Boots on the Ground, Come from All Walks
By Michael D. Boll
A few years back, I had the honor of meeting Marine Corps veteran Mark Otto, at our team’s Atlantic City 22-hour ruck march. As a Marine, Mark served on five-man ground intelligence gathering teams under the 2nd Surveillance Reconnaissance and Intelligence Group during the Panama invasion and throughout Desert Shield/Desert Storm. At the event, this motivated Marine strapped on a weighted backpack and walked with us for the entire time.
After the ruck march, Mark joined Operation Rebound and we have been working on some amazing team projects. Mark is a long-time New York Stock Exchange trader, and the Executive Director of the United War Veterans Council (UWVC), producer of the New York City Veterans Day Parade and a nationwide initiative to honor service.
Otto is responsible for day-to-day workings of the UWVC, such as planning and producing the New York City Veterans Day Parade, the largest commemoration of service in the nation; coordination and support for other Veterans’ Service Organizations such as the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Team Red, White, and Blue, and Operation Beachhead, expanding on the UWVC Health & Wellness program which he initiated in the last year.
He also will coordinate a national network of Veterans Day commemorations by 2019, the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI in 2018 and the 100th anniversary of the first Veterans Day Parade in 2019, which honored those who served in WWI, and other commemorations, such as Vietnam Veterans Remembrance Day and Memorial Day.
Recognizing his efforts to increase coordination with other Veterans Service Organizations, the Veterans of Foreign Wars named Otto National Aide de Camp to Commander-in-Chief Keith E. Harman. Otto also conducted a 1,000-mile ruck march to generate support for The Headstrong Project, which addresses post-traumatic stress disorder and veterans’ suicide in post-9/11 military veterans.
Otto created the UWVC Health & Wellness Program, which offers a holistic, therapeutic approach to healing combat veterans dealing with the hidden wounds of war. In its first year under Otto’s direction, the UWVC Health & Wellness Program served hundreds of veterans through equine therapy with Serenity Stables, sailing outings with Sail Ahead, camping with the Sierra Club, art therapy with Ani Art Academies and ruck marches with GORUCK.
Mark had a successful career on the NYSE, becoming a senior trader and a leader within the trading floor community. He has managed portfolios with combined market capitals of over a half-trillion dollars throughout several global financial crisis situations. Mark has served as co-chair of two NYSE committees and as a Senior Floor Official on the NYSE’s self-governing committee.
If you are interested in becoming an Operation Rebound Racing Team member, please feel free to contact Michael Boll (973) 332-1556 or Via Email Mdbollio@optonline.net
Michael D. Boll is a police sergeant at the Union Police Department in NJ. He is currently in his 23rd year of law enforcement service. He previously served as a United States Marine, and is a Gulf War Veteran. He is the founder of Operation Rebound Racing Team, a non-profit organization that helps wounded veterans and first responders enjoy a better quality of life.