Soldiers and Firefighters are extraordinary people who share common values and a common mission. Thus, Soldier|Firefighter is dedicated to connecting and bringing recognition to the men and women who serve our country in protecting our freedom — and those who serve our communities by fighting fires and saving lives. What started as a vision for a joint recruitment project has turned into a passion to strengthen the bond between these brothers.
From a volunteer fire department point of view, armed forces personnel make the ideal candidate to recruit. Think about it, we don’t have to teach them discipline, respect, chain-of-command or teamwork. In return, we offer them the camaraderie, teamwork, sense of belonging and sense of being valued that so many returning veterans say they miss about active duty. The fire service offers them a step-down and reintegration process that few other para-military disciplines offer.
That’s why I feel so strongly that we have both an opportunity and an obligation to recruit veterans and active military personnel into the fire service. And I’m convinced we can save lives by doing so.
Here’s the whole story about why Soldier|Firefighter is such an important mission. We hope you’ll agree.
The goal of this effort is to connect soldiers and firefighters as a means of:
- Welcoming home returning Veterans and offering them a Step-Down and Reintegration Process after Active Duty
- Recognizing “Two-Hatters” — Those who serve in both the Military and the Fire Service by sharing their stories and experiences
- Encouraging Firefighters to serve in the Military
- Recruiting Veterans and Active Military to serve in the Volunteer Fire Service
- Saving Lives
Whichever challenge you choose: Serve Your Country. Serve Your Community.
Watch our short promo and accept the challenge:
Hi, I’m Tiger Schmittendorf — a 30+ year veteran of the fire service and a life-long admirer of our nation’s military and the people who serve in it. SoldierFirefighter.com is a natural extension of a vision I’ve held for more than five years in hopes of connecting our military service men and women with the men and women who serve in the fire service and emergency services.
My father survived serving in both World War II and the Korean War, earning bronze stars and purple hearts in both conflicts. I now cherish the memories and the momentos I have of his service to our country, including a detailed accounting of his entire service record compiled by my cousin Jim Schmittendorf, a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army. Along with patches and medals, I hold the American flag presented to my step-mother at his funeral in a cherry wood triangular display case hand-crafted by one of his best friends.
I think he would be proud of this effort to fulfill our obligation to our troops by welcoming them home and integrating them into our fire service family and culture. Here’s his story.