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Charles Bausman Bio from MTI: Charlie served as a Marine Infantry Officer, separating as a Captain. He deployed to Afghanistan (OEF) and Iraq (OIR) as a Platoon Commander and Company Executive Officer. He has competed in a wide variety of athletics, from boxing to strongman to mountain triathlons. Charlie has completed the Military Athlete Advanced Programming Course and Crossfit Level 1. Charlie graduated from the College of Charleston in 2010.
When did you first become interested in being a Marine?
I was first interested in joining the military while in high school, but opted to follow a chance at playing football at the college level. As it turns out I wasn’t talented enough to be a starter in college, but the Marine Corps continued to stand out to me as a way to serve the country in a time of war. I admired the Marines I knew and the reputation of the service.
Has anyone else in your family been a member of the armed forces?
My father served in Vietnam, and my step-father served in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). Neither pushed me towards the military - in fact, they were both very nervous about me going in as a infantry officer.
How many deployments overseas do you have under your belt?
I deployed to Afghanistan in 2013, and Iraq in 2015.
Can you describe the terrain/environment that you experienced while overseas?
As you might expect, Iraq is incredibly hot… Like melt the sole of your boots while walking hot. The ground can be hard, cracked earth or sandy.
Afghanistan has a wide variety of climates and terrain. My unit was sent to Helmand Province, where the Marine Corps was predominantly deployed from 2008 - 2015. It was another arid environment, although it is marked with water filled wadi’s (small canals used for agricultural irrigation) in farming areas.
How crucial was having quality gear?
Foot care is one of the most important pieces of gear an infantryman carries. When you’re walking with loads of up to 100 lbs, your feet will get trashed unless you take care of them. A good pair of socks is one of the items I don’t mind splurging on. You’re no good to your unit if you can’t walk.
What drove you to select FITS during your deployment and how did it perform under pressure?
A friend had recommended FITS because they made a sock which was the ideal thickness for hot environments. If socks are too thick, your feet will sweat and cause blisters. Too thin, and they’ll wear out. I spent a small fortune on a variety of socks but found FITS to work the best for me.
What was the most challenging part of your time in the military? Physically, mentally, or both.
Carrying a super heavy pack for long distances is always a physical kick in the butt. You get used to it, but it’s not something I would ever do for fun. “Embracing the suck” is incredibly important for morale. If you can learn how to laugh while living out of a hole in the ground, the hard stuff is much easier.
What is your current role with MTI?
I am a researcher and strength & conditioning coach for MTI. We focus on mission specific performance for those in professions whose lives depend on their performance. This is includes military, law enforcement, fire/ems, and mountain athletes. Our mountain athlete community consists of mountain guides, elite level skiers/snowboarders, climbers, etc.
How did you get involved with MTI?
I had taken a course with MTI while still in the military. After transitioning from active duty, I started with a internship at MTI and now work there full time in Jackson, WY.
How has your experience in the military translated into your current field and position at MTI?
We work predominantly with military personnel, so having that baseline experience established is very helpful. The military has it’s own culture and it’s own language - if you haven’t done it, it’s hard to understand.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Working with our athletes. I had a week where I was working with a special operations military unit one day, and then coaching a couple of olympic skiers the next. The research we do encompasses fitness, psychological performance, gear, and tactical level policy. It’s a jack of all trades position that is both physically and intellectually stimulating.
How crucial is having quality gear in your current role?
I still serve in the reserves, so the need is absolutely there for quality gear. I’m also active in mountain biking, trail running, snowboarding, backcountry hunting, and Brazilian jiu jitsu. I need quality gear that won’t fail on me.
Does the gear that you wear on a daily basis impact your ability to perform? Does it change based on the type of training or terrain?
As we like to say at MTI, “the mountain doesn’t care.” My mountain objectives aren’t anything close to what our athletes do (a co-worker who doubled as a mountain guide had climbed Mt. Denali over twenty times), but quality gear is a very important component to successfully and safely achieving the goal.
Lastly, we have to ask, but would you recommend FITS socks to current service members or anyone training with MTI?
Yes. I tried a huge variety of brands. FITS has been the best for me.
Your sock size shouldn’t be a guessing game. Our socks range from small to double XL, but the best way to know the perfect fit for you is to match your shoe size to the chart on the left. That way, you’ll know the size you select will give you the fit and feel you expect.
Between sizes? Go with your gut, but rest assured that your socks will still fit great. If you receive your order and find yourself wishing you’d gone up or down a size, just let us know. We’ll happily send you replacements for your preferred size.
Concerned about laundry mix-ups? All FITS® socks are coordinated by color and size, based on the colors you see on the size chart. So, you won’t have to worry about mixing up your sizes with the other FITS® wearers in your home. (But stray socks mysteriously going missing in the dryer? Unfortunately, we can’t help with that.)
Sock sizes are typically measured in inches, not by your shoe size. So, a sock size 6-8 will comfortably fit someone whose feet are between six and eight inches long. However, at FITS®, we make it easy for you to choose the ideal sock size without having to measure your foot. Simply use our sock size conversion chart based on your shoe size to select the right fit for you.
To measure your foot for socks, measure the length from the heel of your foot to the tip of your longest toe. The measurement in inches correlates to your sock size. For example, if your foot is 10 inches long, a sock size 9-11 should fit you comfortably. At FITS®, you can skip this step and find your sock size based on your shoe size using our conversion chart.
The sock size conversion refers to sock size compared to shoe size. While all companies may vary slightly on which size socks to purchase based on your shoe size, you can always measure your foot to find the right fit for you.
Because sock sizes are determined by the length of your foot in inches vs. your shoe size, shoe and sock sizes differ. The FITS® sock size to shoe size conversion is as follows:
Knowing this makes it easy to choose the ideal sock size based on your shoe size without measuring your foot.
Sock sizes typically don’t correlate with age. For kids, age can be a general indicator of what size sock they’ll need, but everyone is different. An adult sock size 9-12 fits anyone whose feet are approximately nine to twelve inches long. For kids’ sock sizing, check with the company to find exact details to ensure your little one gets the perfect fit.
Got more questions about finding the perfect sock size for you? Let’s talk.