By Taroue Brooks
What was your experience like serving our country in the military?
My experience serving our great nation was unlike anything I have ever experience. I served the majority of my tenure overseas and in combat environments and training centers. I witnessed scenarios of intense stress and situational awareness moments that challenged my way of thinking and gave little room for complacency. I trained to always see life as a war zone and to fight to win no matter what! And it left me with such a fight inside of me that causes me to not accept defeat. We use the Army Warrior Ethos as a mindset strategy, “I will always place the mission first.
I will never accept defeat.
I will never quit.
I will never leave a fallen comrade.”
We didn’t just recite words daily. This was truly our way of life and embedded in our military culture as a service member. My tenures’ goal was to live it out through and through.
I experienced challenges like all Soldiers and faced adversity but through it all I found a resiliency that is uncommon. All in all I don’t regret my experiences and I gained so much wisdom, tools, strategies, and technical proficiencies that are truly priceless.
I loved my comrades and I miss the interactions and the bonds we shared.
What has your process been for you as a disabled veteran after time served?
My process as a disabled veteran after my time of service was difficult. Living in denial and frustration on the process of transition and how ineffective it is for our veterans made it difficult and sometimes my trained endurance to fight came to a screeching halt. I was taught to fight for others and my country. Selfless Service and sacrificing for others came easy. Yet applying self care took more time then I anticipated and while I had many talents. I had an invisible closet in my memory of trauma that stored and put away these memories for way too long. I needed to unpack those memories and truly deal with them, or run the risk of not being able to serve my community as a result of not making mental health a priority.
I wrote a book about Veteran Transitioning in American Society and then quickly became my own case study.
What has been the most difficult thing you had to overcome?
The most difficult thing I’ve had to overcome is not being in the military anymore. I felt married to my career. I lived and I breathed it! It was my family, community, and way of life. A good example is like Supergirl, Supergirl on earth she was a super hero with super strength. Yet what humanized her or weakened her abilities was connected to her homeland Kryptonite.
In the same way. I helped change policies, implemented trainings and procedures and impacted millions in my service. Yet when I got out of the military I was faced with the reality of a Black Female, who served and a number in a broken system that needs saving and acts of heroism and while I was excited to change the world again. I quickly realize that if I didn’t deal with the kryptonite plaguing my community quickly. I would remain a statistic in the problems that face our American Society.
Arming myself with mental health, community, and accountability in my journey to overcome not being SuperGirl. I put on a new servant cape. It didn’t have cool ensigns like my previous uniform. But it serves with the same compassion, enthusiasm and wisdom. Serving my country in entrepreneurship has truly helped me to be the change I want to see. Empowering my community to truly build a legacy so that our children no matter what and who they serve have a foundation to stand on. Giving them the ability to dream becomes a living reality. Seeing every thought not as, I wish I could if I had but rather what tools do I need to see these dreams accomplished. Having a foundation of tools and resources to live out these dreams out for my future generation is my goals as a legacy builder in my community.
Tell us about your business and its services.
Veteran One Stop Shop LLC. Strives to provide excellent services in training, practical guides, one on one mentor ship and step by step goals that help guide you to the destination that you have for your business. While I toiled and experienced many adversity in business. The common thread amongst entrepreneurs is a lack of proper business development and residual strategy. Most companies know how to establish passive income and design there business to what appeals the eyes. But lack the courage to admit that there are some business processes that are unfamiliar foreign and uncommon in most businesses. Our goal is to be a transitional hub for our community in business.
We consider those who serve our community in the military and in business as Veterans!
Our Company carries many facets of expertise and experience, but ultimately we help business development to its highest goals. From legal structure to assisting in ascertaining government contracts, business grants, startup residual strategy and overall back office development. We focus on the business aspect that people can’t see. Is your business marketable to private companies? Do you have stocks, can you sell to the government, city, state, private, and large companies? Is your business sellable to private investment.
What kind of experience should a client expect to get?
Online Webinars, Conferences, Training Classes and Curriculums, Strategy Sessions, Mentorship Programs with Licensed and Skilled Professionals.
Our clients will gain insight and strategy on how to develop multiple streams of income. Learn the tools on developing streams of income that create long term residual capital.
Resources include but not limited to:
Locating and establishing a facility for business, a mentor; Grant Writing, Business Language, Intermediate Business Glossary Terms, Business Resume, Federal Contracts, Federal Contracting, Business Acquisition; Financial Advice; How to market to private investors, Transitioning Advice and tools that can guarantee funding for specific types of businesses
Where would you like to see your business in the next 5 years?
I would like to see my business as a franchise and a resource hub all over America and the World. Where Veterans, both in our community and those serving in the armed service can have a local community resource catered just for business development and transitioning personnel in all areas of careers. Truly a Veteran One Stop Shop!!
Tell us about some of your volunteer work in the community.
My first love has always been community service, from a young girl serving my church, and school. I love to serve organizations that give back. I serve in many facets in my community. I have the honor of serving as a Board Member in a great organization called CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL SOCIAL CHANGE FILM FESTIVAL. We serve the community by addressing the concerns and needs of our community with wrap around services in legal assistance and changing laws and creating legislation that provide a social impact. We use films and documentaries that expose the issues in our community and provide information and solutions on how we as a community can band together to see change. We are stronger and a mighty force when we unite and support our community through organizations like this.
What is your most proud moment and why?
While serving in my last tour. I came up with an idea to host a Training And Practical Exercise that would stimulate learning and team building. I presented the idea to my commanding officers assuming they would take the idea and run with it. Well my Commander looked and me and says. “Wow that sounds great you should definitely do it”. I look astonished, perplexed and bewildered. I was in the middle of Afghanistan, in an unfamiliar base how was I going to bring people together and get this whole idea approved by the Joint Forces Command within three months and execution. At that moment I was faced with a challenge, Do I accept defeat or look at this Impossible Mission in another way. I saw it as I Am Possible! I strapped my boots gathered a team of leaders and not only did we accomplish this task. It made the Army Times and this training is duplicated annually in war zone all over the world. An idea that changed the world. Truly my proudest moment in my career.
What advice do you have for younger girls who seek to become an entrepreneur?
To every young girl that’s seeking to become an entrepreneur. My advice would be to Not see entrepreneurship as a hustle or a way to escape the pain or an answer to the solution. See it as a way to serve our community and provide excellent care to a community that’s lacking. You are more then able to exceed your goals as a entrepreneur but to truly endure and stand the test of time. You have to ensure your heart is in the right place. Your why is what will drive you when you run out of gas in the process. It’s the inner fuel that never runs dry. Never loses and never fails. Your why will push you when everyone turns on you. Trust your why and it will all come together.
Nikelcia Marcelin: Founder of Veteran One Stop Shop LLC.
Retired Staff Sergeant Nikelcia Marcelin a United States Army Veteran who served during Operation Iraq Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and Korean War (2002-2013) as a High Level Security Clearance Logistical Transportation Supervisor. Specializing in Mobility Air Load Planning and Strategic Military Operation Movement.
Injured while on active duty, she experienced trauma and became a service connected Veteran during her tenure. However, Ms. Marcelin did not allow that to hinder her passion for serving fellow veterans. Currently, she serves Veteran Affairs Mental Health Advocacy Council, the American Legion Post #740 as the Youth Advisory Council and the Post Publicist Officer. She works with veterans in all levels of training certification.
As a Veteran Business Owner she has strategized and implemented more effective ways for veterans to transition out of the military. With her self published book “Are Veterans Transitioning Effectively In American Society”, that has received many accolades in the veteran community and is on platforms such as Amazon. Her book focuses on the trials and tribulations of service members transitioning out of the military and uses statistics and data to show how veterans can effectively transition out of the military more effectively. Prolific problem solver; outstanding planner and organizer, results oriented Logistics expertise with 10 years of combined experience in Transportation, Terminal Operations and Hazardous Materials. Cultivates changes and supports mission readiness and leadership directives; self-starter who is willing to go the distance. Embodies the highest standards of loyalty, integrity and personal behavior continuously. Possesses the skills, knowledge, and leadership abilities to perform in positions of greater responsibility. Unlimited potential; capable of exceptional service in greater positions of leadership. Phenomenal leader, coach, teacher and mentor.
Nikelcia’s Military experience has transformed the military culture and protocol in ways that will help build lasting continuity and stability for centuries to come. Her performance have been featured on major tv stations both abroad and In the US. And has received military honors for such high achievements. Both in service to our country and our community. Nikelcia has served over 10,000 community service hours and received the highest honor with the Presidential Volunteer Service Award signed by the President of the United States Of America. Coached and mentored for leadership roles in the White House.
Nikelcia continues to strive to build a lasting community that strives to better its environment through opportunities and innovative strategies that will leave lasting imprints in our future. Nikelcia serves on several Not-Profit board as an Advisory Board Member and Strategic Planner for long term Stability. As a world leader of Change she advises leaders from all over the world on how to effectively take their dreams to the next level.