Aaron Reed’s father taught him two important things at a young age—how to shoot and how to serve others. He learned both lessons well, becoming a Navy SEAL and fighting for American freedom during multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Now retired from active duty to spend more time with his wife and five children, Reed has taken up the exciting shooting sport of 3-Gun. And he has quickly learned that his training as a SEAL very much aligned with the skills needed to be a good 3-Gun shooter, catapulting him to the pro circuit in just his first year of competition.
I am a simple man. I believe in God, and I believe that the founders of the United States of America put together a pretty good plan. To live free means a great deal to me. Many Americans don’t understand the true meaning of living free because they have been handed their safe, pleasant lives on a silver platter. Our best men and women have paid for our freedom with their blood, sweat and too many lives.
I was taught at a very young age that every man should serve his country. My father—a retired Marine, Kentucky State Trooper and National Guardsman—made it clear to me that freedom was what made America the best country in the world, and it is only free because good men serve. He made sure I understood the value of service and the desire to defend what so many want to destroy. I was taught the meaning of American exceptionalism and how the skill of marksmanship saved us from the iron grip of the British ruler.
My dad was also a fan of Mr. Jeff Cooper, who was the inspiration for the motto Dad gave me to live by: Ride, Shoot Straight and Always Tell the Truth. He told me to always live by this motto and to always serve my country.
My first chance to serve came in the second grade, when I joined a Cub Scout pack. Later in Boy Scouts I earned my Eagle Scout badge. Scouting was a great opportunity to learn about living a patriotic lifestyle while planning and working community service projects. I am thankful to have had that experience as a young man to help shape me into the patriotic American I am today.
My dad, a Distinguished High Master high-power rifle shooter, also passed on to me the fundamentals of shooting at a young age. Throughout junior high, high school and college I shot competitively on my school’s shooting teams.
I earned my bachelor’s degree in sociology with a minor in criminology. It was quite a feat for my parents to keep me in school long enough to graduate, as becoming a Navy SEAL had long dominated my thoughts. In fact, to me my calling to be a SEAL was clear. I wanted to serve my country, and I knew of no better way to do it.
I graduated BUD/S in class 233. I served at SDV Team 1 and SEAL Team 10, with multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. I also served in Kodiak, Alaska, as a SEAL Survival Instructor.
I left active duty three years ago to spend more time at home with my wife and five kids. With my love for shooting permanently ingrained, I discovered the sport of 3-Gun, and have worked my way up to the 3-Gun Nation Pro Series, competing nearly every week for Team Remington/Bushmaster.
I am a simple man and see things in a simple way. Good is good, and bad is bad. As my dad showed me the way to be a good American, I will pass it on to my kids. I will ensure that America has at least five strong-minded, God-fearing patriots to carry the torch for the next generation. God knows this country is going to need extraordinary leadership to survive the challenges to come.