I grew up in East Tennessee in the 60’s and 70’s, and first learned about guns from my Dad. I got more shooting experience in Boy Scouts, where I attained the rank of Eagle Scout and in Army JROTC in high school. In JROTC, we actually set up pellet traps and practiced position rifle marksmanship with air rifles in the classroom. (Can you imagine such a thing today?)
I attended college at East Tennessee State University, where I continued my Army ROTC career until graduation. I was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant in the US Army in 1985, and assigned to the Air Defense Artillery branch. I attended my Officer Basic Course at Ft. Bliss, Texas, followed by training in short range air defense systems including the Stinger missile and Vulcan gun. During the summer of 1986 I also attended the US Army Airborne School and US Army Pathfinder School at Ft. Benning, Georgia.
I then returned to Ft. Bliss where I was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 6th ADA Regiment and served as a Vulcan platoon leader, FAAR radar platoon leader, battery executive officer, and battalion adjutant before being promoted to captain and attending the Air Defense Artillery Officer Advanced Course. I also attended the PATRIOT Missile Officer Course before being assigned as an Exchange Officer to the Canadian Forces Air Defence Artillery School in Chatham, New Brunswick in 1990. While there I served as OIC of an instructor cell responsible for conducting transition training of Canadian troops into a new air defense missile system, including several live missile firings.
Upon completion of my Canadian assignment in 1992, I returned to Ft. Bliss, Texas, where I was assigned as the Fire Direction Section OIC of 2nd Battalion (PATRIOT), 7th ADA Regiment. While in that position, we deployed the battalion to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in support of Operation Southern Watch in 1993.
Once the battalion redeployed to Ft. Bliss, I traveled to Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas to attend the Combined Arms and Services Staff School, before returning to my battalion and assuming command of C Battery, 2nd Battalion (PATRIOT), 7th ADA Regiment. While in command of C Battery, the battalion received orders to deploy to the Republic of Korea in support of President Clinton’s efforts to influence the North Korean nuclear development program in 1994. We completed our mission and redeployed back to Ft. Bliss in late 1994, and in the spring of 1995, I elected to leave the Army.
Once out of the military, I moved to Northern Kentucky and went to work as a manufacturing supervisor at Serta Mattress Company in Cincinnati, Ohio, but before long I knew I wanted to find something more rewarding. I became a police officer at a local municipal agency in 1997, graduating first in my police academy class and going to work in the patrol division. During my time at that department, I served on the SWAT team and as a firearms instructor, and wrote a position paper successfully advocating for the adoption of patrol rifles.
I left police work after a few years, and am currently in my 11th year in the corporate security division of a major financial services company. In my role there, I have held instructor certifications in several systems of defensive tactics, handcuffing, and pepper spray.
In my off time, I operate my personal safety training company, Aegis Solutions LLC. I incorporated Aegis Solutions in 2010 as a one-man mobile training service which can deliver training to the customer’s location, and on a flexible schedule designed to accommodate the customer’s needs. I had originally intended to focus on personal safety training such as the NRA Refuse To Be A Victim program, but my customer interest has been almost 100% in the area of firearms and concealed carry training. I am a certified NRA Pistol Instructor and Range Safety Officer, as well as a Refuse To Be A Victim Instructor. I am certified to deliver concealed carry training in both Ohio and in Kentucky.
I am a Life Member of the National Rifle Association and the Miami Rifle and Pistol Club in Milford, Ohio. I compete regularly in local steel plate matches, and in the United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) Single Stack division, where I currently hold a “C” level classification. I am an alumnus of Gunsite Academy, and have also trained with Louis Awerbuck, Dave Spaulding, and others in my pursuit to become not just a better shooter, but a better instructor.
I have also trained in the Japanese martial art of aikido at Aikido of Cincinnati since 2001, where I currently hold the rank of nidan, or 2nd degree black belt. I am a student of Shihan Charlie McGinnis, 6th dan, and teach a weekly class as a member of the instructional staff at the dojo.
Odd jobs I’ve held include ski lift operator, forest fire fighter, and radio announcer.
To be continued…