Former U.S. Army officer and deputy commander of the S.C. State Guard to attempt Mt. Everest

by W. THOMAS SMITH, JR. February 25, 2014


Ever wonder what our brave troops do in their spare time? Former U.S. Army officer and deputy commander of the S.C. State Guard attempts Mt. Everest.

S.C.-based environmental attorney Tom Mullikin will attempt to climb Earth's highest mountain, the fabled Mt. Everest, in June 2015. It will not be the first of the world's great mountains for Mullikin, but the great Himalayan summit - located in Asia on the China-Tibet-Nepal border (at 29,029 feet above sea level) - will be his most challenging.

Attempting Everest is all part of his quest to become the first man to both climb the world's seven great summits and dive in the world's five oceans. He's already accomplished dives in all five oceans. And last month he returned from climbing South America's Mt. Aconcagua, his fourth of the seven summits. Mullikin has climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro (Africa's highest peak), Russia's Mt. Elbrus (Europe's highest peak), and Mt. Kosciuscko (Australia's highest peak).

Everest will be his fifth. He'll have Alaska's Mt. McKinley and Antarctica's Vincent Massif remaining.

"Altitude and what it does to the body is the killer," says Mullikin - a former U.S. Army officer and honorary "Green Beret" who also serves as deputy commander of the S.C. State Guard. "Physical conditioning is vital as is interviewing and hiring the best expert guide, which I am process of doing for Everest."

Mullikin has led environmental exploratory expeditions to many of the most remote regions on every continent on Earth. In the interim between Aconcagua and Everest, he will lead an expedition to Antarctica, Dec. 2014, his fourth to the icy continent.

W. Thomas Smith Jr. - a former U.S. Marine rifleman - is a military analyst and partner with NATIONAL DEFENSE CONSULTANTS, LLC. Visit him at

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