(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first article in a two-part series focused on a Middle Tennessee-based entrepreneurial initiative named The Vigilance Group.)
By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA
When Pat Moore told us during our introduction at the beginning of a recent interview that he was seven minutes older and seven inches taller than his twin brother, we knew it was going to be an intriguing and lively discussion.
The younger twin is Michael, but he goes by the nickname “Moose.” Together, they are focused on a very serious topic . . . the safety of individuals, starting with those on high school and college campuses. The name of their effort is The Vigilance Group.
“We started as a calling . . . then a mission . . . then a hobby and now a business,” Pat said. “Moose built the brand. I don’t know where we can go with it, but we know why we are pursuing it.”
The reason is simple, he says. “We’re living in a very dangerous place and time.” Just consider the recent mass shootings at schools, worksites and places of worship, not to mention domestic events.
As the start-up explains on its website, “When it comes to surviving acts of violence, many individuals, families, and organizations don’t know how to react swiftly and effectively. We believe in teaching people how to be vigilant, how to pay close attention to dangers in their surroundings, and how to neutralize anyone that threatens their safety or survival.”
For the Williamson County brothers and their latest entrepreneurial endeavor, a calling like The Vigilance Group comes naturally. Their father and both Pat and Moose are military veterans, called to serve. The brothers also went to flight school together, so they are taking that preparation they gained years ago and helping people apply it to their daily lives.
“That’s the thread that has created where we are today,” Moose told us. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Air Force and probably the only U.S. Air Force fighter pilot to ever graduate from the Korean Ranger School. You get the picture; he’s patriotic and a fighter.
“Another of his nicknames is Rambo,” Pat told us. “He has a warrior mentality.”
Moose left the service nine years before September 11, 2001 but tried to reenlist after the attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon and one other location that time at the young age of 51. His request was denied, much to his dismay, but an unexpected call to action came nearly seven years later when an Auburn University freshman from the Atlanta area was shot and later died on March 4, 2008.
“At the time, my daughter was a sorority chapter adviser at Auburn (University),” Moose said. She called and asked if he would come to campus to speak about personal safety precautions. Two days later, he was addressing 2,000 coeds, telling them that he learned in the service that the best opportunity to escape a captor is in the first 15 minutes of a situation.
A few days later, the Auburn Athletic Director called and asked me to come back to campus and speak to more students.
“That’s what got us started,” Moose said, and they have been pursuing their mission ever since.
NEXT: The mixture of services that The Vigilance Group provides.