Tony began his journey in the trees when he was a boy living in the Blue Ridge Mountains just down the road from Front Royal, Virginia. He spent most of his time either in the tree line or on the banks of the Shenandoah River. At a young age Tony began learning about bushcraft and orienteering as a Royal Ranger; later he developed those skills while pursuing his passion for outdoor adventure.
At 18 and 3 days, Tony stood on the yellow footprints in Parris Island, SC and began what became over a decade of dedicated service in the United States Marine Corps, 9 years of which were spent as an infantryman. He also spent over a year and a half as a trainee in the Counter Intelligence/ Human Intelligence field, where he learned how to be a public speaker and presenter. During his active duty career, he became a member of the Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Teams. There he graduated the Advanced Urban Combat course, qualified in Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) techniques and practiced these techniques while on the Philippine Sea. He learned Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear warfare decontamination techniques, and practiced Advanced Security Techniques for a multitude of security scenarios, including use of deadly force and the Non-Lethal/Less than Lethal qualifications. Tony has tours that include Marjeh, Afghanistan; Guantanamo, Cuba; the Philippine Sea; Okinawa, Japan, and Yokosuka, Japan. He has spent time in the Philippines, Guam, Indonesia, and Malaysia. While serving as a Squad Leader in 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines Tony began giving training to his Marines, noting a severe lack of basic survival training that average rifleman receive. This encouraged Tony to seek to improve his own skills, so Tony began working with Brandon Dunn, the owner of Omega Survival School, to work on skills that can be conveyed to the beginner easily. For training his Marines and others in the command, Tony was selected to go to the Jungle Warfare Training Center (JWTC) in Camp Gonsavles, Okinawa, Japan.
While serving as a Jungle Warfare Combat Instructor at JWTC Tony was selected to expand his skill set and officially become a Jungle Survival Instructor during which time he re-wrote much of the Jungle Survival course, in collaboration with Brandon Dunn. During this time Tony collaborated with the Omega Survival School in order to insure the accuracy and relevance of the information provided to the students at JWTC, which consisted primarily of Marines, though also included Army Infantry, Special Forces, Navy Sea BEE’s, Marine Force Reconnaissance, and Marine Reconnaissance. They also worked closely with the local Boy Scout Troop and the Civil Air Patrol on the island. During that time he also was certified as a Tactical Ropes and Suspension Techniques Master Instructor (Honor Graduate), a Search and Rescue Team Leader, a Marine Combat Instructor of Water Survival, a Jungle Basic Course Instructor, and a Jungle Leaders Course Instructor ( a course which he aided in the writing and design of).
Tony is currently a member of the Marine Corps Reserves, and serves as an Infantry Subject Matter Expert at Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Virginia.
Tony’s Areas of Expertise:
• Survival/Wilderness Self Reliance techniques
• Marksmanship - 5th Award Expert Rifle, 3rd Award Expert Pistol
• Security – Convoy and vehicle operations, Compound, Counter Surveillance,
Surveillance, Personal Security, Room Clearing
• Tactical Ropes and Suspension Techniques/ Mountaineering
• Search and Rescue Operations
• Combat Life Saver/ Red Cross Certified
• MCIWS (Water Survival and Rescue)
• Instructing Method (GOLMEST)