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"Answering the Call....Warriors Protecting Country and Community"

The Paddy Brown Program - Overview


Situation:  The chronic economic recession in the United States coupled with a military drawdown leaves many of our post-9/11 veterans extremely challenged to find adequate and fulfilling employment in what will soon be a post "War on Terror" period. This dynamic is contrary to the favorable opportunities that the veterans of World War II, the Korean War and event Vietnam enjoyed. Many of the young men and women who selflessly served our nation post-9/11 would greatly benefit from the opportunity to join and excel in the fire rescue service. The fire service affords our post-9/11 military veterans with a natural transition from the military to a similar response oriented profession deeply rooted in the virtues of service and sacrifice. The recession induced staffing cutbacks to metropolitan fire departments have made the entry process for a historically coveted occupation even more competitive. Our nation's post-9/11 veterans, the U.S. fire service and our American communities would benefit greatly from a strategic campaign that offers veterans increased access to employment opportunities in the fire and rescue service. Currently no such campaign or holistic program exists.

Mission of the Project:  Leadership Under Fire and The Paddy Brown Program seek to honor the shared bond between the fire service and our nation's military by affording post-9/11 veterans increased access to employment and professional development opportunities in the fire and rescue service.

The project honors the iconic legacy of Captain Paddy Brown of the FDNY who made the supreme sacrifice on 9/11. Paddy's transition from the battlefield as a U.S. Marine in Vietnam to the professional fire service fostered a lifelong commitment to public service.

Aspects of the Project:
  • 1. Raising awareness regarding contemporary issues affecting post-9/11 veterans in order that fire chiefs better understand their military veterans.

  • 2. Connecting our nation's post-9/11 veterans to appropriate mental health services that will enhance and sustain their transition in the professional fire service

  • 3. Ensuring that our nation's post-9/11 veterans are aware of the opportunities afforded by the U.S. fire service by providing them an overview brief of the professional fire and rescue service during transition classes aboard U.S. military installations.

  • 4. Marketing best human resource management practices in fire departments and jurisdictions that are going above and beyond in ensuring that our nation's military veterans are afforded access to a hiring process that recognizes the value of their service.

  • 5. The Werewolf Initiative: Offering mentorship to post-9/11 veterans seeking employment in the professional fire service with the "Werewolf Initiative". "Werewolf Mentors" include post-9/11 veteran firefighters as well as present and former members of the fire service who also served in the U.S. military. Additionally, post-9/11 veterans currently pursuing academic study are eligible to attend Leadership Under Fire conferences and training events at no expense via the "Werewolf Initiative".

  • The "Werewolf's Legacy": Sgt Bill "Werewolf" Cahir was instrumental in the development of Leadership Under Fire. His extensive combat experience coupled with his strong intellect made him a trusted warrior and colleague. Bill's impact on countering the Sunni insurgency on the Fallujah battlefield was remarkable - Bill truly was the epitome of a U.S. Marine. General Petraeus' counterinsurgency field manual states that "rank is not necessarily an indicator of talent." Sgt Bill Cahir exemplified this theme - few if any sergeants had the range of impact that Bill had on USMC operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Bill was killed on 13 August 2009 while in action against the enemy in Helmand Province, Afghanistan while serving with 1st Battalion, 5th Marines. He left behind his wife Rene, and beautiful twin daughters whom he never met.

Read more about the legacy of service and sacrifice of Paddy and Bill:




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