Jack Stottlemire, a Retired Marine, Army Paratrooper and Special Operations Soldier
Stottlemire, who served 27 years and 14 combat tours as a military sergeant major, currently runs Rustick Knives as a one-man knife making business. His blades are created from metal left behind on battlefields.
He incorporates leather from Purple Heart recipients into the weapon guard and pommel to symbolize its human cost of war, using high quality German 80CrV2 tool steel blades as his blade material.
Early Life and Education
Sergeant Major Jack Stottlemire felt lost after retiring from military service following 27 years, including 14 combat tours, which left him without any clear direction for what to do next. No longer needed by his nation, injuries prevented him from riding motorcycles, and his hands needed something productive to occupy them both physically and mentally.
Knife making was an ideal career path for this former Marine and paratrooper, having attended every shop class available to him growing up and helping out at a friend’s knife making shop – something which came easily to him.
Rustick Knives offers custom-grade 80CrV2 steel knives with Cerakote finishes and Kydex sheaths crafted for veterans – as well as making knives in his one-man shop near Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Jack Stottlemire, a recently retired sergeant major from both the Marine Corps and Army as a paratrooper. Additionally, he completed 14 combat tours as a Special Operations soldier before opening up his own knife company called Rustick Knives.
Designer of custom blades for veterans using his experience to produce them in his one-man shop, along with heraths produced by Donnie Harper (friend).
Stottlemire’s Conflict Forge line of knives has quickly become popular with Fort Bragg’s Special Operations community and other veterans who depend on reliable knives. He crafts them using metal left behind on battlefields, heats it to soften it like modeling clay and then hammers it to flatten out into blades – thus creating the beginnings of knife blades.
Achievement and Honors
After 26 years in the military – as a Marine, Army Paratrooper, and Special Operations Soldier – retired Sergeant Major Jack Stottlemire found himself without something meaningful to fill his time and mind. Though life had become busy between caring for two adult sons, his wife, and aged parents; something needed to fill his hands, mind and time.
He soon took up working on knife blades for charity, forging each piece of battlefield metal into over 100 layers before hammering them into shape to form knife blades.
This collaboration produces hard use blades that combine military experience with cutting-edge technology for use by military, law enforcement and civilians worldwide. Their latest collaboration resulted in the Kraken knife released this past fall with Cerakote finish and Kydex sheath.
Stottlemire built his first knife as a hobby to deal with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It proved an instantaneous success and he has continued building knives ever since – including his latest masterpiece: the Kraken. Constructed of heavy 80CrV2 material and featuring G-10 grip scales as well as Cerakote finish and Kydex sheath for easy transport, its success made the Kraken an instant classic!
He draws upon his 12 combat tours experience to design what works and is practical in a hard use blade. Only American made materials are used and support is given to other veteran-run businesses.
Whitey is survived by three grandchildren – Robert Stahl, Edward Gillette and Lisa Mullen; two great-grandchildren Ann and Taylor Carter; one brother (Tim Stottlemire), Carol Mengerink as well as many nieces and nephews. A private family service will be held with memorials made to any charity of your choosing.
Stottlemire served 26 years in the military before retiring as a Sergeant Major, having seen 12 combat rotations. These included Operations Just Cause and Desert Shield/Storm as well as Balkans Air War and Operations Iraqi Freedom/Enduring Freedom. Now retired and spending his time crafting knives full-time from home alongside his wife and children he still finds solace hammering, pressing, grinding, and crafting knives – something his children take great joy from watching him do!
He and a fellow veteran have collaborated to form Conflict Forge, a nonprofit which donates proceeds from each knife they create directly to veterans charities. Though their price of up to $10,000 might seem steep at first glance, consider that each knife was forged out of metal left on battlefields around the world!