By Heather Eckert
Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer reveals brilliant lyrics filled with vision and inciting thoughts:
you could have a steam train if you’d just lay down your tracks.
As the steam engines of the past prefaced the foundation of the high-speed trains of today, having a strong foundation is the backbone within everything we do.
As a full-time firearms instructor, I never lose sight of the fundamentals set into motion during the beginning of my career. The influential track of my high-speed train started with a two-day NRA Pistol Instructor course offered by an NRA Training Counselor. I arrived to training armed with a burning desire to turn a passion into a career. Like other national organizations, the NRA instructor program is a widely recognized certification. The NRA was founded in 1871, with the ambition to “promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis.” The NRA saw a dire need where little formal education was available. Over a hundred years later, the NRA is still providing an industry-accepted foundational approach.
If you want to become an instructor, the NRA Instructor Certification is a great place to start. By becoming certified by the NRA, you demonstrate your knowledge of basic firearm safety and shooting skills. For me it is analogous to a driver’s license, which demonstrates that a driver can safely operate a vehicle, but may not yet have the skills to navigate rush-hour traffic or a severe storm. The NRA certification permits you to teach specific curriculum published by the NRA, but it does not provide training to teach other firearm training courses (such as intermediate or advanced classes, hunter safety, law enforcement, security, or USCCA courses), nor does the class prepare you to develop your own curriculum or training courses of your own. However, it gives you a solid foundation on which to build.
My NRA Certification was a respected resume credential that opened doors to new employment and allowed me to advance well beyond basic Pistol Instructor. I continued training to improve my own shooting skills, and also took additional courses to learn other ways to instruct, master the latest relevant tactics, and expand my network of talented instructors for mentorship. Now I hold multiple Law Enforcement Certifications in Firearms, Force on Force and Defensive Tactics, most recently obtaining my Master Instructor Certification from IALEFI, in shotgun, handgun, and patrol rifle.
I am truly grateful to be working with the law enforcement community and civilians alike, always keeping in mind of how I started and continuing the NRA’s vision through a tried-and-true scientific approach of quality education and exceptional marksmanship. The question is, where will you lay down your tracks?
Heather Eckert is the owner and Lead Instructor of E4Defense, LLC. Heather is a nationally recognized firearms and reality based training Instructor. She holds multiple state and nationally recognized certifications and licensing, and is the Frisco, TX A Girl & A Gun Facilitator.
If you would like to learn more about earning your NRA instructor certification, click here: Become an NRA Instructor.