One Shepherd Leadership Institute

Program Policies

Warrior Leader Program

Safety is our first priority! One Shepherd training is conducted in an outdoor learning environment and makes ample use of firearms. We adhere emphatically to a strict code of safety. Second only to safety is the quality of our community. Policies of personal conduct and eligibility are intended to be as inclusive as possible, while also enhancing the quality of our community.

Eligibility Policy

One Shepherd is NOT AN “AT-RISK” DISCIPLINE program!

All are Welcome…

Warriors come in all shapes and sizes – male and female, and virtually every hue of skin, hair, and eye color. All political, social, and religious perspectives are respected. One Shepherd is emphatically inclusive! That point well noted, it is only fair to point out a few caveat. Namely that because Warriors from all walks of life are welcome, we insist there be: (a) no recruiting, and (b) no bashing of other Warriors’ beliefs, affiliation, or demographic.

Furthermore, One Shepherd is legally and ethically obliged to adhere to the following three limitations to our inclusive policy:

Age Limits

The minimum age to join the Warrior Leader Program is 14 years old. There is no maximum age limit. All participants must sign a liability waiver. Participants under the age of 18 must have the waiver signed by a parent or legal guardian.

Legal Constraints

Persons convicted of a felony crime, or indicted under a felony charge CANNOT participate in One Shepherd training or simulations.

Ethical Considerations

One Shepherd makes ample use of firearms in training, and simulations explore the escalation of violence as a means of coercive force. Persons with strong convictions against firearms and/or the use of force are not encouraged to participate in training.

Safety Policy

Firearms Policy: “Long Guns”

One Shepherd employs firearms in training, specifically long guns including carbines, rifles and machineguns. Safe weapon handling is strictly enforced! Persons with strong convictions against firearms are not encouraged to participate in training.

One Shepherd adheres to the 4 Cardinal Rules of firearm safety:

1. All firearms are LOADED! Always assume the weapon is loaded.
2. Safety control. Keep fingers off the trigger and weapon on safe until ready to fire.
3. Muzzle control. Point the weapon only at objects you are willing to destroy.
4. Target control. Know your target and what lies beyond your target.
One Shepherd is a force-on-force training environment. This means:

a. NO live rifle ammunition is ever permitted at training or simulation events!
b. ONLY One Shepherd issues blank ammunition. No private-owned ammunition.
c. ALL force-on-force weapons are fitted with a Blank Firing Adaptor (BFA).
d. Firearms chambered in pistol cartridges are FORBIDDEN from force-on-force training.

One Shepherd follows local laws and customs:

– Adhere to local laws regarding age restrictions, firearm carry and transportation.
– No brandishing firearms! Wait for “show and tell” after the event has ended.

Firearms Policy: Handguns

First know your limits! Participation in one FTX Simulation is required prior to carrying a handgun for self-defense. The FTX Simulation involves three days of induced physical, mental, and emotional stress. This policy affords each member valuable insight from which they may base their decision to carry a handgun or not.

When members opt to carry handguns for self-defense, all Missouri State firearm laws are in effect. Furthermore One Shepherd imposes the following constraints and restraints:

– Handguns may only be carried by members 21 years of age or older.
– Handguns are always worn in “Open Carry” mode – defined as a visibly exposed holster and exposed grip.
– Handguns are always carried in “Condition II” — defined as a loaded magazine, but NO round in the chamber.
– Handguns entering the FOB are verified for Condition II at the clearing barrel by another Warrior.
– Handguns are drawn ONLY in self-defense! (The act of “show and tell” is a safety violation.)

CAUTION: If a handgun is drawn or discharged during training a “STOPEX” (Stop Exercise) is immediately ordered. Drawing or discharging your handgun at any time MUST be justified. Be prepared to explain your actions to Staff and/or Law Officers.

Environmental Safety

While all are encouraged to attend One Shepherd institute, this education takes place in an austere outdoor environment. Walking over uneven terrain in periods of darkness with 60 pounds (47 kg) or more is required. Small cuts, scrapes, bruises and the occasional superficial skin burn are commonplace.

Prevention: All client-members are required to meet the minimal packing list before participation. If the minimums are not met, the client-member will be allowed to correct the deficiency and rejoin the event at a designated time and location.

Hydrate: Drink water! One Shepherd operates in all terrain, all weather, and all hours of the day and night. When it is cold, your body will not want cold water. Drink anyway. When it is hot, you will not feel like drinking stale canteen water. Drink anyway. When your urine is yellow, you are dehydrated. When you stop sweating, you are probably dying. Drink more water.

Wildlife: All client-members are required to avoid wild animals and dangerous plants whenever possible. Animals don’t want to bother smelly, camouflaged warriors with weapons. We aim to return the favor.

Fire & Injury: First aid trauma kits are located in the TOC, mess, and sleeping quarters tents. Fire extinguishers are located in each tent attached to a center pole. Do familiarize with the usage of these items, but please don’t play with them. If we need them, we need them to work!

Medical Safety

One Shepherd training is designed to push participants outside of their physical, mental, and emotional comfort zone. Serious injury is rare, but a distinct possibility. When participants have pre-existing health conditions, these medical issues are sometimes exacerbated by the demanding nature of this training environment.

It is highly recommended that client-members with allergies or relevant medical conditions make this known to One Shepherd staff and cadre, or to a friend or family member participating in the event. Client-member health information is kept confidential.

On very rare occasion it has been necessary to transport client-members to the nearest medical facility. One Shepherd staff and cadre will aid in this endeavor. However it is recommended that client-members bring medical insurance cards, medical prescriptions, and medication to the event.

Personal Conduct Policy

All are welcome – but no promoting and no recruiting!

One Shepherd is proud of our heritage. To date our alumni include citizens from 18 different nations across the globe with various political affiliations, and we represent perhaps every major theological viewpoint.

We are a plural community of diverse warriors!


We collect no records of our demographic composition. Yet a quick sampling would illustrate that One Shepherd is comprised of about 97 percent male membership with as much as 85 percent of our student body descending from European ancestry. Our average participant is roughly 23 years old with an age range of 14 to 55 years old.

Keep in mind that a dominance of one demographic identity may obscure the fact that all peoples are welcome at One Shepherd. Neither should the overwhelmingly male ratio of this training community in any way be construed to suggest that female warriors are unwelcome. The exact opposite is true! We accept and welcome Warriors from all walks of life.

Religion & Prayer

Outward demonstrations of prayer or meditation are also welcome! However, a protocol is established to ensure that all beliefs are respected:

1. INVITE people to join you in prayer.
2. STEP AWAY a polite distance from the ongoing activity to conduct prayer.

Preference of Vice

We ask that all members respect differences of opinion. Prohibition of vice is not a categorical religious imperative, neither is it a universal personal choice. However, legal code is more prescriptively defined!

Tobacco: Missouri law prohibits the possession or use of tobacco products before the age of 18 years old. One Shepherd must and does comply with this legal requirement.

Alcohol: Missouri law prohibits the consumption of alcoholic beverages before the age of 21 years old. Furthermore, due to a significant increase in the likeliness of accident, Missouri law also prohibits the handling of firearms while consuming alcohol beverages. For these reasons drinking during One Shepherd training or simulation events, and while firearms are handled, is forbidden.

Illicit Drugs: Missouri law prohibits the possession or use of narcotics of all types. One Shepherd must and does comply with this legal requirement.

Profanity, nudity and discussions of sexuality generally fall into two categories – either vulgarity or obscenity. Vulgar can be defined as “pertaining to ordinary people” or ostentatious, excessive, pretentious. Obscene is commonly defined as “offensive to morality.” The difference being that vulgarity may offend, but is not intended to offend. Obscenity is intended to offend, whether or not it achieves this effect.

Be gracious. Consider the offensive remark, deed, or display to determine if it is merely vulgar. If so, disregard the offense. If the remark, deed, or display is believed to have intended offense and did offend, then report it and staff officers will review the incident.