We had the good fortune of connecting with Dan Palmer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dan, how do you think about risk?
I retired as a police officer after 31-years of service and have discovered that as an emergency response person, we signed-up from the beginning to take risks throughout our career from the beginning. With a strong faith and relying on your training, I learned that to have a little fear was the right balance to help make clear decisions for successful outcomes and those that didn’t have any fear were not truly prepared for the overall outcome and responding blindly. Through family and friend encouragement I was propelled forward to do what I have always loved doing and with many blessings from God; to be a teacher, instructor, and mentor. So opening and managing a firearms training business just made sense. Now I am making a positive difference in the lives of my clients and the youth I coach at a high school to be prepared for the future and having a small part in them doing it safely. Without risk there is no reward and we become stalemated in our lives where we forget how to grow physically and mentally.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Up in Smoke Firearms Training (USFT), LLC. What sets my business apart from others is that first of all it is not about making money, but sharing my training and experience with other people who share the same passions in life. The motto and foundation of the business is; Instructing with a smile and a great attitude to allow you to learn at the best of your abilities by providing quality training with pride. The reason should hire me or my associate instructors is; My firearms instruction business stands out from others, because you will be working with someone that has over 30-years of experience and a combined 50-years with my associate instructing and coaching with multiple firearm platforms compared to someone that just started out. Additionally most of your basic firearms instructors are not armorers. If you hire them and they are not experienced armorers, who will repair your weapon when it fails during the training they are giving you? Having this business is not about making money to me, but sharing my knowledge and experience with others. What good is it unless I share it? We love teaching, coaching and mentoring others. Doing so is in our blood and DNA. It helps being around people who have the same passion to learn and grow with firearms. I truly care about your training and making sure you have the proficiency skills at the levels you wish to be and not mine.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love sea food, so we would need to have a well executed meal at the “Angry Crab” in Peoria and eat the best crab meal in the state. Next we would visit the wonders of the state like the Grand Canyon (North and South parks) San Francisco Peaks, Holbrook, Winslow, Prescott, Sedona, Marble Canyon, Lake Powell, Four Corners, and work our way south to Casa Grande, Tucson, Nogales, Tombstone, then back West to Yuma, Quartzsite, Parker and Kingman to see all the beautiful nature this state offers. Of course we would need to stop off at “Black Barts” steakhouse in Flagstaff and have one of the best western meals around. Next we would visit one of my favorite shooting ranges and have fun putting lead down range. Before my friend left we would relax at home eating decent meals and maybe have a drink or two and recall our fun times from the past.Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First of all I owe all my success to God, who clearly has developed me to be the person I am today. My wife Connie is second in line for all her support of me these last 32-years where no matter what I want to do she is my most trusted confidant and supporter. My wife is my hero in life. Next would be my children Brad and Michelle, who have supported their dad without question. Next would be my sisters Wendy and Trina, who have uplifted their little-big-brother throughout his entire life. Next would be my closest friends Chris, Carrie, Ken, Frank, and Bobbie, who nudged me to do what I always should have been doing in life. Lastly would be all my friends, associates, and clients who continue to support and uplift me to continue what I am doing in life.
Connie Palmer, Photographer