Bryan Black – Editor in Chief
Bryan founded ITS Tactical in 2009 with the help of brothers in the Naval Special Warfare Community. While never completing BUD/s and becoming a SEAL, he made it through the large hurdles of Hell Week and Pool Comp with Class 251. After being rolled post Pool Comp in 251 from a torn hip flexor, he sustained a service ending Draeger Dive Injury in 2nd Phase with Class 254. Throughout his time in the Navy and his love of gear and the outdoors, the idea for ITS Tactical was born.
After leaving the service in ’05 and with the help of the GI Bill, Bryan picked up where he left off with his Associates degree in Computer Science and finished his Bachelor’s at the University of Texas in Communication Technology with a Journalism minor. Using these skills coupled with his Military Service, a Web design background and work at a commercial photography studio; he pooled his resources with the advisors below and started ITS.
Kelly Black – Chief Operating Officer
Kelly met Bryan in a backpacking class in college and had him convinced she was an outdoorsy kind of gal. He soon realized it would take some additional coaching to get her to enjoy the outdoors on a regular basis and embrace preparedness as a way of life.
Since marrying Bryan in 2004 Kelly’s been challenging herself to learn basic skill-sets and help support Bryan’s vision for ITS Tactical. “Learning how to take care of yourself from a physical and mental perspective is empowering. I can honestly say adopting a more tactical perspective has helped me become a stronger person.” Kelly is excited about her involvement with ITS and manages purchasing, accounting, human resources, inventory, helps with articles and with anything in between as needed.
Nick Hays – Features Writer
Nick proudly served his country as a US Navy SEAL for 10 years. He’s been awarded various medals, including the Bronze Star during deployments to some of the world’s most austere environments. Nick earned his bachelor’s degree in History (focus in military history/strategy) while still on active duty and a Master of Science in Global Leadership from the University of San Diego while contracting overseas.
He’s been published online and in print within the areas of healthy living and outdoor survival and is a featured contributor for Field and Stream Magazine. A father and husband, Nick spends most of his time outdoors with family or pushing his limits with friends. Nick’s been with us at ITS since the beginning as an advisor.
Mike Petrucci – Community Manager
“I consider myself part social media consultant, part gadget geek, part idea starter and part professional Internet surfer. I remember having to wait till my Mom was off the phone so I could surf the Net and I’ve never looked back. Oh, I also have a thing for space pens.”
Wanting to utilize the skills learned during his time at Oral Roberts University in the Multi Media Institute, Mike offered to help Bryan in any way possible.
Mike has always been aligned with everything that ITS Tactical stands for, even signing on as the first paying Plank Owner. Despite not having any formal military or law enforcement training (aside from Army JROTC in High School), Mike has a passion for assisting those who serve this great country.
Mike’s hobbies and interests are pretty varied. While not a big fan of organized sports, he is a certified SCUBA diver, mountain bike racer, skydiver and a runner. You can often find him in one of two places; in a survival shelter he built with his knife or in front of his computer.
Eric S – Law Enforcement Correspondent
He was first stationed on Johnston Atoll (which is ironically a small island in the Pacific) where he provided physical security for chemical weapons with the USACAP MP Company.
Eric was then assigned to the 545th Military Police Company, First Cavalry Division. After spending time with the 545th in garrison and the field, Eric was selected as the driver for the Assistant Division Commander. This lead to a nine month deployment to Bosnia as a member of the Generals’ PSD Team.
Eric re-enlisted and was assigned to the PSD Team for the CINC, CENTCOM. The PSD Team fell under the leadership of Major General (R) Gary Harrell. There Eric traveled throughout the Middle East, Asia and Europe conducting PSD missions.
Eric left the Army in 2003 and now works as a Deputy Sheriff on a tactical Street Crimes Unit with a large agency in Florida.
Matt Gambrell – Graphics Dept.
All things graphics and Illustration, Matt has worked in the design industry for more than 20 years. “While attending OBU I was told that I would never get anywhere in life drawing ‘that way,’ I quickly departed Shawnee and the OBU program much like Gale and Evelle Snoats in Raising Arizona as I too felt that the institution no longer had anything to offer me.”
Starting with a simple patch job for ITS, Matt offered to help Bryan and ITS with any graphics and designing that would be needed. Fluent in the creative suite of Adobe products, Matt’s work is all digitally rendered from start to finish using a WACOM Cintiq, Painter11, Sketchbook Pro, and Manga Studio Debut4 for his illustrations, and Adobe products for graphic design and layout. “I get to draw pictures all day.”
When not basking in the soft warm glow of monitor illumination, Matt tends to his hobbies and interests of Zombies, UFOs, Sasquatch, technophilia and all things handed down to man from Cupertino California. In general a geek who can be found outdoors when the internet is broken.
Rob Henderson – Community Support
His background includes Information Technology, Audio/Video Production and a passion for the latest technology in computers and entertainment. While growing up in a military family, he moved from place to place including California, Guam, Arkansas and Indiana before finally settling in Texas.
He has a weakness for cigars and good scotch and his interests include guitars, watch collecting and buying too much gear.
Lang Tran – Warehouse Support
After realizing that college wasn’t for him, Lang spent a few years working retail and warehouse jobs looking for something new. Rob actually used to work with Lang at a former job, witnessing his unprecedented work ethic firsthand. When an opportunity came up at ITS, Lang was a natural fit.
In his free time, Lang enjoys watching movies (except Wes Anderson flicks), reading comics and joining in on the occasional flag football game with his friends.
Our advisory board is made up of those that have supported ITS Tactical since before its inception and been instrumental in not only where we’re at today, but where we’re headed.
- Tom G.
- Nick H.
- Matt Z.
- Doug E.
- Seth L.
The writers you see here have donated their time and energy by contributing multiple articles to ITS Tactical, helping our community to learn and Prevail!