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ABOUT HIDDEN SUCCESS TACTICAL...
At Hidden Success Tactical, I offer books and instructionals to enhance your camouflage and concealment efforts, as well as some urban survival and situational awareness guides. In 2007, while constructing a ghillie suit for a bison hunt, I decided to start writing my first book, Hidden Success: A Comprehensive Guide to Ghillie Suit Construction. I self-published the work five years later. I began outlining and writing a second book focusing on what makes camouflage effective. Appear To Vanish: Stealth Concepts for Effective Camouflage and Concealment was completed in mid-2016 and originally published in May of 2017 by the world-renowned action publisher, Paladin Press. I immediately started on the urbanized sequel, entitled GRAY MAN: Camouflage for Crowds, Cities, and Civil Crisis while waiting for the release of Appear To Vanish. My time at Paladin Press was unfortunately cut short after the editor and founder, Peder Lund, passed away suddenly in June 2017. As Paladin Press decided to close its doors, I decided to self-publish rather than search for a new publisher. One of the joys and advantages of self-publishing/print-on-demand is it allows for faster publishing releases compared with traditional publishing houses. This allowed me to quickly publish GRAY MAN in October 2017. Since then, I've released two other books, Hidden In Plain Sight and Conversational Camouflage.
Most of my early influence and inspiration came from military snipers and war movies. I grew up playing Army with other neighborhood boys and learning about firearms and hunting from my father. My father was a police officer and detective for 27 years with the Rockford Police Department in Illinois. As a detective, he taught me how to really look for things that were out of place or didn't belong. This ability helped me find more than a handful of watchband springs and contact lenses on the high school gymnasium floor! My obsession with camouflage began to grow throughout my teenage years with the mixture of mischief, the growing availability of surplus camouflage clothing, and the initial migration of ghillie suits into the civilian market.
My military career was short and completely unrelated to camouflage as a Cryptologic Technician (maintenance) 2nd Class (E-5) in the US Navy. However, upon my honorable discharge in 1997, I was able to resume my true passions of hunting and camouflage. Ghillie suits were being discussed in several training manuals and sniping books, but with my artistic background focusing on colors and textures, I knew there was much more information about the subject to discuss.
The skills of people like Major John Plaster, Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Hathcock, and Navy SEALS Chris Kyle and Brandon Webb are a big influence on what I do in terms of my contribution to the sniping community. However, as I continue to learn more about the subject of camouflage and concealment, my largest influence would have to be Abbott Handerson Thayer, who was considered to be the father of personal camouflage. Thayer was a naturalist and an artist by trade. He was initially recruited by the military to develop ways to camouflage airfields and industrial buildings during WWI and WWII. His work eventually morphed into designing camouflage patterns for the individual soldier and Marine.
So while I don't have any combat/SPEC-OP experience, Thayer serves as my defense when the occasional elitist attitude pops up from SPEC-OP or sniper personnel attempting to negate what I offer in terms of ghillie suits and camouflage. Detractors are very rare and most of the elite veterans I've met have been immensely supportive and found my work both informative and on-target. Thayer was not a soldier, nor was he subject to their ways of thinking. The military came to him because he was creative and thought "outside the box." I am not confined to the realm of materials and supplies that have a National Stock Number (NSN). Therefore, the materials I recommend/use, my construction methods, and my application of color and texture are superior to ghillie suits that follow the strict construction methods of the US military. The same goes for my study and explanation of camouflage and concealment concepts. When it comes to better protecting, supplying, and outfitting our service members serving our country, I'll gladly share the knowledge I've acquired to make our military, our allies, and law enforcement agencies the best they can be.