Veteran Spotlight -- Randy McElwee

This month for our spotlight, we would like to recognize Randy McElwee.  Not only did he serve his country via his military service, he is still giving back to his community by offering training in various ways. 

"I joined the Army in Nov 1983 and served in the United States Army for 23 years. I spent the majority of my military experience in service with 3rd Ranger Batallion and with 5TH Special Forces Group.

As a young man from a small West Virginia town I joined the Army because I wanted to challenge myself and see the world. It turned out to be a life changing experience and a decision I've never regretted. 

I retired in 2005 after serving my last assignment at the University of Georgia Military Science Dept. Since retiring I am the owner / director of American Black Belt Academy in Athens and serve as the Director of the Special Operations Combative Arts Association."

Randy has almost twenty years Special Operations experience. Awarded the Legion of Merit for service that included action as the senior NCO responsible for the planning, direction, and execution of a Joint Chief of Staff directed special category classified project. He has been training and teaching Martial Arts for 17 years. His unique instructional experience includes; appearing as a featured author in Black Belt Magazine and featured Instructor in the Special Operations Combatives Instructional Video / DVD Series.

Randy is also the creator of SAFE, a women's self defense class that teaches women to Resist, Escape and Defend.  He first thought of designing a course for women's self defense when he was teaching self-defense based martial arts at the University of Georgia. One of his female students told him that a technique she learned in class saved her from assault, and he was inspired to pass on his vast knowledge of self defense to more women.

Randy McElwee


American Black Belt Academy

(706) 549-1671