David's Top JCOC Experiences, No. 2: Participating Alongside William McNabb and Others

The Joint Civilian Orientation Conference is designed to give non-military members a deeperunderstanding of what the U.S. Armed Forcesdo and what they are-- their capabilities, culture, history, and more. It's a fascinating program, and DavidGardnerwants to share with his listeners a few things he learned from it. In this segment of theRule Breaker Investingpodcast, he talks about non-military connections he made during the week, such as with fellow JCOC-erWilliam McNabb. Name doesn't ring a bell? He's the CEO of Vanguard, one of the Fool's favorite investment firms because of its focus on low-cost index funds. And he was hardly the only remarkable person David met.

A transcript follows the video.

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This podcast was recorded on Aug. 24, 2016.

David Gardner:

I realize we're running long this week. I have my final two. So many amazing things happened, I guess I felt a need to try to cover as much as I could.

Number two: I just want to mention how special it was to [be with] the people I got to spend time with. I've already mentioned some of the leadership. I will mention, shortly, some of the lower levels of the military and conversations I had. But in particular, this program brings together people from all walks of life.

I was part of Team Air Force. We were eight people. We'd all been nominated by the Air Force, and so when asked what my favorite armed service was on a promotional video for the Department of Defense, I, of course, said the Air Force. My father actually went through the Navy. I did have a great-grandfather who was a three-star general in the Army. But I said Air Force, because the Air Force is what made it possible for me to be there.

And also on the Air Force team was the CEO of Vanguard-- one of our very favorite companies -- the incredibly great mutual fund company. We had the commissioner of the Big 12 Athletic Conference. We had an AT&Texecutive. We had the dean of the University of Tennessee business school. We had the dean of the UNC (go Tar Heels!) School of Medicine. We had a film and TV producer. This is just my team of eight, and if you think about the other four teams, we had the head of marketing for the San Diego Chargers. I became a little bit more of a Chargers fan. People from all walks of life.

It is amazing to think back on this time. What I'm trying to convey to you is the more time that we can spend with really quality people -- especially if we can find excuses to spend time with those people when they're not from our industry but from something totally different -- I would have paid quite a bit of money just to spend the time that I did with the group of people I did, regardless of what we were doing over the course of a week. But it was a huge benefit to have that shared memory with that group of people and to have made some new friends, I think, for the long term. That was definitely highlight number two for me.

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