"Father" is NOT a Noun - It's a Verb

"Father" is NOT a Noun - It's a Verb


"Father" is NOT a Noun - It's a Verb

As I hit the magazines and Internet to research gear guides for Father's Day, I realized that most gear writers are "posers" with little relevant experience and that most of the things they recommended were not things they would actually buy themselves but were the things their sponsors told them to feature.

Sure sponsors are important because without them you would just be staring at a blank webpage, but that doesn't mean any of us need to sell our soul.

I Can't Lie To You

I don't want you to have to worry about any lame marketing BS when I post guides like this, so I'm going to just give it to you straight so that you can get down with your shopping.

Here's How I Do It


When I approach a "gear guide," such as this one for Father's Day, I approach it as if I'm shopping for myself. These are the capabilities that I actually want.

When I submit the gear to GovX to publish, I include my actual size and color preference because I actually want them. No kidding... send this stuff to me!

It also just so happens that I tend to like what everyone else likes so this seems to work. Does that mean I listen to Taylor Swift? Well... actually it does, but you get my point. Everyone likes Taylor Swift.


It's important that you hear this from me.

Know that this "gear guide" is produced for GovX members. It's important to understand that I don't recommend anything just because it is here on GovX. The gear I recommend is what I would choose.


Through and through, I'm a father, former SEAL, outdoor enthusiast, and I believe that gear is not a thing but a capacity to be in motion.

So when I choose something, I'm not picking it because of its technical specifications; I'm choosing it for what it will allow me to do and who it will allow me to be. See my recent post "You Are What You're Ready For".

By category, and so that I don't end up with something useless myself, here are the things I would love to get this Father's Day.


When I was young, getting clothing as a gift was about as exciting as doing homework; but now, when it's something that helps me get out, get active or makes a cool statement, I've grown to love it.


Forever I was a "one sunglass" kind of guy. Now I have several pairs of glasses for different occasions. At a minimum, it makes sense to have casual, dress and tactical glasses.

I'm not saying to buy them all, but you might consider rounding out Dad's optics collection, especially if he wears the same pair of shades whether he's in a suit or out running on the trail. Seldom is that okay.

It's summer, so I went heavy.

Casual Sunglasses:

Dress Sunglasses:

Tactical Sunglasses:


Like sunglasses and socks and hobbies, I enjoy having multiple types of watches. You'll notice that each one represents a different capability. Watches can get very expensive, so I worked to include some of the less expensive options to help you start building Dad's watch quiver.

Casual Watches:

Dress Watches:

Outdoor Watches:


There's nowhere I go and nothing I do that isn't enhanced by technology. Even when I'm miles into a remote camping site, I still enjoy listening to music, taking pictures or even watching a movie, and, yes, on occasion a Taylor Swift video.

Action Sports

There's not a dad out there who doesn't love getting out and getting active, or needs to get out and get more active. See what I did there? Just included everyone.

I'm working to not call out an individual item, but if you're not paddleboarding as a family, you're missing out on something special. You can do it anywhere and anyone can do it. Just make sure you get the right sized boards if you're a beginner so that you don't go butt-over-teakettle in front of everyone on the beach.

Performance Sports

Young or old, fitness is important. It doesn't matter if you'll be schlepping your three year old up a mountain trail on your shoulders while she picks her nose and wipes it in your hair (yes, I've been there) or jumping in the lake with your grandkid to swim him to the dock. Being a "father" is a verb, not a noun.


I just watched a report about the medical benefits of being out in nature. For me, there's not a choice. I'm sure it's diagnosable, but if I don't get outdoors, I get anxious, stressed and straight up sad.

For me, getting to spend time out in nature is what I live for. It's why I work... well you know, besides the kids and stuff.


My mission in life is to help everyone understand how pragmatic tactical gear and training are for everyday life. You don't have to be in the Special Forces to use this gear. It's for everyone. I call it "Practical Tactical".


It's good for men to collect things and keep them around. It helps me stay connected to who I am even when I'm in the office or my living room.

We're not meant to be "kept" inside, and I find the aesthetics of my environment can keep me relaxed and focused.

To all of the fathers out there, Happy Father's Day, and you're welcome!

Oh... just in case you want to thank me:

Ya, it's a martini case. My wife likes martinis. I'm sure you understand where I'm going with this. "Tactical Practical".

We've got some amazing members here at GovX, and I want to hear from you.

What's your favorite Father's Day tradition?

When I say, "'Father' is not a noun – it's a verb," what does that mean to you?

What would you choose?


About Eric Davis

Eric Davis served our country as a U.S. Navy SEAL and decorated veteran of the Global War on Terror. Eric has been recognized as one of the premier sniper instructors in the U.S. military and has served as a Master Training Specialist at the SEAL sniper school. Davis is also the host of The Loadout Room, author at SOFREP, a GovX "Insider" and founder of the human performance company Average Frog. Follow him, and all his exploits, on Twitter @EricDavis215

Leave a comment:

John B.

6/3/2014 8:52 AM

Great write up as usual! As a new father I take my position serious! I try to set an example, and you are my example!

Eric D.

6/8/2014 4:23 PM

Incredible honor - I'm always working at it and feel as if I fall short daily. We just gotta keep moving.

Chris V.

6/6/2014 8:16 AM

Eric - Awesome stuff, brother. All the picks are rock solid. Since you asked, here are my answers to your questions. Tradition - Grub on the grill. Playing at the pool all day with my little girls. Watching my wife roll her eyes when I keep walking over to the radio (nowadays live streaming audio from my cell phone to my wireless Bluetooth speaker - tradition is tradition, sometimes the package gets updated) to find out who's leading the NASCAR race. Ending the day sitting on my deck with a cigar and bourbon and thinking about the sacrifice given by so many to ensure I could spend the day the way I just did. I'll tip my Braves cap to the heavens in thanks and watch the sun fade. What would I choose? I assume that means gear - so here it goes: Sunglasses – Your picks are perfect. You don’t want to be out on the water without a great pair of polarized shades. Watches – I own a Freestyle and it is a workhorse. It goes on my wrist w/o a second thought when I’m heading out for fun in the outdoors. If you can afford to drop some cash – the MTM Spec Ops Predator is a beauty and will make an impression, but it will slap your bank account right in the mouth. Tech – We differ a bit here, but mostly because everyone has a different style of tech and it intertwines with their lives in different ways. So here is what I put on my list The Eton section of the wireless speakers was empty, but it should certainly be filled with the Eton Rugged Rukus. This little beast and I are inseparable! Not only is it the most rugged and life-proof Bluetooth speaker I have ever used (and that list is long and distinguished) but it has great sound and, most importantly, it is a solar juggernaut that can also charge your cell phone or other portable device while it rocks out to awesome tunes (or even Taylor Swift). It’s light enough and small enough to be stuffed into a day pack or carabinered to a pack while you hike, and you don’t have to worry about the kids stepping on it, dropping it, or getting it wet at the pool or the beach. It runs as long as the sun shines and even a few hours after that. Badass in every way. ***UPDATE*** I found the Rugged Rukus in the Charging Devices>Solar section. The price is GREAT! Put this sucker in your cart RIGHT NOW!!! Sometimes you just want to kill hordes and hordes of enemies. And on rainy days, sometimes it’s just fun to plop down with your Xbox or PS and just tear stuff up in your favorite game alone or online with your buddies. If you want to get the most from that experience, and still keep your corneas in a state where they can still see down the actual sights of a real gun, then grab a pair of Gunnar Optiks Eyewear. They are like range glasses for your digital battle zone, and they will keep you just a protected. They are designed to enhance the gaming experience by making the graphics visualizations pop, while at the same time massively reducing eye fatigue and focus stress that can cause headaches and/or cause real world negative effects to precision focus. Not something you want when a real enemy is bearing down on you. There is no holding down the triangle button to respawn in the real world. Keep those peepers razor sharp with some gaming goodness from Gunnar. Action Sports – I’m gonna check out the paddle boarding. Living in Knoxville I’m at the lake every chance I get and I see everyone paddle boarding, I’m gonna check it out. Performance Sports – I like to ride bikes with the kids. Fixed Speed bikes are great for a workout, but not for casual riding, or for ANYONE that will be going downhill since you can’t cruise on a fixed speed bike. As GovX grows, hopefully we will see some more bike manufacturers in there. Marin and Fuji maybe?...... just thoughts….. Outdoors – Do yourself a favor and grab a Princeton Tec Fred, or if you have a slippery dome the Princeton Tec Apex Pro. Don’t go darkly into the night; shine some lumens down that path. I’m not afraid of the dark, I’m afraid of what I can’t see in the dark that can see me - might as well level the playing field. The Fred also adds the opportunity to still use night vision, if you are really determined to catch a Snipe in its natural environment. Tacticl – That Jungle Hammock is happening. I’ve been looking for something to hang between trees that didn’t make me look like a hipster literary snob. I think Eric would agree, if you or your family are gonna be outdoors, have some sort of first aid kit in your day pack, glove compartment, saddle bag, wherever. I couldn’t find just a small first aid kit that didn’t assign itself as useful for multiple penetrating wounds, so maybe there is another spot where we could see some options added. But I know I use the heck out of bandages, tape, sting/bite meds, tweezers, alcohol, peroxide, and antibiotic ointments from my door to the car with two little daredevils. Anyway, Eric your work is fantastic. Keep it up. Happy Father’s Day to all the dad’s out there.

Eric D.

6/9/2014 8:20 AM

Yes those Freestyle watches are workhorses for sure and that MTM Spec Ops Predator does look good. I just notice some of the bluetooth speakers were coming solar powered. I'll check that one out further. I just got home from camping with my 8 year old yesterday and we were hurting on the tunes. Here's the link to the Eton: http://www.govx.com/p/12108/etn-rugged-rukus-solar-powered-bluetooth-smartphone-charging-speaker Ah yes - The video games. I've been telling my wife I need to start playing again. Just gotta detach sometimes. Good call on the eye ware. Makes total sense. Paddle boarding - Yes get one. The moment you step upon it you'll be thanking me. Lake, ocean or river doesn't matter. For sure with you on the Headlamps. I keep those things stashed everywhere and Princeton Tec makes some great ones. Also I'm with you on the first aid. We'll be hitting those kits soon. Thanks for the great feedback and additions to the post. This is great stuff and what we're all about here at GovX.

Chris V.

6/11/2014 4:54 AM

Definitely check out the ETON. I can't tell you how great it's been! You won't be disappointed!

Chris V.

6/6/2014 8:26 AM

Forgot to add this to my last post: "'Father' is not a noun – it's a verb," what does that mean to you? - Damn straight, Eric. Any dad can sit on a couch and let Netflix raise his kid. A real dad has kids with grass stains on their clothes, sweaty hair, and who know the feel of sand between their toes better than the feel of carpet between them.

Eric D.

6/9/2014 8:21 AM

Well said! It's hard sometimes not to just plug the little ones into a TV or Video game. That's why we have to stay energized and active. Great stuff!