Former Undersecretary of the Army Patrick J. Murphy spoke at the August MAC Breakfast on Tuesday morning. Murphy has a lot of experience under his belt in many different facets.

Murphy joined the Army at age 19, graduating the Airborne and Air Assault courses. Following 9/11, he served two overseas combat deployments in Tuzla, Bosnia in 2002. In Bosnia is where U.S. forces halted the worst ethnic cleansing in Europe since World War II. His next stop was in 2003, where he deployed as a 82nd Airborne Division paratrooper to Baghdad, Iraq. Here he led a Brigade Operational Law (BOLT) Team, earning a Bronze Star for his service.

Murphy led the expansion of the Solder for Life initiative, played a large role in accomplishing recruitment goals for the first time in five years and generated over $250 million in public-private partnerships. With goals of better connecting the Pentagon to the 20 million veterans, Murphy initiated opening up over 2500 AAFES retail stores for the first time. This is tax-free online shopping, which helped increase annual sales to over $6.7 billion.

In 2007, he became the nation’s first Iraq War Veteran elected in Congress, representing the state of Pennsylvania. Some groundbreaking pieces of legislation into law he was a big part of include the 21st Century GI Bill, the Repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and increasing the federal minimum wage.

Speaking at the breakfast, Murphy touched on some subjects pertaining to veterans. He talked about how much impact veterans have made in starting global iconic brands such as Wal-Mart, Nike, FedEx, Go Daddy, Comcast and others. He said that out of the over 16 million that served in World War II that half came back and started their own businesses. But out of Iraq veterans, that number is only five percent. As a vetrepreneur himself, Murphy encourages all to follow their passions if they want to start up a small business. He states that it is extremely difficult and most will fail, but if the passion is there then go and give it a chance. Murphy recommends that most will be best suited using it as a side hustle, in addition to an actual job so they don’t bite off more than they can chew.

Murphy co-founded WorkMerk in 2018, a business-to-business tech company focusing on employee engagement and wearable technology. Murphy also founded PJM Productions, a Clio and Sherwood Award-winning company that specializes in military veteran content and development in film and television. He also wrote a book titled Taking the Hill.

Finally, Murphy has consulted for the CEOs of CrossFit, Spartan Race and other national platforms that are dedicated to mental resiliency, physical performance and elite talent. He has put special forces troops through the Human Performance Institute and started the mental health digital platform PsychHub with Patrick Kennedy in the year 2020. Murphy hopes to play a hand in improving mental health for those affected by it.

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