OpsLens Deck of 52 Most Wanted Post 9/11 Frontline Leaders
In 2018, as a spin-off and salute to the original 2003 deck of 52 Most Wanted playing cards, let’s honor post 9/11 frontline leaders here at home. Once a week, for 52 weeks this year, OpsLens will post a card highlighting one of the 52 Most Wanted Post 9/11 Frontline Leaders. You’ll learn the top facts about their business or organization, as well as why they made the list, which comes down to impact, scalability, health, and unique value proposition.
I encourage you to look for these weekly updates, share the card with your network, and support or buy the products and services they offer. See the 52 Most Wanted Post 9/11 Frontline Leaders launch story here.
7 of Spades| GORUCK
The word ruck was not part of my vocabulary until I joined the military. Then it became all-too familiar. You see, ruck is short for rucksack, or what civilians might refer to as a backpack. And these ruck “backpack” things are often weighted down with every unspoken essential a service member might require. Founder and U.S. Army veteran and former Special Forces Green Beret Jason McCarthy knows all too well about this necessity. His personal journey offers one of the most compelling “pain points” that I’ve read about all year, which led to the launch of GORUCK in 2008. GORUCK is an American brand with Special Forces roots that designs, tests, and proudly overbuilds gear and performance apparel—in the U.S.—so that it is tough enough for war, but simple and beautiful enough for fashionistas in New York City.
Oh, by the way, when the company says tests, that translates to Green Berets judging the quality. And this is often done at the 1000+ events every year that are just as tightly woven into this brand and business model as the rucksack itself. According to their website, more than a hundred decorated combat veterans of Special Forces lead a variety of events in communities across the country—building teams and empowering participants from all walks of life to lead active, engaged lives.
For more on the numbers, check out the in-depth dive into the company’s history in a must-read recent Forbes article that describes how McCarthy started GORUCK with about $75,000 he and his wife had from deployments, yet by last year, GORUCK hit $15.5 million in revenue and this year the company is expecting $20 million. This dynamic, impactful company is living the intent of the word ruck as a verb—taking action, full of energy, and bound by purpose. It’s clear to see their pillars have ensured a steady cadence towards success: excellence, toughness, and adaptability.
GORUCK is a frontline leader that should be on your list of most-wanted businesses to support in 2018.
Frontline Leader (Founders): Jason McCarthy.
Name of Company/Organization: GORUCK, founded 2008.
Location: HQ is Jacksonville, Florida.
Post 9/11 Service Connection: U.S. Army Special Forces (Green Beret).
Tours of Duty: Iraq (OIF), West Africa, and Europe.
One sentence tagline &/or mission statement: Building better Americans, stronger communities, empowered people.