We're going to have ESPN anchor Mike Hill stopping by in a few minutes to take your questions as we celebrate our Armed Forces veterans!
Just how awful was your bootcamp?
Oh...bootcamp wasn't that bad. I was in the Air Force! It was like going to a country club for me, to be honest. The Marines and Army have it bad.
What was the best thing you learned while in the service?
Team work. How to be a team player. It's something that I still employ in my life today. Trying to be a team player, whether it's in business or my personal life. That's the thing I'm most thankful for out of everything in the service.
Mike....the Air Force to ESPN? how do you make that career change?
I actually did some broadcasting while I was in the Air Force at NSA. I did some TV reports that were classified for the CIA, FBI and NSA. I was going to school while I was in the Air Force. It was a seamless transition to be honest.
The veterans that I've met do seem to be very proud of their service and try to keep that part of them alive by doing something in the community or meeting up with old service buddies or something like that. Do you have something you do to keep your service fresh in your mind?
Yeah, we have a really good veterans group here at ESPN. We are always doing things in the community. I'm going to be MC'ing the ESPN luncheon at the Coast Guard. Thank goodness for ESPN to keep the military a focus here with the company. They treat their veterans very well.
So, did your intel work for the NSA give you any insight into how you can hack into my school's computers and change my grades?
It has. But if I told you how, I would have to eliminate you.
Need to know basis.
Was there ever a time in the service where you thought, what in the heck am I doing?
Even though basic training was a breeze, that first night in basic training. I think I cried for my mamma a few times. And there were others. It's like having water thrown in your face when you're in a deep sleep. As an airman, I had a Marines superviser that made me feel like that every day.
What's up Mike? Big fan. What does Veteran's Day mean to you?
Thanks for being a fan. Veterans Day means the world to me, because the nation remembers and honors the people that have fought hard for this country. It's a pleasure to be a veteran and for the country to remember those that have given them their rights. We feel that every day as veterans. There isn't a day that goes by where if I tell people I'm a veteran that people thank me for my service.
Can you talk about your transition to radio? What made you make the move? You're great by the way!
Thank you. Radio is more of who I am. It allows me to express my true feelings, my passion. I can keep it real, as I always say. I'm a little more subdued becuase I have to be on TV. I love doing them both equally, but radio you see more of who I am.
How difficult is it doing a radio show with Stink, but not always being in the studio together?
I've gotten used to it. In the beginning it was difficult, because I can't see him, and we didn't know when each was going to be quiet. We rely heavily on our producers to keep the traffic flowing. I'm happier when he's in the study with me. I can actually see his expressions which helps me lead him down the right path.
Mike Do you think schools should be out for Veterans Day for parades around the US?
That's a good idea. If I were still in school, I would say yes. But since I have kids that miss a lot of school because of the holidays and snow days, I say education is important. Since I got to go to work, they have to go to school.
Do you still keep in touch with any of your Air Force buddies?
Oh yeah. One of my best friends in the world I was in school with. Because of Facebook and Twitter, I've gotten back in touch with a lot of the guys. Some I didn't even know knew me back in the day. I'm always happy to hear from them.
Were you involved in any action or front lines? Did you do any work to support troops in the field?
All support work. I have the utmost respect for the guys and the gladiators that are on the front lines battling for our freedoms. Fortunately for me, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, I didn't have to fight on the front lines. It's something I wish I could have been a part of, but in the back of my head, I appreciate and respect those that were.
If you weren't an anchor at ESPN what do you think you'd be doing?
I probably would have gotten out of the military by now. It would have been over 20 years. Even though the military taught me discipline and structure, I'm not the most structured guy in the world. It probably would be something like I'm doing now in some capacity.
What advice would you give to high school kids interested in the armed services?
Good question. I love this question. When you're talking to your recruiter, make sure that when you go in and you're looking for a specific job that you're GUARANTEED to get that job in the military. Sometimes you can be recruited and you can go into a field, but you want to get the job that you want that can get you into the job you want in your career.
Secondly, the military is a job. Treat it like a job. Treat it with the honor and respect that the uniform deserves.
Can share one of your most exciting experiences from the service with us?
The most exciting experience I can't share with you because it happened within NSA. There are somethings that I found out or was privy to because of my classification or clearance at the time that I will remember for the rest of my life. But the thing that I will always remember is the relationships you formed. Learning about them on a personal level, whether you're black, white, asian, indian, it's a big melting pot. I will never forget it.
Plus, my base football and basketball championships I won overseas. I will always remember taht.
Thank you for supporting the military. Never forget Veterans Day. When you see a veteran, say thank you for your service. I appreciate you watching ESPN and supporting all veterans all across the country.