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Military Fresh Network showcases the individual behind the uniform

When Jimmy Cox set out to create a network of military-connected professionals, he was laser focused on what he knew, the Army. He didn’t even know a sailor, airman or Marine. What he knew was, he wanted to show a more personal side of military service. Army Fresh was created.

Very soon after, he was forced to create Air Force Fresh, Navy Fresh, and Semper Fresh because of the overwhelming demand from members of other branches. What started out with Jimmy Cox’s after-work passion project — the overall Military Fresh Network (MFN) — now has 194,000 members with a 5.5 million influencer reach.

“No one was associating the word ‘fresh’ with the military,” Cox said. “The ‘fresh’ concept is about a state of mind and I wanted to tell the stories of those who serve, get behind the uniform and get to know the person wearing it.”

“No one was associating the word ‘fresh’ with the military,” Cox said. “The ‘fresh’ concept is about a state of mind and I wanted to tell the stories of those who serve, get behind the uniform and get to know the person wearing it.”

The MFN is still very much the network its founder describes but it’s also a way for military-connected businesses, creatives and influencers to connect directly with their customers and fans.

It’s also a consulting group, as well as a marketing and creative agency. It’s a veteran-owned business, available to anyone who wants its services, military or civilian. From the outset, he wanted to create something that was unorthodox but organic.

“It was all about building the community and purpose first,” Cox said. “I was able to build it and not be thirsty for revenue because it was bigger than revenues.”

Cox says developing the MFN purpose was about vision and discipline. He started the project while he was still in the active Army, serving as a recruiter. Having a job meant he could have the patience and income he needed to roll out his vision as he saw fit.

“We were aligned off this book in the Bible,” he recalled. “Habakkuk two, verse two: write down the vision and keep it simple so that he or she who reads it can run with it. So it started very simple, Army Fresh. No logo, just fresh.”

That was 2015. Five years later, Cox is celebrating not just the MFN’s individual success stories, but also the rollout of an “athleisure” line, the signature “Fresh Flask” and, after long last, revenues.

“It’s a one-stop shop,” Cox said. “No matter what you’re into or where in the country you’re doing it, our network can connect you with like-minded individuals who can help guide you through what you’re doing.”

Read Jimmy’s story on page 26 of the December issue of the Military Influencer Magazine.

Cox spent 23 years in the Army, much of that as a recruiter, and then 10 more years as an Army civilian. While working as a civilian, he would sign checks worth millions to outside advertising agencies and other companies to assist Army recruiting efforts. That’s when he realized he could be doing more.

“They didn’t know anything about the military, but they were telling me, a recruiter, how to get people in the Army,” Cox recalled. “I realized I was on the wrong side of the fence. This isn’t your grandad’s military. We could be doing this.”

His first five-year plan led to the establishment of MFN — a disabled veteran and minority-owned and operated agency, the number one search result for military networks. His next five year plan involves gunning for those agencies, knowing he can show the next generation why they should join the military.

“I’m going to be 51,” he said. “But what we’ve created is something new for the millennials and Gen-Z’ers: purpose over product. Tomorrow is a fresh new day and as long as you’re living, you keep living that mindset.”

Cox didn’t have a guide when he started what became MFN but he’s created a guidance system for those who come after him. More importantly, he knows he couldn’t have done it by himself.

“I give all the praise to the team who are right here with me pushing this forward,” Cox said. “From the start, I couldn’t do this alone so I have to give all credit and a big shout out to the people who support me and this vision.”

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