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An Uphill Climb to Becoming a Green Beret
A Tale of Perseverance and Grit
Life can be difficult to comprehend because opinions of it vary greatly. Some perceive it as an effortless game, while others consider it a sea of troubles; yet no one truly understands what life is since they have only experienced its effects. Life is a journey with no destination, an unsolved mystery that can never be deciphered. People often think life only contains joys and happiness but it also has its share of sorrows and pain. It is filled with surprises and possibilities, both good and bad experiences that shape our decisions and make us unique individuals. It is a roller coaster of emotions and challenges which have to be faced with courage, determination and positivity. Life is like a book, every chapter has something new to offer and each page brings us closer towards our goal. Today, we have a special guest on the show: Leonard Casiple. He will take us through his life journey – one that has been anything but easy for him. Despite facing numerous obstacles and crises, he made it out unscathed and rose to success as a Green Beret. Be sure to tune in for an inspiring account of how Leonard overcame immense hardship!
- I was born in southern Philippines on the island of Mindanao
- I had a very traumatic childhood
- When I was five years old, I was tied to a telephone pole in the rain
- When I was six, my godfather who was also my teacher; whenever I made a mistake, he tortured me in class
- One day when I was eight-year-old, I was in the church, and I asked two kids to keep quiet because the priest didn’t like that
- Priest called me up and slapped me so hard in the face
- And that’s when I felt something about me was wrong
- When I became teenager, I was very angry at the world
- I also grew up with an alcoholic uncle
- And every time he would get drunk, he would threaten to kill my father with a pistol
- And my father never fought back
- I accepted that and I started to hate my father for not fighting back
[17.00] Barry’s amazing way to explore more
- I mastered at self-loathing
- When I was five, I was sexually abused
- So, when I became a teenager, I didn’t know how to feel safe around the women
- I felt women were showing their kindness temporarily
- Sooner or later things will happen, and they will diminish me as a person
- When things were going smooth, I created drama
- I felt that drama was needed for good relationship
- It’s horrible way to live
[21.09] Reality of life
- I joined Mexican and Filipino gangs, but it created more trouble for me
- I did some drugs, and I went to jail
- Thankfully the city dropped the charges
- I was able to join army a few years later
- I was dropped out of school and didn’t want to get GED
- My father begged me to get GED
- Both my father and mother loved me, but I felt like I was never a part of society
- In 17, my mother kicked me out of the house, and I lived on the streets of LA
- My first wife was very kind, and I was very very angry
- I didn’t know how to handle that type of kindness
- I thought everything was fake
- One thing I also realized is that I didn’t know how to handle conflict
- I felt so unempowered, not ready for the world
- I failed Special Forces selection two times
- On the third try I made it
- I became special forces engineer and demolition sergeant
- I went to my first unit, and I felt so empowered
- When I went through my first year – I realized that our leaders were Elite because they praise people.
- And then they provide a vision of how much greater I could be next year
- It was all giving.
- But deep inside I was that scared child
- When I was 50, I went to save a warrior, where I cried for five days and bought my trauma at campus Kramer in Malibu
- That’s where not on my chest cried or face cried but where my belly reverberated
- And I cried all the trauma out for five days straight
- It was a self-fulfilling prophecy because I was bullied
- I had to isolate myself and I felt like the isolation is fit for me living away for my wife
- It was a horrible way to look at life
Barry Shore: Many human beings look at life that way unless and until
1) They find a mentor
2) They are willing to let go
3) They recognize that the way you live now is not the way you have to live.
[37.53] Education Background
- I joined army as a medical equipment repairman
- But I didn’t like it for some reasons
- I wanted a human connection; I didn’t want to work with machines
- When I failed Special Forces twice, I thought I could go closer to Special Operations Community by going to the psychological operations way
- Where I learned how to talk to the people and speak in a foreign language
- Then I finally made it to Special Forces
- I still had a GED until my 20th year in army
- Barry’s note: GED means, Leonard never completed his high school curriculum
- On my 15th year in army, my unit decided to send me to Arabic language school
- I didn’t apply, they volunteered me
- I became the only Green Beret with a superior rating in Tagalog and Arabic
- Then on my 20th year, I got my fourth-year degree
- A few years later, I was medically retired
- I earned an MBA in Global Management
- At same time, I got a scholarship at Academy of Competitive Intelligence
- Where I went to analytical awards in business intelligence
[54.39] Religious Tradition
- When I was struggling in 2014, I ran across a Chabad article about how to return a lost glove
- It codified how much money to spend and how long to look for
- Responsibilities of the person who found it
- I thought to myself wow!
- A group of people could codify the value of something not even alive
- How much could they teach me about love for me and love for others
- So, I started studying almost every day because I was struggling
- In 2017, I mustered up the courage to approach a conservative Rabbi
- It was very interesting to me that in Chabad failure is talked about and then success
- And in my culture, failure is not talked about
- A ding and an armor are not talked about
- Because one must be perfect.
- In Chabad perfections is being imperfect
Many global consumers are ready to celebrate the holidays again however, as a wider set of economic and political issues took center stage this past year, new risks and uncertainties loom over their plans. According to the annual global holiday shopping and travel report released by IBM’s Institute for Business Value (IBV) nearly half of consumers surveyed will spend less if inflation continues to drive price increases.
The mix of rising prices and decreased availability of inventory means that when consumers shop is just as important as where. Continuing the shift away from the traditional Black Friday start of the shopping season, about 58% of consumers plan to start holiday shopping before November. Almost two in three people plan to pre-order their products to get them on-time with guaranteed prices and 73% said they are considering sustainability when shopping for the holidays.
- What are consumers most worried about this coming holiday season?
- How are people preparing themselves for success this holiday season?
- What are some of the biggest priorities for consumers shopping and traveling this holiday season?
- Are businesses being impacted by consumer’s shift in shopping and travel decisions?
- How are companies responding to the changes in consumer demands?
- Where can our listeners go for more information?
For more information please visit: www.ibm.com/ibv
About Leonard Casiple
Leonard Casiple is a first-generation American who spent most of his 21-year career in US Army Special Operations as a Psychological Operations Specialist and Green Beret. As an immigrant, Leo joined the US Army with a GED and a Green Card where he thrived in the disciplined military environment.
Leo failed the Special Forces Assessment and Selection Course twice. On the third try, he earned the Green Beret, the only military headgear issued by Presidential Decree. During his service, he helped establish the Thai Humanitarian Demining School, the Joint Combined Task Force in Southern Philippines (after the 9/11 attacks) and served in a regional counterterrorist and hostage rescue unit in the Pacific and in the Middle East.