Deployments, roughing it, bringing order to chaos, going out on operations on short notice, grinding it out in the dirt and grime, coming to the rescue – if these are all things that you loved about the military, then let me introduce to an awesome organization called Team Rubicon.
Team Rubicon (TR) is a non-profit disaster response organization. Its motto – “Bridge the Gap” – refers to the fact that TR’s missions are designed to fill the initial void between when a natural disaster occurs and when larger, more traditional methods of aid arrive. Team Rubicon was founded in 2010 by a pair of Marines, Jacob Wood and William McNulty, who decided they needed to be involved in the rescue efforts in Haiti. Boasting an impressive team of military veterans and a board of advisors that includes such heavy lifters as Gen Petraeus (ret), Team Rubicon has been involved in over 30 missions in only 3 years and has grown to include over 7,000 volunteers, including military veterans, first responders, and medical professionals.
Team Rubicon takes on both domestic and international missions and missions that are both reactive, think Superstorm Sandy, and proactive, for longer term crises, such as operating a children’s clinic in Mozambique in 2011. Missions are given a military style title; missions include “Operation: Seabird,” a team of 65 TR members deployed to the Philippines for post-typhoon relief, and “Operation: Honest Abe,” which just deployed to Washington, Illinois, after the recent tornadoes there. The use of military tools and terminology continues with detailed After Action Reports, which cover the disaster itself, details on Team Rubicon’s actions, and lessons learned.
Since Team Rubicon isn’t a show-up-for-an-hour-on-Saturday-and-go-home-to-watch-sports kind of organization, those interested in filling a TR volunteer “billet” must meet minimum physical fitness requirements (these are subjective but the fitness level should be sufficient to meet the demands of working in strenuous, bare-base level conditions, for long hours). You must also complete a fairly detailed application, with contact information, details on your military and volunteer service, deployments, relevant skillsets, passport expiration, and other details relevant to TR’s mission. Additionally, volunteers, called “Domestic Team Members,” must complete disaster preparedness training offered at no cost by FEMA. If selected for a mission, Team Rubicon will cover airfare, food, lodging, and supplies, as well as reimburse volunteers for any unforeseen mission-oriented expenses.
Similar to the military concept of Major Commands, Team Rubicon divides itself up into Regions. To learn more about Team Rubicon in your region or to volunteer, go to: http://teamrubiconusa.org/ or check them out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/#!/teamrubicon (Note: The pics posted here are from the teams on the ground and are not censored like what the news media portrays so, just be forewarned, that you are going to see the true level of destruction.) Team Rubicon also keeps a running tab on their ongoing activities on their blog at http://teamrubiconusa.org/blog/
© 2013, Sarah Maples. All rights reserved.