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The leadership team for 3ELA are all distinguished military and educational professionals. 


Our Military Instructors are all retired military officers with post graduate degrees, decades of dedicated service with multiple command assignments including peacetime and  combat deployments.  All have served in complex and multi-national environments in Iraq, Afghanistan and throughout the globe at the highest levels within our Nation’s military.  


Our Civilian Instructors are all PhDs, published and recognized experts within their respective fields.  These talented instructors have the unique ability to simplify, and articulate complex military lessons into applicable business experiences.   All have a deep passion for sharing their experiences and developing leaders and organizations.

Rickey Smith
Colonel U.S. Army (Retired)

Jeff Davidson

Colonel U.S. Army (Retired)

Jeff is a retired Armor and Cavalry Officer with 30 years service in the United States Army.   Colonel Davidson served in a variety of command and leadership positions to include Battalion Commander, Joint and Combined Exercise Planner, Director US Army Armor School and Chief of Staff US Army Armor Center and FT Knox.  Jeff has multiple combat tours and is the recipient of the Bronze Star (OLC) as well as the Legion of Merit (OLC). He holds a BS in History from Middle Tennessee State University and a Master’s Degree in National Security Studies from the US Air Force Air War College.  After retiring from the Army, Jeff served as the Deputy Mayor for Rutherford Country Tennessee.

Tom Isom
Colonel U.S. Army (Retired)

Tom is a retired Cavalry and Armor officer with over 27 years of command, operations, and training experience.  Twice earning the Bronze Star in combat, once each for Valor and Meritorious Service, he has also earned the Legion of Merit twice.  Tom holds a Bachelor’s in Building Construction from the University of Florida and a MA in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College.  Notable leadership positions include battalion command in the Republic of Korea (ROK), Joint Force Irregular Warfare training director, Chief of Current Operations for Army Forces Korea, and the Senior Readiness Advisor to the State of Tennessee.

Rickey is a retired Field Artillery officer with 28 years of service.  He commanded a brigade, represented the United States during international arms control negotiations, and served as a Department of Defense Coordinating Officer for disaster relief and homeland security following the 9-11 attack.  He also served in the Army’s Senior Executive Service where he routinely engaged with the Office of Secretary of Defense, Members of Congress and their staffs, the Joint Staff, and academic organizations.  In 2015, the National Commission on the Future of the Army selected him as Staff Director for their study presented to the President and Congress.

His awards include Meritorious Service Presidential Rank, Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, and Army Staff and Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badges.

Derek Frisby

PhD University of Alabama

Derek W. Frisby is a Faculty Coordinator in the Global Studies and Human Geography program at Middle Tennessee State University teaching Tennessee, US, and military history. He is Middle Tennessee native, MTSU alum, and a veteran of the US Marine Corps. Frisby received his doctoral degree from the University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa and has authored numerous articles and essays dealing with Tennessee’s Civil War occupation and Reconstruction experiences. Dr. Frisby was a 2003 military history fellow at the US Military Academy at West Point. He works with the Stones River National Battlefield Park to do interpretation and “staff rides” for various military and civic groups. Dr. Frisby has led groups to explore World War II battlefields in the Central Pacific, including Guam, Peleliu, and Iwo Jima and conducted military history tours of Western Europe, as well as, Sicily/Italy. He also leads battlefield tours in Vietnam.

Fred Johnson
Colonel U.S. Army (Retired)

Scott Quatro

PhD  Iowa State Uiversity

Dr. Scott Quatro is a PhD-level trained behavioral scientist and an expert in corporate strategy and leadership effectiveness.  Dr. Quatro has over 20 years of experience as full Professor and Department Chair at one of the Nation's leading liberal arts colleges, and as an in-demand consultant to executive leadership teams across multiple industries.  Current and past clients included Johnson and Johnson, Kemper, Grain Craft, Experts Exchange, SmartBank, Signal Energy, United Communications, Top Flight, and Southern Champion Tray.

Fred is a retired Infantry Colonel and Bronze Star for Valor recipient who served 29 years in the United States Army to include deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan and Bosnia.  Fred is the author of Five Wars: A Soldier’s Journey to Peace and Soft Skills in Hard Place: The Perryville Battlefield Leadership Experience. Fred is the founder of The Perryville Battlefield Leadership Experience, an interactive leadership workshop set on the historic site of Kentucky’s bloodiest Civil War battle.  He is the co-founder of Shakespeare with Veterans, a program that helps veterans tell their story through the words and plays of William Shakespeare.  Fred is from Centralia, Illinois, a graduate of Wofford College and has two Masters degrees.  

Leadership  is a Choice...Choose to Lead!

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