Grab a Beer with Joe Fasanella – Volume 1

Belly up to the Bar with Joe Fasanella

Our first beer with our fellow New Yorker, Joe Fasanella (@grayfighter1 / Condition Gray) took place at the 2012 SHOT Show. There is a lot to say about this guy – not only is he a counterterrorism expert, trainer and educator, he is also an entrepreneur who “had us at hello” with his Sling Retainer Catch available here.


So, belly up to the bar and read more fascinating tidbits about November’s operator. 

  1. What is your happy place?  Anywhere with my kids.
  2. What do you avoid at all costs?  Toxic people.
  3. What is the trait you most dislike in yourself?  Workaholic. I am never off and need to learn to enjoy the little breaks and make time for myself.
  4. What is the trait you most dislike in others?  No self-awareness.
  5. Which living person do you most admire?  “SJ”, he’s a friend who conducted a long-term UC operation infiltrating a known FTO (Foreign Terrorist Organization). His account is so harrowing and his balls are larger than the Bull’s down on Wall Street in NYC. An amazing human.
  6. What is your most extravagant purchase to-date? SCAR 17, bought it when I retired from NYPD as a little ‘atta boy for surviving that cesspool.
  7. What was your state of mind as you walked into this bar? Identify the cheapest whiskey and make acquaintance.
  8. On what occasion do you lie? I have a very robust cover story for my real job that burrows deep into multiple levels but is very natural to spit out as it mimics much of my real life.
  9. What one thing would you change about your appearance? Remove all body hair, it’s like mowing a chinchilla these days.
  10. Which living person would you put on a dinghy and push out to sea?  Was going to say AOC but she’s hot, so HRC by default.
  11. What is the #1 quality men should possess?  Humility.
  12. What is the #1 quality women should possess?  Loyalty.
  13. Which words or phrases do you say waaaay too much? “Living the dream”
  14. What can’t you live without?  My kids.
  15. What is your most treasured, non-essential item?  A Spork my mother gave me back in 2006 just prior to my Iraq deployment. I ate every meal in that country with it and I still carry it with me every day.  
  16. If you had to wear Multicam Alpine or Multicam Tropic head-to-toe the rest of your life, which would it be?   Alpine is slick as fuck. We usually do one or two classes a year that get some heavy snow fall and they are visually stunning. Students learn more about themselves in adverse conditions than on the actual weapons they are running. That experience speaks a ton to their character and it’s humbling for all.
  17.  Which super-hero talent would you most like to have?  Mind reading.
  18. If you could change one thing about yourself before the end of the day, what would it be? To take a minute for myself and enjoy the moment.
  19. What do you consider your greatest achievement?  I don’t consider myself the epitome of a gunslinger, I joined the Military after 9/11 a short, stocky, relatively innocent city kid, and was in over my head. But I managed to earn my title as a US Marine, then became a NYPD Cop. Spending nearly my whole career in the Counterterrorism Bureau doing some amazing things was just beyond my comprehension. And now coming full circle as a Federal Agent and being very instrumental in combating terrorism…I think I did OK for such an unlikely character. But I’m not content, I have more work to put in and more to experience.
  20. If you were to die and come back as an animal, which would it be? An Alpaca: soft, furry, doofy and built for the cold.
  21. Where would you most like to live in retirement? I was born in NYC, worked in NYC, and sadly will probably die in this city.
  22. What is the most essential piece of Gear for your passion?  The one sitting above my shoulders (not my flowing hair, slightly below that). No piece of equipment is as essential as knowledge. I’ve been presented with so many unique challenges with regards to policing in a post 9/11 world that without it I would never have made it this far.
  23. What do you procrastinate most? Posting on social media. It’s a new world to me and I’m doing what I can to spread the company’s vibe.
  24. What would people say is your most prominent visual characteristic?  My hair. It’s pretty fucking epic as of late.
  25. What is your dream job (if you aren’t already doing it)?  Run a taco truck or Alpaca farm. Fuck terrorists, they are all assholes.
  26. What type of vehicle would you invent and what would you call it? If it already exists, name it. Easy one, Land Rover Defender 110 or a 90. I spent a good amount of time last year in North Africa and stumbled upon a Defender graveyard that skirted the old Dakar Rally route. I was in my glory as many had been there since the days of that race’s heyday.
  27. What is your favorite form of physical exercise?  I trail run in my Kit. It’s amazing how many classes we see guys finally running around in their gear and within a few steps are winded. Rule #1 of Zombieland: CARDIO!!!!!
  28. If you were left alone in the Rockies for a week, what 2 items would you pack for defense?  I would say my vast collection of OTTE Gear but that’s already a given since I have gear dating back to the early days. So I’ll accessorize my OTTE Tuxedo with a dark-haired vixen and my 4 Season Eureka Tent.
  29. What is your motto?  Never Fight Fair. I can’t be any clearer on that.
  30. Everyday carry of choice?  Glock 19, Gen 5 with a Kagwerk Raised Slide Release, Surefire X300U that lays comfortably in a PHLSTER Holster Spotlight or QVO Tactical Discreet IWB.
  31. What’s filling your OTTE Gear Packing Cube?  A Triple Aught Design Shagmaster Blanket.

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