by Halle Johnson, Student Public Relations Writer
After nearly six months of work, Joshua Johnson and his student team’s business is finally taking flight. Johnson, a junior management major from Mansfield, Ohio, is leading a team of students working on a line of products aimed at preventing military suicides.
Their new business, Consider the Ravens, has just launched as part of the Neos company, a branch of Cedarville University’s Integrated Business Core (IBC) program.
For Johnson, the idea came out of personal experience. His father works with the Department of Defense, and Johnson serves in the Ohio Air National Guard, so the tragedy of military suicide is all too familiar.
“When you are in a deployed location there is a lack of joy; you are surrounded by death and heartbreak,” Johnson said. “Then you come home and have certain expectations about fitting into society as a civilian, and often when those expectations are not met, when you don’t have people that relate to you, and you don’t have a job where your skillset is used, you get disconnected and discouraged.”
The goal of Consider the Ravens is threefold: affirm a person’s value from a Christian perspective, affirm value through others and reinforce the idea of brotherhood.
Consider the Ravens has four primary products designed to aid these goals.
“We are selling bundles that include three stickers and a dog tag,” said Johnson. “Our goal is to sell 80% of our product on military bases. We want to provide resources for family and friends of military personnel to make sure service members feel valued by their support system.
“Our goal is for people around service members to give them our products as a way to come alongside and love and support them.”
All three stickers display a raven with outstretched wings, the logo of the company, and varying biblical texts emphasizing the three primary goals of the company.
The first includes the company name, Consider the Ravens, inspired by Luke 12:24, a message that Johnson hopes will remind soldiers of their value through Christ. The second sticker includes the phrase “Family Behind > Trials Ahead," a reminder to reconnect with a support system. The final sticker simply says “Wingman.”
“When you are deployed there is a sense of camaraderie, but when you come home you lose that sense of brotherhood,” said Johnson. “Our goal is for friends and family to give soldiers that sticker, to make a commitment to be their wingman.”
Finally, Johnson and his team developed dog tags engraved with five key phrases: stand firm, be watchful, take courage, wield armor and hold fast.
“Dog tags are sold in pairs,” explains Johnson. “The goal is for you to wear one and give the other to a soldier. The goal is for you to pray those phrases over military members. The dog tags are a reminder for soldiers struggling with suicidal ideation that someone is praying those phrases specifically for them.”
Johnson is leading a team of 10 other junior business students as a part of Cedarville’s IBC program, which is a yearlong course that allows students to pitch, create and market products of their own design.
All profits from Consider the Ravens will be donated to the Operation Heal Our Patriots program, run by Samaritan's Purse, a national organization that focuses on spiritual refreshment and marital counseling for wounded veterans and their spouses.
All products are currently on sale through considertheravens.org or through the Consider the Ravens Instagram page (@considertheravens_neos). Johnson and his team have also run pop-up shops selling their products, including three events at Cedarville’s Stevens Student Center and one at 179th Airlift Wing in Mansfield, Ohio, where Johnson serves. As of October 21, they have also started pop-up shops on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.
“I believe that the primary reason I see so much depression and suicidal ideation on military bases is because they don't have Christ,” Johnson said. “Our products are designed not only to show value, but to be a means of giving ultimate hope by sharing the gospel.”
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,715 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio, recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including the Bachelor of Science in management, strong graduation, and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and high student engagement ranking. For more information about the University, visit cedarville.edu.