In support of Freelance Writer Appreciation Week, ADS asked Soldier Systems Daily’s (SSD) owner Eric Graves to reminiscence on his experience growing in tandem with ADS, Inc. over the last nine years. Both in the field and as a civilian, Eric has spent an exuberant amount of time researching and understanding the landscape of the defense industry.

When Eric started SSD in 2008, his expertise coupled with real-world experience instantly positioned him as an authoritative, experienced, and trustworthy leader in everything tactical.

Over the years, both organizations began to rely more on one another. ADS looks to SSD for up-to-date information on the industry and vice versa. Blogs like Soldier Systems Daily create awareness around hurdles and opportunities facing our military service men and women today. There is no better way to shed light on the importance of quality operational products, technology, and services than in an unbiased forum such as Soldier Systems Daily.

ADS | SSD

By Eric Graves

My relationship with ADS has gone full-circle from me being a customer of ADS while serving active duty in the military to a partner role, marketing ADS’ vast capabilities.

ADS really helped me to fulfill requirements in a timely manner, particularly early in the war. After I retired, I never completely lost touch with ADS because I settled in the Hampton Roads area while working as a contractor to nearby Blackwater. While there, I would often cross paths with ADS employees.

Eventually, I launched SSD and began working with local businesses in the tactical industry. At that point, SSD caught the eye of ADS leadership, as salesmen and customers alike began referencing my articles.

However, I credit Nick Hoffman, former member of the ADS marketing team, with strengthening the ties between ADS and SSD. He invited me to cover the Warrior Expos and other special vendor events, providing an opportunity for me to research new products, as well as highlight ADS’ capabilities.

Additionally, because of experience in the field and with many of the products, I wrote some educational content on different commodity areas for the ADS website and catalogs.

While ADS was founded in the mid-1990s, it has seen excellent growth over the past decade—particularly in the area of customer outreach.

As SSD begins its ninth year, I'm proud to say that our companies have both matured in how we communicate and connect with our customers. I'd like to credit that to a portion of the to the work I've collaborated with ADS on.  I look forward to many more years of success for both of our companies.

Read recent Soldier Systems Daily stories on ADS.

Who is Eric Graves?

After combined enlisted service in the US Army and commissioned in the US Air Force, Eric Graves retired from the military in 2006 and worked as a contractor to Blackwater, as well as others in the defense industry with defense technology company, Ares Systems Group.  His military service includes assignments in communications, intelligence, logistics, and acquisitions—primarily in support of Special Operations Forces—where he served in Army, Air Force, and Joint Special Operations units. His combined military and industry experience gave him a unique insight into how military personnel are equipped.

This led to his founding of Soldier Systems Daily in 2008.  SSD is an industry resource, publishing seven days a week with a focus on the clothing and individual equipment used to protect military and law enforcement personnel.  In addition to new product information, SSD offers information on government procurements and industry announcements.