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Expeditionary.  The word conveys a sense of adventure, mission, and purpose.  The United States Marine Corps prides itself on being America’s “expeditionary force in readiness.”  But what does it mean to be expeditionary?  Let’s take a look at the root word:  expedition.

An expedition is a journey undertaken by a group of people for a specific purpose.   But it’s more than just a trip from one place to another.  It’s an odyssey into the wild.  There’s no infrastructure to support your endeavor.  It’s just you and what you bring with you.  You pack in your own equipment.  You move into a hostile environment, and you sustain yourself until the mission is accomplished.  You fight your way in, and you fight your way out.  You’re entirely dependent on your training, your equipment, and the guy next to you.  To be sure, an expedition is not for the faint of heart.

Throughout history, expeditions have captured the imagination and admiration of people around the world.  Think of Hannibal and his army crossing the Alps on elephants.  Think of Lewis and Clark’s journey across the North American continent, Edmund Hillary’s expedition to the summit of Mount Everest, or Amundsen’s expedition to the South Pole.  There’s something in the magnitude of an expedition that sparks intrigue and awe.

The term expedition evokes images of both immense challenge and worthwhile objective.  In a sense, the concept is largely lost in our society except in fables.  Self-reliance is a dying art, and long-term commitment to a worthwhile objective is almost unheard-of.

Expedition DEFIANT packsBut there are a few who understand that some missions are too important to run away from.  That you can’t put a price tag on self-reliance.  That some endeavors are their own reward.  There are a few who face hardship as a matter of choice.  Perhaps they don’t sail wooden ships into uncharted seas or spend months hacking their way through the jungle with a machete.  But maybe they endure the worst that nature has to throw at them to bag that elk.  Or maybe they shoulder firefighting gear and walk into burning buildings to protect their neighbors.  Maybe they break their backs all week to put food on their kids’ table.  Or maybe they spend their free time coaching kids who don’t have many positive role models in their lives.  These are the people who stand in defiance against the voices telling them to give up their self-reliance and settle for mediocrity.  These are the people who move society forward.  These are the people we are proud to serve.

Expeditionary is a mindset—yours and ours.  It’s the way you live your life.  It’s the reason we build our products.  The expedition is the domain of those who glimpse the reward and embark on the self-sustaining journey to pursue it.  Find your mission, and launch your expedition.