I have been a firearms instructor for much of my adult life, not as a full-time position, but in addition to my primary occupation as a technologist. I spent eight (8) years in the U.S. Navy where I was part of the pilot program for what is today the Individual Augmentee program. While today IA sailors are combat trained by the Army, my class was trained by the Marine Corps. (Semper Fi!) During this time I received the Navy Expert Pistol and Navy Expert Rifle Medals. I did one deployment serving in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Iraq during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Upon my return I was tasked with anciallary duties as a Firearms Instructor.
Later, I joined the Brermerton Police Department in Bremerton, Washington as as Reserve Police Officer and attended the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission’s Reserve Law Enforcement Academy. After serviing as a patrolman for a little over a year, I was again tasked with Firearms Instructor duties, focused on the annual re-certification of reserve police officers and sheriff deputies. I served four years as a reserve/part time police officer.
I have been a firearms instructor for nearly 30 years and fully realize that in order to be the best instructor I can – to help people develop into safe and compentent gun-owners – I need first to be a good student myself. Firearms competency is a perishable skill – if you don’t use it, you loose it! To that end, I typically attend 1- 2 trainings per year from some of the top instructors around the US (Gunsite Academy, Sig Sauer Academy, Masaad Ayood Group, Rob Pincus, (I.C.E./CFS), Haley Strategic, etc.) and continuously incorporate what I learn into my courses.
In his book As a Man Thinketh, author James Allen wrote ‘Circumstance does not make the man; it reveals him to himself.‘ (Allen, J., 1903) We can have a discussion about how “deep” that statement is, but to keep it lite — You do not want to be found wanting in your self-protection skills when faced with an armed intruder to your home. That’s the wrong ‘circumstance’ for your lack of training & skill to be ‘revealed.’
One must not only learn the basics, but commit to on-going training including situational training. Going to the range to plink a few rounds once a month is NOT training; it’s just shooting; most likely, amounting to nothing more than reminding you what recoil feels like. While all of our courses have a distinct focus, you will also leave with next steps and recommended exercises so when you do go to the range you can work on maintaining and improving your skills.
Unfortunately being skilled in firearms alone is not enough in these times. The litigious nature of our current society has many gun owners scared; scared about what may happen should they find themselves in a situation which forces them to draw, let alone discharge, their firearm. This is why in 2021 I decided to becomes a certfiied Instructor of the USCCA. Their Conceled Carry and Home Defense Fundamentals course has become the ‘gold-standard’ training for those planning on carrying conceled. Not only does the course teach the basics of HOW to to shoot, but also provideds excellent instruction on the legal aspects of knowing WHEN to shoot and WHAT to do (and not do) after.
Welcome to Proeliator! I appreciate you being here and and look forward to a long relationship with you.
Remember our motto: “Vincit Que Se Vincit” – “He conquers who conquers himself“
Dr. Burgard is a life-long 2nd Amendment supporter, a Benefactor Life Member of the NRA, a USCCA and NRA Certified Instructor in multiple diciplines and a proud member of the FBI’s Infraguard organization. Mark received his PhD in Computational and Data Sciences from Chapman University in Orange, CA. (And no, that doesn’t help him shoot any better. 😊)
USCCA Instructor Certifications:
- Concealed Carry & Home Defense Fundamentals
- Countering the Mass Shooter Threat
- Ultimate Concealed Carry Experience
- Woman's Handgun & Self-Defense Fundamentals
- Emergency First Aid Fundamentals
- Children's Firearms & Safety Fundamentals
- Range Safety Officer
NRA Instructor Certifications:
- Basics of Pistol Shooting
- Basics of Rifle Shooting
- Basics of Shotgun Shooting
- Home FIrearms Safety
- Refuse To Be A Victum
- Personal Protection Inside the Home
- Personal Protection Outside the Home
- Range Safety Officer
NRA Law Enforcement Division Certifications:
- Handgun Instructor
- Shotgun Instructor
- Tactical Shooting Instructor
- Tactical Shotgun Instructor
- Patrol Rifle Instructor
- Precision (Scoped) Rifle Instructor
Navigate 360 Certifications:
- ALICE Certified Instructor
Illinois State Police Certifications:
- Concealed Carry License Instructor
- The Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events
Circumstance does not make the man;
it reveals him to himself.
James Allen, Author, As A Man Thinketh