About Us

Welcome to A+R Tactics 

Our mission at A+R TACTICS is to bring all of our professional experience to bear in providing our community members the right courses, the right facility, and especially the right opportunity to train, in a reality-based environment, so that they can develop critical lifesaving skills to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.


Rivers, Nicole, Joe


Altonio Rivers, Owner, Director of Operations, Lead Instructor

After serving in the United States Marine Corps for 4 years and receiving an Honorable Discharge, Altonio joined the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD).  As a Police Officer, he had multiple roles including Investigator within the Street Crimes Unit, Detective within the Violent Crimes Task Force, the Gang Unit, and a member of CMPD Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team for 13 years.  In addition, he was a detective on the Human Trafficking Taskforce with the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) focusing on sex and labor trafficking crimes.  His career with CMPD span over 18 years.  Altonio is also an NRA and USCCA Certified Firearms Instructor, NRA Range Safety Officer, and Simunitions and Force on Force Certified Instructor.

Nicole Thurman, Co-Owner, Lead Instructor

Nicole loves working in the community and connecting individuals with information and training opportunities that can increase their safety and health. She is a Krav Maga black belt with experience in teaching Krav Maga, Self Defense, Combatives, and has competed as an amateur.  She instructs Active Shooter Hostile Event Training, and Firearms, is an RN, has authored and taught Civilian Trauma Response Training curriculum extensively, and .  Nicole is is also an NRA and USCCA Certified Firearms Instructor, Simunitions Certified Instructor, NRA Range Safety Officer, Red Cross Certified Instructor, and TECC Trained.  Nicole loves training firearms, Krav Maga, BJJ, Grappling, and combatives.

Joe Graham, Director of Training, Lead Instructor

Joe Graham has over 14 years of law enforcement experience with 12 of those years assigned to a SWAT team. He has real-world experiences along with countless hours of weapons training, CQB training, and holds various certifications such as advanced SWAT, vehicle carbine operations, LEO sniper, active shooter training instructor for LEO, surviving an active shooting instructor certification for civilians, and North Carolina general instructor certification, NRA pistol instructor. Joe Graham started his career with Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office SRT and later moved to the Charlotte area where he retired as assistant team leader for North Mecklenburg SWAT. Joe Graham serves at his local church as head of the security team, where he has developed his Active Shooter Response for Places of Worship Program.  In addition, Joe is a Glock and AR-15 Armorer.