About Appalachian Tactical Academy




Blessed be the LORD, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle. -Psalm 144:1 (ESV)

Here at Appalachian Tactical Academy, our mission is to provide high quality tactical training for the armed citizen in order to keep good people safe. We despise evil, and so we commit ourselves to delivering the highest-quality instruction possible. We believe that life is too precious to leave undefended, so one of our deepest desires is to help good people learn to protect themselves and others.

Regardless of whether you are civilian or military, work in law enforcement or retail, we will treat you with the same high level of professionalism and respect. We are not elitists; none of our classes are restricted to military or law enforcement because we believe that the private citizen’s life is just as important as the life of the police officer or the soldier.

We only teach material relevant to your needs: if you’ve sought training in the past and been disillusioned by the “tactical entertainment” industry, then rest assured that you have finally found what you’ve been looking for. We provide training in real skills and tactics for the real world. The techniques we teach have been proven on the field of battle in real life-and-death struggles. When we tell you that we offer the best, rest assured that it’s the truth.

Josh Bales – Head Instructor

I know the importance of quality training. As a Marine Corps infantry officer, my job was to train and lead Marines in direct combat against enemy forces, and I loved it. Few things are more satisfying to me than applying my skill and experience to teach my students how to save their own lives. I have served in combat in Afghanistan and have had the opportunity to see the tactics and techniques that I taught in action; I know what works. I take a great deal of professional pride in teaching proven skills to good people, and that is exactly what I want to do for you.

I believe that to be a great teacher, one must be a good student. I continue to seek training beyond what the Marine Corps gave me in order to hone my own skills and ensure that I stay sharp as an instructor. Below are some of the highlights of my training career:


  • USMC Infantry Officer
  • USMC Infantry Train the Trainer Certified
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with an emphasis in human learning/training from the University of Kentucky
  • Emergency Medical Technician
  • Combat Life Saver
  • NRA Certified Firearms instructor
  • Tactical Response Graduate
  • The Range Complex (Formerly TigerSwan) Graduate
  • Max Velocity Tactical Graduate
  • Mountain Guerrilla Graduate
Brooke Bales – Assistant Instructor

I understand the issues confronting the average citizen when it comes to self-defense and concealed carry. I’ve been shooting, training, and carrying for the past five years, and I have encountered the challenges that face a professional working woman who wants to take charge of her own security. That’s why Josh and I started Appalachian Tactical Academy: to get this information out there to those who need it. As an NRA-Certified Firearms Instructor, I can assure you that our training will be conducted safely and professionally.