As I sit here at my desk on Cyber Monday, shuffling through spreadsheets, looking at sales numbers and inventory levels, I can’t help but wonder how exactly I ended up in this situation. I’ve never been a big gear guy and my 30 month stint in corporate America made it abundantly clear that chasing profits wasn’t very fulfilling. So why am I right in the thick of this year’s holiday buying bonanza? Maybe a little context will help.
I’ll always remember my first visit GORUCK HQ in 2014. Team RWB business brought JJ, Brandon, and me to Jax for a few meetings and we had a few hours to kill before our flights home. Why not head out to the Beaches and see our new friends at GORUCK?
We were barely through the door before Garrett and Kit were tossing us beers and giving us sh*t about our business casual attire. The first impression told me that GORUCK was a company that valued authenticity and fun, but the next 45 minutes made it clear that they were about so much more. We all stood at a table, joined by Emily and her La Croix, and just started kicking around some ideas of how we might work more together. Before we knew it, we’d constructed a plan for the first Team RWB / GORUCK Leadership Camp…and we intended to host it at GORUCK HQ only a couple months later. Too easy.
Once our informal meeting broke up, I looked around the space and noticed some things I really liked: gymnastics rings hanging from the ceiling, a loaded barbell in the corner, dogs, and some badass military memorabilia. Then I happened upon this framed napkin sketch, which is actually written on a barf bag. It was clearly some kind of business plan, but unlike anything I’d ever seen. There was no investment strategy or market analysis, just a simple scheme, drawn with a pen, probably after a few beers. It mentions USA manufacturing, the Challenge, cheap beer, and even GQ. But above it all, there’s a box for “GBF + other svc” and a big arrow pointing to the words, “Voice for Good.”
Over the following months and years, I spent more time with Jason as was able to decode his napkin sketch. We talked for hours about our shared passion for bridging the divide between Veterans and their communities, about helping Green Berets find purpose after the military, and about building better Americans. It was clear that GORUCK was driven by something deeper than building the world’s toughest gear.
Now that I work here, it is awesome to see Jason’s napkin sketch coming to life. This fall, the GORUCK community raised over $120,000 for the Green Beret Foundation to support their mission of caring for our nation’s Quiet Professionals.
And today, on Giving Tuesday, we’re donating 50% of our profits from sales across the entire site to our good friends at Team RWB. We are thrilled to partner with them and their efforts to enrich Veterans’ lives by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity. So go grab some awesome gear and support a great cause.
I’ve got to get back to work, but feel free to come by and visit us at GORUCK anytime. I’d be happy to grab you a cold beer and help you decipher Jason’s napkin sketch.
Shop #GivingTuesday here.