Randolph Engineering: Military Spec for the Masses

“Military spec.” It’s a term we often come across in descriptions of items that are in some way affiliated with the armed forces, but in the case of Randolph Engineering, military spec means exactly that.

Based in Randolph, Massachusetts, this small, family-owned company has devoted more than four decades to turning out precision eyewear that has become standard issue in all branches of the United States military and even NASA. That’s a giant leap for a company that was founded by two Polish immigrants in 1972. Entrepreneurs Jan Waszkiewicz and Stanley Zaleski had originally met ten years earlier when they were both employed at a small tool-and-die shop in South Boston. Armed with only their combined knowledge and spurred by the lure of the American Dream, the two started their own business in Randolph, manufacturing tools, dies, and machinery for the optical industry, and quickly became one of the leading optical tool-and-die companies in the country.

It didn’t take the U.S. military long to notice this northeastern upstart, and in the late 1970s, Randolph Engineering was awarded a subcontract by the United States Air Force; the company produced in excess of 200,000 pairs of aviators sunglasses annually and were subsequently chosen as the prime contractor for the United States Air Force in 1982. Not long after, the civilian set picked up on the quality, reliability, and style of Randolph Engineering eyewear. And by the late 1980s, RE had moved into production of military-spec eyewear for the masses.

Randolph Aviators offer a classic military look.

Over the years, RE’s commitment to providing our fighting forces with the very best eyewear hasn’t waned. They have consistently gone above and beyond to meet the stringent requirements and fast turnaround times mandated by their military customers. In 1990, Randolph suspended their commercial operation and ramped up production to 24 hours per day, 7 days a week in order to supply the troops of Operation Desert Storm with custom inserts for the M17 chemical-biological mask. In 2000, RE was awarded their first Frame-of-Choice (FOC) contract, allowing them to supply soldiers and personnel in the United States Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, and NASA, with an alternative to standard military-issue spectacles. And 2012 marked the third five-year term of RE supplying the famed HGU-4/P Aviator to the United States Army, Air Force, Navy, and allied air forces worldwide.

Family owned and operated to this day by three generations of the Waszkiewicz and Zaleski families, Randolph Engineering remains committed to producing only the finest quality, military-spec frames, sourcing items that are made in America whenever possible, and sustaining American jobs.

Click here to find your very own pair of Randolph Aviators.

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