Former Navy SEAL uses firearms expertise to start own business
By James Feichtner
A lot of people dream of being part of America’s finest naval special operations force, the Navy SEALS, but for Geist resident Jesse Barnett, being a Navy SEAL was more of an occupation. Barnett spent nearly 15 years operating as a Navy SEAL, but it was through his experience with the military that led him to his dream of being an entrepreneur.
Growing up, Barnett never had the idea to become a SEAL. In fact, when he first signed up for the Navy he hadn’t heard much about them.
“I never knew about [the SEALS],” Barnett said. “It wasn’t a well-known thing back then. It was still, not secretive, just not well-known. After I got in the Navy it became more well-known. Right after I made the [SEAL] team the movie SEALS just came out. I remember I went to a theater (to see the movie) and I came out and some older gent, he was a nice guy, goes, ‘Doesn’t that make you want to be a SEAL?’ and I was thinking, ‘yeah… I just did that.’”
Just after graduating high school, the Milwaukee, Wis. native joined the U.S. Navy, a path that led him on quite a martial path, operating out of several continents including South America and Europe.
“When I turned 18, that following December I enlisted in the Navy. In 1985 I went in. I spent about three or four years on the fleet of a ship, and I managed to get myself in the SEAL team circuit in 1990. I was on the SEAL team for almost 15 years. I started with SEAL team four, which is a jungle/South America area of operation and then I transitioned to SEAL team two. Prior to that I attended Defense Language Institute for the purpose of learning German,” Barnett said.
After his retirement in 2005, Barnett eventually moved to the Fishers/Geist area where his wife-to-be worked in the medical field nearby. This also allowed him to be closer to his family in Wisconsin.
“My family is from Wisconsin so coming up here was in close proximity to that,” Barnett explained. “I was wanting to come back home and spend time with them. Shortly thereafter I began contracting as a diplomatic security contractor, high-threat, low-profile kind of stuff in Afghanistan and Iraq, so 2007 to last year I was doing that.”
But Barnett’s contracting work kept him away from home most of the time. He decided he wanted to follow his dream as an entrepreneur.
“I always wanted to be an entrepreneur,” he said. “That contracting made good money, but I was gone several months out of the year. So I had been establishing a network [in Fishers]and I got in touch with Launch Fishers, and John Wechsler there was kind of a mentor, kind of helped me out, liked what I was doing. He was a great supporter for me. He introduced me to people to help me develop something. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. I had quite a few ideas.”
With his extensive military background, Barnett used advanced shooting range technology and his weapon expertise to put together Poseidon Experience, giving customers a full firearms training experience unlike any other.
“Obviously I have a lot of background in firearms, and realized this technology existed and that there was a huge demand to get taught,” Barnett said. “I felt that this would be a great opportunity to get on the ground floor of this concept. In addition to that I felt that it was a fruitful experience in teaching people to really shoot. Their not just coming and pinging rounds, you’re removing the weapon from your holster, you’re moving and you’re comfortable and you’re changing rounds, you’re manipulating the weapon properly.
Barnett feels that Poseidon’s training courses aren’t like other firearms courses due to the lack of hands-on experience, promoting “awareness” and “social responsibility.”
“The training really isn’t readily available,” he said. “It’s not robust. You can go to a conceal carry class and you’ll never pick up a gun. You’re going to hear something about rules and reciprocity, but you’re not going learn any skills, you’re not going to learn your limitations, you’re not going to discover potentials or identify weaknesses and mitigate those.”
For more information on Poseidon Experience, visit www.poseidonexperience.com or call 388-5242
About Jesse Barnett
Family: Wife, Amarilis. Three stepsons, Francisco, Carlos and Andres
Lives in: Fishers/Geist
What do you like about Fishers/Geist: It’s an affluent, intelligent, caring community. People take care of their homes. They have pride. It’s just good down-home, Midwest people.
Favorite Restaurant: Mama Carolla’s, I love that, and Matteo’s in Noblesville. Those are two places we really enjoy. For a place to just drop in and eat, Sahm’s Bar and Grill.
Favorite food: Italian, Sushi
Favorite Movie: I’ll disappoint the readers if I say something like “Casablanca”, but I loved the “Raiders of the Lost Ark” series, I love “Braveheart”, I loved “300”. If you want to get into the manly movies, I liked “Gladiator.” I’ve watched that like 13 times. I love John Wayne movies.
Favorite Leisurely Activities: Hiking, traveling, boating, biking, getting out and moving around. We have a boat on Geist [reservoir]. We take it up to Lake Michigan and we love that. We’re talking of taking it to Lake Monroe.
Favorite places to travel: I’ve been on every continent except Antarctica. I can’t wait to go down to Katmandu. I want to go to Peru. I want to see La Paz in Bolivia and go see the Nazca Lines and Machu Picchu and Pumapunku. I’m big into huge, monolithic structures. I love Europe.