Today, as we pause to thank those men and women who have sacrificed to serve our great nation, we would also like to take a moment to recognize the individuals who committed themselves to serving our country prior to starting here at TRX. With a company heritage steeped in military tradition, it makes sense that we continue to attract people from those ranks to join us on a new mission: to deliver world class fitness and spread the word about TRX Training.
Leading the charge is Randy Hetrick. Randy spent 14 years in the US Navy SEALs before founding TRX in 2004. Whether serving as SEAL Squadron Commander or as CEO of TRX, Randy has always followed one piece of advice: Lead from the front. “I would never ask my team to do something I haven’t already done,” says Randy. And the team he leads today is proud to have the following vets in its ranks:
Ken Taylor retired in 2003 as a Senior Chief after 20 years of service as a Navy SEAL. He is experienced in all aspects of Naval Special Warfare, from field operations to personnel management to fitness training and programming. With his combat experience and expertise in small unit tactics, Ken planned and conducted personal protective details for high ranking U.S. military officers and dignitaries. Ken is experienced in free-fall jumping, combat diving, close quarters combat, urban warfare, marksmanship and small boat work. As a Master Training Specialist, he taught more than 2,200 SEAL candidates in SEAL operations, techniques, leadership, teamwork, small unit operations and physical fitness. Ken is Director of Key Accounts in the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force and some federal agencies for TRX.
Alex Roodhouse was a member of the Navy’s first Riverine Squadron since Vietnam. He trained at the Marine Corps School of Infantry and the Special Mission Training Center onboard Camp Lejeune, and led a Riverine Detachment Ground Team in combat operations throughout Iraq. He also helped lead anti-piracy and anti-smuggling boarding teams while serving on a Navy Destroyer, conducting numerous interdictions around the Horn of Africa and Somalia. Prior to joining the U.S. Navy, Alex was an honors graduate from the University of Notre Dame. Alex is our General Manager of the Government Segment and joined TRX in early 2009..
Tanya Lee was active duty in the Air Force from 1998 through 2006. Two weeks in, she was offered the opportunity to deploy with her F-16 squadron in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. They were deployed for less than 60 days, but according to Tanya, “It was a great way to start my Air Force career!” Other highlights from her career include her assignment as the U.S. Aide-de-Camp to a Korean Air Force three-star general, serving as a liaison between the Korean three-star and the USAF three-star at Osan Air Base in Korea. During her six years with the Air Force, Tanya was trained in two different career fields, personnel and services, experience which has proved invaluable in her role as Director of International Sales for TRX. She currently serves in the Air National Guard with the 129th Rescue Wing in the Bay area.
After enlisting in the United States Marine Corps in 1982, Ed Sortino started his Marine Corps career with 2nd Recon Bn as a reconnaissance Marine and later transferred to 2nd Force Recon Company as a member of a sniper/counter sniper team. Then later, he became an instructor at the Amphibious Reconnaissance Course in Ft Story, Virginia. After his return to the Fleet and subsequent deployments, he was assigned to Parris Island to teach marksmanship training to Marine Corps recruits, and after a few years, he returned to the Fleet Marine Force as a Squad Leader, Surveillance and Target Acquisition team leader, Platoon Sergeant and acting Platoon Commander during more overseas deployments, Desert Shield/Storm and multiple combat operations throughout the world. He ended his active duty career while again instructing Recruits at Parris Island and later helped develop the Basic Warrior Training package for all female recruits. He then joined the Reserve forces where he served as the Company 1st Sgt in Greenville, South Carolina. Ed attended Park College and studied Pastoral Studies and Business Management. He is currently the Eastern Territory Manager for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps at TRX.
Mike Taylor graduated from the United States Naval Academy and was active in the U.S. Navy from 2003 to 2010. During that time, he served as a Riverine Detachment Ground Team Officer in the first Naval Riverine Squadron since the Vietnam War. He was deployed to Al Anbar Province, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. During the deployment, he conducted security patrols along the Euphrates River and assisted Multi-National Force-West in restoring security to Al Anbar Province. Mike is the Director of Key Accounts for the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and some federal agencies for TRX.
Mark Becker joined the U.S. Army in 1997 and was on active duty and reserve until 2003. Mark served as a Combat Engineer, Heavy Construction Platoon Sergeant, and as Non-Commissioned Officer In Charge of numerous build projects around the world. As the unit Light Infantry Weapons Specialist, Mark was tasked with “disposing of excess ammunition,” which he considers a highlight of his military career. Mark earned an Associate's degree in Computer Aided Design from the College of San Mateo in 1994 and a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from San Francisco State in 2000. He is currently the Senior Facilities Manager for TRX.
Brian Bettendorf joined the U.S. Army in June 1987. He was deployed to Panama to support Operation Just Cause as well as Kuwait to support Operation Desert Storm. Brian maintained operational readiness for fixed wing and helicopter avionics systems, with his final role as an instructor with the New Equipment Training Teams deploying and teaching the newest, advanced equipment. Brian was discharged from the Army as a Sergeant in September 1991. He served in the Ohio National Guard from 1991 to 1995. Brian is a Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist who received his Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from Ohio State University and a Master’s degree in Kinesiology from San Jose State University, in addition to a Master’s degree from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. Brian currently serves as the Director of Strategy, Product and Systems for TRX.
Bryan Studebaker enrolled at The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina in 2000. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Health, Exercise and Sport Science and is currently pursuing a Master’s of Business Administration. Upon graduation from The Citadel, Bryan was commissioned in the United States Air Force Reserves. He is currently a Captain and serves as Security Forces Squadron Commander in the South Carolina Air National Guard. Bryan is the Director of Territory Sales for the Government Segment at TRX.
After graduating from UC Davis in 2006 with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Biology, Ben Carter enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and graduated from boot camp as the Company Honorman. He served as a Reconnaissance Marine with 3rd Recon Battalion in Okinawa, Japan where his team trained in a variety of locations across the Pacific Theater that included Guam, The Philippines and Korea. In 2009, his unit deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and was tasked with a variety of specialized missions that included Long Range Reconnaissance, High Value Target capture and anti-drug raids. Ben currently serves as the Western Territory Manager for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps at TRX.
Ronald "Griff" Gardner enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard in 2003, completed boot camp in Cape May, New Jersey and then attended Operation Specialist “A” School in Petaluma, California in early 2004. He wore many different hats while enlisted in the Coast Guard from Personnel and Physical Security Officer, Lead Training Petty Officer, Lead Petty Officer, Cutter Radio Shop Chief and Assistant Command Watch Officer. Along the way, he was stationed at a communications master station, two different national security cutters and two Coast Guard cutters. Other highlights from his career include mission planning for anti-drug patrols and search and rescue efforts after Hurricane Katrina. Griff left the Coast Cuard in 2011 as a First Class Petty Officer and joined TRX as the Coordinator of Government Sales and Events.
Tim Hardy retired from the Army in October 2011 as a Major with 20 years of active service that included prior enlisted service. Tim served with 75th Ranger Regiment, E/51st Long Range Surveillance, the 82d Airborne Division, 10th Mountain Division, 50th and 32nd Signal Battalions and United States Recruiting Command before retiring from the Joint Staff at the Pentagon. His duty positions included 34 consecutive months as a Platoon Leader, 59 consecutive months as Company Commander and 62 months as a Battalion and Brigade S6, and 12 years on active Airborne status. He served two tours in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, most recently with 3-10th/TF Spartan from November 2008 through December 2009. Tim is the Army Program Manager for TRX.
The newest TRX team member from the ranks is Perry “Billy Jack” Gilliam. After enlisting in the U.S. Army Reserves Delayed Entry Program at the age of 17, Perry found himself confronted with a much larger challenge when he decided to pursue his active duty aspirations after completing high school. From 2001 to 2005, Perry served as a paratrooper with Echo Company 51st Infantry Airborne (LRS). While there, he served as Radio Telephone Operator for Shadow 2, one of 18 specialized, six-man Long Range Surveillance Teams that served as the eyes and ears of V Corps, carrying out hundreds of combat missions between 2003-2004 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. After his service, Perry pursued his bachelor's degree in Psychology. Perry is now part of the Customer Operations Team at TRX. While his motto may have changed, his attitude hasn’t. Surrender, a non-Ranger word, is not one accepted at TRX either.
Thank you to everyone who has served and continues to serve. We owe you a debt of gratitude. From all of us here at TRX, Happy Veterans Day.