Profiles in Service

by Kirk Gilles

I would like to present the first in a series of mini-biographies to The American Woman Shooter that highlights the contributions made by women to our Military and Law Enforcement.

As a Small Arms trainer for the Military in California and as a Law Enforcement officer, I have the opportunity to work with a variety of women who train on and may have to employ firearms in their occupational duties.

There is certainly a diff erence in training women, or men, in the Martial Art of Firearms or Gun Fighting. Instructing a CCW class, for example, provides a certain level of training and competence for a life-threatening scenario that may never come. I think it’s safe to surmise that the CCW holder does not let the carrying of that firearm become the most significant part of her daily life.

However, women who choose to become our defenders on the battlefield or the streets must live with that firearm as a primary part of daily life. Soldiers must know their weapons inside and out. They literally “Sleep” with their rifles. Many law enforcement agencies require their cops to “Carry” off duty as well as on duty. For these folks a firearm (Or two!) is never out of reach.

I started the 19 Delta School this past year to off er specific training in the Small Arms of our military to young people who have volunteered for military service.

Ms. Samantha Rangel, my first Profile in Service, is one of those young people.

Ms. Rangel is eighteen years old from Lemoore, California. She has volunteered to serve in the United States Air Force. Moreover, she has enlisted as an Air Force Security Forces police offi – cer,so Gun Fighting will be a very significant part of her career.11

Ms. Rangel told me, “I am joining the U.S. Air Force for the stability it off ers as an occupation. I want to see diff- erent parts of the country and the world. I have always been told that the Air Force is best for education. They are more education-based than the other services. I chose the Security forces because I wanted an exciting job that asks a lot of me. I’ve always tried to challenge myself throughout my life. The U.S. Air Force Security forces will be a great challenge. I did not have any prior ex
perience with firearms until I worked with you at 19 Delta.”

I start out my classes by telling the recruits that they represent the less than One Percent of Americans who volunteer to serve their nation. Ms. Rangel and the others I get the privilege of instructing make up the force of Americans who elect to pick up a weapon and stand a post while we sleep safe under the blanket of freedom they provide. (Yes, I stole that line from Jack Nicholson but it’s a great line!)


Mr. Gilles is prior service U.S. Army, a semi-retired deputy sheriff , and a small arms trainer for the CA Military Department. He instructs for Triple Threat Solutions in Bakersfield, CA and produces handgun training aides for 19Delta Products.