Commander Mark Nutsch shares the true-life story of helping lead what is considered the most successful unconventional warfare campaign in modern history, a victory that changed the course of our country and the world.
In October 2001 following the attacks on 9/11, Nutsch led a heroic 12-man team of U.S. Special Forces on a covert mission to Afghanistan, where they would ride to war on horses to fight the enemy—side by side with their Muslim counterparts—capture the strategic city of Mazar-i-Sharif within a matter of weeks, and successfully overthrow the Taliban. Now a reservist in special operations, he earned a Bronze Star with valor for his bravery. In 2018, Nutsch, as “Captain Mitch Nelson,” will be portrayed by actor Chris Hemsworth in the major motion picture “12 Strong,” based on the best-selling book “Horse Soldiers” by Doug Stanton.
On stage, Nutsch enthralls audiences with an edge-of-your-seat, behind-the-scenes account of how this almost unbelievable event played out, impacted the world, and earned them the gratitude of a nation. He also shares perspectives on preparing his team of “guerrilla diplomats” for ever-evolving on-the-ground circumstances, and how resourcefulness, inventiveness, and commitment, along with adaptability, a diverse team, and a capacity to persevere enabled them to successfully accomplish their mission.
Since the organization’s founding in 2010 following the massive Haiti earthquake, Team Rubicon has responded to over 100 disasters and grown from eight to 35,000 volunteer members. Under Wood’s leadership, the organization has responded following the tornado in Joplin, Missouri, Hurricane Sandy, the tornado in Moore, Oklahoma, Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, the 2014 wildfire in Pateros, Washington, and the 2015 earthquakes in Nepal.
As a Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps, Wood deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan as a Scout Sniper and earned the Navy-Marine Commendation Medal. A leading veterans’ advocate, Wood has briefed President Obama on veterans’ issues, met with former Presidents Bush and Clinton on veteran transition and disaster response and testified before a Senate committee to improve mental health care services for returning veterans. He has also appeared in the major media, including MSNBC, CNN, NBC, ABC, Al Jazeera, US News & World Report, Forbes, Fox News and penned an op-ed for The New York Times. In 2014, Crown Publishing published Wood’s book, Take Command: Lessons in Leadership.
Wood has received numerous awards including: Chronicle of Philanthropy’s “40 Under Forty”; Goldman Sachs “100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs” award; and was selected as a CNN Hero in 2012.