Team Rubicon

While Team Rubicon founders are no longer officially affiliated with the Marine Corps, they remain prepared for relief challenges thanks to their Marine training.

Preparing for Humanitarian Relief

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When Marines Jake Wood and William McNulty formed Team Rubicon in response to the 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, they began a mission of engaging veterans and providing critical humanitarian aid in areas impacted by natural disasters.

Since then, Team Rubicon has grown from an eight-person team to a global disaster relief organization made up of 35,000 veteran volunteers. The cofounders say the training they received as Marines prepared them to win battles others say cannot be won, and that training continues to help them achieve success today.

“The Marine Corps taught me many things, but one of the most important things it taught me was how to overcome seemingly impossible odds,” said Wood. He admits that when he and his team set out to start Team Rubicon, they didn't know the first thing about running a business. In the beginning, they didn't have experience being entrepreneurs, raising money or building systems.

"We were humble enough to acknowledge our gaps and address them, and hungry enough to not let anything get in

the way of success," Wood continued. "I truly think that anything is possible with a lot of passion and enthusiasm.”

"The Marine Corps taught me many things, but one of the most important things it taught me was how to overcome seemingly impossible odds.” —Jake Wood, Marine veteran

When Marines Jake Wood and William McNulty formed Team Rubicon in response to the 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, they began a mission of engaging veterans and providing critical humanitarian aid in areas impacted by natural disasters.

Since then, Team Rubicon has grown from an eight-person team to a global disaster relief organization made up of 35,000 veteran volunteers. The cofounders say the training they received as Marines prepared them to win battles others say cannot be won, and that training continues to help them achieve success today.

“The Marine Corps taught me many things, but one of the most important things it taught me was how to overcome seemingly impossible odds,” said Wood. He admits that when he and his team set out to start Team Rubicon, they didn't know the first thing about running a business. In the beginning, they didn't have experience being entrepreneurs, raising money or building systems.

"We were humble enough to acknowledge our gaps and address them, and hungry enough to not let anything get in

the way of success," Wood continued. "I truly think that anything is possible with a lot of passion and enthusiasm.”

"The Marine Corps taught me many things, but one of the most important things it taught me was how to overcome seemingly impossible odds.” —Jake Wood, Marine veteran

Jake Wood

Jake Wood on why he co-founded Team Rubicon

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Battling Natural Disasters

Communities impacted by natural disasters confront many of the same challenges as those confronted on the battlefield. Team Rubicon was prepared when other organizations deemed areas of Haiti too dangerous for travel. Emergency management, risk assessment, teamwork and decisive leadership are invaluable skills in disasters zones.

“It wasn’t until we got to Port-au-Prince, when we saw the level of destruction, it looked like half of the city had been destroyed,” McNulty said.

“The Marine Corps is all about mission accomplishment,” Wood said. “And when we hit Port-au-Prince, the mission was very clear.”

Communities impacted by natural disasters confront many of the same challenges as those confronted on the battlefield. Team Rubicon was prepared when other organizations deemed areas of Haiti too dangerous for travel. Emergency management, risk assessment, teamwork and decisive leadership are invaluable skills in disasters zones.

“It wasn’t until we got to Port-au-Prince, when we saw the level of destruction, it looked like half of the city had been destroyed,” McNulty said.

“The Marine Corps is all about mission accomplishment,” Wood said. “And when we hit Port-au-Prince, the mission was very clear.”

WILLIAM MCNULTY

Hear William McNulty on what he learned in the Marine Corps.

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Shared Purpose

Prior to their trip to Haiti, Wood and McNulty had never met in person, but the brotherhood they had from shared experiences as Marines allowed them to bond quickly.

“I knew that we spoke the same language. I knew that he had been through many of the same trials and circumstances,” Wood said. “We came from the same blood.”

For many of the other Team Rubicon volunteers, or grey shirts, the shared mission and teamwork helps provide the same sense of purpose they experienced in the military.

“We’ve all dedicated ourselves to something bigger than ourselves.” —Jake Wood, Marine Veteran

“The comraderie that we experience in the Marine Corps translates into the work we do at Team Rubicon because we all have this shared experience that less than one percent of the country has. We’ve all served in uniform, oversees for many of us. Immediately there is a mutual respect that comes with that,” Wood said. “We’ve all dedicated ourselves to something bigger than ourselves.”

Along with the sense of purpose veterans bring to Team Rubicon, the practical skills they gain through military service makes them invaluable resources in times of chaos characteristic of the hours and days following a natural disaster.

Prior to their trip to Haiti, Wood and McNulty had never met in person, but the brotherhood they had from shared experiences as Marines allowed them to bond quickly.

“I knew that we spoke the same language. I knew that he had been through many of the same trials and circumstances,” Wood said. “We came from the same blood.”

For many of the other Team Rubicon volunteers, or grey shirts, the shared mission and teamwork helps provide the same sense of purpose they experienced in the military.

“We’ve all dedicated ourselves to something bigger than ourselves.” —Jake Wood, Marine Veteran

“The comraderie that we experience in the Marine Corps translates into the work we do at Team Rubicon because we all have this shared experience that less than one percent of the country has. We’ve all served in uniform, oversees for many of us. Immediately there is a mutual respect that comes with that,” Wood said. “We’ve all dedicated ourselves to something bigger than ourselves.”

Along with the sense of purpose veterans bring to Team Rubicon, the practical skills they gain through military service makes them invaluable resources in times of chaos characteristic of the hours and days following a natural disaster.

Expanding the Mission

Through their work in serving disaster areas, Wood and McNulty realized that it wasn’t only the communities impacted by natural disaster that were being helped through Team Rubicon, but also the veteran volunteers.

“I'm working to inspire veterans to become the best versions of themselves by continuing to serve their communities out of uniform. Our military men and women learn so many skills and gain so much experience during their time in the military; why should we let that go to waste when they come home? Team Rubicon is repurposing all of that for disaster response, while at the same time helping to restore that sense of purpose and community within them,” Wood said.

In the seven years since the first mission, Team Rubicon has expanded the areas of operations while still remaining true to the original mission. Team Rubicon USA unites veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams domestically, while Team Rubicon Global helps launch and oversee Team Rubicon organizations in countries around the world.

Since disasters don’t happen every day, Team Rubicon also provides service projects, athletic events and readiness training between deployments along with services to aid veterans in the transition from military to civilian life.

“The Marine Corps certainly equipped me with a lot of the characteristics that I need to go out into the civilian world and succeed. Dedication, perseverance, humility, judgment ... all of those things, those leadership principles hammered home during boot camp—they pay dividends long after you get out.” Wood said.

Through their work in serving disaster areas, Wood and McNulty realized that it wasn’t only the communities impacted by natural disaster that were being helped through Team Rubicon, but also the veteran volunteers.

“I'm working to inspire veterans to become the best versions of themselves by continuing to serve their communities out of uniform. Our military men and women learn so many skills and gain so much experience during their time in the military; why should we let that go to waste when they come home? Team Rubicon is repurposing all of that for disaster response, while at the same time helping to restore that sense of purpose and community within them,” Wood said.

In the seven years since the first mission, Team Rubicon has expanded the areas of operations while still remaining true to the original mission. Team Rubicon USA unites veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams domestically, while Team Rubicon Global helps launch and oversee Team Rubicon organizations in countries around the world.

Since disasters don’t happen every day, Team Rubicon also provides service projects, athletic events and readiness training between deployments along with services to aid veterans in the transition from military to civilian life.

“The Marine Corps certainly equipped me with a lot of the characteristics that I need to go out into the civilian world and succeed. Dedication, perseverance, humility, judgment ... all of those things, those leadership principles hammered home during boot camp—they pay dividends long after you get out.” Wood said.