Armor Down is the creation of Ben King, and it is his background that makes Armor Down unique.

Ben served in the Iraq war as a Psychological Operations Sergeant in the U.S. Army. During that time, he was chief of a three-man Tactical PSYOPS Team. As team leader during the initial stages of the 2007 troop surge, Ben:

  • Participated in the Psychological Operations Campaign in south Baghdad
  • Planned missions that built relationships with authorities in the Iraqi community in order to generate passive intelligence
  • In interactions with the commander and staff of the Artillery Battalion, advocated for the use of communication and other non-forceful methods of influence

In addition, Ben taught the following skills to soldiers before their deployment to Iraq:

  • Communicating face-to-face
  • Distinguishing body-language subtleties
  • Utilizing interpreters for effective communication
  • Recognizing cultural similarities and differences
  • Controlling crowds in order to defuse dangerous situations
  • Broadcasting over loudspeakers in order to disseminate information

After his service ended, Ben obtained a master’s degree in Public Anthropology from American University. His coursework further honed his skills as an effective observer and communicator and enhanced his ability to interact successfully with people of all backgrounds.

As part of his master’s studies, Ben utilized his military and academic training to examine the many facets of the American fitness industry. His investigations led him to conclude that most civilian styles of fitness training are similar to the military’s “No Pain, No Gain” style of exercise—an approach he knew from his own experience to be unsustainable.

After receiving his degree, Ben’s continuing search for techniques to restore his pre-war physical and mental well-being led him to such practices as mindfulness meditation and yoga. Ben recognized these practices as being fundamentally more sustainable than most popular fitness approaches, and he began sharing his knowledge in weekly blog posts. He also created his own fitness regimen called Mindful Personal Training, which he currently practices and teaches both in classes and in one-on-one sessions. He has been certified by the National Strength Professionals Association as a Certified Personal Trainer.

Recently, after the publication of numerous studies supporting the use of integrative techniques for dealing with postwar mind-body conditions, Ben resolved to develop a means for allowing service members and veterans access to these techniques. Armor Down is the result.