Today we’d like to introduce you to Robert Edgar Mills.
Hi Robert Edgar, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself
I’ve recently retired from the US Army after 25 years of service. I spent my last 16 years in Special Forces. It is there that I discovered a talent for shooting and a passion for training. Osprey Shooting Solutions (OSS) began as a simple, dismissive statement from my son in 2010. I was recovering from surgery and was off my feet for about three weeks. He and I played a lot of Call of Duty! A particular map on the game was a simple shipping container battlefield. My son said, “Wouldn’t it be cool to set that up in the back yard?”. After already having spent several days on the couch, my mind was constantly racing to solve non-existent, future problems. His statement instantly put my mind on the problem of how to practically set up a small battlefield in the backyard. Within two days I had drawn up training facility diagrams from two acres to 2000 acres. We started with the OSS idea in 2010 and have applied continuous refining of the vision, and course of action development, over 11 years. We became a limited liability company in 2017 with the practical application of the OSS vision as a part-time, official firearms training company in Colorado Springs, CO. These early years were very productive in developing curriculum, SOP, and other critical policies for future operations as a full-time business. In addition, we built the OSS culture and reputation as thorough, professional, and relatable. During this time, we continued detailed planning for the company as it is now. From February 2017 until August 2021, we trained over 500 people and conducted over 50 courses. In Colorado we executed all courses at existing indoor and outdoor ranges, at a substantial financial cost. Since retirement we have relocated to Rome, GA where we are currently running courses and private lessons at our purpose-built shooting range. We did not expect to make profit as a part-time operation, we viewed that phase as our training and development period to work out our procedures, develop our course content, and refine our company culture. Now that we are up and running in Georgia, OSS is my sole priority.
OSS offers a purpose-built, professional training facility on three acres of private property. This facility is functional and efficient. It serves the broadest range of gun owners by offering a broad range of courses, in a safe, welcoming environment. OSS offers several unique live fire courses, two extremely unique scenario-based experiences, private sessions, and private virtual sessions on our Smokeless Range virtual system. Our goal is to execute over 100 courses and events, reaching up to 800 individuals in the first year.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Being a Soldier with minimal college education, everything business related has been a trial-and-error learning experience. The biggest obstacle was building a formal business plan with enough juice to get a business loan. Raising money for a down payment was struggle, ultimately, I started out with an $85K loan. In my imagination prior my encounter with reality, I thought I’d have access to more like $350K, so bringing the plan down to a practical scope was also a big challenge emotionally.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
Professional Firearms Training and Education. Security and Defense Consulting. Firearms and Tactics Research and Development.
Are there any apps, books, podcasts, blogs or other resources you think our readers should check out?
Of course I follow other tactical and firearms professionals. I read Ayn Rand. I took some cues from Guy Kawasaki. I listen to the University of Badassery with Pat McNamara and C. J. Ortiz. I take inspiration from Chris Schmidt at Azimuth Consulting Group.
- One day courses range from $150 – $250
- Private Sessions start at $80 for a two-hour session
- Fun-Day Sundays start in January ’21 for $10 entry fee
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: https://ospreyshootingsolutions.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ospreyshootingsolutions/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OspreyShootingSolutionsLLC
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/OspreyShooting
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCO1seJvE3dCR9SjPHQmNidg