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Military uniform accessory company in Killeen set to expand, bring more jobs to the city

Posted at 3:37 PM, Sep 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-19 19:49:07-04

USAMM, a company founded by U.S. Army veteran Jared Zabaldo, was born after he realized how hard it was to get items he needed for his uniform.

”The nearest base from where I was living in the state of Oregon was Fort Luis Washington, which was a couple of hours each way,” said Jared Zabaldo, CEO of USAMM. “To go and purchase what would have been an $8 product.”

Now USAMM is thriving in Killeen; specializing in making and selling accessories like medals, ribbons, and name tags for military uniforms that can be delivered right to your door.

There’s just one problem, whether you’re making things like shadow boxes, pulling orders, or packing them up to be shipped out, there’s simply not enough room in the facility they have now.

”We can’t fit almost another human in this building right here,” said Zabaldo. “So, we’re doing what we can here and we’ll always have an administrative office in the state of Oregon.”

One of the people already hard at work in the current location is another Army vet, Travis Wood.

Wood said he started out as a customer and didn’t even realize it until he applied for the job.

”The name sounded really familiar and then I get an email from USAMM reminding me that it is holiday season and if I wanted to brush up my uniform,” said Travis Wood, U.S. Army veteran and USAMM employee. “Then I remembered I had been a customer for USAMM.”

A company he is now proud to work for because he gets to continue serving his community and his fellow service members.

”Especially when it comes to some special orders like the one at my desk right now,” said Wood. “I am building medals for a shadow box for a Vietnam vet.”

It’s things like that shadow box that make USAMM the thriving company it is today, and why they need to expand.

”If everything goes well, we’d like to break ground in December or January,” said Zabaldo. “The builders we’ve talked to, we think we can get it done by maybe January or February of 2024.”

Zabaldo said it will take around $4 million to build the new facility but for now ... they plan to work with what they have and fill as many orders as possible.