Kel-Lac Tactical + Outdoor strives to bridge the divide between two seemingly contrasting worlds - the military and outdoor lifestyles. Our 70+ years’ experience in the military wear industry coupled with the outdoor gear and clothing brands we carry allow us to pursue our mission – to supply gear to the good guys. Now, in pursuit of our enhanced mission, we plan to connect people to the outdoors through our partnership with Military Wild and other friends in the outdoor space.
In 1951 — Kel-Lac Uniforms, Inc. was founded and established near the entrance to Kelly Air Force Base. The company first worked with the Army Medical Corp at Fort Sam Houston to manufacture and supply the medical officer mess dress uniforms. When the Air Force set up Officer Training School (OTS) at Lackland Air Force Base, the company focused its efforts to support the OTS cadet uniform program as well.
Its young founders - Mr. & Mrs. JY and Claire Golden – worked as managers. Mr. Golden had worked from his earliest memory in the Golden Brothers Department Store on Main Street in Corsicana, Texas where he learned the most valuable lessons of retail sales from his dad and uncle. The number one lesson that stuck with him for over forty years, and still the number one requirement to work for Kel-Lac Uniforms & Tactical was “The Customer Always Comes First”.
In 1953 — Mr. Golden was called to active duty. He was able to be assigned to Lackland AFB where he could oversee his business while learning the ins and outs of the military. There was fierce competition between the more established uniform companies serving the cadets at OTS. Kel-Lac quickly made a name for itself by going above and beyond to serve its customers, even going so far as having the salesmen meet incoming officers at the airport, giving them rides to the base, or showing them around.
In 1966 —After serving 10 years in the US Air Force, John Hancock, Sr. joined Kel-Lac. He became Mr. Golden’s right hand man. For over 34 years. Mr. Hancock served as a shining example of customer service. He earned the trust of the Golden family, and was able to acquire their family business in March 2000. His son, Johnny Hancock, joined Kel-Lac in 1986. Chris Hancock, the present day President, joined the company in May 2000 two months after the acquisition of the company from the Golden Family.
Throughout the 60's, 70's and into the 80's — OTS was the essential sustaining element for company revenue - it was our bread, butter, and toaster. It was during this time, that Kel-Lac began to build its strong reputation for service, quality and value among future Air Force leaders.
In the 80's & 90's — the company sought to diversify and was awarded several substantial contracts that helped lead and establish us in new industries.
It was during this time the company aggressively bid and was re-awarded its two AAFES Concessionaire Contracts as well as the Initial Issue Flight Fitting and Alterations Contract both at Lackland AFB. For over a decade, the company successfully managed the AAFES T-shirt Shop and Jacket Shop at Lackland AFB, and fit over 250,000 airmen under the Alt / Fit Contract.
- 1980 — The Air Force Uniform Initial Issue Alterations Contract at Lackland AFB, TX
- 1985 — The AAFES Concessionaire Contract – Jacket Shop
- 1987 — The AAFES Concessionaire Contract – T-shirt Shop
These efforts were key as Officer Training School moved to Maxwell AFB in 1993 as part of the Air Force chief of staff's vision to align all officer education and training programs under Air University.
In 2001 — Soon after the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 and the conflict in the Persian Gulf began, our business efforts moved to support the individual equipment needs of deployed military members.
In 2002 — The company launched kellac.com. The website affords us the opportunity to serve individual customers as well as military units, federal and state agencies, and companies – worldwide.
Today, we continue to support Air Force units worldwide along with other federal agencies, including all organizations within the Department of Defense (DoD) and National Security Community. Most recently, we have grown to supply uniforms for public utilities, cities, universities and companies within the oil & gas industry.
- 2003 – Repositioned retail brick & mortar operation
- 2004 – Awarded HUB Zone designation by the Small Business Administration
- 2005 – Expanded entire footwear offering
- 2007 – Awarded multi-year GSA Contract - Schedule 84 - expires April 2027
- 2010 – Implemented a re-branding strategy to differentiate the company within its industry
- 2010 – Awarded Business Skills Use Award by the Association of Small Business Development Centers
- 2012 – Launched social media marketing campaign across several platforms
- 2014 – Launched a new marketing division which offers international consumer brands
- 2017 – Launch of our new website, and drastic revitalization of many systems in house (shipping, inventory, telephone, data security, and more!) to better provide a modern day experience for an age old service.
Which leads us to today...
We are in it for the long haul. Our customer’s needs are constantly changing, but Kel-Lac is committed to keeping the same family values and personal touch to make sure we always have your back.