In January 2009, having spent the majority of my service as a US Army Special Forces Intelligence sergeant for 1st Special Forces Group in Okinawa, Japan, I separated from the military and returned to American soil. The news of the American Mortgage Debacle was playing on every news channel across the country, and my transition to civilian life seemed to get more complicated and desperate by the hour.
As a two-sport, Division 1 athlete at the University of California, Berkeley, my heart had always belonged in sport. I didn’t see myself “slinging lead” for a defense contractor, and being a shooting instructor for the NRA wasn’t any more appealing. So, as a self-proclaimed meathead, I did the logical thing; leveraged my athletic background with my skills as a tactical operator and became a strength & conditioning specialist.
Over the next several years, I jumped head first into the fitness industry, working with athletes in a variety of disciplines and training with with many great coaches. From professional football players and Olympic sprinters to the local high school basketball teams, I enjoyed my work. While I enjoyed working with all of these athletes, I consistently favored specific type of athlete above all others – the tactical athlete; those that place their mortal well-being in danger as a requirement of their profession in order to help or protect others (military soldiers, law enforcement officers, and first responders).
US tactical operators are given the best equipment and technology to help them through the ever-changing, dynamic battlefield. However, these professionals are lacking the same attention and care regarding their nutritional preparation and physical training. Therefore, I created a solution in the form of a nutritional rescue-line – the Fast Uptake Solution (fUS).
In creating fUS, I worked with industry experts to create a lean, mean blend of nutrients that would afford the tactical athlete sustained energy, elevated mental clarity, and quicker physical recovery in a highly portable, durable form that’s easy to consume in even the most austere environments. We stripped away all the additives that many supplements contain and added effective, critical doses vitamins. The fUS formula will not place the athlete into dangerous metabolic states (elevated heart rates and hyperactive nervous conditions consistent with stimulant intake).
In late 2013, fUS hit the market. In it’s launch, I talked to an array of industry experts and business minds. fUS made it into the hands of professional football players, obstacle course racers, students, and office jockeys. Cool! I had a product that worked well for almost everyone that sampled it. By the end of 2014, we had moved over 60,000 units. However, only a small portion of this number was getting to the frontline operators.
Now, in 2015, fUS has redefined our process for reaching these athletes. fUS has a 1-to-1 giving program. For each unit of fUS sold, we give a unit of fUS to a military, law enforcement, or first responder unit; that’s a 1 to 1 giving program.
I know that this is not a new model; it’s been done by other companies with shoes in Africa and eyeglasses in South America. But it is a model that will serve these tactical athletes whom have earned our support
The fUS giving program more directly supports the men and women currently serving this country by giving them a product that improves their professional performance. My goal: fUS will help operators move quicker, extinguish fires faster, help soldiers keep watch longer, and even save lives when seconds and inches matter.
This is my mission. fUS is my vehicle.
So, I am writing this letter to you, the fUS community. You are the nameless, faceless hero in my mind. Whether you are the soldier in a Humvee, the officer in a patrol car, the medic on an engine, or the resolute American that has chosen to support the frontline, I am endlessly thankful to be connected to you.
In the end, I know that we get at least one chance at this life. And, I also know that we are afforded the opportunity fight hard until we are dead. Hopefully, we can can all reflect upon the days lived with the confidence that proclaims, “We gave it all we had.”
Thank you for joining the mission.
(learn more about Derek here)