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Riding Shotgun With Charlie

Oct 19, 2021

Riding Shotgun With Charlie


Dave Laird

Dynamic Combative Solutions LLC


This summer I was invited to participate in a class sponsored by FASTER Saves Lives (FSL).  Check them out: they’re working to arm students and school staff!  There were several instructor and podcast friends taking the class that were part of the “media people” who were going to talk about and promote what FSL is doing. Dave Laird was also a student in the class.  He is a member of Arizona Citizens Defense League (AZCDL). He’s also an instructor and founder of Dynamic Combative Solutions, LLC. Which is why he outshot everyone in the class!


Dave grew up around firearms and many family members were in the military from before 1776, during the French & Indian War. As a teen he moved back to Pennsylvania and his grandmother taught him a lesson in hunting: he isn’t taking lots of ammo-he got one round. He did martial arts when he was young and knew he’d be heading to the military.  After doing well in MEPS test, he still wanted to jump out of airplanes. He was with the 82nd Airborne Division, in the infantry, heavy tank weapon specialist, heavy weapons squad leader, and a designated scout sniper for his unit. He often got gigs where the others had to try and “beat the crap” out of him. And he seemed to enjoy it. So he shared some stories about Round Robin and the final testing. 


After the military, he wasn’t sure where life would take him. It took him to be a contractor for a few years.  After getting out of that, he went home and did some church security and did some volunteering with a local sheriff’s department. Teaching church security teams, he had a friend who opened a shooting range where he started to instruct some high level classes.  He noticed that not all of the students had the same basic training and he designed a solid curriculum for everyone to work from.  He found that he was thriving while managing the training schedule and training the trainers. He tied everything together and created Dynamic Combative Solutions, LLC, with all his experiences. 


Part of the reason Dave was at the FASTER Saves Lives (Levels 1 & 2) is that the Arizona Citizens Defense League (AZCDL) wants to bring FASTER to Arizona! Both Dave and Cheryl Todd to the Level 1 & 2 courses so they can bring back some knowledge about the program and share it with schools in Arizona. The FASTER Program isn’t just shooting its active shooter training.  It’s beyond the basics of shooting.  We did some advanced shooting, one handed, non-dominant hand, as well as in various stances and distances. There was some trauma first aid, which was new for me.  The last training day was intense.  We went to a real school (which wasn’t in session) and did some force on force scenario training.  Just for the record, I was shot 4 times by my bad guy. But I also yelled and swore at him… before I started shooting.  That was my mistake. 

Favorite quotes

“We pretend to be Taliban before the Taliban.”

“I didn’t like the direction it (military career) was going. It sort of felt like it would be dangerous to stay in at that point.”

“If you want to be a good self defender who carries your gun on you every single day, there are certain things that you need to do and it needs to be unconsciously competent at that level.”

“I don’t want to be your Holy Grail… If you’ve only been with one instructor, you’ve only seen one way, you’re missing out.”


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