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Team Rubicon is an International non-government organization (NGO) founded by U.S. Marines William McNulty and Jacob "Jake" Wood.[1] Team Rubicon identifies itself as a veteran service organization that uses disaster response to help reintegrate veterans back into civilian life.[2][3]

Team Rubicon
Team Rubicon logo
Team Rubicon logo
MottoDisasters are our business. Veterans are our passion.
FormationJanuary 12, 2010; 9 years ago (2010-01-12)
FounderWilliam McNulty
Jacob "Jake" Wood
Founded atEl Segundo, California U.S.
TypeNon-governmental organization (NGO)
HeadquartersLos Angeles, California U.S.
  • Worldwide
Area served
ServicesDisaster relief
Veteran integration
Veteran service organization
Jake Wood in Haiti in 2010 on first Team Rubicon operation
Palantir mapping screenshot during Hurricane Sandy operation on the Rockaways
Palantir HQ on green school bus during Hurricane Sandy operation on the Rockaways
Team Rubicon Medic


Team Rubicon formed in January 2010 following the Haiti earthquake, when William McNulty and Jacob "Jake" Wood[2][4] led a medical team into Port-au-Prince three days after the earthquake. The first Team Rubicon was an initial team of eight. They gathered funds and medical supplies from friends and family and flew into the Dominican Republic. They rented a truck, loaded their gear, and headed west to Haiti. The team treated thousands of patients, traveling to camps deemed “too dangerous” by other aid organizations. They ventured outside the traditional scale of disaster response, focusing on those who would be overlooked, untreated.[3][5]

The experience was the beginning of Team Rubicon.[6] Team Rubicon wanted to solve two problems: (1) Inadequate disaster response which is often slow to respond, has an antiquated infrastructure, and is not using the best technological solutions or well-trained members and (2) inadequate veteran reintegration into civilian life, where military veterans, whose training, skills, and experience, makes them very effective in disaster response, can reduce suicide within their community and address integration issues by helping others in an opportunity to provide service to others.[2]

The death of fellow Rubicon member Clay Hunt from suicide re-focused Team Rubicon's organizational mission on to veteran reintegration. The team's role in domestic disasters is both to provide humanitarian assistance and as an outlet to let veterans continue to serve.[2][7] Similar to other veteran integration programs using models found in initiatives like Team Red, White & Blue and the Wounded Warrior Project, Team Rubicon shifted its focus on helping veterans – the organizations often work together.[8][9][10][11]

The name Rubicon is from the phrase "crossing the Rubicon," an idiom to mean passing a point of no return.[1] The red and dark gray logo is made up of a sideways cross, a traditional symbol of first aid but here on its side as a departure from the traditional, with a river running through the logo, as a symbol of the gap between disasters and disaster relief.[12]

Wood and his work with Team Rubicon were profiled alongside fellow vet Eric Greitens and The Mission Continues founder as the subject of Time columnist Joe Klein's 2015 book, Charlie Mike.[13][14]

J.J. Watt, defensive end for the Houston Texans, raised an unexpected $37 million towards the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts,[15] and so consulted SBP, a disaster relief organization based in New Orleans, and Team Rubicon for how to best spend the funds.[16]

Scope of workEdit

Since the Haiti earthquake, Team Rubicon has deployed on over 175 operations including international operations in Pakistan (2010 Pakistan floods), Chile (2010 Chile tsunami), Burma (2010 Thai-Burma border conflict), Sudan, Ecuador, Nepal, Greece, and Turkey.

Domestically, Team Rubicon has responded to disasters such as Hurricane Matthew, Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Debby, Hurricane Isaac, Hurricane Sandy,[17] and the tornado destruction of Moore, Oklahoma.[18][19]

In June 2015, Team Rubicon completed its 100th disaster mission, Operation Five Points in Aston, Pennsylvania.[20]


In 2013, General (Ret.) David Petraeus joined Team Rubicon's Board of Advisors.[21][22] Petraeus promoted the work of veteran reintegration, citing its importance to soldiers returning from war.[23]

Three years later, in 2016, civil rights expert Ehsan Zaffar joined the Board of Advisors.[24]

Additional high-profile advisors are General Stanley McChrystal, USA (Ret.) and former New York Stock Exchange CEO Duncan Niederauer, who serves on the board of directors.[3] General James T. Conway, USMC (Ret.) and Lt Gen Russel L. Honoré, USA (Ret.) as well as private sector business people Andy Bessette from Travelers Insurance, Jeff Dailey, CEO of Farmers Group, Gregg Lemkau from Goldman Sachs, John Pitts from Kirkland & Ellis, Richard Serino, former Deputy Administrator of FEMA, and Jeff Smith from FedEx serve as advisors to Team Rubicon. Many are former military or have logistical expertise that helps guide Team Rubicon.[25][26]

Additional high-profile supporters are former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.[27][28] Former President Bush included Team Rubicon as one of the case studies of as part of its research on veteran serving nonprofits (VSNP).[29][30]


In 2012, Team Rubicon became a nonprofit partner of the Got Your 6 campaign which was supported by the U.S. entertainment industry.[31]

In 2012, Team Rubicon used Palantir Technologies software for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts to assist with geo-spatial and temporal analysis as a way to leverage technology to make response more effective and more efficient.[32][33][34] During Hurricane Sandy, a volunteer team of technologists from Palantir went on site with Team Rubicon, setting up a command station in a green school bus, creating customized software solutions that consolidated previous paper form systems into a cloud-based, data-driven support for volunteers to coordinate relief efforts.[35][36]

In 2016, Team Rubicon was named Tough Mudder's official U.S. charity partner.[37]

Clay Hunt Fellows ProgramEdit

The Clay Hunt Fellows Program is a 12-month leadership development fellowship created by Team Rubicon.[38] It is named after Clay Hunt, one of the original members of Team Rubicon who suffered from PTSD and depression and committed suicide in 2011.[39][40] It was founded in 2013.[41] On February 12, 2015, a veteran suicide prevention bill, the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act or the Clay Hunt SAV "Suicide Prevention for American Veterans" Act, named in his honour, became law.[42][43]

Awards and honorsEdit

  • 2011: GQ Foundation, Winner, Better Men Better World, Jake Wood[44]
  • 2012: CNN Hero, Jake Wood[45][46]
  • 2012: Classy Awards, National Small Charity of the Year[47]
  • 2012: Grinnell Prize[48][49]
  • 2012: Chase American Giving Awards, "Heroes and Leaders" National Award[50]
  • 2015: Presidential Leadership Scholar, William McNulty[28][51]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Toner, Kathleen (29 March 2012). "In the worst calamities, these veterans rush to the rescue". CNN.
  2. ^ a b c d Wood, Jake (December 2011). "A new mission for veterans – disaster relief". TEDxSanDiego.
  3. ^ a b c Dickman, Kyle (25 August 2016). "The Future of Disaster Relief Isn't the Red Cross". Outside.
  4. ^ "Ted Speaker Jake Wood, CEO, Team Rubicon". TED.
  5. ^ "2012 Grinnell Prize: Jacob Wood and William McNulty, Team Rubicon" (Video). Grinnell College. 5 September 2012.
  6. ^ Klein, Joe (29 August 2011). "The New Greatest Generation". Time. 178 (8): 26–34. ISSN 0040-781X.
  7. ^ "Brothers in arms refocusing efforts – CNN Video". CNN. 30 March 2012.
  8. ^ "Team Red, White & Blue". Team Red, White & Blue.
  9. ^ "Wounded Warrior".
  10. ^ Greg (12 March 2013). "Team Rubicon & Team RWB Join Forces – Blog". Team Red, White & Blue.
  11. ^ "Wounded Warrior Project and Team Rubicon Develop Resilient Cities". Wounded Warrior Project. 30 March 2016.
  12. ^ "About: What's with the logo?". Team Rubicon Global.
  13. ^ Klein, Joe (2015). Charlie Mike: A True Story of War and Finding the Way Home. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-1-451-67730-0. OCLC 908108575.
  14. ^ Colbert, Stephen; Greitens, Eric; Wood, Jake (26 November 2015). "Veterans Eric Greitens And Jake Wood Continue Serving" (Video interview). The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
  15. ^ "Houston Flood Relief Fund - - Web". Retrieved 2017-09-06.
  16. ^ Peter, Josh. "Relief requires dollars, more sense". USA Today. p. 03c. Retrieved November 6, 2017.
  17. ^ Torgovnick May, Kate (6 November 2012). "Deploying veterans for disaster relief: A Q&A with Jake Wood of Team Rubicon". TED Blog.
  18. ^ Herbst, Diane (14 September 2015). "This non-profit utilizes veterans' skills for emergency response". New York Post.
  19. ^ Husock, Howard (10 September 2015). "Vets Who Still Serve: After Disasters, Team Rubicon Picks Up the Pieces". Forbes.
  20. ^ Heinze, Justin (30 June 2015). "Disaster Relief Organization Led By Veterans Arrives In Delaware County". Radnor, PA Patch.
  21. ^ Goldberg, Eleanor (29 April 2013). "David Petraeus Volunteers With Team Rubicon, Mission Continues, Other Organizations To Help Vets Reintegrate". The Huffington Post.
  22. ^ Smith, Ben; Orley, Emily (28 April 2013). "General David Petraeus' New Campaign". BuzzFeed.
  23. ^ Perez, Rosie; Wallace, Nicolle; Petraeus, David; Tiglao, Lourdes; Rouse, Kristen (11 August 2015). "Team Rubicon Featured on The View" (Video). The View.
  24. ^ "Get to Know Ehsan Zaffar on Our Board of Advisors". Team Rubicon. 15 September 2016.
  25. ^ O'Neill, Patrick (2 August 2016). "Get to Know Richard Serino on Team Rubicon's Board of Advisors". Team Rubicon.
  26. ^ DeVorak, Duane (21 August 2017). "Team Rubicon Appoints Four New Members to Its Advisory Board" (Press release). Team Rubicon.
  27. ^ Raddatz, Martha (23 February 2014). "President G.W. Bush and Jake Wood from Team Rubicon on ABC 2/23/14". This Week with George Stephanopoulos.
  28. ^ a b Page, Susan (1 March 2015). "Presidents Bush and Clinton unite to train new leaders". USA Today.
  29. ^ "Case Studies on Veteran-Serving Non-Profit Organizations". Bush Center at George W. Bush Presidential Center. 1 October 2015.
  30. ^ Insights Informing the Concerns of Post-9/11 Veterans & Families. Case Study: Team Rubicon (PDF). Bush Center at George W. Bush Presidential Center. 1 October 2015.
  31. ^ Molloy, Tim (9 May 2012). "Hollywood Unites Behind 'Got Your 6' Initiative for Veterans". TheWrap.
  32. ^ "Hurricane Sandy Relief Effort". Palantir Technologies. 2012.
  33. ^ Neu, Christopher (21 November 2012). "When Nerds Cross the Rubicon: How Military Veterans Are Revolutionizing Disaster Response Networks through Better Technology". TechChange.
  34. ^ Wood, Jake (4 June 2013). "A Story Of Accidental, World-Changing Collaboration" (Video). Palantir Technologies.
  35. ^ "Palantir embeds with Team Rubicon for Hurricane Sandy Relief [Part I]" (Video). Palantir Technologies. 10 April 2014.
  36. ^ "Bringing Order to Chaos with Team Rubicon in the Wake of Hurricane Sandy [Part II]" (Video). Palantir Technologies. 14 April 2014.
  37. ^ Geist, Willie (2 August 2016). "How Tough Mudder, Team Rubicon build bonds among vets and first responders" (Video). The Today Show.
  38. ^ "Clay Hunt Fellowship Program". Team Rubicon.
  39. ^ Pitts, Byron (3 March 2012). "The life and death of Clay Hunt" (Transcript). 60 Minutes. CBS News.
  40. ^ Pitts, Clay (3 March 2012). "The Life and Death of Clay Hunt" (Video). 60 Minutes. CBS.
  41. ^ "Team Rubicon Announces First Class of Clay Hunt Fellows Program" (Press release). Team Rubicon. 19 December 2013.
  42. ^ "H.R.203 – Clay Hunt SAV Act 114th Congress (2015–2016)". 12 October 2012.
  43. ^ Brayton, Jenn (12 February 2015). "The Clay Hunt Act: What the President Just Signed" (Includes video of ceremony).
  44. ^ "GQ Names Former Marine Winner in 2011 Better Men Better World Search" (Press release). GQ. 26 October 2011.
  45. ^ "This Year's Heroes: Jake Wood, Community Crusader". CNN Heroes. March 2012.
  46. ^ "CNN Hero: Jake Wood" (video). CNN. March 2012.
  47. ^ "Classy Awards winners". The San Diego Union-Tribune. 24 September 2012.
  48. ^ "2012: Jacob Wood and William McNulty". Grinnell College. 2012.
  49. ^ Drake, George; Wood, Jacob; McNulty, William (14 May 2013). "Jacob Wood and William McNulty: Team Rubicon – Military Veterans and Emergency Response" (Video). Grinnell College.
  50. ^ "More Than Me Foundation Wins $1 Million Chase Donation at the Second Annual American Giving Awards on NBC (NYSE:JPM)" (Press release). JPMorgan Chase. 10 December 2012.
  51. ^ "William McNulty, Co-Founder and CEO, Team Rubicon Global, Class of 2015". Presidential Leadership Scholars. 7 July 2015.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit