As a member of Bravo Company of the 3rd Ranger Battalion Sgt. Keni Thomas was deployed to Mogadishu Somalia as part of a special operations package called Tasked Force Ranger. Their mission was to find and capture a criminal warlord named Mohammed Farrah Aideed. Outnumbered 10 to 1, the men of TFR distinguished themselves in an 18-hour fire fight that would later be recounted in the highly successful book and movie Blackhawk Down. 19 Americans died and 78 were wounded.
Keni got out of the Army to pursue a successful country music career. His band Cornbread was featured in the movie Sweet Home Alabama and regularly tours with the USO to perform for our military personnel serving overseas. As an entertainer, Keni has been recognized by congress, the White House, and was inducted into the VFW Hall of Fame for his dedicated work on behalf of our veterans and military families.
Keni is an Emmy winning producer and a best-selling author. His book “Get it On” quickly became a best seller, and as a speaker, his message of teamwork and leadership has inspired hundreds of thousands. Keni is the founder of the Downrange Advanced Leadership Development course where corporate leaders are challenged to plan, train and execute as a team to successfully complete a demanding 3 1⁄2 day Ranger combat training exercise.
Keni is also very proud to be a national spokesperson for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation which provides college educations to the children of our special operations personnel killed in combat or training. Keni Thomas is a graduate of the University of Florida, a recipient of the American Patriot Award and the Bronze Star for Valor.
Around the same time, Mayer began to branch our musically as well. He provided backing vocals on rapper Common’s single “Go!” and shared the songwriting credit with Common and Kanye West. In his own music, Mayer began to focus on meatier stuff, particularly the blues. He played shows with Buddy Guy and Herbie Hancock, and in November 2005 released another live album, Try! (Number 34), credited to the John Mayer Trio, which included veteran session musicians Steve Jordan on drums and Pino Palladino on bass.