This article largely echoes my thoughts in the two articles I penned for the Civilian Gunfighter blog about Instructor Pedigrees. Always consider your own personal “mission” and whether or not the topics covered by the course and the instructor are congruent with that mission.
However, I would caution against discarding out of hand the notion of training with some of these “ex-Tier One” types. A glance at our recommended books will show my brief review of the book “Relentless Strike” by Sean Naylor. In it, he outlines many occasions where such operators worked in plain clothes, not relying on M4 or HK carbines as their primary weapon systems. Along these lines, a course like Mike Pannone’s “Covert Carry” class, which John and I both took (both AARs are here on the blog) is highly applicable to the life of a civilian practicing concealed carry.
I also have to echo that Paul Howe is awesome! John trained with him once several years ago, and AARs of both the courses I took with him are here on the blog.–Robert