Chris Osman is a disabled Veteran, who started his career as a U.S. Marine seeing combat in Somalia. Chris then joined the Navy and became a SEAL after graduating with BUDS class 215. Chris performed in numerous classified operations in the Arabian Gulf, as well as combat in Afghanistan immediately after 9/11. During his time in the military he noticed a significant gap in the gear he was being issued vs. what was really needed for operations. So, in 2001, Chris founded Tactical Assault Gear (TAG) a multi-million dollar global supplier of tactical equipment, which he sold in 2010. Leveraging his product knowledge and business experience, Chris wanted to bring the same type of high quality, made in America products to the motorcycle industry. Being an avid rider, Chris could never find any products that were either Made in the USA, were built for function and performance or that were of high quality. With that in mind our Mission is simple; COD™ will only sell products that have been battle tested or brands that are proven to be best in class that you can rely on. Along with 20 years of design, manufacturing and product distribution experience, we have an unwavering commitment to quality, innovation and customer service.
Jason Redman: Hey, this is Jason “Overcome” Redman. Thanks for tuning in to the Overcome and Conquer show. If you love this show, we want you to do us a huge favor. Go to iTunes, subscribe, leave that five star review, leave a comment, and most importantly, share with your friends. Because sharing is caring.
Voice Over: Everybody wants to be on top of the mountain. The problem nowadays is, people want to get dropped off at the top of the hill.
Jason Redman: It’s that “I overcome” mindset that makes all the difference.
Voice Over: See the way we’re taught is, you’re going to claw, you’re going to scratch, you’re going to bite, you’re going to dig, you’re going to do whatever it takes to get to the top of that mountain.
Jason Redman: That unequivocally is how I have managed to keep myself moving forward and finding success.
Voice Over: Two SEALs, one mission. The Overcome and Conquer show.
Jason Redman: And welcome back to the Overcome and Conquer show. I got to tell you, there is a whole lot of awesomeness in this studio today. I mean, it’s hard to move with the amount of awesomeness in here.
Ray Care: I can’t make a SEAL’s … I’ve never been able to do … I’ve never done that before.
Jason Redman: [crosstalk 00:01:04] Just stop that.
Ray Care: [crosstalk 00:01:05].
Jason Redman: [crosstalk 00:01:05] Just stop that. Yeah. Just quit while you’re ahead, man. But we are honored to have another Team guy brother with us today, and today’s going to be a fun show, man. Three SEALs, one mission, to talk a bunch of shit.
Ray Care: You know what the mission is, but we can’t talk about it right now.
Jason Redman: Yeah. Yeah. Not on air, gentleman. Not on air. But yeah, man, I tell you what, the new Overcome and Conquer show has been just crushing it, driving forward. This has been a lot of fun. And we’re just going to continue that. Obviously with our guest today, he is an awesome individual, he is a fellow Teammate.
Jason Redman: He was born in the great state of California, and he’s done a lot of things, I got to tell you. He came from a military family, and it inspired him to go into the military. He was a Marine. We’re going to talk something about his childhood. I don’t want to get into that, but I’ll tell you what, he reminds me a little bit of Ray’s background.
Jason Redman: Grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, and I tell you, there’s a lot of people out there that grew up on the wrong side of the tracks and lost their way. And our guest, he stayed laser focused and drove on, despite everything being thrown against him. He went on and he joined the United States Marine Corps. He was a marine, and saw the highs and lows.
Ray Care: No. Shit.
Jason Redman: Got himself in a little bit of trouble over the years, and finally decided that the Marine Corps, while it was a great warmup for him, stepped up, he got called up to the big leagues-
Chris Osman: Damn right.
Jason Redman: And joined the Navy and went to BUD/S, graduated in class 2013, right?
Ray Care: No.
Chris Osman: 2015.
Ray Care: 2015.
Jason Redman: 2015. Sorry about that. Sorry about that. 2015, and did several combat deployments, and then spent some time and he founded an amazing company in 2001, Tactical Assault Gear, TAG. And that company exploded. He learned a lot about making gear, relentless, he had a great business mind, all the lessons he learned both in the military and the Marine Corps and then the SEAL Teams, he translated that into huge success before he finally sold his part in TAG.
Jason Redman: And now he is driving forward, doing what he loves, finding success with his passion with motorcycles.And recently launched his new company, Rhuged. And we are going to be talking about that along with he’s a published author, he wrote the book SEALs: US Navy’s Elite Fighting Force.
Ray Care: Imagine that.
Jason Redman: I was going to say, with SEAL Teams, you actually have to have a book. I make fun of all my Army friends-
Ray Care: I’ve got two in the works.
Jason Redman: Two in the works, so-
Chris Osman: Nice.
Jason Redman: But yeah. My Army friends are like, “Yeah, guy. You’re the only assholes out there that when you do a mission brief, they include who the book publishing point of contact is, and how to write the movie script.”
Ray Care: And we have great fucking hair.
Jason Redman: [crosstalk 00:04:05].
Chris Osman: At the end of the slides, it’s just a bibliography.
Jason Redman: Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. Yeah. And there’s a-
Ray Care: All your sources in quotes.
Jason Redman: … shelf of Copenhagen and hair gel as you step out of the blizter in space.
Ray Care: You had me at hair gel.
Jason Redman: But he truly is an amazing individual guys. He tells it like it is, he is a leader, he is a warrior, he is a business man, and we are just absolutely honored to have him on, Chris Osman. Welcome to the Overcome and Conquer Show.
Chris Osman: Thanks for having me, fellas.
Ray Care: Brother, it is so awesome to have you here. We go back a little ways. Big fan. Big fan of what you do. But I’ve got to address the elephant in the room. You guys know I do some consulting work all over the world. And you know, it just came to my attention that I was fucking paying full price for your shit for years, and I just found out that you are the fucking CEO of a company where I used a lot of your product, so-
Jason Redman: Did I mention he was a good businessman?
Ray Care: No shit.
Chris Osman: Yeah, right?
Ray Care: I’m going to be hitting you up. We got to have to see if we can get some type of … Can I get a delayed refund?
Chris Osman: Some type of discount code.
Ray Care: Yeah?
Chris Osman: Like a reverse discount?
Ray Care: Well, what pisses me off is all your gear is so awesome. I was just telling him beforehand, you’ve got the most awesome fucking gear. I love your hats. The-
Chris Osman: Faith, hope, and destiny.
Ray Care: Thank you. I wanted you to say it because I’m married.
Jason Redman: I was hoping he brought some.
Ray Care: The glitter hats. We were all like, “Please.” But every time I get online to buy a hat, my wife, one, fucking gets pissed off because she was like, “Don’t you do it.” But every time I do, you’re out of gear. What the fuck?
Chris Osman: So I’m surprised myself. That definitely wasn’t my intention with starting that whole thing. Because originally it was Chris Osman Design, as everybody knows, right? And that was just a transition from Tactical Assault Gear, because everybody knew me as, “Oh, Chris is the TAG guy,” right?
Ray Care: Yep.
Chris Osman: So I was working for the company that I sold TAG to, a company called LC Industries out of North Carolina. Really big government contractor, but they make things that we used every single day that no one knows where the fuck they come from, but ChemLights, they make all the ChemLights. The Cyalume ChemLights, about 19 million ChemLights a year.
Jason Redman: Holy shit.
Chris Osman: If anybody wanted to know how many ChemLights are being snapped around the world, that’s about how many. The five gallon jerrycan water jugs, all the spoons that go into the MREs and stuff like that. So that company wanted to get involved in manufacturing on the nylon side of the house and I had gone there many, many years ago, like 2009-ish, to ask them to sell my product and get them to sign up as a dealer.
Chris Osman: And by the time I had left and they were dropping me off at the airport they asked, “Hey man, instead of us being a dealer, would you consider selling the company to us and you coming to work as a vice president?” And I was like, “Sure.” That was literally the conversation. It happened on a cell phone on my way to the airport.
Ray Care: Great hair, deep pockets. I fucking love you.
Jason Redman: Yeah, yeah. [crosstalk 00:06:55] Hot. Did I say that too loud? That was my outside voice.
Chris Osman: But that animal blew up. I never intended to have a company that was doing millions of dollars in sales and all this other crazy shit. I never knew that was my path in life, and then as I transitioned, I’ll say that. They actually shit canned me. They fired me.
Ray Care: SEAL transition means … That’s awesome. I love it.
Chris Osman: Yeah. You’re like, “Oh, you’re in a transitional period? Oh, you mean you got kicked out of your house?”
Ray Care: Fucking fuck yeah.
Chris Osman: You fucking …
Ray Care: I love it. We can all relate.
Jason Redman: I’ve been in transition a few times.
Ray Care: Yeah. No shit. No shit.
Chris Osman: So I had just started Chris Osman Designs as just a side business, because I ride motorcycles a lot, and to me all that nylon shit that I see, it’s the same as making a molle dump mag pouch, or something like that. I was like, “Hmm, it’s nylon sewn into a rectangle, and instead of attaching to an armor carrier, it’s going to attach to my handlebars.” And I just started making stuff as a side hustle to keep my mind entertained.
Chris Osman: And then I got fired from LC Industries because I was making my own product even though they were making it for me. They were the OEM, so it was just they basically hated me, I hated them, they shit canned me, and then with Rhuged, my whole goal in life was to never, ever, ever become what I became in TAG. It consumed my whole life. I mean, it was seven days a week fucking no sleep, no rest for the wicked type thing, and I just don’t want to become that.
Jason Redman: [crosstalk 00:08:22] The life of a huge entrepreneur that gets sucked down into the actually business bureaucracy road when it gets so big. So we’re starting to get ahead of ourselves, because I want to come full circle. There’s an amazing journey that you basically walked along before you reached that point.
Jason Redman: And one of the things I want to go back to, one thing you said there, because it’s an amazing thing. For every show we have the word of the day. And you made a statement there that why working with those guys that came to you one day and they just said, “Hey, we want to buy you and you’d become the vice president.” And in that moment, that’s clarity.
Chris Osman: It is.
Jason Redman: It’s your word of the day.
Chris Osman: It is.
Jason Redman: I think that’s so amazing. So Ray, will you do the honors, and then Chris, we’re going to have you talk a little bit about why that’s your work.
Chris Osman: Okay.
Ray Care: Roger that, LT. Clarity. The quality or state of being clear. Now, that’s a pretty broad fucking definition. Obviously clarity hits you like a 20 pound anvil in the head. So what does clarity mean to you, sir?
Chris Osman: I think, I don’t even think, I know that clarity for me is anything in life, right? If it’s you’re going to go to the gym, you have to have clarity of focus of what you’re going to do. And you know this, you guys work out. If you just show up and you’re like, “Oh, I don’t know what I’m going to do,” you’ll spend an hour walking around the gym.
Chris Osman: But if you’re focused, you’re like, “Hey, I’m going to get in there and knock out this, this, this, and this. And I’m getting out of there.” Business is the same way, life is the same way. I think that if you can somehow go into your happy space and really, really, really dig down into who you are, and what you’re trying to accomplish, and get some type of clarity of focus, then you can drive forward and accomplish that goal and accomplish that mission.
Chris Osman: If you’re just out there hemming and hawing, and you’re like, “Oh, man. I don’t know. I’m thinking about going to school. I’ve always thought about getting my MBA. I’ve always …” The people who have a case of the tomorrows, there’s no clarity in anything that you’re doing.
Ray Care: I got it.
Chris Osman: You know what I mean?
Ray Care: I love it. So have a mission [crosstalk 00:10:17]-
Chris Osman: [crosstalk 00:10:17] I want to ride motorcycles. What kind of bike do you want? Man, I don’t know. I’ve never really thought about it.
Ray Care: Yeah, not at all.
Chris Osman: [crosstalk 00:10:23].
Ray Care: [crosstalk 00:10:23] And how do you want to ride, what do you want to ride [crosstalk 00:10:25]-
Chris Osman: [crosstalk 00:10:25] Yeah. So there’s that. And that, with Rhuged, what I’m doing it took me years to come up to having a point of clarity of what I really wanted this brand to be, and what I wanted to do, which is why it’s going to never be anything like TAG ever was.
Ray Care: Well, you learn from your mistakes.
Chris Osman: Oh, big time.
Ray Care: And that’s what’s so fucking cool about you, and what I love about you, is I’ve hung with you. We’ve shared one or 20 drinks before, and you’re so fucking humble. I’m not going to lie to you-
Chris Osman: That’s because I’m a huge fuck up. You know what I mean? So if you-
Jason Redman: Amen to that. I’m right there.
Chris Osman: Yeah. I mean, everybody makes huge mistakes. There’s great success, there’s great failures, right? There’s that ebb and flow of life, right? But I think that the reason I am humble, is because I mean think about it, man. I’m surrounded by guys like you, right? I can’t be a cocky asshole around guys like you. That’s the good thing about our community is that we will always hold each other accountable, good, bad, or indifferent.
Chris Osman: And I mean, like I say, man, I’m like, dude I was a SEAL, I was a marine, cool. But there are tens of thousands of people who have done that. And there are tens of thousands of people who did it a hell of a lot better than I ever did it. So I don’t know, I mean, I’m proud of what I did, but I’m certainly not hold my self as some elite being that deserves to be cocky around other people. I just, you know.
Jason Redman: Yeah. And I think that’s even another level of clarity. And I like what you said there, that it took you a while to figure that out. I think for all of us in business sometimes, I know I feel that way. It’s taken me a while to figure out what is my specific message. What am I delivering?
Jason Redman: And I love that you had this idea for Rhuged, but it took you some years to kind of figure out this is my path. This is the clarity. The dust is settled. I’m not moving in every direction in business. I know what I want to so. So let’s come full circle though, because-
Chris Osman: [crosstalk 00:12:23] I know where this is going.
Jason Redman: … like I said, man, you have walked a hell of a journey, so. Yeah, go ahead, Ray.
Ray Care: So we know you, the Team guy that you are now. What I want to know, and what the listeners want to know is, how did you become this? Talk about your childhood. I mean, because we have a lot in common. I mean, just lay it out there, brother.
Chris Osman: Yeah. So I grew up in southeast San Diego. My dad, he retired as a command master chief of a fast tech submarine, so he was the chief of the boat, known as a COB, during the Cold War. So he was never around, not because he didn’t want to be, it’s just because he couldn’t be, right? You guys know the deal.
Chris Osman: And he’s deploying, doing his thing, and our family didn’t have a lot of money. I mean, think about E5, E6. My brother was born when they were 17, so that means mom was pregnant at 16. I come along right behind him, the traditional Catholic twins. And they were stationed in San Diego, and we were living in Imperial Beach at the time. And my dad and my mom applied for low-income housing, right? I think.
Chris Osman: And back in the 80s, which most people don’t realize is, home prices were low, but the APR, the borrowing rate was huge. So I remember them being excited and celebrating because they had a 17%-
Ray Care: Holy fuck.
Chris Osman: Yeah. And a lot of people would have 17%, 12%, 20%. It was a crazy amount of interest rate, right? So they apply for this housing, and we move into this neighborhood, southeast San Diego. And it was right behind Morse High School. It was pretty famous for that area. And Skyline Drive is the main thoroughfare through there, which then dumps into the Lincoln Park area.
Chris Osman: So that’s where I grew up. So all of a sudden, we just move in, in the middle of the night. And the next day we’re, this is 1984, and I’m in grade school, and the community around it was all low-income. You know what I mean? I don’t think my parents had the wherewithal to look ahead and say, “Why are the houses so cheap here?” Or hey, have you guys-
Ray Care: Hey, this is a great deal.
Chris Osman: Yeah. This is really a great deal. Have you guys actually got in the car and drove around there with the windows down at night and hear the gunfire? Probably not. So we move in and it’s a brand new house. And just we’re literally smack dab in the middle of San Diego’s urban gang problem. And it was right the year that crack cocaine hit the streets. This is ’84, and this gang violence just erupted everywhere.
Chris Osman: So we were literally living right in the middle of it, and I’m just white boy Chris walking to school. And where I came from was a diverse neighborhood. It was Hispanics, Asians, white kids. We all kind of live in this apartment complex. So I never thought anything different. You know?
Ray Care: Yeah.
Chris Osman: It was like, “Oh, everybody’s my friend.” Then I get out there and I’m like, “No dude, they fucking hate you because you’re a white kid, and they think that you’re better off in life than they are,” and it’s just fist fight on the daily. People start picking on you, and I didn’t really understand what was going on. So I had kind of a hard time adjusting to that.
Chris Osman: And then I got into taking martial arts, like TaeKwonDo and that really helped boost my self-confidence. And about maybe a year or so into that, some kids started wanting to fight me and pick on me in the playground, and I just unleashed the beast so to speak, and started beating people’s ass. And I was like, “Woo, this is pretty awesome.” And I’m like-
Jason Redman: [crosstalk 00:15:47] Likey like.
Chris Osman: Yeah. I liked that. My fist and your face felt pretty God damn good. And so, there’s also a stress relief in that people who know who have been in fist fights, it’s pretty awesome. There’s that crazy surge of adrenaline, and if you’re not the one getting your ass kicked, then it feels pretty good. If you’re on the receiving end it sucks, but in that I learned to just stand my own ground, and to fight for myself, and fight for what I believed in, and that was it.
Chris Osman: I just refused to be a victim and just go, “Oh, man.” Walk with my head down to school and do that. A lot of kids just live the life of cowardice, and I’m like, “Fuck that.” I’d rather get my ass beat than have somebody know that they control my thoughts, and they control my life, and I’m not going to walk on the other side of the street. I’m going to walk down the center of the street, and if you want some, I’m here to give it to you.
Jason Redman: So did you-
Ray Care: I love it.
Jason Redman: … choose the path of going into the martial arts, or did your dad encourage that? Did somebody in your family? What led you down that path.
Chris Osman: Watching kung fu theater movies and Bruce Lee and all that. And seeing that, and when I was a kid, my dad brought home First Blood. The original one.
Jason Redman: Nice.
Chris Osman: Oh, we stole the VHS tape-
Ray Care: [crosstalk 00:16:55].
Chris Osman: [crosstalk 00:16:55].
Jason Redman: [crosstalk 00:16:55].
Chris Osman: … and I’m seeing this dude jump off cliffs and sew himself up-
Ray Care: [crosstalk 00:16:59] Wait, wait, wait, wait.
Chris Osman: … and stab mother fuckers-
Ray Care: [crosstalk 00:17:01] Wait, wait, wait.
Chris Osman: … I’m like, “I want to do that, dad. How do I do that?”
Jason Redman: Your dad did not steal it. We know that in the SEAL Teams, we never steal anything.
Chris Osman: Well, he borrowed it.
Jason Redman: We acquire it.
Chris Osman: That’s true.
Jason Redman: We acquire it.
Chris Osman: What’s that saying? Gear adrift is indeed a gift?
Jason Redman: That’s right.
Ray Care: Holy fuck. I haven’t heard that forever.
Jason Redman: Yeah. Because I mean back in the day-
Ray Care: Damn.
Jason Redman: … pre-9/11, we didn’t have the budget. We used to. So I can’t tell you how many times it was like, “Hey, new guy. Go acquire this.”
Chris Osman: Or you see somebody’s shit laying there and you would look everywhere and you’re like, “I don’t see initials or a social, I’m taking that shit.”
Jason Redman: And how often was it that it would be like, “Hey, who’s gear is this?”
Jason Redman: “It’s yours. Go ahead and take it.” You’d just answer your own question.
Ray Care: I love it. Fuck.
Chris Osman: To come into platoon space at midnight, you’re like, “Well, nobody said not to take it.”
Jason Redman: Exactly.
Ray Care: [crosstalk 00:17:50] I love when Team guys come on here, because we ask these real deep questions, and we get off into … I love it. We go off into right fucking field.
Jason Redman: The locker room tangent of [crosstalk 00:17:59] acquiring shit.
Ray Care: I love it.
Jason Redman: All right. So your dad brought home Firs Blood, which was awesome man.
Chris Osman: I love that movie.
Jason Redman: I remember watching that, too.
Chris Osman: Love it.
Jason Redman: That movie was badass. Fired me up. So that kind of started you on this journey. So did you go seek out a dojo, or how did you?
Chris Osman: The route that my parents took to work, my dad where they drove by, there was this TaeKwonDo studio a couple miles from the house. And I just said, “Hey, dad. I want to go in there, I want to take TaeKwonDo.” And he was like, “Okay, as long as you walk to your classes, then you can take it.” And they never once drove me there, and it was about two miles from the house.
Ray Care: Well, you seem to be, I mean I know you a little better than I’m telling people. You’re very good at what you do, but you’ve got this very passive … you’re very laid back and chill. But what I love about you is we were at SHOT Show drinking, we had a couple, they were fucking flowing.
Chris Osman: One’s too many, 40’s not enough.
Ray Care: With the family. But you have this aura about you, just like you said, where, “Hey, listen. Don’t let my kindness be taken advantage of.” You know what I mean? Like example, we’re buying drinks for each other, you’re always like, “Let me get this and that.” But remember we had that idiot that kept coming around us?
Chris Osman: Yes.
Ray Care: And dude, it was awesome because it was you and another guy, and then all of a sudden it’s just like Jay when we were at a Christmas party where he just-
Chris Osman: Wants to beat Santa’s ass?
Ray Care: Yeah. They turn it on so quick. Because usually I’m the hot head-
Jason Redman: Well, this guy definitely wasn’t Santa.
Ray Care: Yeah. He was being a dick. He wasn’t Santa. But I love that about you, it’s like I just love watching fucking warriors go to work. Because I felt like I was your wife, because you’re putting your wife and me in one position and you’re protecting us. I’m like, your wife’s there and she’s like, “Oh, whatever.” And you’re like, “Hey bro, fucking back up.”
Ray Care: But what I love about you is, you do that, you put a guy in his place without being disrespectful to him, but it was enough where the guy wondered off. I remember that. And I remember because I was drunk, and you were just like, “Dude, you’re in the wrong part of town,” or whatever it was. But I saw that in you. I was like, “Damn, dude. Old cat’s still got some juice left in him.”
Chris Osman: Yeah, well. I mean you know the deal, guys, that I’m no badass by any stretch of the imagination. But you never know who you’re fucking with, right? And people, I won’t say I’m a dangerous man, but we have the ability to become very dangerous men, right? It’s not like we’re non-trained, we haven’t been through any type of hardships, and endured extreme circumstances. Yours obviously is a hell of a lot worse than anything I’ve ever endured. There is a level of “don’t fuck with” that most people have never encountered or, you know what I mean?
Ray Care: Yeah.
Chris Osman: So they think it’s like, “Oh, they can talk shit, and they can this, that, and everything.” But unfortunately, you’re fucking with the wrong people. And I think because we know that about ourselves that we know you’re like, “Man, this is a soft target.” Right?
Ray Care: Yeah.
Chris Osman: There’s really not a thread here, he’s just shit talking. So am I really going to elevate this from a zero to an eight and now I’m trying to pull his fucking eyeball out of his head with my thumb in the middle of SHOT Show. It’s like, “Hmm, how about I just talk to the guy. Good look, dude.” We’re family man, we’re just kind of hanging out, and I get it. You recognize us. Is it cool if you just chill out-
Ray Care: [crosstalk 00:21:08] You handled it well.
Chris Osman: … [crosstalk 00:21:08] and just leave us alone? You want a drink? I’ll buy you a drink to just leave us alone.
Ray Care: It was like you, me, Primo, and then that guy. And then [crosstalk 00:21:15]-
Chris Osman: [crosstalk 00:21:15] Yeah, dude. So it was like-
Jason Redman: Confusing the situation. [crosstalk 00:21:17] That’s a big thing.
Ray Care: That comes with time, and I think a lot of that-
Chris Osman: That’s maturity.
Ray Care: Yeah. I was going to say I credit a lot of that to not only your SEAL history, but I also think your upbringing, the martial arts discipline. Because it’s what I’m seeing, a lot of guys that have fucked up childhoods, I mean, I have a horrible childhood. Mine was wrestling.
Ray Care: We all find something. We find that internal discipline. Martial arts, we just had on a couple episodes before or whatever it was, we had another guy that had the martial arts discipline. Single mom raised him. I’m seeing this pattern of people that I think are very successful-
Jason Redman: Or Greg [Omenson 00:21:58]. You remember Greg?
Ray Care: [crosstalk 00:21:59] Yeah. It’s just guys that are-
Jason Redman: [crosstalk 00:22:01] I mean, dude is multi talented-
Ray Care: … crushing it.
Jason Redman: … black belt, Krav Maga, and the most down to earth guy.
Chris Osman: Yeah. And I don’t think anybody that does the jobs that we do or did are normal. Right? There’s no-
Ray Care: True statement.
Chris Osman: Yeah. I remember a very specific time during hell week. We’re kind of close to graduating. You guys all know like day five we’re down at the demo pit and you’re doing your bullshit, right?
Ray Care: Yep.
Jason Redman: Yeah.
Chris Osman: So we do all that and afterword we’re sitting in a huge circle on the beach, and I have no idea who it was because obviously it’s day five of hell week, but he walks in the center of that and he goes, “Hey. So who, by show of hands, who here was raised by a single mom?” Some guys hands goes up. “Who here was beaten and abused by their parents?” More hands go up. And then he just keeps asking these questions and it’s like, “Who here was beaten up by their siblings, who here has an uncle?”
Chris Osman: Just all these questions of self-realization. “Who here is trying to prove something to somebody that told them you were a piece of shit? That you would never be able to do this? Who here has ever been told they could not do this?” [crosstalk 00:23:08] This whole thing. And next thing you know, you look around and everybody sitting in the circle, the whole class, somebody, everybody’s got their hands up.
Chris Osman: And he says, “Those people are not your family. Those with their hands up, and all of us here in these blue shirts, we’re your fucking family. You just earned the right to be a family member. This is who you’re supposed to love, and protect, and fucking dedicate your life to. Fuck all those people who told you …” He just goes into this speech and you’re just like, “Oh my God.” You’re just trying to-
Jason Redman: [crosstalk 00:23:38]-
Ray Care: [crosstalk 00:23:38] That’s fucking-
Jason Redman: [crosstalk 00:23:40] I’m jacked up. They didn’t do that in our class. [crosstalk 00:23:42] class I think they told us we were a piece of shit [crosstalk 00:23:44]-
Ray Care: [crosstalk 00:23:44] You pieces of shit.
Jason Redman: … [crosstalk 00:23:45] the whole time.
Ray Care: Yeah. But I love it. That’s powerful.
Chris Osman: [crosstalk 00:23:48] He must have been a commander trying to get promoted or something.
Ray Care: [crosstalk 00:23:49] that’s awesome.
Jason Redman: Who was the instructor that did that? Do you remember?
Chris Osman: I have no idea who it was.
Ray Care: Dude, [crosstalk 00:23:52] that’s powerful.
Jason Redman: [crosstalk 00:23:54] that is powerful.
Ray Care: So I have a million dollar question that everybody wants to know about you. Why the fuck did you join the marines? No offense to the marines, but what was your … you made the jump we talked about John Jay Rambo, you’ve got great hair.
Jason Redman: Well, you had this hard childhood-
Chris Osman: It’s just falling out now.
Jason Redman: Yeah. You had this hard childhood, and you definitely, like Ray, I mean we talked about this. You could’ve gone done some pretty bad-
Ray Care: [crosstalk 00:24:21] Different paths here.
Jason Redman: … paths. And I’m sure you got lured in that direction many times. What led you, like Ray said, into the Marine Corps.
Chris Osman: Well, it wasn’t by choice. My first choice was always to be a SEAL. I grew up wanting to be a SEAL. My dad was in the Navy and nobody in my family had ever been in the Marine Corps before. Air Force, Army, Navy, all this. And when I went to go join the Marine Corps, I’m sorry, the Navy, I had a juvenile criminal record from of course fighting, right? And I was sitting in there and they’re like, “Okay, have you ever tried any drugs?” You know the guys that question you and he’s got the little pen out?
Jason Redman: Yeah.
Chris Osman: And I’m like, “Oh, yeah. Totally have.” And he literally just was like-
Ray Care: Like Jim Ignatowski, off of fucking Taxi when he was going for his drivers license, he said yes to everything.
Jason Redman: I’ve done that. Oh yeah, I’ve done that, too.
Chris Osman: Yeah. And so, he was just super disappointed and he pulls me into the back room. And he’s like, “What the fuck are you doing man? You’re supposed to say no to that.” You know what I mean? And I’m like, “Oh, I thought when you joined the military you’re supposed to have honor and integrity, and this is like my rebirth.” And he’s like, “No.”
Jason Redman: Not here.
Chris Osman: He’s like, “No, dude. No.”
Jason Redman: That comes later, bro.
Chris Osman: “No. No. No. No. Not right now. Now you’re supposed to be lying your ass off so I can get credit to get your dumb ass into boot camp.” And I’m like, “Oh, fuck. Sorry, man.” But because I had already said it-
Ray Care: Can’t undo it.
Chris Osman: … can’t undo it. And so I couldn’t go to BUD/S. I couldn’t qualify for the diver fare program, which is now the pipeline of today. So he was like, “You can go to the fleet Navy, but you will never make it to BUD/S because you’re a little turd.” He was very, very, very cool to me and he was like, “Dude, look. The last thing the Navy needs is another fucking shithead. We have so many of those-
Ray Care: You’re a shitty recruiter.
Chris Osman: Yeah. And he goes, “If you really, really want to go to become a SEAL, I think what you really need though in life is real discipline. And I was like, “I don’t have discipline?” And he goes, “No, you’re a fucking little shithead kid.” You know what I mean?
Jason Redman: You got to love brutal honesty, man.
Chris Osman: Yeah. I love it.
Jason Redman: I love people that are brutally honest. I can’t stand the beat around the bush. I mean, you got to respect that.
Chris Osman: I do. I mean, it changed-
Jason Redman: [crosstalk 00:26:21] Did that light a fire in you?
Chris Osman: It was like the shock. Like, “Wait a minute. My brother, my mom, and my dad aren’t the only one who think that? I thought they were just fucking with me.” I thought they were trying to just keep me down for 18 years. He’s like, “No, dude. You’re a fucking dumbass.”
Ray Care: Oh my God.
Chris Osman: “Legit, you need discipline.” And I was like, “Man, I’ve never thought about joining the Marine Corps.” And I even told him, I was like, “Like Heartbreak Ridge, Gunny Highway, fucking Marine Corps?” And he goes, “Let me walk you next door, man.” He goes, “I really do think that this is what you need.”
Chris Osman: And he goes, “It’s the real military. You’re going to be marching around and doing rifle drill.” And the one thing I’ll never forget. He goes, “And the thing about the Marine Corps is that they’re dumb enough to give a guy like you live ammunition to shoot.”
Ray Care: That’s fucking awesome. So you did the four years, I’m guessing, right?
Chris Osman: Did the four years.
Ray Care: Four years, cleaned your slate, I guess, right?
Chris Osman: Yeah.
Jason Redman: Wait, wait, wait, wait. I mean, I don’t know about cleaning your slate. You had some interesting escapades in the Marine Corps, before you-
Ray Care: [crosstalk 00:27:17] It’s like DUI though. They fucking let that shit go. It only has so much time and statue before you let it go. But any crazy stories in the Marines?
Chris Osman: Well, my first combat experience was in Somalia in the Marine Corps. Like I said, I was really, really, really motivated. I took to the discipline in the Marine Corps like a fish to water. I really enjoyed my time there, but I was artillery. I was never anything cool like Recon or Force Recon. They didn’t have MARSOC back then. And I just thought that I just loved it, right?
Chris Osman: Being in a uniform and having a bigger purpose to serve than myself, and someplace to be every single day. And there was something easy about it, which what a lot of people thought was difficult about it, I thought was easy. I’m like, “Okay, well we have to be here at 5:30 in the morning. We have to be clean shaven and we’ve got to be in uniform. Got to have our boots shined. This is how long on my belt’s got to be.”
Ray Care: You’re fucking clean shaven now, I can’t believe it.
Chris Osman: Yeah. Well, I enjoy hot water and a razor man, you know what I mean? So-
Ray Care: Me, too.
Chris Osman: Yeah.
Jason Redman: Dude, don’t get me wrong. Man, I love a nice hotel these days, I mean I got to tell you, I love a cush five star hotel. I can sleep anywhere, I’ll go sleep in that creek today. My wife, Naked and Afraid was on, she got sucked into that the other night and she’s like, “Would you do that?” And I was like, “No.”
Ray Care: I was asked to do that show. And I said, “No. No fucking way.”
Jason Redman: Dude, you lose like 20 pounds. I’m not doing that shit. I struggle enough to keep weight on this frame. So, but the funny thing was-
Chris Osman: Mitch is doing that once every 60 days.
Ray Care: I know. He’s infuckingsane. God he looks gorgeous, too. I love-
Chris Osman: He does look gorgeous.
Ray Care: Mitch, I love you Mitch [Agar 00:28:45].
Jason Redman: Yeah.
Ray Care: [crosstalk 00:28:47] Good call, good call.
Jason Redman: [crosstalk 00:28:48] But that’s the thing. Yeah. You know how to be hard when you need to be, so. What made you make that jump? Or what led you down that road to make that transition, and did you transition straight out of the Marine Corps? Did you get out of the Marine Corps and then decide, “I’m going to join the Navy?”
Chris Osman: I got out of the Marine Corps and had to join the Navy. So I get hit up all the time through DMs and oh, “Hey, man. I’m going to do an interservice transfer like you did.” I’m like, “No. There’s no such thing.” There’s that rumor that you can do it interservice transfer and just leave one branch of service to the other, but I can assure everybody listening, that’s not going to happen.
Ray Care: That dog don’t hunt.
Chris Osman: It does not. I screened for battalion Recon when I was in artillery. Passed everything, I came in first place, but I just couldn’t go because my MOS wouldn’t allow me to leave and go to Reconnaissance. And had they said yes, I highly doubt I ever would’ve left the Marine Corps. I was super belt fit, had the high and tight.
Ray Care: You would not have been sitting here with two real live Navy SEALs then.
Chris Osman: No.
Jason Redman: Amazingly talented, good looking-
Ray Care: Gorgeous.
Chris Osman: Hotties.
Jason Redman: Yeah. That’s us.
Ray Care: I just blew a guy a kiss, I don’t know what just happened that.
Chris Osman: That’s okay. It’s all [crosstalk 00:29:50]-
Ray Care: Sorry. Well, it’s happened before. Hello, [Chris Pratt 00:29:53]. I suck one movie star off and I get shit for it.
Chris Osman: It’s no big deal.
Ray Care: Yeah. It’s not gay if you love him.
Chris Osman: No.
Jason Redman: If he’s a Hollywood star. We may have to retract that. Ryan’s saying, “Not a chance.” All right, so you got out, and you decided to make this … So you didn’t make it into Recon. You got out and you decided to make this transition-
Chris Osman: Right.
Jason Redman: … said I’m going to follow my dreams, what I wanted to do in the first place.
Chris Osman: Yeah. And about six months out from my EOS, then my little local career counselor, the little guidance counselor so to speak, went and talked to him. And I was like, “Look, man. What are my real options here?” And he’s like, “Well, dude. You can reenlist.” And I’m like, “Is there any type of bonus? Can I even go to fucking jump school or SERE school?” And he’s like, “No, you’re artillery. You have zero need for a school like that.” And I’m like, “So, this is it?” I’m like-
Ray Care: That’s all you got for me?
Chris Osman: “I’ve hit the top of the mountain? I’ve just got to keep raising the flag higher on the pole? What the fuck, dude?” And he’s like, “Yeah, this is pretty much it, man.” But like I said, I hadn’t even hit four years yet, I was already a sergeant. I had already become a section chief in artillery, which is the highest job there unless you become the battery gunny or that was it, man. I was already kind of peaked in less than four years. And there was a master sergeant who knew that I wanted to do something in special operations.
Chris Osman: Everybody knew I had passed the Recon Indoc and all this stuff. And he was a super cool guy, and he pulled me out one day. I was talking to him and he just pulls me out and he’s like, “Look around you,” right? And we’re out on the parade deck, right of the unit. And he goes, “Look, man.” He goes, “These buildings have been here since I was your age.” He goes, “Nothing will ever change.” He goes, “You’re hoping the Marine Corps becomes something different, like it’s going to change for you.”
Chris Osman: But goes, “I can assure you that it is not designed to change for you. You’re here to serve it, it doesn’t serve you. So you can get the fuck out and chase your dream, or I can assure you, 20 years from now,” and there was older guys, gunnery sergeants and staff sergeants and he goes, “look at all those, man. Look at those fucking losers, man.” And he leans into my ear and he goes, “And I’m one of them.” He goes, “I never got out and did what I wanted to do.” He goes, “Dude, let me tell you something, man. You have the opportunity to change your path in life.”
Chris Osman: He goes, “Let me just break it down.” He goes, “Do any of those guys drive a car you want?” And I’m like, “No, now that I think about it.” He goes, “How about this. Would you ever fuck any of their wives or girlfriends?” I’m like, “No, they’re ugly as dog shit.” And he goes, “That’s you. You’re going to be different?” He goes, “All those guys were you. They thought they were going to fuck the hot chick, drive the cool car, and they don’t.” And he’s like, “That’s it.”
Chris Osman: And I was like, “That’s the speech?” He goes, “That’s the biggest reality speech.” He goes, “I’m the only marine at my rank that will ever tell you to get out and do something different.” And he said, “What’s the worst that can happen?” And I’m like, “Well, what if I don’t make it through BUD/S?” He was like, “Well, then you’ll be in the fleet, chipping paint.” He goes, “That’s a shit job.”
Jason Redman: But you’ll never know if you don’t go. I mean [crosstalk 00:33:05] life is so much like that. So many people sit idly by, watching life pass them by. Looking around, and if they just took a step and they looked at the schlubs next to them, and that’s going to be me. So dude, go after your dream. So you did it, you took the plunge.
Chris Osman: Yeah. And so I made the announcement, because they’re like, “Oh, Sergeant Osman, when are you going to reenlist? When are you going to reenlist?” And everybody thought for sure … I used to have this saying, “30 if you like it, 20 if you don’t.” Because I hate this shit and I’ll do it for 20 years. If you like it, stay for 30. This was the path of my life. And I remember telling them like, “Hey, I’m actually getting out and joining the Navy.”
Chris Osman: And you’d thought I’d dropped a suitcase nuke in the center of the battalion. And so I get called into my COs office, and I’m standing there at attention, just getting my ass chewed. I remember telling him, “Well, sir. The thing is, is that you’re only going to be here for another two years. I’m here for 30 years if I say yes. This is it. I’ll never leave this unit.”
Chris Osman: You know what I mean? I may get stationed at different artillery [crosstalk 00:34:11] but what the fuck does that even mean. And I’m like, “Every three years you’re at a different command. You get challenged, you get to move up in rank. You know what I mean? I will never have that opportunity.” And my first sergeant was flipping out. And he’s like, “I can’t believe you.” And he’s screaming at me.
Chris Osman: And he’s like, “I can’t believe you would leave the Marine Corps to join the fucking Navy,” and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And I’m like, “Well, I’m joining the Navy to try to become a Navy SEAL, you know what I mean?” He was like, “What about the Marine Corps don’t you like?” And I’m like, “This process.” And he’s like, “What?”
Chris Osman: And I’m like, “Well, I’m making a decision that will benefit me, and your mad about that because it doesn’t serve you. Because you think I should be doing something else with my life.” But I said, “What happens when you leave the unit? Two years from now, you get transferred. Now what? Now I’ve just signed on to make you happy today so you stop yelling.”
Ray Care: [crosstalk 00:35:00] Exactly.
Chris Osman: And I’m like, “It’s not worth it. It’s not worth it.”
Ray Care: And that happens with everything. When I got out of Teams to start doing my consulting, same thing. I had someone that you had an issue with years ago over something. We’re not going to bring his name up, but it was like he was going to be old PO, “You’re never going to amount to anything. You’re going to be this, that.” And I was just like, “You know what? Fuck you.” I didn’t say it to him, but I just was looking there, “Roger that,” and we’ll just say double tap. We’ll leave it at that. And I just said, “Fuck it.” So I love the fact that you said, “Fuck it.” You joined the Teams. How long did you do on the Teams?
Chris Osman: Seven years total.
Ray Care: Seven years. Kicked ass. Any good deployments?
Chris Osman: Afghanistan right after 9/11. So I deployed six days after 9/11.
Ray Care: See that I knew. And that’s awesome. So again, you’re doing combat deployments again, I love it. Seven years, you have a great career, you got a great reputation in Teams. I’d tell you right out to your face if you didn’t. We go outside and-
Chris Osman: [crosstalk 00:35:53] I don’t think I’d be sitting here if I had a shit reputation.
Ray Care: Yeah. I agree. So my point is, there comes seven years later, what made you? This is what I think a lot of people want to hear, just like me. What made you want to get out and go after, become an entrepreneur? Which, guys, Team guy, if you’re in the life, everyday you get up you’re an entrepreneur. Every day that you get up, you put your pants on, you could fall. You’re taking a risk.
Jason Redman: Yeah. Being an entrepreneur, I think we’ve talked about it with [Bedross 00:36:17][crosstalk 00:36:17]. I mean, it’s the special operations of business. It takes that [crosstalk 00:36:21] same [crosstalk 00:36:22] being relentless, working your ass off all the time, fighting the doubt.
Ray Care: So what made Chris O go, “You know what, I’ve had enough of being the elite, and now I want to go attack this new venture?” What was it?
Chris Osman: Yeah. So I had started TAG in 2001. Again, I’m a gear geek, right? And for-
Jason Redman: For those who don’t know, can you tell people what TAG is.
Chris Osman: Yeah. Tactical Assault Gear.
Ray Care: Thank you.
Jason Redman: And what did it do?
Chris Osman: It was a manufacturer and reseller of tactical nylon products. And when I first started out, I had a retail shop, and I was selling other people’s products. So the big brands that I was selling Blackhawk, Eagle, London Bridge, Paracletes, Spec Op Brand, Bench Made, Camelback, Mechanics Wear, I mean all these guys.
Jason Redman: So for those out there that aren’t military, I mean we wear all kinds of gear. We have our body armor, and then you have gear that carries your weapons, and ammunition, and radios and all that different stuff. We have shit tons of gear for that.
Ray Care: First, second, third line gear-
Jason Redman: Yeah. Exactly.
Ray Care: … it’s called in the military.
Jason Redman: And it’s big business.
Chris Osman: It is huge.
Jason Redman: It’s big business to supply the military, and specifically to supply special operations. And so-
Chris Osman: And there was nothing down in our area, right? I mean, in San Diego and Imperial Beach, there was no where. No shop that you could go to and walk in and go, “Hey man, I need a padded belt. I need a riggers belt. I need whatever.”
Ray Care: JV brights didn’t count for getting our greens and our camos?
Chris Osman: No.
Ray Care: Okay. Sorry. Just checking.
Chris Osman: Yeah. So I was actually really close to them, we were in the same shopping center, right around the corner. Anyways, so they could starch your 60 [crosstalk 00:37:50]-
Ray Care: That’s right. Right near Mike Martin and everyone else. I love it.
Chris Osman: And so I opened this retail store with $23,000 I had saved in the bank. And it was $13 grand that I had in personal savings, and I went to Wells Fargo on Orange Avenue in Coronado, walked in, and I was like, “Hey, I’m going to buy a motorcycle, can I get a loan?” And with my credit score they gave me a $10,000 personal loan. And I didn’t buy a bike, I used that to open the business. And that was my opening order to Blackhawk, and the grid wall for the walls, and the cash register, and the display cases and shit.
Chris Osman: And when I was at work, my dad was in there. Because he’s retired, so he was in there building the store out for us. And I mean, I literally knew nothing. I didn’t even know what the fuck a business license was. I remember when first time I called Mike Knowles who founded Blackhawk. That blew up, I mean, he sold that thing for like $130 million, but remember I first called him on his cell phone.
Ray Care: Winning.
Chris Osman: Yeah. Hashtag winning.
Ray Care: Hashtag best life. Mike, you know we love you. We love you. We’d love to have you on, brother. For a small fee.
Chris Osman: He would be, his story is amazing, man. I mean, it’s pretty cool what he did. And people say I was the first frogman off shore, but that dude led the charge on that shit for sure, man.
Ray Care: So this is something I don’t think I’ve ever asked a frogman on here, because you’re a plank owner for a couple things. And again, your business did very well. I’m not going to get into dollar amounts, but this is the question I have. You start off with $13 grand, right? You agree?
Chris Osman: $23 grand.
Ray Care: $23 grand. You had $13, you got the $10,000 loan, I apologize. You turned this into a seven figure business.
Chris Osman: Yes.
Ray Care: What was it like when you realized that you hit seven figures? I mean, because you know, that’s everyone’s goal in life.
Jason Redman: Yeah, that’s my goal.
Ray Care: Seriously. Seven figures.
Jason Redman: For sure.
Ray Care: We’re looking at you right now, looking up to you. What was it like? I mean, were you like-
Chris Osman: What you’re looking at, you’re like, “Well how the fuck did that guy …”
Ray Care: I am, because-
Chris Osman: I’m like wait a minute. [crosstalk 00:39:38] you got to be shitting me. That guy? No fucking way. He must be lying.
Ray Care: How did you do it, and what did it feel like. I mean, did you go, “Okay, I’m here. I’m where I want to be?” Because you grew even from there. You went even bigger.
Jason Redman: And was it a grind? Or did it kind of pick up steam and then suddenly it was like-
Chris Osman: [crosstalk 00:39:57] Well, like I said, it started out as a hobby and when I deployed after 9/11, I was using all the stuff that I was selling in the store, and like what the Team was issuing us, right? I mean, you guys remember the day of they issued us a ton of equipment, but then you still went out and you bought your own, or you modified your own shit, or you spray painted it?
Ray Care: Yes.
Jason Redman: Well, I mean, pre-9/11.
Chris Osman: Pre-9/11 [crosstalk 00:40:17]-
Jason Redman: [crosstalk 00:40:17] yeah. You got decent gear, but it was like [crosstalk 00:40:20]-
Chris Osman: [crosstalk 00:40:20] going out back and spray painting shit.
Jason Redman: [crosstalk 00:40:22] And you were sewing stuff and figuring things out.
Chris Osman: So during Operation Enduring Training when nothing was going on, this was pre-9/11, you’re just fucking, “Oh, you guys are diving?” Your next block of training is diving. “Oh, our gear has to be black.” So what are we doing? We’re out back, rattle canning our shit. And I remember my dad one time, I had to leave his house on like a Sunday in the afternoon. I go, “Hey guys, I’ve got to take off and go down to the command.”
Chris Osman: And my mom was like, “What do you mean you got to go? It’s Sunday.” And I’m like, “Yeah, I got to go spray paint my gear.” And she’s like, “What?” And I’m like, “Yeah.” And my dad’s like, “Wait a minute, man, I thought you guys were the elite, best of the best, tip of the fucking spear?” And I’m like, “Meh, it’s more like the shaft.” I’m like, “No, we really do have to paint our own gear and share batteries and share night vision.” This is pre-9/11 type years.
Ray Care: Seven charlies were the big thing, remember that?
Chris Osman: Yeah. [crosstalk 00:41:06].
Jason Redman: I got a picture sevens one. Yeah.
Chris Osman: Yeah. Remember the first time you saw [crosstalk 00:41:12]-
Jason Redman: [crosstalk 00:41:12] lens.
Chris Osman: … the like Bino, and you [crosstalk 00:41:14]-
Ray Care: [crosstalk 00:41:14] Guys, that’s old school-
Jason Redman: [crosstalk 00:41:14] had a little bit of night vision-
Ray Care: And that’s old school night vision, guys.
Jason Redman: [crosstalk 00:41:18].
Ray Care: Nothing like the quads or the 11s or all that. It’s old school shit here that we can sit around and talk about.
Chris Osman: Yeah. The days before they even had a mount that went on your helmet. You wore that stupid ass head net [crosstalk 00:41:29]-
Ray Care: The [crosstalk 00:41:29] catchers nets-
Jason Redman: [crosstalk 00:41:31] I think that’s exactly what I have a picture of somewhere, me wearing that thing.
Chris Osman: So and I was selling all that gear from all those different brands. And I’d been in business about six or seven months, and a couple days before I graduated Marine Corps Scout Sniper school, 9/11 happens, and next thing you know we’re all gone in a war. But when I was overseas, we’re using this stuff. And I just started sketching on a notebook. Hey, I would fix this, I would change that.
Chris Osman: In all the, again, the stuff that we did, the training that we did, the amount of mags that we carried, frags, all that was based on theory. Right? And you look back, and I know you guys remember these conversations, they transcend coasts, but you would see pictures of Team guys in Vietnam, cross bullets, fucking knife hanging off, one canteen, couple mags, and somehow they built the reputation of the SEAL Teams and you never once heard them say, “Man, I wish I had another 40 pound of shit on.”
Chris Osman: Somehow our generation became, “Hey, guys. We’re trying to fight Blackhawk Down three times. So everybody’s got to have ten mags, two frags, two …” and next thing we’re just loaded down with so much stuff. And then we get into real war-
Jason Redman: Everybody slim back down, man.
Chris Osman: Everybody slim way back down. Now guys want to wear a loin cloth and wrist rocket and you’re like, “Fine, I’ll just call in an air strike.” [crosstalk 00:42:50].
Jason Redman: Five magazines, man. That’s what we were carrying in our ruck.
Ray Care: Oh, I love it.
Chris Osman: Yeah. And so when I came back, I wanted to change the gear that I was already buying. So I started calling around the companies. “Hey, would you guys consider making me 50 of this.” And no one said yes. And not because they didn’t like me or whatever, but you think about the volume of the time, their businesses are now exploding, too. So I’m like, “Oh hey, man. Can I buy 50?” And they’re like [crosstalk 00:43:21]-
Jason Redman: That’s low quantity.
Chris Osman: … “Hey man, we’re selling 50 of than an hour.” You know what I mean? So I didn’t have the finances to just bankroll a $30,000 purchase order for an idea, you know?
Jason Redman: So what was that timeline that you finally decided, “Well, I’m going to start making my own stuff?” What was that timeline, real quickly, from that to where you actually sold the company?
Chris Osman: Yeah. So I was in, I want to say in my business I started making legitimately with my own label, around 2002. Midway. After I came home and I found a little sewing shop in San Diego, and took somebody else’s product in there, right? And gave it to them, and asked them if they could sew it up. And he says, “Yeah man, come back in two weeks.” And I came back and I literally couldn’t tell the two apart. And I was like, “Hmm. Well, how much is this?” And he’s like, “Oh, $75 bucks.” And I was already paying $175 for the other one.”
Jason Redman: Game on.
Chris Osman: Game on, right?
Ray Care: Boom.
Chris Osman: Yeah. And guys would come in and the customer’s really what drove me to have my own brand, because they would walk in and say, “Hey, man. Do you have a rigger’s belt?” And it just started kind of clicking with me that no one said, “Hey, do you have a Blackhawk riggers belt, do you have an Eagle rigger?” They just wanted a riggers belt. And so I literally started taking out one item at a time. That was it. I just started taking shit off that was popular and selling it and took it to that shop and had it made.
Chris Osman: And it got to the point where I needed to manufacture and control my own cost. And so I opened up a 1,000 or 1,200 square foot little box and had a couple sewing machines in there and 2000 foot extension cords plugged into the bathroom. We didn’t even have electrical in the building. And guys were just sewing up stuff for us. And we would just hang it in the store and sell it.
Ray Care: I love it. So you built this multimillion dollar company, can we agree on that?
Chris Osman: Yes.
Ray Care: You sell it.
Chris Osman: Yes.
Ray Care: Boom. Now, you own a new company. Can you talk about that real quick and what your mission is with that?
Chris Osman: With Rhuged?
Ray Care: Yeah. With fucking Rhuged.
Chris Osman: Yeah, so I keep saying, “Yeah, so.”
Ray Care: Rhuged.com.
Chris Osman: Yeah.
Jason Redman: That’s right, baby.
Ray Care: See, that’s called a plug. I just plugged you.
Chris Osman: Thank you.
Ray Care: I’ll charge you afterword.
Chris Osman: I’ll take out the other plug later, and-
Ray Care: That’s called marketing.
Chris Osman: … keep [crosstalk 00:45:21].
Ray Care: Yeah. Marketing. That’s a marketing plug, not a … Anyway. [crosstalk 00:45:23] Yeah, not the plug you’re talking [crosstalk 00:45:24] about, Chris.
Jason Redman: [crosstalk 00:45:24] Not my favorite butt plug.
Chris Osman: Yes.
Ray Care: So, all right.
Chris Osman: Well, the last thing I wanted to do for the listeners, and when I sold TAG in 2010, I had 115, 120 employees. The warehouse, the manufacturing building is 23,000 square feet. So we blew up into this huge thing. I had three retail stores. One in Fayetteville, North Carolina, two in San Diego. It was 175 dealers around the world. And it just was this crazy monster, this crazy animal, and it literally overtook my life. It consumed my entire life.
Chris Osman: And you know what, as I sat back thinking about doing gear, I wanted nothing to do with it. I really wanted to retire out of the industry. But I have the same cell phone number. I’ve never changed it since 2002. But the phone rings. “Hey man, I want to buy 100 of this. Hey can you do this?” And I’m like, “I’m kind of retired.” My wife was like, “Obviously you still love it, you talk about it-
Ray Care: Which is a great lady. I cut you off. I love your wife.
Chris Osman: Thank you.
Ray Care: I met her finally. I love your wife. Great energy.
Chris Osman: Yeah. Roz is amazing.
Ray Care: Yeah. We got to get the families together, but yeah. I didn’t mean to cut you off, but whenever you talk about dynamite ladies, I got to throw my two cents in.
Chris Osman: Yeah. She holds me accountable, man.
Ray Care: [crosstalk 00:46:34] Fuck yeah, she does. She doesn’t seem like … You know, the long haired admiral like we talk about, she doesn’t look like she puts up with anything. To be married to people like us, and I can say it, you’ve got to have a … You got to have a strong woman, because … Cut that out, bitch, because my wife will kill me.
Chris Osman: They’re Spartan Queens, man.
Ray Care: [crosstalk 00:46:51] I love it. I love it.
Jason Redman: That’s a great one. I said that same thing in my book. She was a Spartan wife. So what led you to create Rhuged? What are you doing now? How did people find you, how did they get your gear, and why are you making Rhuged gear?
Chris Osman: I just like tactical nylon. I don’t know, it’s a passion of mine in my life. I hate to say that I’m good at it, but [crosstalk 00:47:12] I’m decent at it.
Jason Redman: I was going to say, you have a fetish.
Ray Care: [crosstalk 00:47:14] I was thinking the same fucking thing. You’re like-
Jason Redman: [crosstalk 00:47:14] Yeah. I like the tactical nylon.
Chris Osman: Now that I think … now that you’ve said it.
Ray Care: [crosstalk 00:47:14] I got a little excited about that.
Chris Osman: I think I probably do have a fetish with nylon.
Jason Redman: [crosstalk 00:47:19] Are you going to make … Is there lingerie in tactical nylon?
Chris Osman: I could. I could.
Jason Redman: People would buy that shit.
Chris Osman: [crosstalk 00:47:29]-
Jason Redman: [crosstalk 00:47:29].
Chris Osman: [crosstalk 00:47:29] An adjustable cock ring?
Jason Redman: An adjustable cock ring.
Chris Osman: With Velcro on it.
Ray Care: I love it.
Chris Osman: Yeah.
Ray Care: Dude, this is cutting edge [crosstalk 00:47:36]-
Jason Redman: [crosstalk 00:47:36] discomfort zone.
Chris Osman: Quick release on there. I mean, it’s all the same stuff, it’s just different products. So, I didn’t want … the big thing was that I really identified a gap in the industry. All of us in that space, have crazy ass retail prices, only so they can give dealers 40 to 50% off. And I’ll use a brand name that everybody will recognize, 5.11, right?
Chris Osman: None of it’s made in America, but it’s a huge brand. They probably do a little over $400 million a year in sales. But when I was a 5.11 dealer, I would get their product at 50% off. So whatever price you see online, or any price you see in the store, a dealer of 5.11 is buying it at 50% off that price. But 5.11 is still making a killing.
Ray Care: Making a killing off of it.
Chris Osman: Yeah. So Landon, their 5.11 pant that everybody’s familiar with, is probably around $14 to $16 bucks.
Ray Care: What do they sell it for?
Chris Osman: Well over 50. Probably over $60 at this point.
Ray Care: Woo.
Jason Redman: Yeah. With all the markups and-
Chris Osman: Yeah.
Jason Redman: Yeah.
Chris Osman: But they use that. But it’s to their fault or any businesses fault, right? There has to be revenue generated to create marketing, to create branding, to go to the SHOT Show, to fucking fly to a meeting, to hire all these sales reps to have people and they’re taking all the orders to do. You know what I mean? So, who inevitably pays for that is the end user, not the company, right? The people who bought TAG paid for my marketing. They paid for my catalog. They paid for me to go to the fucking SHOT Show. They paid for $1,200 steak dinners.
Chris Osman: And I said, “Man, I’ve done that so many times. Do I really need to do that, and is it really, really fair to the end user?” Right? I just got smarter over time. And so with Rhuged, what I want to do is keep the line very, very small. Maybe 15 to 20 items at the most, but it’s stuff that people use every single day, right? But now, it’s only marked up 30% more than it cost me to make it.
Ray Care: To make it. Got you.
Chris Osman: So if it cost me $10 bucks to make something, you will see it for sale for right around $15 bucks because there’s a 30% margin and a couple dollars for shipping. So all the pricing includes shipping. So when you buy it, just click, goes in the cart-
Ray Care: And you’re laying it out there. You’re telling the listeners right now, listen, this is what I pay, this is what you’re going to get for it. I love it.
Jason Redman: Nice.
Chris Osman: Yeah. And it’s kind of a wake up call to our industry and to the consumers. It’s like, “Hey man, a plate carrier, it doesn’t need to cost $495.” It really doesn’t, right? I can tell anybody listening right now, “Man, if I was to make 100 plate carriers tomorrow, I’d probably be $120 bucks. My cost.” The baddest fucking plate gear that’s out there, it’s about $120 bucks, and yet they retail for $400.
Chris Osman: And the newer stuff out that it’s laser cut, right? Everybody sees all the lasers? That’s even cheaper to make because it’s a laminated fabric. So you’ve got say 100 weight nylon laminated to a rubber, for layman’s terms. And a laser is cutting it. Well, there is not a human being sewing those molle rows on there. This laser is literally cutting 100 slices in that in under five seconds.
Ray Care: Wow.
Jason Redman: So where is your-
Chris Osman: So it’s really, really cheap, but because it looks space aged, right? They’re like, “Oh, you’re paying for the technology,” and it’s just another way to just hyper gouge the consumer. And I just think it’s bullshit.
Ray Care: It’s a computer sweat shop.
Chris Osman: Yes.
Ray Care: That’s never been said before.
Jason Redman: Those poor lasers.
Ray Care: Those poor lasers.
Chris Osman: Those poor lasers, they must be burned out.
Jason Redman: That was almost as good as fetish. So we’re coming full circle, and we started out with clarity, so what is the future that you see with Rhuged? What is your clarity and future for Chris Osman?
Chris Osman: The clarity that I had is that my happiness is not from money, right? There’s a lot of rich, miserable mother fuckers.
Jason Redman: Go ahead.
Chris Osman: Lot of rich miserable mother fuckers out there. We see it every single day. My happiness comes from I guess my inner joy and no stress. And doing something that just I enjoy, right? I really do like enjoy manufacturing, designing, and providing products to people. But it’s something that is a livable wage, and my biggest goal in life, it hit me one day like I said, man, when I started this whole Rhuged thing was my end state is to never, ever, ever work in a corporation again. Because I did that. I sold TAG and I was working in the corporation for on and off for like four-and-a-half years.
Ray Care: Be your own master. I love it.
Chris Osman: Yeah. And it was miserable.
Jason Redman: Dude, that man, that’s the entrepreneurial spirit. [crosstalk 00:52:02] Be your own master. I mean, I got big goals, but the thing I love most, I tell people about it, is the freedom as an entrepreneur. If you want to go to your kid’s game, if you want to take a day off, hey man, nothing stops you from doing it other than the grind of work, our drive. But-
Chris Osman: Well, you have to have self-discipline to be an entrepreneur, because no one’s going to do the work for you. But everybody will say, “Oh, money is time. Time is money. Time is precious. Time, time, time, time, time.” Well, if I control my own time, I’m the richest dude in the world.
Jason Redman: Because that’s one thing you’ll never be able to replace.
Ray Care: That’s right.
Chris Osman: You can’t.
Jason Redman: It’s gone. So quick question to wrap this up is, you know a lot. I mean, we could spend hours on the entrepreneurial space. I would’ve loved to gotten into deep into especially retail. I mean, I learned a little bit about retail running Wounded Wear. It’s a hard business.
Chris Osman: It is.
Jason Redman: Trying to manage your overheads, inventory control, all that. I guarantee there’s a lot of entrepreneurs out there. So will you ever make yourself available as a consultant to entrepreneurs for lower level business consulting because you have a wealth of knowledge, man.
Chris Osman: If they wanted it, I’d absolutely help them out.
Jason Redman: Okay. Well, where can they find you if they were ever looking for you?
Chris Osman: Rhuged.com. They can also find me in Instagram Rhuged_. I mean I’ll give out my personal cell, it hasn’t changed since 2002, you want to call me at 619-210-5956. Please don’t blow me up with dumbass questions and dick pics. Appreciate it.
Jason Redman: Don’t ask what he’s wearing.
Ray Care: There’s another plank owner there, somebody just giving out their personal number. I love it.
Jason Redman: By the way, Chris doesn’t have pants on under the table, but-
Ray Care: [crosstalk 00:53:38] No he doesn’t.
Jason Redman: … you guys can’t see that, so.
Chris Osman: That’s right.
Ray Care: I’m jerking him off.
Jason Redman: All right, man. Well, listen, brother. Thank you so much. This has been a great interview. I mean, dude you have walked a crazy path. I mean, that’s your reality, from where you were when you were younger to a millionaire, to a Marine, SEAL, and now, really content and building a smaller business, but one that you have the clarity.
Ray Care: So fucking humble, yet still so fucking hungry. That’s what I love about you.
Chris Osman: Yeah.
Ray Care: You’re hungry for success, doing it your way.
Chris Osman: Yeah, well, I mean it took a lot of fuck ups as you guys know, man. The success in this world is all built upon mistakes, right?
Ray Care: Yep.
Chris Osman: And I made plenty of mistakes. I’ve enjoyed the successes and maybe I didn’t take enough time off to really embrace the success. It was almost like, “Okay, I did it.” And then it was more grinding. So I definitely faulted there. But again, the humility comes from the community that we come from. I mean, the things that our brothers have done, and some of these things, you go to these monuments and you see all those gold stars on there and it’s like, “Hmm. That’s real sacrifice.” You know what I mean?
Ray Care: Yeah.
Chris Osman: That’s-
Ray Care: I’m still here.
Chris Osman: Yeah.
Ray Care: I mean, I think that all the time.
Jason Redman: Yeah.
Chris Osman: So I’m just a lucky dude and I keep getting luckier and luckier I guess. And the fact that people give me their time, I don’t want to disregard how valuable their time is, so I try to listen to people, help people out, and just be there.
Ray Care: I love it. I love it.
Jason Redman: All right. So let’s, yeah. Yeah man, let’s wrap it up. So we normally do our two minutes of motivation to close out the show. So Ray, you want to lead off today?
Ray Care: You know what, since we’ve got three frogmen on here, and I’m the best looking frogman, I’m going to let you two take it. Because I’m actually learning from you. Clarity is a word that I’m still trying to master. So I want to just, you two I think have got a little bit better clarity on life than I do right now, so instead of … not being a bitch, I’m owning up to one of my deficiencies. Let me know. Give it to me. Give me two minutes of how I can better have clarity in my life.
Jason Redman: So this is just a shotgun of the word. You just stream of consciousness-
Ray Care: Cuss, yell, whatever you go.
Jason Redman: … what does clarity mean to Chris Osman to close out the show?
Chris Osman: And you want it directed towards you?
Jason Redman: Well, towards-
Ray Care: You direct it towards the listeners.
Jason Redman: … the listeners. Yeah.
Ray Care: A lot of people have the same thing, they just don’t have the balls to look a man in the eye and say that.
Chris Osman: Right. Well, the first thing I would say is to own your own truth, right? Whether it’s positive, negative, the freedom that I enjoy, there’s plenty of people who can talk shit about me, or, “Oh, this guy, that girl.” Whatever. But I just own it, right? If I fuck up, I just go home. Like, “God man, I can’t believe I X, Y, Z.” So it takes away anybody else’s ability to control me. So if somebody’s going to write something negative about me, they’re like, “Yeah, but he already said that about himself,” right? So there’s no-
Ray Care: Love it.
Chris Osman: … where for anybody to go, right? Those that try hide behind some falsetto of … and you see it every single day on Instagram, right? People take a million pictures to make sure it’s the right angle. Just fucking take a picture. Right? That is who you are. That’s what you look like, that’s what you eat. You know what I mean?
Ray Care: Yeah.
Chris Osman: You have to have a lot of self-reflection in order to be clearer to be somebody else’s reflection, right? You can’t be fucked up in your own life and be like … It’s like a marriage counselor, right? Imagine a marriage counselor who’s going through a divorce. It’s like, “Come on, man.”
Jason Redman: A pure hypocrite?
Chris Osman: Yeah. You’re just a living fucking hypocrite, right?” And no one’s a saint, and that’s the other thing people have to understand. So I’ve literally snapped one day, and it clicked for me in my mind, was that, “Hey man, everybody is as fucked up as me if not worse, so I will never judge another man, or a woman, for their sexual orientation, drug use, drinking, whatever.” Just don’t be a piece of shit, right? It’s like don’t beat your kids that hard.
Ray Care: Amen.
Chris Osman: Sometimes you got to choke a mother fucker out.
Ray Care: God bless Chris Kyle. Yeah, no shit. We love you brother. Amen. He loved to choke people out, man.
Chris Osman: Yeah. But be humble in your approach, but I would say clarity in what you’re trying to accomplish in your own life, you know what I mean? And fix yourself and be a continuous improvement stage, and just non-stop just keep doing it. Like I’m a fat fuck, right? I told people this 90 challenge. One day I woke up and I was like, “Man, I really let my shit go.” You know what I mean?
Ray Care: You look good now, brother.
Chris Osman: And I don’t want to be that guy at the SHOT Show that’s like, “Oh yeah, man, when I was on the Teams,” but this huge gut, right? Embarrassing the community. It’s like, “Bro, you couldn’t last a minute of BUD/S right now. And you’re telling BUD/S stories.” It’s like at least look the part, fuck. So don’t talk about it, just be about it. It’s that whole realization that you’re not perfect.
Chris Osman: And everybody’s deficient in some way, so why not just do what you did in the Teams, right? You showed up there on a mission, right? You showed up there for a reason. You were in charge of something. Well, that doesn’t change when you get out of the military and somebody’s not telling you to do it.
Ray Care: Amen. Amen.
Jason Redman: Yeah, man. So that’s it, bro.
Ray Care: God damn.
Jason Redman: That nails clarity. I mean, I think you said it. So yeah. Know thyself, and drive forth. All right, man. Well, listen brother-
Ray Care: I got a hard on.
Jason Redman: … an honor to have you on.
Chris Osman: [crosstalk 00:58:57] Enjoyed it, enjoyed it.
Jason Redman: Once again, Rhuged_ on Instagram, and R-H-U-G-E-D, Rhuged.com. So what an awesome episode. Three Team guys together again. [crosstalk 00:59:09] If only I had a microphone for that. So all right man, we are going to wrap it up. We have nailed this show, and this has been the Overcome and Conquer Show. I am Jason “Overcome” Redman.
Ray Care: And I am Ray “Cash” Care.
Jason Redman: And we are out.
Ray Care: Boom.
Voice Over: Thanks for listening to the Overcome and Conquer Show. Tune in next time, and please remember to subscribe on iTunes. Please visit OvercomeandConquer.com.
Ray Care: Hey, this is Ray “Cash” Care. Thanks for listening to the Overcome and Conquer show. If you love the show, we want you to do us a huge favor. Go to iTunes, subscribe, leave a five star message, leave a comment, and share with your friends. Boom.