My firearms career started early in my life. The day I started firearms education was on my 5th birthday. My grandfather bought me a single shot 22 caliber rifle. We practiced marksmanship and gun safety every time we shot together. On my 8th birthday I had decided my future was to be a soldier in the US Army. I lived and breathed this and my grandfather supported me in my decision. At 12 years old, I bought a life time membership to the NRA. I was very proud this accomplishment. When I turned 15, I was ready to learn to hunt so my grandfather took me to a gun club to complete a hunter safety course. My grandfather and I shot together often and he introduced me to firearms safety and the sport of hunting and when I turned 16, I applied for my first hunting license.
On my 18th birthday I followed my dream and joined the US Army. This is where I learned very specialized shooting skills. These skills were focused on defending yourself in the battle field and adapting to various weather conditions and terrains. I absorbed everything and I grew very quickly as a soldier in the Army. Training became second nature to me. I retired from the US Army holding the rank of Master Sergeant after many years of service for my country.
When I retired from the Army, I found myself trying to re-invent myself so that I could support myself and my family. I became a master plumber in New York and managed my own Plumbing and Excavation business for almost 20 years. When I moved to New Hampshire in 2007, I decided to build a construction business rather than start as an apprentice plumber in New Hampshire. Although the plumbing and construction careers were somewhat fullfilling to me, my heart belonged in the field of firearms and firearms training. I missed the soldier life and I especially missed being around firearms and teaching others how to use them respectfully.
Over the last few years, I’ve reflected on my career and how I've had to re-invent myself every few years. My first role is being a great husband and a supportive father to my three children, but as far as a career goes, construction was not providing the satisfaction and future I was looking for. Knowing how important and how successful soldiering and firearms had been in my past, a career in that field continued to present itself as the obvious direction for me. My very supportive family agreed that the path of firearms training for others who need it would match my interests, skill and talents best.
I took several courses at various shooting schools in the area to objectively measure my current skills, hear about areas I may need to improve and see which techniques and environments work best for students. As I found out, the military training was permanently imprinted, like riding a bike. The skills that I had not used in several years, although a bit rusty initially, came back in full force within a few rounds. After this eye-opening experience, I talked more about this as a real career change with my wife. We decided it would be best to invest more in pistol & rifle instructor’s courses so I could become a certified instructor, and share with others what I knew and loved. This led to the opening of the AT325 Shooting Academy.
I absolutely love teaching new, intermediate and seasoned shooters to improve their target shooting or defensive shooting skills. I share the same excitement that my students have in just experiencing the goal of becoming better skilled firearms owners. I have 43 of years of experience in firearms use that will be beneficial to my students. My mission is to train students in the safe use of firearms which results in fun for friends and family at the range. With this new passion and career in firearms education my life has become full again.