Why Gladius

Gladius International is a Veteran organization specializing in firearm training and tactics, tactical-medical training, executive protection and high-end security.

Gladius provides comprehensive instruction on subjects that directly apply to real-world situations and the threats they present. Overcoming today’s urban environment can be a tricky process, come in and learn from our experienced training cadre, which represents prior law enforcement, military and SOF veterans, and private defense contractors.

The company was founded in early 2020 by Michael Woodruff Bird Jr, a seasoned entrepreneur whose personal experience in his childhood, and educational background, laid the foundation for his passion in providing the proper protection and training services to his organization and clientele. Michael’s vision for the company is clear: to empower and protect his clients and community for a safer tomorrow.

Florida Concealed Carry Course

About Us

Our leadership team consists of trained, experienced professionals with longstanding careers in the military, law enforcement, and defense contracting. Many of Gladius’ personnel have had active deployment to dangerous regions across the globe, enabling them to utilize that experience and better train and secure our wide range of clients. From government positions to special operations, our team is qualified in the knowledge of what it takes to offer individuals the highest standards, and how to properly be prepared in our modern-day society.

Michael Bird

CEO

Michael BirdMichael Bird Jr. is an Academi Certified Personal Protection Specialist with experience in executive protection, wilderness survival, tracking and winter weather training. After playing collegiate football, Michael made the decision to join the security industry, receiving hands-on training from some of the industry’s best in EP, firearms training and land navigation. Spending a majority of his life growing up in Wyoming, Michael developed and specialized in winter survival skills, which he was able to transition to his skillset for the benefit of his clientele in the North-west. At University Michael attained degrees in Criminal Justice and Psychology, and pursues continued education and background in Security Management and Homeland Security from the American Military University. As CEO of Gladius International, Mr. Bird oversees the company’s day-to-day business activities and is responsible for Gladius’ overall growth and development.

“Ever since I was young, I have always had a deep fascination with anything military or law enforcement-related. That ingrained feeling never went away, and only continued to grow and develop as I grew older and understood the danger in this world. I feel honored to be in a position where I can provide security and a sense of comfort to individuals, something I want to make commonplace within our community.”

Dr. Kent Keller

Operational Manager

Dr. Kent KellerIn November of 1985, Dr. Kent Keller joined the Navy and became a Special Operations Officer and Master Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Technician. He served in a variety of roles throughout his Navy career including as Officer in Charge at EOD Mobile Unit TWO in Littlecreek, Virginia; as the Executive Officer of EOD Mobile Unit SEVEN in San Diego, California; and, as Commanding Officer of Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) Lansing, Michigan. He retired as a Lieutenant Commander in May 0f 2008.

Upon retirement, Dr. Keller became the Director of Business Development for The Columbia Group in Washington DC. Afterward, he was a Senior Analyst in support of U.S. Special Operations Command, Tampa, FL; a Program Manager (PM) in support of Joint Improvised Threat-Defeat Agency in Washington, DC; a PM in support of Fleet Cyber Command at Fort Meade, MD; and, a Senior Advisor and PM in support of U.S. Southern Command, Miami, FL.

Throughout Dr. Keller’s academic career, he received his Master’s Degree in Foreign Affairs from the Army’s Command and General Staff College; and, his Doctorate of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. He is a graduate of Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) Level 1 and Advanced JPME. Dr. Keller has been an Adjunct Professor for three universities. He has performed in-depth studies, written scholarly articles, and conducted professional lectures pertaining to the most modern business concepts and theories in the areas of motivation, leadership, organizational change management, business productivity, business strategy, and best practices.

Robert Winston

Director of Training

Robert WinstonRobert Winston is a seasoned instructor and personal protection professional with years of experience in the United States, Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean. He has worked as an Instructor and Personal Protection Specialist for Blackwater World Wide, U.S. Training Center, Triple Canopy, and Academi, as well as his experience as an Instructor for the State Department’s Anti-Terrorism Assistance Program and with O’Gara Training and Services.

Robert Spent 4 ½ years in Baghdad Iraq, between 2006 and 2011 with Blackwater Worldwide and Triple Canopy as a member of the Ambassadors Advance Detail and Protection Detail. Robert was later vetted as the Rangemaster and combined duties as the Lead Firearms instructor, Integrated Training Instructor, and Rangemaster for Triple Canopy. Robert was also vetted by the State Department as a Shift Leader, Asst. Detail Leader, Unit Support Coordinator.

Currently, Winston is the Director of Training at Gladius International and maintains his position part-time as a Lieutenant with Triple Canopy under the Federal Protective Service.