Jack Carr’s take on Marine veteran Clint Smith: ‘Honor for me to train with him’


Clint Smith is a Marine veteran who served two tours in Vietnam. 

He returned home after being shot in combat — and, as he recounts on my “Danger Close” podcast — the first morning back, his dad walked into the kitchen and said, “I’m really thankful you are home. I’m glad you’re safe. I appreciate what you did, but I need to know when you are going to get a job.” 

That was Sunday morning. 

On Monday, Clint Smith got a job. 

He then went into a decade of working in law enforcement before becoming the operations officer at API — later Gunsite — under Lt. Col. Jeff Cooper. 

He then started his own training company called International Training Consultants. 

He also did a stint with H&K’s training division before founding the legendary Thunder Ranch in Oregon.  

It was an honor for me to train with Clint Smith, both with my SEAL Sniper and with my Assault Teams back when I was what he calls a “baby SEAL.” 

My family and I continue to do tactical training with Clint, his wonderful wife, Heidi, and the top-notch instructors at Thunder Ranch every chance we get.

For those who have not made the pilgrimage out to train with Clint Smith at Thunder Ranch in Lakeview, Oregon, make this your year! 

Maybe I’ll see you on the range.

Happy birthday, Clint!

(Follow Jack Carr on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/jackcarrusa.)

Clint Smith is president and director of Thunder Ranch, as its website notes.

He’s a Marine Corps veteran of two infantry and Combined Action Platoon tours in Vietnam. 

His experience includes seven years as a police officer, during which he served as head of the Firearms Training Division.

He was also a S.W.A.T. member and precision rifleman.

He left law enforcement to serve as operations officer for the American Pistol Institute, where he was dean of instruction and was instrumental in range and curriculum development. 

In 1983, he founded International Training Consultants, Inc., an active mobile training program, which is nationally recognized for innovative programs in urban rifle, shotgun, precision rifle and various handgun formats.

Clint Smith developed and taught courses in fully automatic weapons as well as conventional weapons systems.

In 1986, he served as director of training for Heckler & Koch, Inc., where he developed and taught progressive courses in fully automatic weapons as well as conventional weapons systems.

In 1993, Thunder Ranch, Inc., opened. 

It shares innovative training but also contains numerous range designs and functions of a type not seen before in one facility. 

In 2004, it moved to Oregon.

Clint Smith is a contributor to American Handgunner, American Cop, GUNS and SWAT magazines and has published articles in many other national and in international publications.