Please describe your service to our country: 12 (5 Active/7 National Guard) years of service, SFC, 1xIraq / 2xAfghanistan / 1xGCC / 1xGermany

Injuries, if any? 1 Purple Heart (shot in leg), 1 Purple Heart pending (TBI)

When did you retire? Still serving in 19th SFG as a senior Weapons Sergeant

Please describe what the SOF brotherhood means to you: It is a community that supports and motivates each other to excellence. A family that supports you during your hard times and celebrates with you during your good times. It’s a group that you can count on and trust.

How has the transition from warfighter to civilian gone? I had a 2-year break in service. Then came back to the National Guard. The transition was difficult by feeling disconnected to the SF community.

What is the name of the business you started? Operator Athletics LLC

When did you start it? Dec 2016

Why did you start this company? It was difficult to find like-minded individuals in the civilian world. I created Operator Athletics to connect the firearms community. To give back to the veteran community and build a network for vets while doing what we love. I love teaching firearms training and passing off skills and mindsets I have learned. This was my best outlet to do that for myself and others.

Please describe your products/services: Reality based training and battle proven tactial/firearms products

Where is it located? Atlanta, GA

What does this company mean to you/why is it important? It brings the veteran community together while bridging the gap with civilian understanding. I want other veterans to be able to transition to life after the military with as much ease as possible. That is why all instructors will be prior service.

What have been some challenges as an entrepreneur? Building capital has been our biggest hurdle. I didn’t want to take a loan or investors until my product was solid. That is why I did two deployments in a row to fund our operations and grow.

What is the best part of being an entrepreneur? I love that I can create my own success while maintaining quality time for my family.

How did your SOF career prepare you for what you are doing now? (In what ways have you drawn on your experiences as a SOF soldier in your business life?) SOF gave me the knowledge to teach others firearms manipulation and safety. The discipline and drive instilled in me during my career pushed me to never quit on my goals. How I teach and run Operator Athletics is how an SF ODA is run. It’s built on the people to your left and right to succeed. I don’t treat anyone like a boss but like a teammate. Because I know without them I could not do it alone.

What do you offer the consumer not only through your business, but also through your expertise as a SOF Veteran? We offer world class training that is geared toward the individual. Giving them the insight and mindset of SOF personnel.

Who has influenced you as an entrepreneur? My friend and former boss David Linton. He offered me a job when I moved to Atlanta. As I worked with him we would go to the range weekly. He believed in my training ability so much he encouraged me to start my own business. With his help he set me up with contacts to make it a reality.

Why do you live where you live? I moved back to Atlanta to be closer to my son.

Favorite food? Vietnamese

Favorite place in the world? The mountains of Colorado

Favorite movie? Zombieland

Favorite book/books? The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

Pets? Kirby (Blue Heeler), Jameson (Italian Greyhound Mix)

What do you like to do in your spare time? Anything in the outdoors

Words you live by (ethos)? Courage, Wisdom, and Strength to stand tall against all odds