This is a bit of a guilty hobby… morale patches are fun to collect. I have many that are simply for fun, but this article is a chance to explain some of the patches I currently have with significant meaning. These are the patches I display in my classroom when I am teaching. They are meant to be conversation pieces to help draw students into my world, my experiences and my motivations for teaching in the defensive firearms world.
Ideals and Motivation
First and foremost, I consider myself a Christian and a Patriot. My faith, ideals and principles guide every decision I make in life. I teach and train self-defense because I believe that innocent life is sacred and worth protecting. I believe wholeheartedly the God instilled our rights to life, liberty, property and pursuit of happiness; as well as gave us the ability to protect those things.
I am a firm believer in the constitution of the United Sates, which serves as a governing document to protect those rights (that is, when our politicians follow the rules and limitations set down in the constitution).
The patches that make up this block espouse those principles mentioned above. I should make a note about the two flag pins on either side of the main flag patch. The one on the left is simply a reworking of the Gadsden flag which represents the resistance to oppression our founding fathers demonstrated with their sacred honor and treasure. The pin on the right is the battlefield cross. This is in honor of all of those fine soldiers who have given up their lives to protect the freedoms we have here at home. I would be remiss without mentioning, I get these pins from a retired former Army SF/Green Beret. This gentleman makes some very awesome items I personally gift out to my warrior friends and assistant instructors. Find him at this link: https://www.facebook.com/specialoperationspins/
Earned and Gifted
Here are a few that I am extremely proud of… These are all patches which I have earned through hard work, my time and my treasure; or in the case of one of these, a gift from a good friend and training/competition partner.
The bottom three patches are certifications I have achieved with the intent to enable my teaching of Concealed Carry Classes. They have also served to improve my teaching abilities as each class provides a different method or style of teaching. These certifications also required me to teach in front of other professional instructors and take criticism in my content and delivery of the class concepts.
The dragonfly patch I earned through taking Haley Strategic’s D5 Carbine class. This was an intense 3 day class where I learned how to effectively deploy my AR-15 style carbine. I even ended up running my rifle out to 600 yards on a time challenge and was able to make the hit in about 1.2 seconds from a freestanding position (click this ink to read the course review of Haley Strategic’s class.).
The Q-Series patch was given to me and others after going through an instructor development class with Gary Quesenberry hosted by an instructor association which I used to be a leading member. Gary was the former lead firearms instructor for the Federal Air Marshals as well as a competitor on the History Channel’s “Top Shot” TV program. His class was awesome, and I hope to train with him again one day. (click this link for the course review of Gary’s class.)
The last patch, in the upper right corner, is quite special. A good friend gave me this patch to celebrate the birth of my son. While I will not name him for the sake of his anonymity, I can say he is one of the best shooters I know. I very much enjoy getting to put practice time and competition time with him, and he always pushes to shoot better, faster and more accurate.
I wish I had patches from all of the classes/trainings I have attended. Unfortunately not all of them had patches available. I figure, when I start my advanced classes, I will have to have some patches made for my students.
Organizations I Am Involved With
I am a Life-Member of the NRA… as well as an NRA certified instructor. While the NRA has taken some flack recently for some less than optimal stances on gun-control… they are still the largest group of Pro-Second-Amendment supporters in the nation. A little leadership shake-up may make them affective again. The NRA also does a massive amount of education support of adult and youth shooting sports. This helps maintain my respect and support for the organization.
I also support other pro-2A organizations, like the Firearms Policy Coalition, but I don’t have any patches for them yet. 😉
I am also a competitor in the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA). This is a place where I can practice skills not allowed at your basic indoor range, like drawing your firearm and shooting while moving. Competition also provides some stress on top of your skills, as your score is time based and you have an audience. I encourage everyone who does concealed carry to go out and compete.
Products and Gear
I only display the patches of companies’ products I use and have high levels of quality in their specific product lines.
I carry and shoot Heckler and Koch, Sig Sauer and Glock Pistols regularly. Each of these brands have high quality and reliability. My current choice for daily carry is the Heckler and Koch VP9.
G-Code tends to be my go-to for outside the waistband holsters. Typically I only use OWB holsters for competition and “Tactical”/Defensive load outs and not for Concealed Carry (I use JM Custom Kydex for CCW, but I don’t have a patch by them yet). AR-500 armor sells decent rifle rated body armor for a good price to civilians. This is for my “Tactical”/defensive load out as well. Only for use during training or if we have a terrible civil-unrest event which the use of body armor is merited.
Scalarworks, makes the best optic mount on the planet. All of my rifles are outfitted with scalar works mounts. They are light-weight, tough as could be and their ratcheting mount screws allow me to take off the optic and put it back on without losing my zero. These are great mounts.
Lastly, the one product that is not 100% related to firearms. The hand with the two fingers sticking out is a salute from SKILLSET magazine. These guys are all about “Redefining the Alpha Lifestyle”. The talking heads on TV, in our schools/universities and the political left keep pushing the nonsense of “toxic-masculinity”. The goal is the subjugation of men into the realm of unneeded and unwanted status. The writers and contributors to this magazine produce content that celebrates positive role models with SKILLS to make a difference. Alpha and masculinity should not be used as derogatory adjectives and thus should be held in high regard. The only ones saying different are the ones with the agenda to persecute men and diminish them.