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Embolden Valor: Capture, Curate, and Continue

I met Jim Ifland 6 months ago. He was spry, lively, engaging, curious and welcoming. His quality of life at 92 years of age was a blessing most of us will only hope for. I quickly struck up a friendship with Jim and we conversed many times over the past few months. It was imminently clear to me the Jim had a passion for our United States of America. Jim was a patriot. He knew the importance of action when required and could think outside the box to complete whatever problem lay before him. Jim personified the bold character we hope for from the men and women that stand-up and step-forward to serve our nation. Jim’s experience and lessons learned likely have numerous applications in today’s near-peer competition. He would have been a great resource to today’s strategist and young Airmen. Unfortunately, as most of you know Jim passed away this past December.

I recently performed a search for Jim on popular social media sites and only found his funeral service. This is unfortunate, because Jim had so much to share. With today’s technology, we could preserve Jim’s own words, in his own voice, sharing a lifetime of valuable lessons. Jim’s passing highlights a difficult truth. We lose approximately 250 WWII veterans; 600 Korean War veterans, and 390 Vietnam veterans every day. Of the 16 million U.S. service members that served during WWII, under 60,000 will be alive by 2025. With each loss of great Americans from previous generations we lose hard earned lessons regarding the spirit of ingenuity and pathways of action. We need to capture and preserve these stories.

The Embolden Valor Foundation sees this issue and is working hard to preserve the voices behind such valuable, yet perishable, lessons. We are seeking out and capturing stories of bold decision making, unconventional leadership, and impactful innovation. We curate that information with artificial intelligence and machine learning to uncover trends and themes–what we are calling the “First Principles of Valor.” We use the First Principles to create and deliver products and presentations to inspire boldness and courage in current and future warfighters. We need your help.

I am confident that the members of the ACA both have personal accounts and know of individuals who have stories and examples of decision making that should be captured and curated for future generations. Please email us at or visit our website at to share such examples so that our team can reach out and capture as many of these stories as possible.

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