The Unforgiving60

S2E4- Mark Wales: SAS Journeyman- Beyond Survivor to Tough Luxury……

March 12, 2020

Mark Wales knows first-hand what happens when a Special Ops combat veteran designs a leather jacket. And also, how to find love on a reality TV show!

He’s a Special Operations Combat veteran. Boxer. CrossFit Regionals athlete. Ivy League MBA graduate.    McKinsey consultant.  Fashion designer. Entrepreneur.  Model.  Reality TV star. Father.  Husband.    

Mark Wales has fit a whole bunch of titles to his name, and he certainly doesn’t appear to be slowing down. 

In this episode, the conversation ranges from the tragic (losing a mate in combat) to the absurd (an inappropriately long discussion on bringing back leather pants). It takes us from Newman to New York; and provides insights working with McKinsey to redesign a cheese packet; and finding love on reality TV. But also, what traits Mark hopes to pass onto his son.  An absolute must-listen episode with an individual who continues to go – always – a little further.


Intelligence Summary (INTSUM)

2:42           One of these kids is not like the others….. Ben and Mark talk CrossFit Regionals.  Tim (having never been to Regionals) is unable to contribute meaningfully.

5:35           Mark’s right of reply to being killed off during our Zombie Apocalypse episode with Mick Neven

6:33           Mark’s early years in rural Western Australia

8:10           Ben recalls the pinnacle of his military career – getting a ‘black jibber’ for academics as a cadet at the Australian Defence Force Academy

8:30           Mark’s first field exercise at the Royal Military College Duntroon – in which he accidentally attacks his own troops

9:35           Posted to the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment, in Townsville, Queensland prior to successfully completing SAS selection

10:55         Mark’s strategy to get off the selection course without shame

12:20         Mark’s time in SASR

15:15         Losing a mate in combat – and getting on with leadership while dealing with the impacts

19:15         Ramp ceremonies – farewelling a mate

22:50         Back to the Royal Military College – as an instructor

25:04         The motivation to get out of the Army and do an MBA – at Wharton!

30:40         The genesis of Kill Kapture – tough luxury!

31:40         Cost of goods: $1500.  Sale price:  $1000.  Not the endorsed Wharton pricing strategy

31:55         Coming up with the name “Kill Kapture”

33:40         Building the first jacket in New York’s garment district

35:20         Tough luxury – and taking inspiration from military uniforms

35:55         Out of Wharton and into McKinsey & Co

37:45         Taking on Australian Survivor

38:45         Reality TV – putting military Operational Security to shame!

40:40         Tim throws out some more spurious ‘facts’ (which turn out to be true – John Lapaglia is a medical doctor)

42:35         Celebrity models – former SecDef Jim Matthis in KillKapture

44:45         Seeing (now wife) Samantha Gash for the first time

47:20         Coming off the island – and catching back up with Sam

48:05         Now  - and to the future.  Corporate speaking roles and a new product launch

50:10         Tim and Ben reflect on their very brief period as watch brand ambassadors

50:55         The future of Kill Kapture

52:55         ….which may or may not include leather pants…..

53:40         Mark on leadership, resilience, PTSD – and opening up a little through his corporate speaking roles

56:05         Mark’s daily routine – doing the basics well

57:15         On fatherhood

1:01:20     Quick Question / Quick Answers – on luck, fashion, power songs and Mark’s coolest Army moments

1:05:45     The Cormack McCarthy quote Mark refers to: ‘“War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him. The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner” (from Blood Meridian)




Mark’s Corporate Speaking profile

Mark’s Survivor page


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