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Personality+: Greg Collins Bearing Arms

Sometimes, Greg Collins can get a little defensive — but not in the way you think. We’re talking guns here, people.

Greg, director of network engineering at New Edge Networks, is founder and sole proprietor of Defensive Solutions, a firearms and defensive tactics training company. He founded the company as a means of teaching others how to safely and effectively use firearms.

Greg instructs a lot of the courses, but has other instructors that assist him on a contract basis as well. Based in Knoxville, Tenn., Defensive Solutions also teaches courses in Atlanta and will travel to most any location. The instructors teach NRA Basic Pistol and Personal Protection courses. Additionally, they offer more advanced shooters Defensive Pistol, Defensive Carbine and Defensive Shotgun courses. The latter courses involve more tactics and move beyond the basics, Greg explained. “The skills covered range from basic marksmanship to the use of firearms for defensive purposes,” said Greg. “Defensive courses focus a lot on mindset. The best defensive strategy is one that doesn’t require your gun.”

And, of course, all lessons start with the basics of firearms safety. “The first rule is to always point the firearm in safe direction,” Greg explained.

Greg instructs a group on sight alignment during a Tactical Carbine course.

Greg has been teaching for about eight years, but has been interested in guns his whole life. “Growing up, I hunted quite a bit but that may have been more of an outcropping of my interest in firearms,” said Greg, adding that he believes he probably shot his first gun at around 7 years of age. “To my knowledge, I have always been interested in firearms and shooting. Growing up in east Tennessee, it just seemed like a natural activity.”

To beef up his resume, Greg has been to formal training for the defensive use of pistols, carbines and shotguns; and has been to instructor schools from the NRA and a carbine instructor’s course. He also obtained a lot of great experience when he was an A-class competitive shooter. Nowadays, he occasionally competes in Steel Challenge events, but says it’s more for the fun and camaraderie. “The shooting sports family is a great group of people,” said Greg.

This gun enthusiast also shares his hobby with his real family. His wife and three daughters all shoot with him, and his oldest daughter, Kayla, has competed a couple of times with him as well.

Mostly, Greg says he enjoys shooting as a hobby because it is an opportunity to escape from the daily grind. “Shooting requires that your attention is focused on your technique and the firearm. It is rewarding to see the bullets hit the target where you wanted them,” he explained. “Additionally, I really enjoy the process of teaching. It is rewarding to see students’ skills improve over the period of a single day. Seeing the satisfaction in the new skills is a great thing as an instructor.”

First job: Delivering newspapers on foot at age 14 in Kingsport, Tenn.

Porky Pastime: When Greg is not working or shooting, he enjoys cooking. As a matter of fact, he and a good friend of his are locally known for their BBQ. They cook approximately 1,000 pounds of pork each year and are known as the Sultans of Swine.

Thoughts on telecom: “I see the industry at another turning point. Customers are no longer happy with just the traditional telecom services. They are looking for their telecom providers to help them cost-effectively manage their networks. Additionally, the deployment of quality-based services, such as VoIP and video, are bringing new services into the industry. I think both of these changes are great for telecom customers.”

Do you know someone who has Personality+? We’re looking for interesting characters in telecom to take the spotlight! Please send nominations to Khali Henderson at [email protected].


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