Today I’m joined by Jason McCarthy — a former Special Forces operator turned entrepreneur, who bootstrapped the rucksack and events brand GORUCK into a $30M a year business.
In this episode, we talk about Jason’s vision to make rucking more popular than running, the importance of real-life, social interaction, and his latest venture, Sandlot Technology, that aims to decentralize fitness.
In this episode, you’ll learn:
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Jason enlisted in the Army after 9/11 because of 9/11 and served in Special Forces in Iraq and the Sahel region of West Africa. In 2006, Jason’s wife Emily was a Case Officer in the CIA working in French-speaking West Africa. Applying what he had learned in war, Jason built Emily a “go-bag”, or “go-ruck” for her to keep in her vehicle and at home, ready to go at all times.
Jason’s commitment to the Special Forces way of life and the idea for a “go-ruck” led him to start GORUCK in 2008. It took over two years to design and manufacture the rucksacks and ensure they would thrive in both Baghdad and NYC — Green Berets were judge and jury of quality and functionality. In order to raise awareness for the gear, Jason started community building through physically grueling events based on Special Forces training called the GORUCK Challenge.
Over 7,000 events and 160,000 participants later, GORUCK has become The Rucking Company, a people first organization centered around increasing global activity through rucking, strengthening communities, and the relentless pursuit of excellence. In every way, the GORUCK community represents a bridge between the civilian and military worlds and there are over 500 Official GORUCK Clubs all over the world, accessible and open to all.
In 2020, Jason co-founded Sandlot Technology Inc. with B.J. Naedele, a GORUCK Board Member and former COO of Nike+ who worked on four #1 Apps in the App store, with the mission to unite and democratize fitness, centered around trainers. The platform is making its real world debut at Sandlot Jax - Fitness Festival in April of 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida, in partnership with global thought leaders, trainers, and brands in the health and fitness space.
Jason can usually be found rucking around Jacksonville Beach, FL with his wife Emily, three kids — Natalie, Jack, and Ryan — and chocolate lab Monster who is lovingly referred to as the President of GORUCK Nation.