By enlisting in the United States Armed Forces, individuals make a choice to put the interests of their fellow countrymen and countrywomen ahead of their own. These individuals are loving parents, spouses, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters who understand the difference between right and wrong and choose to lead by example. These are average folks with a tremendous work ethic, a humble demeanor and an unconditional love for their country. The decision to enlist in the United States Armed Forces is one of great humility and one of the greatest sacrifices any citizen can make. These individuals are proud of the stars and stripes and risk their lives each and every day defending just that.

We at elitefts understand that freedom isn’t free and this post will pay homage to our very own team members who sacrificed their own life overseas in order to protect ours here on the homeland.

Who We Are

Mark Watts was a Forward Observer for the 81mm Mortar Platoon Weapons Company as well as a member of the 3rd Battalion, the 8th Marine Regiment and the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit. Mark was aboard the USS Ponce that participated in Operation Deny Flight/ Provide Comfort during the Bosnia War. He reached the rank of Lance Corporal and served with honor from February 1992 to August 1994.

Zach Gallmann was a medic with the 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment that is apart of the 82nd Airborne Division headquartered in Fort Bragg, NC. Zach completed one tour of duty in Iraq from 2003 to 2004 and served altogether from 2001 to 2005.

Harry Selkow was a part of the United States Marine Corps for over a decade.

Jason Brown was apart of the 1-181 Infantry Regiment from 2007 to 2012. He was deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom as an Infantryman from July 2010-July 2011.

Special thanks as well to Steve Goggins and Ken Hicks who also served our nation.


Mark Watts

Humble Beginnings

elitefts team members enlist in the Armed Forces for a variety of reasons. Some are running to something while others are running from something; some are angry, lost and confused, while others are anxious, excited and eager to join the battle. Whatever the reason might be, when you sign on the dotted line, you become a part of something much greater; “you” no longer become the primary objective, it now becomes about the people next to you and the country you swore to protect.

When Mark enlisted he set out to prove something to himself; he set out to prove that he was a worthy human being. While signing his official papers of enrollment, there was a great deal of hate and anger present in Mark’s heart. His self-worth was at an all-time low, pursuing college at that time was out of the question, he lacked any form of work ethic and the environment he found himself in was one he was looking to escape. Becoming a soldier allowed Mark the opportunity to be a part of something bigger and something more than just himself, which at the time proved to be just what he needed.

Zach’s love for his country and desire to serve was evident from a very young age and he wasted no time throwing his hat in the ring. After graduating high school at the young age of 17, he immediately sought out a recruiter and officially became military property before his 18th birthday.


Zach Gallmann

Lessons Learned

We can’t always determine the impact that military service has on an individual, but one thing is for certain, each member is affected. Friends will be made, experiences will be had, relationships will be formed, losses will be felt and lessons will be learned. Some of the lesson’s elitefts team members learned while serving are as followed:

  1. People follow rank because they have to, but they follow leadership because they want to.
  2. No matter how hard times might be, eventually it will all be over. The key is just to never give up.
  3. Sometimes in the moment, comfort can look appealing but in the long run, it is not worth giving in to appease that comfort.
  4. If you don’t have integrity, you are not worth shit.
  5. Receiving, accepting and applying criticism to correct yourself is imperative to long-term success.
  6. Being able to give constructive and honest feedback is just as important as learning how to receive feedback.
  7. Patience is such a crucial aspect of life and despite what many people say, it can, in fact, be taught and developed.

While serving abroad, Jason’s perspective began to change about the life he lived, what he had access to and the things he routinely would take for granted:

It can always be worse. As a society, we think it’s a big deal when we lose power or don’t have access to WIFI. In the world we live in, there are people that don’t even have running water and some of the everyday tasks that we take for granted, are in fact a luxury to them. Serving abroad was an incredibly eye-opening experience and it makes you realize just how good we really have it.

The old saying often holds true, the things we take for granted, others are praying for.


Jason Brown


Team elitefts veterans have taken comfort in knowing that many of the same principles, threads and themes found in the military are routinely present within elitefts; authenticity, integrity, community, honesty, respect and a no-bullshit approach are just some of the parallels veterans have identified between the two organizations. The relationships and mentorships formed while serving in the military and while serving as a member of elitefts are hard to find and duplicate in regular civilian life.

A common theme each team elitefts veteran spoke about was the vast amount of respect and admiration they have for CEO Dave Tate. Dave is someone who does not bullshit anyone and has zero qualms telling it like it is. There is something to be said about people who are and can remain authentic while not worrying about what others think or say. Who Dave is, what Dave represents and what he has built with elitefts, embodies the qualities that these veterans have tried to instill within themselves.

Dave understands the sacrifices these veterans have made, the qualities they possess and routinely looks for ways to honor and give back to those who have served:

These veterans (and their families) sacrifice more than any civilian will ever know or understand—Anyone can honor them by attending a parade, saying thank you, posting a meme, or taking a day off work.

At elitefts, here is what we do: we donate to charities that we know the majority of the money goes to help them, we look at this as a strong quality when looking to add team members and then work with them to add skill sets that can help them in the strength and conditioning sector, we look to hire them, and support veteran-owned business when we can.

We are proud of our team members who have served and very happy to say they represent team elitefts.

elitefts has always been a beacon of truth in the most diluted waters of strength training. This is a company where you can depend on others helping you achieve your goals without expecting any form of compensation in return. Where other companies fall short is that their bottom line will move, but the impact is always transactional. elitefts has always been transformational in whatever they do and that is where the real separation occurs.