Our training facility is located on 40 acres just outside of Goldendale, Washington, which lies about 15 miles North of the scenic Columbia River Gorge, along Highway 97.
We are a well-rounded group of instructors with extensive Law Enforcement and Military backgrounds, offering a solid commitment to the student and their training needs.
Our experience driven curriculum provides unique skill sets that are useful well past the range - nothing is watered down. With a student-to-instructor ratio of 4:1, instructors are consistently engaged with the students throughout the training experience to build for future success.
We don’t have any fancy names for what we do here. We instruct with the mindset of instilling important skill sets to the students, with earnest and persistent quality, along with a firmly held belief based on actual experience, not theory. We teach how to be successful in a hostile environment, by learning the capability of yourself and your chosen firearm.
What sets us apart is our core belief: There are no advanced skills. There are no such events as advanced gunfights. There are only lessons to be learned and skills to be developed.
We offer date-selected classes, however, if you have a group that likes to train together we will tailor make a class that fits your group's needs with a date of your choice at no extra charge – we are student driven.
Steve Shields – Owner/Operator
“Steve is hands-down the most practical, no-nonsense instructor I’ve ever trained with!” –Curtis Bingham, CEO, Adventure Protection
Steve Shields is a no-BS firearms instructor to more than 1000 law enforcement officers, SWAT team members, and civilians that come from 28 years in law enforcement and 25+ years of LE instruction. What sets him apart is his foundation of efficient, practical, street-tested, “save your life” methods. He is adamant that you understand WHY you take every action; only by knowing WHY are you able to then simplify, streamline, or replace methods.
He stresses efficiency and practicality in every move. He believes that you should always train as you fight, and train for the real world beyond the drills. He eschews gimmicky gear and gadgets, instead focusing on using the gear available when you’re the least prepared, drilling hard on the skills it takes to stay focused on the threat without being distracted by the platform.
“I have over 5,000 hours of formal weapons training. Steve is an outstanding instructor with the rare ability to tailor a class to the level of each student. I highly recommend Cerberus Training Group.” –Larry S
Steve began his law enforcement career in 1987, becoming a forensic detective and sergeant. One of his officer-involved shootings was part of an incident that became a 1991 made-for-TV movie Captive. As an instructor at the Washington State Law Enforcement Academy, Steve helped a team rewrite the academy and post-academy firearms curriculum, and subsequently certified numerous other LE instructors. Steve’s teaching experience centers around his passion for identifying how instructors and curriculum are failing their students, sometimes leading to undesirable outcomes. He has participated in numerous after-action reports and debriefings which lead to creating new and more effective ways of training to ensure performance under pressure. He has also conducted numerous reconnaissance missions and raids of marijuana grow operations in partnership with state and federal agencies, including FBI, DEA and BIA.
He also has 28 years as an active member of WSLEFIA (Washington State Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors Assoc.). Passionate about learning, he has participated in instructions by Clint Smith, Chuck Taylor, John Farnam, Todd Jarrett, Ray Chapman, Louis Awerbuck, Dennis Tueller, Kyle Lamb, William Petty, Brian Hoffner, Massad Ayoob, Col Jeff Cooper, ballistic expert Dr. Gary Roberts and more. He also trained with groups such as Safariland, S&W, Sigarms Academy Shooting Schools, LMS Defense, Redback One and Magpul training.
“You will not find a more well-rounded group of instructors that have “been there and done that” than at Cerberus.” –Mike P
Steve has been a department armorer, and maintains his certification with many manufacturers including S&W, Glock, Remington, SIG, Colt, Springfield, and H&K. He trained under Larry Vickers and pistolsmith, Richard Niemer of Detonics and Safari-Arms fame, a widely respected industry manufacturer and 1911 gunsmith before his passing.
Post-retirement, in addition to teaching civilian courses full-time, Steve continues to teach in law enforcement circles and remains actively involved in bringing new curricula to law enforcement personnel and their instructors.
“Steve’s mix of practical experience and technical knowledge is phenomenal. Overall, I'd highly recommend any of the courses that Steve offers. I'll definitely be back for more.” -Andrew H
Riley Howell - Firearms and Team/Group Instructor
Riley is a former U.S. Marine Corps Infantryman with four years of active duty service and multiple deployments throughout the Pacific and Middle East.
He has served as a rifleman, machine gunner, and spent time as a team leader, squad leader and platoon leader and has thousands of hours of military training with the M16 and M4 platform rifles as well as the M9 pistol.
He has trained with many different foreign military forces to include the Philippine Army and Marines, Australian Army, as well as the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force.
As a Marine he trained to the highest standards and passes this on through common sense, no BS techniques. Riley also worked as a private military contractor in Afghanistan where he conducted security for US military bases and personnel.