Justin Gingrich (the man behind GTI) served 10 years on active duty in such honored units as the 3rd Ranger Battalion (1992-1996), 20th Special Forces Group (1996-1998), and the Ranger Training Brigade (1998-2001). Justin is also a police academy graduate and served in Iraq with a civilian security firm in 2005. For two months, Justin worked in post-Katrina New Orleans providing much-needed security for the private sector. He also instructs private security contractors, U.S. soldiers, State Department employees and civilians in the art of patrolling, demolitions, shooting and CQB techniques.
In 1998 he began in the cutlery industry and since then Justin has been on the cutting edge of innovation. He started with American Tomahawk company where he pioneered the modern tactical tomahawk. In 2001 he founded Ranger Knives and continued to design tomahawks and hard use knives. In 2002 he left American Tomahawk company to focus on his own knife and tomahawk designs. In 2008 he sold Ranger Knives to Ontario Knife company while continuing to do design and prototype work for the Ranger line. In 2009 he formed GTI (Gingrich Tactical Innovations) under GTI Justin continues to be on the cutting edge in the tactical market not only with his hard use knives and tomahawks but also with other tactical products that fill gaps in the tactical marketplace. He has a list of accomplishments that any blade smith and knife designer would be proud of. Since starting his own company he has been recognized as the “go-to” guy for companies and individuals wanting to do a new blade design.
What follows is a short list of some of the elite units and companies that have sought out Justin’s expertise and professional approach to the design, prototype, and production process involved to get the company and individual exactly what they want and need to fulfill their mission set.
In 2008 Justin was commissioned to do a tomahawk specifically for Task Force 1st Battalion 153rd Infantry upon their return from Iraq.
In late 2008 early 2009, the Marine Corps EOD unit came to him and asked him to design a knife. This being the first time the Marine Corps EOD unit had ever commissioned a knife to be made specifically for them and the special environment in which they were working in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In 2010 Justin was the first knife maker to ever be commissioned by the US Army Ranger Training Brigade to do a knife for them, not only a knife but their 60th Anniversary knife. The blade was featured in Tactical Knives in 2011
In 2011 Justin was again commissioned by a military unit to design and produce a blade just for them. The 95th Civil Affairs Brigade out of Ft. Bragg.
In 2012 Justin was approached to this time do Jump Master Knife for the following units on Ft. Bragg 8th Psyop, 5th BN 1SWTG, 3rd BN SWTG.
In 2013 and again in 2015 he was asked to design, prototype and produce a knife for the Psyop Regimental Association.
At the same time, the civilian market had taken notice of his talents and added to his list of notable “firsts” in the civilian marketplace.
Justin designed and prototyped the first ever Damascus bladed gentlemen’s folder for Queen Cutlery. This was something that had never been done since they opened their doors in 1902.
“When 5.11 Tactical decided to create hard-use tools for use by serious Operators in the real world they reached out to Justin Gingrich of GTI to leverage their expertise. With GTI's extensive background in designing and building tactical tomahawks and large fixed blades and their solid reputation for integrity and dedication, the decision was simple. 5.11's PeaceMaker Tomahawk and CFK 7 Camp and Field Knife are the first two products to make it through the design and development process and additional designs will follow. If you're a fan of GTI you're really going to be impressed by the products of this new strategic collaboration.”
Ranger Up, an apparel company, has also leveraged Justin’s talents. To date, they have done two successful limited edition blades designed and produced by Justin.