This article is part of a new series focused on members Triple 7 Team. This is your chance to learn more about these individuals and their reasons for joining the expedition.
Let’s start things off with a mental exercise:
Question: If a plane took off from Santiago, Chile, with a 12-person team of former special agents on board, to Antarctica on the first leg of a skydiving expedition on seven continents, why are there only 11 American ex-special workers on board?
Answer: This is because the twelfth member of Team Triple 7 is retired Level 1 Special Operations Officer Glenn Cowan, who is “proud to be the only Canadian on the expedition.”
It turns out that our neighbors to the north aren’t just all about hockey, poutine, and cold winters… they’re also producing some serious special customers.
A graduate of McGill University and the Ivy Executive Leadership Program, Kwan is an investor, adventurer, and CEO of a company ONE9 Venture Capitala company he founded in 2013 while serving as an officer in the elite Canadian Combined Task Force 2. During his 19 years of service, Kwan has been deployed to Afghanistan multiple times, involved in sensitive information operations in the Middle East, and conducted hostage recovery in Africa.
As a squadron leader, Cowan specialized in tactical leadership and strategic planning, skills that have proven assets in the business world. Since its founding in 2013, ONE9 Venture Capital has experienced exponential growth and is “the only Canadian national security and critical infrastructure fund seeking early-stage technologies to enhance security, infrastructure, and the military,” explains Kwan. In addition, it is Canada’s first and only defense ecosystem to use national security end users to validate dual-use technologies, i.e. Special Forces.
Kwan will set a new world record by completing seven skydives, on seven continents, in seven days to honor a fallen soldier and raise awareness of an issue that affects countless veterans.
The Triple 7 Expedition works with Folds of Honor to provide families of fallen and/or disabled service members and first responders with the education they deserve. Besides, each member of the flight team jumps in honor of someone.
Cowan honors Corporal Byron Grieve, a Canadian soldier killed in Afghanistan on October 29, 2011. The 28-year-old served with the 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, and aspires to be a Special Agent. “[Byron and I] They exercised in the morning. He submitted his order, and I was helping him prepare for selection for our special mission unit,” says Cowan. “Byron was a great guy.”
Plus, Kwan says he’s taking a leap to raise awareness about burn-related illnesses, a problem that has affected countless veterans over the past two decades. Burn pits are protected military sites used to dispose of chemicals, tires, munitions, plastic, medical and human waste into open-air burns that produce large amounts of toxic black smoke. The Department of Defense estimates that 3.5 million soldiers have suffered burns during deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq. “I would like to respect those who have suffered and continue to suffer from respiratory illnesses and cancers caused by exposure to toxic substances,” says Kwan.
Why would Kwan be willing to take on the long-haul flights between Canada and the US to be part of a Triple 7 trip?
Along with running a successful company, Cowan advises Red Light Holland, holds controller positions at Tomahawk Robotics and Strider, and is a member of the Red Light Holland’s board of directors. Ventus Breathing Techniques, a company that sponsors Triple 7. Why would someone so busy travel from Canada to do something like this? The answer is simple: make a difference. After two decades of fighting side by side between Canada and the United States, he believes those who have served “must continue to work together because there is strength in number, and we can muster our networks to [help people]. “
Kwan sees the expedition as an opportunity to make a difference for those who have sacrificed so much. This is because Triple 7’s primary focus is to provide 1,400 scholarships to families of fallen/disabled military personnel and first responders. The team works with Folds of Honor to help the children and spouses of American champions get the education they deserve.
For Kwan, it wasn’t about breaking the world record. Instead, it’s about honoring a brave young man, raising awareness about burns, and making a difference in the lives of millions.
The Triple 7 Expedition team helped provide 1,400 scholarships to families of America’s Champions by making a donation to Folds of Honor today. You can present your tax-deductible gift Online Or by texting Triple7 to 76278. Remember that 100% of your donation goes directly to Folds of Honor.
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