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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.

Instructor Credentials

  • Feb. 26, 2023: Tom Givens "Rangemaster"-Certified Instructor (ranked 3rd in a class of 17)

  • Jan. 29, 2022: NRA Instructor Certification—Shotgun

  • Nov. 6, 2020: NRA Instructor Certification—Rifle

  • Oct. 23, 2020: NRA Certification—Chief Range Safety Officer

  • Sept. 30, 2020: NRA Instructor Certification—Personal Protection In the Home

  • Sept. 30, 2020: NRA Instructor Certification—Personal protection Outside the Home

  • Sept. 30, 2020: NRA Instructor Certification—Pistol

 

Training

  • September 15-17, 2023: The Guardian Conference, presented by Concealed Carry, Inc.

    • Skillbuilder 50: Jumpstart, with Bryan Eastridge

    • Intro to RDS Performance, with AJ Zito

    • Mastery of Shooting on the Move, with Mickey Schuch

    • Square Dancing in a Minefield: the Anatomy of a Self-Defense Prosecution, with Don West and Shawn Vincent

    • OC Spray and Less Lethal Options, with Chuck Haggard

    • See Better, Shot Better, with Riley Bowman

    • Handgun Performance, with AJ Zito

  • May 17, 2023: MoD Staff Trauma Training, presented by Idaho Medical Academy

  • Feb. 24-26, 2023: Tom Givens "Rangemaster" Basic Instructor Development Course (Ranked 3rd in a class of 17)

  • Nov. 8-11, 2021: Front Sight's 4-Day Handgun Combat Master Prep

  • May 17-20, 2021: Front Sight's 4-Day Practical Rifle (AR-15) (I was the only Distinguished Graduate out of more than 30 students)

  • Feb. 21, 2021: Stop the Bleed, presented by Idaho Medical Academy

  • Nov. 20-23, 2020: Front Sight's 4-Day Practical Rifle (AR-15)

  • Nov. 18-19, 2020: Front Sight's 2-Day Advanced Tactical Handgun

  • Oct. 4, 2020: NRA Chief Range Safety Officer Course

  • Oct. 3, 2020: NRA Basic Range Safety Officer Course

  • Sept. 17, 2020: NRA Personal Protection Outside the Home—Instructor version

  • Sept. 16, 2020: NRA Personal Protection Outside the Home—Student version

  • Sept. 15, 2020: NRA Personal Protection In the Home—Instructor version

  • Sept. 14, 2020: NRA Personal Protection In the Home—Student version

  • Sept. 13, 2020: NRA Basic Pistol—Instructor version

  • Sept. 12, 2020: NRA Basic Pistol—Student Version

  • Sept. 12, 2020: NRA Basic Instructor Training

  • Nov. 18-19, 2019: Front Sight's 2-Day Tactical Handgun

  • June 7-10, 2019: Front Sight's 4-Day Defensive Handgun (Distinguished Graduate; winner of Man-on-Man Competition)

  • ca. 2015: Idaho Concealed Weapons License class

  • ca. 2005: Idaho Hunter's Safety

  • ca. 2000: Idaho Concealed Weapons License class, presented by Intermountain Outdoor Sports

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