Former SEAL making waves in the energy drink biz

Eric Dehm
March 27, 2018 - 11:03 am

Photo courtesy Strike Force Energy

Anyone who has deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan or any number of battlefields across the years can tell you: when you are outside the wire, you don't want to carry anthing you don't need. They can also tell you that what you "need" is a personal decision, to some extent.

There are things like body armor, your weapon and medical kit that are on every list, but very few head out with only the bare bones essentials. Some people "need" their lucky charm from back home. Some need a picture of their significant other.

And then there's the energy drinks. Those who "need" their energy drinks really need them, to the extent where former Navy SEAL, and current Strike Force Energy Drink President, Sean Matson saw some surprising things deemed optional by his teammates.

Photo courtesy Sean Matson

"You'd talk about staying lightweight but this is the funny part, guys would still carry a Rip-it can out on ops with them," Matson said of his time on SEAL Team 4 during an appearance on the Morning Briefing radio show. "They'd take up one of their magazine pouches, or y'know instead of a grenade there's a Rip-it can in there or something."

That's why when he joined up with Strike Force energy, Matson said he saw the possibilities the new energy drink brought to the table. It's extremely lightweight, 0.2 ounces to be specific. According to Matson, the big difference between Strike Force and the competition is actually a liquid in a small pouch that you add to water, which provides the same type of caffeine and energy boost the typical canned energy drink does, but without the weight, calories or sugar. 

Matson was so impressed with Strike Force when his friend Bruce Schlee, who developed the product, first gave him a sample, he took the full inventory--about 50 packets at the time, to see if he could find an interested party. It didn't take long, as he soon had some good news for his future business partner, good news from a familiar place--the military.

"A few weeks later I called him and said 'hey, I've got an order from the Air Force for 3,000 packets worth of this stuff','" Matson recalled. "We were just giving it to them to give them out to the guys and let them try it."

From that starting point, Matson and Schlee formed Strike Force. Their product is currently available in 7-11 locations in Virginia, the Carolinas, and the southern half of Florida with plans to expand in the very near future to the entire east coast and eventually, Matson hopes, the entire country. 

Below, you can hear the full interview with Matson where he talks about his time at Virginia Military Institute, his career as a SEAL and his somewhat rocky transition to civilian life in addition to his work with Strike Force.

Click Play to stream now, or to listen later click share and select Download from the available options.