Rex Applegate was born in 1914 in Oregon, where he was taught to hunt and shoot in his youngest years. After graduating from the University, he joined the US Army in 1940. Shortly before the beginning of the war he became a member of the OSS, the Office of Strategic Services of the United States Department of War. The tasks of the OSS included the operational information acquisition, disinformation, psychological warfare, partisan support, asymmetrical warfare, sabotage and counterintelligence. Col. Rex Applegate trained Allied Special Forces in close combat and founded the "School for Spies and Assassins" in today's Camp David. He coordinated secret operations throughout Europe and was employed to guard President Franklin D. Roosevelt. After the Second World War, he continued to work as a consultant and instructor, was author of several books about close quarter combat and started developing and improving combat knives.