Online Gym Guide

Col. John Flynn Has Been and Still is Fit to Serve

Flynn said about MGM Resorts Global Aviation Division, “I’ve got a couple of different departments I get to lead and manage. We’ve got several planes and a couple dozen pilots.” He also works with the Security Operations Division and their Military and Veterans Program (MVP) with other military members. In total, Flynn works with over 2,000 people in his multiple roles in the corporate world. That might appear to be very different compared to his military career, but he found that the two fields have more in common than one may believe.

“Some of the things we learned in the military are what we value in the private sector. I think a couple of those things are you learn to be flexible, proactive, how to reprioritize different goals like you would with the military, and you fail a lot. But it’s not a matter of failing. It’s a matter of whether you get back up.”

John Flynn’s commitment to leadership and the betterment of others can be traced back to his childhood. Flynn was the youngest of two children growing up in Irvine, California. Sports was a big part of his life thanks to being around teams such as the California Angels (MLB), Los Angeles Rams (NFL), and others. He wasn’t just a fan of those sports, but he played them as well.

“I grew up playing baseball, football, and basketball, whether it was in my school or in Irvine.”

Football was the sport that Flynn succeeded at the most. He started as quarterback for Mater Dei High School for three years, and they finished as the number one team in the country. That led him to pursuing opportunities to play for Vanderbilt or the United States Air Force Academy. He felt that high school was an important time for him because some of the lessons he learned on the field could be applied off the field.

He was able to learn other lessons from people that served as mentors such as his parents, coaches, and teachers during his childhood as well.

“You don’t fully appreciate those mentors until you’ve kind of moved away, grown up, matured more in life.”

As he was finishing high school, Flynn had thought he was going to go to Vanderbilt, but a change in the head coach position there shifted his sights to the Air Force Academy. One trip to Colorado Springs, Colorado later, and he knew where he was going. In hindsight the choice makes sense for him because he grew up in an area where it was common to see Marines and Members of the Navy. His father served

in the Marines and his grandfather was in the Navy during World War II. Even though he was joining a different branch, the military may have been destiny in the making.

“The idea of flying planes, graduate, and basically go do whatever you wanted to do that the military offers were certainly appealing to me.”

He would be a backup quarterback in his football role, but he got to enjoy several moments with his teammates and learned valuable lessons at the college level as well. He also worked as a coach on the back half of his senior season. He remembered that year fondly because his team finished in the top ten in ranking in the country.

“For a service academy football team to finish in the top ten in the national rankings, it was a pretty big deal.”

Once his college career ended, he committed to the Air Force full-time, where he accumulated more than 3,100 hours as a C-17 Evaluator Pilot. Part of his career was spent in Afghanistan as well as in Baghdad, Iraq and other locations. He was proud to be a part of that effort, but he acknowledged that missions of the magnitude he was involved with took the support of a lot of teammates and fellow servicemembers.

“Fighting in the early days of the War on Terror in the mid-2000’s was pretty incredible. Being in the military and pulling off these successful missions required working with a lot of people.”

Besides working under great leaders and as a part of leadership in both sports and the military, another common theme is being physically ready at all times. That’s why fitness has been an important part of his life, and it still is today.

“Once again, there’s a lot more similarities than differences,” said Flynn when it comes to fitness level for both fields. “Generally, I think staying fit, keeping your cardio going, keeping your muscle tone going is important. Sometimes, you have to carry 150 pounds on your back on these missions, and you have to be in pretty incredible shape to do that.”

John Flynn would move on to work in Washington, D.C., where he worked for the Department of Defense as a Legislative Fellow under Senator Bill Nelson, at the Pentagon, and ultimately would be involved with the ultimate form of leadership – a Presidential administration. Flynn served as a Special Assistant to the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama and as an adviser to then Vice President Joe Biden. After flying for ten years, that change in dynamics could be a shock for most people at first, but Flynn adjusted and found yet another way to contribute to his country.

“It was really educational and insightful after being on the tip of the spear to be on the tail end of policy and then the orders come down and you follow, operationally, those orders,” he recalled. “That was incredibly educational for me.”

Following his time in Washington, he moved on to the position he holds now with MGM Resorts. He is still involved with the Air Force as a reserve assigned to AFWERX. He also commits time to staying in shape because it’s a variable that allows him to be his best for everyone around him as well as himself.

“You can make clear decisions, you can make better decisions, and be more confident in what you’re doing,”

John Flynn wants to make sure the next generation of Americans are aware and positively impacted by the military as well. He took his son to a Veteran’s Day event called Salute to the Troops that paid homage that were willing to give their all to freedom.

“Very important this next generation sees us celebrating service members,” he said.

Even though he is in the private sector now, he feels the military can still be a great option for young people that want to set themselves up for great success in the future. He advises to look at all options carefully before making a final decision.

“It’s a really exciting time to be a 17 or 18-year old graduating from high school because there is so much for you out there that can help you achieve your goals,” he explained. “Do your research, and you should be looking into companies and the military, and even colleges or universities to find the best options for them.


Leave A Comment

All fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required