VETERANS SPORTSMENS ASSOCIATION
Veterans Serving Veterans
VETERANS SPORTSMENS ASSOCIATION
Meet Our Instructors
Noel Dillon has worked in the Nuclear Security field for more than 25 years. Since founding the Veterans Sportsmens Association (VSA) in 2016, Noel has consistently brought a passion and dedication to this team and its support for local Veterans.
Noel spent over twenty (20) years in the USAF including multiple combat tours and deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq, and numerous other locations in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Central and South America. During his military service he specialized in Force Protection, Counter-Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Logistics, and Intelligence.
As the President of the VSA and Lead Instructor, Noel has built a Cadre of exceptional instructors and established the VSA as a registered 501c3 Veterans based non-profit in the Hudson Valley area of NY. He is currently an NRA certified Chief Range Safety Officer and a NRA Instructor certified to teach Basic Pistol, Basic Rifle, Defensive Pistol, Personal Protection Inside the Home, and Personal Protection Outside the Home. He is also a Certified UTAH BCI Instructor and Simunitions Instructor.
Noel has three Masters Degrees from John Jay College in Public Administration, Protection Management, and Emergency Management
Steve Mattes is a Marine Corps Veteran who served as Military Police in the Corrections Field. This experience instilled a constant state of mind of security and awareness. A nearly life time practitioner of martial arts which led to the exploration of many disciplines. In 2013 he was awarded Roku (6th) Dan in Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu (Ninjutsu) and he is currently exploring the art of Jeet Kune Do to further his understanding of the martial way.
Steve is an NRA certified Chief Range Safety Officer and a NRA instructor certified to teach Home Firearm Safety, Basic Pistol, Basic Rifle, Basic Shotgun, Personal Protection Inside the Home, Personal Protection Outside the Home. He is constantly participating in his own training to further his knowledge and understanding of all aspects of self-protection as well as the protection of others.
Tim Roberts served 23 Years in the US Military, in both the Air Force Security Forces and in the Army as a Forward Observer. His duties included Nuclear missile security, Naval Brig Security, Emergency Services Team, anti terrorism, interrogation procedures, SWAT operations and tactics, providing Presidential and Vice Presidential protection, as well as Foreign Dignitary protection. He currently works in Nuclear Security and is certified as an NRA firearms instructor as a Chief Range Safety Officer, and Shotgun Instructor.
John Wasikowitz entered US Navy in May of 1969 at the Recruit Training Command Great Lakes IL. During Boot camp he qualified with Rifle and became familiarized with pistols. In 1971 he qualified with .38 pistol for the TAD Shore Patrol assignment. After release from active duty April 1973 he joined the Active Reserves. There he received the Navy Pistol Expert Medal after scoring expert 3 years in a row ( Now sailors only have to get the score once). John became a Navy instructor in 1973 and conducted many various classes pertaining to General Military Training, Safety, First aid, Ship board And Aircraft Fire Fighting. John retired from the Navy as a Chief Petty Officer ABE-C E-7. In 1986 he took the NRA rifle instructor course and worked with BSA and 4H groups. He also gave Firearms safety instruction to his volunteer ambulance corp. John has been a firearms instructor for more than 34 years.
Energetic and driven, we were thrilled when Michelle Depew joined as our team as an experienced NRA Instructor. Michelle is always excited to take on the next challenge and push our team forward.
Carlos Prince is a SMsgt. Retired, USAF,
and the Chairman of the Hudson Valley Veterans Alliance. Carlos Prince was born in Panama and currently resides in Hopewell Junction, NY. He honorably served 31 years in the United States Air Force, attached to the 514th Civil Engineer Squadron.
Today Carlos runs his own HVAC business called Pana Breeze, is working on his A.A. in Political Science, and sits on NYS Senator (41st Dist.) Sue Serino's Veteran Advisory Committee. Carlos joined the VSA as a Trustee, and is now a NRA certified firearms instructor in Pistol, Rifle, and Shotgun.
Frank Kolarik is a combat veteran of the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division where he served as an Airborne Infantry squad leader. Before completing his enlistment, Frank was introduced to law enforcement as a special investigator for the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID).
Upon completing his tour of duty, Frank went on to a distinguished career as a police officer in Westchester County, NY, where he served as a patrolman, a member of his department’s emergency services and scuba units, and finally as a detective. Frank was also a certified police instructor and has taught at numerous police academies throughout New York State.
Frank has earned two black belts in the martial arts and is an FBI Certified Police Defensive Tactics Instructor. Upon his retirement, Frank continued teaching criminal justice at both the high school and college level. Frank is active with the VSA and the American Legion, is an NRA certified firearms instructor, and teaches the New York State Security Guard certification course.
Ari Moskowitz is a retired Police Sergeant, with 29 years of full time service. During his tenure, he served as the Firearms Instructor, TASER Instructor and General Topics
Instructor for his department. He is presently working as a Security Responder at Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant, as well as being a Part-Time Firearms Instructor for General
Ari is also a retired U.S. Army (MP) Captain, with extensive experience in large scale training operations and planning. His last command assignment was as a Drill
Sergeant Company Commander, leading him to be activated in 2004 to be a part of a select group of 127 Military Advisors to the Iraqi Army, where he specialized in G-1 and
G-2 training for Iraqi Command Staff Officers. Based on his firearms and training experience, he was also tasked to help train and supervise Iraqi soldiers in pistol and rifle courses that prepared them for their service in the Iraqi Army. His Police Instructor certifications include: Firearms Instructor, Defensive Tactics Instructor, TASER Instructor, Pepper Spray Instructor and Emergency Vehicle Operator Instructor and General Topics Instructor.
Ari has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Ari is a licensed New York State Private Investigator and was a member of the Orange County Emergency Management Team.
Melissa Brady is an active member of the Veterans Sportsmens Association. She is one of our female instructors who takes pride in educating people who want to learn to shoot and the safety aspect involved. Melissa has been in firearms industry for close to 7 years going through training and earning certifications to further her knowledge on the field.
Some of Melissa's her credentials include Basic instructor training, NRA Basic Pistol, NRA Instructor, NRA Range Safety Officer, NRA Chief Range Safety Officer, NRA Basic Shotgun, NRA Shotgun Instructor, and Basic Rifle. For the past few years she has worked in the security world training and working spos'n detection dogs as well as her full time job is a nuclear security officer.
Melissa volunteers her time and training to rescue dogs, train and donate them to police departments for working K9s and to veterans for companion/emotional support dogs.
Melissa believes that it is important to train and the skills to protect yourself, your family and people around you.
Brian Pfleger enlisted in the Air National Guard in 2012 attached to the 106th Rescue Wing. He continues to serve as avionics Guidance and Control Specialist as a Staff Sergeant, and was deployed in 2018 to Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. His military experience, as well as strong passion and knowledge of firearms has been recognized by the VSA to become one of our many instructors, as well as our recording secretary.
"I believe in safety and constant training! We train together and we learn together. Leave your ego in the parking lot"
18 YEARS AND CURRENT ACTIVE LAW ENFORCEMENT, GLOCK ARMORER, FIELD TRAINING OFFICER
NYS DCJS CERTIFIED DEPARTMENT & POLICE ACADEMY FIREARMS INSTRUCTOR
NRA CERTIFIED CHIEF RANGE INSTRUCTOR
NRA CERTIFIED BASIC PISTOL INSTRUCTOR
NYS CERTIFIED INSTRUCTOR DEVELOPMENT SCHOOL / LAW ENFORCEMENT GENERAL TOPICS INSTRUCTOR
ACTIVE MEMBER OF VSA
NRA BASIC INSTRUCTOR TRAINING
NYS DCJS HANDGUN, SHOTGUN AND PATROL RIFLE INSTRUCTOR
PATROL RIFLE TRAINED AND SWAT CROSS TRAINED
John Odendahl is a 1985 graduate of the Great Lakes US Naval Hospital Corps School. He served as a Corpsman at the Newport Naval Hospital in Rhode Island until being discharged prematurely due to a disqualifying medical condition.
Following his time in the Navy, John spent over six years working as a Correction Officer for the Dutchess County Sheriff, where at the academy, he received his first formal firearms training.
Retired after more than 25 years as an Armed Responder at a nuclear power station, John was part of a team of officers, equipped with military type weapons and gear, tasked with defending the facility against radiological sabotage.
John was certified by the New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services as a General Topics and Armed Guard Instructor and taught an adult education security course at Ulster County BOCES.
First Shot Training was a small business owned by John in New Paltz NY. He conducted weekly scenario-based practical defensive pistol and rifle training workshops for many years, also serving on the board of directors at New Paltz Rod and Gun Club.
During his career, John pursued additional instruction at firearms academies throughout the country. He is currently certified as an NRA Law Enforcement Tactical Shooting, Patrol Rifle, Handgun and Shotgun Instructor. Also having numerous National Rifle Association basic instructor certifications, he enjoys working with beginner and advanced level students.
Most recently, John has been a student of long-range precision rifle shooting, attending courses at Sig Academy in Epping NH, Bang Steel in Wytheville VA, and Ghost Firearms Training in Lewistown PA. He eagerly looks forward to sharing his many decades of experience and acquired skills with others interested in these sports.
Joseph Fisher is a NYS, Department of Defense and United States Air Force Certified Instructor. He is a 12 year veteran of the Air National Guard and a 25 year veteran of the New York City Police Department. He currently owns and operates his own company, Cop Prop Rentals of NY, a film and television prop supply firm specializing in police equipment and prop weapons. He currently works as a Prop Master, Consultant, Technical Advisor, Actor and Theatrical Weapons Wrangler in the entertainment industry. Due to his vast background, experiences and expertise in this field, Fisher has been featured as a commentator and subject matter expert by every major news and television network here in the US and globally.
As a member of the 105th Airlift Wing of the NYS ANG, TSgt Fisher spent 12 years teaching for the United States Air Force as a 3E9X1. There he served as a CBRN Instructor, Emergency Manager, CBRN Technician, ProBoard Certified HazMat Technician and obtained a degree from the Community College of the Air Force in Emergency Management. While serving at the 105th Airlift Wing, TSgt Fisher was also a Cadre member of the newly formed NYS CERF(P) Taskforce, a multi-branch WMD Response Team created to respond to Domestic Incidents involving the use of Chemical, Biological or Nuclear Weapons.
Fisher began teaching for the NYPD in 1998 at the Management Training Unit, a Police Academy unit providing in-service training to Patrol Supervisors and Leadership in Tactics, Counter-Terrorism and Criminal Procedure Law. During his 25 year career with the NYPD he worked as a patrol officer, crime prevention officer, instructor and detective and was recognized and awarded on several occasions for his contributions to the Department and to the public.
Joseph Fisher joined the VSA as a Founding Member in 2020 and has made a few contributions to this organization including the new logo, coin designs and digitalizing our membership application process. He brings his knowledge, experience and passion for teaching to the VSA as an instructor to help his fellow veterans in all they do.