Q: What does your call sign mean to you? A: Legacy. It's important to me that I leave a positive influence on others, especially family and those closest to me.
Q: What branch of the military did you serve in (or are currently serving in), for how long, and what was your job? A: I enlisted in the Army reserves while in college a few months following 9-11. I joined ROTC at Indiana University and transferred to a LRS unit in the National Guard. After a deployment to Afghanistan with 33rd IBCT, I moved to SC where I continue to serve as an infantry officer.
Q: What is your best or most unforgettable OEW-related memory? A: My first time ever walking with OEW. Jonathan Lopez met me at the OCR US Championships in TX, September 2017. I didn't realize it at the time because I was new to OEW, but soon realized what an honor and a blessing it was to meet and hang out with a few legends within the OEW family, Honoree John Hunt and OEW MAT Lead Tito Piñeiro. I would've loved to spend more time with them but it's incredible to see the positive impact that they've left behind through their legacy.
Q: What is the best thing about being a MAT? A: The best thing about being on the MAT is being anonymous. No one can see my "emotion" when it hits me square in the face. We all carry burdens and have obstacles to overcome in our lives and though similarities exist, no two are exactly the same. Being witness to and being a part of empowering and motivating our wounded veterans and police officers to overcome some of their physical and mental obstacles can sometimes leave one tearing up, full of gratitude and awe, over the raw beauty in human perseverance and kinship.
Q: What piece of advice would you give someone who is interested in becoming a MAT? A: Explore your purpose. If you have the right focus driving you, that is the first and biggest step. Once you know what your purpose is, hang onto it and prepare yourself physically and mentally for some of the most difficult challenges you'll ever face.
Q: What would you like people to know about OEW? A: It's 100% volunteer so we all have to work around our other commitments of life.... family, work, etc. This is great because there aren't executive officers banking hundreds of thousands off of money donated and raised for the mission. It also means we can use all the help we can get to assist in carrying the load. Come on board and change your life for the better.
Q: Motto or principle you live by. A: It's not about you. It's not about me. It's about us.
Q: How do you stay in shape for the demands of the MAT? A: I stay in shape by playing rugby, working out with my girlfriend and other friends on a regular basis. I also prepare for specific events that I have throughout the year. Some require more strength while others more endurance and some a combination of both. For rucking, you have to ruck to prepare your feet, legs, and shoulders/back. For masked events, you have to train in the mask.
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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.