Skip to comments.Jeff Cooper
Posted on 01/09/2019 5:06:31 AM PST by w1n1
The Godfather of Gun Training
I have never taken a class at the Gunsite Academy and I don't claim to know Jeff Cooper. I do know that he saved my life, and if you carry a gun for a living, at some point he is going to save yours too. In order to digest this sweeping statement you have to understand how things were before Lieutenant Colonel Jeff Cooper, USMC (retired/deceased), developed the "modern techniques" of small arms training.
I'M A HISTORY BUFF with a near-encyclopedic knowledge of the Vietnam War. Ive studied thousands of photographs from that conflict; my father and two of my uncles fought there and have shared many stories about their time working the Leatherneck Square, Rockpile and the infamous Arizona territory. Look at photos of Marines or soldiers fighting in Vietnam and compare them with photographs from Afghanistan or Iraq today and you can see for yourself that the way grunts used to handle their weapons is completely different from how they handle them now.
Jeff Cooper single handedly did that, and without fanfare or self promotion. He did much more too; he taught us how to think. I spent eight years in Afghanistan, all of it outside the wire embedded in various Afghan communities. During that time I was given the opportunity to design reconstruction projects in the contested provinces of Nangarhar, Kunar, Nimroz and the Hellmand. We did not take the normal approach used by traditional security contractors. We did not have armored SUVs or heavily reinforced compounds. We moved in local vehicles, wearing local clothes and were responsible for our own security, a position advocated by Cooper repeatedly in his insightful lessons.
We didn't put our 30-foot RPG screens on top of the compound walls either, like every other Western-aid implementer in the country. Our exterior walls looked exactly like every other compounds exterior walls. If you jumped over them, you landed on top of concertina wire; if you got through the concertina, you then had to get past the dogs; if you got past the dogs, you had to deal with us and we knew what we were doing with the multiple weapon systems stored in our compounds. Many international compounds in Afghanistan were attacked by the Taliban over the years, but they never attacked one of ours, and I think that was, in part, due to our unique security posture, developed by Cooper. Read the rest of Jeff Cooper.
I miss him
I used to really enjoy reading Cooper’s Column.
He possessed the one quality I have always thought most important to any writer.
He was interesting.
I took his General Rifle course in 1999. Fantastic character.
Will read later.
I’m told that Coopers wife still lives on the ranch and after you finish the course she’s asks that you come into their house for cookies and see where he lived.
Archive of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries available at
I wrote him once with a question (many, many years ago). He wrote me back.
I was never the most dedicated shooter, and even I read his column and was influenced.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.