VETPAW was founded in 2012 by Ryan Tate, a former post 9-11 Marine who saw what was happening to elephants and rhinos in Africa and realized that, like himself, U.S. Veterans trained on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan in counter-insurgency warfare are remarkably well-suited to re-purpose those skills in the battle to save African endangered species.

The goals of Veterans Empowered to Protect African Wildlife (VETPAW) are to provide meaningful employment to skilled post-9/11 U.S. Veterans and conserve critically endangered African species and their communities and ecosystems. Iconic and irreplaceable wildlife is on the brink of extinction due to illegal poaching, and the crisis has far-reaching and catastrophic consequences. VETPAW utilizes the unrivalled expertise of veterans to train and support African rangers and to provide sustainable solutions. By hiring the men and women of the U.S. military, we also facilitate career development and personal growth.