Our founder developed a friendship with an Iwo Jima survivor who struggled tremendously with his transition back home. One morning, his uncle dragged him out of bed and got him a job at a local company. He credited getting a good job (this job) with saving his life. It gave him purpose again, he sat next to a Normandy veteran, and not long after, he met his wife, started a family, and ultimately had a very successful career. This inspired the creation of FourBlock to support transitioning veterans with finding their new purpose, so that they can quickly begin to have a positive impact in our communities.
The name FourBlock captures the difficulties of the military-to-civilian career transition. On the eve of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Marine Corps Commandant General Charles Krulak (and Honorary Chairman of FourBlock) developed a war fighting strategy to win what he called the Three Block War, where a young squad leader would have to lead his unit through a foreign city. At each new city block, the patrol faced a different challenge: engaging in a firefight on one city block, providing humanitarian assistance on the next, and then dealing with a civil disturbance on yet a third block. Service members operating in Iraq and Afghanistan found themselves in this very predicament. But what happens after the third block, when they go home?
Post-9/11 veterans are incredibly capable at navigating the difficult challenges posed by the Three Block War, yet they are typically not adequately prepared to successfully transition to the fourth and final block, which is returning home and beginning new, meaningful careers. FourBlock supports veterans in successfully navigating this final block. We know that veterans can be tremendous assets to companies and communities. FourBlock provides the education, mentorship, and the relationships needed for them to do so. FourBlock also provides professionals the opportunity to get involved in our national defense by joining the fourth block and supporting those who serve in finding meaningful employment.
We started with an inaugural class of 16 veterans in New York City and have grown into an incredible national network of professionals eager to continue to make a difference in our communities. In 2018, we welcomed over 500 new alumni to our community from 18 different program locations across the country. These alumni are now working at companies like PwC, T-Mobile, Citi, Boeing, Microsoft, and Tesla.
Over 2,000 veterans are now members of the FourBlock community! Our alumni are now working at over 400 different companies all across the United States. Our alumni are also beginning to “pay it forward” and come back to FourBlock to teach, mentor, and hire the next cohort of veterans in transition.
At the very core of all our programs and content is relationship building. We help veterans build professional networks. Everything we do supports the opportunity for a transitioning veteran to have a conversation with a hiring manager, so they both may learn from one another, discuss career opportunities, and begin to build a relationship that may lead to meaningful employment.
Our vision for the future is a nation-wide community that all transitioning service members may connect with wherever they are locally, so they can learn best career transition practices, explore career opportunities, and build their own professional networks.
Whether that community is accessed through a digital app, a phone call, a podcast show, live streamed events, or by participating in a dedicated cohort, we hope to provide a positive career transition experience for all transitioning veterans so they have the information, opportunities and relationships needed to make better career decisions, reach their potential, and better serve their communities.
Join our growing community as we change the way veterans start their next chapter. Join us and find your calling — or join us and let’s unlock their potential.