Mike Rinaldi

Mike Rinaldi

[avatar user=”Mike” size=”medium” align=”left”]Over the past 20+ years, Mike has been fortunate enough to have worn several hats and in doing so he has gained many unique experiences, both foreign and domestic. A Veteran US Army Infantry Non-Commissioned Officer, Mike has demonstrated leadership and management expertise with a proven capacity to perform effectively in a variety of routine and crisis and emergency situations. In addition to his military service he has more than 12 years of private sector experience in high risk security operations, planning, threat, risk and vulnerability assessments (TRVA), maritime security, critical infrastructure protection, physical security, fire protection engineering, life safety consulting and crisis management.

Archery Team
Nowadays. this look will get you arrested.

Mike hails from the small New England state of Rhode Island.  His interest in all things outdoors started at a young age with his involvement in the Boy Scouts of America and progressed into other activities included sailing, SCUBA diving, rappelling, and other mischief that in this day and age would probably land you in a Federal Penitentiary.  Not interested in traditional organized sports, Mike was one of the founding members of his high school archery team, with whom for a short while enjoyed the title of RI State Champions. While still in High School Mike enlisted in the US Army starting in the reserve component and transferred to active duty as soon as the opportunity arose.

Recon Platoon 3/187th IN, Iron Rakkasans.

During his career in the military, Mike served in several positions to include: Rifle Squad Leader, Fire Team Leader, Reconnaissance Scout, Sniper, Instructor and Operations NCO with several overseas deployments to Northeast and Southeast Asia as well as the Middle East. He took part in Peacekeeping operations in Sinai Egypt as part of the Multinational Force and Observers (twice), as well as participated in exercise Cobra Gold 99 in Thailand, multiple rotations to the JRTC and other training sites throughout the country. Duty Stations included, Brocton, Massachusetts (Bco 1/18th IN USAR); Camp Casey, South Korea (Bco 1/503rd IN AASLT); Ft Campbell, Kentucky (HHC 3/187 IN, Recon Platoon); Ft Wainwirght, Alaska (Bco 2/1 IN Light); and Ft Benning, Georgia (HHC 2/29 IN, Operations). While on active duty, Mike also had the opportunity to attend several advanced schools and courses. Some highlights include graduating with honors from the Infantry Basic Non-Commissioned Officer Course and Primary Leadership Development Course. He also attended the Air Assault Course, Special Operations Target Interdiction Course (SOTIC Level II, 5th Special Forces Group) Northern Warfare Training Center Infantry Company Course, and the Army Instructor Training Course.

After leaving the Army with an honorable discharge in 2002, Mike took a position at a small security and fire protection engineering firm just outside of Washington D.C in Reston, Virginia. As a security engineer and consultant, Mike’s responsibilities included designing and evaluating physical security systems as well as conducting threat vulnerability and risk assessments (TRVA) mainly for local, state and federal agencies. While working at the firm he also had the opportunity to cross over to fire protection engineering, which involved similar work with fire protection and life safety systems.

After a couple years in the DC area Mike and his family made the move back to RI, this time with a job opportunity in the maritime security industry. As a Maritime Security Consultant he was tasked with training ship and port facility personnel in anti-terrorism subjects as well as conducting TRVA’s for ports and ships to ensure compliance with international regulations resulting from the attacks on 9/11.

Convoy Team stopping in at Q-West (located between Mosul and Baji)

Following some issues with the company’s payroll, Mike ultimately took a job as a civilian security specialist in Iraq and spent almost 2 years on the Captured Enemy Ammunition and Coalition Munitions Clearance  (CEA/CMC) program. While working overseas as a civilian contractor, Mike provided security for Explosives Ordnance Disposal personnel as well as remote camp and convoy security operations.

Mike is also the owner and administrator of DIY Tactical which is a website dedicated to making modifying and repairing tactical equipment. While overseas DIY Tactical transformed from an information only website and forum into an online military textiles store. At this point Mike left Iraq to come home to run the textiles business full time and did so for several years. Following the birth of his second child and the subsequent downturn in the economy, the web store was shut down. However, www.diytactical.com remains to this day and is the most active website of its kind on the net.

Currently Mike is working as a consultant in the crisis and emergency management industry where he assists in the design and delivery of training exercises and drills. Theses training scenarios run the gambit of manmade and natural disasters, whether it be a hurricane, earthquake, terrorist attack, an insider threat or cyber event. Mike is fortunate enough to be able to create chaos for a living and not get into trouble for it.

Mt Greylock
At the summit of Mt Greylock, highest point in Massachusetts

Still avid of the outdoors, Mike likes spend time on the trail, recently completing the 50 mile Monadnock Sunapee Greenway trail albeit in two separate section hikes. He also enjoys camping and backpacking with his family. Mike and his daughter have a goal of hiking all the highest peaks in New England, so far they’ve knocked out Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts with Mt Mansfield VT next on the list. Other hobbies include vehicle repair and restoration, shooting and firearms, hobby electronics, metalworking, welding and general DIY projects (fixing whatever his wife breaks).


 Mike’s Articles

How Does Your State Rank in Natural Disaster Risk? - CoreLogic recently released a risk analysis ranking “US States at Highest Risk of Property Damage Loss from Natural Hazards.” These hazards included: flood, wildfire, tornado, ... Read more
Survival Story: Captured by the Enemy - These stories always amaze me. Fighting for survival behind enemy lines There were times during their night marching when Crowson remembers being walked, under heavy ... Read more
5 to Stay Alive: Tips for Stealth Camping - What the hell is stealth camping you might ask? Well depending on who you talk to, you’ll get different answers, but in a nutshell it’s camping ... Read more
Driving on Snow and Ice - Yesterday morning I received a call from a good friend and hopefully future SA contributor, who after seeing the insanity taking place in the southern ... Read more
Cold Weather Injuries - Below please see the powerpoint on cold weather injury prevention and treatment. It’s a powerpoint presentation from the Northern Warfare Training Center (NWTC). This is ... Read more
5 to Stay Alive: Digital Security - If you aren’t aware of recent problems with digital privacy and cybersecurity you’re probably living on another planet. We are being bombarded with news about ... Read more
First Impressions: BIO Lite Backpacking Stove - I recently picked up a new stove for backpacking, The BioLite CampStove. I first saw mention of it about 2 years ago on YouTube. A ... Read more
Review: Sawyer PointONE™ All in One Filter -  During the process of lightening my backpack, I knew one of the heavier items I was carrying was my water filter, an MSR Miniworks purchased ... Read more
Survival Story: 72 Year Old Man Survives 19 Days in Wilderness. - You may or may not have heard of Gene Penaflor, a 72 year old hunter that was found himself lost when he and a friend ... Read more
Keep Calm! - Our spin on the famous British poster from WWII.  
Using COLD to Stay Warm - The key to staying warm when outside in cold weather is knowing how to dress properly. Back in my Army days, between being part of ... Read more
Nice Hypothermia Graphic from Eastern Mountain Sports - Not much to say here other than check out the graphic. Source: Eastern Mountain Sports
5 to Stay Alive: Winter Gear for the Car - I realize I’m putting the carriage before the horse here, but winter is quickly approaching and it’s time to start thinking about adjusting our emergency ... Read more
5 to Stay Alive: In Your Pockets - Often called Every Day Carry or EDC, these are items that you place in your pockets every morning on your way out of the house. ... Read more

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