Kyle Gott, 28, started documenting his life back in 2007 and has since turned it into a career. As an avid military vlogger, Gott posted regularly about his accomplishments and struggles both personally and within the Air Force. He left the Air Force recently, but he’s still keeping his channel up to date and posts regularly about his time as an enlisted airman. Now with more than 166,000 subscribers, Gott posts weekly on Mondays and Wednesdays offering advice and helpful tips to those who might be thinking about enlisting. He even has a second channel with his wife called Gott Love where the two share their life experiences together and what it was like to be in a military family while still living in Las Vegas and travelling the world. As one of the most prominent Military YouTubers, Gott hosted the Best Military YouTuber 2018 awards which was sponsored by the VA.
Gott joined the Air Force in August 2013, made the rank of staff sergeant as an aircraft structural maintenance journeyman, and recently separated on July 1. His last duty station was at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.
The winner of the Best Military YouTuber of 2018 was former sailor Justin Meiners, also known as “JTsuits.” Known for his Navy content and comedy, the 28-year-old Navy veteran has more than 146,000 subscribers. While serving in the Navy, Miners deployed to the Persian Gulf for Operation Iraqi Freedom, where he was attached to the Japan-based Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron Seven Seven as a flight deck crewman.
Meiners began making videos about the Navy after his first deployment but didn’t start consistently vlogging until he was ending his career in the Navy and in school. He said he began posting his content because he noticed a gap in information about the Navy and wanted to “be able to answer any questions you can think of about the Navy.” Since leaving the Navy, Meiners has received a degree from California Lutheran University and started playing video games professionally. He also established his own online merchandise known as GoodSailorBrand. He continues to post a few times a week, where he often answers questions he gets from subscribers and gives a weekly “Seaman Report.” Meiners said he plans to keep up with YouTube as he works from home with his wife, son, two cats and two dogs.
Meiners joined the Navy in May 2010 and served until April 2014, departing as an aviation structural mechanic 2nd class.
Like Gott, another YouTube-famous airmen is Darryl Williams Jr., also known as “Bully Juice.” He has more than 154,000 subscribers and is known for his motivational workout videos as well as his insight for what life is like as an airman. Williams, 29, said that joining the military is a big life step and that his goal behind vlogging is to create common ground for people who maybe want to enlist but don’t have any knowledge or resources. Williams said he wants people to see that he’s just a normal guy so if he can do it anyone can.
“I would self-describe my content as motivational content that’s pushing people to be better than you were before you woke up this morning,” Williams said in an interview with Military Times.
Williams enlisted in 2015 to serve in ground transportation for the Air Force. He has since deployed to United Arab Emirates, where he posted some videos sharing his experiences there. Williams said that his wife was the person who convinced him to start his own channel. His wife is also a famous Youtuber known as LavishlyBritt. With about 115,000 subscribers, she posts beauty videos, lifestyle tips and military spouse content.
Williams, currently lives in Florida with his wife and daughter. He plans to leave the Air Force in 2021. Until then, he says his plans are to continue making Youtube videos while he finishes his enlistment, as well as grow his family and continue to motivate people. After the Air Force, he wants to earn his master’s degree and move to Texas.
Williams entered active duty in March 2015 and is now serving as a staff sergeant with the 94 Logistics Readiness Squadron at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, as a vehicle operator and dispatcher.
With more than 270,000 subscribers, former Army infantry officer Nick Bare, 29, started his channel back in 2014. He began focusing on the his eating habits and offering health or work out tips. While continually posting about fitness, Bare’s channel evolved into vlogs of his life in the Army. Bare left the Army in 2017, but has continued his fitness journey on YouTube while posting frequently about his past experiences in the Army.
Bare attributes what he learned in the military to the success of building his business, Bare Performance Nutrition, which he founded in 2012. ”What I learned in the military is so applicable to running a business — the leadership — but simultaneously the teamwork have helped a great deal,” Bare said.
As an infantry platoon leader, Bare continued to post videos while stationed in Japan for a year, sometimes waking up at 5 a.m. to film videos and staying up until the early hours of the morning editing.
“It was very difficult to keep up a channel while being in the military. I barely slept and didn’t have a social life,” Bare said. “But I was just so passionate about it.”
Bare served in the Army from May 2013 to May 2017.
Known as one of the original military YouTubers, Army Staff Sgt. Narcisus “Archie” Masibay, 33, is an Army medic. Born and raised in the Philippines, he moved to the United States and within a few years enlisted in the Army around 2010. Originally, Masibay was trying to work in public relations for the Army but because no spots were available he became a medic. He started vlogging about his life just for fun before he enlisted, but stopped vlogging in March 2011 when he was on his first duty assignment in Germany.
Over the next few years, he occasionally would give his subscribers updates, but ultimately didn’t begin making videos regularly again until 2016. He is now a well-known YouTuber for all things Army and the military, in general. He regularly brings people from different military occupational specialties on his channel to speak about what it is like to do various jobs. He currently lives in California working as an Army recruiter and has more than 56,000 subscribers.
He plans to stay in the Army for a while and possibly transfer to public relations. He posts a few days a week and plans to continue documenting his life and providing help for soldiers and aspiring soldiers. He says that he is lucky because the Army has “been really beneficial to me” and even has been supportive of his vlogging.
From October 2010 to January 2019, Masibay served as a combat medic specialist in the Army Reserve.
Austen Alexander, who calls California home, is an active-duty sailor who posts weekly on YouTube to an audience of 84,000 subscribers. The 27-year-old offers an inside look into his military life as a military policeman and his efforts to stay fit as an active-duty sailor. Often posting videos to challenge himself, from attempting a Navy SEAL swim test to a Marine vs. sailor obstacle course showdown. Alexander will also post advice videos and tips about juggling life in the military and a personal life, like “My Advice About Military Relationships” and “Going to College vs Joining the Military.” Alexander also devotes time to a fitness and nutrition website he has created, which offers workout plans and advice for those wanting to gain new skills and follow along with his fitness lifestyle. LifterLibrary.com offers both free tips and a members-only section, where you can follow Alexander and his workouts step by step.
Alexander enlisted in the Navy in December 2013. He served in Bahrain in the Naval Security Forces from October 2014 to November 2016. He is currently reporting to the Harbor Patrol Unit at Seal Beach, California.
With more than 123,000 subscribers, Army officer Matt Ward is known for providing both Army and fitness videos. Compared with others, he focuses a lot of his YouTube content on what the lifestyle is like in the Army. He has been posting videos on his channel since before he joined the Army and has been documenting his time in Army since before he arrived at basic training. Ward does a lot of live Q&A’s with his subscribers as well as interviews with other service members on his show. He also has his own merchandise — sweatshirts, tank tops, hats, and t-shirts — that are Army or workout themed.
Ward joined the Army in February 2015 and served as an information technology specialist. Now Ward is a signal officer in the Army Reserve.
Nava The Beast, also known as Armando Nava Jr., 22, is a Marine who boasts over 500,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel. Just recently finishing his time as an active-duty Marine, Nava posts some of the “most painful and gruesome challenges,” on his channel, where nothing is off limits. He has challenged numerous other military service members to take physical fitness tests, including a Navy SEAL, Army Ranger and an airman. “I love to bring service members together from all walks of life and compete for a friendly battle of the branches,” Nava’s YouTube description says.
Not only does Nava enjoy a battle of the branches, but he will also often challenge himself to personal fitness tests, such as attempting 1,000 push ups in 24 hours. Passionate about fitness Nava created “Fuego,”a supplement company that offers products ranging from protein supplements to socks and T-shirts. In the future he plans to start teaching fitness classes to help aspiring soldiers prepare for basic training.
Nava joined the Marines in August 2015 and was promoted to sergeant in November of 2018. Though an administration specialist by trade, he is currently working as a social media influencer in Garden City, New York, while still on active duty with the 1st Marine Corps Recruiting District.