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Keni Thomas

Keni Thomas

Ranger in the "Blackhawk Down" Mission, Award-Winning Country Music Artist, Special Operations Warrior Foundation

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Price range

  • $12,500 - $15,000
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Expert

  • Inspirational
  • Leadership
  • Motivation
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  • About

    In the summer of 1993 Staff Sergeant Keni Thomas was deployed to Mogadishu Somalia with the 3rd Ranger Battalion as part of an elite special operations package called Task Force Ranger. Their mission was to find and capture a criminal warlord named Mohammed Farrah Aidid. On the 3rd of October, Keni and his fellow Rangers distinguished themselves in an eighteen-hour fire-fight that would later be recounted in the highly successful book and movie “Blackhawk Down”. Nineteen Americans gave their lives and 78 were wounded in the worst urban combat seen by US troops since WWII.

    A powerful speaker, Keni captivates audiences from beginning to end as he tells the incredible story of extraordinary individuals and how they fought to bring each other home. Drawing from his experiences on the battlefield, Keni inspires people to achieve greatness by stressing the importance of outstanding leadership at every level, even if the only person you are leading is yourself. His message of “Train as you fight – Fight as you train and Lead By Example” epitomizes the Ranger motto “Rangers Lead the Way!”

    Keni sums it up like this, “Leadership has never been about the rank or the position you hold. It’s about the example you set. There are people to your left and to your right who are counting on you and it’s up to you to deliver. But you will only be as good as you prepared yourself to be.”

    After Mogadishu, Staff Sergeant Thomas volunteered for one more enlistment in the Army. He became an assistant team leader for a six-man ranger reconnaissance team. He earned his master parachutist rating with over 400 military free fall jumps. He completed the Special Forces Combat Diver course, became an Advanced EMT and was one of ten Americans to complete the Belgium Commando Course.

    Keni got out of the Army to pursue his music career and now works full-time as an award-winning country music recording artist and songwriter in Nashville. He and his band Cornbread were featured in the movie “Sweet Home Alabama” and his music can be heard on country stations nationwide. Keni continued to serve our troops with regular tours to Iraq and Afghanistan.

    He is a regular guest on all the major news networks as a military analyst and was also a military advisor for the Mel Gibson movie “We Were Soldiers”. He has been recognized by the President of the United States, by Congress and has been awarded the American Patriot Award. But Keni is most proud of his appointment as a national spokesman for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. They provide college educations to the children of our special operations personnel killed in combat or training.

    “Our special operations warriors are the tip of the spear. Theirs is a dangerous and high-risk mission” says Thomas. “Because of that, their losses are disproportionately high when compared to the rest of our military. Taking care of their kids is the least we can do. It’s what those dads would have wanted.”

    Keni Thomas is a graduate of the University of Florida and the recipient of the bronze star for valor.

  • Videos
  • Program

    Keynote | Inspirational | Motivational

    The Ranger motto is Rangers Lead the Way. Leadership is the core of every skill developed as a Ranger. But, leadership is not a position but rather an example set by every Ranger. Whether approaching the beaches of Normandy or the mountain ranges of Afghanistan, the world is made better when leadership is owned by each member of the team. 

    Keni Thomas’ stories of Task Force Ranger are extraordinary examples of leadership. And, the stories are not about Generals, Colonels or Captains. For example, Private David Floyd was in charge of one person that day – himself. But his leadership and example saved lives.

    In the pace of life, it is easy to lose perspective on our value to others. Make no mistake: Your presence is crucial! The individuals to the left and right are directly affected by the result of your actions. Each team is a puzzle with invaluable pieces. 

    When you raise your hand or assume a task, you have put on the “uniform”. Duty follows that responsibility. Good is never enough because better is expected.

    Keni Thomas helps attendees see themselves in the light of extraordinary. It is a choice made by many each day to impact those around them.

    It is the ultimate definition of LEADING THE WAY… 

    KEY POINTS OF EMPHASIS: 
    Leadership 
    Training and planning will prepare the team for the mission. But, the mission’s execution is about leadership – every person at every level. General Garrison oversaw the entire package while Private David Floyd was responsible for himself, but each carried responsibility. 
    “Leadership is not a position…it is the example you set!” 

    Training 
    Training and testing are vital. Tough, realistic training demands that every team member constantly seeks to improve. Preparation will define your performance. 
    “Train as You Fight Fight as You train” 

    Planning 
    A defined plan is essential to success. Rangers are constantly defining and refining plans for various scenarios. Who, What, Where, How? Planning and revisiting helps avoid complacency and prepares the team to act. “Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail”

    Note: Keni Thomas ends his presentation with a song accompanied by his guitar.

    Keynote | Inspirational | Motivational

    Special Op training is based on this principle: You are only as good as your preparation. When the entire team embraces this philosophy, the standard is high, and the hard work is done in advance of the moment.

    While perfection is not attainable, it is always the goal! Tough, realistic training scenarios provide confidence in your training. The day the team is called to “Get it On”, the unit is prepared and ready. The Boy Scouts are right – Be Prepared!

    For those in assigned leadership, confidence in your team’s execution and abilities is built through training. General Patton once stated, “The single most important characteristic in a great soldier is self-confidence.” Self-confidence is based upon trust, and trust must be gained by situational proof.

    Keni Thomas’ stories of Task Force Ranger are extraordinary examples of leadership and training. 19 Americans died and 78 were wounded in one of the worst urban combat situation since WWII. Without training and leadership, many more American lives would be lost. 

    KEY POINTS OF EMPHASIS: 
    Training 
    Tough, realistic training is a must. Every team member must constantly seek improvement. It is an individual and team responsibility to develop the skills needed for duty. 
    “Train as You Fight Fight as You train” 

    Planning 
    Great planning is the cure for complacency. Situational planning and awareness are a hallmark of the Rangers. 
    “ Fail to plan, Plan on Failing.” 

    Leadership 
    Training and Planning are paramount to success, but execution comes from leadership. But, leadership is in the hands of EACH team member. 
    “Leadership is not a position. It is the example you set”

    Note: Keni Thomas ends his presentation with a song accompanied by his guitar.

  • Review
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    “Everything was great. He delivered an outstanding message and was just as good as the previous time I saw him. Thanks for the great work and professionalism from you and Kelly as well!”

    Growmark Zach B
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    “Keni was absolutely fantastic and engaging! Through his story he was able to connect with every person in the room on both a personal and professional level. Keni generated the emotion and the image we were looking for to motivate and align with our supply base and brought it home with a song. We thank Keni for supporting our event and intend to "Get it On!”

    RAYTHEON INTEGRATED DEFENSE SYSTEMS
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    “Keni's appearance was unique and engaging. He did a superb job of storytelling while weaving a message of teamwork, duty and training.”

    FARMER'S INSURANCE
Keni's appearance was unique and engaging. He did a superb job of storytelling while weaving a message of teamwork, duty and training.
FARMER'S INSURANCE