As many of you know, I consider it very important that anyone who carries a gun for self and family defense get proper training. Furthermore, I urge those persons to continue to practice and get further training.

As a firearms instructor the attitude of “always being a student” is a moral imperative. I’ve written about this before.

We at Citizens Defense Training LLC live this attitude several times a year, and the lessons we learn we try to pass on to you. So, I thought in this piece I’d share with you some of the history of our training received and provide you information on those who provided it.

Some of the earliest and most influential trainers I was exposed to come from Naval Special Warfare or Army Special Operations. Men such as Ken Good, of Progressive Combat Solutions (, Jeff Gonzales, of Trident Concepts (, and Dale McClellan, of Special Tactical Services ( were early and powerful influencers in my attitude towards training and all come from the US Navy.

From the US Army side of the house I was exposed to some great training with Kyle Lamb, of Viking Tactics ( and Larry Vickers, of Vickers Tactical (, as well as Mike Pannone, of CTT Solutions ( and Pat McNamara, of TMACS, Inc (

One must never stop learning however, and training continued with the late Pat Rogers, of EAG Tactical, an early leader in the tactical training industry. I also sought the perspective of the competition pistol world, being tutored by the late Todd L. Green.

The Global War on Terror has resulted in a lot of real life “lessons learned” and this knowledge is being brought back to police and civilian trainers by veterans of this generational war. As some of our mentors have said, a lot of “good ideas” developed before 9/11/2001 were proven not so good, and the importance of basics and more basics shown to be most important.

Men from US Army Special Operations like Bob Keller, of Gamut Resolutions ( and John McPhee, of SOB Tactical ( were and will continue to be great resources. The very talented cadre of Northern Red ( have an excellent program and fundamentals, mastered, are their focus. Dan Brokos, of Lead Faucet Tactical ( comes from this world, and offers great training with dynamic components, also.

From the US Navy, two of the most reputable instructors out there are Bill Rapier, of American Tactical Shooting Instruction ( and Kyle DeFoor, of DeFoor Proformance Shooting (, who have integrated the often overlooked skillset of close quarter combatives.

I have had the good fortune to train with all of these men, and they have my respect and gratitude. This ongoing attitude of “always be a student” is in keeping with our commitment to you, the Responsible Civilian and working Police Officer. We do our best to share with you the lessons learned from these experienced mentors.

As you read this you may wonder, “Why is CDT sharing information about other trainers?” The answer is simple. The responsibility of carrying a firearm is too great, and the skills to do so legally and responsibly too important to not share this. Some of you reading this may have trained with us and might be ready or are close to being ready to seek out additional knowledge and experience. The above listed trainers are the best place to start. Others of you may aspire to seek training from guys like those described. Come see us at CDT and begin your journey.

God bless.

Ron Flowers is a veteran of the US Navy (Reserves), the US Merchant Marine, and is a retired lieutenant of the Allentown (Pa) Police, and former LEP (Law Enforcement Professional) contractor in Operation Enduring Freedom. Ron owns Citizens Defense Training LLC ( and trains vetted civilians, as well as providing training to small police departments, with municipal police state training commission approved classes.  He also serves the NRA Law Enforcement Division as an Adjunct Instructor and can be reached at [email protected].

Photo courtesy of Citizens Defense Training LLC