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Tuesday, 11 August 2020 17:38

98th Soldier Wins Dream Automotive Job at Kindig-it Design

Written by Maj. Michelle Lunato, DVIDS Hub
U.S. Army Reserve Capt. Frank Fanelli, a Kendall, NY, resident who is the commander for Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 389th Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 98th Training Division (Initial Entry Training), works on a door handle for the Week 6 Challenge of the MotorTrend Television special, "Bitchin’ Boot Camp" in Salt Lake City, UT. The 17-day televised competition concluded with Fanelli winning a job offer at Kindig-it Design. U.S. Army Reserve Capt. Frank Fanelli, a Kendall, NY, resident who is the commander for Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 389th Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 98th Training Division (Initial Entry Training), works on a door handle for the Week 6 Challenge of the MotorTrend Television special, "Bitchin’ Boot Camp" in Salt Lake City, UT. The 17-day televised competition concluded with Fanelli winning a job offer at Kindig-it Design. MotorTrend Magazine Courtesy photo 

Index

People who are passionate about cars undoubtedly know the MotorTrend Television show, "Bitchin’ Rides."

Capt. Frank Fanelli of the 98th Training Division (Initial Entry Training) certainly did, as a “self-taught hot rod builder and pinstriper” on YouTube.

 

In fact, the U.S. Army Reserve soldier watched the show often as a form of education; he just never dreamed he’d work there. But after competing in a televised special, "Bitchin’ Boot Camp," Fanelli won just that---a job at Kindig-it Design in Salt Lake City, UT.

 

“I used to watch the show when I was younger, envious of what they were doing and wanting to be a part of that, and now I actually work there and I am a part of that crew. It’s kind of surreal,” said Fanelli, a Kendall, NY, resident who was recently the company commander of Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 389th Regiment, 3rd Brigade, in Mattydale, NY.

 

Fanelli’s surprise job was indeed just that. Out of the blue, he received a phone call from someone who had seen his YouTube page, "Fanelli Restorations," and suggested that he apply to be on the upcoming special, "Bitchin’ Boot Camp," a televised building competition where 12 highly skilled fabricators compete for a chance to join the Kindig-it Design crew.

 

Fanelli, being very familiar with the main show, "Bitchin’ Rides," said he didn’t even want to try out.

 

“I didn’t think I was going to make it to begin with, so I didn’t even want to waste my time.”

 

With more than 2,000 fabricators from across the U.S. applying and no formal automotive education, the U.S. Army Reserve soldier just figured the opportunity was too good to be true.

 

“I don’t have a shot at this. There’s got to be so many more talented people out there than me,” said Fanelli.

 

However, his mother and brother insisted he seize the chance at a dream. So he put together his car resume, gathered up pictures of his work and submitted an audition video from his YouTube page.

 

“This is my passion right here. I want to bring my skills to the table with you guys. It’s time for me to take it to the next level,” stated Fanelli in his November 2019 audition video.

 

And with that, he made the cut to be one of the 12 fabricators who would compete for the coveted job at Kindig-it Design. So after being selected, Fanelli packed up his car and headed to Salt Lake City for the adventure, but still didn’t think much of it.

 

“I thought, I will probably last an episode. Whatever. So I kind of went in there throwing it to the wind and tried my best, but not really thinking I had a shot in it.”

 

True to the name, "Bitchin’ Boot Camp," the 17-day competition kept the 12 competitors moving, on edge and in the dark about what to expect next.


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