For Their Country, Veterans Go From Battledress to Grey Shirts

Julie H. Case

There is no must. There is no requirement to serve. In the United States, service is voluntary. Men and women sign up for the military. Fundamentally, they volunteer their time, their bodies, their minds. Sure, they get paid, but there’s more to it than that. Here, service is not compulsory, it’s a choice. 

Perhaps that’s why so many former service members have begun volunteering their time with Team Rubicon, too. They are called to serve. They’re built to serve. 

As the U.S. takes a moment to honor the veterans who have served the country, Team Rubicon is taking a look at the veterans who, as Greyshirts, have set up filtration systems following a cholera outbreak in Haiti, removed 36,700 yards of debris after a massive wildfire in Moab, Utah,  mucked out houses in the Bahamas in the wake of Hurricane Dorian, and much, much more. 

67,000+: Number of veterans
registered as Greyshirts

Our Greyshirts Are Veterans

While military affiliation is not a prerequisite to joining Team Rubicon, nearly two-thirds have spent time in the service: 64 percent of Team Rubicon Greyshirts and employees identify as veterans or active duty military. In fact, more than 67,000 veterans are registered Greyshirts. And, from our founding in 2010 through 2018, U.S. veterans deployed for a massive 327,050* hours. 

Built to Serve, While They Serve

Veterans aren’t the only ones who serve with Team Rubicon. Some 5,600 active duty military are also registered Greyshirts. Since Team Rubicon’s first mission in 2010, active military have contributed more than 41,640* hours on deployment.

41,640: Hours active military
have deployed with Team Rubicon


While the majority of our military Greyshirts may have spent their years in theater overseas, it has been stateside where they’ve given the most as Greyshirts. In terms of hours volunteered, the top five operations to benefit from veteran Greyshirt time have all been on American soil. A full 829 veterans and 106 active duty were among those providing early response, and continued recovery services, to Houston, Texas following Hurricane Harvey as part of Operation Hard Hustle.

Florida saw the second-largest deployment of veterans, when 487 delivered early response and recovery services to Jacksonville after Hurricane Michael. Another 407 responded across North Carolina in response to Hurricane Florence in 2018.

And, from Nebraska to North Dakota, 25 active military and nearly 200 veterans descended on the blustery midwest in 2018 after the bomb cyclone Winter Storm Ulmer, to lay sandbags against flooding and help muck out houses in the days that followed. 

This Veterans Day, we salute all the veterans and active military who work and volunteer with Team Rubicon. 

*Data as of July 2019, as tracked by Team Rubicon beginning in 2014.


Greyshirts By Branch

Army to NATO ally, a breakdown of Team Rubicon’s veteran and active-duty Greyshirts.

Army: 46%
Marines: 20%
Air Force: 20%
Navy: 18%
Coast Guard: 3%
Military Other: 2%
NATO Ally: 1%

(Questioning our math? Some of our Greyshirts have served in multiple branches.)

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