U.S. Optics Academy Director, MSG, U.S. Army (Ret.) Jim Gilliland speaks with Contingency X about the academy’s new direction and commitment for expansion over the long run for U.S. Optics, Inc.; including new courses in its program, a nationwide expansion, and creating a bigger, safer gun community through the use of education.
Master Sergeant Jim Gilliland is a recently retired Army veteran with an extensive list of both military and civilian accomplishments. Gilliland holds the current record for the longest, successful single shot engagement at ¾ of a mile. The sniper section of the 3rd Infantry Division, which he hand selected and lead was recognized as the best sniper section in Iraq for 2005.
ABOUT U.S. OPTICS ACADEMY:
U.S. Optics Academy was launched in 2015 to provide shooters from all demographics the opportunity to come and learn how to properly operate any rifle and scope like a true marksman. With a range exceeding 1500 yards, students will have the ability to learn the fundamental and advanced skills in order to achieve these distances.
ABOUT JIM GILLILAND:
Jim joined the Army in 1996 – He served in the 3rd Battalion of the 75th Ranger Regt as an Indirect Fire Infantryman (Mortar Gunner), Forward Observer, Sniper, Spotter, RTO, Team Leader, and a Squad Leader. He later deployed twice to Afghanistan with C company 3/75 as a Squad Leader where he participated in the highly televised night combat Airborne Assault in the Helmand providence on 19 Oct 2001. Jim went on to instruct at the Non-Commissioned Officer academy for 18 months before being assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division. There, Jim selected and trained a Sniper Section from scratch in 2004 and deployed for one year as a Sniper Section Leader. The Joint Chief Counter IED (Implemented Explosive Device) Task Force recognized Jim’s sniper section as the best Sniper Section in Iraq in 2005. Jim is accredited with taking a record successful single shot engagement with a 7.62 rifle during this combat deployment. Jim was then assigned as a Ranger Instructor at the Mountain Phase of the U.S. Army’s Ranger School for three years as both a tactics and mountaineering instructor. Following his time at the Ranger Training Brigade, Jim returned to the 3rd Infantry Division and completed his second tour in Iraq as a Platoon Sergeant leading a Quick Reaction Force and counter IED/Post blast section Leader and finished his time in the 3rd Infantry Division as a First Sergeant. Jim currently serves in the Soldier Requirement Division, Small Arms Branch as the Senior Enlisted Adviser and Branch NCOIC (Non-Commissioned Officer In Charge). In this role Jim is directly involved in the selection, refinement and development of all future Army small arms.
ABOUT SHOT SHOW:
The Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT Show) and Conference is the largest and most comprehensive trade show for all professionals involved with the shooting sports, hunting and law enforcement industries. It is the world’s premier exposition of combined firearms, ammunition, law enforcement, cutlery, outdoor apparel, optics and related products and services. The SHOT Show attracts buyers from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. The SHOT Show is owned and sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).