Host: Eric R. Poole
Eric R. Poole is the 14th editor-in-chief of Guns & Ammo, and a graduate of Virginia Military Institute. Poole was a member of VMI’s NCAA Rifle Team, graduating with academic honors after majoring in English and minoring in Spanish. During his cadetship and the years that followed, Poole served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a small arms repairman, marksmanship instructor and designated marksman. He was the honor graduate of the U.S. Army’s Ordnance Center & School’s small arms repair program in 1998, and the U.S. Marine Corps’ Primary Marksmanship Instructor school in 1999. In 2003, Poole deployed with 3rd Light Armor Vehicle Battalion, 1st Marine Division, as a platoon sergeant and scout for the invasion of Iraq where he became a decorated combat veteran. On returning to Camp Lejeune, he became Following Poole’s military service, he returned to working in the private sector as an armorer and marksmanship instructor. Poole became a pistolsmith in 2005 and earned nearly 50 factory armorer certifications before 2007. During this time, Poole began a writing career and competed in bullseye pistol, high power, smallbore rifle and air rifle matches. In 2009, Poole joined Guns & Ammo as the editor-in-chief of its Special Interest Publications and was promoted to his current position in November 2013. He continues to compete, hunt around the world and train law enforcement officers to become armorers and marksmanship instructors.
Host: Tom Beckstrand
Tom Beckstrand is Guns & Ammo’s first Rifles & Optics editor, and a graduate of West Point Military Academy. He participated in West Point’s bullseye pistol team as a freshman and later the Combat Pistol Team. He graduated with a major in French and German, and a minor in Systems Engineering. He then attended Infantry Officers Basic Course, followed by Airborne School and Ranger School. After overcoming foot injuries that forced him to recycle through Ranger School, he became the honor graduate of class 1-00. At Ft. Bragg, Beckstrand became a platoon leader in the 82nd Airborne Division and competed in 3-Gun matches. When eligible, he applied for Special Forces Assessment and Selection and started training on September 9, 2001, and completed his training in March 2003. His first deployment was as a Green Beret with the 3rd Special Forces group in August 2003. After returning in February 2004, Beckstrand volunteered for Special Forces Armed Reconnaissance Tactical Exploitation Course (SFARTEC) and left with a direct-action unit for his second deployment to Afghanistan in July 2004. At Ft. Bragg in January 2005, Beckstrand joined the Commanders In Extremis Force (CIF) and deployed to Iraq from July to December. In April 2006, Beckstrand attended the U.S. Marine Corps Scout/Sniper Advanced Course and became the honor graduate of Class 2-06. He deployed to Iraq again in 2006 and was a sniper team leader based out of Baghdad. He left active duty in June 2007, entering the private security sector and beginning his writing career. In 2009, Beckstrand started shooting Precision Rifle Series (PRS) matches, an activity that he remains passionate for, and training military and law enforcement personnel on precision rifle tactics. During the years since, Beckstrand has studied advancements in rifle and optic technologies to advanced our understanding of their use in tactical and competitive environments. Beckstrand has been writing for Guns & Ammo since 2011.