THE UNTOLD BACKSTORy of "A COMBAT VETERAN"

The Backstory of DREW

Drew joined the Army in 2004, a prehistoric era keen to starching the iconic and retired BDU uniform and spit-shining leather boots — honing all of those true warrior skills! He initially signed up as a Reservist, where, in this unit, he shamelessly used the death of his Commander, who died after completing a PT test run, as an excuse to get promoted to E-2. RIP sir.

A year after enlisting Drew decided to go Active Duty. Everyone warned him he would immediately deploy to war but he didn’t listen; as a falsely promoted E-2 he was too dumb for his own good.

In 2006 Drew arrived at the 630th MP Company in Germany and… yea, you guessed it… immediately deployed to Baghdad, Iraq for a long and brutal 15-month deployment. The unit lost 4 soldiers that deployment, and a few wounded casualties were sent home early. RIP: Peek, Par, Moyer, Clifton.

After Iraq Drew became an alcoholic amongst friends in Germany. He quickly rose to the rank of Sergeant despite his heavy drinking; easily becoming the sexiest MP on base.

Drew later PCS’d to Brooklyn to serve with a small thirty personnel detachment that needed ONE NCO — Drew. A year into his new unit some random NCO (who shall remain nameless) had a baby. Unfortunately, the Army did not care and cut this random NCO orders to go to Afghanistan despite his paternal/marital obligations. Drew, being his regular self – so noble and selfless – volunteered to take this NCO’s place; saving the new baby’s Daddy in the process. Drew deployed as a biometric specialist WIAS tasker despite how much he hated his leadership position.

For a year Drew hopped around from base-to-base (Salerno, J-bad, Bagram, Herat, Shank, and others) gaining pertinent comedic life experience by working with foreign coalition forces and every branch of the U.S. military except the Coast Guard, of course. “The French were wild… All they drank was gin… straight… with no chaser.”

Post-Army LIFE

After returning from Afghanistan Drew ETS’d and his active duty career ended. He joined the Reserves again for a one year contract then left because the lifestyle did not match the experience. He also joined the Air Force for one day but went AWOL because he could not muster the courage to put on the uniform. Eventually they placed him on IRR after reaching a deal. Yes, you can negotiate the terms of your contract after you sign.

After dropping out of college… twice, working the mundane job of a bank teller, and even trying to recreate the experience of military camaraderie as a PSS contractor, Drew created the brand A Combat Veteran™ and spent an unimaginable amount of hours learning every aspect of writing, filming, and editing.

THE BACKSTORY OF JUSTON

Juston served as a Population Control Specialist (11B). He deployed a total of 4 times overseas serving two tours with the “Rakkasans” and two tours “Climbing to Glory.” His perseverance, despite experiencing hefty railing from the Army’s big green weenie, is what ensured his bounce-back from two Article 15s and a Court Martial; Juston eventually earned the rank of SSG.

When the Army went through the development of Brigade Combat Teams, Juston’s unit changed from 2nd Battalion to 3rd of the 187th Infantry Regiment. He deployed to Samarra, Iraq from 2005 – 2006 serving under COL Michael Steele (yes, the same CPT Steele we all know and love). What. Could. Go. Wrong? 

Although Juston never got his copy of Black Hawk Down autographed whilst crossing paths with Big Mike in the small-arms repair shop, Juston did earn his CIB along with an unfortunate court martial that resulted in a nine month military confinement sentence. After serving his sentence, Juston fought an uphill legal battle surrounding a stipulation stating that a Soldier confined to four months or more was to receive an automatic general discharge. 

Despite Juston’s resilience and perseverance, it wasn’t until his new commander received a letter of recommendation from one of the prosecutors in Juston’s case that Juston was allowed to continue service and re-enlist.

After reporting to the 10th Mountain Division, serving another tour in Iraq (where he learned to Salsa dance at the MWR), and earning the rank of Staff Sergeant in the short time of two years and two months from the date of his release from “The Hard Knox Life,” Juston was hand selected to serve on the PSD team for Generals Terry, Bannister, and Dahl during the unit’s 2010 – 2011 deployment to the Poo-Pond in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Post-Army LIFE

Juston separated from the military in 2012 to pursue a career in performing arts where he painstakingly dove head-first into theatre training. He began his journey at the Savannah College of Art and Design and eventually ended up at the University of Southern California where he played Colonel Triletsky in Michael Frayn’s Wild Honey. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from USC’s School of Dramatic Arts in 2017.

Juston studied long-form improv at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade and short-form improv at the Second City Hollywood all in conjunction with his formal training at USC. During his time at USC, he co-founded the troupe prettyNOTbad that eventually grew into a failed YouTube sketch-comedy channel.



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