Born in Moscow, ID, Evan Hafer grew up strong and with a patriot’s heart. Raised by his father; he had a life of chores, hunting, fishing, and school, with little time for play. Graduating from Lewiston High School, Evan aspired to become a special operator. Evan began his military journey, attending Infantry Basic Training shortly after graduating high school. He joined the Idaho National Guard and started the Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP) at the University of Idaho in Moscow. Continuing to pursue his aspirations of becoming Special Forces (SF), Evan chose to attend the first phase of the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC), rather than ROTC Advanced Camp.

Evan graduated from the SFQC in 2000. One year later, while standing in the middle of a swamp at the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC), Evan learned about the attacks of 9/11. Within a few weeks, Evan was in the Philippines, and on to Kuwait and Iraq. During the next couple of years, Evan spent only two weeks in the United States.

Evan found himself continuously in Iraq and Afghanistan until 2011. After a total of five solid years of deployment in Afghanistan and Iraq, Evan took a job teaching for the CIA in the U.S. During this job, he became disenchanted with vacillating foreign policy and decided to make personal and professional changes. Even though he had thought about getting married earlier on, Evan knew how difficult marriage was on his SF brothers.

Believing he was through with his deployments, Evan married, and the couple were soon expecting a child. Needing money for his new family, while still maintaining a sense of adventure, Evan jumped into the world of entrepreneurship. Evan’s first attempt at creating a company was Twist Rate, a crowd funding business like Kickstart, but dedicated to helping veterans with great ideas, gain patent, and funding. He had decided to become an entrepreneur in the military space, because so many veterans had great ideas but little to no business experience.

Evan quickly learned that he could not run a business halfway and had to step away from the military world and dedicate everything to the business. Realizing he did not yet know enough about business, Evan and his partner shuttered Twist Rate. Evan found a business mentor named Jayson Ortiz. Shortly thereafter, they created their second startup company, Readyman, providing products and education.

To make ends meet, Evan had started The Black Rifle Coffee Company (BRCC) a few months earlier. Because he could not afford a brick-and-mortar store, he began to grind coffee at night and sell it online through his web sites. Evan quickly found he was working more hours than anytime previously in his life. Reinventing himself became the most excruciatingly difficult thing he had ever done. In a recent interview with Gr8Transitions4U, Evan said he slept most nights at the office, stating “This time was particularly challenging, with a new child and wife,” who he saw for just a few minutes every week.

Evan’s pure energy and a desire to succeed propelled him during the following years. He was now throwing all his energy at the startup companies, as he only made $20,000 over the next 18 months. To stay afloat, he worked 20 hours a day, seven days a week, stating that he was not going to lose. He would grind coffee all night, perform customer service, pack, and ship boxes, learn HTML while honing his website. During the day, he worked other jobs to try and survive. With gratitude, he kept reminding himself that he was no longer in the combat zone.

During a recent interview, Evan stated he would be hiring 10,000 veterans, making it clear that he will never give up his desire to help veterans. BRCC recently provided a $15,000 grant supporting medical research exploring the effects of toxic exposure in Afghanistan. In 2021, Hafer described his vision of franchised stores growth using retired military NCO’s. He wants Navy petty officers and Army staff sergeants to join the company and run franchises rather than joining the local police force in their hometowns. In a revolutionary tone, he said that he desires to “emancipate” military personnel and put them to work with good commercial jobs, as they have willing sacrificed so much for their country.

On entrepreneurship, Evan shamelessly states, “There is no secret, you need to roll up your sleeves and go to work.”

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Jay Hicks is an author, instructor and consultant. With a special kinship for military personnel, Jay provides guidance on successful civilian career transition and has co-authored “The Transitioning Military Series”. He is the co-founder of Gr8Transitions4U, where advocating the value of hiring military personnel is the key focus. More about Jay and his passion can be found at