Dedication to a greater cause.
As we prepare for our Third Birthday I wanted to use this newsletter as a venue to highlight where we are and where we have been at Artemis.
Something happened though last weekend that made me realize that the content of this article was not about Artemis as such… it was about what truly makes us unique…and it is not our simulators.
It is our people.
I want to call out two members of our Artemis Team. Kavon Harvey and Craig Schmelter.
Kavon is our Armorer. Our Facilities Manager. Our Gun Cleaner. Our Range Safety Officer…and just about anything else that needs being done around here.
Craig is our Chief Instructor. Our Course Content Developer. Our SME… and also just about anything else that needs being done around here too.
They both share a couple of things in common. Aside from the fact that their parents filled them with way too many supplements when growing up, and both physically tower over me, they are both passionate about training, ensuring that our clients get the most effective training evolutions possible, and in the final analysis; making sure that those same clients are able to prevail in a deadly force encounter. Especially when it comes to training our cops.
We are the guys that train the good guys that go into harms way. Yes, there is a thin blue line (or coyote brown depending on where you are deployed) that stands between us and evil. Making sure that those that willingly stand at that dangerous post are the most prepared to do battle is our job.
Both Kavon and Craig take this awesome responsibility seriously.
(If you have arrived here from our newsletter continue reading here:)
Last week as we were wrapping up our operations on Friday we had a massive systems crash on the VirTra 300. This was not a reboot and get going again type of glitch…this was a “the damn thing won’t start again” kind of problem.
We knew we had a full house of trainees on Saturday and Sunday, we also had Sheriffs Dept. Deputies coming in for a full training day on Monday, and Probation Officers coming in on Tuesday.
Kavon literally lived here over the weekend. At 03:30 he was sitting in front of the computer on the 300 doing whatever was in his power to diagnose the problem. At 08:00 he came to the conclusion that we needed a new master computer from VirTra.
Craig modified the training for our students during the weekend incorporating non-simulator work and using the 100 far beyond what we’ve used it for in the past. He also took up his post at Artemis putting in far more hours than he should have to ensure that each trainee that walked through our doors got a 100% valuable training experience.
Both of these gentleman literally put their lives on hold, and I am sure put strain on their families to make sure that anyone coming to train at Artemis left stronger then they were when they walked into the lobby. To both of their families: Thank you. As hard as they worked, Sandy and I know that you sacrificed an equal amount.
Thank you goes to VirTra as well. To their credit they knew the ramifications of having the 300 down during a law enforcement training day, and to avoid any issues they physically sent out one of their Techs, Hogan on a Sunday of all days, to get us back up.
These sacrifices were not made to ensure that we had a working point of sale computer system (Sandy and I have spent hours awake at night on that one). Nor was it to make sure that we could get a higher profit margin, or protect an existing contract.
It was done for one reason and one reason alone.
We are a service business… but the service we sell is unique.
We sell life.
We help ensure that those who use a firearm to defend themselves and others, have the highest level of training possible. That the tactics that they use are actually tested against real force on force engagements. That they know that the force options that they have are legitimate force options, and that they fall within the legal and moral framework of our society.
If that training is substandard, non-functional, or inadequate there are potential real world consequences that are unthinkable to us.
Kavon and Craig both are passionate about what they do… and it shows. Unfortunately both have a sense of humility that prevents them from acknowledging their selfless contributions.
They may not be Green Berets…but they are true Quiet Professionals. (Sorry Craig… I hope that didn’t offend your Marine sensibilities)
For better or worse, I don’t have that same limitation.
I want you all to know the dedication and sacrifice that these two outstanding men have made to making sure you are all at the top of your game.
What is so special for Sandy and myself is that this dedication does not stop with Kavon and Craig. All of our staff, from our front desk gals, to our operators, to our instructors all share this common goal.
We are all passionate about what we do.