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Warrior Mentoring Project


Soldiers' Angels salutes former Marine Dave James, who has spent 15 years mentoring and preparing the next generation of American warriors for service.  On Saturday at 9:00 in Oshkosh, WI, he is hosting a special event at the YMCA to showcase his not-for-profit Warrior Mentoring Project, complete with coverage by local television stations.

After injuries sustained while serving overseas, James left Marine Force Reconnaissance (Special Operations) as an NCO with a reputation for being a "tough as hell Marine who could ruin your day if you didn't measure up," and a list of achievements that would humble anyone.  He then worked as a personal trainer for 10 years.  He was finding his niche in creating a not-for-profit program to help young people prepare for the challenge of Special Operations training when he was severely injured in a motorcycle accident. 

That's where Soldiers' Angels came in.  

James' right leg had been nearly severed at the mid-thigh.  It was a miracle he survived, but the accident had left him unemployed and essentially destitute.  Soon homeless, he barely survived the winter in Minnesota with consistent exposure to sub-zero temperatures and a greatly diminished physical capacity as a result of the accident.  Several times his injuries became infected and as a result, his overall health continued to deteriorate.  Finally, he decided to reach out to his Marine friends for help.  They in turn reached out to Soldiers’ Angels.

Soldiers' Angels jumped into action.  The holiday season was approaching and the Support Center in San Antonio needed to hire help through S.A.V.E. in order to keep pace with the high demands of Christmas.  Dave made his way to San Antonio, where Soldiers’ Angels helped him find suitable housing and put him back to work.   Dave’s quick return to good health was evident in his soon-returning self-confidence.  He was recognized and appreciated for the far-reaching efficiencies he created at the Soldiers’ Angels Support Center in San Antonio.  

Today Dave is a commercial truck driver at a highly-reputable and recognizable transport company.  He's also aiming to kick his Warrior Mentoring Project (WMP) into high gear.  WMP works with young men and women who have joined the military and want to pursue the challenge of Special Operations training.  These young people have signed on the dotted line but have not yet entered boot camp and want to put themselves in the best possible position to achieve their Special Operations dreams once they have the opportunity.

Through WMP, James offers "candidates" specialized training modeled on the Navy SEAL Trident Challenge (pre-Special Warfare) program that he himself worked with for eight years, but adjusted to meet the standards of Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance and the other service branches' Special Operations units.  He focuses on providing motivation, education and leadership, along with the highest levels of safety, as well as authentic materials (from clothing to equipment).  His candidates have successfully gone on to Navy and Marine Special Operations, and have served on quick reaction forces for American embassies.

Soldiers' Angels expects to be officially associated WMP in the very near future as a sponsor, and Mark Tag, another former Soldiers' Angels S.A.V.E. employee, is working with James to produce hats and shirts as a fundraiser for the WMP.

For more information about James and his training, email james.airborneranger@gmail.com.

Good luck on Saturday, Dave!