About Us
The term “Special Operations Forces” or “SOF” refers to our nation’s most elite group of warriors from our US Department of Defense that includes Army Green Berets, Night Stalkers and Rangers; Navy SEALs and Combatant- craft Crewman; Marine Raiders; and Air Force Pararescueman and Combat Controllers. These Operators possess invaluable leadership skills and have exceptionally high degrees of integrity, self-motivation, creativity, focus, discipline and drive. Their “no fail” mindset gets projects done right on time with high quality. Their senior executive leadership skills sharpened under incredible circumstances in ambiguous complex and in many cases, dangerous environments enables them to compete for C-Suite executive positions in the private sector.

Military transition into the civilian world can be extremely stressful and challenging for a variety of reasons. Experienced mentors can provide them with the much-needed assistance. Starting with listening to their needs, assisting them with how and where to begin the transition process, translating their military experience into skills and value, developing a personalized transition plan to track progress, guiding them on challenging careers that best leverage their capabilities and passion and helping them network with the right business leaders to seize career opportunities.

Realizing that local Tampa Bay patriots were eager, willing and ready to assist our SOF Operators, Co-Founders Mark Rosenthal and Anthony Weiss launched the STAR Network in 2015. Since then our STAR Business Partners have unselfishly devoted their time and efforts to ‘give back’ to our STAR Operators, whose selfless service keeps us safe. This special relationship reflects mutual admiration, respect, and gratitude which helps create deep military-civilian connections and strengthens our Tampa Bay community. The STAR Network is grateful to and appreciative of the senior leadership at the United States Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base for their encouragement and support.

The STAR Network assists our transitioning special operators in 6 primary ways.
1. STAR Dinners – The lasting connections within the STAR Network initially developed through monthly dinners, which provide an environment conducive for mentoring and networking, Through these events, operators gain a more meaningful and deeper appreciation of the civilian culture, build a business network (key for landing their next career), rehearse their 60 second elevator pitch and translate military experience into industry skills and value. These interactions serve as a military to corporate language immersion course, while helping operators understand different industry sectors and career paths, find a trusting sounding board for life issues and interact with highly successful local business leaders.

2. Speaker Series – This initiative provides an opportunity for our military heroes to benefit from subject matter experts on how to best address key transition challenges. Topics include gaining insights from lessons learned, transition success stories (for example, how I went from wearing a uniform to landing a 6-figure civilian job), resume writing, LinkedIn, 2-minute elevator pitch, building and leveraging networks. how to be an entrepreneur, conducting effective negotiations, financial gut-check and how to tell your warrior story.

3. Job Shadows – Experiencing a day in the life of a STAR civilian leader provides an opportunity for our STAR operators to better understand potential career paths, which leads to more informed choices of industries that align with their capabilities and passion. STAR Operators have expressed that full-day engagements in different industries and professions are one of their most meaningful and powerful experiences.


4. Fellowships – Many of the STAR Transitioning Operators have a desire and opportunity to experience the industry/sector they are interested in through Department of Defense sponsored Fellowship/Internship Programs. These have been great as mutually beneficial “Test Drives” for both the Operators and sponsoring Company(s). The Operator remains on active duty with their appointed place of duty at  the Company. The Company’s obligation is to provide good insight into the functioning of the business/sector. If interested in this opportunity, please contact Arch McLellan ([email protected] or [email protected]).

5. The STAR Network is partnered with Tampa Bay Job Links (TBJL), which is a non-profit organization that provides professionals with career guidance and job-search coaching. TBJL offers veterans a comprehensive career transition program at a nominal cost.

6. Partnership with LinkedIn – Nancy Laine runs Project Transition_ USA (ProjectTransitionUSA.com) and teaches a free monthly LinkedIn course at MacDill Air Force Base.

SOF Operators – Leadership Competencies

  • High Emotional Intelligence
  • Self Motivated with a Can Do Attitude
  • Breakthrough Thinking
  • Straight Talk & Genuine Leaders
  • Decisiveness
  • Developing Talent
  • Team Leadership
  • Personal Accountability
  • Drive to Achieve

Help strengthen Tampa Bay! Our STAR civilians are eager to participate in local business and professional events, initiate operator panels and roundtables with Tampa Bay C-Suite executives to make them aware of the leadership skills and business value our STAR operators can immediately provide.

Testimonial 1
“At just under two years prior to my retirement, I became involved with the STAR group. We are so privileged to have this incredibly selfless and uniquely talented collection of men and women from the Tampa business community to mentor us through our transition from the military.

Over the course of several individual personal engagements, countless Shadowing experiences and amongst the many dinners specially orchestrated to broaden our individual exposure to myriad market sectors and business models, my anxiety with retirement was assuaged and my excitement about my next adventure into uncertainty grew. Walking through many incredible personal stories of success and failure with the
STAR network helped me realize that true opportunity was available to discover and pursue with confidence.

We are fortunate to be able to benefit from the STAR network’s genuine interest in our success through their knowledge, access, placement and sometimes tough honesty.” (COO- Robotics Technology Firm)
– Jim Miller, Retired US Army Colonel (Special Forces)

Testimonial 2
I will soon conclude 26 years of service in the Air Force and Air Force Special Operations Command, having gained experience in strategy design and large scale organizational transformation.

Through the STAR network, I connected with dozens of mentors that are committed to helping transitioning service members, as well as an incredible network of connections and opportunities in the Tampa area.

STAR helped me translate my military experience into corporate skills sets, which helped me to secure a fellowship opportunity with EY consulting.
Jeremiah Monk, retiring Colonel, US Air Force (Air Force Special Operations Command)

Testimonial 3
“STAR was critical in preparing me for the next chapter. The civilian partners guided and mentored me to the next step by 1. Helping me believe in myself and helping me define what I wanted to do 2. Providing critical guidance and being a sounding board 3. Encouraging me to take that last step.

The best way I can express it is…your first parachute jump….trust in your training, your team, and lastly have the guts to “just do it”.

Last point, there is no direct line to the next phase of your life, sometimes you need to learn the ropes of what drives business before you head down your respective path…” (President: Maritime Technology & Training Company)
– Tristan Rizzi, Retired US Navy Captain (SEAL)

Co-Founders & Co-Chairs: Mark Rosenthal & Anthony Weiss
Board Members
Noel Boeke, Business Partner Lead
Arch McLellan, Operator Lead
Tony Hudson, Logistics and Comms Lead
Cynthia Rogers
Brian Zuckerman

American Heroes – 200+ highly accomplished SOF Operators from SOCOM at MacDill AFB have signed on to STAR since its inception.

American Patriots – 150+ successful local business leaders, who represent diverse industry sectors, volunteer their time and effort to assist our American Heroes.

If you are interested in learning more about the STAR Network, contact us via email
[email protected] or
find us on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/

SOF Transition Assistance Resource (Star Network )

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