Clay Hunt Fellows Program Announces Base Camps 12 and 13 

Thomas Brown

Sixteen veterans chosing for latest cohort of the Clay Hunt Fellows Program, forming the last two base camps of CHFP’s 10-year anniversary.

The latest cohort of the Clay Hunt Fellows Program (CHFP) has been selected, forming the last two base camps of CHFP’s 10-year anniversary. Program alumni and all of Team Rubicon join in welcoming 16 Greyshirts to CHFP, an individual growth program that advocates for continued service among the veteran community. For six months, the individuals of Base Camps 12 and 13 will follow a rigorous and challenging course designed to stimulate personal development, leadership skills, and self-realization. 

Chandler Alford 

Fairbanks, AK 
United States Army 

Chandler will retire from the United States Army later this year, leaving as a captain. He has a bachelor’s of science in engineering and a professional engineer license. He uses the skills he developed in the Army as the Pacific Northwest Planning lead for Team Rubicon. Chandler’s first operation was Phoenix Rising, a wildfire recovery operation in Alaska. His favorite part of Team Rubicon is that it has all the good things about military culture and none of the bad things.  

Service Quote: ““Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.”–Proverbs 3:27

Fun Fact: In another life, I was a world-class weightlifter with several national titles. 

TC Cassidy 

Chattanooga, TN 
United States Air Force 

TC is a veteran of the United States Air Force. They first heard of Team Rubicon during Operation Starting Gun, when Greyshirts responded in Moore, Oklahoma, to the last EF5 tornado seen in the United States in ten years. They have been wearing a grey shirt themselves as a member of Team Rubicon for more than four years. The best part of wearing the grey for TC is working with other veterans and civilians that like to “Get Shit Done!”

Service Quote: “You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.”–Carl Jung

Fun Fact: TC enjoys fly fishing! “Fly fishing is an introspective quest to tame one’s own mind. This can be shared with others, but only discovered alone.”–Daniel J Rice.

Charlamain Caycedo 

St. Augustine, FL 
United States Navy 

Charlamain was in the United States Navy. After exiting the military, she attended school to receive her bachelor’s of science in business administration. She is also a registered respiratory therapist. She donates her time to the WAVES Project, National Park Service, Force Blue, The Mission Continues, and Ducks Unlimited. Charlamain has yet to deploy on an operation, but the acts of selfless service she’s seen inspired her to join Team Rubicon.  

Service Quote:The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.”–Abraham Lincoln

Fun Fact:I can hold my breath for almost four minutes and free dive to 90 feet on a single breath.

Detashia Coleman 

District Heights, MD 
United States Navy 

Detashia served in the United States Navy for 20 years, retiring in 2012 as a petty officer first-class. She is currently a student at Barber-Scotia College. She has continued her love of health care as a civilian licensed respiratory therapist.  When not donating her time to Team Rubicon, you can find her volunteering with The American Legion, The Mission Continues, Reading Partners DC, and Alpha Gamma Xi Military Sorority, Inc. Detashia has been a Greyshirt since 2015 and counts the talent, time, and resources she saw dedicated to assisting families in her hometown of Houston, TX, as the most impactful part of her Team Rubicon journey.  

Service Quote: “There are many wonderful things that will never be done if you don’t do them.”–Charles Gill

Fun Fact: I enjoy watching Christmas movies in April.

Tom Coogan 

Arvada, CO 
United States Marine Corps 

Tom was in the United States Marine Corps. He earned a master’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in marketing. He had a career in the automotive industry and worked with international NGOs as well as a special education paraeducator. Before Team Rubicon, Tom donated his time to Doctors Without Borders and Action Against Hunger. He has been a Greyshirt for over two years and is a volunteer leader as the Wyoming/Colorado Deputy for Logistics. He counts the time he served on Operation Sunshine Strong and Operation Enduring Eagle as the most impactful moments on his Team Rubicon journey.  

Service Quote: “Charity must be done with love and joy or not done at all.”—From a friar with the International Federation of Little Brothers of the Poor 

Fun Fact: I went through Class 5 rapids on the Nile River in 2007  

Sam “Kyle” Dowdy 

Hinesville, GA 
United States Army 

Kyle served in the United States Army, leaving as a corporal. He currently works as a service technician in the robotics field. He is looking forward to wearing his grey shirt on his first in-person experience with Team Rubicon. Kyle counts the sense of purpose he encountered and the genuine people he met as leading him to join Team Rubicon.  

Service Quote: “Service doesn’t have to be big and grandiose to be meaningful and make a difference.”—Sister Cheryl Esplin 

Fun Fact: I had a total of 11 pets at once when I was a kid. 

Nicole “Nikki” Goetschius  

Adamstown, MD 
United States Army 

Nikki separated from the United States Army as a specialist. She went on to work for 20 years as an emergency veterinary tech and today continues working to rehabilitate dogs that are difficult to adopt. Nikki has been a Greyshirt since 2017 and is a volunteer leader serving as the North Branch Deputy for Logistics. Her first operation was Hard Hustle, a hurricane response in Houston, Texas. Nikki’s most powerful moments are helping communities become more resilient – it reminds her about the little things in life.  

Service Quote: “We are at our best when we serve others.”—Ira Byock

Fun Fact: I own multiple smokers/grills and love to host BBQs competitions with friends. 

Topher Hedrick 

Clarksville, TN 
United States Army 

Topher left the United States Army as a specialist. As a new civilian, he attended Metro Community College in Kansas City, Missouri, studying Criminal Justice. Topher lends his talents to Team Rubicon as a safety instructor in the heavy equipment field and he is also a central Tennessee training coordinator. He has been a Greyshirt for five years and his first operation was Crying Eagle, responding to Hurricane Laura in Louisiana. Topher loves to use his life experiences to lead and train other Greyshirts.   

Service Quote: “Even the smallest act of service, the simplest act of kindness, is a way to honor those we lost, a way to reclaim that spirit of unity that followed 9/11.”—President Barack Obama

Fun Fact: At 7 years old, I would have to ride a motorcycle to my school bus stop. 

William Hernandez 

Saint Cloud, FL 
United States Marine Corps 

William was an active-duty United States Marine for six years. After leaving the service, he obtained an associate degree in business administration and also secured professional licenses in airframe and powerplants. He currently works as an aircraft maintenance technician. He has been a Greyshirt for a year and is looking forward to his first deployment. Built to Serve, William also volunteers with another disaster response nonprofit, All Hands and Hearts. 

Service Quote: “Earn your success based on service to others, not at the expense of others.”—H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Fun Fact: William’s favorite movie is “Inception.” 

Kymber Keaton 

Fairfield, CA 
United States Air Force 

Kymber served in the United States Air Force for six years. She recently graduated in May with her master’s degree in emergency management and homeland security from Arizona State University. Kymber is a tribal liaison for the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) of California. While at the California EOC, she worked alongside Team Rubicon – where the Greyshirts she met and the work they did inspired her to don a grey shirt of her own this year.  

Service Quote: “If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help someone else.”–Confucius

Fun Fact: I love riding horses and hope to compete in barrel racing. 

Jason Machado 

Southern Pines, NC 
United States Army 

Jason is seeking to retire after 20 years in the United States Army. At the same time, this year he is also finishing a master’s degree in international relations. His friends shared their experiences wearing the grey shirt and Jason is looking forward to participating in his first Team Rubicon deployment. He counts being accepted into the Clay Hunt Fellows Program as his most significant impact. 

Service Quote: “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”—Winston Churchill   

Fun Fact: I just adopted a new puppy and now have two border collie mixes.

Mandy Mueller 

Rockville, MD 
United States Air Force 

Mandy served in the United States Air Force for 20 years, retiring in 2022. She is applying for school and is a nationally registered paramedic. Mandy also volunteers locally, donating her time with McLean Bible Church. Her first experience volunteering was harvesting a field of potatoes for the Maryland food bank. Her most significant experience is that with each opportunity at Team Rubicon, she finds the family she has been missing since she retired.  

Service Quote: “It’s not so much what we have in this life that matters. It’s what we do with what we have.”—Fred Rogers

Fun Fact: I went on a bus cruise and made friends with all the old people.  

Naoto “Nak” Nakamura 

Austin, TX 
United States Marine Corps 

Nak was in the United States Marine Corps for four years. He attended Austin Community College, majoring in photography, and that remains his passion. He has been a Greyshirt since 2012 and regularly deploys as a photographer in addition to general responder. Nak has hundreds of Team Rubicon photographs to his credit and is a volunteer leader as the South Branch Photography Lead. The largest impact of his Team Rubicon journey is interacting with Greyshirts for the first time and feeling welcome.  

Service Quote: “If you light a lamp for someone else, it will also brighten your path.”—The Buddha 

Fun Fact: I rode in a rodeo once and, after injury, became a rodeo clown for a summer when I was 

Matthew Sarazin 

Ft. Collins, CO 
United States Army 

Matt served as an infantryman with the United States Army for eight years.  In his post-military life, he attended the University of New Mexico. Since receiving his bachelor’s degree in nursing, Matt has been working as a registered nurse. His first Team Rubicon event was the Core Ops training class, and he is eager to deploy on his first operation. Matt has appreciated the support of the onboarding from the Clay Hunt Fellows Program.  

Service Quote: “When a warrior fights not for himself, but for his brothers, when his most passionately sought goal is neither glory nor his own life’s preservation, but to spend his substance for them, his comrades, not to abandon them, not to prove unworthy of them, then his heart has truly achieved contempt for death, and with that he transcends himself and his actions touch the sublime…”—Dienekes in Steven Pressfield’s Gates of Fire

Fun Fact: “I’ve traveled to half the continents in the world.” 

Erin Twohey 

Chattanooga, TN 
United States Air National Guard 

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Erin was in the United States Air National Guard for 17 years, leaving as a master sergeant. She graduated in 2017 from Belmont University and served as the chapter president of the Student Veterans of America there.  She is currently a technical writer for the Central Ops & Infrastructure team at Tennessee Valley Authority. Erin volunteers for Team Rubicon as the Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi planner. Her first operation was Sunshine Strong, responding to Hurricane Ian in Florida. While there, she rediscovered the purpose she had been missing since leaving the military.   

Service Quote: “True service is not about recognition or reward; it is about the impact we make on the lives of others.”—Unknown, possibly from a retirement speech of someone from my old unit. Or a fortune cookie…  

Fun Fact: Erin used to play roller derby.

Albert Yao 

Seattle, WA 
United States Army Reserves 

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Albert has served in the United States Army Reserve for 14 years. He is starting his master’s degree at the University of Washington in the fall. Albert has been a Greyshirt since 2015 and served as the Michigan Planning Coordinator from 2015-2017. His first operation was Double Trouble, a Texas flood response. Albert’s favorite moment is waking up to John Denver’s song “Country Roads” every morning in West Virginia during Operation Country Roads, a 2016 West Virginia flood response operation. The Greyshirts he met in Region 5 are some of the best, and he made some incredible friends there. 

Service Quote: “It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference.”—Tom Brokaw 

Fun Fact: I was an extra in the remake of a 1980s action movie!

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