Frequently Asked Questions

Take a look at our FAQs below to learn more about STAR.

Operator FAQs

How do I get started?

This network is designed for you the operator.  The STAR Network provides the opportunity to connect with business leaders in the Tampa Bay area the rest is up to you.

What can the business partners help me with?

Converting your military language into business language. Resumes and other connections outside of the network.

How many events can I go to?

STAR events are held every month.  If you are more then 12 months from retirement, we ask that you attend every other event and attend every large event (held twice a year).

Is there a cost?

We ask that you pay a one-time $50-dollar membership fee to cover the costs host and speaker gifts.

Can I bring a friend or spouse?

No, while there is a spouse event, we ask that all participants attend these events alone.

Can I recruit other SOF members?

You are encouraged to become a STAR brand ambassador. Introductions should be made to the STAR representatives at SOCOM.

How should I dress for the event?

All events are business casual; suit jacket, button down shirt, slacks. No jeans, cargo pants, sneakers.

Business Partner FAQs

How do I become a STAR Business Partner?

First, complete the application on this website. You will be then be contacted by a STAR representative to arrange an initial meeting to discuss the next steps.

What are the expectations of STAR Business Partners?

Business Partners are expected to host and fund at least one monthly STAR dinner.  Business Partners are also expected to attend monthly dinners (as available), guide, mentor, and connect with SOF Operators outside of dinner events (coffee, lunches, etc), host job shadow visits (as able), and serve as STAR brand ambassadors.

Is there a cost to becoming a STAR Business Partner?

Other than the hosted dinner, there is no membership cost to joining STAR.  Business Partners are asked to donate their most precious resource to support our operators – time.

What can I expect to gain from STAR participation?

STAR allows an opportunity for patriotic Business Partners to serve those who dedicated their lives to serving our country.  STAR is not a recruitment or placement program, and it does not serve to replace formal transition education programs.  Rather, STAR exists to provide an operators with an opportunity to prepare themselves for a successful follow on career. There should be no expectation of financial gain from participation in the STAR program.

How can I best support STAR Operators?

STAR Business Partners play a critical role in guiding and mentoring SOF Operators through their transition out of military service.  Some partners excel as helping operators find the path to their next passion.  Other partners help operators refine how the present and promote themselves in the business community.  Some partners leverage their extensive network to unlock opportunities for our operators.  Partners also host operators in job shadow visits, and provide individual advice and council to operators in their transition journey.

Can STAR Business Partners recruit other business partners?

Of course! We encourage you to serve as a STAR brand ambassador, and help expand the network.

What are the guidelines for STAR dinner events?

All events are business casual; suit jacket, button down shirt, slacks. No jeans, cargo pants, sneakers. STAR dinners are for SOF operators and Business Partners only, no spouses or guests unless specifically invited.

I can't say enough about what the STAR program is doing for transitioning senior leaders in the Special Operations community or what it has done for me in the process.

Shawnretired Colonel, Army Ranger

I'm a recently retired Green Beret Colonel with nearly 3 decades of experience in global special operations and commanding bases overseas. The dedicated mentors at STAR opened doors to opportunities I wouldn't have had access to. Transition was challenging, but through STAR I found a VP role shaping the operations and strategy of a Tampa Bay Times Top 20 Workplace.

Edretired Colonel, Army Special Forces

I'm a retiring SEAL Captain with a 29-year military background that has included various leadership roles throughout the SEAL Teams. My next chapter is the result of working with STAR, which helped me focus on “what’s next” by introducing me to key community members in several industries.   As a result, I have taken a path I would never have considered before STAR.

Johnretired Captain, SEAL

I am a retired Army Special Operations Aviation Colonel with a diverse background in operations, resourcing, and acquisition. Through STAR I discovered how to market my passion for leader development, resulting in multiple academic and commercial business opportunities.  Ultimately, I found a role working with high net worth individuals to develop strategies to achieve personal and financial goals for a leading financial group based in Tampa.

Joelretired Colonel, 160th SOAR (Night Stalker)


Get started as an Operator transitioning from military service into the business environment.

Business Partners

Register as a business partner and help mentor Operators.


Former STAR Operators who have graduated from the program and want to stay connected.