Please describe your service to our country: 12 years of service. 18C SSG. SFSC, Russian, Spanish.

When did you retire? 2018

Please describe what the SOF brotherhood means to you: The SOF brotherhood is constructed of people from all walks of life, each with their individual intricacies. As a team, we utilize our strengths to offset each other’s weaknesses. The trust bestowed on each member of the team is the hardest thing to do and carries the biggest weight but is made lighter through the efforts of the team. It is this unquestioned trust burdened by the immense weight that holds the heart of the team together. We are diamonds, formed by this immense weight, sharpened only by each other, looking to always be better and do better.

How has the transition from warfighter to civilian gone? Being a Green Beret really helps with the adjustment in that your ability to read people, adjust for wind and make the correct call even when it goes against the grain makes all the difference. It is essential to be able to be given an intent and figure out a way to accomplish that intent rather than ‘do it this way because that’s the way it’s always been done’. Leaders are what we need in this world, and the SOF route is really what sets us apart as men and leaders. Our world is lacking leadership and mentorship. There is a fine line between Leadership and Management and that line is… There is no such thing as Micro-Leadership. Being a GB teaches you about leadership, the world teaches management. Which do you think is better?

What is the name of the business you started? Valiant Vault Handcrafted Humidors. I also own Valiant Flag Co., and Deliberate Action Group

When did you start it? January 2018

Why did you start this company? I started this company because there are no real humidors made to endure the rigors of life. Ammo cans are made to endure war and cigars need to be had by those fighting those wars. This coupled with a severe lack in the market with protecting cigars – a prized possession – is where we fall in.

Please describe your products/services: What truly sets our products apart from any other on the market is our proprietary shelving. Our shelving holds your cigars and prevents them from rolling, thereby eliminating cross contamination of flavors and damage to your cigars. Our shelving also provides for complete 360-degree humidification of each and every cigar, allowing for the most pure and unadulterated smoke of your life.

Our humidors are battlefield tested and designed to maintain consistent humidity allowing you to properly smoke your cigars in any environment imaginable.

Where is it located? Valiant Vault’s handcrafted humidors are produced in the Commonwealth of Virginia and are iconic symbols of what it means to be a true American, from the start of America’s freed trade with the tobacco industry in Virginia, to celebrating our freedom from tyranny and becoming the greatest military power the world has ever witnessed.

What does this company mean to you/why is it important? I established this company so I and others on my team could go around the world with our cigars without them being damaged. From there, I perfected the storage capabilities to allow for them to be stored in any environment. From there, I tweaked the shelving capabilities to allow for perfect humidification. Cigars are for defiant, dependable and debonaire ladies and gentlemen. The quality of the humidor must match the quality of the individual.

Cigars allow us to relax due to the amount of time it takes to smoke one and, in a world where we are always on the go, we need something to allow us to relax and take in the world that passes us by so quickly. We must also have the time to reflect on what we have experienced and decompress. We created this company, to aid in your ability to do so.

Cigars tell a lot about the individual smoking them. It says that you are refined, debonaire, and relaxed, that you are not a person to rush and are approachable.

What have been some challenges as an entrepreneur? Everything is a challenge as an entrepreneur, from the physical, to the emotional, mental and spiritual demands of life and business. Work-Life balance is especially difficult having a family. Living off what you make by hand, providing for a family and your workers, especially in the process of getting the company off the ground. The only thing that comes easy is treating those around you with the decency and respect that you yourself deserve. Heck, even trusting in God is hard sometimes when you are worried about keeping the lights on. But as long as you provide and care for those that are providing and caring for you, and continually pay in forward knowing that you are furthering God’s Kingdom here on earth, everything works itself out. It’s the same essence of an SF team.

What is the best part of being an entrepreneur? The best part in being an entrepreneur is being able to help other entrepreneurs get off the ground and find their footing and giving to organizations that give back to those that have fought so hard for the freedoms and joys we get to experience every day, like Operation Aquatic Freedom, Green Beret Foundation and Green Beret Association. There is something fulfilling in being able to give, even when it is hard or almost impossible to give, knowing that you are touching the lives of those around you and making things better for them.

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?) We believe that everything in life is an experience, something to be drawn on and brought forth to better the world around us. Therefore, everything we have done in our SOF careers have prepared us for this journey, from talking to people, to managing finances, to building, to learning and teaching; absolutely EVERYTHING is meant to benefit those around us.

What do you offer the consumer not only through your business, but also through your expertise as a SOF Veteran? We offer our community the ability to support those who have supported them here at home and abroad. Every humidor is made by our veteran brothers and sisters hands, that our customers get to put in their office, home, cabin or hunting lodge. Each humidor has a story behind by the hands that put it together. We are also big on giving back to the community and doing fund raising for particular causes.

Who has influenced you as an entrepreneur? Pat Harrigan of ZRODelta has been the most influential in my entrepreneur life. He and my brother met in a small college in upstate NY. Come time for the Q, and the 3 of us were all starting at Ft. Bragg together. At that time, Pat had a few business endeavors going on while being active duty. I became very close with Pat and he mentored me in the ways of being an entrepreneur. I witnessed he and his wife starting businesses and making them last. He coached me on business ethics, manufacturing, negotiating, warehouse operations, etc. etc. etc. He and I are still in touch to this day and I am thankful for having him as a friend and brother in Christ. He has molded and transformed me in the business world and I am forever grateful to him for his continued mentorship and being so patient and helpful.

Family? Wife, son and German Shepherd

Why do you live where you live? I grew up in Northern Virginia and swore I would never move back due to the traffic. Little did I know that when I got out of the military, I would be hired as a FLEO in DC where I would eventually meet my wife. Traffic has only got worse, but life has become so much better.

Favorite food? Anything my wife cooks (definitely Hispanic food)

Favorite place in the world? America followed closely by America

Pets? German Shepherd

What do you like to do in your spare time? What spare time? I try to keep a good work/life balance. Running 3 companies is definitely time consuming and I have learned that I cannot doing it all myself.

Words you live by (ethos)? The greatest enemy you will ever face is yourself.

Remember that no tree is ever too big that a small dog can’t pee on it.

Sell the solution to a problem, not the product.

If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.