Making connections

Retired Marine Corps Harrier pilot Robert Schroder is the founder of SteerBridge, an organization that connects veterans to federal projects that match their skillset. He is the special guest on this week’s episode of The American Legion Tango Alpha Lima podcast.

He was a Boys State delegate in Mississippi in 1988 and served as a counselor the following year. “That was one of the most impactful programs I have seen and I have done several of them,” said Schroder, adding that it directly led to his internship for former Sen. Trent Lott. “It was a great experience to learn about government. That experience really stuck with me my entire career.”

His role as a counselor was “the single-biggest leadership opportunity I had up until the (Naval) Academy. I was learning how to lead young men, that was impactful.”

SteerBridge is another conduit. His business leverages the talents of veterans and military spouses with cutting-edge technology.

“We put the two — people and technology — together to deliver a solution that we truly feel is game-changing for the government customer that we serve,” Schroder explained. “We also couple that with serving in DoD and VA so there is that mission component of the work that we are trying to help them do better with our national security or by serving veterans.”

It’s a way that he can give back and support his fellow veterans.

“Personally, what I love doing is this passion around veterans’ issues and opportunities,” said Schroder, who previously worked at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for eight years. “I like to look at it as opportunities and giving veterans that shot. I was given a shot and I feel it is my job, my mission, to turn around and do the same.”

Also on the episode, co-hosts Jeff Daly and Ashley Gutermuth address:

• A new solution for homeless veterans.

• An Army National Guard sniper team winning an international competition.

Check out this week’s episode, which is among about 180 Tango Alpha Lima podcasts available in both audio and video formats here. You can also download episodes on iTunes, Google Play or other major podcast-hosting sites. The video version is available at the Legion’s YouTube channel.