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Stuart Myers' OpTac International [Nightmare]

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  • #61
    As a former student, I am anxiously awaiting this revelation....

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    • #62
      HOLY SH*%! I just took the OpTac Urban Sniper Operations Course down in North Miami Beach this past June and would have loved to have known more about Mr Meyers. I am an operational LE sniper with a large metropolitan police service in Southeastern Canada and attended the course with our sniper co-cordinator in a hope that we would gain some vital knowledge that we could bring back to our City (which is a large urban center). We were also VERY excited about the course upon reading the course description on-line. In fact I was actually able to speak briefly with Mr Meyers prior to registering and he sold the course as a "High speed, fast paced course. We will be deploying you guys all over North Miami Beach (on various PTX's)". I won't speak for my co-ordinator (who I'm not sure if he's a member here or not) but I was initially somewhat letdown for the first day and a half as the classroom portion focussed on very basic topics (not to flame-on any of the guys on the course ... but some had not even had a basic sniper school), I would have thought that a course like this would have only been offered to students with some sort of accredation from a basic sniper school somewhere. Mr Meyers did state repeatedly prior to and during the course that the focus of the course was NOT marksmanship skills, rather on operational deployments and tactics. However I was left a little underfed for knowledge in that regard after we only conducted 3 PTX's during the 5 day course. Maybe it was my mistake, but I was expecting more. I cannot speak for any excuses OpTac may have tried to lay on N.Miami Beach PD as the host agency, but I will say that those guys were doing everything they could to make it a good course. The N.Miami Beach guys were very helpful and made the best of what they had and what they could get. To be fair, I do NOT really know what the logistical or administrative situation was like.

      An interesting note though ... as I am reading through all the previous posts here and left wondering about the outcome of what looks like some legal dust-up, I realize that our course was probably happening right in the middle of all of this. And I am left to wonder if that's why our course was deemed to be a professional development course? No quals, no failure rate, no testing? Sure we were told repeatedly about the strenuous conditions in his sniper schools ... and yes we had to run everywhere, carry everything, stay with your partner, but there was no penalties for not doing any of those. The only failure could come from a flagrant safety violation.

      I will say that not having had any of Mr Meyer's other courses to fully appreciate the dynamics that occur on them, I was impressed with the manner in which the range time was run and organised. To clarify, the courses our agency puts on tend to be on the much more relaxed learn-at-the-slowest-denominator pace if you will. I have NO problem with that style of course for learning, my point is it was just nice to do something different and if nothing else it was the more organised portion of the course. I too found Mr Meyers to have quite a large impression of himself and what he has done (or is said to have done), but putting personalities aside ... I was more disappointed with a lack of focus on the topic of the course... that being Urban Sniper Operations. There was no real in depth lessons on how to build an urban hide, vehicle hide or how to stalk in an urban environment. Those topics were touched on sure, but remember the class was mostly made up of guys with very little or NO sniper training what-so-ever. The PTX's didn't really ever achieve the Urban Sniper feel as one was in a park conducting security on a drug operation. The 2nd and 3rd were much closer, the 2nd had us stalking across a parking lot area in North Miami Beach to conduct more of traditional stalking exercise (stalk-hide-don't get found-shoot-don't get found-pass) and the third was a hostage taking scenario outside the N.M.B.P.D. building. But again for the most part guys were hiding in bushes and the like - outside -.

      Sorry folks, that's my small rant! I just thought we could have done more PTX's seeing as how it was not billed as a shooting course. Which is likely why a lot of guys with little or no training took the course.

      I am interested in some further opinions and/or options because my training sergeant wants to send me on OpTac's basic and advanced courses in 2008 and quite frankly I would have gone just off of my own experience with OpTac alone ... but I'm glad I took the time to read this thread because now I'm not sure if it's the right set of courses to take? I greatly appreciate your honest posting here Harry, sorry someone had to go through an experience like that though.

      Is there any way I could get a heads up on the current status of your struggles with OpTac?

      Regards
      - Pete -
      Ex Umbris Venimus
      SWT# 4 - S4 2005 -present

      Comment


      • #63
        Hey SwatHog,

        Sounds like you got a bit of the shaft as well, but it appears he is a great marketer/advertiser rather than a great instructor or director of a school. See if you can get your Sgt to send you to Central Virginia Tactical for that training in 08. You won't have a view of the beaches like you do in Miami, but there is no place there you will be able to shoot on a range like this! In addition, Vern knows more about shooting rifles than anyone I have ever had the pleasure to meet, and does not hesitate to share all he knows. He has always been very patient with me, and didn't even call me a dumba$$ when I couldn't hit a darn thing.....of course he looked and noticed the scope base was loose, I didn't.

        If you read some of the threads on here, you will find that many students have nothing but good to say about him, his school, his home (which he invites students into), and his shooting.

        review 1

        and 2

        ......and 3

        http://www.centralvirginiatactical.com/

        Damn, bit of a hijack, sorry Harry.
        Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
        -Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955

        Here, hold my trophy while I kiss your girlfriend. -NoFear Gear 1996

        They do not teach that their God will rouse them a little before the nuts work loose. They do not teach that His Pity allows them to drop their jobs when they dam'-well choose. As in the thronged and the lighted ways, so in the dark and desert they stand, Wary and watchful all their days that their brethren's day may be long in the land
        -Rudyard Kipling in "The Sons of Martha" (a poem about warriors

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        • #64
          Hey Guys,
          I need to spend some time with a good attorney, before I can really expound on the wonderful actions of Mr. Myers. I will tell you that the letter he sent, which I posted a scan of is not the only one he sent out in reference to my certifications, and is quite mild compared to the other...
          Respectfully,
          Harry
          "It's better to live one day as a lion, than one hundred years as a sheep", Old Roman Proverb.
          "For those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know", Author Unknown.
          "Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war!", Shakespeare, Julius Ceaser, Act III, Scene I.

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          • #65
            Copinhell, thanks dude I'll look into it.

            specopsscout: are there any other guys you've heard of besides your class that have run into similiar problems with OpTac?
            - Pete -
            Ex Umbris Venimus
            SWT# 4 - S4 2005 -present

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            • #66
              Hey Brother,
              Ive been contacted by guys from departments from New Jersey to California, expressing similar experiences with OpTac courses. Apparently I'm just the first guy that really put it out on the web in detail. I wish some of these other guys had. I would have saved some money and a lot of aggravation...
              Respectfully,
              Harry
              "It's better to live one day as a lion, than one hundred years as a sheep", Old Roman Proverb.
              "For those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know", Author Unknown.
              "Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war!", Shakespeare, Julius Ceaser, Act III, Scene I.

              Comment


              • #67
                Amen to that!!!

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                • #68
                  Hey everyone let it be known here and now. $this->unconvert_size(12pt;line-height:100%">If you give and honest review about Stuart he will do everything in his power to lie, cheat, and f*^*# you over in ways that are wayyyyy beyond unethical. </span>We can not discuss the details of what he has done and to how many people, but rest assured you will all get the full details in big living color as soon as the lawyers say its ok.

                  I would highly recommend not taking any of his classes and <span style="font-size:12, once you see what we have to offer up I think even some of his “friends” will agree that he has sunk to new lows that can’t be explained in any shape of form. )[/b]

                  I am one of those early people who warned Snip1er about the subject of this topic. I see nothing has changed at all in that matter.

                  The book that our subject wrote is OK, and if the presenters at his seminars are good, the seminar will be OK, but the rest of your dealings with the subject will be much as Harry described.
                  Leopards do not change their spots, crap will always be crap, no matter how much Febreze you spray on it or how the Febreze makes it smell. It's still crap and you don't want to step in it, you know how long it takes to get it off your shoes. A flat point shovel does good things in removing crap, especially when it is properly applied. Normally a solid smack to the head with an E-Tool works wonders and in Harry's case, that was probably the best option, but Harry is a gentleman with ethics and honor.

                  FWIW, if you want a Sniper cert, find a FBI school and go to it, no matter how crappy it is. (Controversial statement follows)The rest of the school "CERTS" out there unless put on by working LE organizations are not worth the paper they are printed on when the crap hits the fan.

                  The thing that counts is:
                  The department assigned you to the position.
                  There is structured training for the position that is documented through your department.
                  There are policies and procedures in place that you follow.
                  You follow those policies and procedures, go to the structured training, and document your qualifications within your department.

                  Anything else not put on by LE is sustainment training. There is nothing wrong with GOOD sustainment training by a lot of non-LE people, some who put on better training than a large percentage of LE.
                  Yes, 26+ years in LE and I said that and meant it. There are some sustainment trainers much better than those running the training in LE.
                  Finding them sometimes can be difficult. However, networking among professional LE Snipers, these people can be found, and the crap people can be identified.
                  Thanks for the reminder there Harry. Sorry you had to suffer for it. But in the long run, your suffering will be worth a lot to the people who won't be fooled, screwed, and basically robbed by the topic of this subject. He has his place reserved in Hell.

                  JM.02 FWIW.
                  jw

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                  • #69
                    Any updates?

                    OneEye

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                    • #70
                      Hey Everyone,

                      Well, it's four years later, and based in great part to the large legal hornets nest that was buzzing around these two training courses, all over the US, I decided to let the subject lay, as I felt the point was made from our perspective as the students. Still, like any unfinished story, especially one ending with a cliff hanger and with hinted glimpses into the sequel, several folks have emailed or messaged me over the last four years and asked me to complete the story. So, out of respect for those who read the first two installments, I will try and offer my final experience with the Saga of Stuart and Optac...

                      As I mentioned in my second installment, I had a check in hand for my Advanced Course tuition, before leaving. Stuart later extended the invitation to the rest of the students and the class subsequently folded. While his hold on me was minimal, he sent letters to all of the agencies requesting refunds, demanding they sign an enclosed letter stating that the Officers who attended the course were "incompetent and untrainable" and that alone is the reason they withdrew from the course. He stated that the refunds would not be furnished unless the letters were signed and returned to him. In essence, had the agencies signed those letters, they would have at a minimum, immediately had to remove the Officer from the Sniper billet, and in some legal opinions in some states, from thier position as a Law Enforcement Officer. Failing to do so, would have left the departments open to significant legal liability by knowingly deploying a shooter they admitted was "incompetent". So, with Stuart's ego left unrestrained, he was now trying to ruin the careers of fifteen Cops, who did nothing more then withdraw from his absolutely worthless training program.

                      To thier credit, the agencies rallied behind thier Officers and together against Stuart. Several were discussing a class action law suit against Stuart for all involved, to recoup not only the cost of the Advanced course, but the Basic, time, travel, lodging, ect. It would have cost him a great deal with estimates approaching fifty grand. More over, a couple of the agencies seriously entertained filing charges against Stuart and Optac for theft by deception, in that he sold them a product and then failed to deliver it, ie Instructor Level Training and Certifications. Ultimately, Stuart eventually kowtowed to the immense pressure of possible substantial legal fees, legal loss, and incarceration, and refunded the agencies thier money, though rather slowly from what I was told by a few classmates.

                      While all of this was happening, I was having my own drama courtesy of Stuart. My life was getting back to normal and I was falling back into my routine as a Sergeant with my agency when my Shift Commander contacted me via radio, to report to Center Control. Upon arrival, he had a fairly serious look on his face, and informed me that I needed to report to our Special Investigations Division, which incorporates our Internal Affairs Unit, and that I needed a Union Rep, as well. There could be any of a hundred reasons I need to report to SID, but the advice to report with a union rep was always a red flag. It meant something serious was ongoing. I grabbed my Rep and together we headed for SID. He asked me what was goign on, and to be honest I had little idea. I told him it could have something to do with the Sniper school, but I couldn't say.

                      It caught my attention, as we were making our way to SID, that one of their unmarked units was sitting on the circle, at the main entrance, and one of the Investigators, was sitting on the edge of the hood, with his weapon and spare mags on. Unusual, as they have assigned parking spots, but maybe they were getting ready to go to a meeting at Central Office or something. Our Investigators normally run around sans weapons and armor, unless they are going off grounds, as they are in and out of the security perimeter often, and generally don't speak with inmates unless there are a few uniformed Officers in close proximity.

                      When we made out way up to the SID unit, I counted all eight Investigators standing around in full gear, some including body armor. This was also odd, as they are almost never in the office all at the same time being farmed out to a variety of agencies like the FBI, State Police and Parole. I made a lighthearted comment to the Principal Investigator, asking if they were getting ready for a raid, or just lunch in a bad part of town. He laughed somewhat uncomfortable and then directed me to his office. When I entered his office with my Union Rep, Jim, There were two Investigators not from my facility. I recognized one guy as a member of my department's Office of Professional Standards. It's basically the top tier Internal Affairs. Immediately after entering, the Investigator I didn't know, moved to the door and locked it with a key, then stepped in front of it and crossed his arms. This is not standard practice...

                      Jim immediately jumped into action asking what was going on, and sure enough, it was Stuart Myers. With most of the agencies, the "incompetence letters" went to the Officers Team Leader, or Chief. In my case, Stuart sent my letter to my Commissioner's Office. Not my Team Commander(I was a Team Leader). Not my Chief. Not my Administrator. Nope, not even the Regional Director. He went right to the top and sent the letter to my Commissioner...Following proper procedure for oversight, the Commissioner(who shockingly knew me and had a good opinion of me) handed it off to the Office of Professional Standards, who began their investigation without my knowledge. They drove down to Maryland and interviewed Stuart. They had his letter, which was much much more inflammatory then the letters provided to other agencies, accusing me in no particular order of demonstrating conduct unbecoming, being highly incompetent, unprofessional, and so on. It also included his rescinding my my certification based on his careful thought and review.

                      Apparently, during the course of the investigation they asked for the particulars of the weapon I used during the course. They had checked the SOG armory logs, and I didn't have a team rifle signed out. So if I was using one, it was without authorization. Strangely enough, I asked during the course why they didn't require noting the rifle and serial number we used to qualify for instructor certification. When I did Firearms Instructor, the serial numbers of the pistol, rifle and shotgun were all recorded in our training records. The staff informed me that it wasn't necessary and didn't matter. When the Investigators pressed Stuart for the information...he made it up...as in...he lied to them during an official investigation into possible criminal conduct he reported. He stated that I used a Remington 700(good guess since ninety five percent of the rifles in the class were either factory or custom 700s), and gave them a fictitious serial number. They checked, and no, it wasn't one of the department long guns.

                      Then they pulled my NICS records to look at my firearms purchases, which are all registered in Jersey. Wait for it...That's right...I didn't buy that serial numbered rifle LEGALLY...So...I was now in possession of an illegal weapon in thier mind, based on the information provided by Stuart Myers. Are you connecting the dots yet? The Investigator waiting outside was to transport me to County for processing. The SID team all together and strapped up? That was also for my benefit as they apparently had enough respect for me to think I was gonna go hard. The door locked with the Investigator blocking it? To stop me from running out...Nice right? All because of Stuart...

                      It didn't take long to explain the guy was a tool, and call home to get my wife to give me the actual serial number of the weapon. I explained that Terry Cross of KMW built it; I gave them a pretty thorough description and even contact information for him and my FFL. I even gave them the web addresses of where I posted the reviews, so they could read them and understand why Stuart might have taken the actions he had. I don't know if they called Terry, but I know they went out and interviewed my FFL, with a BATFE Agent in tow. He wasn't thrilled with me having them climbing up his butt with a magnifying glass, but he understood it wasn't my fault, and he's a sharp guy, so his records were tight. The weapon issue was the only thing they were really concerned about. Once they read both sides of the issue as well as thier own personal experience with Stuart, the rest of the complaint wilted and died quickly on the line. To thier continued credit, several of my classmates offered to step up and come in as character witnesses to the incident, should the department decide to take further action. Thankfully, it was never needed...

                      My department kicked around the idea of bringing charges against Stuart for a few months, for interfering in an official criminal investigation. Based at least partly on the fact that the interviews took place outside of New Jersey, and more importantly that everything else was clear and explainable, and I was for all intent and purpose vindicated, they also chose to give him a pass...I seriously considered filing suit against Stuart for Slander and Libel, but couldn't find an attorney who would take the case for less then five grand up front, and most wanted ten before taking any serious action. They all thought the case was a fifty fifty shot at best, as there are apparently a number of things that have to be met to reach that level of damage, and most weren't sure I'd met them, since I was never suspended or terminated. Compound that with money being universally tight, and Stuart got another pass...

                      Within my department, I got some odd looks for a while, and one of the two Team Commanders I worked for on SOG, took a cursory look at the information provided by Stuart and immediately decided I had embarrassed the department and the Team. He blamed me for the outcome and for the rest of my time on the Team, was a constant if minor annoyance. He blocked every opportunity for me to be involved with the Snipers, and after finding out I had taught as a Firearms Instructor on one of the SOG range periods, he blocked that, as well. The number of High Risk Inmate Trips I was sent on to supervise dropped off precipitously, as well. My team was even activated a few times and placed under a different Team Leader. The Chief of SOG never had an issue with me, and I had worked for him as an Officer/ Senior Instructor when he was the Captain of the Academy. The Lieutenant was much less pleased. I tried to explain it to him on a few occasions but decided it was fruitless, and left him to his own opinion.

                      Leadership of the SOG team changed, and while I basically like the new Chief, I didn't agree with how he ran things, and the exceptionally poor way they handled an alleged excessive force complaint by suspending three Officers and a Sergeant immediately. I left the team, and while I miss it, I could not, as a Sergeant and Team leader, remain on the team in good conscious. I don't hold any animosity for those who remained, but for me, by doing so, it would have been the equivalent of quietly cosigning the actions taken. Later, I was promoted to Lieutenant, and continue to fight the good fight, and protect my Cops, just on a slightly smaller level now.

                      So ends the saga of Stuart Myers and Optac...
                      Respectfully,
                      Harry
                      "It's better to live one day as a lion, than one hundred years as a sheep", Old Roman Proverb.
                      "For those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know", Author Unknown.
                      "Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war!", Shakespeare, Julius Ceaser, Act III, Scene I.

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                      • #71
                        Nice closing Harry! What a nightmare that still makes me shutter!

                        Darrin

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                        • #72
                          How the HELL is this guy still in business?!?!?!?!?



                          Well I guess the only way to put him out of business is to make sure he has no business.

                          PREACH THE WORD BROTHERS!!!!!

                          Harry I had no idea it got THAT bad, guess I'm glad my department was a tight wad and only sent me for the basic.

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            Hey Griz,
                            Yeah, you definitely got lucky by getting out when you did, Brother ...
                            Respectfully,
                            Harry
                            "It's better to live one day as a lion, than one hundred years as a sheep", Old Roman Proverb.
                            "For those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know", Author Unknown.
                            "Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war!", Shakespeare, Julius Ceaser, Act III, Scene I.

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