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Meet our Lead Instructor

Some of my most precious and formative childhood memories came of stalking the lush, green, grassy, ground squirrel-infested hills of a cattle ranch in remote British Columbia.  It was here that I first fully applied a handful of piecemeal shooting lessons that Dad had delivered in that typical fatherly crouch that allows them to help pipsqueaks like me manage even a bantam-sized .22 rifle.  So the opportunity to head out on my own in pursuit of the cute but pesky fossorial mammals, in what was essentially endless wilderness, was a young boy’s absolute delight!  With every step, I maintained my orientation, based on Dad’s important admonition: do not shoot back toward the cabin!  On my honor, I would abide by that rule.

In 2000, I graduated from Northwest Nazarene University (in the town of my birth—Nampa, Idaho) with a BA in political science and prepared to establish a residence of my own, just a block or so from campus.  Nampa is hardly what most would consider a “rough” town, but I was at least somewhat aware that statistics don’t really matter once there’s a chance for you to be counted among them.  So I bought my first handgun, which was a Smith & Wesson SW99 in .40S&W.  The concealed weapons license concept was catching fire all over the country, and people regarded the prerequisite training as helpful, so I paid my $100, took the class, and got my license.

A short while later, I bought my second handgun—or rather a system for personal protection including a handgun.  It was what people would call a “woods gun” setup.  The centerpiece was the 10mm round (which I helped to popularize, though there is absolutely no historical record of this).  I decided that the full-house DoubleTap load would best be fired from a Glock 20, fitted with a Streamlight WML (“weapon-mounted light”).  And to maximize my chances against a charging bear or moose or mountain lion, I wanted three standard-sized, 15-round magazines.  If you don’t remember, the Clinton Gun Ban was in effect from 1994-2004, so I had to spend hours watching GunBroker until I found three brand new “pre-ban” magazines, and then I paid $110 apiece for them when, were it not for the ban, they would have sold for about $15 each.  (Yes, I’m still a little salty about that.)

By 2017, life looked somewhat more complex, with unavoidable adult nuances.  I had become a single, full-time father to my four-year-old son.  And while we enjoyed hiking, camping, spotting wildlife, sitting in hot springs, and other outdoor adventuring in the Idaho backcountry, I wondered whether my ground squirrel experience, or even my two concealed weapons classes had prepared me to provide a level of security appropriate for expeditions of that kind with my son.

So, in 2019, I decided to find out.  I bought Front Sight memberships for my son and me, and enrolled in their 4-Day Defensive Handgun course.  Winston Churchill famously described the Soviet Union as “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.”  My first Front Sight experience was a reckoning wrapped in a hundred “a-ha!” moments, inside a thousand epiphanies.  It is a fair summary to say that I learned the full meaning of the phrase, “you don’t know what you don’t know.”  Prior to Front Sight, I knew virtually nothing and didn’t even know it.  And by the end, punctuated by a deeply-moving closing exercise in which I had to shoot two hostage-takers on the target but not the silhouette with my son’s name on it, I returned to my chair and wept quietly because finally somebody had begun to teach me how to protect him.

On the drive home, I sensed the first calling of my lifetime: to elevate the level of training available to the gun-friendly people of southern Idaho and beyond.  So in 2020, I founded Ministry of Defense and began writing my own classes to deliver top-quality training.

-Bryan Berg

In order to bring you the best, I make every possible effort to train with the best.  Here are some of the opportunities I have had to train and build credentials.


  • Tom Givens’ Rangemaster-Certified Instructor (ranked 3rd in a class of 17)

  • Front Sight Training

    • 4-Day Defensive Handgun (Distinguished Graduate; winner of Man-on-Man Competition)

    • 2-Day Tactical Handgun

    • 2-Day Advanced Tactical Handgun

    • 4-Day Handgun Combat Master Prep

    • 4-Day Practical Rifle (AR-15) (I was the only Distinguished Graduate out of more than 30 students)

  • NRA

    • Instructor: Pistol (Personal Protection Inside the Home, Personal Protection Outside the Home)

    • Instructor: Rifle

    • Instructor: Shotgun

    • Range Safety Officer (RSO)

    • Chief Range Safety Officer (CRSO)

  • Stop the Bleed

  • Authored several blog pieces about firearms and self-defense

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