Cairn Leadership

About Tyler Van Horn

Born and raised in Seattle, Tyler grew up backpacking, skiing, and climbing throughout the North Cascades. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 2001 and served over twenty years in the Army as an Infantry and Special Forces officer. Tyler deployed twelve times throughout his military career, leading specialized teams through the planning and execution of high-risk ground combat operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations around the world. During his service, Tyler was decorated with five Bronze Star Medals, including one for Valor during a hostage rescue operation in Syria.

After transitioning from the Army, Tyler continues to pursue his passion of helping leaders and teams become the best versions of themselves possible by learning and growing in the outdoors. Tyler has a broad range of experience in developing leaders, including teaching strategic studies to cadets at West Point, building custom training programs for Navy SEAL Teams and Air Force Pararescue Jumpers, and working directly with individual leaders across government and private businesses. He also works as a climbing, canyoneering, and wilderness backpacking Field Instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS).


Tyler holds his Bachelor of Science in Spanish and German, a Master of Science in Defense Analysis from the Naval Postgraduate School, and is currently completing a second Master of Science degree in Outdoor Recreation Economy from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is certified as a Wilderness First Responder, a Leave No Trace Master Educator, and is an aspiring AMGA Single Pitch Instructor.