SIG Sauer Academy

James Yeager Responds to Recent Negligent Discharge During Tactical Response Class

A few weeks ago we told you about a negligent discharge by an instructor during a Tactical Response pistol class at the Sacrememto Valley Shooting Center in California. Lots has gone on since then and I was remiss in keeping an eye out for a statement from James Yeager. I’d like to apologize for not getting this out sooner. But consider this, the incident reportedly took place on 18 February. My story was on March 3rd, after it had started to become a well known issue on the Internet. Yeager didn’t issue this response until 9 March, a full three weeks after the incident.

Below is the letter he sent to students of that class. It was posted to Facebook on 9 March, 2016.

Hello Alumni,

Well now that you have trained with us you are a part of our family…our big dysfunctional family. As I write this message I haven’t spoken with my crew that taught your Fighting Pistol class in Sacramento but I can still draw a conclusion. One of my instructors, Tim Morris, did something that was not in our curriculum, was not authorized, was not allowed, is not condoned and was very reckless, dangerous and negligent. We are all very fortunate no person was injured.

People from your class are already telling this story on-line and, of course, as it turns from an eyewitness account into gossip the story will get more and more outlandish. One day it will be so preposterous you yourself will have to interject that you were there, and that is not what happened, and you will be scoffed at. Such is life… I thank those of you who have not gone on-line and bashed us.

Well, I certainly cannot take that errant round back but I can deal with the consequences. I can tell you that Tim has never done anything like this before. It is still hard for me to believe he even did it! It is very unlike him but facts are facts. So I am left with what to do with Tim. I simply cannot do “nothing” but what do you do with a devoted employee that has worked very hard to be good at his job that does a hair brained thing like this? It is even tougher when this knucklehead is my friend. We are a close knit team here at Tactical Response.

So I am left with the aftermath to sort through and clean up. I have to decide to fire a guy on his “first offense” or if I should suspend him or make him do remedial training. There are many wrong answers and no 100% right one. Any decision like this weighs heavily on my heart.

I will end with this – I GIVE YOU MY WORD that nothing like this will ever happen again in one of my classes and I SINCERELY APOLOGIZE to every student in that class for his unprofessional display. It was WRONG and will NEVER happen again.

Respectfully,

James Yeager

Please visit www.facebook.com/JamesYeagerofTacticalResponse/posts/972134806196651 to read some of the student responses to Yeager’s letter.

Say what you will about the guy but he says what he thinks. But there’s one thing I’d like to address. Although Yeager didn’t name names when he spoke about those who had written stories about the incident he did mention that no one had contacted him. I fully admit that I didn’t. I knew about the incident not long after it happened when a disgruntled student made a post on the Tactical Response forum, Getoffthex. It was quickly deleted so I waited until more evidence was available about the incident. For me, the deleted post was a sign that Tactical Response wanted to sweep it under the rug and I saw no point in getting a statement from them. I’m glad to see James Yeager offer some transparency on the incident. Whether he wants to admit it or not, it does affect the training industry, despite what sounds like an impressive safety record.

I for one don’t want to see him fail. I want the same thing for any firearms instructor, but James Yeager influences a great deal of firearms owners. Instead, I’d like to see James Yeager be the best instructor he can be and to consider that influence when he acts, and to promote positive, responsible firearms ownership in all things.

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50 Responses to “James Yeager Responds to Recent Negligent Discharge During Tactical Response Class”

  1. james says:

    Yeager has always been a joke and embarrassment to the gun industry but hey he has a shaved head and tattoos he must be a firearms expert right?

  2. nick says:

    three weeks? must have taken a while to transcribe the original from crayon

  3. Dan M. says:

    @4:24

    Yeah you should never do something so incredibly negligent “all the time”.

  4. Jim says:

    40 seconds casually addressing his employee’s reckless behavior, 10 minutes bashing the students and the internet.

    • Thomas 67 says:

      Excellent comment.

      • Craig says:

        Spot on,Jim.

        The guy is a tool.

        Nah, let me recind that, he is a Tool BAG.

        Good thing Yeager wasn’t there, had he heard the shot, he might have thought HE was under fire, and run away.
        Hell, he’d probably still be running…

  5. JB says:

    So what exactly was done with the “instructor” in question?

    A month is a long time to realize that you need to fire someone immediately.

  6. JB Gleason says:

    Isn’t this guys 15 minutes up? Honestly, I am tired of hearing about his antics. Self manufactured or born out of stupidity, it doesn’t matter. Just go away.

  7. mark says:

    Wrote the letter without talking to the instructors that taught the class. What was he basing his information off of? He had a video up where he talked of making students drop their loaded firearms in class on purpose. And if you didn’t want to do that don’t come to his class. What a clown shop.

  8. Scott says:

    Look, we saw it with travis hailey. In the end, you play with fire long enough youre going to get burned. thats why muzzle awareness is sooooo important. just my .02.

  9. bloke_from_ohio says:

    I disagree with his assertion about not owing the community outside that class a statement or explanation. That is a very unwise position to take when his business is so integrated with the online gun culture. He already had a response done up for the students. The letter itself was pretty reasonable given that James really does not want to fire the instructor at issue. I don’t agree with that position, but it is his company not mine. Putting either that letter, or a similar statement up would have gone a ways toward clearing the air. It would have fueled the internet hate machine, but each breath he takes does that without any other intervention on his part. James missed an opportunity.

    • Seamus says:

      I agree, very good post. He did miss an opportunity to get ahead of this. Instead the internet is all ablaze of this and now he has to put out fires.

    • Paralus says:

      Um, he is owning up to this. That’s why you watched the video….to watch him talk about how his guy f’ed things up.

      what he did say was that he didn’t owe anybody an apology except for the students.

  10. Douche Poser says:

    That’s terrible leadership to point fingers at one of his guys, say “he’s responsible, I didn’t do anything wrong, it’s his fault”. Oh and implying that the story might be a partial fabrication. Real great.

    What led do this?
    – Did YOU improperly vet your staff?
    – Did YOU neglect to establish clear guidelines?
    – Did YOU fail to supervise your staff?
    – Did YOU follow-up and act on past incidents?

    Yeager doesn’t sound like a man who really knows what accountability is.

    • Craig says:

      He doesn’t (know what accountability is).

      If he did, he wouldn’t have left his team-mates in a ambush,in the middle of a firefight.

      He has no idea what “accountability” is,what “Integrity” is,what “Honor” is…I could go on and on…

      He is a Oxygen Thief. And he has used…let me stop here,before I get myself all worked up,and into trouble.

      Anyone who DOESN’T know what I am talking about,google “James Yeager Coward” and see what comes up.

  11. Disco says:

    He’s a joke

  12. Seamus says:

    I gave this some thought and decided that no matter what I say, a bunch of trolls will probably freak out and call me all sorts of names, but who cares right… its just the internet. 😉

    So much Yeager bashing from people who have never taken a class from TR. My wife and I took the Fighting Rifle class in Bastrop, Texas in November 2015 and it was a truly excellent class. In my 13 years in the Army I have never done two days of shooting that was this worthwhile. It condensed a solid 2 week shooting package into 2 days, taking newer shooter from 0-60 very quickly and efficiently. My wife really did enjoy it and walked away really proud of her new found skills.

    Accidents do happen and TR is not the first and will not be the last. Every Police department in the country has probably had an ND, or just about every shooting range, as has every military unit at one time or another. It is still a BIG DEAL and to be sure an employee screwed up BIG TIME. Criticism is warranted but some comments aren’t so much criticism as ignorant internet bashing. Worse I have red comments on this and other forums where it seems in vogue for everyone to jump on their soap box and tell the world not just how reckless this guy is, but also that they would never make a mistake like this. This in spite of the fact that they have never shot anywhere close to number of rounds or done as much training this instructor has, this is disingenuous.

    If this incident should tell us anything it is that even those with more shooting experience than most of us can have an accident then the rest of us can too. This should remind us to be more vigilant or yourself and others and to remember the 4 safety rules.

    • jbgleason says:

      “and to remember the 4 safety rules.”

      EXACTLY. This instructor blatantly did something that was unsafe and unwise. THAT is what I have such a problem with. If he wanted to make a point by putting his pistol on the ground and stepping on it (for some reason I can’t fathom) then go ahead and do that with an UNLOADED GUN. I can forgive an ND that occurs in a training setting if the person does everything else right. But doing something STUPID that leads to an ND isn’t as forgiveable. Period.

    • d says:

      “In my 13 years in the Army I have never done two days of shooting that was this worthwhile. It condensed a solid 2 week shooting package into 2 days, taking newer shooter from 0-60 very quickly and efficiently.”

      Which solid two-week shooting package are you referring to? Have you attended a two-week shooting package before?

      Everybody thinks Eight Minute Abs is the shit until some dude comes out with a Seven Minute Abs video.

    • Wow…talk about sticking your head in the sand.

      “In my 13 years in the Army I have never done two days of shooting that was this worthwhile.”

      That is a sad commentary on the state of firearms training whenever you were in the Army.

    • Justin says:

      Seamus: what MOS were you in the Army? I’ve done several 1-3 day shooting courses in the Army that I’ve lead along with the other PSGs in my Company, that’s just in the last 2 years. Granted I would like my guys to receive classes from an instructor that knows more then me (Haley, Vickers, Costa, Pat Mac, ect) but the Army is cheap so I have to do the best from what I’ve learned from Army schools and training I’ve paid out of my own pocket

    • Jose says:

      I guess, I will be the troll here,:
      a) you were in the Army during the Clinton Years (ammo shortage and $$$ for training shortage) or
      b) you weren’t in a Combat MOS or,
      c) you didn’t have a CO that valued putting rounds downrange to ensure the tip of the spear was sharp all the time.

      I’m not saying this lonely 11B1P/67R1P (during 90-97) has the skills to say I don’t need more training (you can never have enough), but prefacing your statement with “In my 13 years in the Army”, you probably should state what your MOS was or at least where you were or who you were with and time period. Trust that would help quantify your statement, otherwise, it basically tell us you were a Pogue.

      But I do know that I have done a lot of shooting in 2 days as a 11B (both day and night) to need to get a new barrel for a SAW, to get called out by a LTC, because I put too many round down range during one live fire event (hey my sqd was in the open and moving up a hill and I was at the same level as the target so I put down a good base of fire to ensure my sqd could move, well that’s what I told the LTC, btw I did get a pat on the back by my CO for that statement). I will say that during a training live fire exercise I did have a ND while exfilling hot (cooked a round in the chamber) of a target and I had to write a report on it why it happened. Shit happens and it was a teaching moment (muzzle down is how I ran and will always run). But in this case it was deliberate based on the training TTPs, so really no excuse unless the weapon malfunctioned.

      So back to the subject, I don’t know the guy or will not take a class from him (my preference), but when shit happens you should own up to it and not pass the buck or try to change the subject. It works out better in the long run. if you look at some of the videos students have posted, some of the TTPs he teaches would make a Inf Sqd scringe and that’s the Inf Sqd’s bread and butter..

  13. Lisa N says:

    Every time a bell rings an angel gets it’s wings.

  14. Remember…never go full Yeager.

  15. SGT Rock says:

    Oh really? So he spouts, “was not authorized, was not allowed, is not condoned and was very reckless, dangerous and negligent.”

    Well let’s see if anyone remembers this from back in the day… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-fjrRB7WPQ

  16. Full Yeager says:

    http://youtu.be/_LXOMNnJQ3A
    He’s a magnificent potato

  17. fiendish says:

    At the 2 minute mark, reading the letter he says that this was something not authorized, in the curriculum, not allowed nor condoned, etc. Then at the 9:05 second mark he says why this type of demonstration is performed. Which is it?

  18. Ranger Rick says:

    “We do it all the time, took his pistol out, dropped it on the ground, put his foot on it, maybe put his foot on it hard. We’ll call it stomping, turned it around, it was pointed at a berm, but there was a truck in front of the berm and it went off.”

    Okay, what kind of F-upped training is this? I’m at a complete loss to comprehend the reasoning behind such actions.

    BTW, Mr. Yeager, you may want to have someone review your script before you post a video, your introduction was definitely conflicting with your description of the incident. Could be important from a liability perspective.

  19. Maskirovka says:

    In the video he seems to say it’s part of the normal curriculum for students to fire, drop the weapon, pick it up, and fire again. This is a two day class for an audience with no prerequisites. The multiple weeks-long pistol class in my police academy omitted that drill for some reason. Must have been an oversight.

  20. Phenome says:

    Wow…just plain…wow…

    A good Boss takes full responsibility for each and every action of his employees.

    He keeps internals internal.

    Mr. Yeager…well…he just makes everyone else responsible for this clusterfuck.

    Throwing a weapon deliberately on the ground and stomping on it in complete disregard of the four rules just to prove a point…..he should skin and gut this guy…or at least fire him before he closes his mockery of a school.

    He’s like a wannabe-chuck-norris…just in full-retard-mode.

    The first time i watched a Yeager-Youtube-clip i thought it would be some parody….and he a comedian….
    then i read that he’s a instructor….and thinking that there are people that learn from him….that makes me seriously cringe.

    I have to travel to the US quite often, but thinking that people with guns…trained by him (or one of his minions) are roaming the streets…thats far more fear-worthy than spree killers, terrorist attacks or hillary clinton.

    • Craig says:

      Phenome-because that’s just the way he is. He takes responsibility for nothing.

      It’s always SOMEONE ELSE’S fault why a ND happened,why fuct up training happened,or,why he ran away in the middle of a firefight leaving his team mates.
      It’s just never his fault. There is alway a reason why this happened, or why he did “x”.

      A good leader would not have even named the instructor…he would have shouldered the blame himself, because it is HE who is ultimately responsible for not just the actions of his trainers (employee’s), but the curriculum being taught.

      HE and ONLY he HAD TO HAVE signed off on the classes being taught,and what was being taught IN those classes…the instructor(s) dont just “teach rogue”…
      The instructor(s) themselves had/have to practice what they are going to teach to the next class before it even begins-it doesn’t just go from paper,or from someone’s brain,to the next day at the range.

      In another video posted above by another commenter (forgive me, but I forget your name), it shows YEAGER HIMSELF throwing HIS weapon on the ground!

      The fact he RAN AWAY in a firefight should be brought up again and again, whenever this ass-clown’s name is mentioned!
      HOW he is allowed to teach firearms classes of ANY capacity is beyond me-Bald head,a beard,marginal biceps and bluster…that is all James Yeager is made of.
      How,and why,people keep throwing their money away to have THIS guy teach them ANYTHING,leaves me speechless.
      Don’t people do research anymore?! For the money, they could have a respectable,REAL DEAL firearms/Military (or former Military) instructor/school…?

      I don’t get it. I really don’t.

  21. Phenome says:

    addendum:
    If anyone would wanted me to drop my gun and stomp on it…..i would make him drop to the ground and stomp on him…and i would not need my gun for that.

    That’s my baby. It’s there to protect me, protect those i love and those i get paid to protect. The only ones who could tell me to drop it, are police officers.

  22. RayForest says:

    Yada yada yada. Its Yeager dysfunctional is the correct word. But what should be the most disturbing thing in the video is the PSA. Who is gonna put their sick child, worn down by cancer or similar illness in a rock stars tour bus bed???? That is almost criminal. The debauchery that has occurred there. Yuck

  23. Max says:

    FB link no good… What video?

  24. TM says:

    If a Delta instructor had an ND in front of candidates would he be given a wooden gun?

  25. Some Guy says:

    I’m trying to think of the real need to drop a loaded weapon onto the ground. I agree with Yager, that if/when you’re shot in the hand you will most likely drop your gun,,,duh. So the point of the training is being able to pick a gun up off the ground? Seams to me that the point of the training is or at least should be support hand shooting/manipulation, which can be accomplished without dropping a loaded weapon onto the ground intentionally. If the people that are attending these trainings are going there and being taught how to pick a weapon up off the ground, instead of support hand shooting/manipulation, then you guys REALLY should be getting your money back.

  26. ARMEDPATRIOTS says:

    yeah dirtbag you DO owe EVERYONE something because future students need to know what a fucking joke you and you people are. I saw the video of the photographer downrange with fucking live fire going on…and I saw your idot bullshit joke of a fucking response to your irresponsible behavior.
    The gun community needs to reject your sorry ass entirely because youre a fucking embarrassment to us all?

  27. Guillaume says:

    Guys ,

    it s not if you ll have a nd , it s simply when , if you shoot a fair amount of rounds and if you shoot ipsc or any type of competitive shooting for that matter the odds are rocketing , no matter how safe you believe you are , keep the muzzle down range and things will be fine , I agree that it was probably not a wise point made by the instructor but nobody got hurt , move on , and if you don’t like James Yeager just don’t attend his classes and skip his videos . As far as im concerned he surely has an attitude but I always learn something fm his videos ,I find him hilarious ,It s like having weapons courses from a cross bred of stand up comedian and English teacher.

    G.