Sheepdog Response Instructors
Our instructors are some of the best operators, medics, fighters, and law enforcement in the country. Come learn from the best.
Tim Kennedy’s legend began at his local Army recruiter’s office on September 12th, 2001. His training to earn his Green Beret was featured in the book “Chosen Soldier.” Kennedy is now a Ranger qualified Special Forces Sniper with deployments in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and multiple other deployments around the world. He is the only soldier to win the grueling 3 day All Army Combatives Tournament three times. Kennedy has black belts in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Modern Army Combatives. He is also one of the top-ranked mixed martial arts fighters in the world, a position he achieved while simultaneously serving his country at the highest levels of special operations. Prior to his retirement from professional mixed martial arts, he was ranked among the top Middleweights in the UFC. Tim has been featured on many television shows, most recently “Hunting Hitler” on the History Channel, and Hard to Kill on the Discovery Channel.
Staff Sergeant Dennis Jones is Sheepdog Response’s Director of Training. He is an Army combat veteran with over 10 years of active service as a Special Operations Combatives Instructor. His certifications and specialties include Airborne, Air Assault, Modern Army Combatives Levels I-IV Instructor, Special Operations Combatives Program Instructor, Protective Services Training Course, Anti-terrorism and Evasive Driving Course, and Gracie Survival Tactics Trainer. As a Military Police Soldier he has conducted supervisory community policing operations within the CONUS environment, supervisory tactical policing operations within the OCONUS and combat environments, and served as the Team Commander for an installation level Special Reaction Team at one of the U.S. Army’s largest CONUS installations.
Dennis was selected for assignment to the U.S. Army’s only executive level protection unit in the Military District of Washington where he developed and implemented a unique Unarmed Defensive Tactics program specifically tailored to the mission of personnel protective operations. He most recently was assigned to the an Executive Protection Unit in the DC area, where he created a Defensive Tactics program specific to the PSD mission set.
In addition to his military specific endeavors, SSG Jones holds a Black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, competes in both military and civilian MMA tournaments, and participates as a Competitive IDPA shooter. He has worked and trained alongside a number of specialized Army and DoD Agencies in diverse environments and in uniquely varied tactical capacities.
Travis is a retired Special Forces Weapons and Senior/Operations Sergeant, with over twenty years of Infantry and Special Operations experience. He has served on multiple combat rotations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo; as well as many additional deployments to other areas around the globe.
He is a U.S. Army Certified Instructor/Trainer and has served as an Instructor at the US Army’s Ranger School. Travis is a seasoned and experienced leader and instructor. He is well versed in teaching small unit tactics and marksmanship skills from novice to advanced levels.
Sergeant Major Matt Smith is a US Army Green Beret and 20-year veteran of Special Operations. He is a Special Missions Unit alumni and master tactics trainer. He is an Army TCCC instructor, certified Flight Paramedic, Critical Care Paramedic, Diving Medical Technician, and has conducted joint medical mission planning for some of the top tier units within Special Operations. His certifications include Master Parachutist, Military Free Fall Jumpmaster, and Combat Diving Supervisor. SGM Smith is a Master Diver and currently runs the Special Forces Underwater Operations School in Key West, FL. He has been featured on Discovery Channel training the nation’s finest Special Operators on clandestine infiltration. He has deployed as a direct action operator to Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and multiple other deployments worldwide. SGM Smith has spent decades training multinational Special Operators, Law Enforcement, and other Government/DOD Agencies in advanced tactics and combat medicine. He competes in military combatives tournaments, civilian Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournaments, and trains in MMA.
James O’Neal began his military career in the late 1980’s as a corpsman with the Marine Corps Reconnaissance Teams. As a civilian, James was recruited and functioned as a Reserve Police Officer and SWAT Team Operator for Yakima SWAT. With his career pressing forward, James joined the Washington Army National Guard’s Special Operations Detachment Pacific (SOD-P) where he functioned as the medical officer teaching Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) in seven different countries across the globe.
James was selected to Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) /Special Operations Joint Task Force (SOJTF). While assigned he served as an instructor for multiple tactical combat casualty care events on different platforms, along with developing medical planning to improve numerous tactical operations in austere combat zones.
James is a practicing Brazilian Jujitsu Black Belt under the Behring system and continues to instruct soldiers and law enforcement personnel in basic self-defense and weapon retention.
James’s Physician Assistant medical experience comes from attending the University of Washington’s Physician Assistant Program MEDEX, spending his first ten of seventeen years practicing and providing internal medicine, primary care and PTSD counseling for Veterans.
Will Caito is a retired Army Counterintelligence (CI) Agent with 13 years of service spent primarily in Special Operations. He has served on multiple rotations to Afghanistan and numerous deployments in Europe and throughout Asia.
His certifications include distinctive achievement as the Honor Graduate of both the U.S. Army CI Agent and 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment Enlisted Qualification Courses, placing Commandant’s List at the U.S. Army Basic, Advanced, and Senior Leader Courses, and exceeding course standards at the Department of Defense (DoD) Source Operations Course. Additional training includes the International Special Training Center’s Close Quarters Battle (Urban) Course, DoD CI Surveillance/Countersurveillance Course, Reid Method of Interview and Interrogation Course, and both the U.S. Army Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) Level C and Joint Special Operations Command SERE Level 400 Courses.
As a supervisory Agent, he was responsible for training and certification of newly assigned Intelligence personnel and leadership of CI teams supporting multiple outstations. He has conducted the full spectrum of CI operations in permissive, semi-permissive, and non-permissive environments.
Sarah was selected for assignment to the U.S. Army’s only executive level protection unit in the Military District of Washington. There she developed and implemented the organization’s first functional and tactical orientation training program specific to the mission of executive protection. She oversaw, developed, and implemented the organization’s first executive protection specific unarmed defensive tactics program.
While assigned to the unit, she planned and led protection missions for DoD Chief Executives and oversaw organization level personnel and residential security. In addition to her military specific endeavors, Sarah is a dedicated runner, Jiu Jitsu student, mother of four, and sexual trauma/ domestic abuse survivor. She is passionate about promoting women’s self-defense and promoting prevention through empowerment.
Sergeant First Class Colton Smith is an Active Duty combat veteran with 10 Years of Service. He is Ranger, Sapper, Airborne, and Air Assault qualified. He won the UFC’s Ultimate Fighter on Spike TV and is currently a top ranked MMA fighter. Colton is Special Operations Combatives Program Certified, a Modern Army Combatives Program Level 1-4 Instructor, and a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt. He has worked alongside and instructed several Government / DOD agencies during OCONUS & CONUS assignments.
Jeremiah is also a retired professional MMA fighter, a competitive olympic lifter, and one the current top ranked USPSA and 3 Gun competitors in the country.
Travis is a native Texan who has been studying martial arts from a young age. He continued his training as an adult and has primarily focused on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, and Muay Thai. Travis holds rank in several marital arts and received his black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in 2011. Travis has been competing as an adult since 2004, and has competed successfully in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, No-Gi grappling, Freestyle Sambo and has fought professionally in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).
Travis has over 10 years of Law enforcement experience in an urban environment. During that time Travis has attained numerous certifications related to police defensive tactics and firearms training. Travis has taught law enforcement defensive tactics for several years and is also a firearms instructor. Travis has been teaching martial arts for over a decade. Travis brings an insight into close quarters weapon based fighting and it’s application for civilians and law enforcement.
Jim is a world-class mixed martial artist who has tangled with many of the best fighters in the world, and currently sits at third all-time for wins in the UFC’s lightweight division. Building off his base as a wrestler, Jim has added world-class Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai to his repertoire, all topped off with the ability to maintain a high pace from bell-to-bell.
Jeff Tiegs is a Counter Terrorism and Counter Insurgency Expert with over 25 years of service in US Army Special Operations. He has commanded units during combat operations around the globe including Panama, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
Jeff entered the United States Army as a Private, serving in the 1st Ranger Battalion, where he first experienced combat parachuting into Panama during Operation Just Cause and served as a Ranger squad leader in Iraq and Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm. After commissioning as an Infantry Officer through the Reserve Officers Training Program (ROTC) he served with the 2nd Ranger Battalion until volunteering for Special Forces. After completing all the requisite training, Jeff was assigned to the 10th Special Forces Group and participated in the initial invasion for Operation Iraqi Freedom, returned to Iraq for more rotations with Special Forces, and then volunteered for duty with a Special Mission Unit under the United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC). He spent over a decade as an operator with USASOC and completed multiple combat rotations to Iraq and Afghanistan. He has received numerous awards, including five bronze stars for distinguished service and a silver star awarded for valor during combat.
Now he is taking his experience and applying it to the fight against sex trafficking and the exploitation of women and children in the U.S. As the Chief Operating Officer for Guardian Group, his team leads a nationwide network of veterans who partner with law enforcement agencies to put an end to sex trafficking across the United States.
Jeff was an accomplished ultrarunner and endurance athlete before making the switch to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Recognizing that he has been trained by the best and entrusted with hard earned martial skills, he is honored to be able to share those skills and experiences with Sheepdog Response.