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Tim Kennedy: Soldier, Warrior and Teacher


“Tim Kennedy is the real-life Captain America,” Blake Hayes, co-founder of Sheepdog Response, declared during an interview. “He’s the closest thing to a superhero I’ve ever met in my life.”

The Real-Life Captain America

Tim’s resume is not just impressive … it’s extraordinary: Special Forces sniper, Ranger qualified, Green Beret, a veteran of at least a dozen military engagements, a retired UFC fighter and a black belt in a handful of martial arts. Tim Kennedy embodies what it means to be the modern warrior.

In 2015, Kennedy decided to use his knowledge and experience to found Sheepdog Response. A sheepdog is trained to protect sheep from preying wolves. Many individuals desire to be a sheepdog to protect loved ones (the sheep) from criminals and predators (wolves). However, most people are not prepared, equipped or trained. To remedy this, Kennedy has developed a curriculum to teach people how to respond to certain threats.

You Don’t Have to Be Tim Kennedy

You may wonder, “How the heck can I be like Tim Kennedy? This guy is superhuman.” The answer is: You won’t. “I’m the exact same person as the other 7 billion people on the planet,” Kennedy stated during an interview on The Tim Ferriss Show. “I didn’t grow up with any kryptonite in the fridge. There’s nothing that is different about me in any way, shape or form. I just work.” He’s urging people to relentlessly work to achieve a goal. That’s his secret recipe to becoming the ultimate protector.

Kennedy explains that the first step is to act. Individuals need to continue to build on small gains every day to improve. He compares this relentless pursuit to a blacksmith’s continuous forging and hammering of a hunk of metal to turn it into a sword. Suffering, struggling and overcoming failures are necessities for improvement. U.S. Navy Chaplain William E. Parsons, Jr., in Meditations for Servicemen, used salmon similarly to Kennedy’s blacksmith analogy. “The salmon only knows one direction,” Parsons wrote, “and that is forward.” Kennedy’s and Parsons’ philosophies apply to self-defense training.

Kennedy’s Fight Against Human Trafficking

Jeff Tiegs is the chief operating officer for the non-profit Guardian Group and an instructor with Sheepdog Response. Like Kennedy, Tiegs has quite an impressive resume. He is a counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency expert with more than two decades of experience. He has been awarded five Bronze Stars for distinguished service in Iraq and Afghanistan and a Silver Star for valor. For Tiegs, now retired from the U.S. Army, fighting human trafficking is a calling.

Guardian Group reports that thousands of children are trafficked for sex every day in America. Tiegs oversees a team of special operations and police veterans taking the offensive against these perpetrators. “We are founded, operated, managed and designed to employ veterans,” he declared during an interview on the podcast Beyond the Uniform. The goal is to take these veterans’ particular skills and utilize them to combat this vile crime.

Tim Kennedy and Sheepdog Response have partnered with Guardian Group to help prevent and disrupt human trafficking. Kennedy’s organization is spreading awareness and training trafficking survivors about situational awareness, employing self-defense skills and how to build confidence. Each week, Kennedy and Tiegs are sharing videos about self-defense, evasion and escape on Sheepdog Response’s social media accounts.

Lighting a Flame

Kennedy stresses that Sheepdog Response isn’t creating an army of vigilantes. Its mission is to teach law enforcement officers and civilians how to save lives during a violent incident. Kennedy is aspiring to light a fire in the hearts of millions of Americans to change their ways of thinking. His objective is to revitalize an American ideology that has been long forgotten: what it means to be strong and independent, and to appreciate individual responsibility and the tasks associated with it.

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