President and chief instructor of Tactical Defense Institute, John Benner is a 37-year veteran police Lieutenant and Vietnam Veteran. John recently retired as Coordinator of the Drug Abuse Reduction Task Force. John spent 25 years with the Hamilton County Police Association Regional SWAT Team. During 20 years as Commander, John received several prestigious awards including Contribution to Law Enforcement, Police Leadership and Officer of the Year. John is certified to instruct and a guest instructor for the Ohio Peace Officer’s Training Council (OPOTA). John is a member of and presenter for the International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors (IALEFI). John is the co-author of the nationally used CQPC Program.
John Motil, General Manager
John J. Motil retired from the U.S. Air Force in 2003. He achieved the rank of Senior Master Sergeant after serving 21 years. He has worked in various F-16 aircraft maintenance positions in 9 duty locations, in both the U.S. and overseas. He is a Benefactor Member of the NRA and received his NRA Basic Rifle and Pistol Instructor Certification in 1988. He has run numerous ranges on military installations for base Rod and Gun clubs. He has actively participated in USPSA, NRA Action Pistol, and IDPA. He is also a certified IDPA Safety Officer and holds a Expert rating in CDP. He is a certified Glock and Smith and Wesson M&P Armorer. He has built both 1911 and AR rifles, and is familiar with most modern firearms when it comes to troubleshooting and repairs. John has Colt M-16/AR-15 Rifle LE/Mil Armorer Training Certification. He has been involved with shooting and hunting in some form his whole life. He holds a B.S. degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Greg Ellifritzis a 16-year veteran police officer, spending the last 11 years as the fulltime tactical training officer for his centralOhioagency. In that position, he is responsible for developing and instructing all of the in-service training for a 57-officer police department. Prior to his training position, he served as patrol officer, bike patrol officer, precision marksman, and field training officer for his agency.
He has been an active instructor for the Tactical Defense Institute since 2001 and a lead instructor for TDI’s ground fighting, knife fighting, impact weapons, and extreme close quarters shooting classes.
Greg holds instructor, master instructor, or armorer certifications in more than 75 different weapons systems, defensive tactics programs, and law enforcement specialty areas. In addition to these instructor certifications, Greg has trained with most of the leading firearms and edged weapons instructors in the country.
Greg has been an adjunct instructor for the Ohio Peace Officer’sTrainingAcademy, teaching firearms, defensive tactics, bike patrol, knife defense and physical fitness topics. He has taught firearms and self defense classes at the national and international level through the International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors, The American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers and Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police. He has a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Management and has written for several publications including: ‘The Firearms Instructor”, “Ohio Police Chief”, “Combat Handguns” and “The Journal of the American Women’s Self Defense Association”.
B.A. Criminal Justice from Kent State University
Twenty Three year Law Enforcement Veteran
Department Armorer for Glock, Sig, Mossberg, and HK weapon systems
OPOTA certified instructor for Pistol, Shotgun, Sub-Machine gun, Semi-Auto Patrol Rifle, and Full Auto Assault Rifle
Department instructor for Impact tools (ASP), Less Lethal Munitions, Defensive Tactics, and O.C. Spray
Swat Team member 1994 to 2011
Martial Artist with background in Judo, Ju-Jitsu, Krav Maga, Kali, and Eskrima.
TDI Adjunct Instructor Since 2003
Gary Hoff is a metallurgist retired from the steel industry after 41 years of service. He began taking professional firearms courses at Tactical Defense Institute in 1998. While most of his training has been at TDI, he has also completed Level 3 handgun at Storm Mountain Training Center; IDPA Competitive Techniques Class by IDPA National Champion Scott Warren; Combative Handgun 1 from Rangemasters; and Secrets of the Concealed Carry Snub by Michael de Bethencourt. He currently has nearly 600 hours of professional training, including over 400 hours of professional handgun training. He is an NRA certified pistol instructor and an IDPA safety officer. He participates in IDPA matches when not teaching at TDI.
Lynn Freshly retired as a lieutenant with a small city inNE Ohio. He has over 27 years of law enforcement experience and has been a firearms instructor since 1987.Lynnis certified to teach semi auto pistol, revolver, shotgun, semi auto carbine, sub-machine gun and scope sighted rifle by the Ohio Peace Officers Training Academy. He has attended most major shooting schools in the US and has over 800 hours of training in firearms and tactics. Lynn has been an instructor with TDI since 1998. When Lynn is not training at our facility, he works as a trainer for Glock Firearms.
“Helpless Civilian” by trade (my day job is cubicle-type office work for a company in the 401k business). My shooting background starts with my dad. He was a competitive trapshooter for most of his life, so he got me into shooting long guns when I was about 10. I picked up an interest in handguns, and other firearms of a “defensive” nature around 18. That eventually led me into pistol competition sports (IDPA and USPSA), and led me to seek out professional training. The majority of my professional training has come from TDI (starting taking classes back in 1997, and started working there as a part time instructor around 2003). I also try to get out to other training opportunities as time/money permits. Those include NRA Instructor Certification, Glock Armorer’s Certification, Training from Tactical Response in Tennessee, and Bob Vogel (Professional USPSA Shooter), Roger’s Shooting School in Georgia. I still shoot IDPA and USPSA matches when my schedule allows (generally just local matches). No military or law enforcement background (just lots of friends who are cops and soldiers).
Dave Battin began as a student at TDI in 1999 and continued his skills throughout the years until he became efficient enough to become an instructor in 2003. He attended the Ohio Peace Officer Academy in 2006. Dave is currently employed as a full time police officer with the a SW Ohio Police Department where he is one of the firearm instructors on the department. He has OPOTA certification in semi-automatic pistol, shotgun, revolver, and tactical rifle instruction. Dave is also a member of a SW Ohio Multi-Jurisdictional SWAT Team.
Tim is a Law Enforcement Officer, serving with a SW Ohio Police Department since 1989 and is the Asst. Chief. Tim is also a member of a SW Ohio Multi-Jurisdictional SWAT Team since 1993 where he is one of the primary trainers for the team. Certifications as an instructor, include, Semi-Auto Handgun, Revolver, Shotgun, Tactical Rifle, Chemical Munitions, Less Lethal Munitions, Straight Baton, Impact Weapon and Edged Weapon Defense and Use of Force through the Ohio Peace Officer Academy. With certifications as an armorer for AR-15 platform rifles, Glock and S&W M&P handguns.
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Bill Posey is a practicing trial attorney with the firm of Keating Meeting & Klekamp, PLL since 1979. Bill’s law practice involves all aspects of litigation with particular emphasis in representing both plaintiffs and defendants in personal injury, product liability, and wrongful death
litigation: insurance coverage: complex and multi-district litigation, and aviation. He has served as lead trial counsel on behalf of clients in more than thirty-five jurisdictions. He lectures on topics relating to accident reconstruction, use of experts, trial skills and strategies, damages, insurance coverage and bad faith issues. Bill has been recognized by Ohio Super Lawyers, as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Ohio, as one of the Top 50 Lawyers in Cincinnati, and by The Best Lawyers in America.
Bill began his shooting education with his first class at TDI in Nov. 2007 and began teaching in Spring, 2009. He is an NRA certified instructor in Pistol, Home Firearm Safety, and Personal Protection in the Home. He has further taken instruction with Ken Hackathorn, Kyle DeFoor, Tom Givens, and Bill Rogers in tactical and speed shooting.
Dick Wheeler started instructing at TDI in 2004. Dick is a NRA Certified Pistol Instructor and Range Safety Officer, and is also certified by the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission as a Unit Firearms Instructor (revolver, semi-auto pistol & shotgun) and Range Safety Officer. Dick is a member of The International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors and a member of The International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association. Dick was a law enforcement officer for 10-years, many years ago, for the Cities of Westerville and Pataskala,Ohio. Dick currently is the President of an Engineering Consulting company in Columbus,Ohio.
Warren retired after 40 years in the property and casualty insurance industry, dealing with all types of claims, from fires to fatalities. Over the course of his career, he was involved in more than 25,000 claims. For 22 years he operated his own business as an independent adjuster. In that venue, he frequently found himself being sent to areas where certain police officers advised him that he should carry a firearm. This situation spurred his desire to obtain some realworld training. Warren learned of this training facility from John Benner (the circumstances remain shrouded in foggy memories), and he attended his first class in 1992. Over the years, he attended many classes and was given the opportunity to become a parttime instructor in 2002. He assists primarily with the handgun classes, although the Tac Shotgun class is one of his personal favorites.
NRA certified as a Pistol Instructor and Range Safety Officer, Warren appreciates the opportunity to work with the students who invest their hardearned training dollars at TDI.
-Veteran TDI Student and Instructor
-Class I Special Deputy Kenton County Sheriff Office 1998-date
Firearms Instructor–Sig Sauer, Glock and Armalite Certified Armorer—
Executive Protection Team with service on Presidential Detail,
Speaker of House Details, Kentucky Governor Detail, Other
Political and celebrity Details—Advance Site, Route & Security Planning–
Won Kentucky DOJ Statewide Law Enforcement Combat Match ~ 2000
-Cincinnati Revolver Club 1970s-1980s, Won City Championship Expert Class
-Reloading pistol, rifle, shotgun-progressive & single stage
-Commercial Pilot-Instrument & Multi-Engine ratings
-SCUBA- SSI Certified Open Water Instructor
-Deer & Bear Hunting
-Patent Examiner US Patent & Trademark Office
-Patent & Trademark Counsel
-Wood, Herron & Evans
Duston Saunders graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1972 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Infantry. Following Airborne School, Ranger School, and the Infantry Officer Basic Course at Ft. Benning, GA, Duston served four years with the 101st Airborne Division at Ft. Campbell, KY as a platoon leader, company executive officer, battalion staff officer, and company commander. Duston returned to Ft. Benning for the Infantry Officer Advanced Course and Jumpmaster Course and then was assigned to the 509th Airborne Battalion Combat Team in Vicenza, Italy where he was a staff officer and company commander. Following an assignment as an advisor to the New York National Guard, Duston left active duty in 1984 but continued to serve in the Army Reserve, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2000. Duston was the Chief Financial Officer for Arbitration Forums Inc. In Tarrytown, NY for nine years before serving 18 years as an executive with the West Point Association of Graduates. In addition to his duties at the Association of Graduates, Duston has been the Officer-in-Charge & Head Coach of the cadet pistol team at West Point since 1993. Under his leadership the Pistol Team has won 8 National Intercollegiate Pistol Championships and over 60 cadets have earned All-American honors. Duston is certified by the NRA as a Basic Firearms, Personal Protection, and Home Defense instructor. He is also certified by USA Shooting as a Level III International Pistol Coach and is an active competitor in Conventional and International Pistol competition. Duston took Handgun I-II-III at Tactical Defense Institute in 2004 and he attended Front Sight for their basic handgun course in 2005. Since 2005, Duston has been bringing the West Point Pistol Team to TDI each April to take an intensive 3 day – 2 night course of tactical live- fire training to better prepare the cadets for combat in Iraq and Afghanistan following their graduation from West Point. Duston became a TDI instructor in 2011.
Sam Santa Rita
Sam Santa-Rita was first introduced to TDI in 2005 as a student. Sam and his wife Julie have taken numerous classes at TDI and encourage their five children to participate as well. Sam is a Certified Prosthetist and is the founder and owner of SRT Prosthetics and Orthotics,LTD with offices in Ohio and Indiana. He is also a part-time police officer serving his local community as a patrol officer and founding member of the tactical team. Sam is enthused to have partnered with TDI in developing Handgun I,II,III curriculum for amputees.
Jeff is the chief of a northwest Ohio police department where he has served for the past 25 years. He’s been working with TDI since 2006. He has prior service as a volunteer firefighter and private security officer. Jeff is an OPOTA certified basic police academy and in-service instructor in many topics to include firearms (revolvers, semi-automatic pistols, pump-action shotguns, tactical/patrol rifles) defensive tactics and HazMat/WMD. He maintains a private security instructor’s certificate. Jeff recently retired (02/22/13) as the chief of police (Montpelier, OH Police Dept.) with 27 years service. He also serves as an auxiliary patrol officer with a nearby city police department.
Career Law Enforcement Officer with 8+ years undercover with an urban drug task force. Current Police Chief for city in South West Ohio. Currently serving on two SW Ohio SWAT teams. One team as a sniper and the other team as a tactical member. Graduate of FBI National Academy. TDI Precision Rifle Lead Instructor since 1995.
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Jerry is a retired Principal Engineer from General Electric Aviation and is currently employed by General Electric as a rehired retiree. He also is a consulting engineer to industry, is writing an engineering standard for the International Standards Organization (ISO) and is an adjunct professor of metallurgical engineering at the University of Utah. Jerry is a life member of both the National Rifle Association and the North American Hunting Club. He also is a member of the Ohio Rifle and Pistol Association (ORPA). Jerry has been an instructor at TDI since 1988. He was also invited to support the training efforts for the Hamilton County (HCPA) SWAT Team and has served in this capacity for a number of years. He is a 25 year member of the Miami Rifle and Pistol Club In Cincinnati and has served on its Board of Directors. At TDI he instructed in the handgun and rifle schools for many years, but recently has focused on supporting the rifle efforts. Jerry’s principal shooting interest pertains to rifles. He is admittedly a geek, very interested in the technical details of shooting and firearms. Jerry holds a bachelors and masters degree in metallurgical engineering from the University of Arizona and a PhD in materials engineering from the University of Dayton. He is also registered professional engineer.
Born in Hamilton Ohio. Joe worked extensively in loss prevention as a younger man and joined his local volunteer fire department. In the last class to graduate Mercy Hospital’s paramedic program, Joe worked as a paramedic for nearly ten years before opening a business with a friend in the late 1990’s. What began as a small rare coin store on Main Street in Hamilton, Ohio has grown considerably. Today, Joe, with his partners, own four rare coin & currency stores in the Greater Cincinnati area, as well as a real estate company with nearly 400 addresses in Hamilton County. Joe and his wife began coming to classes here at TDI, and continued to take and retake class after class; such diehard TDI students that they purchased a house one minute from the TDI driveway, but still maintain their home residence in Fairfield, Ohio. They were invited to join the TDI staff in 2012.
Wyatt is retired from the Adams County Road Department, A life long handgun hunter and long range revolver shooter Wyatt has taken deer at over 400 yards with an iron sighted handgun. He has been working with TDI as an adjunct instructor for 5 years.
Amy is the right hand of her husband, Joe. Born in Cincinnati, raised in North College Hill, Amy followed her parents into the field of radiology when she entered UC’s X-ray program. She left school when she had a child, and decided she would stay home to care for their children. She has raised and home-schooled two children to adulthood and now continues to provide for them as needed. She has spent the last 20+ years helping her husband open and grow their business interests. The LEAST confrontational person alive before TDI, her husband often jokingly asks: “Where is the meek and mild woman I married?” ALL of Amy’s firearm education comes from the classes here at TDI. Her mother & friends have finally grown accustomed to seeing their “sweet Amy” cooking Thanksgiving dinner, gardening, walking her dogs, etc., while wearing her Glock 19 pistol. Amy assists Joe with the day to day operation of their businesses as needed, and cares for their homes in Fairfield and West Union, and according to Joe is the sole reason for any success he has had in life. A quiet person, by nature, Amy rarely even rubs it in when she out performs Joe on the firing line.
“The Ambassador” as Bob is known is retired from being a traveling salesman. Everywhere Bob went he promoted TDI stopping at all the gun stores and Police Stations he could find. Bob is probably our best “word of mouth” guy. He now assists the instructors and helps with some of the instruction.
Chris’s firearms experience began at the young age of 5 where he broke his first clay pigeon. As time progressed Chris has actively competed as a member of the United State Practical Shooting Association and is a Master class Production division shooter.
Chris joined the TDI Staff in 2012 after several years attending as a guest of the West Point Pistol Team and kind of “stuck around”. Chris is a former US Army Infantry Officer (Captain) and is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom 08-09 as a Platoon Leader with 1-505PIR, 3BCT, 82nd Airborne Div. His accomplishments while in the military include graduating from Ranger School, Airborne School, Air Assault School, and Mountain Warfare School along with Expert Infantryman Badge, Bronze Star, and Presidential Unit Citation.
Upon separation from the Army Chris worked as a Private Security Contractor for the US Government performing Executive Protection Operations in High Threat Environments in the Middle East. In efforts to spend more time with his family Chris is now a Production Supervisor for Honeywell Aerospace. Chris is also a NRA Certified Instructor and NROI Certified Range Officer.
Cameron began with TDI as a student in 2004. He is a full time firefighter/paramedic for a city in southwest Ohio and is a technical rescue specialist with OH-TF1, a federal urban search and rescue team. He is also a member of his agency’s SWAT team. In his free time, Cameron trains in judo/ jujitsu and participates in various shooting competitons.
A Gulf War veteran and a former Sergeant in the U.S. Army Infantry served 7 years. Attended Infantry school, Airborne, Air Assault school. Trained in various weapons systems and specialized military tactics.
Began with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction in 1994, at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility (Lucasville). Joined the Disturbance Control Team in 1994, and the Tactical / Special Response Team 1997. Served as a Team Leader and Assistant Team Commander. Since 2004 serving as a Lieutenant and the Special Response Team Commander.
Gary has been deployed to many incidents such as a active shooter, manhunts, prison disturbances, warrant searches and participates in the yearly BCI Marijuana Eradication program. He is a member of the Ohio Tactical Officers Association and the NRA.
Gary is a TDI veteran and has training through various agencies and disciplines i.e.… DR&C Special Response Team Basic, Advanced, Leadership and Special Response Team Instructor. DR&C Firearms Instructor in Glock pistol, shotgun, mini 14, revolver pistol, Use of Force Instructor, DR&C Incident Command System, Special Weapons and Tactics Training, Hostage Rescue training, Combat Marksmanship Diagnostic Workshop, Active Shooter, FEMA- Crisis management for school-based incident, FEMA- Active shooter, FEMA- Incident command system, OPOTA certified Semi Auto Pistol Instructor, High Risk Transport vehicle formations and threat response, Tactical Tracking Day and Night, NRA Pistol Instructor, NRA Personal protection in the home, NRA Range Safety Officer, DHS- Incident Response to Terrorist Bombing Instructor.
Associate Degree – Hocking College
Chuck has taught our Level 6 classes and currently advises on combat techniques. He is a former LEO with Woodlawn and Terrace Park in Ohio and Reserve Deputy Sheriff for Switzerland County SO in Indiana. He is also a retired licensed private investigator and author of many police and firearm books, columns and articles.
Jim owns a consulting and contract engineering firm which designs and builds broadcast and telecommunications facilities and towers nationwide. A lifetime firearms practitioner, Jim’s first experience with TDI began in 1996 as a student when he took every course TDI offered…. multiple times. He has also trained with Massad Ayoob, Robert Vogel, Hamilton Police Shooting Academy, and others, and he participates in IDPA. Jim is an NRA certified pistol instructor, holds a Glock Armorer certification, is an EMT, and is a member of MRPC, ORPA, OGCA, and FSA. Jim’s other passion is aviation, holding multiple FAA commercial pilot and flight instructor ratings and serving as the commander of Cincinnati Warbirds Squadron 18 who preserve and fly vintage military aircraft and sponsor events to honor veterans. As founder and manager of the Trojan Horsemen Flight Demonstration Team, he performs in their patriotic “Salute to the Armed Forces” routine at air shows nationwide in his North American T-28 Trojan and can occasionally be spotted performing aerial reconnaissance over TDI.
Joe has been a sales manager for Snack Food Manufactures for the last 29 years. He started taking TDI classes back in 2002 and has repeated many classes while bringing new students to experience the great training by the instructors at TDI. Joe also rebuilds Classic Ford Bronco’s and has built a TDI Bronco that sometimes makes it down to classes with him.
Jack The Range Dog
Jack the Range Dog (aka Jack Posey) is the TDI mascot found at many of the handgun training classes. Jack is a rescue Jack Russell Terrier who lives to have a tennis ball thrown for him. After being exhausted by playing ball he can be found sleeping on an instructor’s lap during classroom session and in the barn, oblivious to the noise, when we are on the range. Although he knows he owns Bill Posey, he thinks all the TDI instructors are his aunts and uncles and that the students are his new friends who come to TDI just to see him.
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