Ssg. Thomas J. Holt – Instructor Tom’s career with firearms began right after he graduated high school and joined the United States Army. Two tours in Iraq later, Tom is still proudly serving in the Army. As a Staff Sergeant, he has received extensive training from the Army and other credentialed organizations in the categories of rifle, pistol, shotgun and machine gun. With his live combat and training experiences, Tom brings a perspective to class that not many instructors can claim. His calm demeanor and patience helps him reach students and deliver exceptional instruction. Whether running an Army range or your local range, you can always count on being on a safe range with Tom (who is also a certified Range Safety Officer).
Gary Mathers –Instructor Gary is no stranger to teaching students how to use a firearm and hunter’s education. He has been a volunteer Master Instructor for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Hunter Safety Course for over 25 years. That is almost half as long as Gary has been hunting. Gary’s background includes being a Richton Park police officer and he also served as the Regional Chairman for Shooters Education for the Jaycee’s Association. Firearms aren’t Gary’s only specialty; he is also an instructor for the National Bow Hunter’s Education Foundation for over 15 years. When Gary isn’t busy doing all of these things, he works as a gun smith at a local FFL shop; he has been a gun smith for over 20 years. Students love talking to Gary about his vast knowledge of firearms, gun smithing questions and also proper firearm selection. He holds multiple certifications with the NRA and also for teaching concealed carry classes.
Chad Hayden – Instructor Chad has been an avid firearm enthusiast and shooter since childhood and enjoys teaching both new and experienced shooters. He is an NRA certified instructor in multiple disciplines including pistol, rifle, shotgun, personal protection in the home and personal protection outside of the home and NRA range safety officer. Additionally, Chad is certified to teach Illinois conceal carry classes and Utah concealed firearm classes, and he is a certified Glock armorer.
Chad is currently an Auditor with the State of Illinois and is also a Certified Fraud Examiner, but his prior military and law enforcement training has taught him the importance of always having the proper security mindset and good training is essential.
Frederick Coleman US Navy (Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class) – Instructor Risk assessment, incident prevention and Fire Life Safety are just a few skills and occupations where Fred commits his time and attention to. Fred is a Director of Security and Fire Safety in the Financial District of downtown Chicago. Fred is also a licensed firearms instructor for concealed carry in many states including Illinois, Utah, Florida and Arizona. He is also a NRA Certified Pistol Instructor, a SAFTD Instructor for Defensive Shotgun and Defensive Rifle and a Notary Public. As a strong believer of 2nd Amendment rights Fred is gifted in presenting great detail and insight to the firearms community and loves to share his joy of teaching. Fred is a former martial artist veteran having served 4 years in the United States Navy with the Fleet Marine Force as a Hospital Corpsman(Doc). Fred's experiences has instilled the significance of vigilance in maintaining the "Warrior Mindset" and always being prepared. A Doc's duty and responsibility is to give you what you need to keep you in the fight.
Shaun Farmer – President White collar crime and fraud investigation is where Shaun focuses his career. Shaun is an auditor, Certified Fraud Examiner, and private investigator. As an avid hunter and sportsman, he turned his focus on his love to teach. Shaun is a licensed firearm instructor by the State of Illinois, certified by the NRA and SAFTD, and also other state agencies to teach concealed carry courses. He offers courses in many disciplines including pistol, rifle and shotgun courses and also offers defensive shooting and instructor courses. Shaun has been teaching and coordinating firearms courses for years. As a people person coupled with light humor, he is able to reach students and help them understand complex topics. Shaun believes in the life long student mindset and tries to instill that in his students! Don’t let the title fool you though, Shaun always makes time for his family, students, and customers.
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