By John S. Berry Jr (LTC, U.S. Army, Retired)
Nobody expects much from the guy wearing the Nike or Under Armour logo, but the guy with the crossed rifles on his sleeve, he’s another story. We hold him to a higher standard, and he knows it.
The most successful people personify warrior ethos. The relentless drive we see in top athletes, successful business people, and our nation’s military heroes, inspire others to achieve greatness. Grunt Style has emerged as the lifestyle brand of the tactical athlete, the proud Veteran, and the entrepreneur who will stop at nothing to build a great culture and a championship team.
What is a Grunt?
A grunt is an infantry soldier, a foot soldier. While the army boasts specialty jobs such as tracked vehicle mechanic, helicopter pilot, and combat engineer, every soldier receives training as a grunt. While infantry soldiers may arrive on the battlefield by parachute, helicopter, or armored fighting vehicle, they also travel great distances through hellish terrain with heavy packs on their backs to find and destroy the enemy. When infantry soldiers arrive at their objective, they fight and win. It does not matter whether the grunt walked for 20 minutes or 20 miles or whether he was carrying 20lbs or 120lbs, when its time to fight, he fights. The grunt fights in fields, deserts, jungles, mountains, and urban areas. He fights when the weather is hot, cold, wet or dry. The grunt never makes excuses, never surrenders, and never leaves a fallen comrade.
Why the Grunt Style brand matters to Veterans
Some of my high school classmates played on the 1994, 95, and 97 Nebraska Cornhusker National Championship football teams. While winning 3 championship rings is an impressive accomplishment, I wouldn’t trade my experiences as a grunt for it. My first championship team was A Co. 1-5 Cav, First Cavalry Division—the Grim Reapers. The “Reapers” were fierce competitors, dedicated mentors, and steely-eyed killers. My experience was not unique, most Veterans believe that at one point in service, they served in the best military unit in the world—and that everyone else sucked.
Many of our wounded heroes transitioning back to civilian life seek the team, the support, and the sense of purpose they felt in the military. Grunt Style reminds Veterans who they are, what they stand for and what is expected of them. Grunt Style celebrates the proud Veteran and reminds him of his value, even if he is no longer a tactical athlete.
How Grunt Style has helped our culture
It’s only a T-shirt, and yet it is so much more. Countless authors claim that the best businesses have great cultures that distinguish them from competitors. Warrior Ethos anchors our firm’s culture. While I’m not shy about the toughness of my team, I learned in Ranger School that fatigue makes cowards of us all. Motivation overcomes fatigue in our longest days and in our darkest hours. Our employees can wear the Grunt Style shirts and feel the heaviness of the flag on the right side and the crossed rifles on the left. They know we expect more of them than most employers, and they take pride in that expectation.
The Greater Good
In my work with Veterans over the past 20 years, I have had the honor of representing members of the Greatest Generation who stormed the beaches. I have seen the brotherhood of the Vietnam Veterans who banded together upon returning to an ungrateful nation. In a time of “safe spaces” and entitlement, it is the Grunt Style mentality that will fuel the OIF/OEF Veteran leaders who will change the world for the better.
John S. Berry Jr (LTC, U.S. Army, Retired)
CEO, Berry Law
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