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Tagged: tactical gear

Ares Armor Inc. at Fort Bragg Darley Defense Days


The 2015 Darley Defense Days Show is coming up at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. The event is being held on Tuesday, August 18 and Wednesday, August 19, 2015 at the new Fort Bragg Conference and Catering Center on Reilly Road. The beautiful new facility is right in the heart of the 251-mile U.S. Military post.

This marks the third year of the Darley Defense Days event designed to showcase the finest products and services specifically of interest to the sizable U.S. Army community at Fort Bragg.

A team from Ares Armor Inc. is excited to be one of 55 featured exhibitors. Those planning to attend the show will be able to visit with Atreyu Jimenez and Will Smith, Directors of Wholesale Accounts for Ares Armor Inc. You can find them at Booth # 601 of the nearly 50,000 square foot facility.

The pair of U.S. Marines will be displaying innovative new products from the company’s nylon and metal catalogs. They will also be gladly discussing opportunities for tactical gear to be fully customized for Special Operators at Fort Bragg.

Mario Cockrell is the Southeast Regional Account Manager for Darley Defense Days. He is acting as the “Boots on the Ground” in advance of the show.

“It’s in a prime location,” says Cockrell. “We’re hoping for a crowd in the thousands. The entire 82nd Airborne is stationed here. 89 battalions are based here. Many Special Operations and Special Response Forces Units are also stationed here. And I have been working to personally invite all of them to our show,” laughs Cockrell.

On a more serious note, he adds how Fort Bragg is not just one of the largest U.S. Army installations in the world. It is clearly one of the most valuable. “Fort Bragg is of great strategic importance for the United States ‘Force Projection.’ The Special Forces stationed here can disperse quickly when needed so they are very important strategically for the Department of Defense.”

The Darley Defense team has worked closely with Ares Armor Inc. in the past. They are excited to have Ares Armor Inc. showcasing its innovative products and technologies at the Fort Bragg Darley Defense Days show. “When it comes to great nylon gear, the troops here rely on equipment like that,” says Mario Cockrell. “They’ve hit the jackpot.”

To arrange a private consultation or demonstration of Ares Armor Inc. gear, please call Will Smith at (760) 421-1705 or Atreyu Jimenez at (561) 800-9834.

Mike Veale Geared Up to Fight Rhino Poaching


Don’t bet against Mike Veale. He’s the cool guy pictured above and in the video below. If Mike wants to bet your summer vacation was more fun than his, he’s probably right. And don’t dare double down on a bet your summer vacation was more dangerous than his. Unless of course, you were also carrying a gun, machete, and tomahawk deep in the African bush trying to stop cold-blooded rhino killers.

This weekend, Mike Veale is off to the Kruger National Park in South Africa. He’s returning as a volunteer ranger to join the fight against the poaching and extinction of rhinoceros. Mike is really geared up this time and for good reason.

Rhinos are literally being wiped off the face of the earth. It’s happening at a truly alarming rate. On average, poachers kill three rhinos every day. They could all be gone by 2030 unless there is real change. One northern white rhino died this week. That means there are only 4 left in the world. Other species of rhinoceros have already been completely killed off.

You see, rhinos have a bounty on their head. It’s called a horn.


These animals are stalked by ruthless criminals who chop off rhino horns to sell for big money on the black market. These people are not traditional hunters. They are not doing what it takes to feed their families. They are high-priced animal assassins supplying high-priced product in demand with certain customers.

Technically, this six-week trip is not even a vacation for Mike Veale. He’s pulling the trigger on another unpaid leave of absence from his job. It’s helpful his employer understands. Mike is a senior keeper at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and a best friend of the rhinos there.


Don’t bet against Mike Veale, and his fellow rhino-saving rangers this time. Mike and his colleagues in Africa as well as in Asia are now benefiting from custom-designed tactical gear courtesy of Ares Armor Inc. According to Mike, being geared up battles in the bush is in fact a matter of survival of the fittest. “Our standard gear before was clunky, heavy, and visible,” he says. It really hurt rangers since we are already battling conditions where just about everything is against us. Now, having new kick-ass gear from Ares Armor totally customized for rangers in the bush, will be life-saving at times,” Mike adds. “Plus, it’s created a huge morale boost for our guys.”

Don’t bet against Mike Veale. He may be focused on saving rhinos from poaching and extinction. But he’s definitely doing it with the heart of a lion.

Corps of Cadets: Preparing Future Military Leaders



Part 3 of 3-Part Series. Click here for Part 1 & Part 2.

What’s in your face faster than a speeding AR-15 bullet? The future. It’s constantly upon you, isn’t it? The present suddenly becomes the past. The future becomes now. Then next week, next month, and next year are here before you know it.

Bam! It happens that fast.

In supporting the Texas A & M Corps of Cadets Marksmanship Unit (CCMU), Ares Armor is helping these leaders be better prepared now and in the future. With pride, honor, and excitement, Ares Armor invested hundreds of man hours in research and development, added time and costs in materials and manufacturing. The company did whatever it took to reach new, higher, completely customized standards for the team of 23 Cadets.  CEO Bryce Stirlen explains, “We are creatively collaborating on identifying and fulfilling tactical gear needs today, tomorrow, and the equally important tomorrows thereafter which the Corps of Cadets will soon be facing.”

“After graduating, my Cadets will be military officers,” said Kevin Jimmerson, Head Coach of the Texas A & M Corps of Cadets Marksmanship Unit since it began in 2012. “Each and every one of them knows they can never take marksmanship for granted. I know if they can practice more, they always will.”


Coach (in upper right of above photo) preaches these quotes to his Cadets:

“It’s not the will to win that matters – everyone has that. It’s the will to PREPARE to win that matters.”  – Paul “Bear” Bryant, Head Football Coach, Texas A & M, 1954-57

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

Kevin Jimmerson’s title of Head Coach is an understatement. Yes, he is an instructor driven to leading young men and women to national championships. They’ve proven it in shooting competitions against the best collegiate teams in the country.

But there’s so much more to his job. He’s also part mentor to his Cadets. He’s part drill sergeant, and part angel on their shoulders.

“These Cadets may soon be leading 19 and 20-year olds in combat,” he said. “They need to learn a whole lot about delegating, and all aspects of leadership.”

So now you get a better sense of the bigger picture. Ares Armor designing and manufacturing innovative tactical gear for these Texas A & M Aggies has multiple layers of importance.


Committing to Excellence is Great. Winning Championship Trophies is Great. But the ultimate prize we’re after is helping to better prepare and equip this Corps of Cadets to safely lead U.S. Military members home from combat.

The Texas A & M Corps of Cadets shooters configure their belts and mags to Coach Jimmerson’s specifications. That’s how they train. That’s how they compete. That’s how they think.

Ares Armor is actively supporting the coach’s mission for his unit to have customized tactical gear to better its speed and efficiency.

– Speed and efficiency wins shooting competitions.

– Speed and efficiency saves lives in battle.

This is why we’re working together, and shifting on the fly to develop innovative solutions to improve areas such as:

  • Shooting Fundamentals.
  • Angled Mag Holders, Ergonomic and Biomechanically Correct.
  • Shooting Fundamentals.
  • Shooting Weak Hand Techniques.
  • Shooting Fundamentals.
  • Re-arranging Double Pistol Mag Holders to not Interfere with Fingers.
  • Shooting Fundamentals (The coach believes in fundamentals).
  • And more.


Ares Armor CEO Bryce Stirlen says the company may soon be sharing some of these cutting edge technology innovations with the public. It’s being explored.

“Lots of new things come out of the competition shooting world,” said Coach Jimmerson. “A lot of stuff filters its way into improvements our soldiers wind up using in battle. That may be the case here. It would be great if one day what we’re doing could save lives.”



Corps of Cadets Marksmanship Unit Running Highest Gear


Here’s Part 2 of our 3 Part Series. Click here for Part 1.

No hype here about “going the extra mile.” Ares Armor teaming up with the Texas A & M Corps of Cadets Marksmanship Unit (CCMU), made “the extra mile” nothing more than the most exciting part of a shared journey.

The mission wasn’t about filling stock orders or being the receivers of them. It wasn’t about uppers. It wasn’t about lowers. The goal was rising to new challenges…pushing one of the nation’s top collegiate shooting programs to go even higher.

Our destination: Creating the Highest Level of Customized Competitive Shooting Gear. Period.  

Writing a company check with a donation was easiest. Doing what was best for the Texas A & M Corps of Cadets Marksmanship Unit required a much greater team effort.

“Most people don’t get what we’re trying to do with better equipment and techniques that can translate to the next level of success,” said Head Coach Kevin Jimmerson. “Ares Armor saw the value of our non-traditional approach. They were open to working with us on different angles and trying to use biomechanics to help our Cadets shoot better.”

The Aggies presented a “wish list” of tactical gear items completely customized for the men and women of their unit. Prototypes were developed, exchanged, and revised. Basically, the bar was set at creating unique, “state of the art,” items. The target was not just the collegiate ranks, but the entire tactical gear industry.

“All of the concepts they are running are brand new to the industry,” said Atreyu Jimenez, Ares Armor Director of Government & Commercial Channel. “No one else has it.”


Working round the clock to meet deadlines, well over 100 pieces of a complete custom pattern of Kydex were created to match and adapt to the Aggies’ gear. Ares Armor Director of Kydex, Mike Hattonmoran, said he relied on his U.S. Marines Corps initiative to getting everything accomplished with his team members, Blair Adams and Glenn Schaugaard. “It was exciting and challenging,” said Hattonmoran. “We had a few stressful moments thinking it wasn’t going to get done. But everything worked out great.”

There was no “I” in this shared innovation…only the power of “WE.”

Here are some examples of the custom vision and creativity which were done:

Coach Kevin Jimmerson, Texas A & M Corps of Cadets Marksmanship Unit:

  • “I was looking for an AR 15 magazine holder that would be angled slightly. About a 45% degree angle would be very ergonomic, biomechanically correct.”
  • “We also needed a plate carrier, giving our Cadets the ability to operate off the chest if you will. We needed this to win some events which are cross country. You have to run 5 to 7 miles with a handful of shooting positions across the course.”

Mike Hattonmoran, Ares Armor Director of Kydex:

  • There was a great idea for an AR-15 magazine pouch running on the back of their carriers. It has double-sided Velcro on it in between their hydration pack and the actual carrier. This gives the shooters a great new backup speed mag.
  • “The holsters they are going to be running were designed for speed, drawing really fast and re-holstering really fast. We cut the front part out of the holsters. Now, when the shooters draw the pistol it only has to clear an inch or two to be free from the holster.”

Bryce Stirlen, Ares Armor CEO:

  • “We just created a new 3 gun system which is complete cutting edge technology. The Texas A & M Corps of Cadets Marksmanship Unit will be running it this weekend at the Texas 3 Gun Championship in Marble Falls. From the entire Ares Armor Team…Best wishes Aggies!”

The CCMU is coming off last weekend’s impressive win at the Military College Combat Shooting Championships. “I cannot say enough good things about Ares Armor,” said Coach Jimmerman. “To some it may look like they did minor things. But everything they did contributes to greater speed and efficiency. I am really grateful and hope we keep an ongoing relationship, where the next level is us giving back to them.”

Next, in Part 3 of our series, we’ll show you how the greatest rewards of this relationship have to do with the next round of leaders in the U.S. Military.

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