Mat Best
Mat Best 2020.png
Born
Mathew Alfred Best
OccupationInternet personality
Entrepreneur
Actor
Soldier (formerly)
Years active2012–present
Military career
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service2004–2008
RankArmy-USA-OR-05.svg Sergeant
Unit2 Ranger Battalion Shoulder Sleeve Insignia.svg 2nd Ranger Battalion
75th Ranger Regiment Distinctive Unit Insignia.svg 75th Ranger Regiment
Battles/warsIraq War
War in Afghanistan

Mathew Alfred Best is an American internet personality, entrepreneur, and a former United States Army Ranger. Best joined the United States Army shortly after graduating high school, eventually serving five deployments with the 2nd Ranger Battalion, before working as a private contractor for the Central Intelligence Agency.[1] He operates a popular comedic YouTube channel, has starred in one self-made movie, and published one book, a memoir of his military service. Best is also a co-founder of Black Rifle Coffee Company.

Early life

Best enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2004 at 17, three months after graduating high school.[2][3] His father is a U.S. Marine who served in the Vietnam War, while both of his brothers served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Iraq War.[2][3]

He served five tours with the 2nd Ranger Battalion, four in the Iraq War, and one in Afghanistan.[2] After leaving the military he worked as a contractor for the Central Intelligence Agency.[4]

Career

He operates a popular satirical channel on the online video platform YouTube, where he produces content aimed at an audience of military service members, veterans, and the firearms community.[4] Best began making videos in El Paso with then United States Air Force member Jarred Taylor, when Best would return during breaks from contracting tours overseas.[5]

The channel has also released a number of music videos, including "Bitch I Operate", which peaked on the Billboard charts at 36.[6][7]

Article 15 Clothing

In 2016, Article 15 partnered with another clothing company, Ranger Up, to produce a crowd-funded movie entitled Range 15. The film starred Best along with an ensemble of other veterans, including three Medal of Honor recipients, as well as Marcus Luttrell, best known as author of Lone Survivor, adapted into a film by the same name.[8] The film won Best Film at the GI Film Festival.[9]

Black Rifle Coffee Company

After a successful test roasting coffee under Article 15 Clothing with “Freedom Roast”, Best formed Black Rifle Coffee Company in 2014, alongside Evan Hafer, Jarred Taylor and Richard Ryan.[10][11] They promoted the company with provocative videos posted to YouTube, that Best described to CBS News as "way over the top".[11] The company gained some criticism from others, for the following two 2017 incidents: an endorsement from Donald Trump Jr, and again when the company pledged to hire 10,000 veterans after coffee chain Starbucks pledged to hire 10,000 refugees in the wake of travel restrictions enacted by US president Donald Trump.[11]

Thank You for My Service

In 2019 Best published Thank You for My Service, co-authored with Ross Patterson and Nils Parker.[12] Written as a memoir, the book recounts Best's service in Afghanistan and Iraq.[13]

Thank You for My Service reached number one for non-fiction on the Wall Street Journal and the Publishers Weekly best seller lists, and debuted at number five in non-fiction on The New York Times Best Seller list.[14][15][16]

Notes

References

  1. ^ "Mat Best". Black Rifle Coffee Company. Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c van Zuylen-Wood, Simon (March 4, 2019). "The Heavily Armed Millennials of Instagram". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on August 24, 2019. Retrieved September 21, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Reeder, David (July 30, 2011). "Preview – Former Badmuther – Mat Best". Recoil. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Leon, Melissa (December 31, 2018). "With more than half a billion video views, Army Ranger entrepreneur Mat Best is taking over the world". American Military News. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  5. ^ Lineham, Adam (March 7, 2016). "America's Greatest Heroes Are Making The Most Twisted Zombie Film Of All Time". Maxim. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  6. ^ "Mbest11x Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  7. ^ Skovlund, Marty Jr. (May 17, 2019). "11 Questions & A Cup Of Coffee: Entertainer And Businessman Mat Best". Black Rifle Coffee Company. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  8. ^ Lamothe, Dan (January 27, 2016). "Zombies, high-profile veterans share screen in new NSFW 'Range 15' movie trailer". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  9. ^ Winfrey, Graham (June 17, 2016). "Why William Shatner Joined a Group of U.S. Military Veterans to Make a Zombie Comedy". IndieWire. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  10. ^ Castrodale, Jelisa (September 23, 2019). "We Spoke to the Black Rifle Coffee Owner About Guns, Hipsters, and Hiring Veterans". Vice Magazine. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  11. ^ a b c Miller, Michelle; Singh, Vidya (February 3, 2018). "Black Rifle Coffee: Behind the company selling beans with a message". CBS News. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  12. ^ Best, Mat; Patterson, Ross; Parker, Nils (2019). Thank You for My Service. Random House Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-5247-9649-5.
  13. ^ "'Thank You for My Service' With Mat Best". Stratfor. September 11, 2019. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  14. ^ The Associated Press (August 30, 2019). "Wall Street Journal-Best Sellers". WTOP-FM. Archived from the original on September 23, 2019. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  15. ^ The Associated Press (August 29, 2019). "Publishers Weekly Best-Sellers". WTOP-FM.
  16. ^ "Books, Best Sellers, Hardcover Nonfiction". The New York Times. September 8, 2019. Retrieved September 23, 2019.

External links