Joe Crane | Airline Pilot and Host of Veteran On The Move Podcast | High Speed Low Drag Podcast

Joe CraneLieutenant Colonel Joe Crane retired from the Marine Corps in 2013 after 24 years of service. He was an AH-1W Super Cobra Attack helicopter pilot and completed 2 combat missions to Iraq.

Joe is now an airline pilot and host of the Veteran on the Move Podcast: Your Pathfinder to Freedom. It aims to provide knowledge and inspiration to veterans aspiring to transition to the exciting world of entrepreneurship.

HSLD: Besides the little background that we’ve give about you, could you tell us a little more about yourself?

Joe: I didn’t come from a military family and first got interested in going to the military for military aviation. I met with a recruiter and became a POC guy and got a contract.

I went to the University of Kansas and when I graduated I became a second lieutenant and went off to flight school. Eight years later I was looking to do something different so I wanted to transition out of the Marine Corps so I actually transitioned once previously in 1998.

I went into the reserves and kept flying for them, got hired by a regional airline and eventually got hired by a major airline- Delta Airlines- and then September 11 changed all of that.

I found myself out on the street without a job and the reserves wouldn’t be enough so I went back on active duty.

Many years later I retired from the Marine Corps after 24 years. I give them a lot of credit for being where I am today.

Click here to listen to Joe Crane,  Airline Pilot and Host of Veteran On The Move Podcast |High Speed Low Drag Podcast 40 on Stitcher

Click here to listen to Joe Crane,  Airline Pilot and Host of Veteran On The Move Podcast |High Speed Low Drag Podcast 40 on Itunes

HSLD: Let’s start with your success quote. What is it?

Joe: My favorite quote is:

“Make the most of the scraps of time” – Douglas Freeman

Focus on capitalizing those 5 to 10 minutes of each day to get stuff done.

HelicopterHSLD: Let’s focus on your military experience. Tell us a story of your most pivotal moment in the US army and share with us some of the lessons you learned.

Joe: That would have to be July 28, 2004. I was in a Cobra outlook over Ar Ramadi and our aircraft was hit by enemy fire. My co-pilot, Lt. David Green, was killed. They took out our left engine and I was fortunate enough to make it back to TQ safely but it was too late for him.

Obviously it is a tragic story. His wife lost her husband and his kids lost their dad.

That was a pivotal moment not only in my Marine Corps career but in my life in general. I think about him everyday and I think about that incident and I try to live the best life I can and use that as motivation to try to be successful and to try to help as many veterans as I can.

HSLD: Let’s focus on your transition out and the failures, challenges and lessons you got from it.

Joe: One of the things that most veterans experience is we take for granted the amount of scheduling that is done for you in the military. In fact some of us get tired of the scheduling and this is why we get out.

You get out and realize that you don’t have a mission statement, a day-to-day schedule or requirements. You’re just actually setting all those goals and objectives for yourself. And so it’s easy to start doubting yourself.

When you don’t know what you’re supposed to be focusing on and for lack of guidance, it can become tough. You really have to reach out to other veterans for guidance and just be aware that you have to keep yourself from falling for the brand new shiny object on a day to day basis.

HSLD: What was that first civilian step that you took?

Joe: This transition that I just went through is probably unlike a lot of other veteran’s transitions because I’ve had my previous transition in ’98.

If I go back to my previous transition in 1998, it was about being a helicopter pilot but wanting to become an airline pilot.

Many of you may not realize but many fixed wing pilots don’t actually think that helicopter pilots are actually real pilots. So you have to establish your credibility as a fixed wing pilot if you’re a helicopter pilot in order to get into that business.

I’m coming out of the marine corps in ’98 after active duty of 8 years. I’ve got civilian fixed-wing experience that I’ve been working on and I go for my first airline interview and I don’t get hired. I go to my second interview and I don’t get hired.

I started to think that maybe I shouldn’t be doing this but I kept at it. I got a third and fourth interview all in the same week and I managed to get ired at the third and fourth airline at the same time.

I picked the one I wanted- Atlantic Southeast Airlines in Atlanta and off I went to Atlanta.


Veteran on the MoveHSLD: Can you share with us an AHA moment that you have had that has really spurred you on?

Joe: It happened almost a year ago. I was just about to go on terminal leave after retiring. I had always been a big fan of podcasting since about ’05 or ’06. I listened to podcasts all the time and even remember thinking years ago that one day I wanted to start my own podcast but didn’t exactly know what to talk about.

I struggled with that for a long time and I tried to think of what I was going to do entrepreneurial-wise. I also wanted to start a podcast but didn’t know what to start it on.

My AHA moment was when I listened to the first couple episodes of your podcast and I realized that you were an army guy and interviewing other people talking about success and entrepreneurship and all of that. The light bulb came on and I thought that’s it!

I’m going to do an interview based podcast helping veterans who want to become entrepreneurs.


HSLD: What is one thing that has you most fired up about your business today?

Joe: Just this week I’ve reached critical mass in my social media where the traffic is doubled from the previous day. The momentum has been building and it is just going.


J{5157FCD5-BCF2-4CEB-B58F-D912A1657FD9}Img100oe’s Lighting Round Answers

  • What is the most difficult adjustment you had to make to the civilian world? Making that transition into being an entrepreneur.
  • What is one of your habits that you believe contribute to your success? I use a productivity app called nozebe. Whenever I get an idea or a task I go in and type it into that and its always there.
  • If you can recommend one book what would it be? Secrets of the Millionare Mind by DR Becker
  •  What’s the best way that we can find you? And one last parting piece of guidance. Joe: Find me on My email is so please feel free to reach out there if you want to.