The Story of Kryptek Before it was Kryptek

Meet Josh Cleghorn and Butch Whiting, the owners of Kryptek.

Meet Josh Cleghorn and Butch Whiting, the owners of Kryptek.

Josh and I both have strengths and weaknesses that compliment on each other. Our friendship was forged in combat in multiple trials and things like that, and you know Cleghorn and I became the best of friends and what was really sort of interesting out of that was that 95% of the missions I did, [Josh] Cleghorn was my wingman on them throughout. That was a lot by design because we clicked when we were in a firefight or a battle or whatever, and out of that there’s a level of trust, and respect, and admiration, and that brotherhood they kind of speak about, it gets formed.

I saw it really early on, see I had the luxury of knowing Josh when he was still up-and–coming out of the Navy Special Warfare, which is a thing not everyone knows about, but he was an enlisted NCO in the Navy and did all sorts of high speed stuff in units that don’t exist. Then he decided he wanted to fly helicopters for the US Army, dropped his paperwork, decided he wanted to go in warrant officer candidate school and basically was at the top of his class through that entire process, and it just so happened that I was sitting as the Aide-de-camp for the commanding general of the Army Aviation Warfighting Center and kind of got to see where everybody was.

So there is no doubt about it, I hand-picked Josh along with some other guys to come over to this unit that was being stood up that I was given the privilege to command, and he was just a rock star from the get-go. You never had to ask him more than once to pull a trigger, and he learned everything about the airframe extremely well, and back to a lot of the mentality of being a basic hunter, and a warrior as well.

We started in Baghdad and then went to Taji, north of Baghdad for a few months and then up to Tal Afar which was near the Syrian border. We raged up there for a number of months as the Al Qaeda were really pushing forces and people and things in from Syria into a little town and specifically the Saria district of Tal Afar and you know, just out of that major conflict things kind of got gelled and formed, and so on.


The Kryptek Business Model

So that’s where we kind of wrote the business model for Kryptek. It was nothing more than n uncomplicated 15-20 page business model. You know, we spent some time daydreaming about it, but that was about it. Cleghorn, after that time went on to fly little birds in the 160th which was aviation special warfare. I went on and did some things with the Combined Arm Document Directorate and then ultimately made the decision to go to Alaska and separate. I separated out at 10 years, 9 months and 6 days as a Major in the Army and the majority of all that time was somewhat associated with Apache attack helicopters, H64’s.

-Butch Whiting, Co-Owner of Kryptek