Q: What does your call sign mean to you?
A: Call sign Empower: When I researched call sign choices the definition of empower really struck me. The basic definition is “to make (someone) stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights”. What a perfect analogy for what I feel my role is as a Masked Athlete for Operation Enduring Warrior. I truly feel that my role is to help our Honorees overcome obstacles and doubt in their lives and become stronger and more confident. In my day to day position with OEW, assisting Task Force Sentinel, I spend a great deal of time speaking with wounded/injured law enforcement members who doubt themselves and need support and empowerment.
Q: What branch of the military or LEO did you serve in (or are currently serving in), for how long, and what was your job?
A: I never served in the military. Instead of going into the military I decided to enroll in a police academy on my own and got hired by my local Police Department in 1989. I worked a wide variety of assignments including positions as a K-9 officer, narcotics detective, training officer, motorcycle officer and spent more than 18 years as a member of our S.W.A.T. team. I retired in 2018 as a Captain.
Q: Why did you commit to the Masked Athlete program?
A: I committed to becoming a Masked Athlete because I wanted to do more for/with our Honorees. I enjoyed volunteering as a Community Ambassador but I wanted to do more. I also really loved my time as a S.W.A.T. team member working with a tight-knit group to complete missions and I missed it. I saw the Masked Athlete Team as an opportunity for me to once again work with a tight-knit group to complete missions. I love teamwork and I knew if I was selected for MAT I would be able to work with a team to help Honorees achieve their goals.
Q: What is your best or most unforgettable OEW-related memory?
A: My best memory as a Masked Athlete was my first event, the West Point Spartan. This was also Task Force Sentinel’s inaugural event. It was an absolute honor to work with Task Force Sentinel’s first Honorees Officer Peter Tanzilli and Detective Steve Reid. Watching those men complete the Spartan course that day was very emotional. I was so proud for them because I knew the mental and physical obstacles both overcame to complete the course. That event was also special for me because my wife accompanied us through the course so we both shared and incredible day. She supported me while I trained to for the Masked Athlete Team and then she was able to be with me on my first event. I will never forget that day. Another unforgettable MAT memory I have is INDOC. INDOC was by far the most difficult thing (mentally and physically) I have ever done.
Q: What is the most challenging thing about being a MAT?
A: My biggest challenge as a Masked Athlete is not being able to do all the events. I truly love what I do and I want to be at every event.
Q: What would you like people to know about OEW?
A: I want people to know that OEW is much more that the physical side most people associate us with due to the Masked Athlete team. Our organization provides Honorees with fellowship, camaraderie, companionship, support and friendship. Our Community Ambassadors, Program Managers, Officers and Masked Athletes truly care and we’re available to our Honorees.
Q: Motto or principle you live by.
A: My motto/principle is simple. Honor, Empower and Motivate. “It’s what we do”. ANYONE can do at least one of those things daily.
Q: How do you stay in shape for the demands of the MAT?
A: I try to workout 5 days a week. I do circuit training, weighted rucking, running and weight lifting to maintain myself as a Masked Athlete. I tailor my training for upcoming events. At least twice a week I train in my mask to ensure that I am ready for events.
Check out our OEW Spotify channel! Each Call Sign will share their own playlists of music that gets them pumped for action or helps them chill during their workday. Follow our channel and receive updates whenever new playlists are posted!
Follow Empower's favorite podcast Behind the Shield.
Don't have Spotify? Click here to download now and enjoy FREE music on your mobile device or desktop.
About INDOC: The application process to apply for the Masked Athlete Team, Warrior INDOC, is now an open enrollment. Pre-requisite is to have military or LEO experience with honorable discharge. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org for submission details.