Sheepdog Instructors

Our instructors are some of the best operators, medics, fighters, and law enforcement in the country.  Come learn from the best.

Tim Kennedy

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 a 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.

Mike "Doc" Simpson

Mike Simpson has served over three decades in the military as an Airborne Ranger, a Special Forces Operator, and finally as a Doctor of Emergency Medicine assigned to the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). Throughout his career, Mike has deployed to 17 different countries, from counter-narcotics operations in the jungles of South America, to the Global War on Terror (GWOT) in Southwest Asia and North Africa.

Along the way, Mike has been trained as a demolitions expert, SWAT Sniper, High Altitude Low Opening (HALO) parachutist, civilian paramedic, Special Forces Medic, Operations and intelligence Sergeant, and finally, a board certified Emergency Medicine Physician.

Mike is also a martial arts enthusiast, who trains in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai. His passion for martial arts motivated him to become a practicing fight doctor. As one of the foremost experts in both tactical trauma medicine and combat sports medicine, Mike is highly sought after as a lecturer and instructor, working extensively with Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters, law enforcement, and military organizations providing medical care and training. He co-stars with Tim Kennedy on Hunting Hitler on the History Channel.

Dennis Jones

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 Lloyd

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.

James O'Neal

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

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 Dunston

CW2(R) Sarah Dunston is an Army combat veteran with over 12 years of active service. Her certifications and specialties include CID Special Agent Course, Reid Interview and Interrogation Course, Modern Army Combatives Levels I-II, Protective Services Training Course, Anti-terrorism and Evasive Driving Course, United States Secret Service Small Detail Training Course, and Active Shooter Response Course. As a U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command Special Agent, she conducted felony investigations in both the CONUS and combat environments, supervisory tactical policing operations in combat environments, world-wide executive protection operations for senior DoD officials, and personnel and residential security operations for DoD chief executives.

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.

Colton Smith

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 Futch

He is currently the Head Combat Marksmanship Instructor for 1st Special Forces Advanced Urban Combat Committee.

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 Joyner

Travis Joyner is a seasoned law enforcement officer, professional MMA fighter, and expert in defensive tactics for police officers.

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.

Jeff Mullenax

Jeff Mullenax is a combat veteran from the Unites States Marine Corp. He has spent 13 years as a law enforcement officer in Texas. He is a TTPOA advanced SWAT Operator, advanced SWAT Sniper, and Current Drug Interdiction K9 handler with Troy PD. Jeff has dedicated his career to helping fellow officers remain fit and proficient in defensive tactics. Jeff is a BJJ Brown belt, Professional Submission Grappler, IBJJF NoGi world champion, and USAW National Weightlifting Champion.

Marshall Luton

Marshall has been in law enforcement for 23 years.  Marshall is a C.L.E.E.T. certified rifle, shotgun and pistol instructor, and has received over 1200 hours of training through various organizations and instructors.  Over the last decade he has trained countless numbers of police officers, military personnel and civilians.  Marshall is a life member of the National Rifle Association and an NRA Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor for pistol and shotgun.  He has won 5 State Championships, 4 Regional Championships and 1 National Championship with his pistol.  He enjoys shooting IDPA and USPSA type competitions and has produced some of the top shooters in the Nation.  Marshall lives to serve God and country.

Guest Instructors

Jim Miller

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.

Jeremy Horn

American mixed martial artist currently competing in the Middleweight division. Although Horn is perhaps best known for fighting in smaller American promotions, he has also competed in some of the premiere mixed martial arts organizations around the world including the UFC, WEC, PRIDE, Bellator, Pancrase, the IFL, King of the Cage, and the International Fighting Championships (IFC). Horn is the former King of the Cage Light Heavyweight Champion. Horn has also competed in the Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight divisions.

James Head

James is a veteran of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and an expert in hand to hand combat. James is also a high level pistol and rifle shooter, dedicated to being a well-rounded sheepdog. He helps teach our Unarmed Lethality techniques at our training events.

Trevor Prangley

Trevor Prangley is a South African mixed martial artist, hand to hand combat expert, and avid shooter. He has fought in the UFC, Strikeforce, and Bellator, among others. Trevor competed in the Middleweight and Light Heavyweight divisions, winning multiple highly regarded championship titles. Trevor brings a unique perspective to situational awareness and violence of action.

Tara LaRosa

Pro MMA fighter 22-5. Born and raised in Jersey, now fighting out of Jackson/Winkeljohn’s MMA in Albuquerque, NM  


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