JP Cervantes – Making a Difference For Transitioning Veterans and Beyond
JP Cervantes, the founder of the Nous Defions Group LLC (translation “We Defy”), has a podcast called Veterans Transition Support Recon (VTSR). Started as a sort of hobby, he quickly learned that the podcast was a vehicle to help veterans cope with the inevitable issues of transitioning from military to civilian life.
He has always loved leadership and wanted to be a part of the military… even from the ripe old age of 11. And now with his Special Forces background, he’s most definitely in the leadership realm.
The Journey to Special Forces
JP (Jan-Pierre) Cervantes grew up in Puerto Rico. He went to a military school in that nation for a time, then was transferred to a Catholic School. When he got to college, he worked as a bartender while also working in the Air Force ROTC. It didn’t seem like what he wanted. He wanted the drill instructor- Ranger-NCO path. When he talked to the Air Force Recruiter, he advised JP that “we don’t do that.” So he simply walked down the hall to the Army recruiter and signed up. In 1995 he went into the Army Infantry, 82nd Airborne. After a year in Panama he took the Special Forces Qualification (SFQC) and Selection (SFAS) courses and passed. NOW he was closer to his dream of leadership (with a little bit of Rambo mixed in).
JP is a decorated Green Beret who spent 17 years in the Army, the first three as an Infantryman.. After being a Special Forces Weapons Sergeant, then SF Intelligence Sergeant, he retired from Army Special Forces in 2011 as an SF Chief Warrant Officer 3. But a Humvee accident in 2005 nearly took his life, and gave him a perspective that would later be imperative for helping others.
Experience — understanding and purpose, motivating others
While training to re-deploy to Iraq after returning, a Humvee accident left him with severe injuries. He had to be medevaced from the range – a helicopter “just happened” to be flying in the area and was able to pick him up. They took him to UNC Chapel Hill, where they saved his life. The accident left him wheelchair bound for a time.
“If that had happened out of country, I wouldn’t have made it because of the distance to get to a proper medical facility.” JP Cervantes
The experience gave him valuable awareness of how difficult it is for veterans who are stuck in a wheelchair. That knowledge today helps him to help others.
He doesn’t just do motivational speaking, or working with nonprofits, he does consulting as a Terrorism, Military, Security Expert. He also consults with TV shows for that realistic effect, and is an actor himself. He advocates for the Special Forces Foundation as well. His Nous Defions Groups LLC has rescued hostages and human trafficking victims, which is a satisfying part of their job.
“#SaveOurChildren……Some of us actually do. Every day it happens. Human trafficking. While many of us are aware of its evil, we may not realize it sometimes occurs right under our noses. May our eyes be opened to this reality. Let’s bring them home.” JP on Instagram
JP told us they have rescued 3 hostages and 41 human trafficking victims so far.
Even though relatively new, Nous Defions Group LLC has gained contracts with private training groups and have assisted those groups with everything from taking down terrorists to hostage situations and drug cartels. It’s their work with and for transitioning veterans which makes all their hard work worthwhile.
Transition Support Recon Podcasts
JP and his team often work with the people that have TBIs or PTSD. On occasion they have been able to give a transitioning veteran the friendship and assistance they need to get back on their feet. With the suicide level among miltary and veterans so high, he works continually to help those who may be thinking of killing themselves.
“I don’t think people realize the difficulty involved in the transition from military to civilian life. It’s something not everyone talks about. We do.”
He has success stories in that area, so as the podcast grows he hopes that more and more veterans will hear the message and no longer think of ending their lives. He also participated in the 22 Man Suicide Awareness Run in August 2020, and is a regular at Tactical Games.
He found that tactical shooting can be done by disabled veterans if they simply have a little help. So his group often pushes wheelchairs from station to station at tactical firearms events like the Battle Buddy 3 gun event. That website is here.
The podcast called VTSR is an avenue that is unique among veterans programs. This is the introduction on his website:
“Welcome to the Veterans Transition Support Recon Show (VTSR). Sometimes we feel lost, or grumpy with out understanding of why… being a civvy is not always easy after you have been on the front line, running towards danger and being part of the big team changes you. When we leave that team we feel alone, and that is not a truth, but more a feeling. We have done the recce, so let us lead you in. Our show is about Transitioning from your job (military, police, first responder, or even coast guard) to the out side world, and what supports and advice is out there. Our hosts, JP Cervantes, Nate, and Mike served for many years in the military roll, and now they bring their experiences to your ears. Their hope is that you will either gain some laughter or wisdom or both from their tales and guests. Using their guests and road map of services and supports that are available to you. So, download or stream this show alone or with friends, cause your going to be entertained on some level. (individual results may vary) And remember, “Don’t Cash Out”.
We asked JP if he had something to tell our audience. And he had an awesome answer:
“The government spent a lot of money training us as leaders. Most people have to pay for their training. Do something with that expertise and help others be successful.” JP Cervantes
Best wishes, JP, in your quest to make a difference!
Here is a recent episode of VTSR with our own Rick Ferran:
Nous Defions Group LLC Instagram
Military bio page
All photos used by permission