About Tom Stroup

Tom Stroup may be renowned in his local hometown as a SWAT Commander and a member of Florida’s Orange County Sheriff’s Department, but his appearances as a reality television star in two widely-watched NBC series, School Pride (2010) and Stars Earn Stripes (2012), have made him a national hero.

When selected for his reality television debut in 2010, it was Tom’s unique background that initially piqued the interest of a talent manager – not only is he an active humanitarian that travels the world to offer hands-on help rebuilding struggling communities, he is also one of the most prominent fixtures in the fitness industry with his DVD empire, The SWAT Workout (his achievements in the competitive fitness world include five-time international SWAT Competition champion and “Toughest Cop Alive” gold medalist in the Police Olympics).

Tom’s tough exterior, compassionate heart, and charm are what made him a prime co-host for School Pride, the heart-tugging reality show from the producers behind the highly successful Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.  Under a similar community-building premise, Tom was among four main cast members who led volunteers to renovate and rehabilitate public schools in need. 

During School Pride, Tom’s authenticity immediately endeared him to communities and audiences across the nation. In 2012, he made his second television debut in Stars Earn Stripes, alongside seven other operatives tasked with the mission of training a star-studded celebrity cast that included Nick Lachey, Dean Cain and Laila Ali, in a competition to raise money for various military and veterans charities.

Born in Washington State, Tom was raised by his hardworking single mom.  He and his three siblings grew up in a low-income environment that included welfare and food stamps, yet his childhood was a happy one that instilled the values of perseverance and compassion he is renowned for today.  Instead of graduating high school, Tom joined the Army at the age of 17, married his high school girlfriend and had a son before he was out of his teens. To gain financial footing, he left the Army to work at a rock quarry and cut tobacco.

Two years later, a local farmer approached Tom about joining the police department.  With a GED and no vocational skills, he decided to attend the police academy – a decision that ultimately set him on the path of a highly successful career in law enforcement that included marine patrol officer, warrants officer, drug agent, and eventually, SWAT Team Commander, where he has participated in over 3,000 missions to date. Never forgetting the people and struggles he encountered as field laborer, Tom spent his personal time helping communities in the US and abroad to rebuild churches, schools and homes. Over the years, he has helped rebuild communities with projects such as a church in Montana, a school in Brazil, and residences for the homeless in Mexico.

In 2008, while earning a Master’s degree at UCF and cultivating a following as a fitness trainer, Tom added another exciting dimension to his career – in the form of a fitness empire. A chance meeting at a coffee shop lead to his very first experience in front of a TV camera and what is now a DVD workout series: The SWAT Workout, a high-intensity, circuit training program that has sold thousands of copies. As a highly sought-after fitness expert, Tom was also tapped for co-creator for another wildly popular training program, X-Step.

When Tom isn’t on camera, he still enjoys a life of service. He has a true passion for woodworking and finds personal fulfillment for renovating houses and building furniture for others in need. Current projects include repairing extensive roof damage to the home of a local WW2 veteran and building an addition to his nephew’s home. His passion for woodworking began when he and his wife began furnishing their own home – they couldn’t afford store bought furniture so Tom would re-create pieces he saw in stores by hand. Eventually, he built so much furniture that he turned it into a side business, but found that giving it away to others and helping them create their own memories much more fulfilling. To this day, he signs the furniture he makes with special notes to capture the moment.

Press Contact: Amy Brownstein