No Barriers Warriors

America’s rural communities are home to millions of men and women who have served in our armed forces, many of whom face challenges due to service-related disabilities. CoBank has partnered with No Barriers USA and our customers to honor and support these veterans by sponsoring up to 50 rural veterans with disabilities to experience the No Barriers Warriors program.

The CoBank/No Barriers program provides an opportunity for veterans with disabilities to tackle personal challenges, stretch physical and emotional boundaries and overcome barriers, creating a catalyst for positive change. By participating in demanding activities like rafting, rock climbing and hiking, participants become better equipped to overcome the obstacles they face in their daily lives. By sharing the experience with other veterans, they also build a network of support that can last a lifetime.

Each year we invite CoBank customers to nominate deserving veterans who are interested in this challenging and inspiring program.

In 2021, nominations/applications will be accepted from March 8, 2021 through May 7, 2021. Expeditions take place in July and August.

Expeditions take place at the No Barriers Mountain Campus in Red Feather Lakes, Colorado.

2019 Expeditions

Warriors 6/28 Basecamp - CoBank
Warriors 7/12 Basecamp - CoBank
Warriors 08-02 Backcountry - CoBank
Warriors 08-08 Backcountry - CoBank

How to Apply

Applications for the 2021 CoBank/No Barriers expeditions are now being accepted for veterans who have been referred by a CoBank customer.

The process starts when a CoBank customer nominates a veteran.

CoBank customers may nominate an unlimited number of veterans from their communities for participation. Combat-wounded or training-injured veterans with a VA disability rating are eligible for the program. Nominees may be from any branch of service.

Next, the nominated veteran applies for the program.

Complete the CoBank-specific application form. On the first page of the application, you will be asked how you learned about No Barriers. Select "Corporation from the drop down menu, then select "CoBank Customer" from the sub-menu. At the end of the application you will be asked to enter the name of the CoBank customer who nominated you (e.g. your local electric or agricultural cooperative, a Farm Credit association).

Up to 50 veterans will be selected for the CoBank-sponsored No Barriers Warriors expeditions on a first come, first served basis. The nomination/application period opens March 8, 2021 and continues through May 7, 2021 or the point at which all expeditions are full. Nominated veterans must fully complete the No Barriers Warriors application and medical screening before they can be accepted into the program.

For 2021, first preference will be given to veterans who were accepted into the 2020 program, whose expeditions were cancelled due to the pandemic.

America’s rural communities are home to millions of men and women who have served in our armed forces, many of whom are living with a disability. CoBank has partnered with No Barriers to honor and support these veterans.

With your help, CoBank will identify and sponsor up to 50 veterans with disabilities from rural communities to take part in one of four, multi-day No Barriers expeditions. These experiences offer veterans more than just a mountain vacation. They provide an opportunity to challenge limitations – both real and perceived – and to create a network of support that can last a lifetime. Experiences include:

  • Two moderate-level expeditions will take place July 13 and July 18. These 5-day basecamp expeditions involve rafting, rock climbing and trekking activities. Activities are specifically designed to accommodate participation by veterans with a wide array of disabilities.
  • Two backcountry expeditions will take place July 24 and July 31. These 6-day expeditions will involve a more physically challenging, backcountry itinerary and a mountain summit attempt. One expedition will be moderate level and one will be difficult.

If selected for the CoBank/No Barriers program, CoBank will cover all costs for the participating veteran, including travel expenses.

Nominating a Veteran

CoBank customers may nominate/refer an unlimited number of veterans from their communities for participation. Combat-wounded or training-injured veterans with a VA disability rating are eligible for the program. Nominees may be from any branch of service. Nominations will be accepted March 8 – May 7, 2021. Applicants will be accepted on a first come first served basis, with preference given to veterans who were selected for the 2020 program, whose expeditions were cancelled due to the pandemic. To ensure consideration, customers should submit nominations as early as possible. CoBank will notify customers if their nominee is selected for an expedition and the full team for each expedition will be announced the week before the event.

To nominate a veteran, please fill out the brief nomination form, providing one copy to CoBank and one copy to the veteran. Please be sure to point the veteran to this page for additional information about the program, or provide them with a printed copy of this information. In order to be considered for an expedition, veterans must complete the CoBank/No Barriers application and submit it directly to No Barriers.

If a veteran does not have internet access, they can contact Nate Gillette at No Barriers at nate.gillette@nobarriersusa.org or 970-474-3633 x311 for assistance. Once applications are received, nominees will be contacted by No Barriers to begin the next steps in the process. Additional information about No Barriers and its veterans (Warriors) expeditions may be found on the No Barriers website.

Please ensure nominees complete only the CoBank/No Barriers program application. No Barriers has other corporate partners who sponsor other expedition programs throughout the year. This will ensure that they are considered for the CoBank program specifically.

America’s rural communities are home to millions of men and women who have served in our armed forces, many of whom are living with a disability. CoBank has partnered with No Barriers to honor and support these veterans. With the help of our customers, CoBank will identify and sponsor up to 50 veterans with disabilities from rural communities to take part in the No Barriers Warriors experience which includes one of four, multi-day No Barriers expeditions. These experiences offer veterans an opportunity to challenge limitations – both real and perceived – and to create a network of support that can last a lifetime.

Is a CoBank/No Barriers Expedition for You?

  • Are you a veteran from any branch of the U.S. armed forces?
  • Do you suffer from a service-related disability, whether visible or invisible?
  • Do you have a VA disability rating?
  • Are you interested in challenging limitations and overcoming obstacles?

No Barriers Experiences Available

No Barriers experience includes focused online training to learn the No Barriers Life elements and connect with their team/rope team before the expedition as well as support to accomplish goals set on the trip after they return home.

  • CoBank will sponsor two moderate-level expeditions that will take place July 13 and July 18. These 5-day basecamp expeditions will involve rafting, rock climbing and trekking activities. Activities are specifically designed to accommodate participation by veterans with a wide array of abilities.
  • Two backcountry expeditions will be offered July 24 and 31. These 6-day backcountry expeditions will involve a more physically challenging, backcountry itinerary and a mountain summit attempt. One expedition will be moderate level and one will be difficult.
  • Nominees are also eligible for two “Elevate Initiatives,” which are at-home structured courses that connect veterans to other veterans through guest speaker presentations, facilitated conversation, and activity assignments that help solidify identity, purpose, and community. Two 4-week courses will be offered October 18 to November 10 and November 16 to December 9. Participants will attend two evening meetings per week and should expect to commit up to six hours per week.

If selected for the CoBank/No Barriers program, CoBank will cover all costs for the participating veteran, including travel expenses.

Please make sure you complete only the CoBank-specific application form. Additional information about the No Barriers organization can be found on the No Barriers website.

If you have been nominated/referred by a CoBank customer and are interested in taking advantage of this opportunity, please submit your program application. Applications are considered on a first come, first served basis. Once your application is received, you will be contacted by No Barriers who can provide additional information on the program.

You must submit your application by May 7 to be considered.

The Expeditions

What is the CoBank/No Barriers program?

CoBank, a cooperative bank serving vital industries across rural America has partnered with No Barriers to sponsor a series of four, multi-day expeditions through No Barriers Warriors as well as send a group of veterans to the No Barriers Summit. No Barriers is a nonprofit organization that empowers people of all walks of life to overcome obstacles, live a life of purpose, and give back to the world, through its ground-breaking curriculum. The Warriors program is designed specifically to serve veterans with disabilities.

Through this program, CoBank customers (cooperatives and other businesses serving rural America) are able to nominate veterans with disabilities from their communities to participate in an expedition designed to challenge their limitations and to create a network of support that can last a lifetime.

What does a No Barriers Warriors experience involve?

The No Barriers Warriors program is designed to be an engaging, deep, and impactful experience from start to finish. Once a veteran is placed on a team, their journey begins immediately. Using a combination of online learning modules and meetups, the team begins to learn about the No Barriers Life Elements, which they will focus on during their experience, get introduced to their team, and fully prepare for the experience ahead.

Once in the field, No Barriers uses a combination of physical challenge and individual reflection to have veterans re-focus their identity, purpose, and community. Through physical challenge, they must rely on each other as a team to complete their objective, creating a strong bond that connects them on a deeper level, allowing them to have honest, open conversations about who they are, and who they want to be.

At the end of their expedition, they'll be asked to create goals to work on at home, and be invited to Rope Team Roundtables. Roundtables take place twice per month, allowing veterans to share their progress, lean on their Rope Team for support and share successes. This multi-stage program truly is a catalyst for personal change, and a step into the vibrant No Barriers community.

How many veterans will participate?

CoBank will sponsor up to 50 veterans to participate in one of the four, multi-day expeditions.

Is the program open to every branch of the service?

Yes. The program is open to veterans from all eras and branches of service, both combat wounded and training injured, with visible and invisible injuries.

What kind of disabilities can the program accommodate?

The program can accommodate veterans with a variety of physical disabilities as well as “invisible” disabilities.

When will the expeditions take place?

CoBank will sponsor four, multi-day expeditions that will take place in July and August 2021.

Where will the expeditions take place?

Moderate-level basecamp expeditions will take place at the No Barriers facility at Red Feather Lakes, Colorado. Moderate and difficult-level backcountry expeditions will take place in the Colorado backcountry.

Is there any cost to participate?

No. CoBank is underwriting all costs for participating veterans, including transportation to the expedition locations.

Why should I consider participating?

Each No Barriers Warriors experience is designed to challenge veterans mentally and physically in some of nature’s most incredible wilderness. This is more than a mountain vacation. No Barriers creates a space for veterans to reflect on their past, recognize where they are in the present and then look with positivity to the future. They do so in a spirit of camaraderie; where veterans with a shared background come together to encourage and inspire each other. The No Barriers experience serves as both an opportunity for growth and a catalyst for change as the veterans stretch their boundaries, innovate through adversity and step up to serve others.

What if I am not physically able to participate in an expedition?

Nominees are also eligible for two “Elevate Initiatives,” which are at-home structured courses that connect veterans to other veterans through guest speaker presentations, facilitated conversation, and activity assignments that help solidify identity, purpose, and community. Two 4-week courses will be offered October 18 to November 10 and November 16 to December 9. Participants will attend two evening meetings per week and should expect to commit up to six hours per week.

Why is CoBank offering this program?

For generations, a disproportionate share of our armed forces have come from our rural communities. As a mission-based organization with a focus on agriculture and rural communities, CoBank wanted to partner with our customers to create a program that would allow the bank to give back to our nation’s rural veterans in a substantive way.

Nominations and Applications

I’ve been nominated by a CoBank customer, what do I do next?

Complete the CoBank/No Barriers program application.

If you wish to take advantage of this opportunity, fill out and submit your application as soon as possible. Nominations/applications will be considered on a first-come first-served basis and you must submit your application prior to the May 7 deadline in order to be considered.

Once you have submitted your application, you will be contacted directly by a No Barriers representative who will provide additional information and walk you through the next steps in the process.

How do I get accepted into the program?

The process begins with a phone interview. No Barriers will provide you with additional information about the expeditions to determine your interest and ability to participate. They may require additional information about your disability status. The final step in the acceptance process is a telephone evaluation by the No Barriers affiliated physician to ensure that you are physically able to participate. No Barriers is able to accommodate a wide range of disabilities. This process will help them to understand your needs and abilities and make sure expedition leaders are prepared to help you take full advantage of the experience.

Important Dates

March 8The nomination/application period for 2021 expeditions and the No Barriers Summit begins March 8.
May 7The nomination/application period closes. Veterans must submit their completed application prior to May 7.
June 14No Barriers will complete team selection. CoBank will notify customers if their nominee is accepted and assigned to an expedition.
July 13The first 5-day moderate-level basecamp expedition will take place.
July 18The second 5-day moderate-level basecamp expedition will take place.
July 24The 6-day moderate-level backcountry expedition will take place.
July 31The 6-day difficult-level backcountry expedition will take place.
October 18The first “Elevate Initiative” begins.
November 16The second “Elevate Initiative” begins.