Eric has thousands of "man hours" teaching the moral, ethical, and lawful use of force to the U.S. Military, Law Enforcement, and civilians. He has worked with, trained under, and been mentored by some of the best informed Instructors in the industry. Eric's most rewarding experience has been with Kentucky's National Guard Elite Weaponcraft section. He is proud to bring his own empirical experiences, the knowledge gained from his many hours of study, and the results of properly applied Weaponcraft techniques in the real world to you.
Eric is a full-time member of the Garrard Co., KY Sheriff's Office as a Special Deputy, and has three deployments with the U.S. Army. He served with the 1st Armored Division twice in Iraq, 16th Military Police Brigade (Airborne) in various locations in Iraq, and, as a member of the KYARNG, supported the U.S. Marine Corps in Ramadi.
In 2006 Eric was involved on a full-time basis with the Kentucky National Guard's Small Arms Readiness Training Section, assisting Jim Higginbotham with the Kentucky Army National Guard's premier "Weaponcraft" program. Many of the training events consisted of risk management and site security and determining the best course of actions for assigned tasks and duties. The Kentucky National Guard Weaponcraft program is a 3-day, intensive defensive shooting course that all KYNG soldiers participate in prior to mobilization.
Eric also served on the Kentucky Army National Guard's Marksmanship Team for more than 8 years. He participated in events from close quarters rifle and pistol events to long range rifle events. He has earned the U.S. Army's Gold Distinguished Pistol Award and the silver Distinguished Rifle Award. Eric has attended pistol courses with Riposte (again, Jim Higginbotham), RangeMaster, Gunsite, Tactical Response, and Kentucky National Guard's Weaponcraft Instructor's Course, among other training companies.
James Eric Dean, Founder and CEO of The Bulwarks LLC, a self-defense trainer, & lead security agent
Every organization needs a dedicated soul who keeps the wheels on the bus going 'round and 'round - and Staci is ours. From AP/AR, to media relations, to keeping our go-boxes stocked, Staci keeps everything moving smoothly.
Staci began her career in the military in accounting serving at Ft. Ben Harrison, IN and Ft. Sill, OK on active duty before entering The Kentucky Army National Guard. In 1999 Staci became a Military Police Officer with the Kentucky Guard and later performed duties with airport security in 2001. She deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 3 serving in Al-Hilla and Ad-Dwyanyiah, IZ.
Staci returned from deployment and accepted a position with the active guard component serving in training and operations roles before retiring in 2015 and becoming a stay-at-home mom. In 2017, Staci began serving as the operations manager and chief financial officer for The Bulwarks LLC. She definitely keeps The Bulwarks running and has seen the business grow 10 fold in 3 short years. Staci has taken the Kentucky Army National Guard's Weaponcraft Defensive Skills course twice and graduated The Bulwarks Foundations of the Self-Defense Handgun course. She is an accomplished shooter earning the Army’s Expert badge in both rifle and pistol.
Staci Dean, CFO and Operations Manager for The Bulwarks, with husband, Eric, and daughter, "Q".
Jesse is an expert in the difficult field of Weaponcraft. His years of training with the US military, AIM, Gunsite, The Bulwarks, and others has placed him in many challenging situations, where he has performed admirably. Jesse served in the US Army as an MP for eight years before being retired due to injury. Some of his jobs included PSD, Convoy Security, Corrections, Force Protection, Quick Reaction Force and Route Clearing and Security. He is also the founder of Raven Defense where he teaches armed self-defense and defensive mindset for everyday Americans.
After being on both ends of the rifle more than once, he brings real world experience to training. The most notable of his gunfights being The Palm Sunday Ambush on March 20, 2005. With 5/1 odds mistakes couldn’t be made. Contact Jesse at email@example.com
Jesse Ordunez, Director of Training for The Bulwarks.
Eddy's experience consists of Basic Combat Training, Basic/Advanced Rifle Marksmanship, Close Quarters Marksmanship, SFAUC (Special Forces Advanced Urban Combat), Rangemaster, First Aid, Combat Medical Training (68W), TCCC (Tactical Combat Casualty Care), Airborne, Air Assault, Jumpmaster, Rappel Master, Primary Leadership Development Course, BNCOC (Basic Non-Commissioned Officer Course), ANCOC (Advanced Non-Commissioned Officer Course), Winter/Summer Basic Mountaineering,Winter/Summer Assault Climber, Modern Army Combatives Levels 1-4 (Brigade Master Trainer), 35P Cryptologic Linguist (Spanish Level 2+, 3). I have worked for the Kentucky Army National Guard for 22 years as a Medic and Cryptologic Linguist. I have held the positions of Squad Leader, SOT-A Team Leader (Special Operations Team-Alpha), Detachment Sergeant (Platoon Sergeant), and 1SG (First Sergeant).
Eddy is currently the Detachment NCOIC of the Kentucky SARTS (Mobilization Close Quarter Battle and Marksmanship Training and Competition Team). He has been a member of the Marksmanship Competition team for two years. Eddy has earned a Bronze Excellence in Competition badge for pistol and rifle. He has deployed with the 20th SFG(A) on numerous occasions to include linguistic support to NATO exercises and Medical exercises to Ecuador (3 times) and Argentina, as well as CONUS deployment to secure the International Airport in support of Operation Noble Eagle. He has completed combat tours to Afghanistan (2012-2013) and Iraq (2010-2011) Operations Enduring Freedom/New Dawn. Eddy was also certified by the FAA as a baggage inspector deployed to an international airport as armed anti-terrorist security at the security gate.
Eddy has also worked for the Kentucky Counterdrug Organization, Joint Support Operations for 20 years. Joint Support Operations conducts clandestine counter-narcotics reconnaissance in support of local, state and federal law enforcement in the state of Kentucky to include City Police Departments, numerous Sheriff Departments, FBI, DEA, CIA, Secret Service and the U.S. Marshal Service. He was a Ground Reconnaissance Operator, Recon Team Leader, Training NCO, NCOIC (Non-Commissioned Officer In Charge), as well as Administrative NCOIC and Budget NCOIC.
Eddie Garcia, Lead Instructor/Coach for The Bulwarks.
Jason’s military career started in 2001 and includes two deployments overseas. He served as lead truck commander for a convoy security unit in Baghdad, Iraq and was responsible for the overall navigation and security of the element while operating in and around the city. He also spent time in East Africa just after the Benghazi attack where he served as the Platoon Sergeant for the newly formed East Africa Response Force, which was tasked with being prepared to react to any threats on American Embassies in the area of operation.
He received Personal Security Detail (PSD) training from Army Special Forces and coordinated operational plans with State Department Security personnel. Jason was responsible for developing and overseeing all firearms training for the 30-man reaction force. This included Close Quarters Marksmanship and defensive pistol shooting, which included drawing a firearm from the concealed position.
Jason is also a Senior Weaponcraft instructor for the Kentucky National Guard and has been instructing since 2010. He joined the Small Arms Readiness Training Section (SARTS) in 2013 and has trained hundreds of Kentucky Guardsmen deploying overseas. As a Weaponcraft instructor and member of the SARTS, Jason trains soldiers in a wide range of qualifications; from basic rifle and pistol marksmanship to Shoothouse Instructor qualification courses, which focus on not only teaching soldiers advanced techniques in Close Quarters Marksmanship, but the ability to train other soldiers the same techniques.
Jason became a Kentucky Carrying Concealed Deadly Weapons instructor in 2010 and has been teaching regularly for almost six years. He has vast experience working with male and female shooters of all skill sets. Jason has attended defensive firearms training from reputable training academies like Rangemaster and The American Institute of Marksmanship where he learned first hand from renowned instructors Tom Givens and Jim Higginbotham.
Jason Rhoades, Lead Instructor for The Bulwarks.
I joined the Kentucky Army National Guard in 2007, I have always had a love for the firearms and training. My experience consists of Basic Combat Training, Basic Rifle Marksmanship, Close Quarters Marksmanship, and Military Operation on Urbanized Terrain, Military Police Advanced Individual Training, Combat Life Saver, Air Assault, Leadership Development Course, Military Police Basic Officer Leadership Course, Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station Training, Military Police Investigations, Weaponcraft Instructor and Shoot house Instructor.
I am currently a Military Police Investigator and have served with the Kentucky Small Arms Readiness Training Section (SARTS) for 2 years and have been on Kentucky’s marksmanship team where I have achieved: Governors Twenty Tab, Silver Excellence in Competition badge for pistol, Bronze Excellence in Competition in Rifle and several other top placements in competition. In addition to SARTS I worked full time for the Kentucky Army National Guard Pre Mobilization Training Assistance Element (PTAE) for over 2 years.
I have assisted and training small teams and large elements of Soldiers and Airmen in preparation for deployment and other contingency operations overseas.
I deployed to Kandahar province Afghanistan where I was hand selected to lead a 16 personnel security force (SECFOR) for Personal Security Detail (PSD), Convoy Security and mounted and dismounted security operations This deployment resulted in over 270 completed missions with no casualties. I have been a fulltime police officer since 2014 and am a certified Firearms Instructor and CCDW instructor through Department of Criminal Justice Training (DOCJT.) At my Police department I assets with planning, development and implementation of new firearms training. I have shot competitively for my police department at the Kentucky Police Officers Association 3-Gun match with a 1st place finish. Other police training consists of: Current Issues for Patrol, Social Media and internet Investigations, Incident Preparation, Response and Mitigation and Crisis Intervention Team Training.
My goal is to teach others through my experiences while making myself a better teacher/instructor! Come be Bulwarks Strong!
Clint Bushong, Lead Instructor
Courtney has a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Law Enforcement Leadership. She has worked as a Probation and Parole Officer for the Kentucky Department of Corrections since 2015 and is currently supervising Sex Offenders. In addition to her duties as an Officer, she is a Firearms Instructor, Field Training Officer, Fentanyl Responder and Crisis Negotiator where she received her certification from the Federal Bureau of Investigations. In partnership with local law enforcement, the FBI and U.S. Marshalls, she is a member of the Western Region Fugitive Task Force which coordinates apprehension of both state and federal fugitives to include non-compliant sex offenders. She also frequently works with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
Courtney served thirteen years in the Army National Guard as Military Police reaching the rank of Staff Sergeant and served as a Platoon Sergeant in charge of over forty Soldiers and over one million of dollars of equipment to include tactical vehicles and weapons systems. During her thirteen years of military service she planned and coordinated security and traffic operations during events like Thunder Over Louisville and the Kentucky Derby in partnership with Louisville Metro Police Department, as well as, security operations during the 45th Presidential Inauguration in Washington D.C. She also planned, coordinated and trained Soldiers for route clearance/security operations, VIP escort missions and entry control point operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as, detainee operations in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. She is also an instructor for the Bulwarks, LLC teaching defensive weaponcraft.
Courtney has planned and coordinated personal security operations for multiple Kentucky horse shows for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as well as, for private business and individuals. She is a graduate of The Bulwarks Instructor Development for Pistol, a Bulwarks graduate of Foundations for the Self-Defense Handgun, Tactics of the Self-Defense Handgun, Tactical Aid, Unarmed Defense, and a graduate of the Bulwarks Developing a Defensive Mindset series. Courtney is also a certified Image Based Decisional Drills Instructor by The Complete Combatant.
Courtney is married, has two children, and is a German Shepherd enthusiast (she has 3).
Courtney McCarthy Beadnell, Bulwarks Instructor with James Eric Dean, CEO.
Karen is...unique. We'll go with that. She's our resident nerd, still plays D&D, and can be snarky and irreverent if we don't keep her on a short leash. We love her anyway.
She is very serious about her firearms, though. Karen started shooting in 1976 when she got her first rifle. She competed in 4H Shooting sports - rifle and trap/skeet - from 1977 to 1988. She enlisted in the military in 1989, and continued training with the rifle until 2006 when she left the service. She's a fan of long-distance marksmanship, and will make you train with irons at 800 yards before she'll train you with a scope.
She took up serious study with the pistol few years ago when she started carrying concealed. A lefty with that military habit of keeping the right hand empty, she wanted to learn how to shoot better right-handed and booked a class with the Bulwarks. She's been hanging around ever since, and we decided to keep her.
Karen served in the Marine Corps and the Army. She has been an intelligence analyst, an interrogator/translator, a HAWK missile system operator, a clerk/typist, and a Military Police NCO. She spent the bulk of her time in Operations and Training billets, and has been a military firearms instructor/coach, a formal schools coordinator, as well as working drug interdiction, PSD, and MMSO. Her last deployment was as the Operations Sergeant for the 617th Military Police company in Baghdad from 2005 - 2006. Karen holds a BS in Telecommunications Systems Management, with areas of emphasis in Security/Forensic Analysis and RF Communications.
Karen is a a graduate of The Bulwarks Instructor Development for Pistol , a Bulwarks graduate of Foundations for the Self-Defense Handgun, Tactics of the Self-Defense Handgun, Foundations of the Self-Defense Carbine, Tactical Aid, Unarmed Defense, and a graduate of the Bulwarks Developing a Defensive Mindset series. She is a Rangemaster Establishing a Dominance Paradigm graduate, a Rangemaster Combative Pistol graduate, a graduate of The Complete Combatant's Essential Pistol, an NRA Certified Rifle Instructor, an NRA Certified Range Safety Officer, a certified Image Based Decisional Drills Instructor by The Complete Combatant. and was a Sabre Certified Self-Defense Instructor.
Karen is currently semi-retired. She is married, a mother of five, and grandmother of three.
Karen Farthing, Bulwarks Instructor with Jesse Ordunez, Bulwarks Director of Security.
Under Construction - check back soon!
Barry Key, Assistant Instructor with The Bulwarks.
As a military professional serving for over quarter of a century, I take personal protection and professionalism seriously. I have served in various positions of increasing responsibility in the Infantry, Artillery and Intelligence fields. These experiences, honed as a reconnaissance and surveillance team leader, Infantry Platoon Leader and others, including two combat deployments have helped me cultivate a self-defense mindset.
My love for all things gun related led to me founding Js Original Leather in 2017 focusing on hand stitched, hand crafted gun leather and gun leather related goods. Quality tools are paramount to our business.
I’m also an avid runner so if you can’t find me on the range or in the workshop chances are good I’m training for my next ultramarathon.
I have a wife named April and a teenaged son named Tate, who knows his way around a scattergun. I have two pugs named Bentley and Bailey who help me wind down - especially after a long day.
- Kentucky National Guard State Marksmanship Coordinator 2017-2019
- KYNG Small Arms Readiness Training Section Team Leader 2017-2019
- Weaponcraft Instructor/Shoot house Instructor
- Emergency Medical Technician- Basic
- Level 2 Modern Army Combatives Instructor/black belt level martial artist
- Kentucky National Guard Competition Biathlon Team 2019 to present
- Combat Deployment to Horn of Africa 2012-2013
- Combat Deployment to Afghanistan 2002
- Rangemaster Pistol/Carbine Course
- Kentucky State Police Special Response Team Pistol Carbine Course
Jason Spayd, Bulwarks Instructor, and his wife, April.
Wes started his military career in 2004 with the Kentucky National Guard. His advanced marksmanship training started in 2006 when he attended Squad Designated Marksman Course at the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center at Robinson Maneuver Training Center, North Little Rock, Arkansas.
During his deployment to Iraq in 2007-2008, he served as lead truck commander for a convoy security unit while in Baghdad, Iraq and was responsible for the safe navigation and overall security of the convoy element while in the area of operations for Multi-National Division – Baghdad. In 2010, he became a certified Weaponcraft and Shoothouse instructor for the Kentucky National Guard and participated in the training of several units mobilizing for deployments.
Upon moving to Northern Virginia in 2011, Wes became a member of the DC National Guard and deployed to Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in 2013. While in Cuba, he served in the Intelligence Section as an Analyst for the Joint Detention Group under Joint Task Force Guantanamo. Since returning to the Kentucky National Guard in 2016, he has been attached to the Small Arms Readiness Training Section (SARTS) as a Primary Weaponcraft instructor and during both stints as a Weaponcraft instructor has trained hundreds of Kentucky Guardsmen deploying overseas. As a Weaponcraft instructor and being attached to the SARTS, Wes trains soldiers in a wide range of qualifications; from basic rifle and pistol marksmanship and fundamentals to Shoothouse Instructor qualification courses, which focus on not only teaching Soldiers advanced techniques in Close Quarters Marksmanship, but the ability to train and develop other Soldiers the same skills.
Wes has attended several of The Bulwarks defensive firearms courses, and has been trained by the likes of Jim Higginbotham early on in his instructing career.
Wes Rogers, Bulwarks consultant/coach.
Jason Grew up in Nashville, TN. He graduated with his Associate of Science in Nursing from Aquinas College and a Master’s of Science in Nursing from Walden University. He went into the nursing profession because he loves helping others in need, teaching people to care for themselves, and celebrating life. He is a flight nurse who has been in critical care and emergency medicine for the past 14 years.
His clinical experience includes acute, chronic, critical, and emergency care, in patients from all age ranges. His passion is trauma care, cardiovascular and pulmonary emergencies, and education. Currently, he practices as a flight nurse for a large level 1 trauma system in Middle Tennessee and is nursing faculty at a large university in East Tennessee. His brings leadership, evidenced-base practice guidelines, and lessons learned from his 14 years of emergency nursing.
He is licensed in the state of TN as a Registered Nurse and Advanced EMT and is nationally Certified as an Emergency Nurse. He holds certifications in Trauma Combat Casualty Care, Trauma Nurse Core Course Instructor, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Pediatric Cardiac Life Support, Basic Life Support, Neonatal Resuscitation Program, Advanced Hazmat Life Support, Advanced Stroke Life Support, Fundamental Critical Care Support, and Advanced Trauma Life Support (audited). Jason has taught courses and lectured on topics to include Critical Care Cardiac Emergencies, Bleeding Control and Hemorrhage Management, Airway Management, Intracranial Emergencies and Management, and Trauma Transport Considerations.
He sits on the faculty of a Critical Care Paramedic Program and teaches critical care nursing clinical. Jason is a member of the Emergency Nurses Association. He aims to provide an enjoyable, informative , and professional learning environment, that prepares his students to care for themselves and their loved ones at the worst of times.
Chief Instructor for The Bulwarks LLC Medical Training
Craig is the guy we tap when we need GOOD info on anything "outdoorsy", and is a fantastic resource for The Bulwarks. He teaches seminars ranging from just noticing things during a walk in the woods, to tracking, to SHTF preparedness.
A published author, Craig's book "Extreme Wilderness Survival" has what every outdoorsman needs to stay safe in the woods: the right mind-set, skills, advanced tactics and gear choices based on real experiences. Having spent four decades gathering expertise in outdoor survival—including two 30-day solo sabbaticals in remote woods with only a knife - Craig has been there, done that, and got the chigger bites..
He teaches military personnel as well as everyday citizens how to avoid trouble and what to do when you can’t avoid it. Craig puts it all together in a sensible way, step by step, for almost any scenario—from getting lost alone to extreme group tactics.
Craig will teach you how to:
· Strengthen your mental fortitude
· Heighten awareness to avoid danger
· Hunt, fish and forage for food
· Make gear from scratch
· Use tactics and self-defense to fight off predators
· Track animals and other people
· Choose the right gear to help you get home safe always
Craig is currently an educator with Nature Reliance School, an outdoor education organization specializing in teaching to a wide audience.
Craug Caudill, author and educator; consultant for The Bulwarks.