Jeff – Chief Gear-Head at Gear-Report.com
Hi, I’m Jeff. I’m the “Chief Gear-Head” here at Gear-Report.com and a “Media” (Press) member of the National Shooting Sports Foundation. I pull together the right staff and gear, then make sure that our reviews are helpful, fair and honest.
I’ve been doing stuff outdoors for over over 40 years.
I know what you are thinking… “But Jeff, you don’t look OLD enough to have been doing stuff outdoors for more than 40 years!”
Aren’t you nice?!
I was fortunate that my Father and his Father were adventurous outdoorsmen. So, I got started early. In fact, some of my earliest memories are hiking, shooting and hunting on my Grandfather’s farm, and accompanying my Father on SCUBA diving expeditions around the US and abroad.
As soon as I was old enough, I joined Cub Scouts, then Boy Scouts. I spent WAY too much time in the woods hiking and camping.
In high school I worked at a big box sporting goods store in the camping department and learned two things pretty quickly:
- They cared about sales, not the customers they sold products to: I was one of only three people out of 100+ working at the store that was passionate, knowledgeable and actually used the stuff that we sold. I was the junior person in the camping dept, and the only one that actually camped! I had a clue what stuff was worth buying, and what was useless crap. The camping department manager was more worried about inventory reports and complaining that I wasn’t available to work the one weekend each month that my Scout troop went camping.
- Profit was King: Management disliked how I sold camping gear. I asked customers where they were going , what they planned to do while there, then suggested the best gear for their needs… and the most cost effective alternatives. My boss hated that I often recommended that customers NOT buy the overpriced crap that had the big margins. Sometimes the big name, high cost gear really was the best option for the customer. Sometimes it really wasn’t.
From that retail experience many moons ago Gear Report was born
Over the years I’ve shot a wide variety of guns, hunted large and small game, completed wilderness treks, climbed, repelled, paddled canoes and kayaks, driven a wide range of boats, hiked, biked, flown various aircraft, and learned to make gear when I didn’t find exactly what I wanted in the retail market. … I think you get the picture.
I’ve spent more than my fair share of time in the back country and and putting gear through its paces.
Since I have seen a few bloggers and YouTube “celebrities” misrepresent or inflate their military experience in order to gain credibility, I will be clear about my military experience:
I am a US Air Force Veteran (USAFR 1992-1998, with 2 active duty rotations in 1992 and 1996-7). I qualified with the M16 and shot “Expert” with the M9 Beretta. As a Crew Chief and later a LoadMaster on the C-141B aircraft, I deployed to nearly every continent, often issued an M9, which I carried concealed in a shoulder holster under my flight suit. There are plenty of legit war heroes out there and many with more tactical training and experience. I was fortunate to serve between the first and second Gulf Wars and, while we flew into many tense areas, a couple of which earned campaign ribbons, I don’t consider myself a “combat veteran”.
I was the only person that the staff could remember who GAINED weight while in the field at the US Air Force Aircrew Survival School. Seriously, I like roasted rabbit, thimble berries, most flowers, and pretty much any other edible stuff that wasn’t too quick to get away before I could eat it.
US Air Force 707th Airlift Squadron
Since my last unit, the 707th Airlift Squadron disbanded in 2000, shortly after I got out, here is some info that I’ll preserve for posterity:
I was in the 315th Air Wing, which was the Associate Reserve component of the 437th AW, Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina, and under the Air Mobility Command.
I served in the 315th Aircraft Generation Squadron as a C-141B Crew Chief, then in the 707th Airlift Squadron. While in the 707th I knew absolutely NONE of the unit history listed below on this page. I found much of it at this site: http://www.c141flyingsquadrons.com/707th
707th shoulder patch
Here was our tail stripe: