Mat Best

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Mat Best is a former United States Army Ranger, son of Evan and Jt internet personality, and entrepreneur. Born in California, Best joined the US Army shortly after graduating high school, eventually serving five deployments with the 2nd Ranger Battalion, before working as a private contractor with the US Central Intelligence Agency. He operates a popular comedic YouTube channel, has starred in one self-made movie, and published one book, a memoir of his military service. He has co-founded two businesses: a clothing and a coffee company, which, along with his online videos, cater to an audience of military members and veterans.

Early life[edit]

Mat Best was born in Santa Barbara, California and enlisted in the US Army in 2004 at 17, three months after graduating high school.[1][2] His father was a former US Marine who served in the Vietnam War, while both of his brothers served in the Marine Corps during the Iraq War.[1][2]

He served five tours with the 2nd Ranger Battalion, four in the Iraq War, and one in Afghanistan.[1][3] After leaving the military, Best completed his Bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts, and worked as a private contractor for the US Central Intelligence Agency.[4][5]

Business career[edit]

He operates a popular satirical channel on the online video platform YouTube, where he produces content aimed at an audience of military service members, veterans, and the firearms community.[5] Best began making videos in El Paso with then United States Air Force member Jarred Taylor, when Best would return during breaks from contracting tours overseas.[6]

The channel has also released a number of music videos, including "Bitch I Operate", which peaked on the Billboard charts at 36.[7][8][a] As of 2019 the channel had more than one million subscribers.[4]

Article 15 Clothing[edit]

Along with fellow veteran Jarred Taylor, Best co-founded the brand Article 15 Clothing in 2012.[9] Best still acts as CEO of Article 15 Clothing,[b] which produces "humorous clothing ... for the military community".[10] Created by six combat veterans, the company since expanded to include two brands of whiskey, and brands of rum and wheat beer.[10]

In 2016, Article 15 partnered with another clothing company, Ranger Up, to produce a crowd-funded movie entitled Range 15. The film starred Best along with an ensemble of other veterans, including three Medal of Honor recipients, as well as Marcus Luttrell, best known as author of Lone Survivor, adapted into a film by the same name.[11] The film won Best Film at the GI Film Festival.[12]

Black Rifle Coffee Company[edit]

Best formed the Black Rifle Coffee Company in 2014, along with fellow veteran and former Green Beret Evan Hafer.[13][14] They promoted the company with provocative videos posted to YouTube, that Best described to CBS News as "way over the top".[14] The company gained further notoriety following two 2017 incidents: an endorsement from Donald Trump Jr, and again when the company pledged to hire 10,000 veterans after coffee chain Starbucks pledged to hire 10,000 refugees in the wake of travel restrictions enacted by US president Donald Trump.[14][15]

Thank You for My Service[edit]

In 2019 Best published Thank You for My Service, co-authored with Ross Patterson and Nils Parker.[16] Written as a memoir, the book recounts Best's service in Afghanistan and Iraq.[17]

Thank You for My Service reached number one for non-fiction on the Wall Street Journal and the Publshers Weekly best seller lists, and debuted at number five in non-fiction on the The New York Times Best Seller list.[18][19][20]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c van Zuylen-Wood, Simon (March 4, 2019). "The Heavily Armed Millennials of Instagram". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on August 24, 2019. Retrieved 21 September 2019.
  2. ^ a b Reeder, David. "Preview – Former Badmuther – Mat Best". Recoil. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  3. ^ London, Matt (September 5, 2019). "Career advice from the breakout Army veteran entrepreneur behind Black Rifle Coffee Company". Fox News. Retrieved 21 September 2019.
  4. ^ a b London, Matt (August 28, 2019). "Former Army Ranger behind veteran-owned company on allegation that he's profiting off war and tragedy". Fox News. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  5. ^ a b Leon, Melissa (December 31, 2018). "With more than half a billion video views, Army Ranger entrepreneur Mat Best is taking over the world". American Military News. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  6. ^ Lineham, Adam (March 7, 2016). "America's Greatest Heroes Are Making The Most Twisted Zombie Film Of All Time". Maxim. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  7. ^ "Mbest11x Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  8. ^ Skovlund, Marty Jr. (May 17, 2019). "11 Questions & A Cup Of Coffee: Entertainer And Businessman Mat Best". Black Rifle Coffee Company. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  9. ^ "Full Bio". [Jarred Taylor]. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  10. ^ a b Newlands, Murray (March 7, 2016). "Meet Art 15 The YouTube 'Bros' Building A Lifestyle Brand For Veterans With Article 15 Clothing". Forbes. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  11. ^ Lamothe, Dan (January 27, 2016). "Zombies, high-profile veterans share screen in new NSFW 'Range 15' movie trailer". The Washington Post. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  12. ^ Winfrey, Graham (June 17, 2016). "Why William Shatner Joined a Group of U.S. Military Veterans to Make a Zombie Comedy". IndieWire. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  13. ^ Castrodale, Jelisa (September 23, 2019). "We Spoke to the Black Rifle Coffee Owner About Guns, Hipsters, and Hiring Veterans". Vice Magazine. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  14. ^ a b c Miller, Michelle; Singh, Vidya (February 3, 2018). "Black Rifle Coffee: Behind the company selling beans with a message". CBS News. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  15. ^ "offee company takes on Starbucks' refugee plan, pledges to hire 10,000 veterans". Fox News. February 2, 2017. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  16. ^ Best, Mat; Patterson, Ross; Parker, Nils (2019). Thank You for My Service. Random House Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-5247-9649-5.
  17. ^ "'Thank You for My Service' With Mat Best". Stratfor. September 11, 2019. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  18. ^ The Associated Press (August 30, 2019). "Wall Street Journal-Best Sellers". WTOP-FM. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  19. ^ The Associated Press (August 29, 2019). "Publishers Weekly Best-Sellers". WTOP-FM.
  20. ^ "Books, Best Sellers, Hardcover Nonfiction". The New York Times. September 8, 2019. Retrieved 23 September 2019.

External links[edit]