ITS Tactical Muster IV in My Words

Growing up in the Boy Scouts, I’ve kept their motto as my own long beyond the last time I wore the uniform.

“Be Prepared” means a lot of things.

To me, being prepared means having the mental state to cope, knowledge to solve or skills to deal with whatever the world throws at you on any given day.

This is why I was excited to be invited to attend the fourth annual ITS Muster and Skill-Set Development Excursion.

ITS MUSTER 4

Imminent Threat Solutions (ITS) provides knowledge that empowers individuals with indispensable skill-sets to recognize and respond decisively to the threats that surround us all. All you need to do is take a read through their blog or watch any of their videos and you’ll get a sense of what they are all about.

Every year, they hold a multi-day event where attendees from around the country and every walk of life come to learn a variety of skills in a practical and tactical based learning environment.

The packing list for the event was rather extensive and specific. I had to purchase a variety of new gear with my imagination in overdrive of exactly how I might end up using the camo netting, locking carabiner or MRE that all attendees were required to bring.

I arrived in Texas a bit nervous and not sure who or what I would encounter over the next five days. On the flight out, I learned my buddy Jon Gaffney would also be taking part in the event and as we waited for our luggage to arrive we talked about our wonderment and worries about what might lie ahead.

It wouldn’t be appropriate to go into all the details, but the entire weekend (and even the weeks leading up to the event) were run under a detailed storyline. We’d all be learning and living under a scenario to add a level of realism to everything we did. It was mainly a mind game to keep us at a heightened level of awareness and to challenge us as our bodies and minds got worked out over the course of our time together.

All of the attendees met a predefined location and then we caravanned to the off the grid location that we’d be spending the next five days at. There were a few interesting encounters along the way, but as we parked the cars and entered the classroom our long weekend of learning was under way.

Time to Roll Check Point

Looking around the classroom, I worried a bit about what I might have gotten myself into. Some of my Muster mates were obviously veterans from the way they carried themselves.

Beards and camo were everywhere, but so were smiles and hugs. Over half the class was alumni and it was obvious how close knit this family was and I wondered how I would gel into already established friendships.

Knot Tying IntroductionsEscaping Restraints

These worries were quickly pushed aside as Bryan Black (the Founder of ITS and someone I’m becoming a better friend with every day) welcomed us all to Muster 4 and we went around and each introduced ourselves. There were lawyers, accountants, tech insiders and even a married couple.

We all came from different walks of life, but all arrived ready and eager to learn.

Welcome to Muster

Everyone was assigned to one of four squads: Alpha, Bravo, Charlie or Delta.

As the squad assignments were read off, I’d find myself being part of Charlie. I knew from reading about the previous Muster, that they were the squad to beat and I sure hoped I would not drag them down as a newbie.

Squads were each assigned a bunk house and I quickly met the seven guys I’d be spending lots of quality time together.

Bunk Houses

We unpacked from our travels, geared up our rucks and headed out for our daily flag ceremony and then dinner.

The days at Muster are long. Each starts before the sun rises and end long after the moon has risen.

A typical day starts with raising the flags, heading to breakfast and then off to the classroom.

Flag Ceremony

Bryan Teaching

Making a Dead Drop Key Making

The quality level of the teachers at Muster is top-notch. Every single one of them possess years of experience in their area of expertise and each could have spent a full day of teaching and we’d still only get a slice of their knowledge.

I’ve never had the pleasure of learning from such knowledgeable humans all at one time. Thank you to each of them for participating.

ITS Muster Cadre

Don’t think we sat around and were lectured to though.

We studied the art of camouflage in a beautiful outdoor pavilion, practiced improvised field medicine under the shadow of trees and cooled off in the water while having fun learning how to secure a beach.

Camo 101

First Aid

Dead Drops Patrolling Knots

The lesson for me that I’ll never forget was the key making session. It is hard to put into words the rush of accomplishment I felt as I cut a copy of a key out of a sheet of plastic from a photograph of a key and opened the lock with my copy.

I instantly wanted to learn more and my squad took it upon themselves to teach me the basics of lock picking right there on the spot.  Since returning home, I’ve made sure that this is a skill that I continue to learn.

The truth is that 99.99% of the skills you learn at ITS Muster might never be used outside of the exercises conducted during the event.

Jiggler Keys Numbers Station Restraints

That doesn’t mean that any of the skills you learn are not valuable. In fact 100% of what I learned is another piece of knowledge that I didn’t have before and thus I feel more prepared to go about my day.

At the end of every Muster there is their own version of a final exam (known as the FTX) that tests you and your squad. Taking everything you were taught and finding out how much you learned.

The Long Walk

Canoe Portage

The Hostage

Breaking Into a Car

Night on the Water A Uhaul

I’m proud of how myself and my squad performed. We worked together, stayed positive and in the end did a solid job. We didn’t take home the paddles this year (well done Delta!) but I feel confident that we did our best.

Plus, there are not many other places where you spend an entire night being tested both physically and mentally and find yourself at 4 am still smiling as you discover the finish line.

I’m so glad I accepted Bryan’s invitation to attend. I learned new skills, but I also learned more about myself. If you are not challenging yourself on a regular basis, than how do you know what you are capable of?

Charlie Squad

And a special thank you to the men of Charlie squad who welcomed me into their unique band of brothers even though I know they had reservations about this writer from New England who was getting stuck with them.

While we couldn’t raise a glass together during Muster, I look forward to the day when we get to.

Muster is not an event for everybody.

Plan C

Muster is an event for anyone who wants to learn a variety of skills that will prepare you to deal with the situations you hope never to face.

Stay tuned to ITSTactical.com to find out when registration opens up for next year. It is sure to sell out again.

If you’d like to read more details, ITS has published a detailed after action report.

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Photo Credits – Gamma Nine Photography and Daniel Rodriguez Photography

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C.C. Chapman

Bio

Sketch of C.C. Chapman by Hey Instigator!There are many aspects OF who I am and what I do. Putting together THIS PAGE is one of my least favorite things to write because talking about myself is not my idea of a fun time.

When asked what I do my current answer is, “I create, teach and motivate people to do more good in the world.”

Of course, that doesn’t cover all that I work on professionally and personally, so that is why I created this page.

Official bios and headshots can be found below.

Who is C.C. Chapman? I’m a…

Writer

I’m constantly writing and always working on my next book. You may have read some of my published works including Amazing Things Will HappenContent Rules or 101 Steps to Making Video Like a Pro.

Freelance writing or citizen reporting assignments excite me.

Photographer

If I had to choose a style, I’d say my photos are a mix of documentary, travel and lifestyle photography. While I may not enjoy taking head shots, I love to shoot faces. I rarely go anywhere without a camera in my hand and I’ve been fortunate to see my photos on the pages of Rolling Stone and The Wall Street Journal.

I’m currently shooting with a Canon 80D, an iPhone 7+ and a Chroma 4k Drone.

My photos can be found on Instagram and Flickr.

Marketing Consultant

With over twenty years of marketing, online media and community building experience I have the skills and experience to help your organization no matter the size. Previous clients have included The Coca-Cola Company, American Eagle Outfitters and HBO.

I focus on social good/impact marketing, content marketing and brand strategy. My favorite clients are NGOs, nonprofits or brands looking to make a difference in the world.

Feel free to double check my credentials on LinkedIn.

Keynote Speaker

I’m happiest when on stage educating and inspiring an audience of any size, anywhere in the world.

I have spoken at everything from large international events, corporate retreats and at special gatherings of unique individuals. If you need someone who will inspire, educate and entertain your audience I’d love to chat.

Advocate & Volunteer

I believe in using my skills, time and voice to champion causes that are important to me. I’m especially interested in anything military, dogs or children focused.

I’m currently the President of the Board at Wediko, a member of the ONE Girls & Women Advisory Board, serve on the board of The Hockey Foundation and recently joined the No Kid Hungry Social Council.

Teacher

I’ve developed and taught courses for Lynda.com, CreativeLive and Treehouse. I’m also an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Bentley University and hoping to do more teaching in the future.

 

On top of all that I’m a proud life long New Englander who was born and raised in New Hampshire, but now resides outside of Boston.

I married my high school sweetheart, have two amazing kids and love being a dad.

I’ve been online since 1989, began blogging in 2002 and podcasting in 2004.

Previous endeavors I created include Accident Hash, Passion Hit TV, Digital Dads and The Advance Guard.

Tattoos, travel and the outdoors turn me on. There are fewer things more perfect than a well-done cocktail, a delicious meal or live art of any sort. I love my GORUCK, Field Notes and am a proud Misfit.

To understand me is to understand that I try to live a purposeful life every day that is full of adventure, love and making the world around me a better place for all.


Official Bio

C.C. Chapman describes himself as a New England raised storyteller, explorer, and humanitarian. Others have described him as a thought leader in the online marketing space, a grounded futurist and one the nicest guy on the Internet. Over the years of his career, he has worked with a variety of clients including Nike, HBO, American Eagle Outfitters, ONE, Verizon FiOS and The Coca-Cola Company.

He is the co-author of the International bestseller Content Rules and is also the author of Amazing Things Will Happen. He travels the world speaking in front of audiences to do more in the world and how to understand content marketing better.  C.C. has taught classes for Lynda.com, CreativeLive and now as an adjunct professor at Bentley University (where he also graduated from).

C.C. is an advocate who speaks about building passionate communities and the strategic values of content-based marketing. He is a Samsung Imagelogger, the original ONE Dad and a UN Foundation Social Good Fellow. As a storyteller for hire, his work has appeared on the pages of Rolling Stone and The Wall Street Journal.

C.C. is the past Chairman of the Board at Wediko and currently serves on the board of The Hockey Foundation. He happily lives in the woods outside of Boston with his loving family. Find out more at CC-Chapman.com

 

Fun Bio

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more multi-faceted or enthusiastic creative/strategic partner in the marketing and content creation fields. This greatly hails from C.C.’s unstoppable combination of marketing experience and savvy (which a great many professionals claim to have), and incalculably valuable “on the ground” knowledge and insight as an influential content creator himself (which a great many professionals do not). The result is a best-of-both-worlds mashup of marketing expertise.

C.C. Chapman sports the pro cred to be a talker (working closely with such clients as American Eagle Outfitters, Coca-Cola, HBO and Warner Bros.), and the passion and gumption to be a doer (creating content for the emerging Online Dad market, marketing professionals, music fans and more). He’s helped create, manage and execute ambitious online and offline marketing campaigns for startups and multinationals — and has the invaluable good sense to know which outreach strategies work with audiences, and which ones fall flat.

He authoritatively speaks your language. He speaks your CMO’s language. Most important, he’s fluent in your market’s language. It’s a killer double-chocolate-and-peanut-butter combination. Contact C.C. to learn how he can help your organization achieve its business goals. There’s, even more, to know about C.C. Chapman if you want to read it — and you should. C.C.’s skills are an embarrassment of riches.

 

Head Shots

CC-Chapman-Cubelean     CC-AYASummit

CC Chapman Headshot Vertical    CC-armscrossed

DISCLOSURES

I’m involved with a lot of organizations and clients. I believe in being completely transparent and open about everything I’m working on. I’ll do my best to keep this updated and of course, will clearly disclose relationships in any post that require them.

I am open to being pitched and invited on press trips.

Companies do send me items in the hopes that I will review it or share with my community. If you send me something it does not guarantee a review.

With that in mind, my mailing address is:

9 C Medway Road #117
Milford, MA
01757

Current relationships include:

  • Verizon FiOS provides me with service in exchange for a monthly post on technology of my choosing

 

Affiliate links are used whenever they are available when linking to products of any sort.

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