Supply Chain Now Episode 502

“He (Dave Ewing) taught me how important it was to care about the people that you were working with, not just the problems you were trying to solve or the people you were answering to upstairs; but the people on the deck plates making things happen.”

-Rear Admiral Casey W. Coane, U.S. Navy (Retired)

In this special Veterans Day replay of the recent Veteran Voices podcast episode, Scott welcomes Rear Admiral Casey W. Coane, U.S. Navy (Retired) to the podcast.

Admiral Coane served as a Navy pilot and senior officer for thirty-four years. He now serves as a member of Mission: Readiness since 2010 and is currently a Board Member on the Council for a Strong America. On this episode, Scott Luton and Admiral Coane dive into his military experiences, especially a few of his most treasured moments & fellow naval officers. They also discuss a critical mission that Admiral Coane is on now: protecting our national security by battling child malnutrition.

Scott Luton (00:01):

Good morning, Scott Luton here with fuel and supply chain. Now a first and foremost for any of our veterans out there, we are really grateful for your service, and we appreciate all of your sacrifice and dedication to our country. So on behalf of our entire team here, thank you. Secondly, on today’s episode of supply chain, now we’re very proud to feature a replay of a recent edition of our veteran voices podcast, which by the way, you can find wherever you get your podcasts from as part of our efforts to give back and lift up our veteran community. On this episode, you’ll be hearing from we’re Admiral retired, Casey Cohen with the us Navy. Thanks so much and hope you enjoyed this interview.

Scott Luton (00:48):

Welcome to veteran voices, a podcast dedicated to giving a voice to those that have served in our country’s armed forces. On this series, we sit down with a wide variety of veterans and veteran advocates to gain their insights, perspectives, and experiences. We’ll talk with many individuals about their challenging transition from active duty to the private sector, and we’ll discuss some of the most vital issues facing veterans today. Join us for this episode of veteran voices. Good morning, Scott Luton with you here on veteran voices. Thanks for joining us today on today’s show, we had the honor of speaking with a senior level officer that spent 34 years in uniform serving our country in the us Navy. And he continues that service and leadership in a new critical mission today. Stay tuned for what promises to be an outstanding interview here on veteran voices. Quick programming note, before we get started, this program is part of the supply chain. Now family of programming, fondness, and subscribe, wherever you get your podcasts from simply search for veteran voices. As we publish several times a week,

Scott Luton (02:04):

Go ahead and welcome in our featured guests here today. We’ve got an honor of interviewing we’re Admiral Casey. Coleraine retired us Navy. Who’s also a member of mission readiness with us here on veteran voices, Adam McWane good morning.

Casey Coane (02:17):

Good morning, Scott. Good to be with you.

Scott Luton (02:19):

So happy to have a moment to sit with you and pick your brain and learn more about your background and equally as important about what you’re up to now and that the incredibly valuable initiative that you and a variety of other volunteer leaders are, are spending your time and energy on. So we’ll get to that momentarily. But before we do, I really look forward to this opportunity to getting to know you better and not only your background, but what you did in the military as you served in the us Navy. So for starters at McClain, where are you forged to grow up and, and give us an anecdote or two about your upbringing?

Casey Coane (02:50):

Well, I was a beach kid from Redondo beach, California. So a little bit South of Los Angeles, along the beaches of her, most of Redondo palace. Uh,

Casey Coane (03:00):

That was, that was my home, uh, until I went away to college, which was a university of California at Berkeley. So I didn’t leave. The state just went North for a while. And, uh, from there off to the Navy,

Scott Luton (03:11):

What did you major in at UC Berkeley? Sorry.

Casey Coane (03:14):

That were really useful, like political science. I really enjoyed that. I had a teacher in high school that got me interested in that sort of thing. So I went, I went to Cal with the idea of a pre law going into law school. And so political science was a good pre law major. That’s the road I went down and along the way, I ended up in Naval ROTC and fell in love with flying. And so I made an immediate sharp right turn on graduation and had the defense, a Cola Florida for flight training.

Scott Luton (03:48):

Love that. So speak a little more. He is a perfect segue because I want to find out a little bit more about what you fell in love with flying, but what really made you join the military? What, what were you passionate about?

Casey Coane (03:59):

You know, Scott, to be perfectly honest, I’m not so sure it was passion. This is in the middle of Vietnam, 1960. I graduated in 68. So it was a difficult time. It was difficult time, frankly, for being a ROTC student at the university of California, because up there, they didn’t think too much of the war. And I suppose neither did I, but my father had served in world war II. And, uh, one day, uh, as I was getting ready to head off to a school, he saw an ad in the local newspaper about the ROTC program. And I thought, well, you know, rather than just frankly, take my luck on the draft, why not manage my life? And so my dad was army and he said, you know, you’ll eat a lot better in the Navy. And so there I went and, uh, and I really enjoyed it. I mean, ROTC was, was kind of a second home for students that were in that, uh, you know, immediate comradery with the other guys wearing a uniform on a campus like that. And, uh, and like I said, I got introduced to flying one summer, uh, through the Navy and thought, boy, you know, if I’m going to be a Naval officer, I think maybe I want to be in Naval aviator. And, and I never looked back. It worked out to be the thing to do.

Scott Luton (05:16):

So one final question, and I want to move forward into your, your, uh, active military career. What was the aircraft that you first set foot on? And that really started your lifelong love affair of aviation?

Casey Coane (05:29):

Oh, that’s interesting because it is the T 34 that you and I spoke up a little earlier. Uh, I was in a summer ROTC program at UCLA and, uh, they had, uh, brought a T 34 to Santa Monica airport to introduce those of us that might be interested in going that way into that. And so I had one flight at Santa Monica airport and, uh, in the T 34 out over the ocean, and I said, you know, this is fun. This is a good thing. And that was sort of the deciding moment.

Scott Luton (06:00):

Love it. You paint such a picture, gosh, Santa Monica airport. I can only imagine how gorgeous that is. All right. So let’s now move forward. Let’s talk about your active military career three decades plus, uh, serving our country in uniform. If I’ve done my homework correctly, really appreciate that, sir. What was, when you look back and I’m, I’m bet you can write several books and we don’t, I wish we had five hours to walk through so many of your experiences, but if you had a short list of some of your memorable, most memorable commands and experiences or roles, what would that be?

Casey Coane (06:30):

Well, someone will tell you anybody that it’s been a career military person would probably say being in command is what it’s about. And so when you get that first opportunity for command, that’s a special time and a special place. Uh, I had command of a reserve P three squadron in new Orleans, and I spent a number of years there in that squadron. And so that having command of the squatter and having us doing well, you know, there were 400 of us in that squadron, all great young Americans volunteers, cause it was a reserve squadron. They all wanted to be there. A lot of them traveled miles from other States. We had reserves came from seven States to that squadron. So we had a lot of people very dedicated. So that was a special time, I think, uh, before that time I had a tour on an aircraft carrier out of San Diego for two years.

Casey Coane (07:20):

And, uh, you know, I tell people that was professionally a marvelous tour. Uh, the things I learned, the things I got to do as part of, of being staff on that aircraft carrier, uh, learning to drive the ship from the bridge, learning to operate the combat systems, which was my primary job down in the combat information center. I learned an awful lot in that two years at sea, it was, it was quite a special tour. And then other tours that followed the squad ins and so forth. And then I became a flag officer, very fortunately. Uh, so that was well into my career about you’re 26 or so 45 and then for, and travel and do some of the things I got to do, uh, doing that. I, uh, I spent three months on active duty in Saudi Arabia in 1995 as a brand new flag officer.

Casey Coane (08:12):

So I did a lot of traveling there and then probably my most memorable flag tour was three years. I spent as the deputy commander in the Mediterranean. And, uh, again, doing that, I got to conduct personal professional visits to Bulgaria and Romania. Uh, I was based in Italy, so that was special. Uh, but the, the young people that you get to work with at that stage of your career, that you get to go out and meet and see, and, and people like you from the air force. This was 1995. We had a lot of air force in Saudi Arabia. I flew with a lot of them, uh, the army guys that were running our Patriot missile batteries and other things throughout, uh, that peninsula just met some terrific, wonderful young Americans and, uh, people that were dedicated. Because again, if you think about that 1995, they were, they were all volunteers. They were part of our all volunteer force. They wanted to serve one, one to be there, and they were just marvelous people. So I look back on every minute of my seven years as a flag officer is pretty fantastic time.

Scott Luton (09:18):

I think a lot of folks maybe that haven’t served in the military and certainly that haven’t served in senior levels of military leaders that like you just described may not appreciate kind of the international diplomat and an ambassador and the heavy dynamic that is in their responsibility. And so I can only imagine how that carried into each of the conversations you had because you were putting, uh, the best us foot forward in each of those conversations, representing the country with, with leaders and officers from countries around the world. I would imagine.

Casey Coane (09:49):

Well, that is exactly correct. I mean, there were those opportunities when, uh, I’m sitting down in Romania with the head of the Romanian Navy, or I’m in Bulgaria with the chief of their general staff, which is, is like our, you know, head of the joint staff and discussing their world as they were coming out of the Soviet years that they had had, and trying to figure out how they were going to get into NATO back in that timeframe is yeah. You know, amazing conversations. And, and I could tell a story about, uh, representing the U S at the Bulgarian Naval birthday, but it’s a long story. So we won’t do that, but sometime offline, I’d love to share it with you because it told a lot about America. And maybe if I may, I’ll, I’ll give you the short version. Sure. The end of this three-day birthday celebration was admirals, uh, from all around the Mediterranean at a, at a lunch.

Casey Coane (10:46):

And the head of the luncheon was what we would call our secretary of defense. And after this luncheon, uh, he went around the room and thanked all the animals in their wives who were there. And I was the junior guy in the room. And so I was the last one he got to to Frank and I was watching how this show was going. And he had walked up to everybody and offer them a hand and said, thank you so much for being here. When he got to me the last one, he grabbed me by both shoulders and said, I so hope you were not disappointed. Now I was the nobody in the room, right, as a two-star Admiral, but he was worried that I might’ve been disappointed in the whole celebration because I, to him was the United States of America. And that’s a story I love to tell because it says a lot about what we are to the rest of the world.

Scott Luton (11:41):

I sure am glad he took a minute to share that story because we have an immense responsibility globally. And that speaks volumes in that, in that anecdote. And then the other thing I picked up from what you’ve shared is the power of dialogue. There’s no shortage of disagreements and differences in countries around the world. But if you sit down and really intentionally lean in with a, uh, an intention to form these bridges and, and find some common ground and find some, some common understanding and appreciate that common ground, so you can move and tackle and make progress in some of the areas where we may disagree, mess a lot of what I heard in some of your other experiences there. So thanks so much for sharing that experience earlier, you touched on some incredible people that you had a chance to serve with, and those global adventures that you you’ve been on. Let’s touch on that. What are some of the names and individuals that come to mind, whether they worked for you, whether, whether you worked alongside them or folks that you may have served in the, uh, you know, the rank and file, who are some names that come to mind?

Casey Coane (12:43):

Boy, there’s so many, it’s hard to, you know, it’s hard to pick a couple out. And, uh, there’s a long time friend of mine, uh, named Dave Ewing, who retired as a captain in the Navy reserve. And he was my commanding officer when I first got to that squad. And I told you about a new Orleans and he had such an interest in the troops. I hadn’t come to that realization, how important the junior folks in our squadron really were to the effort I should have known better earlier, but perhaps I didn’t. But Dave taught me that he taught me how important it was to care about the people, uh, that you were working with, not just the problems you trying to solve or the people you were answering to upstairs, but the people that were on the deck plates really making things happen. And I think I learned that lesson from Dave, and I’ve never forgotten that if you, whether it’s in the military or any place else, if you want to find out how to solve the problem, ask the guy on the floor, ask in our Navy, the guys on the deck plates that know what’s really going on.

Casey Coane (13:49):

And I think they’ve taught me that. So that was really special. I was several four-star animals that were just, uh, you know, really terrific. Uh, when I was at six fleet, I worked for a fellow named Steve Abbott was a three-star then retired as a four star. But what I would add is that there were two or three of these animals that I was fortunate enough to work for. All of them had, and this may sound funny. All of them had great ladies as their wives. They had wives that also cared about the troops. Uh, and anytime there was a social activity or an opportunity for that to be seen, it was seen, you could tell how genuinely these very, you know, the top of the Navy, there are only 12, four stars at a time in the Navy. And I’m talking about folks that overlapped a bit, but I’m talking about three of them. I got to work for. Um, they just all had a wonderful spouses and together they were a, that represented this country extremely well and took care of our kids.

Scott Luton (14:55):

Well, it was a, it was a team effort. And absolutely, I bet if we interviewed them the animals in this session, they’d, they’d probably tell us they couldn’t do it without their, their spouses.

Casey Coane (15:06):

Sure. And I would tell you the same about mine. I bet she made a lot of trips with me and, uh, and did an awful lot, uh, to, to help out with the troops. Yep.

Scott Luton (15:15):

Quick sidebar. That might be just in general, as, as it’s been neat to see the last 10 years or five years in particular companies and corporate America and initiatives, organizations really doubled down to find ways of providing support and jobs and other resources to our veterans. But the point you’re making there, I think our listeners really need to, uh, to, to connect with, is that the spouses behind the veterans that stand with them through the deployments and, and through all the, the, the challenge is that the good days and the bad days, you know, we’ve got to really double down equally as well and make sure they’ve got what they need to. Right.

Casey Coane (15:50):

Well, I hardly hardly endorsed that. You hear about it all the time via the TV, if you’re watching news and stuff about what military spouses and families, uh, you know, spouses now in the military back when I started that meant wives, it now means men as well as wives that have, you know, stay home and make the household run right. And get things done. But we ask an awful lot of them that, that, uh, doesn’t really get talked about enough.

Scott Luton (16:16):

Yeah. Great point there. I’m so glad you mentioned that before we talk about some accomplishments. I didn’t, we didn’t talk enough about your aviation experience in the, uh, while you’re actively serving the Navy before you were pulled up into the top ranks because you flew P threes, right?

Casey Coane (16:34):

Flew them on active duty in the South Pacific Japan, South Korea, and all the way down in the South Pacific. And then, uh, my reserve squadron, as I mentioned, was in new Orleans and we deployed to the Mediterranean every year. So I flew a lot throughout the entire Mediterranean and Eastern Atlantic.

Scott Luton (16:52):

We undoubtedly have some aviation and through enthusiasts, but for folks that may not be familiar with the B3 airframe aircraft, explain real briefly what that, what that role is.

Casey Coane (17:02):

Okay. It’s, it’s a plane we’ve had since the late sixties in a number of different upgraded versions. And it is just now being phased out and replaced by the newer PA. It’s a four engine. It was a four engine land-based turboprop airplane. And the primary mission is to hunt submarines, which is really what we did throughout all the time that I flew that airplane until we got into the later stages. And they got involved in doing reconnaissance and surveillance over land, which is what I did in the Bosnia Kosovo timeframe. And then what the younger folks continued to do. And Afghanistan flying Overland reconnaissance missions,

Scott Luton (17:39):

Very reliable airframe. And I believe here in the Atlanta area, I know we were both Metro Atlanta and some of the overhaul is taking place. I believe at a, at a fashion facility kind of up in your neck of the woods. I’m not sure if that was on the [inaudible] or the new P newer PAs. But what I do know is that that same plant has been produced in the [inaudible], which is one of the longest, if not the longest running military airframes in history, if I’m not mistaken hurricanes,

Casey Coane (18:04):

They, uh, over the years, they bought some new wings for the P three. The airplane was, was really constructed out in California, but they had bought some new wings and those wings were, were built at, uh, Lockheed Martin in Marietta. Yep.

Scott Luton (18:18):

You’re spot on. I believe it’s been a couple of years since I’ve toured, but there was a P three or two in the, um, the massive manufacturing complex back in, uh, back then. All right. So as we wrap up this segment of the interview, uh, Adam Cohen, uh, want to get your thoughts on, you know, when you spend as much time serving all these special people, these special organizations through, you know, three plus decades, I’m sure, even though you don’t like talking about it, there’s a long list of accomplishments. What’s one or two that really come to mind that you’re most proud of.

Casey Coane (18:47):

Well, first off, I guess I’m extremely proud that I qualified to be a Naval aviator. That’s still a relatively small group. When you think about all the folks in our society that have preceded us, the fact that I qualified to land their planes on an aircraft carrier, even though my primary plane, wasn’t a tactical jet. I’m very, very proud of that. Uh, I looked back and I told my kids that of all the things I’ve done, probably just doing that. And then as you suggested, most of the things I’m proud of, or the accomplishments of the people that I worked with, uh, and because your air force I’ll relate this. When I was in Saudi Arabia for those months, I was the deputy commander of the joint task force enforcing the no fly rules over Iraq at that time. So most of that flying was done by the air force, uh, some by the Navy, but we did a lot of that flying at night, which, which meant that the young maintainers were spending 115 degree days outside fixing airplanes and working on them. And on those, those kids just worked tirelessly to make those planes fly for those guys that had to go do the mission. And so when you look back on what people like that did that you were working with, those are the things that I’m happy to tell people about. Cause that’s what made me proud to be part of that kind of an organization. Wow.

Scott Luton (20:05):

Wow. You know, oftentimes whether it’s it’s in private industry like supply chain or in our, in our military, the maintainers don’t get enough. Credit were loud. I was proud of my time being a part of knuckle busters gathering says we celebrated the maintainer. And during that specific campaign, you mentioned no fly zones in the middle East I’m bet. There were some that sixteens from Shaw air force base that played a role during your time over there.

Casey Coane (20:29):

Absolutely. Shaw was a big part of that organization, sending those guys over

Scott Luton (20:34):

That’s right. We’re really proud of both the pilots and certainly the maintainers and all the folks that are kind of behind the scenes and making sure the mission takes place and happens. And I appreciate your earlier point. It is a very select group to be able to fly in general for a military, but also to be able to land and take off on those moving airfields that are known as aircraft carriers. It’s amazing feat. So yeah.

Casey Coane (20:56):

Yeah. I will add one other piece to that. And that is not only did I get to do that, but I was very fortunate to spend that two years on an aircraft carrier and qualified it to fight the ship, essentially, that qualified to be an officer of the deck on the bridge and, uh, and drive that ship. There is something special about standing out to sea on a Navy man of war.

Scott Luton (21:18):

Yeah, absolutely. And talk about being able to project force in a way that few in history I’ve ever had been able the opportunity to do so really admire that. And we’re gonna have to bring you back. Cause I’d love to dive deeper into that. I’m fascinated with so many aspects of a, of, uh, carrier task force and what happens and, and the sailings. And, uh, so we’ll, we’ll, we’ll do that, but we’re going to wrap up this interview really on this next on really the Centerplate aspect really admire what you’re doing after you have retired and stepped away from active duty with the U S Navy. This report was, was shared with our team here, veteran voices, breaking point child malnutrition in perils America’s national security. I got the executive summary. I bet there’s a ton of research behind it that went into it. I see that the Walmart foundation played a generous role in helping make it happen. That’s really neat to see, but if you could just to set the table a bit, what prompted the research?

Casey Coane (22:09):

Well, mission readiness has been around for almost 11 years. This November it’ll be 11 years. Uh, now we’re over 750, uh, retired admirals and generals that really focus energies on getting others, such as Congress to focus on our nation’s youth. So that’s, that’s the Genesis of what we all are involved in doing in this particular case. Our nation’s youth, uh, about 71%, 73% here in Georgia of the 17 to 24 year old population is ineligible to join the military. They’re ineligible either because they don’t have the academic skills. Uh, and a lot of them that’s the case, or they have a criminal record, or, and this is an increasing percentage about 31% of those 17 to 24 year olds are too obese to make the military fitness requirement. And while the other we’re making headway on those other two reasons, people can’t join the military.

Casey Coane (23:11):

Uh, we’re losing ground on this one. Uh, America is becoming more obese and before we get into, you know, why admirals and generals care, I want to stress that it’s, it’s not just a matter of who can we recruit to be in our military, but admirals and generals, uh, have been around a long enough to understand the national security is more than just having a Navy and an air force in an army. National security is a lot of things about the country. And one of those is a healthy society. Our medical costs drain a lot of energy out of our society. As recently as 2016, I believe it was 42, but 2018 42.4% of American adults are considered obese. That’s a huge staggering number. And while again, we’re concerned with the ability of our military to meet its recruiting requirements. Uh, I heard a doctor just the other day yesterday, as a matter of fact, speaking about, uh COVID and being asked, well, what about Sweden?

Casey Coane (24:13):

And an interesting comment he made back was, well, you know, the sweetest population is a lot healthier than we are. They’re more outdoors, they’re not obese, and that has helped them not have the kind of death rates that other places have had. So it’s, it’s a bigger issue than just what us we admirals and generals like to talk about. But, uh, to get to the nut of your question, COVID the pandemic itself has really exacerbated or brought more to light, both the issue of childhood nutrition. So we can kind of go down that road a little bit, but if you imagine real quickly that you’ve got X number of our population, which is tens in 2017, it was about 13%, if I’m right, but anyway, 11 million children depend on free or reduced school lunch programs. Now consider what we’ve done with school since the summer has ended. A lot of those children aren’t getting the meals they would normally have gotten because they haven’t returned to the classroom. And that’s really brought up a number of things that we could talk about along that line, that a it’s a serious issue for us

Scott Luton (25:27):

First off. I really appreciate your holistic view at looking at national security, because it’s not about the aircraft and your inventory, or it’s not only about the aircraft and the vehicles and the active duty manpower. It goes far beyond that. And I really appreciate how you, you speak to that. And also I think what I admire is we can act in the interest of, of securing our national security and do a lot of other good things that isn’t necessarily about projecting force. It’s about making families healthier and, and making the healthier a number of different ways. So let’s talk about some of the key findings that this particular research, uh, shared shells.

Casey Coane (26:05):

Again, you can imagine what has happened with kids that aren’t getting back in school. Uh, we have always had a summer meals program, but of all the children that qualify for a free and reduced lunches at school, only 14% of them participate in the summer meals program, which is why, you know, being in Atlanta, you know, that there are different food banks and things that do things because of that in the summer. But what the pandemic has done is really exacerbated that and show how difficult that is for all those children that kind of get fed during the year that aren’t being fed now. And one of the reason is, uh, those organizations that do the feeding, meaning the school summer meals program, they use what are called congregate sites. So typically it’s the school cafeteria, right? And there is very little done to allow parents and children that can’t easily transport to get those meals.

Casey Coane (27:07):

Uh, so that is one of the findings of this that’s that has really shown that because of the pandemic we’re seeing even more need for rules to be a little more free as to what the schools can do, what the meal providers can do under law to get meals to kids that can’t get to them themselves. And, you know, we can jump down the road, but, uh, that’s what we’re asking Congress to do is to look at all of these programs that started back in 1946, when general Hershey testified to Congress that during world war two 40%, 41% of potential recruits were turned away from malnutrition, which back then was kind of, they were too thin to not nourished well enough. Now we’re seeing the opposite effect, but the effect is the same. They’re not healthy

Scott Luton (27:56):

Quick comment. And let’s see if there’s any other key findings before we get to some of the corrective actions that the group is advocating for. We’ve had a fascinating entrepreneur own its own supply chain. Now that talked to she was with an organization. She found a called gooder, G O O D R. We’re going to get you all connected. She, one of the great things she shared during her interview with us is that starvation or those going out without is not a supply issue. It’s a logistics issue to your point that these sites were folks that are need, are used to going and getting fed and receiving these, these resources during something like the pandemic, the logistics behind the operational behind all that changes dramatically and the challenges change. So I really appreciate what you shared there and really if we can put our best and brightest amongst us leaders amongst us to figure out, okay, we got lots of supply ton of supply, and unfortunately, a plenty, a lot of folks in need. How do we fix those logistics in terms of those that go without, and then the other half of the coin that you’re speaking to is on the obesity side. And perhaps I’m not sure what your take is if it better access to dietary programs or better health care, or maybe a combination of all that, what’s your take on those that maybe have access to food, but they’re not getting a lot of other exercise or, or dietary guidelines or what have you.

Casey Coane (29:12):

Sure. Well, and that’s, that’s a very good question because one of the things that may be counterintuitive to people is that obesity is also a sign of malnutrition for a number of reasons. But if you think about it easily, cheap foods are fatty foods. It’s easy to get French fries. They don’t cost a lot, right? Fresh fruits and vegetables is a different thing. So families that tend to struggle with what we, uh, we call food insecurity. Let me digress for a second to say food insecurity is, uh, is, is the new buzzword, if you will, about these kinds of things, but what does that mean to a child? Food insecurity means that as a child, I don’t know when my next meal is actually going to happen. And I don’t know from where it will come. I mean that that’s a terrible place to be if you’re a child. So that’s, the food insecurity is a big piece of this, but because of that families that are struggling financially, and now we see more of that because of COVID forced layoffs and so forth, they tend to need now to stretch their dollar. And one of the ways to stretch the dollar is to buy cheaper, more fatty, easy to get food and less fresh fruits and vegetables. So that’s where that part fits in that we see on a danger of increasing OB.

Scott Luton (30:37):

I appreciate you clarifying. I was probably making too simple of an argument because you’re right. I appreciate you.

Casey Coane (30:45):

So let me give you an example for one of the remedies to that. So we have the, uh, supplemental nutrition assistance program, which more commonly would be called food stamps. There’s an incentive built into that program that incentivizes families to buy fruits and vegetables. If they buy more fruits and vegetables, they get more money added to their account. But what we’re going to see now, or what we think we’re seeing with the pandemic is they got less other money from other places. So they’re trying to stretch that dollar and therefore they tend to not take advantage of that, but to buy the cheaper food that stretches their overall budget. So that’s an issue that needs to be addressed. And we can talk more about the specifics, but the bottom line for us as an organization is we need Congress to revisit all of these programs that, that snap program. I just mentioned, the supplemental nutrition for women, infants and children called WIC and the school lunch program and see where we can strengthen those programs, where we can loosen up some of the regulations that deal with those logistics, the distribution of food, where we can work with suppliers because supply places like school cafeterias, that logistics train is also stressed by the pandemic. Those are things we’re asking Congress to look at and see where we can make some real improvements.

Scott Luton (32:05):

Yeah, I think we’ve all acknowledged. One of the big challenges we’ve had in 2020 from a food supply chain standpoint, one of them is you’ve got a commercial supply chain and then you’ve got the consumer supply chain for food. And when one breaks down, it’s very difficult to divert the packaging we see and how one’s built here for the other. And that’s factored into the, some of the suppliers she’s we have had. So I’m hoping as a, as a practitioner in supply chain that we can address some of those things. So that inevitably when we have another huge unforeseen challenge, historical challenge that we’ve had in 2020, that we can, we can make some of that crossover easier, or at least more effective.

Casey Coane (32:43):

I think you made a great point, uh, just to digress for a second, that I have some friends here in town they’re involved in supply chain work, and the average person doesn’t understand necessarily why when you used to be producing a 50 pound bag for a restaurant, and now you need a four pound bag for a grocery store, more than you needed the restaurant bag. It’s not easy to shift all that management of the production of all those materials, the assembly line, the chains that do that work don’t easily go from a 50 pound bag to a four pound bag. It can’t be done. You’ve got to completely change your infrastructure.

Scott Luton (33:20):

Yep. I completely agree, sir. So you’ve mentioned a couple of the things of the corrective actions that you’re at your you and the mission readiness leadership are advocating. What else, what else can we do beyond clamoring for congressional action to make some of these policies more flexible for folks that are in the situation and need a more flexible means to address their food insecurity challenges?

Casey Coane (33:47):

Well, you know, I spoke to the big congressional piece because we are involved every day with Washington, but a lot of these things are much more local, a lot of the rules and regulations that affect the logistics for getting food out to children in need are much more locally driven. So I suspect that, you know, I would answer your question by saying, parents need to get involved. People need to understand that there are things that, that could be done to improve the ease of serving the disadvantaged communities or, and a lot of that’s rural. You know, I think, I think in my own mind, I tend to think of disadvantaged and I think of inner city troubles. Uh, but it’s not just inner city children. It’s rural children that are out there where there isn’t a whole lot of infrastructure. And we certainly have a lot of that here in Georgia.

Casey Coane (34:34):

Uh, that’s where some of the true food needs are, is out there where the, that those you and I that live here in the metropolitan area don’t necessarily think about. So there’s a lot that parents could do. I think that that civic community organizations could do to just become more aware of, uh, of the food insecurities that are in existence and work to help loosen up some of those regulations or help with the logistics itself, the transportation to make those things work. I mean, if, if you’re a school principal today, you’ve got an awful lot on your plate, you could use some help. Probably

Scott Luton (35:09):

I can only imagine. And we got to hug on those educators and the administrators that are dealing with these historically unforeseen, at least in modern American life, uh, situations that you’re dealing with trying to make the best decisions and accommodate for all the needs that kids from different walks of life have. All right. So you’ve already mentioned a couple of times, you’ve suggested a couple different ways folks can get involved. Anything else I want to make sure we don’t leave anything off the table. How else can you, would you share with our listeners that they can get involved in critical initiative?

Casey Coane (35:38):

Well, I suppose one of the things I would offer is you can contact, you know, mission readiness. You can, uh, I want to make sure I get it right. So I’m gonna read you something off my memory. I’m gonna look it up for ya, but I’m with you, but, uh, you know, cause you and I both, we hit an email that we always hit and that’s not necessarily the right place, but mission readiness can be And on that site, you can find a lot of, of ways to get involved with what it is we do. And the mission readiness is part of a larger umbrella organization, which is the council for strong America. And that is strong So there, there are places that people could weigh in. You would find there a ways, uh, things we haven’t discussed that you might want to take up with your local Congressman, your state representative. Uh, so I think that’s a site to go and look at there’s there is a lot of research, so I’m happy to be here speaking to you as, as do the other 750 admirals and generals, but there’s a big research team behind all this. I mean, well educated PhD folks that spend their life looking at child development and what we can do. So there’s plenty of resources available online,

Scott Luton (36:51):

Outstanding. Data-driven, uh, I love that always. Absolutely. So on that note and we’ll make sure Adam or Coleen that we try to make it one-click for our listeners to hear what you’re sharing and then find it in the show notes and connect with these groups. So we’ll try our best to do that, you know, beyond all that. I really appreciate your time here today. I loved your back. You taking the time to walk us through your journey throughout your military service. And then of course what you’re doing now. And it just reminds me one of the last shows we published here was with a former enlisted sailor, lower net Vestal. And one of the things he really left with us is that how veterans have a storied tradition of once they take the uniform off per se, and either separate or retire. So oftentimes they continue their service in other ways. And that’s exactly what you and, and all the other members of, of mission readiness that you’ve mentioned are doing. And you continue to grow debt of gratitude. We have, and I, and on behalf of our listeners and our community here at veteran voices and supply chain, now we really, really appreciate your, your continued active leadership.

Casey Coane (38:01):

Well, I appreciate that, but let’s not, let’s not leave you out of that because Scott, you’re still doing the same thing, worried about taking care of the people that need taken care of. And so we appreciate that.

Scott Luton (38:12):

Well, um, we look forward to having you back. We’d love to get an update as we see new, hopefully better numbers and, and some of the corrective actions start to take root. Uh, we’ve been talking with rear Admiral, Casey Cohen, us Navy retired, also a member of mission readiness, a pleasure to sit down and chat with you.

Casey Coane (38:28):

Happy to chat with you. Anytime Scott, you know, sailors always have lots of sea stories.

Scott Luton (38:33):

Thanks so much. And we’ll have you soon. Thank you

Scott Luton (38:36):

To our audience. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this conversation as much as I have as an honored sit down with Adam [inaudible] and learn a lot more about his journey, all of his service, including the mission he’s owned. Now on behalf of the entire team here at veteran voices, we invite you to find us and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from fondest two on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube. And are you a veteran with a special story to tell, Hey, reach out to us and let us know this is Scott Luton wishing all of our listeners, nothing but the best do good give forward and be the change that’s needed. And on that note, we’ll see you next time here on veteran voices. Thanks for budding

Would you rather watch the show in action?  Watch as Scott welcomes Rear Admiral (Ret.) Casey Coane to Supply Chain Now through our YouTube channel.

Rear Admiral Casey W. Coane served as a Navy pilot and senior officer for thirty-four years. He now serves as a member of Mission: Readiness since 2010 and is currently a Board Member on the Council for a Strong America.

Read the recent report “Breaking Point: Child Malnutrition Imperils America’s National Security”

To get involved in this important initiative, contact the Mission: Readiness team for more information:


Scott W. Luton is the founder & CEO of Supply Chain Now. He has worked extensively in the end-to-end Supply Chain industry for more than 15 years, appearing in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Dice and Quality Progress Magazine. Scott was named a 2019 Pro to Know in Supply Chain by Supply & Demand Executive and a 2019 “Top 15 Supply Chain & Logistics Experts to Follow” by RateLinx. He founded the 2019 Atlanta Supply Chain Awards and also served on the 2018 Georgia Logistics Summit Executive Committee. He is a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and holds the APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) credential. A Veteran of the United States Air Force, Scott volunteers on the Business Pillar for VETLANTA and has served on the boards for APICS Atlanta and the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance. Follow Scott Luton on Twitter at @ScottWLuton and learn more about Supply Chain Now here:


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