PHILANTHROPIST - ENTREPRENEUR - US MARINE
CO-STAR OF AMERICAN GRIT ON FOX
Mother. Marine. Philanthropist. Entrepreneur. Reality Star. Those are just a few words to describe this decorated Gunnery Sergeant of Marines, Tee Marie Hanible. Tee recently retired from the Marine Corps after 19 years. Her first assignment after retirement was becoming the only female military expert on the new Fox Network, reality-based competition show, American Grit. This is a new and exciting world for Tee. Her military expertise, fitness background and philanthropic mindset will bring viewers excitement and joy every week watching this new ground-breaking television show.
She deployed to Iraq for the initial invasion in 2003 and was the only female to go out with her unit. Her organization, Operation Heroes Connect, connects at-risk youth with service members and veterans as full-time mentors a mission that given her humble beginnings, is near and dear to her heart. Tee Hanible was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois by her adoptive parents Minnie and William C. Hudson. During her early years in the Marine Corps, Tee has dedicated countless hours to her community through her work at places such as Brother Beeno’s soup kitchen and shelter for the homeless in Oceanside, CA; Alternative for Girls in Detroit, MI; Stand Up for Kids DC; and other community outreach organizations at various military assignments. As a recruiter she found a love for working with youth and helping to guide them towards productive futures.
During her service in the Marine Corps Tee deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Enduring/Iraqi Freedom as a single mom. Being the only female in her unit at the time, Tee developed a sense of comradery and a sense of belonging that made her decide to re-enlist in the Marine Corps. Tee later went on to become a Marine Corps Recruiter a job of helping to find the best qualified recruits to join the military’s elite. In April of 2011, Tee founded Operation Heroes Connect, an organization that not only partners service members and veterans as mentors for at risk youth but also provide community outreach services in the DC, MD and VA areas. In 2012 Tee was hand selected to work on the Marine Corps Diversity Initiative, an initiative that played a huge role in assisting the Marine Corps in its mission of opening combat roles to women. In 2013 her organization started its now annual and highly acclaimed 30 Days of Giving campaign in which Operation Heroes Connect collects and distributes coats, clothing, and food items for the almost 600 citizens that make up Northern Virginia homeless community living in what is known as "Tent City". During 2012 Tee was also chosen to represent the state of Illinois at a dinner by the White house honoring local military leaders who deployed in support of OIF and OEF. In 2012 Tee was also featured in the Newsweek Magazine “Heroes Edition” for her community work and selfless service both in an out of the uniform. In 2012 Tee helped to spearhead the Marine Corps' first ever Youth Leadership Academy which took place during Marine Week in Cleveland, Ohio and was subsequently honored by the Mayor of Cleveland for her successful execution of the program and impact on the 250 youth that participated. Shortly later, Tee was selected to speak during the 2012 Heroes Summit Panel hosted by the Newsweek Daily Beast. Later in November that same year Tee’s organization was awarded Black Celebrity Giving's (BCG) 2013 Rising Star Award and the “Action in Community Through Service” (ACTS) 2013 Volunteer of the Year Award.
In 2013 Tee founded Finding Your Vision Expo, a female empowerment expo that brings motivational speakers and other successful women to share their experiences with women who are looking for sisterhood and motivation. In 2014 Tee's event featured celebrity host and R&B Grammy nominated singer Syleena Johnson welcoming over 600 women in the northern Virginia area thus opening up opportunities for other women to bring similar platforms in a much needed area.
Later that year, Tee was nominated by her peers to participate in the 2014 Ms. Veteran America competition raising thousands of dollars for her platform for homeless veterans. Tee went on to place in the Top 10 while also winning the coveted titles of the 2014 "She Means Business" Award and the 2014 "Social Butterfly" Award.
Tee’s other awards include: The 2013 recipient of the Marine Corps Maj McClung Leadership Award for the Marine Corps for her service and accomplishments. On Dec. 6, 2006, Maj. Megan McClung, a public affairs officer serving with I Marine Expeditionary Force, became the first female Marine officer to be killed in action during Operation Iraqi Freedom. McClung was also the first female graduate of the United States Naval Academy to be killed in action. This award recognizes a Marine who displays inspiration, innovative and imaginative leadership both on and off-duty. Tee is also the 2013 C. Haskell Small Award for Volunteer Service which is presented each year by the USO of Metropolitan Washington, Inc. to one active duty service member in the Washington-Baltimore metropolitan region in recognition of volunteer efforts performed while off duty. Nominees must demonstrate a history of noteworthy volunteer achievement for one or more charitable organizations, perform such volunteer service independent of military duty, and also possess an outstanding military record. Tee is the recipient of the 2014 Washingtonian Award (DC Metro), an award presented annually to a person who have demonstrated leadership, selflessness, generosity and compassion in their service to others. To date Tee is the only service member to have been awarded this coveted title.
Recently, on top of becoming one of the breakout new stars of American Grit, Tee has received the 2015 Dunkin Donuts Community Hero Award for her outstanding work in the Northern Virginia and D.C. areas, and is also one of the co-founders and partners for the up and coming “About F.A.C.E Veteran Modeling and Talent Agency”, which the primary mission is to serve as a full spectrum modeling and talent agency specializing in the representation of our Nation's Veterans and their children. Employing our veterans is what About F.A.C.E is all about!
You can also find Tee at Women's March where she serves as the National Military/Veteran Coordinator!