Senior Leadership

Gryphon Group sets the highest standards in the industry for our services and our personnel. We recruit only the best from the law enforcement, military special operations, intelligence, and executive protection communities.

Our standards are high and our emphasis on talent and integrity are unyielding. All Gryphon Cadre Members Undergo the most comprehensive selection and qualification program in the industry. Our Cadre has extensive documented experience providing specialized combat training to thousands of USSOCOM personnel from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines.

Founder / CEO / President / Master Instructor (Full Spectrum)
Michael K. Vaden

Michael K. Vaden is the Founder, CEO, President, & Managing Partner of Gryphon Group Security Solutions LLC, and has over 30 years of military special operations experience.  Since establishing Gryphon Group, he has trained over 36,000 American Warfighters & Federal Agents in specialized combat training.  

Mr. Vaden has been a leading innovator in the military training industry.  He has designed, developed, and implemented new types of combat training methods and programs that have saved lives in combat operations around the world.

Mr. Vaden served in the United States Marine Corps’ special operations team & intelligence units.  He also served with the United States Army Special Forces, and joint special mission units.   Mr. Vaden has worldwide combat & operational experience in the Middle East, Central Asia, Europe, the Balkans, Africa, Central & South America, and East Asia.  He has taught advanced combat training and unconventional warfare methods in both Armed Services.   Mr. Vaden taught at the U.S. Marines Corps Scout/Sniper School at Camp Lejeune and at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center (JFKSWC) at Fort Bragg.  He was a Senior Resistance Instructor at the U.S. Army’s Level C Survival, Evasion, Resistance, & Escape (SERE) School at Camp Mackall North Carolina.

Mr. Vaden has written on foreign policy and national security issues for Congress and senior-level policymakers.  He has a Masters Degree in U.S. Foreign Policy from the American University’s School of International Service.  For over five years, Mr. Vaden was a Program Associate with the Smithsonian Institution’s prestigious national security think-tank, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC.  There, he worked on non-traditional national security threats, nuclear weapon proliferation issues, and national intelligence policy.

Mr. Vaden is also the Founder & Owner of Vaden International Private Detective Agency based in Pinehurst, North Carolina.  He has over 25 years of experience as a private detective.  Vaden International’s capabilities include: Sensitive Investigations, High-Net Worth Individuals, Threat Investigations, Business Intelligence, Corporate Risk Investigations, Risk & Security Assessments, Protective Intelligence, & Executive Protection Services.

President / Master Instructor / Military Canine SME
Travis Bobo

Sergeant First Class Travis Bobo (U.S. Army Special, Retired) has over 16 years of active military service and has world-wide operational experience.  His career began as a Fire Direction Control Specialist for Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) and High Mobility Advanced Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and conducted multiple combat rotations in Afghanistan in support of the United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC).    In 2010, Mr. Bobo was selected to attend the Special Forces Qualification Course and graduated as a Special Forces Communications Sergeant in May of 2012 and assigned to 3rd Special Forces Group.  

He conducted 2 rotations to Afghanistan as a senior communications sergeant before volunteering to be assigned as Multi-Purpose Canine (MPC) Handler in late 2014.  During his time as an operational canine handler, Mr. Bobo deployed to multiple countries in Africa as well as ISO JSOC during Operation Inherent Resolve.   He has attended over 1,200 hours of formal training on training MPC canines in all areas of canine capability.   Mr. Bobo is a graduated of the Special Forces Qualification Course, SERE–High Risk, Military Freefall Parachutist Course, USASOC Jumpmaster Course, Special Forces Communications Course and is a graduate of the International Sports Science Association (ISSA) Personal Training Certification Course.

Senior Vice President
Pamela L. Lande

Pamela Lande is a Gryphon Group Senior Vice President and manages all administrative and logistical aspects of Gryphon’s global operations.  Ms. Lande is one of the original Gryphon Cadre members.  For over 18 years, she has been directly involved with the training of over 35,000 American Warfighters & Federal Agents in specialized combat training programs. Ms. Lande came to Gryphon with over 15 years of crisis management and customer service experience.

She is also responsible for coordinating and supporting our Mobile Training Teams worldwide.   In coordination with the rest of our staff, Ms. Lande maintains communication with our current and prospective clients to ensure that our client’s questions are being answered and their training needs are being met.  She is the principal liaison between Gryphon Group and military special operations units and federal agencies world-wide.   Ms. Lande was a Registered Private Investigator in the Commonwealth of Virginia as well as a Licensed Private Investigator in the State of Florida.

Executive Vice President / Master Instructor (Full Spectrum)
Frank McBee
Mr. McBee is the Executive Vice President of Gryphon Group and is responsible for all operations at Gryphon’s Fort Bragg Combat Training Center.  He has been a Gryphon Cadre Member for over 18 years.  Mr. McBee is the former Vice President of the Florida SWAT Association and served over ten years as the Training Coordinator of the Southeast United States for the International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors.  Since joining Gryphon Group, he has trained over 35,000 American Warfighters & Federal Agents in specialized combat training.  Mr. McBee has been a Law Enforcement professional for over 20 years, including 17 years as an Emergency Response Team member.  He is a graduate of the Southern Police Institute at the University of Louisville and has trained extensively in the areas of Mass Casualty Incidents and Management of Natural Disasters. 

Mr. McBee’s operational focus centers on Counter Drug Initiatives, Counter-Terrorism and Organized Crime, having served on the Regional Domestic Security Task Force for the State of Florida as well as numerous Federal Task Forces.  As a Firearms Instructor, he has traveled and trained extensively in the United States and Europe, training elite civilian and military units in firearms and small unit tactics.   Mr. McBee has served as an Adjunct Instructor for HK Inc., Olympic Arms and Offshoots Training Institute.  He specializes in Small Arm Tactics for Squad Deployment such as Hostage Rescue, Vehicle Assaults, Vessel Assaults, and Counter Force Initiatives.

Senior Advisor to the CEO / Special Weapons SME
Colonel Bogdan Gieniewski (U.S. Army Special Forces – Retired)
Mr. Gieniewski served over 30 years in the U.S. Army with 24 years as an Army Special Operations officer, retiring in 2010.  Mr. Gieniewski started his career as an infantry officer with 1st Bn 187th Inf Regiment in the Republic of Panama.  He then attended the Special Forces Qualification Course and was assigned to the 1st Bn, 10th Special Forces Group in Bad Toelz, Germany.   Mr. Gieniewski has extensive experience training soldiers as an instructor, John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, observer/controller Joint Readiness Training Center, G3 training chief and deputy G3 United States Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command and Deputy J7 United States Special Operations Command.  

At the request of the Commander USSOCOM, Mr. Gieniewski served as Liaison Officer to the Polish Special Operations Command in Krakow, Poland, and was instrumental in assisting with the stand up of their new Joint Command.  Mr. Gieniewski is currently an adjunct senior instructor with the Joint Special Operations University (JSOU), MacDill AFB Tampa Florida where he serves on JSOU’s world wide mobile education team, routinely conducting SOF/NATO courses for foreign SOF and conventional forces in Europe.  Mr. Gieniewski has extensive experience in Eastern Europe and speaks Polish fluently.  His expertise also includes an in-depth knowledge of foreign weapons, both light and heavy, and is a licensed manufacturer of Machine Guns, suppressors and Destructive Devices.  Mr. Gieniewski has appeared as a foreign weapons expert and advisor on the Smithsonian Channel, and has assisted in supporting various museum and living history events.  As a weapons expert, he has assisted Gryphon Group in acquiring and starting a Foreign Weapons Training Program. 

Director – Technical Surveillance Program
Brian Macy
Brian Macy is the Director of the Technical Surveillance Program within Gryphon’s Surveillance Operations Division.  Master Sergeant Brian Macy (U.S. Army Special Forces Retired) has over 26 years of active military service and has world-wide operational experience.   His career began 1994 as a Mechanized and Light Infantryman having served in the 2nd Armored Division Fort Hood TX, 2nd Infantry Division Camp Casey South Korea, and 101st Airborne Division Fort Campbell KY.  

In 1998, Mr. Macy was selected to attend the Special Forces Qualification Course and graduated as a Special Forces Weapons Sergeant in August of 2000 and assigned to 3rd Special Forces Group.  He conducted 3 combat rotations to Afghanistan as a senior weapons sergeant from 2002 thru 2004.  

Mr. Macy served as an S-2 Intelligence NCOIC and S-3 Operations Sergeant in the 1st Special Warfare Training Group from 2005 to 2008.    In early 2008, Mr. Macy returned to 3ed Special Forces Group and served as a Senior Weapons Sergeant before volunteering to stand up a new Technical Surveillance Detachment under the Group Special Activities Cell.  During his time as a Technical Surveillance Operations Sergeant, Mr. Macy deployed 4 times to Afghanistan where his Detachment conducted over 600 Technical Surveillance Operations for the CJSOTF-A.   Mr. Macy served his last 11 years as the Operations Sergeant of 3rd Special Forces Group’s Technical Surveillance Detachment having created a capability from the ground up and built a world-class multi-million-dollar training and fabrication facility.   

Mr. Macy’s Detachment not only supported all of 1st Special Forces Command (1st SFC) and the United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC), but was asked for support by Tier One elements, multiple National Intelligence Agencies, and National R&D Labs because of their operational experience and expertise.        Mr. Macy is a graduate of the Special Forces Qualification Course, SERE–High Risk, Special Forces Weapons Course, Merlin Technical Surveillance Course, Merlin Close Target Reconnaissance Course, Special Operations Technical Surveillance Basic and Advanced courses, and US Army Corps of Engineers Electronic Surveillance and Security Systems Design Course.  Mr. Macy received certification training in Computer Aided Design (CAD), Haas Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machining operations, Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing), and Welding Technology.  Other formal training includes: Advanced Electronics and Micro-Controllers, Binary Chemical Molding, Custom Textile Fabrication, Advanced Textile Fabrication, and Vehicle Modification and Custom Fabrication. 

Program Development SME / Master Instructor (Full-Spectrum)
Brandon Salazar
As an original Gryphon Cadre Member, Mr. Salazar has trained over 20,000 thousand of Army Special Forces Soldiers, Naval Special Warfare personnel, Air Force Special Tactics Operators and Special Operations Marines, as well as Federal Agents.  He is the Senior Advisor to the CEO for Program Development.  Mr. Salazar is involved in all aspects of Gryphon’s Operational Programs.  He served in the United States Marine Corps as an Amphibious Reconnaissance Marine and has extensive special operations experience in Central America, South America, West Africa, and South Africa.  Mr. Salazar has conducted numerous personal protection operations for COMMARFORSOUTH as well as dignitaries in high threat areas of Latin America and the Middle East.  Some of his other duties while at 2nd Marine Reconnaissance Battalion included being a platoon marksmanship instructor for NATO small arms. 

Mr. Salazar is also licensed to operate most Soviet-bloc military vehicles ranging from tanks to troop carriers.  He has been a martial arts instructor for over 20 years.   Mr. Salazar was a Registered Private Investigator in the Commonwealth of Virginia as well as a Licensed Private Investigator in the State of Florida.  He is a NRA Certified Pistol Instructor, Certified Rifle Instructor, Certified Shotgun Instructor, Certified Home Defense Instructor, and Certified Range Safety Officer.

Special Projects
John Hoover
John Hoover has over 21 years of military experience and served with the United States Army Rangers, as well as a member of the United States Army Special Forces.  During Mr. Hoover’s military career, he was a distinguished member of the United States Army Parachute Team – The Golden Knights.  As a Competitive-Skydiver, he conducted over 12,000 jumps, winning two World Championships, setting five World Records and is a five-time National Champion in Formation Skydiving.  In 1989 as a Ranger, Mr. Hoover participated in the invasion of Panama during Operation Just Cause.  He was a Ranger Indoctrination Program Instructor for the 75th Ranger Regiment.  In the 1990s, as a Special Forces Weapons Sergeant (18B), Mr. Hoover conducted missions in Africa and drug interdiction operations in North America. 

During Operation Enduring Freedom with the U.S. Army 3rd Special Forces Group, he served two combat tours in Southern Afghanistan working closely with Afghan Forces against the Taliban insurgency. 

Senior Advisor to the CEO
C.W. Ogburn
Mr. Ogburn served with the Central Intelligence Agency and with the United States Marine Corps.  He has over 24 years of field experience in Intelligence Operations directed at counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics.  Mr. Ogburn has over 16 years of overseas experience training foreign military, police and civilian agencies.  He specializes in Threat Assessment, Investigations, Organizational Structure and Media Relations.  Mr. Ogburn has broad and deep experience providing specialized and technical training in Operational Security.   He presently provides Latin American Area Analysis and Security Studies with a primary focus of Program Development and Implementation with direct managerial duties and responsibilities.  Mr. Ogburn has provided consulting services in the field of crisis management to private agencies, individuals and firms nationwide as well as internationally.

Senior Instructor (Full Spectrum)
Richard Ramsey
Richard Ramsey served 11 years in the United States Army.  Mr. Ramsey was a Technician and Senior Technician for a twelve-man Tactical Nuclear Weapons Fire Team.  As Senior Technician, he was responsible for the Transportation, Security and Detonation of Tactical Nuclear weapons.   Mr. Ramsey also tested new conventional explosives for practicality of use by the United States Army.   In addition, he served as a Military Police Officer and served as a Squad Leader, a Patrol Supervisor, and as Point Man on the Special Reaction Team for the 2nd Infantry Division in Camp Casey, Korea.    While assigned to Ft. Hood, Mr. Ramsey deployed with the military police to Panama in support of Operation Promote Liberty.   

He was also assigned to the 89th Military Police Brigade III Corps and Ft. Hood’s Special Reaction Team.  Some of Mr. Ramsey’s duties included Entry Team Leader, Sniper, Hostage Negotiator, Traffic Enforcement Section Assistant NCOIC, Special Reaction Team NCOIC and Lead Instructor for Ft. Hood’s Military Police Academy.  As a Special Reaction Team NCOIC, his duties included the personal security of all visiting dignitaries and VIP’s.

Senior Instructor (Full Spectrum)
David Blalock
Mr. Blalock is a Full Spectrum Instructor at Gryphon Group and has over 22 years of law enforcement experience.  He conducted hundreds of investigations which included surveillance operations, conducting interviews and interrogations with witnesses and suspects, investigations of homicides, violent assaults, domestic-violence, drug trafficking, & burglaries.  Mr. Blalock served as a member of the several Special Weapons & Tactics Teams which conducted law enforcement special operations in high threat circumstances.  

He received Police Canine Certification and worked with K-9s as part of a multi-agency drug interdiction team.  Mr. Blalock was a Lieutenant and Supervised a shift of Patrol Officers in County-wide operations.  Prior to his law enforcement career, Mr. Blalock was a Private Investigator in the State of North Carolina and conducted dozens of surveillance missions in support of various investigations.  He also worked as an Executive Protection Specialist.  Since joining Gryphon Group, Mr. Blalock has helped to train thousands of Special Operators & American Warfighters from the Army, Navy, Air Force, & Marine Corps as well as Federal Agents in specialized combat training.  

Instructor & Chief Mechanic
Brandon Oxendine
Mr. Oxendine is the Chief Mechanic at Gryphon Group and is a lead Instructor on several of our “specialized training programs”.   He has taught over one thousand American War-fighters in Vehicle Sabotage, Vehicle Commandeering, Field Expedient Vehicle Repairs, and many other Irregular Warfare topics.  Mr. Oxendine has over 12 years of experience as a mechanic and fabricator. 

He worked for a railroad line as a diesel mechanic on locomotives rebuilding engines, generators, and traction motors.  Mr. Oxendine was a lead welder and fabricator in the railroad diesel shop and did complete repowers which consists of removing factory engines and replacing them with up to date more efficient Detroit 60 series engines and also new style generators.  He is a JLG certified mechanic and qualified heavy equipment mechanic.  Mr. Oxendine has broad experience in all aspects of military vehicle operations to include foreign right-hand drive vehicles and special tactical vehicles.  He is a certified firefighter and a certified ambulance driver.