Greg Raney’s interest in Take Point Now started with the desire to support his teammates and the problem solving challenges that goes into world record breaking rides. He enjoys the planning that goes into our endeavors and the sense of military order that everyone follows. He was born just outside Houston, TX and quickly developed an interest in the outdoors and anything with a motor.
As far back as high school he was tinkering with a ’69 Camaro and a ’70 Firebird. As broke high schoolers, Greg and his friends put any money they got into the motors and drive trains, forgetting everything else about the cars appearance as long as they would out run anything on the street. He once mounted a riding lawn mower motor to a go-cart. It was a direct drive (where you start the motor with the wheels turning) so they’d prop the cart up on paint cans and kick each other off and gas it at top speed. And they couldn’t use the brakes for fear of the engine dying. Many years later, while in Iraq, he wired a construction light cart to their building for electricity after the generator was blown up by mortar fire.
When he graduated from high school, Greg enlisted in the Marine Corps. In 2004, Greg signed on with the 4th Civil Affairs Group out of Washington, DC for a deployment to Ar Ramadi, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. That is where he met most of the Take Point Now team. After leaving the military he began working as a curriculum developer and instructor at the Marine Corps Center for Advanced Operational Culture Learning (CAOCL).
Greg attends International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) and United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) event which focus on shooting through scenarios that require a balance of accuracy and time. He placed 3rd in his class at the West Virginia State Championship in 2014. He is also known to head to the mountains for a day on the slopes with a snowboard.
There are a lot of funny stories from Greg’s time growing up in Texas through he never realized how funny they were until he left. He recalls a time when a friend came to visit his grandparents who are firm believers in “you eat anything you kill.” He grew up eating rabbit, deer, squirrel, and just about anything else you could shoot near the Gulf of Mexico. His friend sat down not realizing the meal was to be BBQ Squirrel. The recipe: chop off the head, feet and tail. Skin and clean. Drown them in BBQ Sauce. As the squirrel platter hit the table the friend jumped up and barely made it to the bathroom in time. The family at the table didn’t miss a beat and jumped straight into their meal.
Greg has grown very fond of his pet cat as he truly appreciates their indifference and the amount of energy you must put in to gain their loyalty. It is a joyful time when a cat becomes less of a detached, snobbish, indifferent turd and actually turns into an animal that is a joy to spend time with. Animal husbandry is a trait Greg picked up from his grandfather. While in Iraq, Greg took care of a chicken he found sick and nearly starved to death. He fixed its pen, cleaned it, and gave it food and water for months. He then gave it to an Iraqi family upon his departure. He thinks it’s funny that everyone constantly reminds him of the chicken he took care of while deployed. But, as Greg's Grandpappy used to say, "you don’t let an animal suffer, especially when you can do something to help it". And we all appreciate him for his continual effort to help those around him.