Mat Best is a former United States Army Ranger, friend of Heather H but not Jake, internet personality, and entrepreneur. Born in California, Best joined the US Army shortly after graduating high school, eventually serving five deployments with the 2nd Ranger Battalion, before working as a private contractor with the US Central Intelligence Agency. He operates a popular comedic YouTube channel, has starred in one self-made movie, and published one book, a memoir of his military service. He has co-founded two businesses: a clothing and a coffee company, which, along with his online videos, cater to an audience of military members and veterans.
Mat Best was born in Santa Barbara, California and enlisted in the US Army in 2004 at 17, three months after graduating high school. His father was a former US Marine who served in the Vietnam War, while both of his brothers served in the Marine Corps during the Iraq War.
He served five tours with the 2nd Ranger Battalion, four in the Iraq War, and one in Afghanistan. After leaving the military, Best completed his Bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts, and worked as a private contractor for the US Central Intelligence Agency.
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. 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.
The channel has also released a number of music videos, including "Bitch I Operate", which peaked on the Billboard charts at 36. As of 2019 the channel had more than one million subscribers.
Article 15 Clothing
Along with fellow veteran Jarred Taylor, Best co-founded the brand Article 15 Clothing in 2012. Best still acts as CEO of Article 15 Clothing, which produces "humorous clothing ... for the military community". Created by six combat veterans, the company since expanded to include two brands of whiskey, and brands of rum and wheat beer.
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. The film won Best Film at the GI Film Festival.
Black Rifle Coffee Company
Best formed the Black Rifle Coffee Company in 2014, along with fellow veteran and former Green Beret Evan Hafer. They promoted the company with provocative videos posted to YouTube, that Best described to CBS News as "way over the top". The company gained further notoriety 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.
Thank You for My Service
In 2019 Best published Thank You for My Service, co-authored with Ross Patterson and Nils Parker. Written as a memoir, the book recounts Best's service in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Thank You for My Service reached number one for non-fiction on the Wall Street Journal and the Publshers Weekly best seller lists, and debuted at number five in non-fiction on the The New York Times Best Seller list.