Writer: Emily C. Kelley, 575-646-1957, firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you prepared for an economic collapse, a natural disaster or, to borrow a line from R.E.M., the "end of the world as we know it?" If you are, great, you will likely be better off than most people should something horrible happen. If not, well, maybe you should tune into National Geographic's "Apocalypse 101" starring New Mexico State University alum Michael Kozeliski and three associates.
Kozeliski, along with Mark J. Puhaly, James "Jimmy" Campbell and Joel Stevens, owns Forge Survival Supply, a company supplying gear to help clients survive almost any situation. Kozeliski describes the company as an online survival store that sells high-end gear that, "unlike insurance, works when you need it the most."
"We were approached as a company by different networks about doing a survival show," Kozeliski said. "About a year and a half ago, Zig Zag Productions contacted us and National Geographic bought three shows. After seeing us film on location, they bought two more."
All of the men have served or are still serving in the Marine Corps. They use their skills and knowledge to teach survival skills to their clients, helping prepare them for the unexpected. The group teaches primitive survival skills, evaluates and installs home security and among other things, evaluates and assembles clients' "bug out bags" and survival plans.
"Many people are worried about the possibility of economic collapse and all that will come with it," Kozeliski said. "What happens if sanitation workers don't go to work and waste builds up and as a result, pest infestations and disease become problems? What happens if truck drivers can't go to work and food isn't delivered to grocery stores? How would you make it? All of these issues piggyback on one another."
"Apocalypse 101" is an hour long show that airs Tuesday evenings on the National Geographic channel. The show has two more scheduled episodes - "Guns, Bunkers and Grease" and "Better Safe Than Sorry," both scheduled to air Tuesday, April 2. Check local listings for the time.
During his time at NMSU, Kozeliski earned his bachelor's of science in civil engineering, with minors in mathematics, economics, business management and environmental waste management. He served as student body president, was a collegiate decathlete on the track and field team and served as an ex-officio member of the New Mexico Board of Regents.
He graduated in 1995 and worked on the 1996 U.S. Sen. Pete V. Domenici reelection campaign and later worked in Washington for U.S. Congressman Joe Skeen. He volunteered as a member of the advance team on the Bush for President Campaign before returning home to New Mexico in 2000 to serve as the executive director of the New Mexico Victory 2000 Campaign. Following President G.W. Bush's election, Kozeliski served on the Presidential Inaugural Committee staff, and then was appointed to the Department of the Interior by President Bush, where he served as special assistant to the Secretary of the Interior in the Office of Surface Mining and Minerals Management Service. He later worked as the special assistant to the Director of Bureau of Land Management and as a member of the Office of Presidential Advance team.
Following the attacks on Sept. 11, 2011, Kozeliski joined the Marine Corps, earning a commission as a second lieutenant. While on active duty, Kozeliski was promoted to first lieutenant and later captain, serving two tours in Iraq. He was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in 2007, but later returned to the Marines as a reservist, serving with a unit in Albuquerque, N.M.
In addition to Forge Survival Supply, Kozeliski operates Survival Cache, works in water security and as a consultant continuing to pursue business opportunities and various entrepreneurial ventures.
Having earned his bachelor's of science in civil engineering and Engineer in Training certification, Kozeliski says that the skills NMSU professors taught him - logical reasoning and critical thinking skills - are invaluable.
"You can't put a roof on or paint a house until you have a solid foundation. All too often people try to do that with their projects and I have to say 'hold up, let's look at this again,'" he said. "Engineering students need to learn the fundamentals in school and go out and violently execute their ideas. For all you know, you may have the next widget everyone wants for Christmas."
To read more about "Apocalypse 101," visit http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/apocalypse-101/. To provide feedback to the network email email@example.com reference "Apocalypse 101" to support the show.
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