By uniting the community of Special Operations veterans with the world of marine science and conservation in one, mission-focused program, FORCE BLUE has created a model of caring, cooperation and positive change with the power to restore lives and restore the planet. Here are the folks who are making it happen every day.
Working as a professional writer for over 25 years, Jim has penned and directed award-winning advertising campaigns, screenplays, teleplays and documentaries. As Founder and Creative Director of NYC-based advertising and content production company Chowder, Inc., Jim wrote and produced the theatrically released feature film, Cayman Went and the children’s book, Tuke the Specialist Turtle. An avid SCUBA diver and lifelong environmentalist, Jim previously served on the Board of Directors of the Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) and was recently named “2019 Sea Hero of the Year” by Scuba Diving Magazine and the Seiko Watch Corporation for his work with FORCE BLUE.
Before Co-Founding Force Blue, Keith was General Manager of Sunset House in the Cayman Islands for over 20 years. He is an accomplished diver, strategist, hotelier, marketer & marine environmentalist. Offering a rare blend of creative and operational strengths, he is a former board member of the Diving Equipment and Marketing Association (DEMA), the Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA) and the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame. Keith was one of the first to install coral farms in the Cayman Islands and co-founder of the island’s NGO “Save Cayman”. He has been a guest speaker at numerous DEMA events and was named “Diver of the Year” in 2015 by Beneath the Sea for his role in promoting SCUBA recreation, training, safety and advocate for the seas. In 2016, he was runner up for the Cayman Islands Governor Tourism Industry Conservation Award for his dedication and outstanding service for his commitment to the environment and was honored with the Cayman Islands Tourism Association Diamond award.
A veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan, Rudy served with distinction as a member of the United States Marine Corps illustrious 1st Reconnaissance Battalion and played himself in HBO’s Generation Kill, a miniseries based on the bestselling book by Rolling Stone reporter Evan Wright. A graduate of the Marine Corps Combatant Diving, Scout/Sniper and Search, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) schools, Rudy has worked as a counter-terror contractor for the Department of Defense, trained African wildlife preserver rangers in anti-poaching techniques and, most recently, appeared in National Geographic Channel’s Ultimate Survival Alaska. Rudy is the author of Hero Living, which chronicles his warrior philosophy and teaches others how to follow it.
Angelo Fiore Director of Diving Operations / Training Director
A 10-year Honorably Discharged Veteran of the Elite US Navy Diving Community, Angelo is both a seasoned executive and experienced entrepreneur. He is the founder of The Fiore Service Group, an independent company that represents some of the largest sporting goods and sporting apparel manufacturers in the world. His skill in conducting small business analysis and developing growth, together with his long tenure of working inside the SCUBA industry, make him a valuable addition to the FORCE BLUE team.
Damien “Damo” Massingham comes to FORCE BLUE from Australia by way of New York, where for the past 15 years he has cultivated a highly successful career and well regarded reputation as a film editor. Damien holds an array of awards including a Cannes Gold Lion, a One Club Silver Pencil, and Gold @ London International Awards. He is widely known for his work on Japan’s famous Nissan Noodle campaigns, which received accolades four years running from the Asian TV Awards.
A 30-year Scuba Instructor for PADI, NAUI and SSI, Patti has maintained an unconventional career and lifestyle. Initially, as a Nevada State Administrative Law Judge, she determined the repetitive structure was overwhelming boring; this inspired her to travel throughout the world as diving professional. Relocating to the Florida Keys, she became embedded with the Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF), which at that time a small grass-roots organization restoring the local corals reefs. She has spent the last 12 years installing coral nurseries, repopulating reefs with nursery-raised corals and designing diving specialty courses to educate and inspire Coral Ambassadors. Patti crafted their Dive Safety Manual and is their Dive Safety Officer. She serves on the CRF Board of Directors and Executive Committee. Also serves on the Board of Directors of the History of Diving Museum, a member of the Explorer’s Club, a SSI Platinum Pro 5000 recipient and an officer in Coast Guard Auxiliary 13-08. In 2016, she was inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame and serves as a Trustee.
Will served as an E-5/Sergeant 5 years in the Marine Corps. He is the recipient of the Iraq Campaign Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Humanitarian Service Medal, Navy and the Marine Corps Achievement Medal. He was also a security contractor in high threat areas overseas. Will is also a very accomplished athlete and trainer. He was a competitive swimmer and distance runner in high school, teaching Special Olympics and giving swimming lessons as his high school job. His beliefs in fitness as a form of physical, mental and spiritual health led him to start a CrossFit affiliate atthe Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan – the first of its kind at an Embassy anywhere in the world. He ran that for three years in Kabul before leaving to launch Huron River CrossFit in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Steve “Gonzo” Gonzalez Special Projects / Events Director
Master Chief SEAL(Ret) Steve “Gonzo” Gonzalez served with distinction for 34 years in the Navy, retiring in 2016. He is a combat veteran with multiple deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Joint Guardian, Operation Desert Shield / Desert Storm and numerous operations around the world.
His awards include 2 Bronze Star for Valor, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for Valor, 5 Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals and various other Campaign Medals and Awards. Gonzo is a native of New Orleans, LA and currently resides in Florida with his wife. He is a Norwich University Alumnus with a Bachelor of Science in Strategic Studies & Defense Analysis, Teaching & Learning Certificate, and a Masters of Arts in Strategic Studies.
Master Sergeant Ray Reneau, Director of Scuba Training, MBA, is a 20-year Active-duty Army member with multiple combat tours in Iraq. Ray began diving after receiving multiple injuries in Iraq in 2009. As a way to alleviate the pain from his injuries and cope with PTSD, diving was the outlet that provided him with a new beginning. After seeing how Scuba diving helped him, he realized he had a passion to help others that were dealing with similar things he had. In 2021, Ray developed a program that allows all Service Members to use their G.I. Bill® to get their NAUI Scuba certifications and Leadership licenses. In his free time, Ray also volunteers his time as the Director of Armed Forces relations and training for NAUI, The Course Director for Gold Stare Teen Adventures, and the Director of Scuba Diving Training for Force Blue.
Dan Henderson is a retired US Army Special Forces soldier (Green Beret) with over 20 years on active duty and numerous combat deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, and operations in multiple locations throughout Asia. Throughout his career he attended multiple military schools to include Ranger School, Sniper School, Military Free-Fall school and numerous others. Dan attended the Special Forces Combat Diver Qualification Course (CDQC) in Key West and was assigned a Combat Dive Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA). While assigned to the ODA he dove in every environment possible throughout Asia and the US. His last assignment on active duty was at his units Divers Life Support Maintenance Facility instructing the units Pre-Scuba, physically and mentally preparing unit members for CDQC, and assisting dive teams in training and operations.
Dan became a NAUI Instructor and before he retired and began teaching recreational diving in his down time. In September of 2021 he opened his own dive facility in Washington State, Ranger Sport Scuba. Dan working with other Combat Divers, has a unique approach to training that has taken off in the Pacific Northwest. He also works with other non-profit’s teaching disabled veterans scuba diving. One of his top priorities is giving back to veterans and their families.
He is now a NAUI Course Director and the Lead Scuba Instructor at the Divers Institute of Technology in Seattle Washington where he instructs future commercial divers.
Dan has been married to his wife Sarah since 2003, they coach CrossFit together in their downtime. They have one child, Daniel who is an Advanced Open Water diver.
Ozric Sparks is the son of our team member Roger Sparks. Oz has been a valued team member of Force Blue since our initial team training in the Cayman Islands in 2017. At a young age Oz was diagnosed with both Cerebral Palsy and Type 1 Diabetes. Oz has grown with our organization and taken part in numerous deployments and engagement over the years. Oz is a recent High School Graduate as well as a Cadre with our partners at GORUCK. Oz has continued to develop as a young man and team member recently earning his Open Water and Force Blue Assistant Diver Certification. Despite Oz’s challenges it is clear that he is a Warrior. He meets his difficulties with an infectious courage and magic that has defined our team.
Based out of Brooklyn NY, Bob has been working in the film industry for the past 16 years as a producer, cameraman, editor, and most recently as a director. His work includes documentary films, television series and commercial campaigns, that have filmed in locations across five continents. He has been collaborating with Force Blue since its inception in 2017, and is honored to be able to continue to share the story of Force Blue with the world.
Wallace J. Nichols, PhD Marine Biologist, Author, Blue Mind Ambassador
Dr. Wallace “J” Nichols — called a “Keeper of the Sea” by GQ Magazine, “a visionary” by Outside Magazine, a “water warrior” by AQUATICS International, a “friend of the sea” by Experience Life Magazine, and “the godfather of water” by Irish Life Health and Santa Cruz Waves Magazine — is an innovative, silo-busting, entrepreneurial scientist, movement maker, renown marine biologist, voracious Earth and idea explorer, wild water advocate, bestselling author, sought after lecturer, and fun-loving Dad. He also likes turtles (a lot).
Dr. Nichols collaborates tirelessly and artfully to create the new story of water and share it with the world. This story includes the vast cognitive, emotional, psychological, social, physical, and spiritual benefits that we can all derive from healthy waters and oceans throughout our lives.
As a military spouse for more than 16 years, Mo is passionate about supporting the military community and making a difference for those who serve. She is a nonprofit professional who has had the honor to work with a variety of outstanding organizations, including the United Service Organizations (USO), the San Diego Zoo’s Center for Conservation Research, and Project Hope Boston. Mo currently serves as a volunteer with The Unquiet Professional, the North Carolina Aquarium, and as an intern with the North Carolina Coastal Federation.
While living in Japan with her husband, she discovered her love of ocean conservation after learning to scuba dive in waters off the coast of Okinawa. Upon her return to the States, she was lucky enough to work her dream job as a public programming specialist for the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Looking to continue her career in nonprofit work on the East Coast, she earned her Master of Science in nonprofit management from Northeastern University in 2022.
Mo currently lives in coastal North Carolina where she is taking full advantage of her time near the water to go kayaking, fishing, and crabbing with her husband and two sons.
Before joining Force Blue, Chief Warrant Officer-4 (Ret) Jeremy Gabrielson served with excellence for 27 years in the US Marine Corps, retiring in 2023. Beginning his military career as an enlisted infantry mortarman he transitioned to the Chief Warrant Officer ranks in 2011. He spent much of his military career in recruiting operations where he was involved in training, mentoring and leading personnel across the United States. Jeremy has a passion for serving others and supporting them to achieve their peak performance.
Jeremy is a native of St. George, Utah and currently resides in Stafford, Virginia with his wife, daughter, and son. He is working on his NAUI Dive Master certification and trains Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in his free time.
Sponsor a Vet
Support a Special Operations Combat Veteran by sponsoring his or her FORCE BLUE training. Your donation will help fund a recruit’s airfare, accommodation, meals, instruction, dive equipment and training certification dives.