“OUR MISSION IS SIMPLE – PREPARING THE PROTECTORS.”

Richard S. Shaw, Esq. (LtCol. USMCR Ret.), Director

The Right Tools. The Right Solution.

We use the latest in force-on-force technologies, coupled with “industry standard” tactics, to produce the best learning environment possible.

UTM

The “Gold Standard” in accurate force-on-force training munitions

Stress Vest

The ultimate non-projectile force-on-force training system

Realistic F/X

We utilize ultra realistic wound & battle simulations for a “real world” feel
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Hours of Training

Meet Your New Allies, Our Staff.

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GTC Directors

Richard S. Shaw, Esq., (LtCol. USMCR Ret.)
Richard S. Shaw, Esq., (LtCol. USMCR Ret.)Director
Military

  • Active Duty 14 years, U.S. Marine Corps; Quantico, VA; Okinawa, Japan; MCRD, San Diego, CA; Camp Lejeune, NC; MCAS El Toro, CA – Company Commander, Platoon Commander, Adjunct Series Commander, Battery Executive Officer, Fire Direction Officer – Jun ’85-Dec ’98 (+7 years Reserve status)
  • Judge Advocate, USMC, Special Counsel, Commanding General, 4th FSSG, USMC, New Orleans, LA, Senior Defense Counsel, Trial Counsel; 30 jury trials; military law scholarship
  • Expert rifle and pistol
  • USMC Honors –  Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal ( 2nd award), Drill Instructor Ribbon, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Meritorious Unit Commendation (2nd award), and National Defense Service Medal.

Civilian

  • Principal, Shaw & Associates, PLC – Real estate acquisition for Verizon Wireless and AT&T – Aug ’06-Present
  • Principal, National Zoning Consultants, LLC – Aug ’06-Present
  • Real Property Services Director, Zoning Director, Project Director, Faulk & Foster Real Estate, Monroe, LA – Apr ’01-Jun ’06
  • Bar Memberships – North Carolina, August 1993 Bar #20216; Arizona, May 1998 Bar #018916; Louisiana, April 2001 Bar #27294
Marc Matthews, MD, MS, FACS, LAT
Marc Matthews, MD, MS, FACS, LATMedical Director
Military

  • Lieutenant Colonel, United States Air Force 161st Arizona Air National Guard
  • Medical Review Officer, 161st MDG Arizona Air National Guard
  • 102nd Forward Surgical Team, Forward Operating Base Wright, Kunar Valley, Afghanistan – April/May 2011
  • Craig Joint Theater Hospital, Task Force Med- 455th Expeditionary Medical Group, Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan – February/March 2011
  • Landstuhl Regional Medical Center/Ramstein Air Force Base – September/October 2008

Civilian

  • Medical Director, Emergency Burn Disaster Services of the Arizona Burn Center
  • General Surgery and Surgical Critical Care/Trauma Attending, Maricopa Medical Center
Johnny Sticca
Johnny SticcaDirector of Training

Johnny is Director of Training at GTC and is an active duty police officer of over 13 years for a major metropolitan police department, where he has spent the last five years as a Field Training Officer.

Johnny is a certified General Instructor and Field Training Officer through the Arizona Peace Officers Standards and Training (AZPOST) Board. He also holds several instructor certifications related to active shooter intervention and critical incident response training to include Active Shooter Instructor, Simunition Scenario/Safety Instructor, UTM Scenario/Safety Instructor, Stressvest Safety Operator, and Incident Response to Terrorist Bombings Instructor. Most recently, Johnny completed provider level courses in both Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) and Law Enforcement & First Responder Tactical Casualty Care (LEFR-TCC).

In addition to continuously seeking to expand his knowledge through hands-on training, Johnny also keeps up to date on mission-specific topics through extensive research and reading related to all areas he instructs.

Johnny has assisted in developing and delivering training in several of the lesson plans offered by Guardian Tactical Concepts. He provided assistance to the Gila River Police Department in implementing their current active shooter intervention program, as well as helping them establish SOP’s for a joint response program with Fire/EMS.

Johnny passionately promotes his philosophy of awareness, preparedness, and rehearsal to all his fellow officers and students. “We’ve all heard it before. There are sheep and there are sheepdogs. If you never think danger will find you, and don’t have a plan to prepare… which are you?”

GTC Instructors

Jake Weaver
Jake WeaverSenior Lead Instructor

Jake is a senior lead instructor with GTC and a retired Police Chief with over 20 years of experience in the State of Arizona.

He is a veteran of the United States Air Force having served 4 years of his enlistment as a Security Police Specialist responsible for the safety and security of United States Air Force personnel and resources, to include nuclear weapons security, and was an instructor/Opfor for the downed pilot escape and evasion course while stationed at Andersen AFB, Guam. He graduated from the Air Base Ground Defense School at Camp Bullis Texas, and “Volant Scorpion” at Little Rock AFB, Arkansas.

During his career, Jake has worked as a patrol officer, field training officer, a dual purpose K-9 handler, patrol sergeant, investigation sergeant, and was assigned to a narcotics task force comprised of local, county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, and National Guard units along the U.S./Mexico border conducting undercover street level narcotics investigations, as well as border surveillance and narcotics interdiction operations. Jake served as the training coordinator, patrol commander, and many other assignments, until retiring after serving as the Chief of Police, Fire Chief and Emergency Services Director for his community.

Jake holds certifications as an Arizona P.O.S.T. General Instructor, Firearms Instructor, Patrol Rifle Instructor, trainer for Incident Response to Terrorist Bombings, certified patrol bike officer, CPR/First Aid/AED, S.W.A.T. Operator/Breacher, and sniper with his agency. He has completed and instructed Basic SWAT and Hostage Rescue Tactics courses in conjunction with other agencies in the State of Arizona. He not only developed and implemented his agency’s active shooter response protocol and assisted with developing and implementing the local school district emergency response protocols, but he coordinated and was the incident commander for a multi-agency response and investigation to an actual active shooter incident at a local high school in 2012. He has received advanced training in ballistic wound treatment and extraction, rural interdiction, counter sniper tactics, desert surveillance and reconnaissance, gunshot trauma management for law enforcement officers and much more.

Jake is also an independent contractor for several defense companies specializing in Joint Services Testing and Evaluation, pre-deployment training for military to include tier one units, anti/counter terrorism, and as an instructor for Incident Response to Terrorist Bombings, Prevention and Response to Suicide Bombing Incidents, Initial Law Enforcement Response to Suicide Bombing Attacks, Understanding and Preventing School Bombing Incidents, and Personal Protective Measures for Biological Events.

Jake is considered a SME in Improvised Explosive Devices, to include Suicide Born IED’s, Domestic and International Terrorism, terrorist Bombings, terrorist tactics and methodology, and Radical Islam. Additionally, he currently provides training in the following areas regarding anti/counter terrorism; Infrastructure protection, risk analysis, critical asset assessment, threat analysis, vulnerability assessment, post blast response, countermeasures, recognition of energetic materials, devices and device components, pre/post detonation response, responding to special situations, preparing agencies to respond to terrorist attacks, legal and personal protection issues, the threat of suicide bombing attacks, intelligence and community awareness, homemade explosives (HME) scene safety and awareness, HME recognition, and pre attack and imminent attack countermeasures. He also developed law enforcement training programs for these companies as well, and has instructed at the Playas Training and Research Center and other locations. He has provided instruction to several thousand first responders from across the country, and military personnel. Jake has assisted with, created and instructed several of the lesson plans for GTC.

Jake believes in “duty, loyalty, before me, and training well beyond ones comfort level, as the “more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war”.

Tony Cardinale
Tony CardinaleLE Tactics Instructor

Tony is an LE tactics instructor with GTC and a full-time sworn police officer in the State of Arizona. Tony maintains limited federal authority through a Special Law Enforcement Commission with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. He has worked Patrol, Border Protection Unit and is currently assigned to the Community Response Team within his agency, where he assists with narcotics investigations and gang activity suppression.

He is a United States Marine Corps veteran having served 4 years of his enlistment with 2d Force Reconnaissance Company, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. While assigned there he attended the U.S. Army Airborne School, USMC Combatant Diver Course, Navy S.E.R.E. and CWEST, as well as completing the Special Operations Training Group CQB Course.

As an Operator with his agencies Special Response Team (SRT), Tony is currently assigned to the Sniper Section. He holds Instructor certification in Active Shooter Response as well as TASER®. Tony has a multitude of training experience with CRAFT International to include Active Shooter Response, Dignitary Protection, Combative Transitions, Rural Interdiction and Sniper. As an Operator, Tony has taught Basic SWAT in conjunction with the Prescott Valley Police Department as well as attended their advanced course in Hostage Rescue Tactics.

Tony is a fervent believer in training as close to the edge as possible. He believes knowledge and applied skill can only be attained through intense training that serves as a “gut check” for those who seek to learn and achieve.

Skip Clarkin
Skip ClarkinPrecision Rifle Instructor

Skip is a precision rifle instructor with GTC and has been a police officer in the state of Arizona for over 24 years. He is an AZPOST certified instructor and currently serves as an Intelligence Detective, TLO, SAU (SWAT) Rappel Master and Negotiator. Skip is specialized in terrorism related cases, threat assessments and emergency planning.

Skip served 6 years in the Marine Corps, obtaining his first security clearance while attending the Nuclear Weapons Training Group Atlantic in 1985. He has maintained various clearance levels for the past 27 years. Transferring to the National Guard, he served as a Military Police Officer, Anti-Terrorism-Force Protection NCO and Intelligence Analyst. He served 4 years with an Arizona Sheriff Office as a patrol deputy, Search and Rescue and Rappel Master.

Currently in his 21st year with a Metro Phoenix law enforcement agency, he has served as a Patrol Officer, Crime Scene Officer, Firearms Instructor, Field Training Officer, SAU Operator, Sniper, Rappel Master and General Instructor, teaching several Homeland Security related courses and conducting Table Top Exercises each year for over a decade. Additionally, Skip has served 4 years on the Joint Terrorism Task Force – Phoenix and 7 years as a TLO with the Arizona Counter-Terrorism Information Center (ACTIC).

Skip remains committed to assisting public servants prepare for today’s constantly changing threat picture.

Jamie Spada
Jamie SpadaLead TEMS Instructor

Jamie is a Lead TEMS instructor with GTC, NAEMT course coordinator, and is an Arizona Fire Fighter of 25 years, with 18 years of Paramedic experience. He currently holds the rank of Captain and is a certified Hazardous Materials Technician, National Association of EMT’s Instructor, and Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC)/Law Enforcement & First Responder Tactical Casualty Care (LEFR-TCC) Instructor. Jamie also instructed at his departments fire academy for 3 ½ years, served as a Terrorism Liaison Officer (TLO) for two years at the Arizona Crime & Terrorism Information Center (ACTIC), and is currently a Tactical Medic – Assistant Team Leader on his city’s police department SWAT team.

Jamie has instructed the EMT Basic program at the local community college and was also an adjunct faculty member with Texas A & M University’s Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) program, providing Weapons of Mass Destruction and Mass Decontamination training to first responders and private hospitals from across the country.

Jamie served 14 years in the United States Navy Reserve as a Navy Corpsman, with his last assignment attached to the 4th Medical Battalion 4th Marines. Jamie instructed “Buddy First Aid” to several Marines, as well as continuing education to Corpsman within his battalion.

Jamie is also a certified National Association of EMT’s Tactical Combat Casualty Care Instructor and Course Coordinator for GTC.

Jamie believes “training is what is going to take you where you need to be when things go bad. You will fall back on muscle memory to get you through it. Don’t ever create a training scar. Fix it and do it again. Don’t ever give up and train harder than your enemy.”

Cliff Snyder
Cliff SnyderTEMS Instructor

Cliff is a TEMS instructor with GTC and a Fire Chief for a northern Arizona fire district.

Cliff began his public safety career in 1992 as an Apache County Detention officer. After a few years he became a Firefighter/E.M.T. for a small White Mountain Community. Seeking a better job opportunity, Cliff soon began working for a large metropolitan fire department in the valley where he spent the next 17 years. During that time, Cliff also held part time positions; with Wells Fargo Armored Cooperation, were he was responsible for delivery of large sums of currency and served as the lead firearms instructor and armored vehicle defensive driving instructor. Cliff also worked several years for United States Custody and Transport and was responsible for the transport of high-risk prisoners. Cliff was detailed to a route planning counter surveillance team and team leader of a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) during several high profile prisoner transports.

In 2008, Cliff decided being closer to family was important, so he took a position with the White Mountain Apache Tribe. Cliff worked as the Field Operations Manager of the EMS Division, as well as the Tribal Terrorism Liaison Officer. During that time, Cliff was lead on several high profile operations with United States Fish & Wildlife Service and also created the first tactical medical team in the White Mountains, integrating Police and EMS. It was during that time, Cliff’s team responded to an active shooter at a reservation casino, were he was responsible for EMS Command/TLO for a unified command including Whiteriver P.D., BIA, FBI, Pinetop P.D., Navajo County S.O. Cliff’s tactical team was directly responsible for the positive outcome of all patients shot by the suspect.

Cliff also maintains certifications as an Incident Response to Terrorist Bombings Instructor, Incident Response to School Bombings Instructor, HAZMAT Technician certification, and is also a certified National Association of EMT’s Tactical Combat Casualty Care Instructor for GTC.

Cliff lives by the adage, “amateurs train until they get it right. Professionals train until they get it wrong. Which are you?”

Steven Burt
Steven BurtTEMS Instructor

Steven is a TEMS instructor with GTC and has been in the fire service for over 27 years. He has worked as a Firefighter, Fire Driver/Operator, Fire Captain, Battalion Chief, and Division Chief over Resource Management, and has been an Arizona Paramedic for over 20 years. Currently, he serves as a Tactical Medic/Medic Team Lead for his cities police department SWAT Team.

Steven is a certified National Association of EMT’s Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC)/Law Enforcement & First Responder Tactical Casualty Care (LEFR-TCC) Instructor for GTC. He served as an adjunct faculty Instructor for the local community college for over 10 years. He instructed EMT-Basic, Fire Suppression, Fire Fighter 1 and 2, Basic CPR. He also served as recruit training officer for the fire department Firefighter selection process, and Firefighter recruit training academies on multiple occasions.

Steven has attended and participated as part of The National Incident Management System(NIMS). He completed training as a Planning Section Chief, Logistics Section Chief, Resource Unit Leader and served on the east valley team of the Central Arizona All Hazard Incident Management Team.

Steven believes that “leadership is the key! Everyone in a team must be a leader. Train to be comfortable being uncomfortable, and flexible to complete the mission!”

John Kanicsar
John KanicsarHeavy & Armored Vehicle Ops Instructor

John is a heavy and armored vehicle ops instructor with GTC and is currently working for a large county agency in a non-sworn, reserve capacity position. Within his agency, he has been assigned to several specialty units and gained valuable knowledge and experience from them. Through his different assignments, John has worked operations in rural environments, narcotic interdiction, patrol, K9, SWAT, and is working on his 7th year assigned to an arrest-warrant team. John is a certified NRA Law Enforcement Firearm Instructor and has trained civilians, security, and law enforcement personnel in advanced weapon handling and tactics.

John’s unique background in vehicle design, building, and operating of off-highway vehicles for his agency has made him one of the country’s leading experts in vehicle mobility training. He has worked with and trained U.S. military and special operations units. John’s working and training experience with both military and law enforcement heavy armored vehicles, has given him the knowledge to develop and implement one of the most comprehensive programs designed specifically for agency’s that have obtained their first heavy armored vehicle or MRAPs obtained through 1033 program.

John’s philosophy is “You need to get your ‘firsts’ out of the way on the range, so you are not figuring it out in the field. Practice. Proficiency is Perishable.”

Mike Burkhouse
Mike BurkhouseDefensive Tactics Instructor
Mike is a defensive tactics instructor, with over 20 years experience in Personal Training, Coaching, and Wellness. As a Search and Rescue swimmer in the U.S. Navy, he was sought out by his peers for personal strength and conditioning training and taught non-swimmers to be more comfortable in the water leading to his appointment as the Command’s Representative to the National Presidential Council on Fitness.

After his time in the Navy, Mike trained in body building, general fitness, mountain biking, cycling and running, competing in several mountain bike races, duathlons and ran the Cincinnati Flying Pig half-marathon and the Chicago Marathon. Mike found his niche in 1996 in fighting and martial arts and has trained in and worked as an Assistant Instructor in boxing, kickboxing, Jiu-Jitsu, Win Chun, and Escrima, where he competed in the National Escrima tournament in Waukesha, Wisconsin in 2000. In 2006, Mike discovered a true passion for Krav Maga and he entered Instructor Training in 2012. His strong personal value for continuous improvement in everything he does keeps him engaged to keep learning to be the best practitioner and instructor he can be.

Currently, Mike is a swim coach for the Special Olympics. He has coached athletes in Arizona and Tennessee and was appointed head coach for the Arizona delegation in swimming at the Special Olympics National Games in 2010. Mike is an avid CrossFitter and Well Being Consultant and is a passionate Krav Maga Practitioner, Instructor and Coach.

David Dobson
David DobsonDefensive Tactics Instructor

David is a defensive tactics instructor, and is a Personal Defense Readiness Coach that provides reality based self defense classes for all ages. David has years of experience in personal defense as well as backgrounds in boxing, grappling, and Israeli and American Personal Training.

He will not only make sure that you are ready for any physical altercations that may arise from defending yourself, but he will also insure that you are emotionally and psychologically prepared as well.

There are many ramifications if defensive training is not properly used. Students will have to understand that there is a moral, ethical, and sometimes legal obligation that will have to be considered at the onset of every confrontation.

Personal Defense Readiness will teach,”Detect, Defuse, Defend” principals that will keep you and your loved ones safe.

Quoting Tim Larkin, “violence is rarely the answer…but when its the only answer, a person that wants to do you premeditated violence with little or no warning is the most dangerous of people. The best way to prepare for that is to know what can and must be done to survive.”

We Pride Ourselves On Our Creativity, Intuition & Determination.

We Are Creative

“Out-side-the-box” scenarios and real-world conditions makes your training unique

We Have Intuition

Our expert instructors continually adapt and improve based on current events

We Are Determined

We will build upon and increase your knowledge, no matter what your skill level

Our instructors are expert military, police and civilian personnel, who draw on personal experience to deliver the most up-to-date, mission-specific information possible. Each member of the GTC team contributes a specialized set of skills, which combine to provide a one-of-a-kind training experience.