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Mike Green of Green Ops Tactical Talks About Adult Skills

This article contains affiliate links.

Mike Green is a 15 year veteran of Special Operations who began a training company in Northern Virginia as a bit of a side gig. His school has since grown into quite the training operation spanning multiple states and categories of students. One of the things that stood out to me about Green Ops is their motto, “Why Should Your Training Be Less Special?”

I like this because it speaks to a divide that often comes up in the shooting world, where everyday folks like you and I are not able to access the kind of quality training that those paying with government tax dollars might be able to.

Given everything going on today with virus lockdowns, panic buying, protests, and riots, I wanted to ask a professional what the training progression for an average civilian who just bought their first weapon should look like.

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Key Takeaways

We covered a lot of ground in this interview, so it was difficult to narrow it down to just three items (you’ll have to listen to the rest!).

Dry Practice as a Training Tool

It shouldn’t surprise you that I latched on to the idea of dry practice as a training tool. Mike mentioned that there are folks out there who make Grand Master in IPSC and IDPA on as “little” as 8,000 rounds fired per year due to their thorough dry practice systems.  

For one, that should tell you just how much the “average” grand master is actually firing per year, but it also shows you that dry practice is great tool.

One book in particular that Mike mentioned was Refinement and Repetition by Steve Anderson. I went ahead and bought the book after performing this interview, so expect to hear more about it in the future after I spend some more time with it.

In short, the book covers a huge variety of drills with included performance criteria and tracking tools to monitor your progress as you work through it.

Holster Requirements

We spent a good chunk of time discussing concealed carry and holsters. Mike laid out his top priorities of accessibility and retention. Accessibility specifically means how quickly can he get to the pistol in a variety of circumstances while retention refers to both how well it controls the pistol but also stays put on the belt.

Comfort is not part of Mike’s consideration, though he acknowledges that it exists. During the interview he referenced a famous rant by Clint at Thunder Ranch on the topic of comfort, video here (language warning, which is par for Clint)

Training and Legal Matters

Another interesting point in the discussion was the topic of firearms training for law enforcement and civilians. Mike highlights that law enforcement officers receive 40-80 hours of firearms training while in their respective academies, and after that it’s basically just qualification time.

Well qualification isn’t training and law enforcement has qualified immunity if they are bad shots. The average civilian does not have that benefit.

So, from Mike’s perspective, if you find yourself in a self-defense situation and have to defend yourself in court after the fact, it would be helpful to show that you have at least the same amount of training as an actual law enforcement officer. Per his suggestion, that looks like three classes in the first year of ownership and then one per year after that to maintain currency. Participating in competition beyond that is also encouraged.


Bonus: The Progression

I didn’t talk about it in my audio summary, but I thought mike’s progression of skill for the everyday civilian was important. The first thing anyone who just bought a gun should do is focus on the basics of manipulation. Learn how to load, unload, put on safe, and not flag anything.

Next is employment and marksmanship training.

Next is a split between competition and even multi-person tactics.

I hope you enjoyed this interview with Mike Green. I hope to have him back in the future to dig into more of your questions, which you should leave down in the comments!

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Matt is the primary author and owner of The Everyday Marksman. He's a former military officer turned professional tech sector trainer. He's a lifelong learner, passionate outdoorsman, and steadfast supporter of firearms culture.

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Oldest First
Newest First

Great article! Mike has taught me to be a much better shooter, and the things he preaches are what got me there.

Michael Green
Replying to  David

Thank you for the kind words


Every time I catch one of Mike’s interviews I come away with a new nugget of info!

Michael Green
Replying to  Marco

Thank you.


Green ops is amazing and the instructors are fantastic, incouraging and total pros. I hope to one day meet the great Jedi Master Green. Until then I will continue to hone the skills that I learned from Green Ops. Thank you!

Michael Green
Replying to  Gabreal

Thank you. I look forward to meeting you in the future.

Michael Green

Had a great time. Thanks for having me on and look forward to having you in a class sometime.

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