Chances are that if you are reading this article some part of you wishes you could be an operator.  You might have an unnatural love of suppressors and short barreled rifles, or you might wear your Oakley’s indoors.  No judgment here, except for that last one, it’s weird.  But what if you could acquire the same skills that operators use, and conduct the same type of training?  But how could you do that, and where might you go to find such training?  Keep reading to find out.

To be clear, I’m not turning you into a Delta Operator here, hence the term gentleman operator.  Much like the gentleman racer, the gentleman operator, has many of the same skills as their professional counterparts, but they don’t operate for their day job.  There is no reason; however, that you cannot gain and maintain a high level of skill in the same areas.

I have also modified the skills somewhat, to be more useful in your day to day life.  I doubt any of us are going to spend much time conducting HAHO jumps across the AFPAK border anytime soon, but you probably do need some advanced driving skills, for example.

Now that we’ve got our goal firmly in our sights, lets see what kind of skills we will need, and where we might go to find them.  Below I will be recommending various training schools and materials.  You should consider all links to Amazon as affiliate links.  Thanks for the support!

Gun Skills 

There is no doubt that to be a gentleman operator you will need some serious gun skills.  What’s more, you will have to be able to expertly use a wide variety of weapons platforms, but most notably a pistol and a tactical rifle.

These are any operator’s bread and butter, but simply being able to shoot them pretty well does not mean that you are ready to fight with those weapons.  For that, you’ll need to get some instruction from those who’ve been there and done that.

In this case I would recommend a training company called Northern Red.  They are a group formed by former Army special mission unit members, as well as 3rd Special Forces Group members.

They have a wide variety of firearms classes including: pistol, carbine, and sniper courses.  More importantly, they also run what they call oppositional based CQB courses, where you will be conducting a variety of force on force scenarios to really validate your training.

If book reading is more your game.  You can check out this book, by Kyle Lamb, a former Delta Operator.  In it he covers effective gunfighting in the real world.  He also has a rocking beard, so you know he’s legit.

If you like this kind of article, sign up for our newsletter on the right so you can get the latest articles sent right to your inbox.  If you don’t, I’ll assume you wear velcro shoes, and carry a metal lunch box, nerd! 

Driving Skills 

This is also a key component for the gentleman operator.  Vehicles are nearly everywhere, and are key to getting to your target.  For the gentleman operator that target might be a Denys bathroom before you go code brown, but I would argue that is definitely a no fail mission.

The company BSR Inc has a wide variety of courses that cover everything from evasive driving techniques in a hostile environment, to learning how to hot wire vehicles in their vehicle commandeering course.

They are located in West Virginia, at Summit Point Raceway, so they have some excellent facilities with which to train.

You might also check out this video, ISA Tactical Driving.  It’s produced by Panteo Productions, and covers many of the same materials ISA teaches US SOF in their driving schools.

Medical Skills 

An unpleasant side effect of operating too hard is the tendency to accumulate injuries.  As a necessity, we will need to learn how to provide ourselves and others with basic, and intermediate level medical attention.

The company Dark Angel Medical provides training for just such eventualities.  They cover things like: tourniquet usage, hemostatic agents, advanced wound care, and airway management.  Some of their courses also count toward medical certifications, and EMT certs.

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This kind of training is great for everyday life.  While your chances of responding to a mass casualty event are low, you are likely to be able to help out in more common incidents, like car accidents.

You can also check out this text book, Tactical Medicine Essentials.  It’s written mainly for SWAT medics, but it covers things from removing tourniquets, to treating patients wearing body armor, and other more serious emergencies.

Protection Skills 

These are probably less commonly spoken about in terms of the skills required to be an operator, but often times they are required to act as personal security details for senior government officials, and other VIPs.

In most cases they act as part of a team, which you are not likely to do, but you are likely to need these same skills to keep yourself and your loved ones safe in day to day life.

Academi, formerly Black Water, has a very interesting course that teaches individuals how to properly protect people as an individual.  This is a very thorough course that lasts a total of five days.  It covers tactical driving, movement with your principal, as well as personnel recovery, and many other topics.

Wild Card Skills 

So far we’ve discussed the most common skills that you would need to become a gentleman operator, but we haven’t really talked about some of the more outrageous, and fun training that the pro’s often experience.  Check out the following list of skills that could conceivably be of use to you, the gentleman operator.

Lock Picking 


Motorcycle Riding 


Scuba Diving


I would argue that all but skydiving could be used in day to day life, depending on where you live.  Personally, I’d be very interested in lock picking and mountaineering, but that’s just me.  You may be the right kind of crazy that likes jumping out of airplanes.

Special Forces, Air Force, Airmen, Spec Ops, Jump


If the idea of becoming a gentleman operator floats your boat, then waste no time and reserve your space in some of these training courses, and pick up some of the recommended resources.  I would think that one or two courses a year would be ideal.  If you take more, you probably won’t have time to effectively practice the skills you’ve learned.

Some might say that this is a big waste of time, and you aren’t really an operator, but they might change their tune when you hot wire a car, infiltrate their pool using your SCUBA skills, and slap a tourniquet on their leg as you give them mouth to mouth.  Just kidding don’t do that. It’s really weird and illegal.

I hope you like this article. Feel free to leave your thoughts below, in the comments section.