Yesterday, Redskins Salute teamed up with the Official Staffing Firm of the Washington Redskins, Lewis Price, and Blue Star Families to host a virtual Q&A between Head Coach Ron Rivera and ten military families featuring enlisted service members, non-commissioned officers, and two lieutenant-colonels. The hour-long discussion honed in on connecting Coach Rivera's military upbringing and his leadership techniques today. Featured clips and highlights of the Q&A will be posted on Redskins social platforms leading into Memorial Day, as Coach discussed recruiting and leading a like-minded team with one mission.
Coach Rivera grew up a military brat, his father having served as an Engineer Officer all over the world. From Maryland and Panama, to Germany and California, the Rivera family was well-traveled. When asked about how having to move constantly affected his college recruitment process coming out of high school, Coach Rivera explained that he was able to stay home in high school while his father served in South Korea. He ended up with 28 scholarship offers and ultimately chose the University of California-Berkeley. He also spoke on the challenges of growing up as a military child, challenges that are shared by numerous others who have experienced a similar upbringing. Despite having to develop new friendships each time his family moved, Coach explained that he remained grateful for the experience and the opportunity to travel and learn about new cultures at a young age.
Technical Sergeant Lisa Bombard asked Coach Rivera about transitioning from the military lifestyle he had known for the past 18 years, to a new "normal" lifestyle in college. Coach responded that he was "in control and in charge" of his life. He had to do his chores on his own and hold himself accountable. It was difficult not having that "safety net" of being connected to a military community. He also mentioned the challenging transition he faced when he went from NFL player to NFL coach. He had to fall back on that military upbringing to fully develop his skills and be successful as an NFL coach.
When talking about the future of the Redskins, Coach Rivera was excited. He spoke on the importance of everybody "buying in" on the ultimate goal, to build a winning and sustainable culture. He explained that, similar to the military, you have to be able to get people coming from all walks of life to work together and accomplish the mission. He has already faced obstacles in that regard, not being able to be with the team in person. Coach Rivera said he had wanted to have his first official team meeting in person but had to have it to Zoom given the circumstances. His expectations for the season, however, remain unchanged. Like any new coach, he wants to grow the team and get better. Play hard, fast, and smart football, he expressed, with the expectation of winning and going into December with momentum having all players give 100% at all times. Like the military, he pointed out, you need to have everybody buy in to the mission to be successful.
We would like to thank Lewis Price for sponsoring this engagement opportunity with our Head Coach and Blue Star Families for their fantastic work in putting this together! Thank you to all the military families who participated and have a safe Memorial Day weekend.