Seal Grinder PT connects with Veteran Owned Business Recon Rings – headed up by Tom, a Former Marine, 0311 8 years in and Stephen, civilian, brand builder, complainer of burpees, married to a Navy Corpsman.
SGPT: So tell me, how did RECON Rings start?
Recon Rings: I had the vision of making rings and then I buried it for a long time. It came to the surface the year that I got married and had to start wearing a ring again. It became a reality when I found somebody to dive into it with me.
Fast forward to getting married. I started wearing silicone rings from other brands. I loved the concept, but I found they weren’t really geared towards people in the field. If I was burning through them in the gym, then somebody on deployment was going to destroy that ring.
The two of us met at the crossfit gym we were both a part of.
Others rings missed the mark on more than a few things, so instead of just wearing everybody else’s ring, I started down the path of making the one I wanted, even when I didn’t know what I wanted.
SGPT: Can you elaborate on what equated to “not doing it right” in regards to other silicone rings?
RR: The camouflage wasn’t the right camouflage. It might be numbing to anybody who buys their camo from a fashion perspective, but after you wear cammies for years, everything else looks ridiculous. We were a little limited to what manufacturing practices allow, but at least we got the colors right.
A lot of the other rings love putting logos or brands on the outside of the rings. This concept of branding the outside of the ring didn’t sit well. Yes, you can site the military regs on dress code use of symbols, but really it came down to what the ring was for. The ring is symbol of our commitment to the one we love, not a billboard for somebody else.
SGPT: I love your tagline of “for people who live kinetic lives.” If you could sum up RECON Ring’s mission into 5 key words, what would they be?
RR: Forever, Active, Strong, Connected, Veteran
SGPT: As a veteran owned business, how did your military career affect or influence you RE starting a business?
RR: I can say with confidence, there is nothing in my military career that prepared me to sell funny t-shirts or silicone rings. Time in the military does strengthen the value of integrity important to any business. We have that integrity ingrained into everything we do. From the quality of the rings we produce to how we interact with customers. We are always looking to do the right thing, even when nobody’s looking.
SGPT: What was your role in the military?
RR: I was an 0311, Infantry, grunt or crayon eater, or whatever you’d like to call us.
SGPT: I see from your website that the idea for recon rings came from necessity, from wartime when a fellow Marine lost their finger when their band got caught on a door. Can you please elaborate more on the Genesis of RECON Rings?
RR: It’s amazing how when you witness something like that it burns an image in your brain. Want to know why I don’t wear metal rings? Watch a guy deglove a finger by tripping out of a vehicle door, you’ll stop wearing ‘em too. It didn’t have to be in Iraq, It could have happened falling out of a cab in NYC. I am not sure I call this story genesis, as much as it has become self preservation instinct created through a trauma.
There was a small detachment of our company on a patrol, rolling through an area that had some reported movement. We were usually catching illegal importation of explosive materials on the Syrian border. Nothing super sexy, or secret squirrel, just typical recon patrols, pretty routine for us.
As one of my homies jumped down from on top of the vehicle I watched him stumble and reach back to catch himself, grabbing the edge of the LAV door. He instantly took a knee, I stopped and took a closer look to see what was up.
In the next couple seconds, he raised his hand up, grabbing his left hand with his right hand to reveal he no longer has any skin on his finger. Instead he has a peeled back finger, bone exposed and some serious blood just starting to develop. We lock eyes for the next moment and I can see his pupils going as the shock just starts to register of what just happened.
After we called it in, we threw him in the back of the LAV, grabbed the pile of mess that was his finger on the ground, wrapped in it gauze, and hauled him to the FOB and let the corpsman take over.
Before you ask, no, he did not keep the finger. You need some pretty serious surgeons to bring the finger back from that sort of accident.
SGPT: What makes RECON Rings special?
RR: We are veteran owned and operated and are actively testing these rings in the field. It is the people who support us that make everything possible. We sent them out to our military homies still active and use their feedback to shape what goes out and constantly looking to improve.
SGPT: What is your 1-5 year vision for RECON?
RR: We want to become the leading choice of ring for active individuals. We certainly will help more veterans directly than any other brand. We want to hire veterans and put them to work, and help change the dynamic of our community. We see ourselves becoming the industry leader and subject matter expert for the tactical community.
SGPT: Thanks so much for your time!
Recon Rings: Thank you for the opportunity!
You can support Recon Rings, a veteran owned business, by checking them out online at www.reconrings.com, or via socials @ReconRings.