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Posted: February 08, 2017

Black Rifle Coffee pledges to hire 10,000 veterans

The pledge was in response to Starbucks' pledge to hire 10,000 refugees

Freshly-roasted espresso coffee beans sit to cool. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Freshly-roasted espresso coffee beans sit to cool. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

By Brianna Chambers

Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Zuri Davis contributed to this report.

Starbucks faced backlash and threats of boycotts after announcing it would provide 10,000 new jobs for refugees in response to President Donald Trump's immigration ban. Others said they would be sure to make more coffee runs to the coffee giant in support of the move. Many accused the company of putting refugees before veterans.

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On Tuesday, Army Special Forces veteran and Black Rifle Coffee CEO Evan Hafer announced his plans to hire 10,000 veterans in response.

The "Fox & Friends" guest said hiring veterans was not a PR stunt.

"Our plan is to build 600 stores in the next six years. I'm gonna try to push this forward with the community behind me," Hafer said.

Starbucks has since responded to their critics with a simple message: "Check your facts."

"We would like to set the record straight," veteran Starbucks workers wrote in a statement. "In November 2013, Howard and former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates announced Starbucks' commitment to hire 10,000 veterans and military spouses over the next five years.

"Howard and his wife Sheri visited military bases to get to know our nation’s service members. They poured substantial personal financial resources into their own family foundation to design plans for transitioning service members. Starbucks established military family stores at over 30 bases around the country. Howard encouraged Starbucks senior leaders to visit our military bases and get to know our military on a personal level, knowing it would lead them to hire more veterans and their spouses."

The statement went on to explain that the coffee giant has hired more than 8,800 veterans and veterans' spouses within the first four years of its pledge.

"Without question we will reach the 10,000 goal early, and we will keep going," the company said of its 2018 goal.

According to an article by Allen West, a Fox News contributor and executive director of the Board for National Center for Policy Analysis, Black Rifle Coffee employs about 50 people. Black Rifle Coffee retweeted a link to West's article on Twitter.

The Utah-based company, founded two years ago, has a more than 50 percent hiring rate of veterans as employees, according to Fox News. Seven team members are listed on the company's "Meet the Team" web page.

"We hold true to our values as conservative, pro-military, pro-law enforcement,and pro-2nd Amendment American citizens and never waiver in those values in order to simply make the maximum amount of profit," executive vice president and chief operating officer Scott Bollinger wrote in his bio on the company website. Bollinger wrote that he served in the United States Army Special Forces for 24 years before retiring as a command sergeant major of a Special Forces Group.

Black Rifle Coffee, which sells roasts like the "Caffeine and Hate," "Coffee or Die," "Murdered Out" and "Girls for Gunslingers" blends, does not have any brick and mortar stores, but products can be purchased online on the company's website. The company also sells T-shirts, hats, mugs and other apparel and gear.


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