When you take a U.S. Navy FMF Hospital Corpsman out of the Navy, what do you get? You get great coffee. Counter Strike Coffee, based in the northwest greater Houston area, is owned and run by U.S. Navy veteran, HM2 (FMF) Brandon “Doc” Buttrey. Counter Strike Coffee’s slogan is “Strike back at sleepiness and fatigue with a hot cup of Counter Strike Coffee.” The company caters to veterans, law enforcement officers, first responders, and all American patriots. When Doc enlisted as a Navy corpsman, he had no idea that it would lead him to become a successful coffee entrepreneur.
Brandon “Doc” Buttrey follows a long line of servicemen in his family, including his father, a Marine, his uncle and both grandfathers. He grew up as a Marine brat but calls Cape Girardeau, Missouri his hometown. While in high school, Brandon took a course at a vocational school to earn After high school, he decided to pursue military medical service. Doc wanted to serve with the Marine Corps, but since the Department of the Navy provides all medical for the Marines, he enlisted in the Navy. He swore in on September 7, 2001, and headed to Navy boot camp, followed by Naval Hospital Corps School.
Buttrey got his wish to work with the infantry Marines after he attended Field Medical Service School, allowing Doc to earn the distinction of an 8404 Corpsman. He continued his naval career at the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery in Washington, DC, followed by a tour with a Marine antiterrorism battalion as part of a sniper platoon, and eventually deployed to Camp Ashraf, Iraq. Following his initial assignment, Buttrey was handpicked to serve as Lt. Gen. Walter Gaskin’s personal corpsman and security detail, where he spent an additional year in Iraq.
When Buttrey received his shore duty, he headed down Corpus Christi, Texas where he met and married his wife, Chelsae. Doc learned that Chelsae was pregnant about the same time he received augmentation orders to the Helmand province in Afghanistan. While Doc was involved in Operation Moshtarak, aka the “Battle of Marjah,” Chelsae experienced pregnancy complications resulting in an emergency C-section and their newborn son spent twenty-three days in the NICU. Buttrey returned home to his wife and now three-month-old son and decided it was time to wrap up his career with the Navy.
After Buttrey had left the Navy, he began a career in the oil and gas industry and quickly progressed to higher paying jobs with more responsibility at a variety of companies. He also earned a Bachelor’s degree. As if having a full-time job, a family and going to school weren’t enough; Doc began offering Urban Medical Integration Training (UMIT), where students purchased a tactical medical bag and Doc would then train them on how to use everything in the bag.
And here’s where the coffee comes in…Doc offered coffee at each of the trainings and noticed that people were putting more money into the donation jar than what it cost him. He recognized an opportunity to combine his military background and humor with great tasting coffee and with $1000, a reliable network and his idea, Counter Strike Coffee Company launched in April 2015.
Doc started with three types of roasts and now offers seven different varieties of coffee with names like “Fire Watch,” “Smooth Operator” and “Infidel Warthog Roast.” He even offers Counter Strike Coffee K-Cups “Caf Grenades.” When pressed, he’ll tell you his favorite flavored coffee is his “Never Quit” blend.
Doc ships his coffee to national, international, and APO addresses. Counter Strike Coffee is experiencing exponential growth in sales, which is creating a challenge for Buttrey – where to go from here? He’s currently looking for a larger facility to manufacture, warehouse and distribute his products.
Doc says the best advice he can give is “Don’t give up on yourself. Motivate yourself to reach your dream…..make sh*t happen”. He believes that you have to give to get and he gives generously to veterans’ charities. He donates twenty-five percent of proceeds from his “Never Quit Coffee” to the Lone Survivor Foundation. He also supports Labs For Liberty and Green Zone Housing.
For Doc Buttrey, customer service is his highest priority andHonor recipient Dakota Meyer’s Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War. Buttrey also co-hosts “Veteran Operations Command (VOC Radio with Rob and Doc),” Sunday evenings, on Houston AM 1070 with Rob Paiva, a former sailor with the U.S. Navy.
And, to save the best for last, Counter Strike Coffee is working on a new single origin, fair trade coffee dedicated to General Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis. It’s labeled as “Call Sign Chaos” and has a bourbon variety coffee bean that Doc says, when brewed, tastes like “liquid hot crack.”
Counter Strike Coffee will be at the NRA Annual Meeting in Atlanta, GA, April 27-30, 2017. Swing by booth #1849 to say hi and sample some of Counter Strike Coffee’s coffee goodness.