We’ve already introduced you to John Wayne Walding, Reagan Tyler’s shooting coach on I Am Forever. But veteran Marine Brady Cervantes is also calling the shots (sometimes literally) on the show. Cervantes and Walding are close friends and also colleagues; Cervantes heads up Walding’s training division, 5TC Solutions. Meet the entire I Am Forever team in the series premiere, sponsored by FNH USA and now live on NRAFreestyle.TV, and learn more about Brady in our exclusive interview.
SHARP: How did you meet John Wayne Walding and the 5 Toes Custom family?
Brady Cervantes: I met JW2 at an event/spin-up show that David Feherty was doing and trying to get aired. It involved combat vet SOF snipers and golf out in Athens, Texas, with a couple of other guys including Chris Kyle. We all pretty much instantly clicked, like we had been brothers from day one.
S: What is your role on I Am Forever?
BC: My role on I Am Forever is to assist JW2 in helping teach and (more so) mentor behind the scenes with Reagan, helping her with her safety, manipulation and staying in her bubble during an exercise. In other words, helping her keep her cool under stress like we would do overseas in the teams.
S: Can you tell us about your experience as a Marine?
BC: My experience of almost 10 years as a Marine was one of growth, adversity and truth. I learned how to be part of a team, something bigger than myself to accomplish the mission. I learned to check my ego at the door and humble myself because there is a difference between being confident and being cocky. I learned a lot about myself in ways I never would have thought, like putting others before me when in very hard times without even thinking about it because of the leadership positions I was promoted to. I learned, through my deployments and training and experiences in different hostile environments, the truth about a lot of the world: that even in a dangerous region there are still good people there and really bad people there, and we had to be able to tell the difference. I wouldn't trade it for the world and would do it all over again in a heartbeat.
S: During your service, you trained with some of the world’s most elite athletic shooters. How does Reagan Tyler measure up?
BC: From all the units and teams I’ve trained with, both CONUS and OCONUS as well as all the guys I’ve had the pleasure of training, Reagan has the potential to be up there with them. Which is more than I can say about most of the military that qualify with their organic weapons. She showed a maturity mixed with discipline and perseverance that I think is vital in not only shooting, but life itself. That same mixture of qualities is something that was, and is, a must-have for all those in the elite communities in which JW2 and I served, and is something that in my opinion is not taught. You either have it or you don't. Reagan has it.
S: Do you have a favorite memory from your experience?
She showed a maturity mixed with discipline and perseverance that I think is vital in not only shooting, but life itself.
BC: There is actually a part that I remember pretty well. It was during filming on the long-range stress test at the end. I was spotting for Regan after she had just ran 400 meters to her firing position, and she was doing great hitting the steel center mass and applying all the mechanics properly. She aimed in to hit the 400-yard target and hit the steel but not the center plate of the steel. She missed literally two inches 3 o’clock outside the center plate, so I called “MISS! 3 O’CLOCK OUTSIDE CENTER!” She said “What? But I ...” and she stopped talking and without missing a beat applied what she had been taught, kept her cool, reacquired her target and processed the thought and application of a hold to fix her shot and hit dead center. I told her, “I know you hit the steel, but this is a precision rifle that we have taught you on, and I knew you could do it. Way to keep your cool.” She had a sort of look of understanding with a little smirk on her face. She’s coachable, and not only that but she can regurgitate and apply it under stress.