SITREP 004 - The Veterans Business Collective
18 Series Bag Company SITREP 004 03 December 2021
Recently, a friend of mine Danny, a rootin-tootin MARSOC Raider, spoke to me about a veteran networking club in Wilmington, NC. This group, The Veteran Business Collective (VBC), is a veteran group dedicated to veterans helping veterans, in business. I couldn’t love this idea more. I’ve been thinking about this veteran club for a couple of weeks and began thinking about all the guys and industries that Special Operators have moved into. The idea of the Veteran’s Business Collective resonates with me. At times I think that some of us misunderstood the moniker ‘Quiet professional’ to be ‘Silent Professional’. Others have paid that idiom zero-mind and have pushed forward, carving out a place for themselves in the business world. Companies in beverage (brewing, distilling, wine, coffee) real-estate, finance, tactical instruction and gear, writers, pilots, consultants, and cyber-nerds. That’s just my friends, I know of many more.
I view Viking Tactics as the GWOT business pioneer, Kyle single-handedly brought combat-focused shooting back to the Army. Evan Hafer, from Black Rifle Coffee, launched a brand in an already crowded market and will finish this year with an estimated 230 million dollars in revenue. Dan Brokos capitalized on a long career as a professional Green Beret to travel the country and train upcoming generations (leadfaucettactical.com). After leaving 10th Special Forces Group, Drew White started Benchmark Mortgage (soflender.com/). Drew is an expert at financing options, and I strongly support anything that he does (he’s got the Midas touch). If you are thirsty and, in the Vail, Colorado area, check out Vail Brewing Company. Scott Harrison (10th Group alum) has created an awesome atmosphere to drink some tasty treats. Then there are the guys that are still in. Look at Team Room Design (teamroomdesign.com). Ben has some of the most amazing handmade gifts and designs that I have ever seen, I have 1/60th of his talent. Tony, another talented soldier is arguably the most gifted 3-finger artist that I have ever known. Not only did he draw up the designs for our hoodies, but his website is an art exhibit (badmoon.store/). Matty Devivo, my younger better-looking brother from Boston, has a great Podcast called Thank you, Now What? (thankyounowwhat.com). I’m proud of Matt. I shouldn’t have favorites, but I do. Check out episode 12, Sally Roberts; episode, Noah Harris; and episode 5, Nate Boyer. Matt has 44 episodes and still going. I highly suggest you listen to at least one and give him a like.
I’m proud to be associated with all these fellas. Rather than an eat-our-own approach, I suggest just the opposite. Much like the VBC, let’s start a once-a-month networking event amongst veterans to help one another in the Springs. This doesn’t have to be just SF dudes; this military community is expansive and has a ton to offer. Let’s create a coalition to achieve effects. Let me know in the comments below what you think about this idea.
I had the luck this week to attend a transition seminar put on by 10th Group. Having completed the mandatory Transition Assistance Program (TAP), I was prepared for another round of mind-numbing briefs put on by folks who were required to brief the designated chapters given to them. What was potentially another round of African Killer Bee stings to my soul, turned out to be the highlight of 2021. I met Mike McDermott, founder, and CEO of Arcadia Group (arcadiagroupus.com). During Mike’s two-day presentation, I unexpectantly began learning how to identify and then achieve, my personal aspirational, or strategic, goals. His message was simple. Each transitioning service member should identify their mission and purpose. After identifying my personal 10-year strategic goal, Mike gut-punched me with a zinger. What things do I need to do today, to make my strategic goals a reality? These are my tactical goals, which need to be aligned to accomplish operationalizing my purpose. I will follow up next week with what I learned from Mike. I am so appreciative to have spent the time with him sharpening my mindset. I think he’d be a great fit with my friend at Bragg (good NCOPD/OPD, you know who you are) as well as our future Colorado chapter of the VBC. More to follow next week.
As for 18 Series Bag Company, we sat down Friday with our strategic partners to iron out some terms, inspect our newest offerings, and speak about our metaphorical 25-meter range. Our newest production-ready bags look and feel awesome. Our 18 Echo Communication Bag is awesome. We incorporated durable mesh panels on three sides to allow for heat to escape. Built off our universal frame, this commo bag includes wire management and modular radio inserts to carry whatever the mission requires. My brother from Stealth-Tex is going to send us thermal mitigating fabric to help conceal our commo buddies. His material is like magic to me and like everything else commo-related, I’ll let someone else explain how it works.
The second bag is my favorite. We built a Faraday laptop bag. Insert your computer into the sleeve and any attempt to reach the bag via signal is completely disrupted. There’s enough room for both your work and personal computer. We also created modular cellphone and tablet faraday pouches that can be added to carry all your electronics. I still need to get pictures on the bag, but it can be carried through an airport or downtown without someone thanking you for your service. This bag is the future. Jeff Bezos settled his divorce, forced to pay billions of dollars because his handlers were stuck thinking about physical security and not digital security. Can you imagine thumbing your nose at a $200 bag, to then be compromised? I’m shocked that I haven’t heard more about corporate espionage. I guess an uninformed businessman is just as uninformed when he’s compromised. Travel through the Middle East, Europe, or Asia with your Bluetooth or WiFi on and your phone is essentially an Alexa tied directly to your bank account (Alexa, steal that dude’s money). I can’t find a direct competition to this bag; this might work!
Thanks for reading. Always forward. - Matt
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