The expansive show floor of the NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits is a place to not only get info the latest guns and gear, but also learn about top-notch training. Attendees who stop by the NRA Whittington Center booth to talk with Jon Weiler, lead instructor for Whittington U, will quickly realize the New Mexico facility offers a wealth of training opportunities.
"We have a Defensive Academy that includes practical pistol and carbine courses, and a Precision Academy that focuses on long-range shooting," said Weiler (on the right in the photo above), a former U.S. Army sniper and CEO of Professional Marksmen Inc. "And we're adding more."
A glance at the Whittington U website reveals more than a dozen courses that are either currently running or planned for the future. Weiler noted the instruction is categorized by levels of proficiency, and any shooter, from the beginner to the expert, will find something worthwhile in the offerings.
"We present an open environment and want everyone to feel comfortable," he said. "We focus on the intent of the firearm, and your goals with that firearm."
For example, the introductory-level Practical Pistol I course stresses the fundamentals of "everyday implementation of the firearm tool," while the School of Extreme Long Range Engagements Masters Course sees precision-rifle shooters engaging targets at ranges beyond two miles--with success. Weiler also pointed out the family atmosphere of many of the Whittington U courses.
"It's the perfect way to bond with your family," he said, "while improving skills that one day your family may need to defend one another."