Pro Tip: Stay in your lane.


As a NCO and a Leader in the U.S. Army I was expected to be a Subject Matter Expert (SME) I had to be technically and tactically proficient and not only able to demonstrate the “How?” but the “Why?” for any given task I taught my Soldiers.


As a instructor responsible for preparing warriors for the fight and knowing their lives depended on their weapons proficiency I knew simply regurgitating information would never be good enough. I owed my Soldiers and their families more than that.


I know my strengths and weaknesses and as such I ensure I “Stay in my lane” and avoid teaching subjects that I am not a SME in. I will never place my students in a position where someone was injured or lost their life because they defaulted to training I provided in a area I was not qualified to teach. I teach precision rifle and combat marksmanship because I spent the better part of my adult life employing those skills in preparation for combat or deployed to a combat theater. I do not teach competitive shooting because I feel their are individuals who are better qualified to teach those techniques than I am.


Today I teach as many civilian shooters as I do Soldiers and I firmly believe they both deserve the same commitment to excellence and brutal honesty. When we step onto a range together and I am teaching you how to manipulate your rifle in the most efficient way possible or employ your weapon to eliminate a threat it’s not to bolster your ego. It’s not provide you the opportunity to indulge your inner tactical fantasy operator. It’s inside the context that your life or your loved ones life may depend on your skill.


When you are paying a instructor to teach, they are responsible for more than just the certificate of training at the end of the day. They are responsible for ensuring you understand the limits of your abilities and the context in which the training was taught.


Too many instructors want to be rockstars or public figures and teach outside of their lane. They appear to forget that at the end of the day its not about who got the highest score or how fast you shot a particular drill. It’s about winning the fight and being able to go home to your loved ones.


It’s not about the instructor, its about the student.


Categories: The Firing Line

Adam Wilson

Adam Wilson is a U.S. Army Sniper and senior NCO with multiple combat deployments, a background in reconnaissance and small unit operations. During his 18 years of military service he has held every MTOE slot in a Sniper section to include an assignment as the SEO/Sniper Section Leader for a forward deployed Infantry Battalion. He has utilized all currently issued U.S. Army Sniper weapons systems including the XM2010, M110 SASS, and M107. In addition to being a qualified Sniper he is a graduate of the Sniper Employment Leaders Course and the Army Marksmanship Unit’s Squad Designated Marksman and Rifle Instructor courses. Outside of the military he has obtained the NRA Pistol and Rifle Instructor certifications and served as a product consultant for several defense and firearms industry companies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *