Borne The Battle #158: David Gowel – Army Veteran, RallyPoint CEO


This week’s Borne the Battle interview is with Army Iraq War Veteran, David Gowel, a West Point and Ranger School graduate who later became an assistant professor at MIT’s ROTC program. David is currently the CEO of RallyPoint, a military-themed social media network. Which begs the question: just how does a former armor platoon leader become the CEO for a social media company? And, with a crowded social landscape that includes Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, SnapChat and others, why would anyone join yet another social media network?

This week’s guest lays out his case. In the interview, he also shares tips and pointers for expanding your own social media network.

Prior to becoming RallyPoint’s CEO, David and his wife started their own company that helped other companies leverage social media tools to improve their business models. For LinkedIn specifically, David would consult on how to network on the platform without “harassing people.” This experience led him to also write the book, “The Power in a Link: Open Doors, Close Deals and Change the Way You Do Business Using LinkedIn.

RallyPoint is a social media network that caters to the active duty and Veteran experience. In the interview, David explains how partnering with VA’s Veteran Experience Office has enabled RallyPoint to organize discussions and “Command Post” messages around VA’s Veteran’s Journey Map, which portrays the life stage moments–and VA experiences–that Veterans typically experience.

RallyPoint's application of the VA's Veteran's Journey Map

RallyPoint’s application of the VA’s Veteran’s Journey Map.

Currently there are 1.7 million RallyPoint members, many of whom, in addition to active duty and Veterans, are family members, caregivers, civilian recruiters, and VA and DoD civilians.

Enjoy the episode.

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Tanner Iskra

Tanner Iskra has been a video producer for the VA’s Digital Media Engagement team since October of 2018. He is a Marine Corps Veteran, having served as a Combat Videographer. During his military career, he deployed to Iraq in 2005 as well as to Romania, Latvia, Bulgaria, Germany, France and Spain as part of the Black Sea Rotational Force. Tanner is a graduate of the Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication and Media Studies and holds a Certificate in Military Motion Media from the Newhouse School of Journalism at Syracuse University.