SGPT: Tell us about yourself?
GM: I grew up in Georgia and spent most of my youth getting into trouble with my two younger brothers Conor and Kurt. In high school I loved playing on the football team but was always told I was too short, so my aspirations to continue playing football in college flew out the window. That wasn’t the end of football though, while in college my fraternity had a solid group of athletes and we had a very competitive intramural league that kept the desire to play football filled. I have never been the smartest nor the most athletic but I have always been able to out work the others. My desire to compete in anything and try to be the best is what drives me every day. I recently took a personality exam that my business coach had me take and my signature themes came back in this order: competition, achiever, focus, restorative and deliberate. I am a firm believer that if you stop using it you will lose it, so I am always eager to learn something new. It keeps the mind sharp and it keeps you hungry. Currently, I am going back to school to get my MBA at Emory University, and I love it, I feel like I am in Ranger School all over again, just in a classroom, not the woods.
SGPT: What Ranger class did you graduate from? What Ranger battalion did you serve at?
GM: I graduated from the Ranger Indoctrination Program class 03-07 and Ranger School class 10-07 and served in the 1st Ranger Battalion.
SGPT: What was the hardest part of Ranger training for you?
GM: I loved Ranger training. Even before I joined while finishing up my last semester at Alabama I had a Ranger shirt and ran to class with all my books in my back, and even had the Ranger Creed and Major Robert Rogers 19 standing orders memorized. The hardest part for me was making the transition from being a college frat boy to being a private in basic training. The lack of freedom to do what I want was a hard pill for me to swallow and I spent most of my time in the front leaning rest until I was able to figure out that the beatings will continue till I make this transition.
SGPT: What was the funniest thing you ever did in the Rangers?
GM: I don’t know if this was necessarily the funniest thing I ever did, but while cleaning out Chris Wright’s locker to send his gear and personal belongings home to his family. I saw a tube of after shave crème and on the tube it said reduces razor burn. Well I just got out of the shower and just shaved so I squirted some lotion on my hands and applied it to my face. About a half hour went by and my squad was having what we called family time in the hooch before we got some rack. And as we were watching a movie I began to feel my face get all tingly and hot. So I looked over at one of the guys and asked if my face was red and it turned out my face was bright red and it was starting to burn even more. I quickly ran over to Chris’s locker and looked at that tube again. This time I read after the part that said reduces razor burn and realized it was a hair removal crème. All the guys were laughing at me and in fear that I was going to lose my eyebrows I ran to the latrine to wash my face in hopes to keep my eyebrows. When I got back to the hooch the guys were still laughing at me and they even made fun of me about that at the end of the deployment skit. Long story short I didn’t lose my eyebrows but I still hear about that to this day.
SGPT: Tell us about your current business?
GM: Live the Ranger Creed, LLC has evolved into a lifestyle brand predominantly selling apparel and accessories online. The LTRC Publishing arm has recently published A Night in the Pech Valley on Kindle with the paperback version coming out on January 31, 2016 and will be available on our webpage www.ltrc-ops.com and Amazon. There are plans for more books in the future but am going to focus on other ventures and opportunities in the neat future. In 2016 LTRC will launch its first tactical back pack that we have been working on for the past year. The LTRC tactical pack is a joint venture with Dave Rhoden from Flagrant Beard and the staff of designers and manufacturers at Global Cases USA. This pack will also be available on our online e-store.
SGPT: How did you start that business?
GM: As I was writing A Night in the Pech Valley I had the desire to self-publish my manuscript and I also had the vision to start a lifestyle brand based off of what it was that we Rangers lived by. I took that vision and created Live the Ranger Creed, LLC. It was more of a blog in the beginning that sold shirts and hats but what I really wanted to do was implement a brand based off of what we learned in the military and transfer it into civilian life. My thought was if anyone were to put as much effort and pride into something as Rangers put into the military there is no way anyone would fail. It then evolved into a firearms instruction business with my Ranger buddy Jim Ross who now works for Daniel Defense. However, we quickly realized that to survive in this industry we need our own range and more instructors. Firearms training is a very hard model to scale and quite frankly there are better trained professionals already offering this service so we shut that down. But I did have the opportunity to learn a lot and meet a lot of people while doing this and one thing I took away is that you must meet and develop relationships all the time. One relationship that has culminated out of this is a good friend Dave Rhoden. Dave use to work as head of product development for 5.11 tactical and did great work for them with nylon. He is now the owner of Flagrant Beard and together we are launching an LTRC tactical back pack in 2016 to go along with a few products of his that will complement the LTRC pack.
SGPT: Tell about your new book?
GM: A Night in the Pech Valley started in a journal my mom got me for Christmas in 2010, just before I got out of the Army. Then in 2011 while I was contracting for Triple Canopy at the Embassy in Baghdad, I wrote what came out to be about 20,000 words in the journal. When I came home in December of 2011, I put the journal on the shelf, and then in 2014 I pulled it out and converted everything onto a Word Doc. And mailed the Word Doc to Chris Wright’s parents, and asked for their permission to tell our story about Chris’s last mission. By chance I happened to mail it on Chris’s would have been 27th birthday, January 31, 2014.
The intent of this book is to tell the story of Army Ranger Christopher Shane Wright, who paid the ultimate sacrifice on the morning of August 19, 2010, so that his name will stand the test of time. Despite being a part of the main effort in the ongoing war in Afghanistan there have been very few stories released about the 75th Ranger Regiment. This book fills that void, allowing the reader to know what it takes to become an Army Ranger and what life is like to be in the Army’s premier special operations unit. The elite Army Rangers are unique, loyal, and innovative, and A Night in the Pech Valley portrays these characteristics by etching their sacrifices into our country’s history forever.
SGPT: Do you have any other military books that you are reading now?
GM: Currently I am reading Team of Teams by General Stanley McChrystal
SGPT: Many thanks for the interview Brother.
GM: Thank you Brad!
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