From single mom to Airborne School to entrepreneur  

Lisa Bass took an unusual route to the military when she joined the Army as a 30-year-old single parent with three kids. She began in the JAG Corps, then got her bachelor’s degree and was commissioned as an engineer. But that’s not all. 

“As a grandmother, I went to Airborne School,” said Bass, who did two tours in Iraq before retiring in 2012 as a major. “And then became the first female commander in the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team.” 

Bass shares her military journey, how she launched her own business and more as the special guest on this week’s American Legion Tango Alpha Lima podcast

After retiring, Bass went on to become an entrepreneur. “If you were told you were the good idea fairy in the military, you might be an entrepreneur because that is what it takes to be an entrepreneur,” she said. “Uncle Sam teaches us that in the military.”  

She is a graduate of the Entrepreneur’s Bootcamp for Veteran’s with Disabilities from Texas A&M, and a graduate of the Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship from Syracuse University. She won Citi Bank’s “Best Social Venture” business competition for her “In Her Boots” program. 

Bass, a member of The American Legion, is the founder and owner of Combat Boots Jewelry and TF SASA (Task Force Sisterhood Against Sexual Assault). During her last deployment, she learned of the rising increase in military sexual assaults.

She realized “what we were missing was women military mentors. Mentoring those young female soldiers about how to come up through the ranks with sexual assault prevention strategies.”  

Also in the episode, co-hosts Amy Forsythe and Ashley Gutermuth discuss: 

• Veterans Day deals and discounts that you can find here

• A World War II Marine and his duck who both enjoyed drinking beer and fighting the Japanese. 

• The first female mortician to be promoted to a Navy senior chief petty officer. 

• How the Air Force is aiming to reduce its carbon footprint. 

Check out this week’s episode, which is among more than 200 Tango Alpha Lima podcasts available in both audio and video formats here. You can also download episodes on Apple Podcasts, Google Play or other major podcast-hosting sites. The video version is available at the Legion’s YouTube channel