Have you enjoyed learning about the Hostage Rescue Team boys this week? I sure enjoyed reading about them. I reached out to author Kaylea Cross and asked her if she could invite the boys to the blog for a short interview. I was super excited to learn that they said yes so I hope you enjoy the interview with the heroes from the first four books!
Interview with Matt DeLuca, Clay Bauer, Brad Tucker and Jake Evers
Thank you all for taking the time to visit So Many Reads! I am truly honored to have such men of honor here. To kick things off, can you tell the readers where you served in your military days before you joined the FBI and the HRT?
Jake Evers: I was a Ranger.
Brad “Tuck” Tucker: SF, then Delta. So, Army.
Clay Bauer: I was a Navy sea mammal.
Matt DeLuca: Marine Corps. I started with FORECON and became a Scout/Sniper.
What made you want to join the HRT?
Evers: It was the most challenging job the FBI had to offer. After I got out of the Army I was craving more action and the HRT seemed like a good fit for me.
Tuck: What he said, plus we spend a lot of time stateside, which I like. After being deployed so many times overseas, it’s been a nice change of pace. We do still go overseas for various things, but it’s always short-term.
Bauer: The HRT was the best place for me to use my skill set. After serving my mandatory time as a regular Special Agent, I was going nuts and couldn’t wait to try out. I’m no good behind a desk, I need action and this gives me plenty.
DeLuca: What they all said. My job as commander gives me a lot more paperwork and behind-the-scenes work than I had as an operator. Sometimes I really miss being in on the action.
Does the HRT allow women to join the team?
DeLuca: Not at this time. That policy could change one day though. It’s already changing in our military.
Commander DeLuca, when assembling the HRT team do you look for certain skills to balance out the team much like a baseball team needs a pitcher, catcher, shortstop, etc, or do they all have the same skills?
DeLuca: In a sense, yes, but honestly most of the time It’s pretty clear who belongs after we get through the selection process. The guys themselves have a big say in who makes the final cut. They’re the ones whose lives depend on each member holding his own during an op, so it makes sense that they get to help make the final choices. And sometimes it comes down to personality more than pure operating skills. A team needs to gel into a tight unit, so good chemistry between the members is a must.
Which of the boys on the team is the biggest prankster?
Tuck: Schroder! He’s the newest member of Blue Team and likes to keep everyone on their toes. The guys don’t mind and they all like him a lot. He’s a good guy and a solid operator, not to mention the best medic this team has ever had.
Do you guys have nicknames for each other that are not related to your given names?
Bauer: We call Evers “Farmboy” sometimes, because he comes from a farm in the Midwest. And sometimes we call Schroder “Doc”, since he’s a former Air Force PJ.
Is there an unofficial initiation that takes place when someone joins the HRT?
*guys all grin*
DeLuca: No comment except for I don’t wanna know.
Tuck: Sort of.
Evers: We take new guys out and get them drunk. So drunk they can barely stand up. Then we tie them up and blindfold them before driving them out to a field someplace and dumping them there. No wallet, so no money or ID, and no compass either. If they haven’t found their way back to HQ by check-in time the next morning, we give ‘em extra PT duty once they show up.
Bauer: *shrugs* It’s pretty tame as far as initiations go, since we’ve all been through way worse back in the military. Most guys make it back in time without much problem. I think Schroder cut it really close when he made the team, but to be fair we kept him out drinking a lot longer than some of the other guys before him.
What is the hardest part about being a part of the HRT?
Tuck: The tempo. It’s a grind. Most guys who make it here come to use with either top tier Spec Ops or law enforcement training, but for a lot of new guys it’s still a shock when they see how intense we are with training and operations. We have to be relentless with those things to stay sharp and keep everybody safe. Our motto is Sevare Vitas, to save lives, and we take that seriously.
Favorite type of music/band?
Evers: I like rock, mostly. I can’t stand hip-hop or rap.
Tuck: Country! The rest of these knuckleheads need to get on board and learn what real music sounds like.
Bauer: Rock and alternative rock. Zoe’s recently hooked me on some Goth metal stuff too.
DeLuca: Definitely classic rock.
Favorite place in the world?
Evers: Being right next to Rachel.
Tuck: Any of the Hawaiian islands. Celida and I took a trip there last year and we both loved it. We’re thinking of going back there to elope whenever we can both get time off together in the next few months. I get homesick one in a while though. I’m from the Gulf Coast of Alabama and I miss it sometimes.
Bauer: Being inside my fiancée.
DeLuca: *raises eyebrows at Bauer* Thanks for sharing that with us all. *looks back at Amy* Since I can’t say what he did without Briar killing me once I get home, I’ll say the coast. I’m from San Diego so I love being at the beach or on the ocean.
Evers: Homemade Italian. I’m a total sucker for it.
Tuck: I love good old-fashioned down home cooking. Biscuits and gravy, cheesy grits, real Southern barbecue.
Bauer: Anything I don’t have to cook myself. I’m not the greatest in the kitchen. *quirks lips* Zoe says I make up for it with my expertise in…other areas.
DeLuca: Sorry about him, he’s not usually this talkative. For me, I like Italian and classic American. I’m pretty good with the whole grilling thing, too.
Favorite thing to do when you have downtime?
Evers: Hanging with my girl. If you mean with the guys, then we like to go dirt biking or play paintball, stuff like that.
Tuck: Honestly down time is pretty rare, so if I do get a few days off I like to go away with Celida. If not I’ll putter around the house doing projects and whatever.
Bauer: *smirks*I think you can figure that out pretty easily, given my last few answers.
DeLuca: Shooting. Put me at the shooting range with a long gun and I’m a happy man.
Boxers, briefs or commando (all bloggers have to ask this question)?
Evers: Boxer briefs.
DeLuca: Either or.
Weapon of choice?
Evers: My M4. It’s like a part of me.
Tuck: Yep, definitely my rifle.
Bauer: Yeah, I love my rifle too, but I’m pretty partial to my Beretta too. I’ve had it a long time and it’s my favorite weapon to shoot.
DeLuca: My sniper rifle. Had it since I was in the Corps and it’s my favorite, hands-down. It’s like my baby so I don’t usually let anyone else touch it, but I’ve let Briar use it a couple times. We like to go to the range together when we get the chance. She’s pretty amazing with a long gun.
Anything else you want to tell the readers about the HRT?
Tuck: I’ll field this one. This job isn’t for everyone and our relentless schedule can wear you down, but this is a great group of guys with finely-honed skill sets and we all trust each other with our lives. Being an HRT member is a big commitment, but we all honor it. We’re not just a team, we’re family here.
Thanks for joining me today! It has been an honor.
DeLuca: You’re welcome. Thanks for having us.
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I hope you all enjoyed getting to know the boys a little more! As a thank you for joining us all week, I am giving away a copy of the Hostage Rescue Team Volume 1 (books 1-3) tomorrow, so be sure to check back in!