Vicinity of Cour D’Alene, ID
4-Day Small-Unit Security Patrolling Class
(See “Training Opportunities” tab above for course description)
Cost for this class is $500/shooter. Deposits of $300 are due no later than 21APR2014, with the remaining balance payable upon arrival at the training location.
“The question is in regard to your opinion on the technique of “defanging the snake” as related to two armed combatants (edged or blunt weapons). I’ve read on a couple of occasions you look…well…less than favorably on the method. And to compare apples to apples, I didn’t know if you are referring to an unarmed man trying to disarm an armed man, an armed man disarming an armed man, or both. My question is aimed at the latter.
Anyway, I get the impression that you have a fair amount of experience in combatives from what you write….If I am training for the rare case when I would employ a club or a knife and not my firearm, I tend to want to smack or cut the shit out of my training partner’s weapon bearing arm/hand, and then fly in for the dispatch. First learned longest remembered, I suppose.
So, all that being the case: You are in an altercation, you could not create significant space, you did not have your personal protection firearm available, you are able to grab a club/knife as an attacker is closing with a knife or club: Would you not try and destroy the weapon-bearing hand/arm before moving in to neutralize him? If not, why?”
Good questions, and there are probably no simple answers, but I will try to answer, based on my experience and observations.
First, my combatives background, so you have a frame-of-reference.
I started doing judo at the age of 8, at the insistence of my former OSS agent paternal grandfather. In high school, I also boxed, albeit not particularly well (I was certainly never good enough to compete effectively).
After enlisting in the Army, I had the normal mid-1990s nonsense combatives training everyone got who went through infantry OSUT at Sand Hill, Ft Benning, before getting to the Ranger Regiment. At the Regiment, while combatives training would happen occasionally, most of our “training” in the subject was barracks wrestling matches, and the occasional bar fight that we had to break contact and exfil quickly from, because getting arrested for a bar fight in that day and age was a quick ticket to Korea or worse places (like, say, Ft Bragg and the Eighty-Douche).
In 1995, of course, Stan McChrystal set Matt Larsen on the path that would become Ranger Jujitsu and then the Modern Army Combatives Program. Some of us went along for the ride.
After ETS from the Army, I went about doing my own thing in various arenas, but have been watching (rather closely), the work of guys like Craig, Paul Sharp, Cecil, and the rest of that crew since before TPI even existed. Partly because what they were doing was so cutting edge, and partly because what they were developing was exactly what I had witnessed myself in contact-distance fights since my youth, both out of and in the military (including combatives encounters in combat).
All that nonsense aside, my opinion on “gunting,” whether you’re using a knife, stick, or unarmed remains the same. Here’s the reasoning behind it….
I’m a historian by education (MA in history), as well as profession (a soldier that doesn’t study history is not very professional, in my opinion). When we look at historical texts AND (more importantly) archeological records, we see that cutting wounds to limbs (as opposed to dismemberment from chopping weapons like axes and swords), are almost never fatal, and certainly not often enough that I want to put ANY reliance on them when my life is on the line. Analysis of buried remains in various battle sites, across Europe and the Americas consistently reveal skeletal remains that show evidence of multiple serious wounds (to the point of bone damage, obviously, since the evidence has been found on skeletal remains) from chopping and slashing weapons that were healed prior to the ultimate demise of the individuals.
When we start looking at things going back prior to the 19th century (really, probably the MOST backward time in medical history, with the possible exception of medieval Europe), a LOT of warriors survived wounds to the arms and legs that were severe enough to cause serious damage to the bones of those limbs.
Vegetius, points out that even in the Legions, they knew that cutting and slashing attacks were far from effective, and even “laughed at those who used such attacks with primacy” (I don’t remember which translation that particular quote is from, and I’m too lazy to go look through my notebooks to find it. Sorry.). According to the Romans (as well as numerous other scholars of the sword, and my own grandfather and father, despite the fact I doubt either of them ever received a minute of training with the sword), “point beats edge.” (Which is not to say that the Romans never used slashing attacks…Like anyone, I imagine that, in the heat of a close-quarter fight, even the best-trained legionnaires were prone to resort to primal hack-and-slash attacks at times.)
That’s why the rapier was the pinnacle of sword development in Rennaissance Europe.
The only reason sabres survived for cavalry is, in my studied opinion, because stabbing someone with your sword, as your horse is charging past him, is a good way to see yourself disarmed by gravity and the weight of his falling body.
So, how does this tie into the “gunting”/defanging the snake question? If I’ve got a knife and the other dude has a knife, 1) I’m a fucking dumbass for letting myself get embroiled in a fight with symmetric weapons. 2) I can slash at his arm, or stab him in the throat or balls, or slash his arm, THEN stab him in the throat or balls. Really, if I’m fast and strong, the biggest risk I run by simply parrying/blocking, or tying up his knife arm with my free hand, then stabbing him in the throat or dick, is that I MIGHT get a serious cut to my free arm….which we know is eminently survivable, even under primitive conditions. I’ve been cut more than once, and none of them were even enough to warrant a moment of panic, let alone fear of death.
On the other hand, if I dick around trying to cut his arm up, in an effort to disarm him, I’m taking up time that allows his buddies to join the fray. I’d rather catch a serious cut to the arm, stab him in the dick, then run like a raped ape to find a better weapon.
The more important factor of course is, why am I using my knife to fight a guy who is also armed with a knife? What POSSIBLE situation is going to allow that to occur? If he has the knife out, and I’m taking the time to draw mine, he’s probably already giving me the Singer sewing machine treatment with his. If I’ve got my knife out, and he’s going for his, I ought to already be giving him the Singer treatment. Of course, shit COULD theoretically happen that could put me in that shitty situation. I just don’t recall ever hearing of it happening, outside of bad movies and novels. I KNOW I’ve never seen it happen. In a weapons-based environment, when it comes to combatives encounters, I’ve NEVER witnessed or experienced a situation that involved symmetric weapons.
Finally, as I am very prone to point out when people start discussing the currently popular practice of trying to recreate medieval fighting manuals, all too often, the recreationists, when they video what they are doing, look like they are more concerned with not getting hit than they are with hurting the enemy. While that’s sensible, to a degree, there’s a very serious, very important distinction between not WANTING to get cut, and being AFRAID of getting cut.
Speed, surprise, violence of action. Don’t worry about “defanging the snake.” Worry about beheading the monster. Cleaving his head from his shoulders will do you a lot more good at preventing lasting damage to yourself than trying to slice up his arm.
It’s no secret that I’m a very vocal advocate for getting off your ass, getting outside, and conducting patrolling training. Too often, preppers, survivalists, and III%ers are too busy sitting on their asses reading blogs (yes, like this one), and pontificating about how bad-ass they’re going to be when the shit hits the fan.
It is far easier to discuss whether you should purchase that new rifle, scope, or cool new piece of load-bearing equipment than it is to actually get up and put them to use. It’s easier to sit on the range and shoot at silhouettes a known distance away from your bench. It’s easier to talk about—and even perform—vehicle down drills, or CQB, than it is to actually go outside, ruck the fuck up, and start walking, let alone while pulling security and looking to see the bad guys before the bad guys shove a 16” rifle barrel up your ass.
As is often pointed out however, most people in America (according to the feds, it’s around the 80% mark, actually) live in urban areas. Why the fuck should they bother learning foot-mobile, dismounted patrolling operations? That shit is like…well…like work! Why, if 80% of people live in urban or suburban areas, should you bother with learning traditional, light infantry, rural patrolling skills for application in a grid-down environment? For me, it’s easy. I live in a sparsely populated are of mountains and forests, on the edge of the largest wilderness areas in the Lower 48. We have a much higher population density of elk, bears, and wolves than we do people. Disappearing into the wilderness is not only possible in this operational environment for long periods of time—or indefinitely—it actually happens with some regularity (admittedly, not usually on purpose, and almost always with poor results).
For the rest of American though, what is the point?
There are numerous reasons that patrolling is extremely relevant to you, in the event of a grid-down or WROL scenario event, even if you live in the midst of the largest post-modern megalopolis.
Proper, effective, light infantry patrolling training, focused on the five fundamentals of patrolling (“Puerto Ricans Suck Cock Constantly” or “Pretty Redheads Suck Cock Constantly,” or if you are really PC, “Pretty Redheads Suck Candy Constantly”), battle drills and common tasks, requires a development of proficiency in most of the basic and advanced individual and collective tasks that are necessary for military or paramilitary combat operations in any environment. These range from land navigation and tactical movement skills (“Stealth is Security.”), to combat weaponscraft, battle drill execution, individual and buddy team fire-and-movement, and troop-leading procedures.
The fundamental principles and concepts that will allow a small force to conduct effective combat operations in a rural environment are the same principles and concepts that will allow a small force to conduct effective combat operations in an urban environment. As one of the cadre stated at the West Virginia class last summer, “If you can do this stuff in the woods, you can do this stuff anywhere. If you can’t do this stuff in the woods, you can’t do this stuff anywhere.”
Patrolling, as a means of projecting force outwards, is the defining factor of security in WROL scenarios. The ability to locate, interdict, and/or destroy hostile forces, before they land on your front porch, is the surest way to protect your family, your home, and your community.
Whether you foresee the need to “bug out,” a future need to resist the tyrannical regime, or simply want to be able to defend a survival retreat location or community following a socio-economic collapse in the civic order, patrolling is THE basic tactical security skill set necessary for ensuring your survival and success.
If you are a member of a survival/prepper group, you have an obligation to train your people in patrolling skills. In addition to the fundamental grasp of critical real-world skills that is developed through realistic, effective patrolling training, organizational cohesion and group loyalty will be developed amongst group members during the arduous physical and mental work that is required by patrolling training exercises.
Whether your grid-down plans involve remaining in place or “bugging in,” or they involve a plan to “bug out” to a distant, or not-so-distant retreat location, you will—at some point—be moving on foot or in a vehicle, in an unsecured area, potentially occupied by hostile groups and individuals. The skills involved in traditional, light-infantry patrolling will go further towards insuring your survival in either scenario, than all the cool-guy, chicks-dig-it, CQB and room-clearing courses you will ever take.
Well executed light-infantry type patrolling allows you to see the enemy before he sees you, facilitating your ability to avoid contact, or in the event that contact is unavoidable, to react to that contact in a practiced, professional manner that provides you the greatest chance of success.
While we’d all like to believe that we are smarter, kinder, gentler, and better looking than our ancestors (true in my case, on all accounts, of course!), the fact is, there is absolutely ZERO evidence, archaeologically, or anthropologically, to believe that in the absence of a fear of government intervention, people will not revert to the violence of tribal culture, out of sheer survival instinct. We can talk about how our ancestors used concepts like wergild to reduce intra-tribal and intra-cultural violence, but that doesn’t mean dick-all when we start looking at cross-cultural violence between peoples.
If your plan is to simply hole up in your house and shoot all comers, you’re dumber than I look (and THAT means you are completely FUCKING STUPID!!!). History (and archeology) clearly demonstrate that people who try to hide in their bunkers and not be proactive in their defense, die, along with their families (suggested….no…REQUIRED reading: War Before Civilization by Lawrence Keeley. Seriously, I just bought a new copy after reading it about fifteen years ago. If you are a “prepper” and have not read this, your concept of post-grid down security is inherently flawed).
Get out, get training, and start practicing patrolling.
“But John, I’m too old/unfit/crippled, to patrol!” If this fits you, I have two suggestions:
1) Suck it up buttercup. Seriously. Just harden the fuck up. If you use excuses now, so you don’t have to train, you’re going to try and use excuses post-event to avoid doing what needs to be done. That means you’re going to die. Period. Full-stop. End-of-fucking-story. If that hurts your feelings, tough shit. Life’s a bitch, and then you die….oh, and gravity sucks in the meantime. I’m damned near forty, have had both knees blown out, both rotator cuffs torn, broken my back twice, my right ankle STILL cracks every time I take a step, and I’ve had more concussions than I could remember, even if I cared to. Quit being a pussy, already.
2) You better start being a lot more friendly with your local, young, combat veterans who are willing—and able—to do that patrolling for you. Personally, I value the contributions that my elders can provide in terms of knowledge, wisdom, and often even babysitting. Not everyone feels that way though, and if you’re not offering something they value in exchange, why should they feel like they are automatically compelled to protect your interests with their lives?
“Oh John, you just want people to come to your patrolling classes!”
Actually, no. I’d much rather simply sit at home and play Joe the Plumber with HH6. In fact, rather than come to my class, I’d say seek out some youngish, aggressive, 11B or 0311 with a tour or three in Afghanistan (not having been in Iraq, I can’t say for certain, but by all accounts, it was NOT a foot-mobile war), doing traditional, light-infantry patrolling operations, and convince him, through whatever it takes to convince him, to teach you everything he knows. Really, any 11B/0311 E-4 or above SHOULD be able to teach you the fundamentals of patrolling that you need to know. From there, study the old FM’s on the subject and read everything you can get your hands on regarding GW, UW, from both a modern perspective and an anthropological/historical perspective, and make the modifications you need to make.
Whatever you do though….quit talking about how you’re going to start doing training “when you get in better shape.” Just start getting in shape NOW, and do the patrolling training at the same time.
We just returned from the success that was the inaugural 4-day patrolling class. The extended format allowed for a much greater depth of coverage on some material, while allowing for more material to be covered as well. Future patrolling classes, with the exception of specifically requested 3-day private class requests, will be 4-day classes.
Having cut wood today, after arriving home (there was a private class in between) yesterday, I will be back to work on the final book revisions (should still be out in hard cover this month–this is me knocking on wood) and articles this week. In the meantime, HH6 is nagging the shit out of me to update the class schedule. So between the Upcoming Classes page above, and this, I can breathe easier for a few minutes.
Boise, ID (vicinity of)
Tactical Combat Casualty Care
This is a two-day course on the care-under-fire and tactical-field-care phases of TC3 for the individual warfighter. This course includes graphic visual and physical training aids, and intensive hands-on practice of critical individual skills.
Equipment requirements include fighting load and weapon, including a IFAK/BOK kit.
This course, as mentioned, covers the Care-Under-Fire phase as well as the Tactical Field Care phase of care, with some work on the Casualty Evacuation Phase, as it applies to the irregular, UW force, without the benefits of CASEVAC aircraft and Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) units.
This course will serve to dispel some common misconceptions about tactical emergency medical aid, as well as teaching some field expedient alternatives to the doctrinal approach.
Price for this class is $300. Deposits of $150 are due no later than 15APR, with the remaining balance due by 15MAY.
Salem, OR (vicinity of)
Clandestine Carry Pistol
(This class will NOT be accepted for CCW requirements for any state. It will however do a far better job of preparing you to use your pistol in a combative, anti-personnel role than those courses will.)
This is a three-day course focused on the concealed carry applications of the sidearm for personal defense and unconventional warfare applications in non-permissive environments. It’s focus is on the combative application of firearms when a rifle is unsuitable or unavailable.
($500/shooter. Deposits of $300 are due no later than 15APR14, with the remaining balance due no later than 15MAY14)
(Students should arrive with a minimum of 500 rounds of center fire ammunition for their weapon, although a .22lr conversion or sidearm is acceptable for this course as well. In accordance with current state and/or federal law, legally-possessed suppressors are acceptable, and even encouraged, in this course)
-a functional and practical handgun in semiautomatic, box magazine-fed design or revolver is acceptable. For magazine-fed pistols, a minimum of 5 spare magazines are necessary.
-note pad and pen or pencil.
-holster suitable for concealed carry of of the weapon with at least one spare magazine pouch.
-for belt-mounted holsters, a stout belt, designed for the use of a holstered firearm is required.
-clothing suitable to strenuous activity in the local environment.
-rain gear/cold weather gear as required by seasonal climactic conditions.
-hearing and eye protection are required.
-hydration (Camelback-type system, canteens, or water bottles)
-sports mouth guard
-protective cup/jock strap for men
-an open mind, especially if you’ve previously received a great deal of traditional, competition-based marksmanship training.
After Action Report for John Mosby’s Four Day Small Unit Patrolling Class
Vicinity of Prescott, Az. February 21-24th, 2014.
Stated purpose and goals of this AAR: My goals for this review is to make it short enough that people will read it, yet detailed enough to do the class material justice. I want to give a glimpse into what I learned, as well as encourage others to attend courses taught by John Mosby. This was a phenomenal class and I highly recommend others to take any possible chance they have to attend courses in the future. I will cover the broad aspects of the class, and interject my personal lessons learned.
Class Overview: This is a four day, rifle and patrolling class, designed to give the student the basics of rifle manipulation, considerations for patrolling including formations, individual and collective movements, battle drills, land navigation, patrol planning and much more. In a sentence- this class gets you going on how to perform a patrol, and helps you move along in the development of the skills necessary to do such a task.
Some Background: There were 11 students, from California, Arizona, New Mexico, and myself from Texas. Some were previous patrolling class graduates, and some were very fresh to using their rifles. I was the youngest in the class by a good margin. I would estimate the average age of the class to be early forties. The weather ranged from sunny and upper 60’s during the day, to dipping down to 20 degrees F in the early mornings. The training location was well suited for the class, and had enough vegetation, terrain features and open meadow to do what we needed to. The instructors were John Mosby (who was, by the way, the best rifle/tactical instructor I’ve ever had), with Jason as assistant instructor. Both men were easy to pick out due to their huge red Viking beards.
Day One Class Material:
Day one started off at a brisk pace, covering weapons safety rules, basic marksmanship skills including trigger control, shooting positions, natural point of aim, natural respiratory pause, trigger reset, rifle and optic options, and caliber selection. We did several iterations of dry practice in various positions, practicing NPOA body adjustment, speed reloads, reloads with retention, etc. This was an excellent opportunity to see how our gear was working for us. Our gear problems or solutions became even more important when we did a shooting drill that combined 5 burpees and reloads. After doing our awkward gear challenged burpees, we got into prone, squatting or kneeling to shoot a reduced size IDPA steel target at about 100 yards twice, perform a speed reload, and put two more in. I personally discovered that I was not able to do burpees with a battle belt with the same proficiency as I can without gear on… and thus need to work on my mobility (Kelly Starrett, anyone?), and do more PT in my actual fighting load-out.
My most notable lessons learned from this part of the class for me was concentrating on pulling the rifle into my shoulder primarily with my off-hand, which made a big difference in my ability to control the rifle. One particularly good analogy about caliber selection was the ice pick: “If you think X caliber is too small, let me stab you in the heart with this ice pick”… (Illustrating that shot placement is more important than caliber in almost every circumstance).
After our class portion centered on rifle skills we moved on to patrolling formations (including practicing diamond and wedge formations around obstacles, communicating with hand and arm signals), awareness and observation techniques, camouflage concepts (including visual, auditory, olfactory, and the implications of shiny new nylon, round operator hats, shiny tacticool sunglasses, and noisy food wrappers), communications (including hand signals, radios, etc.), and then individual movement techniques (including low and medium crawling, the importance of getting low and moving in the shadows, and cover vs concealment). We progressed onto buddy teams (bounding overwatch forward, breaking contact backwards), with two buddy teams going at a time; practicing communication (in position! moving! cover me!), hand and arm signals, and bounding towards a target with dry fire (yelling bang bang! bang! bang! actually gets pretty exhausting). Buddy team bounding and breaking contact developed into live fire iterations at steel targets, then onto collective team movements, starting in diamond or wedge formations.
These activities are, of course, exhausting and require a certain level of PT to be able to do proficiently. It wasn’t necessary for Mosby to harp on PT all that much – all we had to do was participate in the drills and get smoking tired. I will personally change up my PT program to include more exercises with a heavy weight vest on (or my fighting load). I will also personally vouch for the efficacy of crossfit, movNat, Ido Portal method, and MMA type combatives. I do a lot of barbell lifts, gymnastics rings, crawling around on all fours (prone quadrupetal ipsilateral locomotion, anyone?), and an assortment of other movements.
The first night we got a glimpse into the usage of night vision devices, thermal devices, and how to move in low light conditions. We re-practiced formation movements in low light, with and without NODs. Mosby then rocked our paradigms of night movements by having us follow him running through the brush, over streams, through waist deep ice cold creek water, and around rock formations. It was awesome, eye opening fun! Be light on your feet, be ready to fall (and know how to get back up quickly), and, most importantly, practice.
The second and third days (I would try to split them up, but my memory and notes aren’t very clear) we did more collective/team movements including battle drills, break contact, hasty attack, and occupying a patrol base. Interspersed into this high intensity movements were lecture portions to allow us to recuperate. We covered land navigation (including civilian vs USGI lensatic compasses), route selection (we will go over the crappy, nasty, brushy ground – because the enemy will not), rally point selection, a bit into TC3, enemy prisoner of war searches and the essentials of occupying a patrol base. We even did an exercise where teams of four had to ruck out, locate a suitable patrol base, and hide from Mosby and Jason as they hunted us in the night. It was eye opening and a ton of fun, despite the fact that I, as team leader, unknowingly crossed a downed fence and were thus more successful in thwarting our instructors for longer than the other team. (sorry for getting the team smoked!)
In the active portions (running drills), we performed both dry and live fire iterations, with and without rucks on, to ensure that everyone involved had chance to be on the support by fire element, the maneuver/attack element, and get a good PT workout in. We pushed it hard.
The most challenging iterations were where the class was in an 8 man diamond formation, and would perform a hasty attack. Return fire, gaining fire superiority and making them not want to get shot in the face. Patrol leader makes the decision that we can take them, punches out for two buddy teams to maneuver around. We drop rucks and run like hell to flank the enemy. We used whistles to signal shift fire, and then moved to the limit of advance slowly and methodically, before sounding the whistle 3 times to communicate that LOA was reached. The support by fire element would then run up and move through the LOA as well, wherein the patrol leader would get LACE reports (liquids, ammo, casualties, equipment), assign fields of fire, delegate partisans to retrieve rucksacks, and then perform enemy prisoner of war searches before consolidating and moving out. These sort of drills were covering a lot of topics and required buddy teams, fire teams and the entire patrol to have good communication, accurate outgoing fire, perform critical tasks, and move proficiently. Talk about crawl, walk, and run!
The final day in the class was primarily lecture; however we covered hasty ambush, with a few dry fire iterations. The lecture portion covered react to near ambush, crossing a danger area, and then mission planning and troop leading procedures. There are, as with any military type learning venture, countless acronyms and memory aids surrounding enemy prisoner of war searches (secure, silence, search, segregate), the principles of patrolling (planning, reconnaissance, security, control, common sense… anybody Puerto Rican?), METT-TC (mission, enemy, troops, time, terrain and civil considerations), SALUTE for getting the details on a fighting force (Size, activity, location, unit/uniform, time, equipment), OCOKA for terrain analysis (observation and fields of fire, cover and concealment, obstacles, key terrain features, and avenues of approach), PACE planning (primary, alternate, contingency, and emergency), CARVER for threat assessment (criticality, accessibility, recuperability, vulnerability, effect, recognizability), and much more.
Honestly, I would be remiss and just plain old dead wrong if I made it out to appear as if all I learned was the acronyms. The lecture portion was actually the most educational part of the class – and Mosby does a great job of relaying the subjects in an interesting and easy to remember fashion. Even if I had better writing skills I could not cover even a tiny portion of what the class covers. It was a very complete walk through of mission planning and troop leadership. Those who had them referenced the Ranger Handbook often, and all the details, from civilian considerations for guerrilla forces, down to patrol standard operating procedures for equipment destruction were covered.
My major lessons learned about this course were the basic concepts about patrolling; why it is necessary for projecting force or even just bugging out with family (diamond formation with family in the middle), planning and the unconscious incompetence I had of what needs to go into doing this stuff properly. Mosby also relayed his mindset in preparedness, patrolling, and how to train people (know your material, have a written, detailed program of instruction, make the students ask questions to ensure you don’t gloss over things, and be humble when you don’t know the answer). I learned about camouflage (going to be gluing on netting and burlap to my NODs helmet, and boonie hat), and I got a good look into what sort of physical conditioning I need to be in, how I need to change around my gear, and how I can use what I learned to teach my family and friends in the future. I was most surprised by how much intensity and violence there really is on a break contact (not to mention a react to near ambush).
The outcomes of the class were many- personally I can attest that I know a good deal more about patrolling now than I did on February 20th. Reading the articles and going to square range shooting classes or clubs is a good thing, but it’s not just enough. I consider my training classes at tactical response (yes, I said it!) as a stepping stone towards being ready for Mosby’s class. There were a few guys from the October patrolling class that were by and large the most squared away guys with their skills, knowledge, PT, and readiness for the class. In a sentence, attending one of these courses will get you going from a crawl – knowing how to shoot inanimate objects with your rifle in a comfortable setting, to being able to perform a patrol, moving stealthily at night, and succeeding where many others might not. You need patrolling. You probably need to get out and test your gear with burpees, bounding, and night runs. Everyone needs more PT.
Some gear notes for the obsessed: You need to get some armor (it’s pretty darn cheap). Set up your gear for some quick speed reloads, easy access to a blowout kit, and carry around 8+ mags if possible. Be able to do burpees, mountain climbers, sprints, bounding (sprinting, diving behind cover, getting up quickly).
My gear list: Smith and Wesson M&P 15 TS AR-15, MTAC 1-4 scope, pmags. I wore some lightweight composite plates and soft armor in a mayflower low pro carrier. Costa leg rig (2 pmags, 2 glock mags, MUT tool), drop leg glock 19 holster, and an OSOE mookie 8 mag chest with 2L water, general purpose pouch, blowout pouch, and a smoke grenade or two. I carried a Hill People Gear Ute backpack, with tarahumara daypack as an overflow pack and a HPG Mountain Serape as my main means of warmth at night. I also wrapped up in a casualty blanket inside of a USGI goretex bivvy and did not suffer ill health effects in the 20 degree nights (although I was pretty darn cold the first night with wet feet from our creek plunge!) I gladly purchased a 4 piece EWCS from our host for the last two nights to get more comfortable at night. I also brought my PVS 14, FLIR scout PS24, and IR laser, which are game changers. I found my battle belt, which I was originally wearing, to reduce my ability to move as easily. On day three I was a wimp and wore an OSOE micro chest rig instead of the big one, so I could focus on learning more than sucking wind.
Other Random Notes: The Mosby family are good people. I really enjoyed getting to know John and his wife and daughter over the course of the class time. Jason did an excellent job as assistant instructor through giving insight, answering questions, somehow finding my oddly semi-buried mag, and providing an extra eye for safety. Special thanks to Mosby HH6 for some really cool pictures and video… even though the video shows numerous obvious mistakes on my part for the hasty attack drill…. Another revelation of mine is that there are actually some good folks in California! I enjoyed the camaraderie from all off the class participants; it was refreshing to be in the company of people who are doing their best to prepare, better themselves and learn.
Conclusion: This is an incredible class that was worth the time off, 1,750 mile round trip, and other expenses. Because of this class I will be doing more PT, more dry fire, more individual movement technique practice, and be getting dudes together to team them what little I now know about patrolling. Thanks, JM for such a great class.
Love the blog. I want to mention Eric Kolesar, a CMD trainer, retired 11B, and all-around good guy. He is the lead CMD guy for training in North America. I train with him in Everett, WA, and have attended a Red Zone seminar there hosted by Eric and taught by Jerry Wetzl.
I have found the CMD program and their Jitz program to be very worthwhile, and I also train in MACP (I’m a Level 2 instructor).
DARC in Arkansas is running some of the best training in or out of the military. I am a fairly recent Advanced Urban Warfare grad, some of the best training I have ever done. Rich at DARC is a former SF guy with tons of Afghan time. I learned more about mindset, CQB, and using NODs and lasers in a week at DARC than I have in 20+ years of Army and private training time.
Still one of the best combatives guys around is John Holschen. He was the lead combatives guy at 1st Group before retiring in the late 90s. In my opinion, he has the best program for a shirt combatives course and integrating combatives with CQM.
Looking forward to attending a class with you soon. Keep up the good work and the fight!
Cascade, Idaho (Cascade is located about 1.5-2 hours north of Boise, Idaho)
21-24 AUG 2014
Small-Unit Security Patrolling Operations—4-Day
This is a four-day class that serves as a practical and theoretical introduction to the role of the individual and collective common task skills and small-unit tactics applied by irregular light-infantry forces in an unconventional warfare environment in both rural and urban environments. It uses a solid focus on basic battle drills to teach the underlying concepts that can be adapted to all situations.
The focus of this class is on the hard skills necessary to effectively conduct small unit security patrols in order to protect a retreat location or neighborhood.
(students should arrive with a minimum of 700 rounds of ammunition for their weapon.)
-Sustainment ruck or “Bug-Out Bag” (this is a field environment class. Expect to live out of your rucksack for the duration of the course)
-note pad and pen or pencil
-clothing suitable to strenuous activity in the local environment.
-rain gear/cold weather gear as required by seasonal climactic conditions.
-hearing and eye protection are required.
-hydration (Camelback-type system, canteens, or water bottles)
-an open mind, especially if you’ve previously received a great deal of traditional, competition-based marksmanship training.
(successful prior completion of a fighting rifle course of some sort is highly recommended for this course, but is not required at this time.)
Required Reading Prior to Attending this Course:
How to Pack a Ruck
Tactical Intel Collection and Terrain Analysis
Introduction to Battle Drills
($500/shooter. Deposits of $300 are due no later than 14JUL14, with the remaining balance due no later than 11AUG14)