Jason and Monster Interview 5/7/14

May 7, 2014 I did a Q&A on GORUCK’s main Facebook page. Here it is:

Q1: Monster, how have you adjusted to being famous? We always see Jason carrying you around and at a lot of events.
A1: Monster is adjusting just fine, he doesn’t know any other way I guess.

Q2: You have said that steals and deals was out of necessity. Will we ever see steals and deals again in the future? Are black colored rucks going to be part of the event discount after steals and deals goes away?
A2: yes, we’ll bring it back in the future. I would expect it to be much more limited in terms of quantities on hand, though (relative to our size). Eventually, we’ll get better at the whole ordering thing. Black rucks and the Events discount – I do not expect the discount to remain at a permanent 20% off all things uniformly, but that requires some IT code. Basically, yes, most black rucks will be discounted. As supplies dictate, we may discount more or less than 20%.

Q3: How many Expeditions can we expect next year?
A3: Expeditions – not sure, but not a ton. I’d bet on 10-15 in 2015 plus as many custom events as anyone could handle.

Q4: How long until the Goruck Firearms gear comes out? What kind of gear can we expect?
A4: Firearms gear is in the early stages of sampling at our vendors. We’re shooting for a Fall launch, potentially a pre-sale before the launch to better, ummmmm, gauge demand.

Q5: Any chance we will see more WS&FB type “events” setup after Heavy/Challenges/Light events next year? A sort of “in conjunction with” type thing?
A5: We love War Stories and Free Beer, we just have to make it more relevant and financially viable. We’ve started shooting video and adding a mobile PX at WSFB. So, yes, I would expect us to really look to involve as many events as possible at key, large Events. WSFB, Scavenger at the end (sorta like HCLS), stuff like that.

Q6: Will there be promotions in the future to do 20% off your first challenge if you haven’t done one yet? I noticed the codes no longer work. Also, do you have plans for designing an adjustable hat that does not have a velcro back? Men don’t have this problem but pulling a ponytail/braid through usually gets the velcro stuck in my hair
A6: Some codes will be back working today/tomorrow timeline. Specifically for the GovX members so we can discount for our armed forces. In the future, yes, there will be an Events discount once Steals and Deals comes to an end.

Q7: Will the computer bags continue to be made, black of course?
A7: Yes, we’ll keep making the shoulder bags, likely only in the 15L in black. Maybe in the future we’ll get crazy and do a real limited run in one color. Those bags sell really well actually, even though they have nothing to do with our Events.

Q8: Hi, I am curious if Monster can do a photo shoot in Dallas, TX?
A8: Monster does Dallas – ya never know lol.

Q9: Will Nasty 002 happen?
A9: Nasty 002 – yes, it’ll happen is my best guess. If it were before 2016 I would be surprised. You see…there is value in jumping in to Class 001 of things even though we don’t always have it perfectly figured out yet.

Q10: Any plans on attachments that might connect to the molle on the side of the rucks?
A10: MOLLE attachments…I strangled a water bottle attachment out of Jack Barley’s team in Bozeman. It’ll be out pretty soon. No other attachments planned in the super near term. Though we are working on an attachment that would allow for a hip belt (just webbing, not padded) based on using the side MOLLE.

Q11: Jason…will there be any “alumni-only” events moving forward? It would be nice to have something special to share with other GRT.
A11: Good thought, I think an alumni only event would be cool to do, let me get with our team.

Q12: I hear you’ve been drinking a lot of Smirnoff Ice lately. Can you confirm or deny this?… Gonna be driving through OK any this summer?
A12: You know me better than that, cuz. I’m almost exclusively Bud Heavy. So I’ll deny that rumor. As for a road trip, tentatively planning next Summer 2015…Summer of the Ruck.

Q13: Monster and Jason can you elaborate on what you meant by “rucking” on yesterday’s post?
A13: Rucking as a sport…yeah, it’s coming. Think of an event that’s rucking. Meaning, you have a ruck on with weight, there’s a start line and a finish line and your goal is to do it as fast as possible or as slow as you want. No Cadre except as maybe pace setters and party promoters at the end.

Q14: Any plans to do a custom section for rucks on the website? Like the fabulous ones that we see special folks wearing! Design your own sort of thing??? And….what are the odds of adding Firearms Day to the beginning of the all female event? Can’t wait to finally meet you there and hold Monster…well…he’ll be a true Monster by then…maybe I’ll get to pet him!
A14: Custom rucks – very tough operationally for us right now. Best we can likely do is offer really small runs of very limited edition colors. Miami All Girls Weekend – Firearms Day for that is highly likely is my best guess. We just have to find a range and stuff in the area. It’ll be fun.

Q15: I find all dogs guilty of this, but does Monster purposely try to spill your beer so he can lick it up off the floor?
A15: Yes, Monster loves beer. It’s kind of a problem actually. He’s a little too young to love it this much lol.

Q16: Can you guys make shipping more affordable? I can’t justify spending $40 on a $20 tee. Specially for something that can be stuffed into a small parcel.
A16: Shipping more affordable – businesses don’t really say this but they offer “free” shipping in an attempt for you to round up your cart for the free shipping. Kind of stating the obvious here. From our end, our packing and shipping team is pretty swamped, so we’re de-incentivizing you from making more smaller purchases of single t-shirts and fewer purchases of more things, at least up to the minimum shipping amount. Sorry, and to be straight, I wouldn’t pay that for a t-shirt, either. And if we sold more t-shirts we’d probably have to re-visit the shipping policy. Kind of a chicken or the egg problem I guess.

Q17: Would love to see a more detailed sizing guide for the GR2. The one currently doesn’t have many pictures that are helpful for shorter folk
A17: GR2 sizing guide for someone smaller, fair point.

Q18: What is the ETA of 1) go ruck wallett 2) patch book?
A18: Wallet likely won’t happen anytime soon. We made several, they’re not good enough and we’ve spent too much time on them as is. I think that Cordura is an inferior piece of material to make a wallet out of

Q19: We really need a midwest Firearms Day. If you throw one in the day before a challenge I guarantee it will sell out. We love our guns in Indiana!
A19: Yeah the Firearms Days are great. If you send us a note to info@goruck.com they’ll work with you. If you can guarantee a minimum number of people and we can find a range (or you can), I’m sure we can make it happen.

Q20: Your news posts talk a lot about what you have learned over the years. As a business guy I am curious, what would you say the best thing you have done for GR was? Dumbest? What keeps you up at night (business related)?
A20: GORUCK stuff. Best thing was to get GR1 right long before anyone ever heard of GORUCK. It’s easy to rush bad gear to market then you wonder why nobody wants it. Dumbest – that list is too long to count, but mostly the dumb stuff comes when I have a good idea so-called. Ideas aren’t worth anything, in fact they’re harmful, unless you have the means to execute them. And as for keeping me up at night, I sleep really well. Usually News Posts keep me up into the middle of the night though, because I love that part of my job around here, which is kind of like what I’m doing now: communicating.

Q21: How do you chose GORUCK heavy locations? I was hoping there’d be one in the WA/OR area this fall/next year.
A21: Heavy Locations – not exactly sure how we select them. My best guess, though, is that we focus on cities that have done well for us in the past and then we look to offer more events, including Heavy, there.

Q22: Is Jax, FL the “only” GR Selection spot in 2014?
A22: Jax, FL is the only Selection spot of 2014. We’re looking at doing 2 in 2015. No definitive details on that yet.

Q23: No matter how much I train, how many articles I read, videos I watch, people I ask, I never quite feel ready for one of your challanges. Ive signed up for 2, and flaked out last minute. Any real tips on how to physically AND mentally prepare for an event?
A23: Runaway bride type stuff before our Challenges, eh? Truth is nobody is ever 100% ready for anything in life. I recommend you sign up with a friend and hold each other to account. It’s a lot harder to walk away from a friend than just yourself. I hope you show up and EARN YOUR PATCH.

Q24: Any news on the Selection prep/training event you mentioned in the HCLS posts.
A24: Selection prep event – sorta in the works. Bert and I woulda probably launched it already, Big Daddy Cadre John has a different standard for launching a new event so we’re going by his rules now. We want people to pass Selection so we want to show you a taste of the Cadre demeanor of Selection before you show up. It’s night and day different from even Heavy.

Q25: Will Heavy make it to overseas in 2015?
A25: Heavy international in 2015 – I’d say absolutely that’ll happen. How about Normandy 2015? Bam did that just happen, yup. We’ll do a Heavy in Normandy 2015.

Q26: Just curious, do custom challenges throw off the numbering for other challenges? Had something like that happen for our San Antonio challenge where we were told one class number and given another. Pretty funny actually.
A26: Not really sure on the Custom Events and the numbering. I would bet that they could throw it off under some circumstances. Adapt and overcome lol.

Q27: Something about Big Daddy being awesome.
A27: Big Daddy’s job (Cadre John that is) brings experience at both strategy and execution to his role. He has the respect of all the Cadre and he has my respect as a leader and very trusted advisor. His mark is that we’re going to get a lot smarter at GORUCK Events. More efficiencies of locations aka the sync matrix will be in full effect. Plus having one person at the head of GORUCK Events that reports to me allows me to focus on other things to ensure we’re growing into a company that will be around in 1,000 years if the Earth is still spinning around the sun.

Q28: Any thoughts on smaller attachments for the Mollie on the shoulder straps? Something to hold snacks, flashlight, phone….stuff to get at quick without taking your ruck off?
A28: I would love for us to do more ruck and rucking accessories. I would be that those are a 2015 launch at this point, though.

Q29: Do you have any sense for what % of people who complete one event, go on to do more?
A29: No idea the % of repeat Events folks. It’s a helluva lot higher than I would have expected, I’ll tell you that. And as for Monster…part of the deal is that if you work at GORUCK for 5 years and you want a Monster puppy, you can get one, we’ll just have to find the lucky mom for that one.

Q30: Are There more GRC’s coming Up in Europe in the next years? And when do We get Info about GRC or GRL Dates in the Second half of 2014?
A30: Europe – we haven’t seen the growth like we’d like to date, and it’s very expensive for us to put events on there, so we’re paring back a bit in the hopes of larger events in key cities. London, Dublin St Paddy’s Day, Normandy, Munich Oktoberfest etc. I would expect us to double down on Europe in a couple years, until then most of the focus is on the States.

Q31: When are flags gonna be back on the website?
A31: Not a ton of flags planned except a GORUCK USA one. Not sure the status of getting that one on the site.

Q32: Monster, Jason’s SOG post yesterday was kind of cryptic, didn’t you think? (Honest, and awesome, but a little cryptic) You have the benefit of an observer’s perspective on the whole deal, so maybe you can shed some light on it. Trying to squish it down into bullet points, here’s what I gathered:

1. GR Nasty 002 is coming and will be terribly awesome.
2. There may be some new events coming online, and some of the existing events may be changing slightly to make them more sustainable, long-term.
3. BD is in charge of all events now.
4. GR is focusing on “getting back to basics” and not overextending itself… and therefore probably not making 4 new types of rucks this year.
1) Nasty 002 in 2016 at the soonest is my best guess. Zero promises.
2) Existing events such as The Challenge are classic and not changing. Heavy/Selection are set and basically as we want them. GORUCK Light needs a more consistent focus on fun, and it’s getting there. Not a ton of changes coming to those events other than different Cadre perspectives on them.
3) New rucks – that’s exactly what we’re working on, in fact. After all, rucks are our wheelhouse.
4) Firearms gear is coming first, though. Fall of this year.

Q33: Seconding Mark Webbs Q. What can we do to make events the best that they can be?
A33: Have a great attitude and bring more new people to the Events if you want them to be the best they can be. There’s still nothing quite like seeing someone finish an Event who had no idea really what they were getting themselves into.

Q34: Any plans for an east coast (northeast) beached? Or a GRC on east coast shore?
A34: East Coast Beached – not really a priority right now. We’re more focused on rucking events, though Beached is a home run for all of our divers to teach, and we have so many Zodiacs at the Cadre Team House. Because it’s logistically easy for us, we’ll keep doing them in Florida.

Q35: What has been the most effective means of marketing the GORUCK events? I feel now that critical mass helps – word of mouth with 9000+ GRT, and some prime time exposure have helped, but I still see classes that seem too small to be profitable for you.
A35: We suck at marketing. Don’t know how to do it, haven’t done it and when we have tried it, we’ve failed. You all are the only ones, by telling your friends about us, who have “sold” GORUCK to anyone. That’s why I always say I owe GORUCK to you all and that’s why I mean it whole heartedly.

Q36: Any chance of GORUCK brand dry fit t shirts being made?
A36: Dri-fit T’s – maybe, if we use a 3rd party who already makes the shirt, and we like it. Making our own has proven too difficult for now.

Q37: What is the average age of Goruck participants? Just curious.
A37: Average age – not sure, good question. I’d bet 25-34, though.

Q38: We always have tons of questions for you Jason, do you ever have questions for us as GORUCK nation?
A38: Have you ever been on the Tough Group lol…I don’t have to ask many questions to get the opinions of GORUCK Nation. That page is great and I love seeing what you all are up to and what you think. People are literally what we’re investing in, and that means all of you.

Q39: Would you want to partner with someone to organize events and distribute gear in Europe, so that we poor Europeans can learn to be better Americans, too?
A39: Eventually, yes. At the moment, America is pretty much all we can handle well. We’ll continue to keep a presence there via some events. Then really turn to Europe as we get Cadre who live there and can run a lot more Events a lot more of the time.

Q40: One suggestion is to reduce the calendar somewhat. There are some cities that are very much oversubscribed. Making something feel more exclusive is one way to help attract more interest. (Boston has about 131 challenges per year for example)
A40: Your note on Boston being over-saturated is exactly the point Big Daddy made to me and part of his job is to be smarter and more efficient about where we are with what event combinations. It doesn’t always have to be a Challenge/Light. Yes, that may mean we may bring back Challenge/Challenge in some cities for you real go-getters lol. Sometimes L/L/S, sometimes something else. We’ll have to see. This is entirely in BD’s lane.

Q41: Any chance for slick hats? No patch up front, just your typical bombproof construction that we’ve all come to love?
A41: Slick hats – yes, I’d expect them in a month or two, best guess. That means no Velcro on the exterior. Interestingly enough, we’re doing this in part because we need to “store” some blank hats because corporations are asking us to embroider the front. Seems to make sense to just go ahead and sell them like that, too.

Q42: Any chance of getting a Firearms day and Navigation capstone up here in the thriving Pacific Northwest? And thanks for creating what I hope is my newest addiction
A42: Firearms in the Pacific Northwest is a definite. We have to do a company internal one for the folks who work at our Warehouse in Seattle. Once we have the range, easy enough to replicate for you all.

Q43: Munich Oktoberfest…is that happening this year?
A43: Is Munich Oktoberfest not on the Calendar? That’s supposed to be annual, if it’s not it’ll be 2015 for sure.

Q44: Are there any GR0′s or GR1′s in blue left? If not, will they be resurfacing at any point? As always you’re the man!
A44: Not sure on the blue GR1/GR0. We’re re-doing our inventory counts in the next day or so, it’s possible one or two might pop back up on the site. But for the most part, when these colors are gone, most are going away forever.

Q45: Any plans for a reality tv show based on GR? You’ve got all the ingredients- great human stories, interesting characters, raving fans, compelling themes, etc.
A45: Reality TV show – I’ve crawled down that rabbit hole of people requesting to do one on GORUCK. It’s a huge distraction currently is my best guess. If Jack Osbourne or someone I trusted (he’s a huge GORUCK fan/GRT) wanted to do one, I’d really consider it. Our Cadre are some of the great characters in this world.

Q46: Jason is your favorite drink a “Java Monster”?
A46: My favorite drink is Bud Heavy, though I do have a special place in my heart for JavaMonster, that’s a fact. Sometimes I get it when I’m on the road just because of its name!

Q47: We all know the origins of the Challenge and how it is building better Americans. With groups like TRVLSQD continuing that effort in and out of the GR community, do you expect to see more teams pop up and do you like that approach?
A47: I’m a big fan of Fergus and TRVLSQD. I think the establishment of ‘chapters’ if you will, is a natural evolution. All GORUCK is local because GORUCK Nation lives locally, ummmm, to themselves. We want you all to get out and do it whatever that is and we want you to do it with your friends. If you meet through GORUCK and continue that friendship outside of GORUCK, then we’ve made the world a better place. Also, huge kudos to GORUCK NorCal, another awesome group that basically hosted Class 1,000 in San Fran last weekend. The best part about both groups, and so many others around the country, is how inviting they are to outsiders. I never want us to have that aura of exclusivity because we’re GORUCK or whatever. Stay humble and have fun and if someone wants to come to your party, whomever they are, be grateful kind of deal.

Q48: Have you thought about giving out an exclusive GRT shirt at events (in addition to the traditional patch)? It would up costs, but it’s more visible and seen more often than a patch.
A48: Free t-shirts. We could do that and it would increase costs. Part of the issue is the logistical nightmare, though, of having Cadre be responsible for shirts etc. Being such small classes, probably harder to do.

Q49: Would you want to partner with someone to organize events and distribute gear in Europe, so that we poor Europeans can learn to be better Americans, too?
A49: We’re looking for either European SF or American SF living in Europe. We have some leads already working through the Cadre hiring process.

Q50: What is the single thing that GR Nation can do to support you?
A50: The single thing you all can do to help is just tell your friends about us. There is no other way for us to grow how we want, on our terms. The other thing, and you can expect us to explain more about this in the coming months, is to start rucking with your friends outside of GORUCK. Meaning, put a ruck on and instead of going for a run, go for a ruck. Show people what it’s like and how much fun it is. It’s more social and it’s a strength workout as well. We’re doing it at HQ and I can’t believe I’m actually back into rucking and when you don’t do it in the military it’s a blast. And yes, Monster loves it too.

Q51: What HCLS are we looking at for next year? I plan on doing one soon!
A51: HCLS for next year – not sure, but definitely more in Florida out of HQ. That was one of the best times I’ve ever had at GORUCK post Light and post Scavenger.

Q52: Is there still a PX in Jax? I’m headed up tomorrow for the CF Southeast Regionals and would love to stop by.
A52: No more PX in Jax. We’ve made it mobile instead. And I’m also planning to go to the CF Regionals in Jacksonville, maybe I’ll see ya there

Q53: Jason, are we going to see Big Daddy, Bert Kuntz and yourself at Normandy Challenge this year?
A53: Not sure who is at Normandy but I believe it’s Cadre Tyler and someone else. This is maybe the most coveted event by the Cadre, just FYI. It’ll be special and I will definitely lead it one of these years.

Q54: Hi Jason, three of my buddies and I participated in your Go Ruck Challenge on 25 April. It was definitely a great experience and well earned self accomplishment. It also brought some ideas for us to do on team building exercises for our SWAT team. I would just like to say thanks for the experience and the challenge. Second note, where can we find pictures from the Go Ruck challenge in Jacksonville, FL. The only ones I’ve found were pics of the Heavy Challenge personnel. It would be great to see some memories of the event. Cadre Aaron and Cadre Dakota where the ones I saw taking the pics. Thanks again for the challenge!
A54: Thanks a million. Not sure where those pics are, info@goruck.com or ask the Cadre on FB to share one or some of them.

Q55: We know about Jason but Monster…what’s your favorite GoRuck activity?
A55: Monster just loves to ruck. Anytime, anyplace…then get to the after party so he can be adored lol.

Q56: Love the scars program… why no zippers given many competitors do cover all parts of the bag?
A56: Scars Program and zippers. The deal on zippers is that no matter what they’re the weakest part of any piece of gear that has them, certainly any backpack or rucksack. We don’t cover zipper failures when they’re due to training with abrasive weight on the interior. Aka no raw dog bricks you gotta wrap ‘em. So, we don’t cover the zippers because you all have to take care of your gear by not using abrasive weight on the interior. If we covered absolutely everything, people wouldn’t really care (on average).

Q57: Thanks for all you do…I’m having a hard time finding sizing info for females…I’d like to get my girlfriend a ruck…she’s between 5’6-5’7….what should I go with?
A57: Depending on what she wants to do, I’d say the Echo would be ideal. GR0 as well if she would want more volume or has a larger laptop.

Q58: How is Goruck Likely to expand in terms of events and merchandise? How are cadre chosen and are specific cadre chosen for specific events?
A58: Rucking specific events are coming fast. With gear to support that. As well as Firearms gear, coming Fall 2014.

Q59: Jason is there a chance that the mobile PX might make a few stops out through the rest of the country?
A59: The goal for the mobile PX is to show up at events with large numbers of people. So, yeah, there’s always a chance if an event is large enough that we’ll show up with the PX.

Q60: Prices show up differently on Steals page and item page. I.E. 20L gym bag $45 on Steals page vs. $55 on item page. Whats up?
A60: Working through more IT glitches. Prices will be accurately reflected in short order. Thanks for your patience.

Q61: What happened to the training section on GORUCK?
A61: Training page – we’re revamping the entire blog section of the site, NEWS and TRAINING. Training v2 will focus more on rucking and essentially Cadre articles.

Q62: What would you say the hardest thing was SFAS or the Q?
A62: SFAS was not that hard for me. I love to ruck and it’s super rucking centric. I had a really hard time at Phase 2, Small Unit Tactics. It just took me a while to “get it”. I loved Robin Sage and would literally do that phase, even though it sucked but was also a thinking man’s game, a bunch more times right now if I could. Maybe could I not do the infil though pretty please (125 lbs. for 12 hours or whatever was horrible).

Q63: How about a Heavy in Detroit?
A63: Pester someone else you know at GORUCK about a Heavy in your neck of the woods lol. I’m sure you’ll find a receptive audience, esp. after the huge class there a couple weeks ago.

Q64: GOREV 001? Is that concept being expanded to other cities?
A64: GORevolution was a massive success. Cadre Andy is being named the director of the historical society events at GORUCK, it’ll be up to him to expand those. I support his vision for those 100%.

Q65: Jason, if you were training up for SFAS before you actually did it, how much would you have utilized GORUCK events in your training regimen and do you think they are a viable measure of progress towards SOF readiness?
A65: If I were headed to SFAS, Special Forces Assessment and Selection, now, or next year, I would sign up and I would pass GORUCK Selection. It’s a preview into what it takes, how the Cadre will be, what will be expected of you, and the demons you’ll face as an individual with an aggressive world bearing down on you. To pass GORUCK Selection, I would first do a Challenge, then a Heavy, then an HCL. I was new to rucking when I joined the military so I had to learn fast how to carry heavy weight long distances. My body did, rather. Giving yourself the advantage of preparation is a luxury in this world. GORUCK Events offer that, whether it’s prep for SFAS or for life.

Q66: Doing my first Goruck Challenge. Any suggestions for the 6 brick configuration. I have a Gr1
A66: You can probably google it pretty easily. That said, make sure it’s as close to your back as possible. Put it in the sheath pocket in your ruck or buy yoga blocks and prop the weight up higher.

Q67: Whats the deal with events in calgary? Not a big enough market? Do you guys plan on creating new events or focusing on the “basics” also have you guys considered an app?
A67: No idea, man. I’d bet that nobody has requested them and that it’s a smaller-ish market. We’re always looking to create new events, and as for apps, they cost a ton for very little gain that goes out of style quickly, like most technology.

Q68: Sorry to jump in late. We got a bunch of the slick gear for our racing team, but I’m guessing it wasn’t as popular with other people. We wanted to grab shoulder bags and kit bags too. Any chance of preorders/custom orders for gear without velcro patches? We can live with MOLLE. Probably hard since you guys have to place orders in advance, but thought I’d ask. Thanks for taking the time.
A68: Yes, we can do custom orders of just about anything with those kinds of small modifications, there would just be order minimums. If you email info@goruck.com they’ll direct you to the correct person. Thanks!

Q69: Jason – Reading all this I’m pleased to see bottle holders, slick hats (!!!) and hip belts on the way (!!). As an international customer I’d ask you have stock of all three at some point so I can do a big order in one go. Limited stock would put me in a bind.

Also, as someone who owns all the original rucks I’m very curious about the new rucks you’ve got coming and how desperate I will be to buy them. Would you ever look to include sternum/hip belts with your rucks?
A69: Yes, the next line of rucks will have (padded) hip belts. Sternum straps will probably remain as accessories. Nothing is finalized yet, though.

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