Whenever I think I have a plate that is completely full, I have a guest like Otis “Hoop” Hooper on my #MakeYourMark podcast to remind me how impressive some people can truly be!

Hoop not only has served our country for almost 20 years as a pilot, but has so many other accomplishments under his belt, and wait until you hear about being on American Ninja Warrior! And that’s just the tip of the iceberg...

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What really stands out about Hoop in my mind is his ability to focus, to put a beacon on what he wants to achieve, and once he’s set his mind to it, it gets done.

Just imagine not wanting to necessarily become a USAF pilot, but doing so in order to lead. Think about how hard it is to swim with 3000 other swimmers starting an Ironman Triathlon, and hear how Hoop got through it.


Hoop and I covered a ton of ground, and offer up advice not just for service-members looking to transition into civilian life, but for anyone who feels like they’re in a bit of a rut.

Give this episode a good listen, Hoop truly impresses!


Some Topics we talk about in this episode:

  • Introduction - 02:23

  • Born and raised in Virginia - 05:58

  • Living in a Karate School - 6:20

  • Leading, inspiring and affecting change - 8:08

  • Refueling a plane mid air - 12:53

  • Being part of the 9/11 aftermath  - 15:28

  • Transition into Instructing Pilots - 16:03

  • Flying for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama - 18:25

  • Increasing African-American representation  - 21:15

  • The Challenge of Recruitment - 22:30

  • Serving our Country through Military Life - 24:43

  • Being part of American Ninja Warrior - 26:00

  • What Happens behind the scenes 29:53

  • The Ironman Triathlon - 31:21

  • Training hard to execute well - 35:28

  • Failing was not an option - 37:68

  • The Afterburner team - 40:44

  • Incorporating your personal story into your speech - 44:21

  • Skyrocketing- 45:26

  • Mastering Yourself in Acting 48:31

  • Wrap-up and Takeaways - 51:20


How to get involved

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  • If you’re looking for ways to Make Your Mark, send me an email and I’ll get you going right away.

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