FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR BACKGROUND
Major, USMC -- Founder/Executive Director
While a sophomore at the US Naval Academy in 2005, Chris had struggled to understand the difference between killing and murder in combat -- along with figuring out influential yet ethical leadership in the profession of arms. Through both personal research and mentoring -- he resolved these issues and continued on to become an active duty Marine Corps Officer with over 13+ years of active service! He is currently on a fourth overseas assignment in the Middle East and serving his country proudly.
During his military career -- Chris pioneered new methods of military life coaching that now tie in with unit physical and tactical training through discussion groups. He has worked with military chaplains as a lay leader informally and formally for over 14+ years now, as well as with civilian business owners and church leaders.
This led to him founding Freedom Fitness America which facilitates training for military professionals to be fit for the fight and life! Want to learn more about Chris's Story? Read below!
Chris Reardon, the founder, and Executive Director of Freedom Fitness America, grew up in a middle-class family in Waterbury, CT. The middle child of triplet brothers, as an adolescent, Chris was inspired by teachers, and especially his USMC Junior Reserve Officer Training Instructors -- at Wilby High School, to join the US Military!
Following high school -- he attended the United States Naval Academy in 2003 which had a deep formative impact on his leadership skills, character, and his faith as he prepared for service as a military officer. Today, he is currently active duty, and a Marine Corps Major, with 13+ years of active duty service upon graduating from the US Naval Academy in 2007. While there, he earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. He also holds an M.S. in Environmental Engineering and Science from the Air Force Institute of Technology. He has recently completed The Master's Program Online, a 3 year-long MBA-like program designed to train marketplace leaders and veteran leaders on how to incorporate their Christian faith into their lives.
Chris's military service has taken him to various areas of the United States to include Annapolis, MD; Quantico, VA, Virginia Beach, VA; San Diego Country, CA; Marine Corps Base Pendleton; Dayton, OH; and the Marine Corps Support Facility in New Orleans, LA. During his Marine Corps service, Chris has deployed three times overseas to include service in Operation Iraqi Freedom and with two Marine Expeditionary Units and has served in aviation, infantry, and installation management units.
He is now currently assigned overseas again in the Middle East on an operational tour.
Chris has extensive experience working with military chaplains as a volunteer and with Christian non-profits in both the military and fitness communities. His most notable leadership experience was with the Christian faith-based veteran support non-profit, Force Ministries, from 2009-2016. During this time he conceived and directed the development of the After God's Own Heart video curriculum that incorporated 7+ hours of Christian worldview instruction designed to combat moral injury, enhance military leadership, facilitates ethical and moral decision making, and strengthen military family bonding with instruction primarily taught by veterans.
From 2015-2016, Chris pioneered and led the "Southern California (SoCal) Crucible" events at Marine Corps Base Pendleton in San Diego County, CA in partnership with multiple non-profits and local businesses first under the Rock Church San Diego Military Ministry and later as a board member under the Soul Survivor Outdoor 501.3c Christian faith-based veteran service organization. These events brought an innovative way to reach military men and women using outdoor adventure and high octane military speakers aboard military installations with a dynamic message to a target audience of the Millennial Generation and Post 9/11 veterans and military members.
Other notable Christian volunteer experiences between 2010-2020 include spearheading a network of small groups under the USS Peleliu Chaplain while deployed shipboard, serving with the Rock Church San Diego Military Ministry, Faith Rx'd San Diego Chapter, and the Rock Church San Diego Escondido Microsite. From 2015-2017, he volunteered to oversee the instructor and curriculum development for relevant Christian instruction to Marine Corps recruits as part of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Edson Range Command Religious Program. There he personally mentored 1000+ recruits.
From 2017-2020, Chris worked with his chaplains in the Marine Forces Reserves successfully to pioneer a dynamic intersection between unit physical training and tactical evolution with mobile video led discussion groups to address difficult social issues in the military such as killing in combat, combat stress, etc. that were facilitated by junior enlisted, senior enlisted, and junior officer leaders with the unit chaplain and senior leaders in support. In his last unit, he helped the chaplain along with the partnership of other Marines to see a drop in sexual assaults and suicidal ideations by approximately 80% over the course of a year with the innovative techniques he espoused.
His fitness experience ranges from obtaining a CrossFit Level I certification, serving as a coach at CrossFit Diadem in Escondido, CA during 2015, and owning the Lift Life Results Boot Camp gym in Pacific Beach, San Diego, CA from 2015-2016. He has also participated in multiple CrossFit individuals and team competitions to include the Tough Mudder.