Gary Quesenberry | YMAA

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Gary Quesenberry

Quick Facts

I have over 25 years of law enforcement and military experience and have extensive instructional experience with both domestic and foreign law enforcement agencies. I have served in the United States Army and am a veteran of Operation Desert Storm. I am also a certified firearms and tactics instructor who has developed and implemented both basic and advanced training courses for law enforcement agencies worldwide. 


I think that situational awareness is the most important thing that anyone can learn or practice. Realize that you can never fight what you don’t see coming.
Gary Quesenberry

Gary Quesenberry, Federal Air Marshal (RET.) was born in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, where his parents taught him the value of hard work, patriotism, and commitment to family. His passion for the outdoors and patriotic spirit led him to enlist in the United States Army at the age of seventeen where he served in the 7th Infantry Division as an Artilleryman during Operation Desert Storm.

Shortly after being honorably discharged from the Army, Gary married his wife, Kelly and began his law enforcement career with the Federal Bureau of Prisons. There he served as a correctional officer and Special Operations Response Team (SORT) member in FCI Beckley, West Virginia, and United States Penitentiary, Atwater, California. After the events of September 11th, 2001, Gary left the Bureau of Prisons to become a Federal Air Marshal. There, he traveled the world in the service of his country and devoted his time to studying the areas of violence and predatory behavior.

Now Gary is the CEO of Quesenberry Personal Defense Training LLC, where he’s developed and taught numerous basic and advanced level training courses focused on situational awareness, mental toughness, marksmanship, and defensive tactics. As a competitive pistol shooter, Gary has been featured on the History Channel’s hit television series Top Shot -Season 3 and Top Shot All-Stars. He has an extensive background in both domestic and foreign counter-terror training and has worked in both the private and corporate sectors to help educate others on the importance of situational awareness, and personal safety.

For the last twenty-six years, Gary and his wife Kelly have traveled the country together and raised three children – all three are now proudly serving in the military. Gary resides in Hillsville, Virginia. 
To learn more about Gary, book a course, see his expert TV appearances, visit his WEBSITE


  • Federal Air Marshal, Philadelphia Field Office, 08/2015 - 10/2020
  • Supervisory Federal Air Marshal, Cleveland Field Office, Brooklyn Heights, OH, 08/2010 – 08/2015
  • Federal Air Marshal Service / Training Instructor, William J. Hughes Technical Center, Atlantic City, NJ, 10/2007 - 08/2010
  • Federal Air Marshal, Las Vegas Field Office, NV, 04/2002 - 10/2007
  • Supervisory Lieutenant - Federal Bureau of Prisons, USP Atwater, CA, 03/2001 - 03/2002
  • Correctional Officer - Federal Bureau of Prisons, FCI Beckley, WV, 10/1995 - 03/2001
  • United States Army, Ft. Ord , Monterey, CA, 09/1988 - 09/1991


  • Tactical Information Instructor Training Program 12/2003
  • Firearms Instructor Training Program 10/2004
  • Leadership for Law Enforcement (College course) 04/2005
  • Mid-Level Management (College course) 06/2006
  • Public Speaking (College course) 06/2006
  • Bachelor of Public Administration Degree, Nevada State College 5/2007
  • Instructor Development Course 02/2008
  • Physical Training Instructor Training Program 04/2008
  • Leadership Skills for Non-Supervisors 09/2008
  • Cooperative Problem Solving Essentials 05/2008
  • Law Enforcement Rifle Training Program 11/2008
  • SIG Armorer School 07/2008
  • Emergency Vehicle Mandate Training 06/2009
  • Effective Communication (FEMA) 04/2009
  • Leadership and Influence (FEMA) 04/2009
  • Reactive Shooter Instructor Training Program 02/2009
  • Mission Training Instructor training program 03/2009
  • National Academy of Sports Medicine, Personal Trainer Certification, 8/2010
  • United Kingdom International Trainers Workshop, 10/2009
  • American Safety and Health Institute Train the Trainer Program, 10/2009
  • Defensive Measures Instructor Training Program, 3/2010
  • Active Shooter Threat Instructor Training Program (FLETC) 5/2010
  • Federal Air Marshal Service Leadership Course, 9/2010
  • NRA Certified Pistol Instructor Certification, 3/2013
  • Sensitive Security Information Coordinator Training, 5/2014


  • Certificate of Award for 25 years of Service in the Government of the United States
  • Supervisory Federal Air Marshal of Training-Cleveland Field Office
  • Supervisory Federal Air Marshal of Operations-Cleveland Field Office
  • Acting Assistant to The Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) for the Physical Skills Branch Federal Air Marshal Service Training Division
  • Law Enforcement Supervision / FAMS Leadership Course, 10/2008
  • Presented Firearms Training Overview for the Federal Air Marshal Service to the Curriculum Review Committee for accreditation renewal on 01/27/09
  • Letter of Commendation, 11/2005 for participation in the emergency evacuation of citizens from the Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans LA after the hurricane Katrina disaster
  • Expert Marksmanship Award, Firearms Instructor Training Program, Glynco GA, 10/2004
  • Letter of Commendation, 07/2004 for organizing instructor participation in the National Law Enforcement Explorers Conference / Flagstaff AZ
  • Letter of Commendation, 8/2013, for exemplary performance as the Lead Firearms Instructor for the Federal Air Marshal Service
  • Letter of Commendation, 7/2004 for selfless service
  • Top Gun Award, Federal Air Marshal Service Advanced Training Program, 10/2003
  • Expert Marksmanship Award, Federal Air Marshal Service basic training program, 3/2002

2022: Defenders LIVE, Adam Winch Spotting Danger with Gary Quesenberry | PLUS Insights on Leading a Successful Life & Business

2022: Close Quarter Dad, Adam Mitchell Gary Quesenberry, Teach your kids to Spot Danger Before it Spots Your Kids

2022: Church Safety Guys, James McGarvey and Mike Scully Situational Awareness & Church Security

2022: Safest Family on the Block, Jason Brick Teaching Situational Awareness to Our Teens

2022: No Fear, Tony Blauer Know Fear Podcast with Gary Quesenberry

2022: FieldCraft Survival, Amber Elle Episode 282: Amber Elle and Author, Gary Quesenberry, Discuss Situational Awareness

2022: Two Dates and a Dash Podcast, Matt Cubbler Gary Quesenberry, Author of Spotting Danger Before it Spots Your Teens: Two Dates and a Dash Ep 130

2021: Today's Tactical Awareness, Kelly Nogueira Situational Awareness with: Gary Quesenberry

2021: Church Safety Guys, Paul Buckner, James McGarvey, Mike Scully Situational Awareness Season 6 Episode 8

2021: United Airlines, Leadership Book Club, author presentation “The Importance of Self-Defense”

2021: The Blue Press, Maureen P. Sangiorgio Situational Awareness: How Being Aware of Your Surroundings Just Might You’re your Life One Day

2021: Parenting Our Future, Robbin McManne Spot Danger Before it Spots Your Child | POF99

2021: Total BS Wellness, Matt Lucas Situational & Awareness Mindfulness with Gary Quesenberry: Retired Federal Air Marshall

2021: The Carroll News, Allen Worrell Quesenberry to release second book on situational awareness


2021: Off Duty On Duty Podcast, Bryan Eastridge Episode 21 – “You Can’t Fight What You Don’t See Coming”

2020: Firearms Trainer Podcast, Rob Beckman EP-054 Spotting Danger Before It Spots You

2020: International Sportsman, Steven Paul Barlow Spotting Danger Before It Spots You: A Top Situational Awareness Manual

2020: The Carroll News, Allen Worrell Carroll native signs four-book deal on situational awareness

The file contains two high resolution color pictures of Gary Quesenberry in JPG format.

The file contains the front cover and the back cover of the book Spotting Danger Before It Spots Your Kids in high resolution color JPG format. This file also 6 images of interior sample pages in black and white JPG format.