Captain Gerald Coffee
About Captain Gerald Coffee - POW Survivor, Veteran and Inspirational Speaker:
Captian Gerald Coffee is an inspiring example of the power of the human spirit to survive and triumph over the most adverse circumstances. Captain Coffee is a former Vietnam POW and author of Beyond Survival: Building on Hard Times. His speeches tell a story of human survival, focusing on the hero inside all of us and showing how each of us can overcome the obstacles to our success.
In February of 1966, while flying combat missions over North Vietnam, Gerald Coffee's reconnaissance jet was downed by enemy fire. He parachuted safely but was captured immediately. For the next seven years he was held as a POW in the Communist prisons of North Vietnam. After his repatriation in February, 1973, Jerry returned to operation duties. He retired from active duty in the Navy after 28 years of service.
His military decorations include the Silver Star, two awards of the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, two Bronze Stars, the Air Medal, two Purple Hearts, and the Vietnam Service Medal with 13 stars.
In his message of going Beyond Survival, Jerry draws not only from insights derived from the prison experience, but also from the perspective of his experiences since then: earning a Masters Degree in political science from Cal-Berkeley, studying at the prestigious National Defense University in Washington, D.C., Navy command and staff assignments, authoring books, writing a weekly political column, and his continuing interaction with hundreds of America's corporations and associations, military units, civic groups and schools as a professional speaker.
Million Dollar Round Table selected him as one of its top twelve most popular, highest-rated, main platform speakers for the past 20 years. His numerous civilian awards include the George Washington Honor Medal from the Freedom Foundation at Valley Forge.
Captain Coffee is a highly respected commentator on current political, economic, and social issues, seeing most in terms of opportunities yet to be seized by heroic leadership. He has appeared on Larry King Live (twice), Talk Back Live, NBC news, and numerous radio and TV talk shows. His book, Beyond Survival, condensed by Readers Digest, is on audio-cassette by Nightingale-Conant, and was made into an award-winning play called
What Captain Gerald Coffee Talks About:
In his talk, Beyond Survival, Captain Coffee gives a moving account of his incredible experience from capture to ultimate release. His faith - in himself, others, his country, and his God - was the key to turning an unbelievably difficult, potentially devastating experience into an opportunity for personal growth. Captain Gerald Coffee is an inspiring example of the power of the human spirit to survive and triumph over the most adverse circumstances. His story conveys a positive message that we each have the potential to survive any ordeal, overcome any obstacle, achieve any goal. After hearing him, those in the audience will look at their challenges and adversities in a totally different way.
Captain Coffee uses
tap code to personalize his message. Prisoners were forbidden from communicating with each other, so they employed the centuries old prisoners tap code based on this alphabet matrix to tap out covert messages to each other on the walls of their cells. Captain Coffee demonstrates tap code to illustrate the importance of communication, both in prison as well as in corporate and personal lives. His message focuses on communication, leadership, team work and mastering change.
Captain Coffee is the most powerful inspirational speaker I've ever heard. Hearing him is an unforgettable moving experience.
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