Fredericksburg, VA – From 8-11 August 2018 Team One Network Instructors met in Fredericksburg, VA for the annual instructor conference. The conference takes place over three days each August when instructors from around the globe meet to discuss the events from the previous year, training trends, and plan for the upcoming year.
Day 1: Workshop Day
John Meyer kicked off the 2018 conference with an introduction and review of last year. Some of the highlights; more than 1,700 officers trained from 285 agencies, 27 states, and 9 countries. 26 Team One Instructors conducted 86 courses and presented at 6 conferences. Then he followed that up with a presentation of the Make-it-Happen (MIH) Awards. You can read more about the MIH Award at this link. We have some amazing instructors doing amazing things and this year John went out of his way to recognize a few who have gone above and beyond. Joe Willis provided an update on registrations procedures, course reports, and online marketing. During the overview, he provided information on Team One’s search rankings on top search engines. Team One Network is doing very well in search rankings thanks in large part to the efforts of our instructors. Speaking of instructors, this year we had five New Instructors join us at the conference. Joe also facilitated a conversation about how Team One Network trains After Action Reviews.
Course materials review
Mike Johnson rewrote the Range Master and Shotgun Instructor Development Courses this year and provided an overview on each of them for fellow instructors.
Then the 40+ instructors who attended the conference were broken into three teams to review the Low Light / Laser, Patrol Rifle, and Force on Force/RedMan Instructor.
To close out day one, The instructors enjoyed a night of camaraderie and BBQ. All of the instructors received a bottle of wine along with an Air Force style name badge and a “Remove Before Arming” keychain.
Day 2: Range Day
The day began with an agenda overview and safety briefing from John Meyer followed by an emergency medical and safety brief from Dr. Lorenzo Paladino. Special thanks up front to our friends at Pro-Ears and Edge Tactical Eyewear for providing our instructors with high-quality PPE.
Auto Target Training – Chris Hess from Action Target
The majority of the morning was spent on the auto target system to ensure Team One Network instructors were fully comfortable with the setup and operation of the target system – we use this in several courses. The Action Target Auto Target system provides a reliable automated target network for a wide array of training opportunities and through the mobile app our instructors are able to program challenging scenarios and track student performance.
Firearms Familiarization – John Meyer and Mike Johnson
After the round-robin with Action Target, John Meyer gave the instructors an opportunity to familiarize with the guns we use in training. Team One Network works with a wide array of manufactures so we want our instructors to confidently say they are familiar with the guns we use. This year instructors had the opportunity to fire; Benelli Shotguns, CZ-USA Scorpion Carbines, Ruger AR556, Springfield Saints, and Springfield XDms. Instructors were also given the opportunity to try firing with suppressors and a wide range of Trijicon Optics.
Mike Johnson provided an overview of range drills he uses during the Benelli Shotgun Instructor Development Workshop.
Day 3: Sponsor Day
The final day of the conference is devoted to our sponsors and friends from the industry. We ask them to come in and give the instructors an update on recent changes to product lines and to discuss trends. The instructors are encouraged by most manufacturers to provide feedback and make suggestions.
This year the following sponsors participated in the conference:
Bobby Knight and Tim Taylor joined us again this year. In addition to a great overview of the new products (like the Streamlight TLR-7 and TLR-8) they gave us a refresher on what makes Streamlight the light of choice by so many first responders. Streamlight provided a Strion Dual Switch Light to every instructor.
Gary Heiney, the inventor of the SpiderCuff provided an overview of the device and sought feedback from centuries (no kidding, multiple centuries) of experience available at the conference. The instructors took the opportunity to try the unique cuffs in a variety of cuffing techniques and provided Gary with some insight on their application in the field as well as training methods to ensure successful and safe use on duty. The cuff combines patented ratcheting technology with a kevlar cord that allows for the cuffs to be separated much further than standard cuffs.
In addition to providing each instructor with pants and a shirt, Vertx’s Joe Yorio gave the team a full run-down of their product line including a new line of lower profile colors on their classic bags. Vertx clothing is trusted by our instructors on and off the job. We also use their bags in our Concealed Carry Instructor workshops and Rapid Response Workshops.
Bryant Halstead brought in a wide variety of Point Blank products to provide instructors with an array of product updates. This year he focused on their Elite concealable body armor system. The armor, which is worn by some of our instructor on the job, truly outperforms and over delivers in weight, thinness, flexibility and overall performance. Offered with virtually the lightest weight and highest performing NIJ .06 Level II and IIIA ballistic systems in the market today, the Elite vest provides unparalleled comfort and protection, that is matched by none.
Force on Force (Presented on Range Day)
We use Force on Force in a wide variety of classes, so Randall Watkins came out to give us an update on their products and discuss how we use them with us. Force on Force is a highly reliable, highly effective product that offers both marking and non-marking munitions for training. We conduct their instructor training for them as well as use their products in all of our tactical courses. When using force on force and force on target training, it enhances learning.
TSSi/Lowa (Also presented on Range Day)
Tom Little from TSSi came out to the conference with several other TSSi employees. Bill Strang, the owner of TSSi and our old friend Matt Nassar were also in attendance at the conference. TSSi is an industry leader in providing material to tactical professionals and first responders. In addition to their catalog that offers nearly anything, a professional could wish for they also offer custom solutions – which Tom provided several examples of during his brief. This year they focussed on their medical kits, breaching kits (with Ruhltech Breaching Gear), and LOWA Boots. They were also at the range along with Genesis Breaching Solutions.
Team One Instructor, Ray Merlin is also an Advisory Board Member for the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA). Some of our instructors who are already members offered to fund several new members:
- John Meyer sponsored Robert Cole
- Joe Willis sponsored Mark Suchy
- Pete Ebel sponsored Jon Wildove
- Lou Ann Hamblin sponsored Russ Huth
- Ray Merlin sponsored Mike Johnson
Genesis Breaching Solutions
Although they are currently a sponsor we wanted to take the opportunity to publically thank Richard Michalo from Genesis Breaching Solutions for taking the opportunity to spend some time with us to show us thier product line.
Instructors received a conference bag with the following items – thanks largely to our sponsors:
- Flex fit hat
- Team One Coolie
- Armorer Mat
- Team One 6X6 Stickers
- Streamlight Dual Switch Strion
- Vertx Pants
- Vertx Long Sleeve
- First Tactical Hat
- First Tactical Pants
- First Tactical Polo
- Team One Luggage tag
- Team One Band aid dispenser
- Team One Pin
- Team One gray Tshirt
Day-4: TAC Team Party
The 2018 conference didn’t have quite the same turn out as the last 14-years due to several conflicting opportunities for instructors, friends, and families. But we still had a great time. Lunch was catered by Mission BBQ and as always, instructors get some great giveaways from our sponsors during the raffle. This year we raised $3,120.00 that we divided equally between Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) and the surviving family of a close friend of Team One Network, a Green Beret who was killed in combat in Africa, Staff Sergeant Jeremiah Johnson. You can read more about this American hero at this link: http://www.fayobserver.com/obituaries/20171017/jeremiah-johnson.
Continue to support C.O.P.S. by visiting their website: https://www.nationalcops.org/donatepage.html
- Springfield MOD2 4”, .45 pistol
- SKB case
- Streamlight TLR -1
- Team One/First Tactical Patrol Bag
- Point Blank Instructor Vest
- Team One/Vertx Sling Bag
- Team One Network Leather binder
- Set of Team One Network whiskey glasses
- Team One/Blackhawk Bag
- Team One/Camelbak