Meet Our Team
Rutherford County’s Destination for Firearm Training and Education
USADefense will be a state-of-the-art, 5 star safety training center. We will offer training in areas of firearm safety personal and home protection, and more. Our firearm instructors are highly trained military combat veterans, military police, and public law enforcement professionals.
Meet Our Team Located in Murfreesboro, TN
Steve Newton - President
Steve Newton is a U.S. Army Veteran having been Honorably Discharged. Steve served as an Instructor at Redstone Arsenal Guided Missile Training Center in Huntsville Alabama. He qualified as an expert marksman with the M-16 and the 1911 45. He is also a Certified NRA handgun, home defense and personal defense instructor and a US Concealed Carry Association Handgun Instructor and a certified State of Tennessee handgun Instructor.
Steve has a background in education, having spent 10 years as a vocational educator in the Rutherford County School system. He attended Middle Tennessee State University, where he obtained a certification as a vocational instructor. As part of the Tennessee State board of education, he helped develop the curriculum for all the electronics programs across the state. Later, he opened his own electronics business in Murfreesboro in 2004, which he operated through 2008.
Steve has lived in Murfreesboro since 1975 and has been a part of the growth and expansion of the community over the years.
Tom Johnson - Business Manager
Tom came to Rutherford County with Pizza Hut, Inc. as an Area Supervisor and remained in the restaurant industry as a manager, consultant and owner until 2005 when he began working with D and D Disaster Services as an independent contractor and project manager providing and maintaining temporary housing through FEMA to families impacted by natural disasters. After his most recent contract with FEMA ended in 2012, Tom secured an associate position with Amazon in Murfreesboro where he met Steve Newton. Steve’s enthusiasm for this project convinced Tom to join him as the companies Operations and Business Manager.
Joe Jenkins - Firearms Instructor
Joe Jenkins retired from the U.S. Army as a Major, serving over 20 years of Honorable service between October 1993 and July 2014. His career began as an Airborne Infantryman on Active Duty, stationed in Panama, Central America, where he studied Anti-Terrorism and earned his Expert Infantryman Badge. In 1997, he transitioned to the TN Army National Guard as a Military Police Officer assigned to the 269th MP Company of Murfreesboro, TN. After receiving his commission to 2nd Lieutenant through the MTSU ROTC program, Joe was assigned to the Smyrna, TN based 4th Squadron, 278th ACR as a Platoon Leader and Pilot, later becoming an Assistant Training Officer, Battle Captain, Anti-Terrorism Officer and Unit Victim Advocate for the Air Cavalry Squadron. During his service in the 1-230th ACS, Joe piloted the AH-64A Apache, UH-60A Blackhawk, and the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior; serving 2 tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He completed his service as the Executive Officer for Headquarters & Headquarters Detachment, Joint Forces Headquarters – TN.
Joe graduated from MTSU with a Bachelor of Science Degree, majoring in Anthropology with a triple minors Archaeology, Military Science & Criminal Justice Administration. He served on the city of Franklin Police Department for a short time in 2002 before becoming a full-time assistant Training Officer for the State of Tennessee – Department of the Military, supporting the 1-230th Air Cavalry Squadron. Joe has continued his training experience, from December 2007 to the present, working for L-3 Communications and Computer Science Corporation operating the Aviation Combined Arms Tactical Trainer (AVCATT) under the War Fighter Focus program, for the Warrior Training Alliance, supporting Army National Guard aviators and soldiers in the Southeastern Region (TN, AL, GA, FL) as well as aviators stationed in IN, PA, & TX.
After discovering USADefense on social media, Joe absolutely knew he had to become a member of Steve’s team and contacted him immediately. His shared excitement and enthusiasm to provide the best possible training to our community makes Joe a perfect fit for the mission and intent of USADefense.
Robert Smartt - Firearms Instructor
Robert comes to us with a vast array of both law enforcement and military expertise. Graduate: Memphis Police Academy as a Patrolman ; Graduate of FBI SWAT school-80 hours; Graduate: U.S Secret Service Dignitary Protection Course-40 hours; Graduate: NRA Police Firearms Course; Completed forty hours of annual in service training for twenty four years.
He is a Life member of the NRA. For over twenty years he was an NRA Certified Police Firearms Instructor teaching recruit classes and in service training for police officers from the MPD and Sheriff’s Office. He worked for over twenty four years in Patrol, Narcotics, Vice, SWAT, Detective, and training academy divisions. Robert was a member of the Police Pistol Team for twenty years, winning numerous medals in the Police Olympics events. He won an Optimist Club award for getting injured in the line of duty. He maintained an NRA Police Firearms Distinguished Expert weapons rating for twenty years. Prior to getting into law enforcement, Robert served four years in US Army as a Recon Sgt-E-5 with an Honorable Discharge. Robert joined the TN Air National guard unit(Air Force) part time. He served there part time, for twenty years, before retiring as a MSgt. During his time in the Air Guard, Robert was a member of the Worldwide US Air Force Security Police Rifle and Pistol team. He represented the Air Force against all military branches and allied forces. He shot matches with both pistols and rifles against the best worldwide teams there were.
Robert received numerous awards including third in a worldwide finals match. He was also a member of the TN State High Power Rifle Team for sixteen years, shooting the M-1, M-14, and M-16 in matches up to 1000 yards. Robert and his family have been residents of Murfreesboro for over six years.
Jason Carter - Firearms Instructor
Jason and his family have lived here in Rutherford County since 1995. Jason served 8 years with the 450th Military Police Company in Nashville (Army Reserve) and was deployed two times. His first deployment was for Operation Noble Eagle, where he served as a patrol officer on a US Military Installation doing all aspects of police work. His second deployment was to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He served as the Sergeant of the Guard at a US detention facility during this deployment. He attained the rank of Staff Sergeant in 6 years and has a passion for teaching and training. He qualified expert with both the M16 rifle and M9 pistol and received the Gold level qualification for German Army Marksmanship. Jason is also a graduate of the Primary Leadership Development Course.
Jason holds a BA degree in Political Science from Harding University and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Trevecca University. When not working, Jason loves to spend time outdoors fishing, hunting, and camping with his wife and daughter.
Jerry Johnson - Advisor
Jerry Johnson is President of the Farm Ranch & Ag Division (FRAG) of Blount International, Inc. The FRAG Division is composed of four business units: Woods Equipment Company’s Ag/Turf/Skid Steer (ATS) business, Woods Equipment Company’s Construction Equipment (CE) business, Speeco, and PBL (France). Blount International acquired Woods Equipment Company in 2011. Jerry was the President of Woods Equipment Company’s ATS and CE business units prior to the acquisition.
Prior to joining Woods in 1995, Jerry worked for the General Electric Company for 10 years, spending 8 years in the Aircraft Engine Division and 2 years in the Electric Motors Division. Jerry held various positions of increasing responsibility in Manufacturing Engineering, Materials, and Operations Management.
Jerry is a member of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and currently serves on the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) Board of Directors, Ag Sector Board, Finance Committee, and Political Action Committee Board. He is a Six Sigma Black Belt and earned a B.S. from Southern Illinois University in Industrial Technology in1983.
Scott Randolph - Firearms Instructor
Scott is a 4 Gun IDPA Master Class Shooter who has acquired numerous awards including five IDPA National Championship awards. Scott has been shooting competitively for 20 years and began shooting to teach his two sons firearms safety at a young age. Scott and his wife Ellen moved to Murfreesboro three years ago to be close to their four grandchildren. He is an active member of both the Middle Tennessee Shooters Club and the Strategic Edge Shooting Club. Currently involved in IDPA, USPSA and Pistol Caliber Carbine matches in Middle Tennessee, Scott is also an experienced NRA Basic Pistol Instructor and IDPA Safety Officer. Being an NRA Lifetime member for 15 years, Scott has also been an Instructor for the Alabama Defensive Pistol Association. He is proudly sponsored by Hamilton Armory, Ready Tactical Holsters and Falcon Bullet Company. Scott enjoys sharing his vast knowledge of firearms and firearm safety with both new and experienced gun owners.
Michael Billings - Firearms Instructor
Michael Billings is a Veteran of the United States Army and served as a Combat Engineer where he conducted a multitude of challenging tasks. Route clearance, installing firing systems for demolition, breaching, close quarter combat and clearing buildings with and without explosives to name a few.
Michael is an Expert Marksman, with qualifications on a wide range of weapon systems. He is a locally sponsored shooter and hunter. He has extensive training in close quarter combat and tactical engagement, both from vehicles and on foot.
More recently Michael has worked for 7 + years as an Armed Security Officer and has earned his Bachelors of Science degree in Aviation (Aerospace Pro-Pilot Engineering) from MTSU and is now a qualified multi-engine pilot with several FAA ratings. He is also working on skydiving as well as more tactical training.
Michael’s first passion is flying, and his second is shooting and assisting others with situational awareness along with teaching the fundamentals of defensive shooting.