A Target Named Izzy

The “Izzy” Diplomatic Security Qualification (DS-Q) target is currently in active usage by a number of U.S. Government Law Enforcement entities but is primarily used by the U.S. State Department Diplomatic Security Service (shortened to DS for Diplomatic Security). In an extension of the DS role, there are a number of security contractors that supplement DS agents overseas and must qualify on firearms in use by Diplomatic Security services such as the M4 platform, Glock 19, Remington 870, and the AKM rifle. For these qualifications, the “Izzy” target is used extensively. The target depicts a man in a striped shirt with jeans on, holding an AKM, with a huge handlebar mustache looking very tired. Within the target are barely visible dotted lines that categorize the profile into point zones. Center mass is 5, while 4 is around the shoulders, head and crouch, and then 3 is the outer line of the entire profile. There are two versions of the target, one that comes in a paper form and another that comes in a cardboard cutout version wherein you can have just a silhouette stapled to a stick, stuck in the ground.

The interesting point about Izzy is the targets origins. The shape of the man and his face in the target is based upon an actual person, whose nickname was actually “Izzy”. In the early 1990s, Izzy was a firearms instructor teaching DS agents and his colleagues created a target of him as a joke, as a sort of friendly jostling between each other. They probably went shooting in their spare time, shooting at this depiction of Izzy. However, the joke stuck, and somehow DS authorities caught wind of the target and liked it enough to make it a standard qualification target for the entire service. When I first heard this story I wanted to confirm it. Upon reaching out to a friend in government service with ties to Diplomatic Security, it was indeed confirmed, having happened around 18 years ago, and after the publishing of this post have received multiple confirmations since. Izzy the actual guy is certainly retired as he was old when the target was created for him.

If you are an avid Youtube watcher, my guess is that you’ve most likely seen Izzy before and just not noticed it. This video of Black Water/Academi holding a force demonstration in Iraq clearly shows Izzy targets being used in the background, and has been shared throughout the internet.

One of our readers was kind enough to send this Youtube video clip in, which I can’t decide if it’s hilarious or disturbing….

Do you know Izzy?

If any of our readers have ties to the Diplomatic Security Service, we’d love to see if we could get in touch with the actual person, and be able to interview them about this entire process!


Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at miles@tfb.tv


  • Zundfolge

    SJWs to complain that Izzy looks too Arab or Latino in 3…2…1…

    • TheNotoriousIUD

      Doesnt look Russian enough.

      • Dougscamo

        The one without the weapon looks like a gypsy mime…with a ukulele….

      • Gary Kirk

        We’re allowed to be racist against them.. That’s no fun

        • TheNotoriousIUD

          “Russian” is a race..?
          I thought it was just a screwed up country that cant even make a decent microwave…?

          • valorius

            I think he meant gypsy.

          • Gary Kirk

            It is if you listen to all the morons spouting out their mouths like the south park episode of eating with their ass..

          • Sermon 7.62

            “Russians” is a nation, just like the Americans. It is in a better condition than the US, albeit it doesn’t make decent microwaves 🙂


          • TheNotoriousIUD

            “It is in a better condition than the US..”

            Sure it is, thats why so many people flock to Russia every day for the great economy, universities and plentiful tech jobs. lol
            You guys lost the Cold War for a reason, because you suck.

          • Sermon 7.62

            Yes, in fact there is a number of good places for studies in Russia. According to the “QS University Rankings: EECA 2016” there are 64 Russian universities that are featured in the list of the 200 best.

            Russia has spend $6.5 bill. for upgrading facilities and technical equipment in the recent time. And it doesn’t cost a fortune to get higher education in Russia

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Sure, you tell yourself that.

            Meanwhile this weekend ill be out on the ranch riding dirt bikes, shooting machine guns and drinking beer because Texas rules/suck it commie.

          • Sermon 7.62

            Yes, I heard in Russia some people like doing that, too 🙂

            Your information is outdated, man. There are night clubs, shooting ranges, sport cars, etc. Just less people who can spend enough on these things

          • CavScout

            Brought to us via Sermon 7.62 of the Russian equiv of the Dept of Commerce. Thanks!

          • Nathan Alred

            Right. And “EEAC”? That stands for “Emerging Europe and Central Asia”. The fact that Russia only had 64 in the top 200 speaks more to the pitiful condition of Russia than anything else.

          • Sermon 7.62

            “Lomonosov Moscow State University is consistently the highest ranked Russian university in both the BRICS ranking and the QS World University Rankings®, placing 7th in BRICS and 108th in the world.”

            Perhaps it’s not as good as Harvard but it doesn’t cost a fortune to get a degree 🙂

            “Featured 24 times out of a possible 42 in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016, Lomonosov Moscow State University achieves top 50 positions for linguistics, mathematics, and physics and astronomy, plus several more subjects in the top 100.”

          • Oregon213

            but… its in Russia

    • Brick

      He also could be a modern-day hipster douchebag

    • Bill

      It’s been done. A lot more agencies use the TranStar II target, in blue or green, so only smurfs and leprechauns get offended.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Looks like Freddy Mercury and Cliff Claven had a kid.

  • Michael Gallagher

    ‘ with a huge handlebar mustache’

    Uh, no. That is not a handlebar mustache, more like a ‘chevron’ of the type worn in the 70s and 80s (think Thomas Magnum).

    Handlebar mustaches need the tips waxed and curled up………….well like a handlebar.

    That ain’t one.

    Look it up……………………

    • Ryan L

      Looks like a run of the mill push broom style to me.

    • DaveGinOly

      And he doesn’t look “tired.” He looks disinterested in whatever he’s involved with, or unimpressed with the proceedings.

  • Brett baker

    Can’t decide if he looks to much like an Israeli settler or Palestinian terrorist to decide who should be offended.

  • Patriot Gunner

    Where is yeager running in the opposite direction?

  • Vhyrus

    There once was a target named Izzy
    Whose mustache was large and quite frizzy.
    He holds an AK
    And looks a bit gay
    And puts DSS agents in a tizzy.

  • Gary Kirk

    Skinny Cliff Curtis from training day??

    Or police sketch of a wrangler jeans model..

  • USMC03Vet

    DSS are good people. They volunteered to help us Marines when the bullets were flying.

  • QuadGMoto

    Center mass is 5, while 4 is around the shoulders, head and crouch…

    Does that zone disappear when the target stands up? 🤔 😉😄

    • roguetechie

      He’s also got a dyke the size of Holland…

  • FedJohn

    Where can I get the T shirt? That is the real question!

  • Valentine

    Where can I find that tshirt with Izzy on it??!!

  • Nathan Alred

    One of Erdogan’s security detail?

  • Blue Centurion

    That is not a handlebar Mustache Gents!

  • Knuckledragger

    Somebody made a cardboard stand up from a picture of me for a wedding I was unable to attend. After seeing the things that happened to the surrogate me, I wish it had just been a range target.

  • disqus_1IXWD6GbBr

    That guy in the first photo would get my right elbow squarely in the nose and a firm request not to YELL IN MY EAR AS IF HE WERE MY USMC DRILL INSTRUCTOR, BECAUSE HE IS NOT!

    • dlh0


  • JS

    Never heard of this… I’ll have to talk to my buddy that is a trainer (GS, not contractor) for DS. Whenever we go shooting on the weekend and he brings targets they’re the normal old silhouettes every other Fed agency uses.

  • CavScout

    It doesn’t look ‘disturbing’ you SJW.