Navy SEAL Finds New Way to Serve with Dana De Coster

Navy SEAL Finds New Way to Serve with Dana De Coster
Guardian Grange
Navy SEAL Finds New Way to Serve with Dana De Coster

Apr 13 2022 | 00:43:18

Episode 4 April 13, 2022 00:43:18

Show Notes

In this podcast Guardian Grange founder, Mark "Matz", chats about military service and transition back into society with former teammate Dana De Coster who is a retired US Navy SEAL Commander with 20 years in leading and synchronizing fast-paced teams on high-stakes missions. During his military career, Dana experienced first hand the power and influence of harnessing advanced data analytics with an intuitive user interface, and he has merged his former skills into the civlian marketplace as the co-inventor of PATCH and co-founder and COO of Roper Solutions, Inc. where he serve a new mission. Roper Solutions, Inc. is a woman and veteran-owned technology company that is revolutionizing the IoT and wearables market with high performance, cost-effective sensing and communicating technologies.

We dive into the PATCH technology he and his partner Maeve Garigan, CEO use to track cattle for ranching. This same technology is the backbone for providing off-grid encrypted communication ability through cell phones for hikers, hunters and outdoor enthusiasts.

PATCH is currently avialable for pre-sale through a Kickstarter campaign found here 

Find more information about PATCH and links to Roper Solutions below:

But first, thank you for listening to the Guardian Grange podcast. We are a grass roots movement sowing the seeds for a decentralized, local-focused, family-oriented network of food sovereign communities. Please find us on social media and join our email list to stay updated with our projects as we grow. Feedback is always welcome and encouraged!

How To Support The Podcast & Guardian Grange Vision

Please share this podcast with friends and family, and stay connected to Guardian Grange on social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.) and at our website to follow along with our progress as we help transform the world into a more beautiful, healthy, and friendly place one community at a time.

Guardian Grange is a registered non-profit 501(c)(3), EIN 85-3841605. Contributions are tax deductible.

Your donation supports our efforts to improve humanity and the environment by uplifting veterans to protect natural resources and strengthen communities.


Donate directly through our Donorbox campain here:

You can also donate through our website by clicking the "Support The Vision" button.

Subscribe to the YouTube channel here so we can hit 100 subs and change the channel name to:

More buzz about PATCH

The technology trailblazer, Roper, has launched a new product to keep your team connected even in the most remote locations. Styled as a US flag, PATCH is an ultra-slim and waterproof device that is made in the US and uses the same wireless charging as a smartphone. Packed with the latest encrypted technology, PATCH pairs with your smartphone so you can text, share GPS and maps, and monitor your team’s activity—all without cell service, Wi-Fi or satellite.

Roper is a hardware-software company focused on high performance encrypted sensors for rural and off-grid markets, all proudly designed and built in the USA. Invented by a US Navy SEAL and a DOD engineer, our flagship product PATCH is the ultra-lightweight, low profile, high performance, go anywhere tech tool that will revolutionize off-grid communication keeping you in touch with your group when venturing into the backcountry, whether you are a hiker, climber, skier, hunter, camper, or outdoor enthusiast). PATCH seamlessly integrates with your gear and pairs with your smartphone to securely chat, text and monitor the location and activity of you and your group with end-to-end encryption—all without cell service, Wi-Fi or satellite.



Learn more about Dana's company Roper and their PATCH communication technology at their websites:

PATCH Kickstarter campaign 

View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

Speaker 1 00:00:02 What's up friends and fellow humans. Welcome to another guardian green podcast. It's been a minute since our last one, which is actually only released on YouTube Back in February 26th, the 2022 It's titled like-hearted part one. It's a short one. It's like less than 10 minutes. So if you wanna check that one out, it's over on our YouTube at guardian green, But today we have a friend I haven't talked to in a long time from the teams. When I first got into, uh, team five, Dana DeCoster, who is retired, us Navy seal commander. And now he's the co-founder and Chief operations officer of Roper solutions, Inc, Which we're gonna talk to talk to him about because that's, uh, What he's doing now. This is, Is new way to serve. Speaker 0 00:01:10 He's Speaker 1 00:01:12 Building a Technology company. Speaker 0 00:01:17 That's Speaker 1 00:01:18 Revolutionizing the internet of things and wearables market. Um, his partner is a fellow veteran woman, so a woman and veteran owned technology company. And they're focusing on Creating cost effective high performance Sensing and communicating technologies. And he's also the co inventor of, uh, patch, which is one of their Know, which is pretty cool. It's, uh, allows you to communicate and encrypt it off grid. Um, so we're gonna chat about that And go into Some interesting stuff. This is gonna be a shorter conversation today trying to keep 'em to around 30 ish minutes. And also I got a new Mac computer, and unfortunately I couldn't get my Nice microphone to work when we're on our call recording this podcast over the computer. So my audio is gonna be a little bit, Speaker 0 00:02:31 Uh, um, Speaker 1 00:02:33 Less, Uh, quality wise than it is right now. So FairWarning that my nice silky smooth sounding voice right now is gonna change a little bit, but, um, Dana sounds good. So that's what really matters. And without further ado was get into it. Speaker 2 00:02:53 Right. So good to chat with you, Dana man, what was it been, uh, linked up over LinkedIn? There technology's been a minute. Speaker 3 00:03:01 <laugh> absolutely mark. Yeah. I mean, it's, it's funny. I like a lot of our teammates have, seem to be able to reconnect on LinkedIn. So I guess it's good to see that all of us, uh, know how to actually use a computer. Uh <laugh> Speaker 2 00:03:14 Somewhat. Yeah. I, I, uh, I, I don't have my normal, like, so we're just the, like we chatted about. Speaker 3 00:03:39 It's been a while. I mean, shoot. I think it's, I mean, it's directly right. I don't know from our time at team five. I mean, that was, when was that like 2000? Speaker 2 00:03:49 Probably Speaker 3 00:03:49 Five, 2005, I think is when I left. Yeah. I'd have to look at my paddle over here. Let's look, I can do a quick, it's actually hidden over there, but yeah, <laugh> when I left team five. So that was a great, great time, man. Speaker 2 00:04:02 Yeah, man. And then, um, where'd you go from five? Speaker 3 00:04:05 So from five, I went over to, uh, buds, uh, basic underwater demolition seal, uh, the schoolhouse. And I, uh, did a quick, maybe just a few months as the second phase division officer. So running the dive portion of the training, um, and then moved over to run seal qualification training, which was definitely more, more my speed and kind of where I was at in my head space, cuz that was after we had just, we'd all just gotten back from that Iraq deployment. Um, I mean one of, one of three or five total, but anyways, um, but at that time in my a career, right, you know, that was after being doing my platoon commander. So, um, it was, you know, going in the second phase, just, you know, it was like being on a high speed train and then all of a sudden, you know, like the brakes just got applied. Speaker 3 00:04:54 So S QT at least was great where you're back kind of doing a, a version of a workup, which, you know, know every seal platoon goes through as they prepare for deployment, but this time you're, you know, training the, the next generation. And so similar blocks of training, land warfare, dive, uh, you know, close quarters, combat all that stuff. So that was, that was more kind of my speed. So it was, it was a great time. So I was there for two years and then, um, then I went to, did I do at, um, oh then team three. So yeah, Speaker 2 00:05:42 Yeah. Very repetitive. But yeah, SQT is you gotta run the gamut of all our skills. Speaker 3 00:05:47 Exactly, exactly. Yeah. And it was good to give back too. Um, you know, co you know, just, is literally just coming off of that deployment. I mean, I, we got back in September and then I checked in, in October. So <laugh>, you know, there was no TLD back then, right. There was no kind of decompression. It was so, uh, so it was definitely felt like, uh, but it was good to give back. And then again, I finished my career as, uh, the director of training. So when I retired in 2019, it was kind of full circle, right. Where now I was the senior officer, you know, I was a commander at the time in oh five, uh, and overseeing all of that. So that was really kind of a great way to kind of finish it out. Speaker 2 00:06:32 That's cool. So, yeah. So it's pretty, still decently fresh cuz the three years, right? Speaker 3 00:06:38 Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. You're yeah, correct. It's fresh in terms of like when we do the math, but like how I feel, I do feel like, you know, it's been longer. Right. And I think that's a good indicator that it was time for me to retire and get out. Right. Um, and that I had done everything that I wanted to do as a seal. Um, because you know, even though it's only been three years removed, I do have to kind of like, think about it. Like, wait, when did I actually retire? So I think that's, um, that's also a good indicator that I think that I'm doing something that I, that I enjoy doing, uh, you know, post career in the seal teams. Speaker 2 00:07:11 Yeah. How, how was the, how was the transition for you? Speaker 3 00:07:15 Yeah, so I mean, the transition I absolutely was pro was, was probably just like every, every, every person who transitions outta the military. Right. And that is like, you gotta do some serious soul searching. Right. Um, because, you know, serving my country as a Navy seal, right. That was something that I dreamed of as a kid. I was definitely that, that kid, right. That running around in the woods here in 10, uh, you know, playing, playing army, playing all that, you know, playing and, uh, was, was always really into the military. Um, and so, you know, then later on, as I got older, it was, you know, the seal teams and then going to, uh, getting an OTC scholarship, uh, to the university of Texas, you know, where, uh, you know, and now I'm on the officer track still, you know, wanna be a seal officer. Speaker 3 00:08:03 So it's always something I wanted to do. So, you know, it's kind of difficult to follow up that, that dream career, you know, like I got to do the job I always wanted to do. It was amazing for 20 years working with amazing people like you mark, and you know, all of our other teammates. So, you know, like many veterans, you know, this transition out of active duty after 20 years of service, you know, is, is time for soul searching. So, um, you know, I really wanted to make sure I could find a new kind of meaningful path as a civilian. And, you know, so, you know, with that, I mean, I, you know, I never let being a seal kind of define me. So I had a lot of friends that I had still stayed in touch with and, you know, throughout my ones that I've grown up with and folks adjacently, and kind of the answer came over lunch in 2018, uh, with a former colleague of, of mine. Speaker 3 00:08:55 Uh, her name is Mave Gargan, and she was an engineer and a technology advisor to, to us, you know, she worked at work on at the time. Uh, but she had worked with some other elite military units. And so when I was, uh, the operations officer for Naval special work for group one, which is, you know, overseeing all, all the west coast seal team operations, um, her and I had worked on a project using backpackable drones for seal operations. So, um, so, you know, enjoyed working with her on that. So when she left, um, you know, we stayed in touch. And so, like I said, in 2018, we're having lunch and she's telling me this really interesting project that she's doing, uh, and that she had just received a a hundred thousand dollars grant, uh, to develop a GPS ear tag for beef cattle. Right. Which sounds, yeah. Crazy. Right. But, um, but you know, you and I, you know, we've hunt, you know, you hunt and track bad guys. Uh, well now I'm doing that with beef cattle. Um, so, you know, naturally our conversation steered towards, you know, what I was gonna do after retirement and we decided to go in the business together and Speaker 2 00:10:03 That's Speaker 3 00:10:03 Cool. Yeah. We started Roper solutions Inc, as the name of our company. We, we, uh, you know, we do business as Roper and so we've got a smart ranch, uh, kind of IOT, internet of things with sensors, um, for that use case. Uh, but then, you know, because of both of our backgrounds, we knew that there was some other use cases. Um, cuz you know, what we've developed is already really small light, low power rugged. Um, and so the idea came to reskin the same technology as a patch, right. So what I'm, you know, patch is, looks just like a patch, like an American flag patch. Yeah. Um, and, uh, it's something that, you know, folks can wear on their person or on their gear. And what it does is it provides a ad hoc mesh network where other patches in the network, uh, can communicate, uh, it links to the user's smartphone, uh, or, you know, connects via Bluetooth. And that's just for the interface of, uh, they can interpret what the patches are doing, but now you can share your position location. So GPS location, you can, uh, sense text messages as well as activity monitoring. Uh, and it's all encrypted, it all wrapped in, um, you know, type type 1, 2 50 six's Speaker 2 00:11:28 It's is. Speaker 3 00:11:32 Yeah. Yeah. So it's off grid, so no cell service, wifi or satellite Speaker 2 00:11:38 That's cool. Yeah, definitely. Like we were, we were chatting before and uh, a lot of applications to that beyond yeah. The beef cattle, which is cool, especially just even, you know, people hiking and the wilderness and uh, with a group of people just so, and especially hunting, you know, I, I look at that cause often we go in different areas and then we can at least communicate. Um, that's pretty cool. So did you ever see, uh, how did, how did she get into the beef thing? Was she like trying to figure this idea out or did she just kinda like happen into it? Speaker 3 00:12:10 Yeah, yeah, no, that's a great question because you know, um, her background is she grew up in Oregon and lived on a farm and before going to college. And so she grew up, uh, in a very rural area, they had all kinds of animals to include beef cattle. So she had that kind of background growing up as a kid. And similarly I'm from Texas grew up in Texas and you know, um, I had family members that had beef cattle, um, a grandfather by marriage, uh, who had beef cattle out in Waco, Texas, but it was mainly for like the ag exemption. Um, and then, um, you know, my cousin, believe it or not in south Florida actually had ran some cattle for a little bit, just as you know, little side, side gig. He is a firefighter. So, you know, he's got a schedule that allowed him to do that, but I was always on the peripheral, but at least growing up from Texas, you know, you, you see that stuff and I put in fences and you know, all those things. So it's kind of like, you know, got to do the greatest job I wanted to do. Now I get to go back and do something that as a kid, you think about being a cowboy. Right. Uh, and, uh, and so, uh, yeah, Speaker 3 00:13:14 So yeah, so she had that background and then what she did is when she left, uh, government service, she sold all her stuff. <laugh> and literally went on a high, uh, you know, on the sabbatical, camping out in, uh, in the national floor there in New Mexico. And just like she had done when we were working that project with a packable drones, um, she stood up a working group. She started getting the itch to design again and just ended up meeting the former and now current and then former at the time, or at the time was the, uh, tech, the cattle razor association president in the, in that New Mexico area. And then, you know, the outgoing and incoming and they got a whole bunch, uh, cattlemen together and she set up a working group with them and just started doing what she would do. Um, you know, with us with operators like, Hey, what are your, what are your pain points? What problems are you having? And so, yeah, basically it boiled down to, they didn't know where their cows were, right. Where's the beef. And so they had significant losses due to theft, predation, uh, and disease ease. And so they asked her, can you develop something that can, can help mitigate that? And she's like, I've developed weirder and stranger things. I'm pretty sure I can help out with that. <laugh> and then boom, the grant came in and then the first prototype of, of, uh, our Roper tag, the, uh, the wearable GPS tag was built. Um, Speaker 2 00:14:35 When was that? Was that built that first? Speaker 3 00:14:39 OK. Yep. And then, uh, and then it's gotten smaller and smaller. Right. So now it's, you know, uh, what, I mean, it's, it's a size of a normal ear button that you see on, on beef cattle. So, uh, so it's been, it's been really, really awesome. Um, and that, that product line we're gonna be launching that here us only, um, at the end of, uh, at the end of this year, Ron December timeframe, we'll start doing the, uh pre-orders for that. And so, yeah, and on that in the us only, so the neat thing too, a lot of folks kind of, you know, look at us and say really is that we're entirely made in the us. So all of our design and built is all done here in the us. So all of our board fabrication, all that stuff. Yeah. So that's a core principle to ours. We're not gonna, that's just who we are. Right. So Speaker 2 00:15:26 That's, that's important. And it's also, uh, I mean, you know, we see what's going on with supply chain and you know, it's good for the business, but it's also good keeping jobs in local and keeping our economy kinda healthy, you know, it can be, um, yeah, that's, I like stuff overseas and leverage the mm-hmm <affirmative> cheaper, um, stuff, but there's, there's a greater cost, you know, that I thinks that you're thinking about that and doing it, you know, living that mm-hmm, <affirmative> admir. Speaker 3 00:16:10 Yeah. Its of employees all, you know, everything, so it's exciting. Um, but yeah, the beef, the, the tag was developed 2018, 19, and then, um, the first patch prototypes were built in 2021, uh, for a SOCOM special operations technology demonstration event that we got invited to. So, um, so that, that patch design has now been refined to that, to what we have right now, which is what we're launching our, uh, presales, uh, right. You know, they're actually ongoing right now on we, we started a Kickstarter campaign. So Speaker 2 00:16:48 Is that going, that Kickstarter Speaker 3 00:16:50 Kickstarter we've got until April 22nd. So, you know, just under two weeks, about two weeks left. Um, so yeah, it's, uh, patch connects, um, dot com is our website. So WW dot patch connect, And on there is the link that takes you straight to the kicks at our campaign. Uh, or folks are already familiar with Kickstarter. If you just, you know, Google patch or not Google type in patch, as far as the name of the campaign. Yeah. It'll pop up. But, uh, but yeah, we figure, you know, we wanted to, uh, get these pre-sales going, like I said, we're, you know, we've got a product we're past, we're ready to, to sell it, get in the hands of folks that need it. And you know, it during that. Um, so that event, uh, you know, that special operations technology demonstration event that we learn kind of what you're talking about, uh, a lot of the operators that were coming by that, that they do the assessments, cuz it's not just us, that's there, it's multiple companies that are showing off their, their latest technology. Speaker 3 00:17:51 And you know, you get immediate feedback from, you know, your customer, right. Which is these these operators. Right. And uh, every single one of 'em was like, I would love to take this out hunting or Hey, can I use this? So we were getting all of these, uh, you know, questions about, you know, use cases outside of the military. That's when we realized, okay, we're onto something here. And so, you know, let's, let's start these, uh, you know, commercial, civilian sales now, um, because, uh, we've, we've got a lot of interest. So Kickstarter was, was, um, was, was our, you know, decision behind that was because it already has the e-commerce stuff baked into it. So we don't have to build that into our website just yet. And then, um, you know, there's kind some, also some initial advertising since Kickstarter folks do go there to shop the latest technology before it hits the mainstream Speaker 2 00:18:40 That's kinda supporting or you just really just grasping. Speaker 3 00:18:52 Yeah. We're, we're just, you know, between the grants and, uh, and you know, kind of friends and family, uh, we, you know, we have, you know, I guess those are our, our investors <laugh> yeah. Some friends that we've met along the way, um, which have been very helpful. Um, but with the grants, other prizes that we've won, I mean, we've, you know, and despite COVID hitting, I think it's, it's helpful when both founders are in their middle forties, you know, so we know how to be, you know, CA cash conscious, you know, and spend appropriately. And, um, and so, yeah, so, um, so now we're at the point where with these sales and, uh, you know, for both launches to kinda look for strategic partnerships, uh, mainly that's what we're looking for on the beef cattle side, or, you know, the smart ranch side. Um, and then, you know, with patch we'll, we we've already got that, that out there. So, uh, Speaker 2 00:19:48 Solid. Yeah, no, it's exciting to see that. So the campaign that's gonna be half focusing right now on the patch and that that's gonna be basically the first, uh, first to market. Speaker 3 00:20:00 Yeah. It's kinda like, yeah, like a flagship product, if you will, for right now, because it's already, um, you know, we've, we've already got it in it's commercial package. Right. Like it's, it's, it's ready. It's been tested, you know, all that. So it's exciting. Speaker 2 00:20:16 So what, so, um, like what is, what was the testing process like? Was it, uh, did you have people going out in different conditions or how would that go? Speaker 3 00:20:24 Yeah, I mean the first one, uh, um, you know, because we reskin the technology was the, uh, pallet study that we had had done with, uh, the beef cattle. So the cows are wearing it. Right. <laugh> cause it's the same, you know, it's the, it's the same board that our IP, you know, our custom board, which is our secret sauce. Right. And, um, and that same board is what we then re-skin for use in this enclosure. Right. The flag enclosure. So, and, you know, beef cattle are pretty hard on stuff. So that was a good first initial. Um, and then, yeah, it was myself and ma wearing the device and, you know, texting to each other <laugh>. Speaker 2 00:20:56 Yeah. Speaker 3 00:20:57 But, uh, but yeah, and, you know, and the patches completely waterproof. Right. You had to make sure it was, it was that way being a seal. Right. So, yeah, for Speaker 2 00:21:03 Sure. Gotta be able. Speaker 3 00:21:06 Exactly. Yeah. So, so yeah, so the fir I guess, you know, if you, you know, technically the first folks were the, the beef cows that were wearing it, and then after that was, uh, myself and may Nice and just hiking out here in, in central Texas, it's pretty, pretty, uh, the terrain changes quickly, right. Give you really hilly. Right. Um, and then really flat. So we were able to demonstrate, uh, a point to point range of a mile and a half with, with that. Oh, Speaker 2 00:21:34 Even no, E was that like line of sight or is that Speaker 3 00:21:37 Yeah, so line, so we, it creates a, uh, ad ho ad hoc mesh network. And so we'll, we'll, uh, we'll address hops and kind of phase two, um, kinda like when we were talking about the, uh, the apple products, right. We, we're not gonna change the charging plug, but, you know, we'll be adding, you know, yeah. It'll get better each patch. Right. Yeah. But right now we've, it's a point it's a line of sight, uh, mile and a half, so three kilometer range. Um, and that was in some rugged terrain too. Um, so the frame does dictate that, but like I said, we were able to get that, uh, in some pretty rugged areas out here. So, so we're happy about that. And, um, you know, so it's definitely, it's, you know, it's definitely, as, you know, the technology has, you know, its use cases. Speaker 3 00:22:23 Um, and so as long as, you know, folks understand what it can and what, what it can do and what it doesn't do, then it's just another piece of kit that, you know, seamlessly integrates into your gear, right. It's not, it lays, weighs less than three ounces. And as you know, you know, when you're out there in the back country, you don't wanna be loaded down with all kinds of gear, you wanna be as light as possible. So, you know, it's another thing that you just slap on that doesn't really add anything. Um, and it's a, it's something that, you know, would be very valuable tech tool in your Speaker 2 00:22:55 Kit. Yeah. That's good at you there. The, everyone's got a little phone on 'em usually wherever they're at. Mm-hmm <affirmative> just use that into that feature, which pretty cool. Speaker 3 00:23:05 Yeah, absolutely Speaker 2 00:23:07 Keeps the, keeps the down too, trying to make a whole separate unit and the clutter, you know, it's like people have so much gear, that's just like going overboard as far as like things doing similar stuff. And this is kinda just super surgical precision yeah. Functionality Speaker 3 00:23:23 Wise. Mm-hmm <affirmative> yeah, no, you nailed it. Yeah. That's, that's our, that's our goal. Right. Um, kind of, you know, be, be elegant solutions. Right. So instead of, you know, just like you said, just cobbling things together. Speaker 2 00:23:40 Yeah. So like, it's good. What I've noticed as far as, um, veterans getting out, obviously you had, like, you felt really good with your time in and kinda were ready to move on, but it's cool that you just stepped right into something that was basically, I mean, repurposing some of your skills, you know, into an whole new area sector that is, you know, it's using those skills, but you're not doing the same were which, um, I, people they're just that, so that like, that was able to happen for you and your partner there. Um, do you miss anything being out or do you feel like, how do you feel about that? Speaker 3 00:24:33 Yeah, yeah, no. I mean, I guess Dr. Thing, um, yeah, it was neat to jump into something and, you know, building patch has been a ton of work. Right. But tremendous learning experience. And, you know, just like, you know, when you're in the teams, you know, when you see something, uh, broke, you want to fix it. So, you know, we've been looking at a lot of products, you know, there's a lot, a lot of products and, you know, you see a lot of hype, but not a lot of substance. So, you know, I'm proud, you know, that we're treating something purposeful, innovative. Um, and that to me, you know, really imp, you know, he's gotta really improve people's lives. And so to me, like I'm filling that part. So I'm answering your, you know, when you ask, like, what do you miss? So that part gets filled, right. Speaker 3 00:25:17 That sense of service, right. Doing something, providing a real piece of technology that, uh, is, is actually, you know, actually works right. That's substance. Um, and so that sense of service is there, you know, both on the patch and on the smart range side. Um, and so, you know, what I was afraid I'd start missing was being around a bunch of, you know, high, you know, motivated individuals, right. Like in the field, those are the best. Right. And you know, you, and like, you know, Casey point, right. You and I haven't, we haven't connected in a, in a years. Right. But it's, you pick up right where you left off, right. This is your teammate. Right. Um, and so I was admittedly a little nervous that I'd be missing that. Um, but because I went in, I mean, I went and wanted a, a good friend, right. Speaker 3 00:26:02 Um, who I respect immensely. And so of her connections, my connections, you know, that's who we've brought on board to be employees in our company. And so now we are surrounded by these highly motivated individuals. Right. None of 'em. I mean, I'm the only seal <laugh> right. Yeah. But I still have this amazing team. Um, that's, that's, you know, really passionate about what we're doing. So, so I'm very lucky that, um, that the one thing that I was a little nervous about, you know, actually I was able to achieve that, which is surrounding myself with great people. Right. Good Americans and just good people. So I'm very grateful for that. But again, I think it's key to go back when you are, when, when I was going through my transition, I just really, I really focused that soul searching on like, what are my nonnegotiables. Right. And so, by being true to that, um, I think is, I'm, I'm, I'm lucky that I've landed where I have. Speaker 2 00:27:01 Yeah, for sure. And it's sounds like, you know, it's, it's, uh, it's not just a company, but it's a community, like you're saying of people who are going in the Speaker 3 00:27:09 Same. Oh yeah, yeah. If I shared our company handbook with you, you, I, I think you would really like it. I mean, we spent just as much time on that as you know, we have on designing, uh, some of our, you know, our, our sensors know, I mean, we really want, cause you can't afford to get that wrong when you, you know, when you hire somebody, right. You can't afford to get that wrong because you know, there's studies and books, you can read about how, how much hiring the wrong person ends up costing you. Right. So, you know, that's kind of, you know, another skill that you and I, you know, a lot of special operator have, especially, you know, and seals obviously as our background is, you know, you know how to read people and you know how to like talk to 'em. Right. Speaker 3 00:27:51 And when you're interrogating a bad guy, right. It's the same thing. That's having a conversation or an interview, right. Yeah. With a potential employee. So building that rapport with them and really going layers deep, not just like, Hey, do you know how to use Microsoft? Right. More of like, Hey, tell me about a time that you didn't achieve a goal that, that, that you wanted. Right. And then how did you handle that? And what did you do next? Right. And so asking, you know, questions like that. Um, and so, you know, we've been very Del deliberate in, you know, folks that we've hired because we want to make sure they they're, you know, meet our core of values. And so it's been, it's been great, right. When you, when you put that effort in, um, you're gonna get good results. Speaker 2 00:28:31 Yeah. It's important. And it's a level of compassion and caring for like the other person and yourself and the community that's being built or whatever. And, um, yeah, I feel like it's a bit lost in society. And as we come from where we come from, we're just used to operating with, at a high level, with a small group of people and everyone's gotta be switched on. So we naturally are like, encouraging that and filtering that filtering, filtering that out. So we have like, mm-hmm, <affirmative> what I call, I like to call like hearted, cause everyone's got their own version of, you know, creativity or, or craziness or quirks or something. But if we're on the same direction page, that's what makes a strong community. Speaker 3 00:29:12 Yeah. AB absolutely. Yeah. Like, you know, just give the guys intent. Right. Don't tell 'em how to do it. Just like, Hey, we need to go from here to here. And then that way you can make that creativity ha you know, you can harness that. Right. So, because there's multiple paths to go from here to here. Right? Yeah. Um, so, um, so yeah, that's, you're absolutely right. Like we I've taken that, uh, with me into this and, and again, the good thing too is my co-founder right. Who's our CEO Mave. I mean, mean, she came from that background too, even though she didn't wear the uniform. Right. She still was, you know, she served right. She was, you know, a GS employee, you know? Yeah. So, um, but yeah, it's been, it is been really good. And you know, like you said, that shared heartedness, I say, shared consciousness, like just getting everybody to, to, to like understand kind of where we're going, but then they've got the freedom to, to innovate on their own. Right. Get creative it's cuz it's so much easier. It's, it's so much easier to pull somebody back if they like, okay, you're getting a little, you know, you know yeah. It's so much easier to do that than it is to push 'em. Right. Sure. Yeah. So, um, so yeah, we're, we've Speaker 2 00:30:23 The pushing, it leads to like the whole, uh, kinda micromanagement structure, which makes a very fragile organization or cause it's all dependent on the person. Who's the effort only, that's Speaker 3 00:30:33 A point. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:30:33 And then you're doing you and one else it's like as boom expansion, you gotta go, you go grab someone who's like ran 10 miles, like yo a little bit. We're trying to keep up with you. But that least Speaker 3 00:30:52 Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And then you want the whole team to kind of be involved because you don't want it just to be a, a few folks, you know, then those go-to people like, you know, they get burned out. Right. <laugh> if they're always the go-to um, so you gotta make sure you elevate everybody's kind of baseline kind of skillset. So that just like they taught us in the teams. Right. If, if somebody goes down, you know, the next person can pick it up. Right. They might not be the best looking at that problem the whole time, but they're definitely not gonna, you know, fail, you know? Yeah. You know, it might, might not look the same, but it doesn't mean it's wrong, you know? <laugh> Speaker 2 00:31:29 Yeah. And that gets them like what I, my philosophy on, uh, you know, leadership basically is that a good actual leader is inspiring everyone to be a leader themselves. So it's more like a representative. And then you, you look at, uh, an organization or a leadership quality where it's like, uh, the dictator type of style or something. It just creates not a good environment that eventually breaks down. And I was, I was, um, curious on your thoughts, like when you, when you look at a team, how much weight do you give, how much weight do you put on, like having, you know, a really good leader or a really good team? You know what I mean? A really good group. Speaker 3 00:32:14 Oh, wow. Speaker 2 00:32:14 Yeah. Obviously both with the idea. Speaker 3 00:32:17 I mean, I think you can't have a good team if you have a bad leader. Right. So, you know, the leader has to be, has to be good. Right. Um, now that doesn't mean they have to have all the answers though, right? Like as a leader, I always, I mean, I know in our, the time we were together in that, that, that platoon, that element, you know, um, was, you know, was pretty new stuff. And there were so many times uh <laugh> I would say, oh, you know, yeah, yeah. We can do that. You know, with our co or somebody would say, Hey, can you, you know, can you guys do this make absolutely. And then have to come back to the Plato space and be like, Hey fellas, like I just agreed to this, this and this. And I have no idea how, how to do it. Speaker 3 00:32:53 And then, all right, let's huddle up. Let's figure this out. Right. Like I need, you know, and so that right. A good leader, somebody's like, they don't need to have the answer. They need to reach out to their team. Right. Like, okay, here's the problem. Right. Here's what I, you know, what we just, I just, I just committed this to do, uh, let's figure this out. And then as you're getting that input from your team, okay. Hey, I think then, then what the leader then does though is pick the one that, okay, Hey, this is, this is the, this is the best option. Um, and then at that point, that's when they stand alone, right. I mean, they make the decision. Right. And then now the team, like, okay, the decision's been made by, by, you know, the person in charge. Okay. We're all on board now. Right. We've, we've, we've got our chance to kind of like say our piece. Okay. Decision made and we move out and that's where the leader kind of stands alone. Meaning if something that happens, right. They, they own it. Right? Speaker 2 00:33:42 Yeah. Like a good leader should, is definitely like stands on the stands before the man, whoever, as far as responsibility goes. Right. And is not trying to hide. It's like, yo, I own this. But also they're coming at the team with, uh, respect and humility, you know, it's like, I don't, but I'm, I'm gonna put my neck on the line and I got faith in us as a team get stuff done. And uh, yeah, I think a lot of, um, just corporations and lot of things could learn a lot because this like kind idle of leaders throughout society is very much like, oh, all on the person. And the team kinda gets, you know, skirted off to the wayside and you can see like the, the, when a team, when a team doesn't have respect for its, for its leader, for sure. Or itself or vice versa. I mean, it can only go so far. And then, you know, whether it's, it's the, in the obvious problems there, and if it's in the civilian world in a corporation, then you have, and Speaker 3 00:35:01 Right. I mean, that's powerful. Right. I think that's more powerful than, you know, throwing money at somebody, you know? Um, cuz you know, in the, in the, in the military, right. It's intrinsic leadership, right. Like I can't give you a bonus. Right. When we were in the, I, I keep like, Hey, you did such a great job. Here you go. Right. Yeah. You know, but what you get, what you, you know, the currency that you're getting is like the team's like, Hey mark, that was awesome. Right. Great job. You know? And you know, and so yeah, I mean that leader, right? I mean, you're, you don't, you don't make decisions by yourself. Like you don't stand alone and make decisions. Right. That's not what a good leader does. A good leader gets that gets that, you know, team together, you know, they kind of dirt dive kind of come up with a plan and then the decision is made by later. Speaker 3 00:35:44 Then he stands alone. Right. He or she right. Then they own that. Right? Like, Hey, this is the plan. This is what, you know, what we're gonna do, but it's not the other way around. They don't stand alone and make a decision, you know? Um, but, uh, but yeah, so, um, you know, it's, it's, I think that's the powerful part, right. Is, is when you can build in that, that purpose, that's what keeps, keeps your team. Um, you know, moving at that high level and you know, is, is you and I both know, I mean, your main, your main, at least, you know, the main driving thing, you, you just don't wanna let your teammates down. Right. You it's less like I wanna get the big win and I wanna be the one that came up with the plan. It's more of like, I don't wanna let anyone down. I don't wanna be the weak link I don't want, you know? And so, and that's what drives everybody to like, you know, stay at that high level. Speaker 2 00:36:35 Yeah. It's a, it's a very, um, aware way of existing and you know, having, you know, again, it's, it's compassionate leadership, even though people don't necessarily take, look at a or something and be like, oh compassionate, You know, there's we actually, we actually care about each other, you know what I mean? Speaker 3 00:37:01 Oh yeah, yeah. And you can see it too. You see it, like my example, like I remember as a platoon commander, you know, um, you know, if, if you've got, if, you know, if the guys respect you and you know, you know, like again, they're not, they know that you're not gonna have all the answers. Right. Even though you're the platoon commander. Right. But they also know that, okay, you're the one in charge. So when you have that respect, I mean, you there amazing things get done. And, you know, I remember when I kind of a big thing for me, I remember at land warfare doing immediate action drills, right. Where you're, you know, maneuvering in the terrain and, you know, simulating taking contact from the enemy. And, you know, as an officer, as you know, my job is, you know, my gun is, you know, the 16 of you, right. Speaker 3 00:37:45 Not, you know, if I'm, if I'm running, if I start running outta ammo, then something's wrong. Right. I shouldn't be the one <laugh>. Yeah. So, you know, you gotta come off the line and kinda like, look where the out is. Right. And I remember this, uh, you know, cuz I'm facing, you know, backwards. Well, you guys are all engaging, so you know, I'm backwards. So my left is your right. Right. So I see the out right to my left. Right. Yeah. Um, I turn back around and I'm yelling, you know, peel left, peel left. And I, right when I turn my son, I, you know yeah. But I see the first guy on, get up on the left and he goes right. Cuz he knew where the out was too. And I see all my guys going. Right, right. Yeah. So we get back, you know, huddle up. Speaker 3 00:38:32 I'm like, Hey guys, sorry I screwed that one up. Like, sir, don't worry about it. We knew what you're talking about. We knew which way you wanted to go, you know? And I was like, and then maybe later in that day or another platoon or anyways that literally the same thing happened and the guys went left. Right. Yeah. And that platoon commander and they're like you said, the lesser, you know? And so then he's getting reamed out by the training caught Dre for like, you know, not knowing the difference between his left and his right and blah, blah, blah. But, um, but yeah, for me it was, you know, that was, that's kind of a, an example that I use where if you can be that compassionate leader and you know, just show folks that you care about them. Um, um, you can do, you know, some amazing things happen, right? Speaker 2 00:39:18 Yeah. They time mm-hmm <affirmative> well, I appreciate, uh, the chat and everything you're doing, man. Is there anything else you wanna, uh, chit chat about? Speaker 3 00:39:27 Yeah, no. I mean, I guess really, I just hope that my story inspires, you know, other transitioning, you know, service members showing them how they can kind of this continue this culture service and, and live their values. Right. Um, you don't have to sideline any of that once you, once you, you know, take off the uniform. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:39:46 This, this service never got, never ends. I mean, that's not at all. That's what, Speaker 3 00:39:50 We're all citizens. You can't take that uniform off. Right. That uniform does not come off. Yeah. Right. So Speaker 2 00:39:55 You humans at the end of the day too. And it's like, there's whatever problems come up. I mean, we gotta deal with them at essentially the human level, you know? Um, Speaker 3 00:40:04 Absolutely. That's even better. Yeah. We're all humans. So you can't. Yeah. So, so yeah, hopefully, you know, with our conversation folks take that away and then, you know, if they want, you know, they can learn more about me patch, you know, on our website, the patch Um, and if there's any, you know, then on there has our, our email address if they, uh, if there's any inquiries. Speaker 2 00:40:27 Yeah. It, and again for that website, it's patch PT H Speaker 3 00:40:42 Yep. Connects all together. Plural mm-hmm <affirmative> Speaker 2 00:40:46 Cool. Awesome, brother. I, uh, I appreciate this and we'll have to follow up with another one as things progress and yeah. Hope so. We got April 22nd. If anyone wants to, um, get one of those or whatever look into, cause they're, they're doing that Kickstarter, right? Speaker 3 00:41:05 Yeah. We have other options. There's a, and t-shirts that we have made in the us believe it or not. Right. So, yeah. Um, yeah. And then, uh, and then they just donate even if, you know, just, they like what we're doing. Right. So thanks mark. I appreciate that man. Speaker 2 00:41:21 Awesome brother. Thanks Dana. No problem. Speaker 1 00:41:24 All right. Thanks for listening. Friends. Hope you like that podcast. And once again, go check out. Dana's work with patch patch, And I also wanted to give a shout out to our sponsors, Dr. Broner for continuing to support this podcast and the work we're doing at guardian GRA. We had, uh, recently kicked off about a month ago, our, uh, Escondido micro range project, which is like a little miniature micro version of what we're doing on a big scale. So get a little farm going on there we'll garden, I should say, in a healing space and bringing people together to kick off the first phase of that, which is a lot of property clean up. I got some content on our YouTube channel again, um, finding at guardian range where we chat about that project and what we're doing. And uh, this past weekend had a little partnership with veterans walk and talk where they brought out a whole crew of about 40 people and helped clean that property up. Speaker 1 00:42:32 It was really cool to cool to see. So we're just, uh, getting the work done and I'll continue to do more of these podcasts. And, um, if you wanna follow along, find us on social media at guardian GRA. Our website is guardian, and that's where you can find, uh, ways to support donate, volunteer. Um, we are a 5 0 1 C three registered nonprofit organization. So donations are tax deductible. If you feel like supporting in that manner. And other than that, feel free to share our content. Hit me up with any messages, mark guardian, and I'll see you in the next one. Take care friends.

Other Episodes