Gary J. Bartels, Jr. – Founder, Executive Director, Chairman of the Board

1-9-2006 Salman al Juburi mission 27

Gary graduated from Kountze High School and then completed his Undergraduate degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a Bachelors of Science in Systems Engineering where he was also a member of the Army Football Varsity Team.  Following graduation from West Point, he served as an Infantry Rifle Platoon Leader and Rifle Company Executive Officer in the 101st Airborne Division, 3rd and 1st Battalions, 502nd Infantry Regiment and completed the first of two combat tours to Iraq.  Upon returning from combat, Gary was reassigned to Fort Drum, NY as a member of the 174th Infantry Brigade, where he served as a Team Chief, Observer-Controller/Trainer, and Special Assistant to Iraq’s 3rd Public Order Brigade in Baghdad, Iraq and completed the second of his two combat tours.  Gary completed his military service on May 31, 2010, and for his eight years of service in the Army, he was awarded the Bronze Star, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (2nd Award), National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with one Bronze Star, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Combat Infantryman Badge, Ranger Tab, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, Distinguished Member of the 502nd Infantry Regiment, and an Honorable Discharge.  Gary also serves as the Secretary for his West Point Class and enjoys spending time with his family, hunting and supporting those that benefit from OATH, Inc.  Gary is a Child of God and allows his faith and love of Jesus Christ to guide him in his life.

Joshua Courtney – Operations Director, Board Member


Joshua graduated from Leakey High School where he was selected to attend the Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership foundation and The Presidential Classroom for Young Americans.  He attended the University of Houston where he gathered as many life experiences as possible.  He spent many years in restaurants working his way up from a dishwasher to Executive Chef and General Manager.  The better part of the last decade has been spent in the Oil and Gas Industry in the field of Drilling Technology, where his hard work, leadership, and desire for knowledge have led him from the position of Field Service Technician to a Drilling Systems Consultant in destinations worldwide.  Having circled the globe three times, Joshua knows that his heart and his home will always be in Texas.  Joshua and his wife have two children that share his love of everything outdoors.  His enjoyment of outdoor life and hunting is only surpassed by that of his love of country and sense of community and responsibility for our Veterans.  Having a large number of family members that have served in various branches of the military, Joshua has focused his drive to ensure that all of those that benefit from OATH, Inc. are treated with the highest levels of respect and dignity that they deserve.

Roger Johnson – Promotional Director, Board Member

1403230082872Roger Johnson was born in the Appalachian Mountains of Eastern Kentucky and grew up working on the family farm.  When not working on the farm he would go hunting, fishing, and camping and fell in love with the outdoors.  As a child, he always dreamed of hunting big game across North America and the world.  Today, Roger is the Senior Products Manager for DK Outdoor Adventures TV where he brokers hunting adventures for 56 outfitters.  He also works with outdoor products manufacturers setting up various outfitters with pro-staff pricing.  Roger also markets for five outdoor shows on four different networks and two web broadcast networks setting up sponsorships and selling advertising spots to small businesses.  The passion and love of the outdoors is a fire in his heart, and he is anxious to support OATH via all of his many industry connections and networking options.

John Knox – Financial Director, Board Member


John graduated from Dulles High School and then completed his undergraduate degree at Texas A&M University where he earned his B.A. in Business Administration and Accounting.  He is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Texas and has practiced public accounting for nearly 30 years.   He is the managing partner of Sandersen Knox & Co., LLP, a full-service CPA firm in Sugar Land, Texas.  John has been a member of the Board of Directors of Sienna Plantation Management District for 7 years and has served on numerous non-profit boards supporting youth sports.  He is a life member of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo and has volunteered many hours in support of youth and education.  John, his wife and four incredible kids love the outdoors and enjoy hunting and fishing as a family.  John is eager to support the Veterans of OATH !

Mark Smith – Legal Director, Board Member

Images supplied for HCEC Brochure for EMS Week 2012

Mark graduated from Pearland High School and then completed his Undergraduate degree at Texas A&M University where he earned his B.A. in English and Journalism.  He also graduated from the University of Houston Law Center with his Juris Doctorate and from Texas A&M University with his M.B.A.  He also holds the certification of Senior Professional in Human Resources.  Mark is a member of the Board of Directors for Harris County Emergency Corps (a 911 EMS agency).  He is also co-owner of OlsonSmith Solutions, LLC, an emerging IT staffing and consulting firm.  In 2004, Mark formed his own law firm in the Pearland area where he practices primarily in civil litigation, family law, corporate law, government law, and employment law.  In addition to supporting our veterans through his efforts with OATH, Inc., Mark is a sports and fitness enthusiast, having participated in several races including the Tough Mudder.

Brad French – Chaplain, Board Member

1048234_817242555006607_619838598586111731_oBrad grew up in an oil and gas family that moved all over, but mostly in the Houston area, where he joined the Navy at the age of 18.  He completed his undergraduate degree at Touro University in Business Administration.  He is currently a 3rd year Seminary student at Azusa Pacific University, Masters of Divinity.  His tours of duty included RTC Great Lakes (Basic Training), Dam Neck, VA (A School), San Diego, CA (USS Belleau Wood), Long Beach, CA (USS Belleau Wood), Mayport, FL (USS Spruance) NRD Dallas, NRD Houston, NRD San Antonio, Pensacola, FL (Instructor NORU), Coronado, CA (SEAL/SWCC Scout Team).  Brad has worked as Pastoral Assistant at Ocean Beach FBC, and he founded ATOM Ministry to minister to SEAL/SWCC candidates.  He also served as The Rock Church Military Minister, Director/Mentor, Camp Hope, PTSD USA.  Highlights of his distinguished military career include three deployments, Instructor of the Year 2010, Region West Sailor of the Year 2005, NRD San Antonio Sailor of the Year 2005, Shore Sailor of the Year, Texas Region 2005, and he joined the Chief’s Mess in 2006.  Brad’s calling to serve God and his people did not come without many years of doubt and struggles, feeling unworthy to be pastor/chaplain/mentor in any capacity, till he took these verses to heart: 1 Corinthians 1:26-29 — “26 For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; 27 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, 28 and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, 29 so that no man may boast before God.”  As a father of six and husband to a beautiful wife, to say he is blessed is an understatement.  As a man called by God to serve his people, Brad is honored to serve OATH and its people by bringing a servants heart, a love of family, and the outdoors.

Regina Bartels – Secretary of the Board, Board Member


Regina graduated from Cornwall Central High School in Cornwall, NY and then completed her Undergraduate degree at State University of New York where she earned her B.A. in Elementary Education.  Regina currently works as a Language Arts Instructional Coach for the Katy Independent School District.  As she is considered a vital part of the Katy ISD leadership, she has been hand selected to attend Columbia University’s Teacher’s College for three consecutive years.  As a wife of a Disabled Veteran, Regina is passionate about supporting veterans and their families as they transition after military service.  Outside of work and OATH, Inc., Regina is passionate about her three small children and enjoys scrapbooking and reading.