These veteran green berets keep military personnel safe with mobile technology

Adyton is a veteran-owned and funded U.S. utility company that creates mobile software. Founded by two tech-savvy Green Berets, their story of creating innovative products for those who serve is quite extraordinary.

So how does JJ Wilson from Tennessee –– who grew up in a single large trailer in the woods –– become the best friend of James Boyd, a self-described “chubby kid from England”? same? By becoming a discreet professional, of course.

Although born in the United States, Boyd spent his early years growing up in England –– surrounded by the visible vestiges and deep history of both World Wars. Both parents were British and very service oriented. His father felt called to raise his right hand after WWII.

So why go to America? “I saw the exciting things happening in tech in Silicon Valley and I also felt the urge to go see the world and do things without limits, without limits. I love this philosophy about the United States, ”Boyd explained.

But, he’s not completely Americanized. “I think football should be played with the feet and beer should be enjoyed at room temperature,” he said with a smile.

When America was attacked by terrorists, Boyd felt the same pull his father was meant to serve. “I’ve always been an engineer, a total nerd, and I went to Stanford to study computer science in 2001. Then September 11 came my very first week in college,” he said.

During his final year at Stanford University, he enlisted in the military and volunteered for Special Forces training.

Photo courtesy of Boyd

Boyd arrived at Fort Benning, Georgia for training camp in 2005 and, as an avid reader, had several of his favorite books in tow. “It’s like a dark night with orange fluorescent lights and this skinhead dude with a shaved head walks up to me and tells me I heard you went to Stanford,” Boyd explained.

The “redneck man” was Wilson. “He thought it was going to be punched. It’s kind of a cutting edge alpha environment, you know, and I was really looking to make a buddy, ”he said with a laugh.

Wilson was the first in his family to attend college and possibly the first in his town to attend Ivy League school. “To get out of the town where I grew up, you either joined the army or went to jail. I was fortunate enough to go to Cornell, ”he said. Despite the undeniable educational opportunity of a lifetime, watching 9/11 made him wonder about staying. But he graduated before enlisting and ending up in front of Boyd.

The other recruits had told Wilson that there was another “college guy” who had brought a lot of books, which led to their meeting. “We instantly became best friends,” he said.

Boyd was an honorary graduate of the United States Army Infantry School, Special Forces NCO Leadership Academy, and Special Forces Qualification Course. As a brand new Green Beret, he was assigned to 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) as a Communications Sergeant.

Much of his work has been devoted to chasing financiers and disrupting Al Qaeda’s supply chains. It was here that Boyd began to wonder why the Army’s systems and technology were still so rudimentary. “I am deployed and training my partner forces, performing missions while writing code because I have these different analyst notebooks and Google Earth spreadsheets. I was trying to put all this data together, ”he explained.

Wilson was assigned to the 1st Special Forces Command with the 1st Battalion, 10th Group outside Germany after receiving his Green Beret. He has deployed to Afghanistan twice, winning the Bronze Star as well as other awards and decorations. In 2013, he left the military to pursue his MBA at Yale, then joined the Boston Consulting Group to work on the company’s technology strategy.

In 2011, Boyd was recruited into the military to join the Palantir Defense Group. “I spent seven years working in all the different special operations command theaters and a lot of time in Iraq, Afghanistan and Africa,” he explained. “One of the ubiquitous things that I saw was everywhere you went, if you were doing intelligence, you had air sensors, planes, drones and tons of structured data. But whether you are doing things in the field or doing operational things, everything is still pen and paper.

After hearing the heart-wrenching tale of his own younger brother of an almost catastrophic operation with an Army-issued mobile device upon contact with the enemy while deployed, Boyd was compelled to act. His first call was for Wilson.

The idea was to create a start-up to develop mobile technology for the Ministry of Defense. “I was like, man, that’s never gonna work and you’re gonna have to convince my wife.” But when do we start? Let’s go do this thing, ”Wilson said with a laugh.

It all started when a Navy SEAL commander asked Boyd if he knew of any mobile technology that would allow him to track things like push-ups, obstacle course timing, and ACL injuries on the beach. It was 2018 and all instructors were still keeping records by hand. Only a year later, Adyton was created.

“We started working with SEALs for their needs, with the Navy on combat casualty care issues and the Air Force on flight scheduling. This led to our very first DOD contract, ”Wilson said.

On October 6, 2021, Adyton launched its flagship product, Mustr. It was born out of the chaos of 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to create secure accountability and a digital home for the defense community.

These veteran green berets keep military personnel safe with mobile technology
Photo courtesy of Wilson and Boyd

“It’s like we’re building a G-Suite for combat. It’s a product that creates visibility and accountability for leaders and empowers them to understand their own people and workforce in their operations, ”Wilson said. “From a business perspective, this is a product designed from day one for compliance and safety and to be able to work in the types of environments where members of the service actually go to do their jobs.

And Mustr is just the start. “My dream would basically be to take all the good guys and put them all on the same operational software suite. You empower them to generate data, do things more efficiently, and collaborate more efficiently, because I believe the world is a safer place, ”Wilson said.

Boyd echoed his hopes with some personal thoughts, namely his dream of getting rid of whiteboards and paper as staples for operations – for good. “The United States has the best equipped, best trained and most professional military in the world. But we do tons and tons of stuff the hard way, right? Because we are tough and we can do it, ”he explained. “It actually slows down our ability to get even better. “

The two also agree that their time in uniform has changed their lives, and their outlook on life, for good.

“We talked earlier about the limits of what is possible in the United States. And what that teaches you is that you are actually only bound by the limitations you perceive for yourself, ”Boyd explained. “I think in the military you see these acts of heroism, these acts of bravery or you just see the harshness in everyday life. These are people who are just looking to improve, to try to make things better. You see how this is the kind of people you always want to be with.

To learn more about Adyton, click here.

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