Velocity Systems

Gunfighter Moment – Pat McNamara

I am often asked for teaching tips. No magic elixir here. Working as a Selection and Training instructor in my former Unit was a gateway mechanism that lead me on the right path. Though my courses are ‘Train the Trainer’, there is only so much I can convey in a couple of days. One needs to be the right person who is going to say the right thing at the right time to the right person.

One needs the ability to understand how people learn at a primal level, how to manage time, work a line (this is an art form), understand the learning curve and how to extend it, work within a skill set disparity, develop a niche and a teaching style.

Keeping interests peaked and folks interested is important as is knowing when Not to say something. Sometimes, less is more. Too many of us are too eager to say too much. We can only process so much information.

Anyone can be a line instructor who runs mindless ‘Up Drills’, but a good teacher needs the ability to be flexible enough to veer from a rigid, lock-stepped POI but that takes creativity lots of curriculum.

I read an article lately where it was stated (paraphrasing) that all instructors teach the same thing. To some degree, this is true. If one is current and relevant, he is going to mirror, to some degree, what the next current and relevant guy is putting out. Delivery of the message however, will determine the palatability of what is to be consumed which will in turn, determine the effectiveness of the application.

Patrick McNamara
SGM, US Army (Ret)


Patrick McNamara spent twenty-two years in the United States Army in a myriad of special operations units. When he worked in the premier special missions unit, he became an impeccable marksman, shooting with accurate, lethal results and tactical effectiveness. McNamara has trained tactical applications of shooting to people of all levels of marksmanship, from varsity level soldiers, and police officers who work the streets to civilians with little to no time behind the trigger.

His military experience quickly taught him that there is more to tactical marksmanship than merely squeezing the trigger. Utilizing his years of experience, McNamara developed a training methodology that is safe, effective and combat relevant and encourages a continuous thought process. This methodology teaches how to maintain safety at all times and choose targets that force accountability, as well as provides courses covering several categories, including individual, collective, on line and standards.

While serving as his Unit’s Marksmanship NCO, he developed his own marksmanship club with NRA, CMP, and USPSA affiliations. Mac ran monthly IPSC matches and ran semi annual military marksmanship championships to encourage marksmanship fundamentals and competitiveness throughout the Army.

He retired from the Army’s premier hostage rescue unit as a Sergeant Major and is the author of T.A.P.S. (Tactical Application of Practical Shooting).

tmacsinc.com

Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Alias Training & Security Services. Each week Alias brings us a different Trainer and in turn they offer some words of wisdom.

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3 Responses to “Gunfighter Moment – Pat McNamara

  1. Well said Mac !!!

  2. Bill says:

    An instructor is a conduit of information. No one person has ever had the golden technique that applies to all people in all situations for all subject matter.

    I would agree, all instructors tend to instruct the same basic syllabus/techniques.

    HOWEVER, the standout instructor has the ability to transfer (be a conduit) information to a student in a way that achieve positive results. We know that humans do not learn in the same manner or retentive rates. The key, is to allow the student to initially absorb and practice their new skill/task and not to follow some prescribed syllabus that stipulates we (the class or student) must be at this point of learning at this appointed time.

    I think this especially holds true for private, student paid tuition courses, regardless of subject matter. It is much better for a student to walk away with the knowledge and ability to demonstrate one or two elements than walk away frustrated, confused and feeling like they were just pounded with a fire hose.

  3. Kathy Sato says:

    Wow. Just Wow. Selection and Training. LAV knows you. There are about a half-dozen guys out there I would LOVE to spend a lot of hours training with! You are two of them. Great article.