas one typically doesn’t venture into during the daily grind.
Currently Reading: Slogging through Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series
Education: BS in Visual Journalism, Brooks Institute; MS in Communication and Media Technologies, the Academy of Art University
Job: Freelance photographer and documentary producer
Greyshirt Since: 2012
Davis served for seven years as a mass communication specialist assigned to Navy Expeditionary Combat Command’s Combat Camera. During that time, he traveled the world documenting disasters and humanitarian responses for the military. He also provided support for Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. He joined TR to continue using his combat cameraman skills, as well as to act as volunteer Southwest Territory Communications Deputy. Davis’ most memorable deployment was during Operation Tenzing in Nepal. The team was helping villagers in Shermatang recover from an earthquake when a second, smaller quake struck, causing the villagers to relive the first quake and the Greyshirts to freeze as the earth trembled and cracked beneath their feet.
Currently Reading: An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth: What Going to Space Taught Me About Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared for Anything, by Chris Hadfield.
Education: AA in Applied Nursing, Germanna Community College
Job: Nurse, Stafford Hospital Emergency Department
Greyshirt Since: 2014
During Operation Amberjack, Dietz was a team lead for a group that mucked out the house of a homeowner who had little hope that her home was salvageable. When the team returned five days later to check on the woman, they found her talking with a contractor about rebuilding instead of tearing the house down. That showed him how profound of an impact TR has on the lives of survivors. Before joining TR, Dietz had a long history of service that began as an engineman in the U.S. Navy. He would go on to become an equipment operator in the Seabees where he oversaw a number of critical tasks. Throughout his career, he took on nine deployments including on Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and to Afghanistan. Before retiring in 2013, he was awarded the rank of chief petty officer. Not one to rest on his laurels, Dietz has used retirement to volunteer as a firefighter and EMT.
Currently Reading: The Witcher, by Andrzej Sapkowski, because he likes to go to new worlds when he reads
Education: BA from William and Mary; BS from the University of Nebraska; JD from Liberty University
Job: Teaches medical skills to Native Alaskan Community Health Aides in Alaska’s Norton Sound region.
Greyshirt Since: 2010
Before becoming one of the original eight volunteers to deploy to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, Hayward already had a long career in service. During his time in the Army he rose from machine-gun ammo bearer to infantry officer, Special Forces medic, and battalion physician assistant. Now, he lives in Nome, Alaska teaching medical skills to Alaska’s Community Health Aides in the Norton Sound Region. His most memorable experience with TR was seeing the patients in the Manresa camp the first evening in Haiti.
Currently Reading: Dark Rendezvous, by Bob Killebrew
Job: Burlington, Vermont Metro Planning Lead; Secretary for the Vermont VOAD; member of GXP Remote Support Team
Greyshirt Since: 2013
During his time in the U.S. Air Force, Hough deployed on Operations Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom as a Security Forces Desk Sergeant, Raven, and Customs Inspector. In 2005, while at Keesler AFB, Hough survived Hurricane Katrina and served with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations disaster assessment team operating in Mississippi. After joining Team Rubicon as a Greyshirt, he volunteered with his brother Cody and a former coworker and friend on Operation What the Flood, which opened his eyes to disaster response and how he could use the skills learned in the Air Force to help people affected by disaster.
Education: MBA, Kelley School of Business at Indiana University
Job: While currently relocating for wife’s job, he hopes to pursue firefighting
Greyshirt Since: Has yet to deploy
During Korkow’s more than nine years with the Marine Corps, he served as an MV-22 Osprey Pilot, supported Operation Iraqi Freedom, and deployed twice on Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. He went on to earn his MBA, then spent time in corporate America before deciding to apply to become a Clay Hunt fellow to help further his impact on others. He has also worked closely with the Post Traumatic Growth Institute, a nonprofit helping veterans.
Currently Reading: Natural Born Heroes, by Christopher McDougall
Education: AA in General Studies, Johnson County Community College, at age 56
Job: Technically retired, but a contractor with the TR National Incident Management Team
Greyshirt Since: 2011
McCoy was attending high school in Wichita, KS, at the height of the 1970’s race riots. In 1973, she found herself bored in school just as cross-town bussing and forced integration caused multiple riots on her high school campus—a situation she calls “frightening and dangerous”—so she chose to drop out of school. By 1976, she was enlisted in the Army’s Military Police Corps as a sergeant, followed by 15 more years in law enforcement. McCoy’s first TR deployment was on Leap Day, 2012, but her most memorable experience was being the first Regional Administrator for Region 7 because she was part of a great team of leaders who are still active with TR today. Her favorite op so far was Geaux Big in Baton Rouge.
Currently Reading: Always a mix of fiction with a sprinkle of non-fiction: the Outlander series, by Diana Gabaldon (again), and The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety, by Alan W. Watts.
Education: BS in Exercise Physiology, Fitchburg State University; MS in Construction Management, Wentworth Institute of Technology
Job: Grad student
Greyshirt Since: Has yet to deploy
During his time with the U.S. Marine Corps, Ojalehto served with the 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion in Camp Pendleton, CA and deployed twice to Iraq. On one tour he was a member of General Mattis’ Personal Security Platoon; on another, he served as a LAV-25 gunner at Ar Rutbah. He then went on to teach gunnery to the Battalion in advance of their next deployment. After leaving the service in 2007 he began accumulating college degrees, including his Masters’ in Construction Management.
Currently Reading: Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead, by Jim Mattis and Bing West
CT Air National Guard
Education: BA in Political Science and Spanish, University of Connecticut
Job: Veterans Educational Benefits Counselor and School Certifying Official with the University of Connecticut Office of Veterans Affairs and Military Programs
Greyshirt Since: 2017
Passmore enlisted as a senior airman in the Connecticut Air National Guard in 1986, and left the service in 1996 as a captain. He found a new passion, helping veterans with service-related disabilities go back to school, as the Veterans Educational Benefits Counselor at the University of Connecticut. Passmore signed up in response to Hurricane Harvey and has been on nine deployments since, always serving as a strike leader. His favorite TR experience was mucking out a house in Omaha two weeks after the flood—and finding live fish in the muck.
Currently Reading: Unfuck Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life, by Gary John Bishop; The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11, by Garrett M. Graff, and a book on the 101st Airborne
Education: PharmD, University of Arkansas
Job: Working as a pharmacist in Arkansas
Greyshirt Since: 2015
After obtaining his doctorate of pharmacy from the University of Arkansas, Turner joined the Air Force and was stationed with the 11th Med Group in DC. When he finished his time in the Air Force, not quite two years ago, Turner headed to Southeast Asia where he spent 18 months backpacking. He served with TR for the first time in the Bahamas, and his most memorable moment was hearing another Greyshirt’s struggles while the two were together at a laundromat. This made the dual purpose of TR very real, that it is both a support system for communities in need and also for its veteran volunteers.
Currently Reading: Shantaram, by Gregory David Roberts; Designing Your Life, by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans; How to Change Your Mind, by Michael Pollan
Education: BS in Justice Systems, Truman State University; MPA, National University
Job: Marine until November 2020
Greyshirt Since: 2019)
Since Weisheyer is still active duty, he has yet to go on a TR op. But, he has participated in a joint project with Habitat for Humanity in Tacoma, WA.
During his 20 years with the U.S. Marine Corps, Weisheyer deployed multiple times and was stationed in Japan and Germany for a total of nine years. In Addition to TR, he volunteers with the Pierce County Explorer Search & Rescue organization.
Currently Reading: Fond of leadership books and biographies, he’s currently reading the CHFP-required Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work, by Matthew B. Crawford