The Mountain Tactical Institute


By Rob Shaul

We are pleased to officially announce the development of the Mountain Tactical Institute.

The Mountain Tactical Institute (MTI) is the research and development arm of Strong Swift Durable, and represents our continued effort to provide innovative, thought leading solutions to mountain and tactical professionals.

MTI’s research initiatives will include human performance but also expand to consider all areas of outdoor mountain and battlefield/fire ground performance including gear, nutrition, safety systems, sports/combat psychology, mental fitness, and unit culture.

We are interested in original, mission-focused research aimed at identifying actionable solutions. Our on-staff PhD and research team is focused on solutions to real world problems.

We have already begun and have four research initiatives well underway:

• The Alpinist Project – Identifying the physiological and fitness attributes of professional alpinists and validating the Alpinists Fitness Assessment as the standard for this level of fitness.

• Ruck Deep Dive – Identifying the most determinate fitness attributes which lead to rucking performance. Once identified, using this information to design and test the most effective and efficient programming methodology for ruck training. We’ve done a pilot study with our local lab rats, and now are ready to travel to a military unit and conduct the study on a much larger study group (40 athletes).

• Water Confidence Study – Working with the Mayo Clinic and SenseCore, this summer we will conduct a research study to determine if the panic control learned through water confidence training is transferable outside the pool to a tactical force on force shooting drill.

• Fire/Rescue Study – We’re working with a small-city full time fire department to identify the Fitness Culture, Job Task Analysis, and develop an On-Duty Training Program. This summer we will send researchers to the city for a week to gather data.
fire training

These projects are in the hopper:

  • Is Gore-Tex Worth It? Real world analysis of water-proof/breathable fabrics.
  • Ruck Design – We’re currently in the design process for a training ruck
  • Fitness Demands of a Correctional Officer
  • Unit Fitness Culture: How to Assess, and Improve

Strategic Partnerships

We have reached out to several industry leaders seeking partners in these efforts. Disappointingly, we have no takers so far. Inevitably our request gets pushed up the chain to the marketing department, and we’ve yet to find that enlightened executive who understands that committed, sincere interest in the customer’s mission performance is good business. We’ll keep trying.

Most recently, we’ve begun reaching out to universities and other research institutions for possible partnerships.

We’re also very interested in short and long term work with units. Have a problem? Perhaps we can help.

We currently need a unit partner for the next step in our Ruck Deep Dive study.

Questions? Suggestions?

Please email:

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