Interview with @thatgeardude

Law Enforcement Field Ambassador Q&A
By Caitie Caroleo, Marketing Manager January 18, 2019

Gio (@thatgeardude on Instagram) has been a part of the Princeton Tec Field Ambassador team for a few years now. He is a full time Deputy Sheriff in a Tactical Anti-Crime Unit and SWAT Team member, as well as a reserve member of the Air Force Special Operations Command program, DAGRE.

Originally from Puerto Rico, Gio moved to Florida when he was 13 years old. During Marine Corps boot camp he shot a rifle for the first time. Initially excited (but admittedly slightly nervous too) it was an entirely new experience. After shooting the rifle – he knew it was for him and dedicated himself to improving from that point forward.

Gio’s time spent enlisted played other crucial roles in where he is today: including being introduced to the idea joining a SWAT Team. A lot of the guys he was deployed with were police officers and when trading stories and experiences, he’d hear about their work back home. The stories involving the SWAT Team piqued his interest the most.

As soon as he returned home, Gio began researching the process to become a member of his local SWAT team. He put himself through the police academy and was hired.

What makes him tick:

PT: What book or movie has had the biggest influence on where you are today?
Gio: Book is Discipline Equals Freedom by Jocko Willink. Movie is anything military or law enforcement. They always get me pumped up.

PT: Speaking of pumped up – do you have a pump-up ritual?
Gio: One of my team’s rituals is to fist bump each other and nod as we drive to towards our target location. Without saying it out loud this simple gesture says that they have my back and I have theirs.

PT: How about a playlist?
Gio: I decided to take advantage of the time I usually spend listening to music to listen to audio books instead. My goal is to become smarter than I was yesterday and I find audio books books to be a useful tool to gain knowledge.

Big questions:

PT: What has been your biggest personal victory/goal reached?
Gio: I’ve reached several goals in my life but have many more to reach. My most recent accomplishment was making the SWAT team.

PT: What is the most satisfying part of your work?
Gio: I can speak for every cop out there and say we don’t do this for the glam but it definitely feels good when someone takes the time to say thanks.

PT: Is there a part of your training or work that you enjoy the most?
Gio: Any time I get to spend with my team. Whether we are training or in the middle of a mission I’m always having a good time.

A little bit of gear talk:

PT: What was your first “big” investment on gear that you remember?
Gio: My first big investment was buying my first rifle.

PT: Good example of a time when you really needed a light?
Gio: While conducting foot patrols in the dark streets of Iraq, in 2008. Some of the areas we were tasked to patrol did not have any lights. It was hard to move and search areas without a light.

PT: What about past, current or dream support vehicle?
Gio: Either a lifted Jeep or lifted Toyota Tacoma.

On dinosaur water:

PT: Any humorous or funny situations you’ve found yourself in in your line of work?
Gio: As a cop, there are many of those “you had to be there” situations. One situation that comes to mind was rushing to assist my buddy who was pursuing a suspect on foot. When I got there, my friend was covered in nasty swamp mud from head to toe. Apparently, while he was running after the suspect, he tripped and fell in the nasty swamp water that has probably been there since dinosaurs roamed the earth.

Gio has tried out a lot of our kit, but gets the most use out of our Charge and Switch MPLS helmet lights. We had a great time getting to know Gio a little better and learn more about his work.

Thanks so much for giving us some of your precious time – and thanks for doing what you do!

Are you headed to SHOT Show next week? Stop by Booth #32003 to check out our Made in USA personal light products in person.