Rob Curtis, long-time senior photographer for Military Times, is now the new, Staff Features Editor for Recoil Magazine.
This is a pretty big win for Recoil, a tactical firearms mag launched in 2012. Rob has become one of the most knowledgeable small-arms and gear writers in the business.
I have known Rob for about 16 years. For 11 of those years, we worked together at Military Times. We had our first real-world assignment together in June 1999 when the U.S. Peace-Keeping Force went into Kosovo. Four years later, Rob and I found ourselves together again during the start of the ground invasion of Iraq in 2003. We swallowed the same dust in an all-day street battle, shadowing soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division in Karbala.
Since then, Rob and I have worked together, argued like brothers and competed against one another covering weapons and gear used by the U.S. Military. He has also been a mentor as I still struggle to learn photography.
Rob is a skilled photographer and videographer, but he has also branched out and developed as a writer. He was the driving force behind the creation of GearScout at Military Times several years ago. Some of the leadership was skeptical of the concept at the time, but Rob has built the site into a respected source of behind-the-scenes gouge on the military small-arms and gear industry.
Rob has also spent time shooting in matches run by the United States Practical Shooting Association and plans to try his hand at three-gun matches soon.
Rob told me it was a tough decision to leave Military Times.
"It's bitter sweet, leaving behind 17 years of memories and experience," he said, describing his relationships with the staff and with the troops he has covered. "My work there was fun, but also very meaningful."
But, Rob said that Recoil offered him an opportunity to grow in a new direction and that he's excited for the new challenge.
Best of luck to you at Recoil, Rob.
Here are a few photos Rob took on April 5, 2003 in Iraq for Military Times. Rob and I were embedded with soldiers of the "Bulldogs" Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) as they engaged in a block-to-block city fight to clear Karbala of militia and weapons.