“Mission Direct”

MTI’s exists is to improve Mission Performance for mountain and tactical athletes and keep them safe.

This focus on “mission direct” solutions, enhancements and improvements drives our work and research. All that matters is mission performance.

To this end MTI is not boxed in by convention, tradition, orthodoxy, public opinion or any other artificial constraint driven by inside or outside forces.

Our facility in Wyoming is a Strength and Conditioning Laboratory and a Mission Performance research institution.

Our roots are in Strength and Conditioning.

We began in 2007 as Mountain Athlete with the aim of developing programming for mountain guides, ski mountaineers, alpinists, whitewater kayakers and other mountain athletes. We learned early on fitness programming for these unique sports was immature and incomplete, and soon realized we needed to build the programming from the ground up.

To do so we developed an overall programming development methodology:

  • Don’t reinvent the wheel. Research what’s been done before.
  • Identify the best and most effective components of previous work, folding these components into a unique program design, and deploy it.
  • Assess the results.
  • Tweak, improve, and repeat.

Ultimately we found the existing programming for mountain athletes severely lacking, and soon had moved far beyond what had been done before to create mountain-specific programming from the ground up.

Our fitness programming for mountain missions gained the attention of deployed US and NATO soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Multiple inquires led to the development of our first tactical training plan – the Afghanistan Pre-Deployment Training Plan – which implemented the proven programming we’d developed for mountain athletes and prepared soldiers for deployment to the mountainous regions of that country.

We gave this program away to hundreds of individual warriors and over dozen US Army and US Marines battalion commanders for implementation with their entire battalions prior to deployment.

Requests for more mission-specific, and tactical-specific programming on the military side poured in, leading us in 2009 to start “Military Athlete.”

We applied our programming process/methodology to the unique fitness demands of military athletes, and found again existing programming either severely lacking or non-existent. We subsequently build our military programming from the ground up.

In the following years, Law Enforcement and Fire/Rescue personnel noted our work on the military side, and inquiries and requests began for LE and F/R specific programming – which lead to us starting LE Athlete and Fire Rescue Athlete in the following years. Initially we folded all of these fitness programs under “Strong Swift Durable.”

In 2015, our attention and efforts began to extend beyond strength and conditioning to other areas of mountain and tactical mission performance including gear, policy, and technical training. In the summer of 2015 we brought on an on-staff pHD and began a significant research push into many of these new areas.

Excited by the possibility and need for “Mission-Direct” research, in the Fall of 2015 we changed our company name to the “Mountain Tactical Institute” or “MTI” and expanded our mission to include mission-direct research in addition to mountain and tactical strength and conditioning programming.

On the research side we quickly realized traditional academic research was too narrow, too slow, and too constrained to effectively give mountain and tactical athletes real-world answers, solutions and improvements for mission performance. We are currently deep in the process of developing our own “Mission-Direct” research methodology, and rapidly completing studies, assessing, iterating, and improving the methodology.

MTI is a tiny company in the least populated state in the US, but nothing we do here is small and no mission-related topic or area for mountain or tactical athletes is too big for us to tackle.

– Rob Shaul