What is BeastMode For The Brave?
US Navy Seal veteran Chris Kyle (American Sniper) and US Navy veteran Talon Smith (Stars Earn Stripes) created Beast Mode for the Brave to raise awareness and support for the needs of our veterans returning home from the battlefield. BeastMode For The Brave is the community outreach program for Guardian For Heroes Foundation. The goal is to enable every American to become a Guardian For our Heroes by using their own unique abilities to honor our every man and woman who has ever served and is still serving in our armed forces.
How can you go BeastMode For The Brave?
Each of us has own unique gifts – going Beast Mode for the Brave is using those gifts to the extreme to benefit our military heroes.
Some of us have physical abilities – running across America like ultra marathoner George Chmiel, doing 22 pushups like US Marine veteran Jacob Schick (22Kill), or hand-cycling in a triathlon like US Navy Seal veteran Al Kovach (President Paralyzed Veterans of America).
But others are artists, musicians, dancers, cooks, caregivers, gardeners, gamers, designers, builders, collectors, readers, teachers, students or volunteers.
Whatever your talent is, push yourself to the max to honor and support the veterans that deserve and need our help. Personalize the challenge so you can honor vets with your abilities.
Then share it with others and challenge them to go Beast Mode for the Brave. Have fun with it, be creative and do it all — as Chris Kyle said — to serve those who have served us.
Beast Mode for the Brave benefits the Guardian for Heroes Foundation started by Chris Kyle and championed today by US Marine combat veteran Jeff Kyle.
Chris Kyle, Founder
From 1999 to 2009, U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle recorded the most career sniper kills in United States military history. Iraqi insurgents feared Kyle so much, they named him al-Shaitan (“the devil”) and placed a bounty on his head. Kyle earned legendary status among his fellow Teammates, Marines, and other military soldiers and airmen, whom he protected with deadly accuracy from rooftops and stealth positions.
Chief Kyle served four combat tours in Operation Iraqi Freedom and other clandestine operations for the United States Navy and Marines. For his unrelenting bravery in battle, he was awarded two Silver Stars, five Bronze Stars with Valor, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, as well as one Navy and Marine Corps Commendation. The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs warded him with the Grateful Nation Award.
Following his combat deployments, he became Chief Instructor for training Naval Special Warfare Sniper and Counter Sniper teams. In addition, Kyle authored the Naval Special Warfare Sniper Doctrine, the first Navy SEAL sniper manual and devoted much of his spare time helping disabled Veterans.
Gripping and unforgettable, Chris’s masterful account of his incredible battlefield experiences in the New York Times bestselling book “American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. History” ranks as one of the greatest war memoirs of all time.
Before his untimely passing in 2013, Chris was a devoted son, brother, husband, and father in North Texas, as well as continuing his efforts to helping Veterans re-acclimate to civilian life and combat stress carried home.
Jeff Kyle, Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors
Jeff Kyle, brother of Chris Kyle, proudly served our country as a U.S. Marine for eight years of honorable service. In the United States Marine Corps, Jeff served four years with the 3rd Marines as an infantryman with weapons specialty. Early in his career, Jeff was selected to become a rifle and pistol instructor. As an instructor he trained countless Marines as well as foreign military members to include, Tanzanians, Ugandans, Japanese, Koreans, and Australians. Jeff also acquired an instructor certification in Combat Marksmanship. As a Marine Infantryman and later with Marine Recon, he deployed multiple times to Iraq and other areas during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. While serving with 3rd Marine Division, Sgt. Kyle received the Navy Achievement Medal for leading the first Marine detachment. Jeff also served with 4th Reconnaissance during deployments to Iraq where he served as an assault team member, spotter on sniper team and automatic weapons gunner.
Jeff has never felt that he is following in Chris’ footsteps because serving the country and giving back to the men and women of our Armed Forces was something both he and Chris were taught from an early age. Patriotism. Valor. Integrity. Sacrifice. These were only some pillars Jeff learned as a young adult, and that he leans on today to continue serving Veterans through BeastMode For The Brave.
Talon Smith, Founder
Talon Smith serves as a United States Navy Fleet Marine Force Hospital Corpsman. He has been apart of Marine Reconnaissance and mentored by Special Amphibious Reconnaissance Corpsman, Special Operations Independent Duty Corpsman and Reconnaissance Marines alike. Talon attended Field Medical Service Technician School to earn his shield and become an 8404. He graduated in October 2008 earning 2nd highest GPA and Highest PFA/PFT award. Talon was then sent to Okinawa, Japan and was assigned to 3d Reconnaissance Bn. He received the coveted (FMF) Fleet Marine Force warfare device on his first try within four months of joining the command. While at 3rd Reconnaissance he participated in 3 work ups and deployed on the 31st MEU (Marine Expeditionary Unit) as apart of the ARP (Amphibious Reconnaissance Platoon). Reconnaissance Marines and SARC’s (Special Amphibious Reconnaissance Corpsman) mentored Talon in the actual field craft of being a Reconnaissance Corpsman. As an 8404 he held the billet of an 8427/SARC in two platoons and assisted in training newly arrived Reconnaissance Marines. During the missions Talon participated in towards the later part of his tour at 3d Reconnaissance Bn , he held the billet of Assistant Radio Team Operator and acted as Assistant Team Leader.
Talon left 3rd Reconnaissance Bn in early 2011 and was again to be assigned to 1st Reconnaissance Bn. His goal of attending BRC (Basic Reconnaissance Course) and deploying in the teams was ruined when he broke his leg two days before joining the unit. Talon was medically cleared just a month and a half prior to leaving for the final work up. Doing this allowed him to be attached to the PSD or Jump Platoon and get his chance to deploy. During the work up Talon found himself mentoring junior Reconnaissance Marines and being mentored by SOIDC’s (Special Operations Independent Duty Corpsman) who continued and furthered his knowledge of combat medicine.
Late in 2011 Talon deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan. The deployment was not what he had hoped it to be. He did however have the opportunity to move from the PSD/Jump Platoon to being attached with 1st Platoon, Bravo Company and it was there he experienced combat.
In August 2012 Talon appeared on NBC’s “Stars Earn Stripes” where he was paired with Laila Ali and they made it to the end of Mission 3 out 5 total. There he met a huge influence on his life, Chris Kyle who became a friend and mentor. After the first episode Chris told Talon about his charity and how they helped veterans through fitness. After recently returning from South Korea as 2012 CrossFit Asia Regional Competitor Talon promised him he’d help him anyway he could. Together, Chris and Talon developed an online competition/challenge to engage individuals and raise money for our veterans. Chris loved the idea and that’s how BeastMode For The Brave started to come to life. After Chris was taken from us in 2013 it would take nearly 2 years to get the event off the ground and although the structure changed, the purpose and mission continued. Talon’s goal is to continue Chris’s legacy by serving his brothers and doing whatever is necessary to help the transition and integrate back into civilian life.
John Radzwilla, Director of Public Relations and Communications
John Radzwilla is the president of New World Public Relations, a public relations and marketing company. Not a Veteran himself, Radzwilla has a deep sense of responsibility to serve the Veteran community. John Radzwilla began work with BeastMode For The Brave in 2014 as their public relations advisor and branding consultant. He has assisted in the branding of the organization, donor communications, and most importantly, teamed with Talon Smith, the co-founder of the BeastMode For The Brave concept, to adapt the original idea for the general public. Working as a team, Radzwilla and Smith launched the concept into the mainstream by creating a viral video challenge on social media. In early 2015, Radzwilla and Smith teamed actor, Dean Cain, to create the first BeastMode For The Brave video. Radzwilla pushed Dean Cain’s video to go viral and created a media buzz around the movement. BeastMode For The Brave has since been featured on Fox & Friends, CNN New Day, and countless local affiliate channels across America. Radzwilla continues to manage the BeastMode For The Brave brand, messaging, and Social Media.