Wilcox Ind

James Gilliland New Director of US Optics Academy

Brea, California – U.S. Optics Inc., an international riflescope and optics manufacturer, proudly announced today the appointment of Jim Gilliland as director of their training academy. The appointment of Gilliland signals a new direction and commitment for expansion over the long run for U.S. Optics, Inc.

Master Sergeant Jim Gilliland is a recently retired Army veteran with an extensive list of both military and civilian accomplishments. Gilliland holds the current record for the longest, successful single shot engagement at ¾ of a mile. The sniper section of the 3rd Infantry Division, which he hand selected and lead was recognized as the best sniper section in Iraq for 2005.

“I am extremely honored and excited to be selected to become the new director of the academy. U.S. Optics’ commitment to the perfection of the art of long range shooting is something I’ve always strived for as well. I believe together we can achieve great things. I look forward to seeing where this road ahead will lead us,” said Gilliland.

Gilliland has held multiple positions utilizing his expertise in firearms consulting with the Army on development, as well as, heading the training ranges at Fort Benning.

General Manager of U.S. Optics, Jason Kyle talks about a specific factor that went in to deciding to select Mr. Gilliland as the new director.

The decision is to “provide our customers and ourselves with the opportunity to learn from such an invaluable source. Bringing on board experienced talents such as Mr. Gilliland no doubt raise the bar in not only how we teach at the academy but also how we envision our future as a whole for U.S Optics.”

Jim Gilliland is an active duty Army veteran Master Sergeant. Deployed twice to Afghanistan as a squad leader, he’s participated in such missions as the highly televised night combat airborne assault in the Helmand providence.

Assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division, he personally hand selected and trained the sniper section and later deployed for one year as their sniper section leader. It was during this time that he became accredited with taking the longest, successful single shot engagement at 3 quarters of a mile with a 7.62 rifle. The Joint Chief Counter IED Task Force recognized Jim’s sniper section as the best sniper section in Iraq in 2005.

Jim has also been directly involved in the selection, refinement, and development of all future Army small arms as the senior enlisted adviser of the Soldier Requirement Division, Small Arms Branch and Branch NCOIC. Currently, MSG Gilliland is working in a battalion operations office which oversees most of the small arms training ranges, schools, and cadre at Fort Benning in Georgia.

With such an extraordinary military career under his belt, Jim’s passion and expertise in firearms also encompasses his life outside of the military as well. His extensive list of work collaborations with industry leaders, such as Blackwater, has made him one the top authorities in the field.

Jim has been featured in numerous popular tactical and hunting magazines and catalogues including Soldier of Fortune. He’s appeared in on screen projects such as John Plasters video “Ultimate Sniper 3”, the History Channel’s “Sniper” series and his own training video with Panteao Productions, “Make Ready” series. He also hosts his own segments on the television show “Trigger Time” on the Pursuit channel.

With all of Jim’s extraordinary accomplishments, he still prides himself on being humble and is steadfast in upholding his beliefs for family values, selfless service and American patriotism.

Military Awards and decorations:

Ranger Tab
Master parachutist badge W/ Bronze service star
Expert Infantryman’s badge
Combat infantryman’s badge
Expert rifleman’s badge
Meritorious Service Award
Bronze star
Army Commendation Medal x 4
Army achievement Medal x 4
Army Good Conduct Medal x 5
National Defense Service Medal
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal x 2
Iraqi Campaign Medal W/ Campaign Star
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Non Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon x 3
Army Service Ribbon
Over Seas Service Ribbon x 2
Other Military Education:
Ranger School
Sniper School
Jump Master School (Currently Master Rated)
Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape Course (SERE)
Airborne School
Mountain Warfare School, summer and winter Phase
Emergency Medical Technician Basic
Senior Leaders Course
Advanced Leader Course
Warrior Leaders Course
Senior Tactics Instructor
Small Group Instructor Course
Total Army Instructor Course
Combat Lifesaver Course
Safety swimmer and Boat Operator Course
Life Guard Course
Army Situational Awareness Course


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5 Responses to “James Gilliland New Director of US Optics Academy”

  1. Allan says:

    Congrats Jim …a well deserved appointment see you at Shot 2016 !

  2. Designated Diver says:

    Master Blaster with a bronze service star…never heard of it but I like it!

  3. Rudy Mac says:

    MSG G is the man! Could not happen to a better NCO or a better man. RLTW!