At times we take freedom for granted. I know I do every now and then. I have to remind myself that the opportunity of being able to express and showcase my passion for crowdfunding, so easily and freely, is due to our military men and women fighting for that right and freedom. We all have our own ways of showing our appreciation to those that serve. It could be a mere "Thank you", picking up the tab at the bar, or even taking it to the next level and offering a veteran a job after their service. Nick Palmisciano and Tom Amenta (both military veterans) of Ranger Up are working on a project to not only give a veteran a work opportunity, but also give them the experience needed to pursue their own dream of starting his or her own small business.
After successfully experimenting their idea with U.S. Marine Jon Walsh (now owner of Five Rings MMA), the crew at Ranger Up have decided to pursue their passion of helping other veterans that are leaving the military front by creating a program called Operation Ranger Up. Operation Ranger Up is designed in a manner that will allow the Veteran Entrepreneur to gain the experience and understanding of each department/function found at Ranger Up, a premier military lifestyle apparel, by going through a guiding curriculum in a year. From the beginning of the program to the end, the Veteran Entrepreneur will be given projects and tasks within each department that will contribute to their learning. Their supervisor in each role will help them progress and learn about different operations, which will provide a solid foundation for the Veteran Entrepreneur, as he or she grasps the different concepts needed to run a small business. Also, along the way, Ranger Up will give the Veteran Entrepreneur the experience of looking at opportunities outside of running an apparel company by getting him/her involved as Ranger Up consults other veteran owned small businesses. Once graduated from the program, Ranger Up invests in the Veteran Entrepreneur's business idea, helping them get off the ground and bring to life their own small business.
When I spoke to Tom about their project, it was clear to envision Ranger Up's mission with this program. He mentioned how much this campaign will mean to the Veteran Entrepreneur, as the program costs Ranger Up about $117k, which goes towards the Veteran Entrepreneur's salary, benefits, and seed money. Tom expressed that when it comes to backers, they want to be as transparent as possible. That way funders can fully grasp the return on investment that they are getting. To do so, they will communicate and inform backers continually on the Veteran Entrepreneur's progress throughout the year.
With many veterans coming back home and searching for job opportunities, Ranger Up is doing their part in helping them get back in civilian mode. With many veterans motivated and ambitious, Operation Ranger Up will provide them with the needed experience to help bring their dream of starting a small business come to reality. When I asked Tom what the long-term vision is for the program, without hesitation, he explained that he sees the members of the program paying it forward by hiring more veterans and helping them achieve their own goals.
Overall, the concept and dedication of supporting those that serve POPs.