Mr. Venden owns and operates Criterion Tactical, LLC;  a successful Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business providing firearms instruction to LE agencies, civilians, and military organizations. His training venues include South Texas, NEShooters, Long Island NY, Sig Academy, Highlands Keep training facility in West Chester PA, to name a few.  Please visit www.criteriontactical.com or on Facebook as Criterion Tactical. 

Mr. Venden brings 30+ years of continuous federal service providing relevant and real-world experience from numerous Air/Ground/Sea operations, and extensive training environments. These capabilities are derived from; military professional education, combat deployments, scores of worldwide training events, inter-military CONUS and OCONUS joint training events, airborne, ground, and maritime insertion technical experience. Mr. Venden's weapons specialties and professional training are associated with numerous operational U.S. agencies working both military and federal law enforcement counter-terrorist activities.

Mr. Venden currently holds an active Top Secret with SCI clearance, and currently provides innovative pre-deployment and sustainment training to active duty professionals for worldwide operations. Staying engaged with the SOF and LE community, Mr. Venden ensures up to date mission operations requirements are adhered to in order to work successfully alongside users, getting firsthand input for future readiness requirements. Mr. Venden recently returned from Afghanistan performing duties on the Gen. McChrystal initiated Counter-Insurgency Adviser and Assistance Team (CAAT).  The team responsible for patrolling with, and advising ground commanders on counter-insurgency techniques and practices.  Information gained from the ground, is reported directly to then commander Gen. Allen (COMISAF) on "ground truth" issues concerning COIN best practices in support of COMISAF campaign planning.


Mr. Venden's specialties include
Operations and operations planning, weapons, tactical employment/deployment, operational technical surveillance (TSE), training program evaluation and development.

As a Special Operations member SGM Venden participated in many National Command Authority directed operations; the most famous being the first successful hostage rescue in recent history.  A short excerpt:


Operation Acid Gambit was a plan to retrieve Kurt Muse, an American civilian living in Panama and widely reported to be a CIA operative from the Carcel Modelo, a notorious prison in Panama City. Muse had been arrested in 1989 for setting up covert anti-Noriega radio transmissions in Panama.  Political considerations delayed the raid, conducted by 23 Delta Force operators and supported by the Night Stalkers, until the United States invaded Panama to arrest Noriega, in Operation Just Cause on December 20, 1989.


Delta operators were inserted onto the roof of the prison by MH-6 Little Bird helicopters. One operator was tasked to abseil down the side of the building, hang outside Muse's cell window, and eliminate the guard charged with killing Muse if a rescue was mounted. However, the guard was not there.  After breaching the roof-top door with breaching charges, the Delta operators raced down the two flights of stairs towards Muse's cell. A Delta operator eliminated the guard who was responsible for killing Muse in case of a rescue. SGM Venden opened Muse's cell door "energetically" and once the "Precious Cargo" (Muse) was secured, body-armour, a ballistic helmet and goggles was provided to Muse.  


Relocating back to the roof Delta operators called for extraction where they would be exfiltrated by MH-6 Little Birds back to the US base.  During extraction from the prison however, the Hughes MH-6 Little Bird helicopter transporting Muse crashed. Delta Force operators Pat Savidge, James Sudderth, and SGM Venden were wounded.  Everyone aboard the helicopter quickly took cover in a nearby building. The Delta operators managed to signal one of the gunships flying over the area with an infrared strobe light, and shortly thereafter an armored personnel carrier from the 5th Infantry Division extracted Muse and the retrieval team.  All Delta operators soon returned to duty, and Kurt Muse lives in the Fredericksburg VA area.