Last fall Kit Up! editors Matt Cox and David Reeder attended the inaugural Victory First course taught by Matt Jacques. In that article, Matt "Jake" Jacques was described as coming from "...an extraordinary background in specialized firearms instruction, with particular emphasis on a threat awareness and engagement from a low profile and/or concealed carry shooter set-up..." At the time Victory First was a part-time, 'as time allowed' engagement for Mr. Jacques.
As of last Friday that is no longer the case. After 7 years of service Jake has departed the Diplomatic Security Service of the Department of State to strike out on his own. The combination of ongoing difficulties caused by a career-ending injury suffered as a police officer (he is now recovering from having two vertebrae replaced) and an entrepreneurial spirit has led to Victory First going full time. Given his job over the last few years, and his experience with undercover operations, it is perhaps easier now to understand how Jacques is uniquely suited to instruct classes that focus on EDC and fighting from concealment. No one spends that much time working undercover, then later as a training officer and Operations Chief for the Diplomatic Security Security Firearms Training Unit (US Department of State) without knowing advantages, disadvantages and assorted ramifications of concealed carry inside and out - though prospective students should be forewarned, there will no "inside baseball", TTPs or SOPs revealed in his classes. Matt is a patriot and all too aware of OPSEC/COMSEC and in any case - many of his friends are still working in dangerous places; he will not be doing anything that might put them in jeopardy.
If you are unaware of Jake's full background, it definitely lends itself to quality instruction and a warrior ethos.
"I've enjoyed working with the agents from DSS of the last seven years," Jacques says, "but at this stage of my life, I think my time would be better served as a private training and industry consultant. I want to spend more time with my family and possibly...have a broader reach? Not to mention, a three hour commute through northern Virginia every day wears on the mind and body."
At this point there is no formal schedule of classes posted on the website but that will change soon. In the meantime those interested are advised to watch the Victory First Facebook page.
"I'm looking forward to getting back to my roots," Matt continues. "I've had to pass on several opportunities to teach beat cops and tactical officers recently, and honestly I'm looking forward to passing on some important information to good ole' fashioned folks who want to protect themselves and their family."
Matt's first class included not just Military.com reporters, but a dentist, a store-owner, an air traffic controller, a photographer and a handful of LEOs among others. He is a veteran tactical officer, a former Marine and long-time industry consultant with an impressive pedigree who has been involved in the firearms industry for over two decades. His career began in the Marine Corps, where he was an MP and Presidential Security Support Specialist assigned to the Presidential Helicopter Squadron. Following his tenure wearing the Eagle, globe and anchor Jake spent a decade or so as a Police Officer, including tours in undercover work, Detective Unit and SWAT (working entry, sniper/counter-sniper, and reconnaissance). He is a founding member of CAFTF (Washington D.C.’s Capital Area Fugitive Task Force) and was both a departmental recruit training officer and FTO (Field Training Officer). After recovering from a career-ending injury suffered in the line of duty, Matt spent two years as the Senior Manager for Weapons Integration and Training Operations with FNH USA. There he was involved in every aspect of the SCAR program as well as all development and training aspects of the M249, M240 and the FN SPR sniper rifle systems. For the last 7 years, as described, Jake has been with the Department of State's Bureau of Diplomatic Security. In addition to his training courses, Matt will be hosting episodes of Trigger Time and has completed two Panteao Productions DVDs focused on fighting from concealment and EDC.
Kit Up! wishes Marine veteran Matt Jacques and his Victory First training organization well in the future. Going from working for someone else to working for yourself is a white-knuckle move. Good luck, gyrene.