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.
King of Spades| Grunt Style
On the anniversary week of the 2001 September 11 attacks, there are few business mottos that capture the pure and simple response our nation overwhelmingly felt during that horrific week. This we’ll defend. In fact, this phrase may sound familiar because it has been the longstanding motto for the U.S. Army. And former U.S. Army infantry soldier and drill sergeant Daniel Alarik believed there wasn’t a better maxim that capsulated his beliefs when launching the now largest military lifestyle brand, Grunt Style, in 2009. Daniel’s entrepreneurial story is movie ready—starting with $1,200 from his savings, sleeping in his car while hustling between events and sales, to becoming what Forbes has described as one of the most successful, grittiest veteran founders post 9/11. His company’s goal is to deliver the “highest quality, most patriotic apparel on the planet,” channeling the American fighting spirit as its brand and instilling pride in “self, in the military, and in our country.”
In a recent article by GI Jobs, “Peddling Patriotism,” Grunt Style’s growth was highlighted as “a lifestyle brand known for its signature patriotic and military-influenced graphic T-shirts, fitness wear and outdoor wear for men and women…[to now include] a motorsports apparel line, golf line, pro line, outdoor-gear-themed box-of-the-month club called Alpha Outpost, Grunt Fit fitness app, and Merica Bourbon. Grunt Style now has 500 employees, half of whom are military veterans. As a privately held company, Grunt Style does not release revenue totals, though media have estimated annual revenues of $100 million.” As Daniel stated from the beginning, his apparel was about attitude, not simply the clothes we wear. That has unmistakably resonated with a loyal, substantial customer base.
Grunt Style is a frontline leader that should be on your list of most-wanted businesses to support in 2018.
Frontline Leader (Cofounder): Daniel Alarik.
Name of Company/Organization: Grunt Style, founded 2009.
Location: HQ in San Antonio, Texas, while production and fulfillment are located in Carol Stream, Illinois.
Post 9/11 Service Connection: U.S. Army Reserve & National Guard (Infantry, Drill Sergeant).
Tours of Duty: Two tours (Bosnia & Kosovo).
One sentence tagline &/or mission statement: This We’ll Defend. You don’t have to be a Veteran to wear Grunt Style, but you do have to love Freedom, Bacon and Whiskey.
“The mission doesn’t stop when you take your boots off.” – Daniel Alarik