A Life Transformed – turning injury into leadership courage

It’s a long way from comfortable Bloomington, Illinois to the rugged mountains of Afghanistan, but Eagle Scout and Central Catholic High School graduate, Chris Marvin, survived that dangerous journey.

As a U.S. Army Blackhawk helicopter pilot, Chris was severely wounded in a crash in Afghanistan in 2004, surviving with injuries requiring ten major surgeries. While facing these life-threatening challenges, Chris decided he wanted his life to have an impact on others. He found his passion and acted on it.

Chris became the managing director of Got Your 6. “Got your Six” is military slang for watching the other person’s back, to ensure the other person is safe. Aware of the under-utilized talents of returning veterans, Chris realized the best way to thank veterans is to recognize them as strong, skilled partners. Seeking to transform the national conversation about veterans, Got Your 6 works with the entertainment industry and non-profit organizations to promote veterans as leaders and valuable civic assets. Chris also represents Got Your 6 at the Clinton Global Initiative, defining six measures of America’s progress integrating returning veterans into society.

“Veterans are doing amazing things in the civilian world,” Chris told the Pantagraph in November 2013. “We feel these veterans have stories worth sharing.”

Got Your 6 seeks collaborative ways to share veterans’ stories and involve them in their communities — bridging the gap between the civilian and military worlds. Both perspectives have unique lessons, and by working together – using veterans’ skills – the nation and the world can become a better place.

Chris Marvin also serves as the national director of the Fellowship Program for Mission Continues, another veterans’ outreach organization. He holds a seat on the Community Blueprint Advisory Council, and the Military and Veteran Advisory Committee for Habitat for Humanity International. He previously worked with Service Nation.

His work at Got Your 6 has been recognized with awards from the National Conference on Citizenship, Points of Light, and Goodwill Industries. Working to empower veterans and convert their leadership and operational training into positive civilian roles, Chris also serves as a commissioner for the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Commission on Political Reform and is a Truman National Security Fellow.

Chris has a bachelor’s degree from Notre Dame University and an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He is married and living in Philadelphia with his wife and daughters. Chris’ parents, Mike and Kay, still live in Bloomington, Illinois.

Chris Marvin is the keynote speaker at the 5th annual MCLP graduation celebration on Saturday evening, April 5, 2014 in the ISU Bone Student Center Brown Ballroom. Find more information about the 5th annual MCLP graduation and purchase tickets.