2014 was another great year for I.C.E. Training Company!
We set records for class attendance during the Personal Defense Network Training Tour, offered more classes in more locations than any previous year and dramatically expanded our Instructor Development Programs. It was also a great year for me, professionally and personally, with plenty of new challenges and milestones met.
As always, the PDN Training Tour is the focus of my yearly course calendar. In 2014 over 60% of my end user courses were taught as part of the tour, which ran from late March through early August. In 2015, that percentage will be even higher, as I am cutting back on the number of courses that I teach outside of the tour months. This year’s tour started as it always does in Florida, but we had a very special extension to our normal route that has always ended in the Pacific Northwest. This year was the first year that I taught in Alaska… in fact, that course justified my very first visit to the state! Driving to Alaska wasn’t really something that I saw myself ever doing, but the opportunity to add a course in that state to the PDN Tour made it a no-brainer! The trip was documented in this Article.
Many of the details of this year’s tour were documented in This Article.
I.C.E. Training’s product offerings had a great year in 2014, with dramatically increased sales for our Claw Rear Sights (w/ Ameriglo), Modular Belly Band Holsters (w/ Crossbreed Holsters), and our RAC Belts & Holsters (made in-house by Psy-Op Tactical). We also offered a “Sticker of the Month” as a promotional project. With every order shipped from our HQ in Florida, customers a special sticker with a different featured design every month. Each designed featured a different concept, phrase or quote that comes from our training programs. Leftover stickers are available for purchase at the Online Store.
Early in the year, I announced that I would be running as a write-in for the 76th Seat on the NRA Board of Directors. This caused quite a buzz and a very humbling show of support from across the firearms community. Unfortunately, as it became clear that our write-in campaign was probably going to be successful, a potential conflict of interest was brought to my attention that could’ve de-railed some very important projects… this lead to my withdrawing from the race on the even of the NRA Convention. In hindsight, as much as I would’ve been honored to serve on the board, the right call was certainly made and I have continue to have a very productive relationship with the NRA! While at the convention this year, I again presented on the topics of Home Defense and Defensive Shooting Fundamentals. These presentations were very well attended and a lot of fun, you can check out this interview I did with NRA News while at this year’s convention. In addition to the NRA Convention, I had the opportunity to speak or teach at several other events this year, including S.W.A.T. Round Up International and an International Association of Fire Chiefs’ Training Symposium.
Personal Defense Network, the leading online destination for quality defensive training information, continues to grow rapidly. This year, we broke the 100,000 mark for subscribers to our online newsletter and added over 10,000 new Premium Members. We published scores of new videos and articles to the website and added several key new contributors to our ranks. For a collection of this year’s Highlights check out This Article!
I.C.E.’s Defensive Firearms Coach Program was taught more times this year than ever before. The program is now officially headed by I.C.E. Adjunct Instructor Jamie Onion, who is based in Ohio. In 2014, we had our 100th graduate complete this intense 3 day Instructor Development Program. Those who successfully pass both the written and the teaching test are certified by I.C.E. Training Company to teach our Intro to Home Defense and Intro to CCW handgun courses. Just as those courses draw from the Combat Focus Shooting program (with the addition of course specific gear and tactics information), the DFC Program itself draws from the CFS Instructor Development Program. Some people even use it as a prep course for CFSID, with the bonus of being certified to teach two additional courses aimed at entry-level students. Anyone who successfully completes the DFC Program gets 50% of their tuition cost as credit towards the CFSID Program, bringing the total cost of all 8 days of Instructor Development to under $2000. I have said for many years that I am bringing the focus of I.C.E. Training Company down to “lower levels of the pyramid”… which means offering more courses for those new to personal defense training or firearms in general. The Defensive Firearms Coach Program is a key element of that effort.
Endeavor Defense & Fitness in Hilliard, Ohio is another project aimed at expanding the influence of I.C.E. Training Company well beyond Military and Law Enforcement Professionals. When I partnered with Aaron Janetti and Rob Mckeeman, they were already well-established fitness coaches and personal defense instructors. They were also both Certified Defensive Firearms Coaches. 2014 was the first full year of operation for Endeavor and it Rob & Aaron have grown it into a thriving community of people focused on improving all of their physical capabilities as well as their defensive abilities. Endeavor developed and hosted several regional major events and regularly runs seminars at the facility as well as sending the staff out to teach around the United States. Offering Crossfit, Krav Maga, Olympic Weightlifting, Yoga and much more, Endeavor has quickly become a powerhouse training facility and I am very proud of the entire team!
I.C.E. Training Company aligned formally with Ancient City Shooting Range in St. Augustine Florida during 2014, as announced at our Annual Combat Focus Shooting Instructor Conference in early October. This year’s conference took place at Ancient City, which now serves as my home range. I will be conducting a course there just about every month during 2015, starting with a CFS Course on Jan 17th & 18th. I.C.E. Training Company has been headquartered in Florida for a few years now, since our team up with DGG Tactical and I personally moved there this year as well. Ancient city offers many ranges for pistol and rifle training as well as a scenario shoot-house and classroom. Several members of the CFS Instructor Team and I have been teaching there for several years and have always had a great relationship with ACSR. It is great to have a home range again! Read More about the Team Up HERE.
2014 saw the publication of my first book with F+W Media, famous for Gun Digest and many other publications in our niche. Defend Yourself is a comprehensive book on Armed Homed Defense. The book covers everything from selecting and training with the best types of firearm to dealing with law enforcement response after a defensive event at your home. Additional topics covered included the fundamental tactics of defense inside the home, preparing with your family, physical security and improvised defense for when you don’t have a gun. This book is available at a variety of nationwide retailers, including the special large format edition you can find in your local WalMart Sporting Goods department and online.
My final announcement for the year is that Omari Broussard will be joining the staff in January as our Chief Operating Officer. Omari first contacted my about training in 2004 at the suggestion of one of his BUDS Classmates, John Brown, who eventually went on to become one of my lead instructors at Valhalla. Omari began training in the CFS Program and undertook a very serious study of the program’s foundations and its applications for armed professionals. In his role as a trainer for a special operations (capable) unit inside the US Navy, Omari saw how the principles and methods of CFS and I.C.E. Training Company could cut training resource expenditure and increase contextual validity. By the late 2000’s Omari was a certified CFS Instructor and one of the leaders in our community. Over the next few years, Omari’s own research and development pushed our programs forward and his natural leadership ability made him an important resource for the entire CFS Team. After a decade of formal existence, Omari was the first person to be fully authorized to teach the CFS Instructor Development Program and certify new instructors. This was a huge milestone for our flagship program and speaks to how much I trust him to represent I.C.E. Training Company. In addition to teaching and developing firearms and defensive training programs, he has undertaken the study of marketing, corporate communications and client management. Chief Petty Officer Omari Broussard’s retirement ceremony to celebrate his 21 years of service was held earlier this month in Coronado, CA and it was an honor to have been able to attend. Omari has been a outstanding Student, Collaborator and Friend. I am very much looking forward to his additions and improvements to our company.
Overall, 2014 was a fantastic year for I.C.E. Training Company… and 2015 is looking to be even better! Thanks for your interest in what we’ve been up to. As always, keep an eye on our website, Facebook Page, Twitter & Instagram Feeds and our Newsletter for the latest information, announcements and promotions!