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Our Cadre | Iron Sight Defense

Our Cadre

Rodney Van Zant

Owner / Instructor

staff-vanzantRodney D. Van Zant, owner of Iron Sight Defense, is a Kentucky native, an eighteen year Law Enforcement Officer and current Laurel County Deputy Sheriff and range master. He has spent countless hours refining firearm skills and techniques of instruction to better bridge the gap between every skill level of shooter and tactician.

He has spent over 12 years in L.E. Special Operations, is a 7 year Team Leader, and certified police marksman/observer, logging hundreds of hours on operations and in training, as both an instructor and student. He is certified through the Ky Department of Criminal Justice Training, the Ky Law Enforcement Council, and also through the National Rifle Association as a L.E. and Civilian Firearms instructor. He is a life member of the N.R.A. and a membership recruiter. He is a graduate, and holds countless certifications, from some of the nation’s most renowned schools and instructors. Rodney has, and continues to instruct hundreds of tactically minded students, both civilian, military and law enforcement.

  • Dept. of Criminal Justice Training Certified Firearms Instructor
  • NRA Certified Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor
  • NRA Certified Civilian Firearms Instructor
  • Concealed Deadly Weapons Trainer/ Instructor
  • Chemical Munitions Instructor
  • Less Lethal Weapons Instructor
  • Sniper / Precision Rifle Certified
  • Swat Operator Certified
  • Government Training Institute Alumni
  • Max Velocity Tactical Almuni
  • DOCJT Top Gun Award Recipient
  • International Defense Pistol Association Member
  • Tactical Response Alumni
  • Alabama Defensive Pistol Academy Alumni
  • National Rifle Association Life Member and Recruiter
  • Costa Ludus Alumni
  • Laurel Co Sheriff Dept. Medal of Honor Recipient (leadership actions under fire)
  • Nature Reliance School Alumni
  • Valor Ridge Alumni
  • Laurel Co Sheriff Dept. Medal of Valor Recipient (actions under fire)
  • CTS Training Institute Alumni
  • Haley Strategic Partners Alumni
  • Kentucky Sheriff Association Medal of Honor Recipient
  • Designated Marksman Certified
  • Norse Security Group Alumni
  • Ky Law Enforcement Council Certified Instructor
  • Lt. Col. David Grossman Alumni
  • Laurel County Sheriff Dept.  Special Response Unit Team Leader & Range Master

Stanley Frye

Firearms./Tactics Instructor

stanley frye picStanley Frye is a twenty +year combat marine veteran.  He was an infantry leader for the majority of his career with an emphasis in small team tactics. He is a devoted husband and father who currently resides in Kentucky.  He has served his country in over 5 combat deployments covering theaters of war around the globe.  Stanley is a dedicated instructor and has a heart for influencing students and helping them to gain the skills it takes to survive in austere conditions

  • Combat marksmanship instructor
  • Sniper / marksman observer
  • Infantry squad leader
  • Advanced machine gun leader
  • Small arms weapons instructor
  • Marine Combat instructor
  • Infantry officer course certified
  • Convoy Operations certified
  • Marine Tactics Instructor Certified
  • Close Quarter Battle Instructor Certified

Jason Back

Firearms/Tactics Instructor / Defensive Tactics Instructor

staff-jason-backJason Back is a lifelong student of the gun and USAF veteran.  Beginning with hunter’s safety courses and progressing through Military Training, Law Enforcement and into Special Operations of Law Enforcement, he has fired countless rounds and absorbed a vast amount of knowledge to pass on. A student of the Martial Arts, Jason holds belts in 3 different disciplines and takes a Martial approach to firearms by focusing on the benefits of the fundamentals. He has earned a Degree in Criminal Justice and is the primary Narcotics Detective for the Laurel County Sheriff’s Dept.  In addition he is an operator on the Special Response Unit with the Sheriff’s Dept. and is a sworn U.S. Marshal assigned to the Fugitive recovery task force.

  • Dept. of Criminal Justice Training Certified Firearms Instructor
  • G.A.G.E. Certified Instructor
  • Gracie Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Instructor
  • USAF Veteran
  • Degree in Criminal Justice
  • Tactical Response Alumni
  • Nature Reliance School Alumni
  • Norse Security Group Alumni
  • Former Narcotics Detective
  • Max Velocity Tactical Almuni
  • Former United States Marshal Fugitive Task Force Member
  • Former Special Response Unit Operator


Joshua Scott

Firearms/Tactics Instructor

staff-joshua-scottJosh Scott is a life long enthusiast of weapons of all kinds.  His passion has greatly influenced his career choices and techniques of instruction.  From his early life in the US Army working from everything from 88m (Motor transportation operator) to his time as a 19d (Cavalry Scout) where he was trained in small group tactics, recon, convoy security and Military Operations in Urban Terrain.  As a 19d Instructor Sgt. Scott was responsible for conduction training for the squadron such as M16/M9 Ranges, Land navigation and tactical road marches.  Sgt. Scott was selected to represent the 3/397th at the Iron Men of Metz best warrior competition.  Post his service to our country Scott began a career in Law Enforcement where he now serves as Detective and Special Response Unit Operator.  During his time with the Laurel County Sheriff Dept. Special Response Unit. he has conducted countless planned and emergency operations.  His life experiences are ever present in the care he gives to his students and the quality of instruction that he maintains.

  • US Army Veteran
  • US Cavalry Scout Instructor
  • Department of Criminal Justice Training Certified
  • Special Operations Operator
  • Nature Reliance School Alumni
  • Norse Security Group Alumni
  • Former General Crimes Detective


Craig Caudill

Wilderness Survival Instructor

criag instructor picCraig Caudill began his outdoor experiences while growing up hunting, fishing, and playing in the woods of Kentucky. For over four decades he has actively pursued experiential knowledge of all things related to wilderness recreation and living.

Due to his love of history he has studied and trained in primitive skills, as well as modern methods to successfully challenge himself in the outdoors. He has taught Wilderness Safety and Survival and related topics in 10 US states. During the most recent Wildlife Outdoor Conclave he taught Survival and Tracking to students from 13 universities in the Southeasten U.S.

He also taught Wilderness Safety and Survival to Wilderness First Responders (emergency room physicians, medical flight personnel, LEO, medics, firefighters, and more) at the Wilderness First Responders Annual Conference. For 4 years he has been the lead survival instructor for the Department of Defense Military-Teen Adventure Camps (MTAC) in Kentucky.

He regularly teaches corporate, government agencies and the public sector in these methods as a means of safety and team building. He is an avid tracker who has taught various law-enforcement agencies and search-and-rescue team in the science of man-tracking skills. He has been featured on the TV shows Kentucky Afield and Kentucky Life as well as been interviewed on local news segments to share safety and survival skills. He is the author of the book Wilderness Safety and Survival published by Page Street Books and distributed by Macmillin Publishing (soon to be released).

His other written work has been featured in Self-Reliance Illustrated, Wilderness Way, American Frontiersman, and American Survival Guide magazines. He has a very active blog and also guest blogs for Dan’s Depot, Survival Life, Knowledge Weighs Nothing, How To Do Stuff, Family Protection Association, and American Gun Association. He has an active Youtube channel in which he provides education on all things outdoors. Craig is forever a student and therefore continues to train and grow in his own skill set.

  • BBA, University of Kentucky
  • Level II Naturalist, Kamana Training Program
  • Lost Person Behavior, Tennessee Department of Emergency Management
  • First Aid Certified, Red Cross, American Heart Association
  • Wilderness First Aid, Nature Reliance School (led by guest instructor)
  • 80 Hour Survival Training, Earth School
  • 80 Hour Tracking Intensive, Earth School and Midwest Native Skills Institute Combo
  • 80 Hour Scout Reconnaissance Earth School and Midwest Native Skills Institute Combo
  • 60 Hour Level 1 and Level 2 Mantracking, The Scott-Donelan Tracking School
  • 40 Hour Level 1 Mantracking, Tyr Group
  • 40 Hour Low Elements Challenge Course Certification, Eastern Kentucky University
  • 40 Hour High Course Elements Challenge Course Certification, Eastern Kentucky University
  • 30 Hour Basic Pistol Defense, Iron Sight Defense
  • 30 Advanced Pistol Defense, Iron Sight Defense
  • 40 Hour Tactical Survival, Iron Sight Defense
  • 30 Hour Team Fighting Course, Iron Sight Defense
  • 10 Hour CQB, Iron Sight Defense
  • 30 Hour Fighting Pistol, Tactical Response
  • Certified Defensive Tactics Instructor, Force Options USA
  • 4 Hour Rifle/Pistol Transition Training Performance Edge Training
  • 24 Years Training in Judo
  • 23 Years Training in Aikido, Certified Shidoin Shinjinkai Martial Arts Society
  • 10 Years informal training in Krav Maga