There’s A Degree For That!

How a firearms instructor’s search for continuing education landed him an Associate of Science Degree in Firearms Technology.

by Earl Roberts

My upbringing is relatable to many of you. I grew up living a simple life on a small farm in western North Carolina and began shooting at an early age. I learned fast the importance of maintaining my own firearm. The day after I graduated high school, I was on a bus to Paris Island, South Carolina and soon after was being greeted by my Drill Instructor. I was introduced to my new best friend, an M16A2 service rifle. From that point on, the majority of my adult life has been spent within arms reach of a firearm. As retirement grew near, I tried to picture a post-military career. I had taken a college class or two throughout the years. I became an Emergency Medical Technician, took some Parks & Recreation classes, some Religion classes, but never really discovered a traditional degree path that interested me. I dabbled in the security field after retirement but ultimately found my calling as a firearms instructor, working as Mobile Marksmanship ( in Virginia.

Also, probably like you, I know that it is important to continue training to remain relevant. A little over two years ago, I found myself searching high and low for my next piece of continuing education. Sonoran Desert Institute (, 480/999-4767) kept popping up and SDI is known as the School of Firearms Technology… and that sounded pretty awesome!

Read more in the January 2022 issue.

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