In August of 2016, Warfighter Tobacco Company went live to the general public. The response was more than we could have expected, and reaffirmed our commitment and vision to you, our loyal community. As we enter our third full year of operations, we wanted to send a special “thank you.” We want to thank you for being a Warfighter. We want to thank you for your Service and sacrifice. We want to thank you for sharing our core value: that there are things worth fighting for—things worth protecting. Finally, we want to humbly thank you for your support as we took this from vision to reality.
What you have helped us create is pretty amazing. Cofounder Scott Jansen first had the idea to start a cigar company when he was working on the set of Range 15 with other Veterans. The companies Article 15 Clothing and Ranger Up had brought together a band of Veterans to tell the politically incorrect satire of our Veteran experience. It was the first successfully crowd-funded major motion picture, and it was made possible the same way Warfighters win our battles—one Service Member each doing his or her part.
This experience left Scott, a former Scout Sniper with the 101stAirborne, with the realization (or, perhaps more appropriately, a “reaffirmation”) that our community, when banded together, can accomplish anything. This made him want to join the league of awesome Veteran owned companies that were beginning to proliferate with products that were warrior focused and unapologetic. Successful companies were being created in apparel, liquor, coffee, survival gear and other consumer industries. Scott, however, recognized that there was a glaring need left unfilled. There were no Cigar companies that really spoke to, and understood, the Sheepdog community that we wanted to serve.
With that, Scott invited cofounder Chris Ferdico, and their friends Jon Simons and Bryan Bettey, to Vegas for Shot Show and the premier of the Range 15 trailer. Over drinks (it’s Vegas, so we will let your imagination assume the quantity) Scott shared his idea. At that point, Chris, who was a self-proclaimed cigar connoisseur (which, if you know Chris, he self-proclaims a lot of things) said “I know a guy.” With that, Warfighter Tobacco was conceived. To sum up, we have alcohol, Vegas, and two guys too stubborn to quit. What could go wrong?
Well, if you are smart enough to listen to the gracious guys from Black Rifle Coffee, Article 15 Clothing, Ranger Up, Strike Force Energy and Tactical Shit, not really much could go wrong. Well, actually, a lot could go wrong, but not because of those guys. Those guys know what they are doing and were very helpful with mentoring us on what not to do. So, we took the concept from scratch, found a source who could get us our own line of premium cigars, and started with 300 cigars. Those 300 cigars Scott and Chris took to the premier of Range 15 to hand out as thanks, and to make sure we didn’t suck. With confirmation that we did not, in fact, suck, we ordered big. Thankfully to you, however, we did not order big enough. We couldn’t keep up with you wicked Sheepdogs.
Not really having a plan for your demand (we had every other plan), we do what our community does best. We winged it. By this time Jon, Bryan and Vincent “Rocco” Vargas joined in. This thing was happening. We realized you liked us, and we should go for broke. You wanted us in your local cigar shops. To accomplish this, we needed to improve our foxhole. We wanted to reward you with even better cigars. So, we took our existing blends, tweaked them, found the most badass cigar manufacturer in Nicaragua, and unveiled the new Warfighter cigars barely 11 months later. The coming out party was in July 2017 at the International Premium Cigar and Pipe Tobacco Retailers Association (IPCPR) Convention. We did better than anyone expected (except us, because we are still the same dumb stubborn guys that started this thing).
With our second IPCPR convention under our belt and rocking better than the first, we realized it was our Anniversary. That gave us a chance to look back at this whirlwind and share our appreciation with you. After all, we exist for you. To provide the Warfighter (those Veterans, Servicemembers, First Responders and everyone who shares our Warrior Ethos) with a cigar specifically for our community, by our community.
So, what does this mean? Are we there yet? Not even close. We continue to master our craft and improve the way we do business. It hasn’t been all sunshine and butterflies. We have learned from our mistake and will keep focusing on you—our community. Most of all, we haven’t been able to meet our charitable expectations. While we are proud that we came out of the gate wanting to fail giving back rather than succeed being selfish, we haven’t been able to do what we really want to do—give back to our Community in big ways. That’s not to say we aren’t proud of what we have done, but we have bigger expectations. As we already know, with you, we will get that done too.
To celebrate you, use promo-code “ANNIVERSARY” for 15% off everything in the store throughout the month of August and ending on Labor Day (September 3, 2018). Also, get ready for fall, because we’ve got lots of cool new kit coming. From there, let’s see what another year can do! Stay Dangerous, be safe, and Unleash You’re Inner Warfighter.