23V Recon

Fitness, camaraderie, and positive psychology course to actively retrain our brains to live successfully in a civilian society

14-week Reconditioning Program Includes

  • Week-long outdoor wellness trip
  • 3x week fitness and positive psychology
  • Simple daily homework
  • Fireteam accountability
23V Recon is a fun and challenging life-changing experience for veterans. It begins with a team of local veterans on a trip to an outdoor adventure in a distant state. Here we begin to build the strong camaraderie we often miss after leaving the military.

With our new team, we participate in instructor-led workouts three times each week. We get our heart rate up so that our brain releases Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) (some research on this is here and here). With BDNF available, we participate in our brain-retraining program for 30 minutes following each workout. Doing so builds strong positive memories, influences happiness through positive psychology, and most importantly leaves us with a strong team of veterans and civilians within our community!

Four weeks into this program civilians are introduced and become fully participating members of the team, following all the same rules as the veterans.

Dedication and commitment is a requirement to take advantage of this free program! We have strict rules and solid leadership. Happiness is not an entitlement, you have to earn that shit.

Currently Accepting Applications

Duluth, MN- October 22, 2018

Minneapolis, MN - October 23, 2018

Coming Soon

St. Cloud, MN - Winter 2019

San Diego, CA - Fall 2019

Los Angeles, CA Fall 2019

23V Recon is Mobile!

If you are interested in hosting 23V Recon in your area, or at your company, shoot us an email and we'll help you make this happen. info@23rdveteran.org

  • I joined this program not knowing what it really is or how it would change me, and I found a better me. I was in a group that became a real part of life that helped with my depression and my overall opinion and attitude. I was eating better, sleeping better, and feeling better, all because of a missing bond found in any circle of veterans. The support from the program leaders as well as the group is phenomenal, and at the same time, you get to lift and work out problems with incredible people. You never think that something as simple as finding 3 positives about your day can have such a great effect on your mood until someone tells you-you'll be doing for 14 weeks! This program is inspiring and to any Vet...don't just sit down, sign up.
    Jeremy Frydenlund
    Military Graduate
  • It was both an honor and a privilege to be a civilian participant in 23 rd Veteran’s Recon program. It started as an opportunity to show my thanks and appreciation to the soldiers in our community. It ended leaving me unexpectedly changed for the better.  As a civilian, entering the program after the veteran participants have already established a sense of camaraderie was a bit intimidating. Walking into the gym, the team was welcoming, warm and ready to work. There was an immediate rapport.  Three times a week we squatted, lifted and pushed ourselves for 60 minutes. Our trainer was deliberate in programming a unique exercise regimen that applied to all of our abilities and kept us working as a cohesive unit. We pushed together. We struggled together. We succeeded together. At the end of every workout, after being pushed to exhaustion, we had 30 minutes of positive psychology that solidified the group. The opportunity to listen and share our personal stories, triggers, fears, and triumphs, cemented us as a team. No judging, no bitching, no negativity in any way. This was by far, my favorite part of the program.  The intended outcome of the 23V Recon program is happier, healthier veterans. It is proven that this program works. What makes it unique is that it works for civilian volunteers too!
    Molly Ziells
    Civilian Graduate
  • As a volunteer civilian in the program, I can't say enough about what I learned during the weeks I was involved. I don’t know where everyone was at prior to the program but I can give an idea of where people are at after. Changed! A lot of self-help and counseling programs take place in a chair at a table with weekly discussions. In the Recon Program, we did it shoulder to shoulder in the gym. There was a lot of sweat, elevated heart rates, heavy breathing and sore muscles. That physical activity coupled with half-hour gratitude session after is where the change happens. Each participant not only saw changes in what they could do physically but you could see how everyone began to open up and trust one another. At some point, every participant said they didn’t feel like coming but they also said that once the day was over they were very glad they did. This combination of physical exertion and guided discussion jarred us participants out of the rut that we were in. As we pushed each other to improve physically we were also exposed to attitudes and emotions that once expressed we knew we shared both as the veterans and the civilians. Connections were made that we all engaged in the struggle. I appreciate each and every Recon team member for raising their hand and saying “I’m willing to do this, I’m looking for change.” Gutsy.
    Dave Gunnarson
    Civilian Graduate
  • I liked the self-development I saw and experienced. I liked my physical and psychological improvements so much. When experiencing this cause, I felt like I “belonged” to a group and team. I had something to look forward to every day. I had something positive for each day for FOURTEEN weeks. I had something to be proud of and my overall happiness, health, and sense of PURPOSE increased dramatically. This course in self-development has made me finer in ways I’ve never experienced before. We thank you for making all this possible and hope you continue to keep changing veterans lives for the better.
    Veteran Graduate