Law Enforcement Experience
Our lead instructor retired in 2017 from one of the largest federal law enforcement organizations. George served as a Firearms, Use of Force, and Defensive Tactics instructor.
He started on patrol in state and local law enforcement in 1993. In 1996, he was the top marksman from his Border Patrol Academy class. For most of this century, George was a Special Agent conducting criminal investigations. He has worked in groups combating Narcotics Smuggling, Human Trafficking, Weapons Violations, and Child Exploitation. He also worked as an Internal Affairs and National Security investigator. His most recent assignment was on a Joint Terrorism Taskforce. George is a graduate of the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), US Marshals Fugitive Investigations training, and the FBI’s Counterterrorism Investigations and Operations course.
George had over three decades of Air Force and Army service, 13 years of them on active duty, including two deployments to the Middle East. George worked in nuclear and aircraft security, served as a flight medic on tactical aircraft, and ran a small arms armory for an Army Field Artillery battery. His last 11 years (three of them full time) he worked as a firearms instructor at a military shooting range, where he specialized in developing advanced proficiency courses for OSI and SF personnel. He trained Spec Ops warriors including USAF PJs, and often trained the trainers. He was the Top Gun in his Security Police Academy class, and the highest scoring rifle shooter at his Combat Arms Instructor tech school.
Firearms / Defensive Tactics Instructor Experience
George has taught tens of thousands of military, law enforcement, and civilian students. He started his teaching career in the early 1980s, on the instructor cadre of the Tactical Leadership Decisions course at the Air Force Academy. He supervised firing on a civilian shooting range in the mid 1980s, and has taught classes to law enforcement, military, and civilians since then.
George is a 1999 graduate of the FLETC Firearms Instructor Training Program (FITP), as well as several federal Firearms Instructor Recertification (FI-R) courses since. He also attended an IALEFI (International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors) Master Instructor development program, and is a graduate of the Suarez International Combat Pistol Instructor course, Arizona POST Rifle Instructor school, NRA instructor training, and a Gunsite instructor development program.
George is sometimes a teacher, and always a student. He reads voraciously to keep up with emerging trends and tactics, but the lessons he passes on to you don’t just come from books. World-class instructors Jeff Cooper, Louis Awerbuck, Clint Smith, Massad Ayoob, Dennis Tueller, Giles Stock, Bill Dreeland, Clive Shepherd, Jeff Gonzales, Eyal Yanilov, Max Muramoto, Gabriel Suarez, Saulius (“Sonny”) Puzikas, Jim Fuller, Chris Caracci, Roger Phillips, Lou Chiodo, Larry Novak, Peter Tarley, Tim Wickett, and David Grossman have all trained or lectured him in person.
George learned combat mindset from Rodney Knutson, Robin Olds, Bryan Nez, Bill Kirk, Larry Ferguson, Curt LeMay, Steve Rodriguez, Brian Murphy, George’s own father, and numerous other courageous (but less famous) warriors. George has “felt a little heat” on soil both foreign and domestic. Many of George’s students, instructors, and acquaintances have also been involved in gun battles of their own, or stood on “ground zero” investigating shootings right after they occurred. George learns as much as he can from them.
George was an Aeromedical Evacuation Crew Member on C-130Bs and H-3s, as well as a MASF (Medical Air Staging Facility) Assistant NCO In Charge.
George took his first Emergency Medical Technician course in 1992, and is currently a Nationally Registered EMT. He served as a law enforcement tactical medic from 2006 to 2017, and is a graduate of multiple Johns Hopkins Division of Special Operations Tactical Medicine programs. George is a Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) and Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC, civilian version of TCCC) instructor.
George has been a certified instructor for the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT), American Heart Association (AHA), Red Cross, and the American Safety and Health Institute (ASHI). He currently teaches numerous ASHI and NAEMT certified programs, as well as the American College of Surgeons Stop the Bleed program.
The Spirit to Serve
These decades of experience have taught George many important lessons, some of them paid for in precious blood. George does not teach for Heloderm LLC to get rich. Rather, his wish is to share those important lessons with you, to keep you and your family safe in this usually blessed but sometimes chaotic, violent world.
Larry, also a retired special agent, was a career SWAT operator, and Special Response Team leader. He has instructed dozens of SWAT and Defensive Tactics Instructor schools. Larry holds black belts in different martial disciplines, and has studied various street fighting arts extensively.
Greg is a retired federal agent with decades of firearms instructor experience. Prior to his law enforcement career, he served 4 years as a Combat Engineer in the Marine Corps. He was also the M-60 Gunner for his platoon. In 1988 Greg joined the U.S. Border Patrol and was the high handgun shooter in his academy class. In 1997 Greg attended Firearms Instructor training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia, NM. He subsequently attended 3 FI recertification courses over the years, and participated in firearms training classes with the DEA, FBI, and the former U.S. Customs. Greg was the Primary Firearms Instructor at two different Border Patrol stations, and was responsible for the firearms training and qualification of 300 to 500 Agents.
Ken is a retired city law enforcement officer with decades of firearms experience. His assignments were in patrol, traffic, K-9 and SWAT. Prior to his civilian law enforcement career, Ken was in the United States Air Force as a Security Police Response Force Team Leader. Ken was badly injured and cannot do everything he used to do physically, but what he lacks in gymnastic ability he more than makes up in wisdom and experience he’s happy to share with you.
When the Operators need us we are not physically there, only the skills we have passed on to them remain . . . they had better work.
–Paul Castle, progenitor of the Center Axis Relock system
Your safety is our first priority. Heloderm is blessed to have several NRA / USCCA certified Range Safety Officers who help keep you safe and assist with personalized instruction. Because our RSOs volunteer their time, we can keep the students’ tuition costs at a minimum.
Depending upon class size and customer needs, Heloderm uses a variety of subject matter experts to hone training programs. Here, for example, Scott S of S3 Global Consulting teaches methods of “compressing” one’s hold for pistol retention.
A significant portion of our training consists of scenario driven, interactive, role playing exercises. This reality-based training enables students to practice making critical decisions BEFORE they find themselves in a life-or-death situation. Role playing a huge component of our Lawful Use of Force classes, for example. In just about every one of our courses, our students will do some role playing or at the very least interactive guided scenarios.
In our pro bono Adolescent Firearms Safety classes, teenaged role players act out various scenarios. We candidly address real adolescent issues. Then the students discuss with their peers–other students as well as role players–what they might choose to do in similar situations.
Heloderm is proud to work hand in hand with these other outstanding Southern Arizona training organizations (listed in alphabetical order).
Code 4 Defensive Tactics
Code 4: Defending Those Who Save
We’re also very blessed to receive logistical support, lesson plan review, drill development and guest instruction from Jay and Leslie O of Crosswalk Readiness, another Tucson based self-protection school.
Named in part for the nearby Dragoon Mountains, the three NRA and USCCA certified coaches of Trigoon bring a wide variety of skills to share with you. Annie, Terence, and Jason are NRA certified Pistol and Refuse to be a Victim instructors, as well as RSOs with years of experience keeping people safe and improving their skills on firing ranges.
Annie T is a healthcare worker. She has extensive firearms experience and is quite comfortable in front of groups; she can train you on numerous life safety and personal protection subjects.
Terence “T” L is a former state police officer, who still trains his old department. Terence was also in the Army in Iraq, and later in the USAF Security Forces.
Jason “One Shoe” W has been a serious student and coach of weaponcraft for many years. Jase has a gentle way of working with students which instills in them confidence and competence.
The talented trio of Trigoon have helped Heloderm teach on more occasions than we can count, and they can help you, too. We highly recommend them.
Warlizard Tactical is another sister company here in Tucson.
Joel and Michael G, a father-son duo, are awesome instructors and we highly recommend them. Both are former Army, competitive shooters, and NRA certified instructors.
Joel spent a great deal of his life behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War, as a Russian linguist, intelligence operator, and diplomatic courier. He also participated in the liberation of Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm.
Heloderm is proud to have collaborated directly with Warlizard on numerous courses, and to have assisted them with their curriculum development.