How the Syndicate began. I received orders to Korea and made my trek in March 2004. I left Norfolk Va to head to Seattle Washington to catch my flight to Korea. There I met Mike while waiting for my flight. We both had earphones in our ears but hit each other with that cordial “Sup Bruh” nod. As I sat in the airport we struck up a conversation. We were both headed to Osan and we felt like it be cool to stay in touch when we got there. 15 Hours later we are tired and frustrated and finally in the “Land of the Morning Calm.” As we get our bags we are told that our sponsors are waiting for us when we exit the terminal. As luck would have it, my sponsor was Mike’s sponsor, so we jumped into the truck. We left to hit the squadron for in-processing and pretty much clowned the entire time we were in-processing. Once finished we were told that there was no room for us in the dormitory so we would have to stay in the Air Force Inn. We wound up being down the hall from one another and became running partners. As time went by we realized just what was going to happen next. Our rooms in the dormitory were ready for move in and as luck would have it, he was my suitemate.
With all that said, we became friends and started learning about Osan Air Base as newbies together. During our walks throughout the base and outside the gate in Songtan City, we would see cliques of people everywhere and it didn’t take long before we were approached by those cliques. I believe Mike was approached first and later I was approached. I had long known about the Fraternal Brotherhood at Osan, Kunsan, Suwon and Seoul, but this seemed different. You see I was stationed at Osan in 1989 and the bases were click-tight. So upon my second trip to the ROK, I came with a different mindset. So this time when I was approached I simply said, look bruh I’m not the type to follow a group blindly and honestly, if I want a group I will create it myself.
April 2004, the Syndicate was created. It started as group of like-minded people who understood that we needed each other to make it there while on the ROK (Republic of Korea). The group was established inside the Intelligence community and we didn’t recruit we simply went by word of mouth. The group started with 4 fathers and grew to almost 50 people from all walks of life. The group of folks were tight knit, travelled together, partied together, cooked and ate together, prayed together and played together. We performed charity fundraisers for the Middle and High Schools, we were looked to by decision-makers to be that group who put on the best well executed get togethers on base.
So our footprint spawned into wearing our brand and creating a brand that we could be proud of. Many of the members of this family started humbly in 2004/05 but we have matured since then, with a common sense approach to a brand that we feel strongly about. We are strong, we are diverse, and we are intelligent. We look to establish a footprint for a brand that is different from others and encourages pride when wearing it. The Syndicate was established because men and women all bring something of value to the conversation, color or ethnicity brings different cultures and input into a brand that embraces diversity. Just as this brand has grown from 4 guys in Osan thinking of a brand, we stand to create something that many will embrace and be proud to wear!
POST COMING SOON
What Syndicate means to me?
I can honestly say back in 2003 when I arrived at Osan AFB, in South Korea I never expected to meet any real homies let alone any life long group of friends... I met these cats through another true friend that I call my brother and his last name was “Player” lol, but nevertheless they embraced me and also called me FAM... So I can really say Syndicate is Family straight up and down then and forever and now we're doing this venture so the sky's the limit, Les, Mike, Me in front with several others who have our backs... Yessuh!!!
Jonathan L. Lewis
A.K.A. Big Lew"