Common Infantry Tasks Testing-The Level 2/3/4 Requirements Applied To Survivalists

mdt-patches1-1

In February, we talked about Common Tasks that everyone in the Army has to show competence in. Last week we discussed the basic Infantry testing done in an Infantry unit which shows they have competence in the tasks they are required to know. Today we’re gonna discuss some of the tactically applicable Survivalist skills you need to be at least familiar with, if not show some competence in if you are in any level of leadership in your group. In the Army Infantry, level 2 is a Sergeant/(4 man) Fire Team Leader, level 3 is a Staff Sergeant/(9 man) Squad Leader, and level 4 is a Sergeant First Class/(40 man) Platoon Sergeant.

Infantry common tasks level 2-1

Infantry common tasks level 2-2

Infantry common tasks level 2-3

Infantry common tasks level 2-4

 

Infantry common tasks level 2-5

Infantry common tasks level 2-6

Infantry common tasks level 2-7

Infantry common tasks level 2-8

Go through the manual and review the tasks, conditions, and standards for each task. A few of us will be reviewing some of the skills mentioned here and here over the next few months to give insight into the “Why” and “How” of these skills as they relate to Survivalists and preppers.

JCD

American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

 

 

 

 

 

Common Infantry Tasks Testing-The Basic Requirements Applied To Survivalists

 

mdt-patches1-1

This is a follow up on a line I used in a recent post which was, “Are there Infantry skills that you should master? Hell Yes!” In the past, I posted about the Army’s Common Task Testing these are the standards every soldier has to perform and show proficiency in every year. This is an Infantry only version of that same “Tasks, Conditions, and Standards” type testing. This is Level 1. Level 1 is for the Private (PV2), PFC, and Specialist in the enlisted ranks. This is the lowest and most basic level of requirements the Infantry expects from it’s Soldiers. As with the CTT post, I have selected what I believe are the realistic tasks that a Survivalist who mean to go into harms way should have a basic understanding of, if not proficiency in. To use the recommendations here, go to the link posted below and look up the block you desire to learn the tasks, conditions and standards for. Below the first block, there is an example of the tasks, conditions, and standards for “Operate Telephone Set, TA-1/PT”.

Infantry common tasks0

This PDF can be found here

Infantry common tasks1

This page tells how to read the charts

Infantry common tasks2

Infantry common tasks3

This page also shows how to read the following pages

Infantry common tasks4

Whether you are a “Commo” guy or not, you have to have a basic understanding  of the group radios and how they work.

Infantry common tasks14

An example of the “Tasks, Conditions, and Standards” for “Operate Telephone Set, TA-1/PT”

Infantry common tasks12

Infantry common tasks13

Infantry common tasks5

More commo, using the GPS, range finding, and team member movement.

Infantry common tasks6

GPS, night fighting technology, and some individual tasks

Infantry common tasks7

Handgun tasks

Infantry common tasks8

Use and maintenance of rifle optics w/ reticle range finder, Mine/IED/Boobytrap threats

Infantry common tasks9

Rifle use and mounted night fighting devices

Infantry common tasks10

You might not have an Automatic Rifle (SAW) or a machine gun now, but it’s good to understand the basics and standards required to use them (they are the standards for a reason). Here’s two videos for the  M249 and M240B

Infantry common tasks11

Obviously, there isn’t any Survivalist/Prepper related tasks in this block, but you need to understand that all these tasks are the tasks that the Private, PFC, and Specialist are required to show proficiency in, either at OSUT (Basic and Infantry School) or once they get to their unit.

mdt-class-16-3-2-2

JCD

American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

 

The Woodpecker In The Quiet Wood

Woodpecker

Many of us have seen or heard a woodpecker in the woods, especially on a still, quiet morning while sitting in a tree stand. As annoying as that noise might be from something so small, what is even worse, is that the long term damage being done to the tree after tree while it makes that noise is usually irreversible, and the tree will usually die if there is no way stop the woodpecker’s continued destruction of the tree, or mitigate the effects it has already had on it.

After reading a few of the negative opinions from emails, posts and post commentary, I’ve decided that, 1) The lack of reading comprehension by some on the tactical training side (those that should know better) of the preparedness community is apparently being disseminated like a woodpecker in a quiet wood. Small? Yes, but annoyingly loud, and worse yet, destructive. 2) No amount of “explaining” or “translating into CivSpeak” that we do will fix the “You can’t tell me what to do, but can you explain this more clearly and ‘softly’?” crowd.

Don’t let anyone fool you. Unless you are of the “ARFCOM gamer” ilk, if you are a civilian taking tactical courses, you are a “Prepper/Survivalist” of one sort or another, no matter what negative connotations or MSM attributed stigma there is associated with it, and no amount of “gaming” or relabeling it will change that.

I’m going to address some things that have been said, simply because those that have said it either, A) Didn’t read the two “Snowflake or Meteor” posts but decided to comment anyway, or B) Their reading comprehension is that of an retarded monkey who has found a plastic banana and doesn’t understand what that means. What follows are some quotes from both of the “Snowflake and Meteor” posts below. They are all in italics, and the ones that are directly from me are also in bold.

“Some trainers have actually told those they’ve trained that the students were equal to, if not better than experienced Infantrymen after a class or three. If he said it, it must be true….right?” It appears as if there has been a doubling down on this approach. What else can be said other than, “This approach will get well meaning, but ignorant people killed.” Those of us that contributed to this post and this follow on post have been called a number of things, but what you need to ask yourself is this, “What did we hope to gain from our post other than to help people survive, and what does the other guy get out of telling you that you need to keep coming back for more training?” 

“If you haven’t EXPERIENCED it, you truly don’t know what you don’t know. No matter how many movies you watch, books you’ve read, or “SUT” classes you take, you have not experienced that of even the Infantry Private First Class’s existence. Taking an “SUT” class or three doesn’t equate to proficiency, it only shows familiarity.” If you plan on conducting Infantry style offensive operations, do you think you should be “familiar” or “proficient”? Would you go to war in Afghanistan or Iraq with someone who is only “familiar”.

Ask a National Guard Infantry unit member how many months was spent in mobilization before they shipped out for a combat deployment. It’s usually at least 4-5 months, and these are guys that have a basic skillset received in four months of OSUT, and then actually train monthly (not shooting at a target then calling it a day for a brewski night) and have to qualify annually (weapon, PT, CTT, etc.), not to mention two to three weeks of annual training either CONUS or OCONUS. During a MOB, there is a number of admin tasks that have to be accomplished, but a large part of it is getting up to speed “AS A UNIT”.

“Are there Infantry skills that you should master? Hell Yes!” There are actually some people that said I have told you there is no need to train in Light Infantry skills. I find this ironic, since all my tactical classes (starting in 2010) teach and promote a number of pertinent Light Infantry skills (that’s all “Bushbastard” is) that are needed for the tactically proficient Survivalist or prepper. As I’ve said, there is apparently an ignorance in someone’s reading comprehension, and they know better.

“In my last I identified why training and working under the assumption that you are an Infantryman and can conduct yourself as such is not only foolish but is likely a death sentence for you and your people. You do not have the material nor the support, and especially not the discipline nor the people. Perhaps that last one needs touching on again; what happens when your merry band of defenders say, ‘No.’?”. 

by all means, tell me about your groups preps for combat, and their ability to follow orders as pointed out as a requirement for Infantry. It’s one thing for the guy in charge to say, “We need you four guys to buy us some time while the rest of us evacuate all the non combatants out of the retreat.”. It’s another to say, “We’re gonna go attack that MS-13 gang house down the road.”. Most anyone would follow order #1 because it’s in defense of your loved ones, but order #2 would probably end with more questions than “Yes sirs”, wouldn’t it?

“Effective training on tactics, from any trainer with real credentials including time actually doing it, begins with learning to plan. This is why Operations Orders and Troop Leading Procedures are emphasized from the first day of any military school. This is why you should seek out those with actual experience for training; they know the value of the basics and the consequences of forgetting them in lieu of something you learned playing airsoft.”

OpOrds and TLP’s are not something you learn effectively on a training weekend. You can be given a brief familiarization, but most of what is put out for ingestion in a tactical class is the hands on, actual technique and application of the Light Infantry small unit tactics that are the heart of the class. There is a level of triage that must be done to any block of instruction on SUT or basic individual skills that is being taught to inexperienced civilians during a two to four day course. This is primarily due to the time constraints, and the translation of “MilSpeak” into “Civilianese”. You are getting an abbreviation with the most necessary tactics, techniques and procedures (TTP”s) being emphasized over skills and training that requires far more time than the allotted 2-4 days.

“Nobody said don’t take classes or train. All we said in the last post is don’t give yourself airs you neither earned nor can claim. A couple or half dozen weekend “SUT” classes (they are no such thing) may give you some confidence in weapons handling or impart some elementary level of “buddy team” cooperation [how much is debatable because the “buddy” you trained with probably lives over 100 miles away], but it will never make you a “squady’.”

No matter what you learn in a tactical class, if you don’t practice it correctly and often, you are doomed to lose it. You are not an Infantryman that has done it so much it haunts his sleep. This is one of the advantages of having gleaned this knowledge in a Mil setting. You might get rusty, but you don’t forget. No civilian with a normal life is going to practice the required tasks to get to that level of proficiency, and no amount of posturing will make those that know believe or say you will, unless they are trying to make money off of you.

“What whichever classes are available to you will do for you is give you a skill set that is above the skill set of the street shit you are most likely to encounter – and that is all you will need. And here is the thing… with your weekend “SUT” classes you are in a position to train others who live around you. I’ve said this many times, and it bears repeating: Be cadre.”

“Keep taking “SUT” classes. Learn what you can. Be cadre and help your neighbors. Fend off street shit.”

Both of these comments not only negate the “You guys say we shouldn’t train.” mantra being put out, it also goes a step further, and tells you what your responsibilities are towards those around you if you have received training.

“So let’s get some terminology straight. “I haven’t said “Can’t”, I’ve said “Shouldn’t”. Why is that my opinion? Reality and practicality. The majority I have encountered cannot even get their defensive preps squared away because they’re too concerned with doing the “Tacticool” “Operator” shit (CQB, Raid, Ambush). You’re first priority should be to your loved ones defense, correct? Post SHTF, Offensive Ops shouldn’t even be considered till your defensive ops are underway, and even then, probably not because most just will not have the appropriate manpower for anything but defense.”

All things being equal, anyone of you with the drive, physical fitness and time to learn most all of the skills of an Infantryman CAN do it. You might ask, “So JC, if I CAN do it. what’s the problem?”. The problems are multiple. 1) Unless you are independently wealthy, don’t have to work a normal 40 hr (or more) week, and/or have no social or family life, you don’t have the time for the “upkeep” required to maintain and get better at anything beyond the basics, unless you’ve already done it in the military. 2) If you are fortunate enough to have multiple friends that are on the same page as you, being able to get together and train beyond the basics won’t happen because….”Life” (and don’t tell me it isn’t the majority of the cases out there. I hear it ALL THE TIME). 3), Unless you and your crew train regularly together, are in close proximity, and have a practical “Group Retreat” plan for SHTF, any idea of a high speed, low drag offensive ops plan will be just that a “PLAN”!

Here’s something that I wrote in another post that I will end this one with, “Only you know your preps, your motivations, and your intentions. Be the civilian version of the military’s “quiet professionals”. Not necessarily in skill set proficiency, but in a desire to learn all you can, prepare all you can, and be a force for good in a world that is about to go perpetually non-permissive.

MDT Basic Survival10

JCD

American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

 

 

Part 2 Of “Are You A ‘Snowflake’ Or A ‘Meteor’?” Becoming A Meteor.

mdt-patches1-1

Last week a group of four Combat Arms Veterans contributed to a post I wrote concerning the premise that, “on a good day, a civilian that has taken 3 or 4 SUT type classes from a Tactical Trainer won’t even be at the experienced Infantry PFC level”. Although the majority of the comments, both here at MDT, over at WRSA,  and in personal emails were positive, even though there were still those who are still unwilling to mesh reality with their delusions of grandeur, concerning their level of training, and it’s comparison to that of the experienced Infantry PFC.

I have mentioned a number of times (these highlighted links are just a few examples) a variation of this theme, “You are not a Commando/Infantry, but you do not need to be.”. I actually had a guy say, “YES! and if you had just said it this way from the beginning then you might not be getting any negative feedback.” to part of my response to another comment he had made. My actual comment to him consisted of this, “Here’s the thing, “You can’t be what we are/were without doing what we do/did (BUT YOU DON’T NEED TO BE).”.

Let’s talk about that phrase for a minute. “You can’t be what we are/were without doing what we do/did (BUT YOU DON’T NEED TO BE).”. The question I’d imagine most SAC’s (Situationally Aware Civilian) have is, 1) How do I put myself on par with a guy who has not only gone through a 4 month One Station Unit Training course (Basic and Infantry School)? 2) Do I need to put myself on par with that guy to have a chance at surviving what is coming?

This post is about some of the “What”, the “Why”, and the “How” of “Combatant/Survivalist Skills” needed for the Neighborhood Protection Team member, or Survivalist. You are not Infantrymen, you have to be much more. As I have said a number of times, “Be a Survivalist who is a ‘Jack of all Trades’, master of some (preferably the life saving and life protecting arts).”. Are there Infantry skills that you should master? Hell Yes! In this post I mentioned the Army’s “Everybody requirement” concerning Common Task Testing. This is not an “Infantry specific” requirement, but an “Everyone” requirement. Have you mastered the tasks in that post? Even the “Water Purification Specialist” in the Army has to show proficiency in those tasks.

Most of you want to pick and choose what you want to learn, and what you want to avoid, and that doesn’t cut it if you are serious about surviving a combat scenario. This is what I said in the post, “If you can’t show proficiency in the common tasks of First Aid, Commo,  Land Nav, Movement as a Buddy Team and in a patrol, and be proficient and accurate in the use of your primary weapon, when even a Dental Hygienist in the Army has to do it every year, how do you plan on functioning in an ‘Infantry’ type role?”. Remember that? Probably not huh?

Something else of note that was “made clear” in one of the comments on the last post was that we apparently don’t explain terminology well enough. The terms in question were “Offensive” (you are taking the fight to the bad guys) and “Defensive” (you are defending what you already have secured against the bad guys) in the context of operations. My response was thus, “You make out like we treat you like you are stupid, then get pissed when I don’t explain simple terms like “Defensive” and “Offensive”. Make up my mind, are you guys a bunch of illiterate, dull eyed retards, or are you rational, generally above median, adults (like I believe you are)?”.

This type of juvenile criticism is one of the reasons many of you get grief from people that are knowledgeable and experienced in the craft you wish to learn. So here’s the deal,  if it is a term that is specific to the subject I am writing about, and not in common use, I will explain and define it. If it’s something simple like the two terms above, I expect you to look it up via google, a dictionary, or any of the following Field Manuals: FM 7-8, FM 21-75, ST 21-75-2 (presently the SH 21-76), or the ST 21-75-3.

What follows is the thoughts of the same four Combat Arms Vets who contributed to the first post. They all have a unique perspective, but you will notice, once again, a recurring theme. After the last contribution is complete, I will give some thoughts in closing.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Where You Are, Where You Need to Be, and How You Get There…One Way

 Background of the Vet:  21 plus years active duty in the USAF; retired as a Senior NCO.  Of that time, 12 years in Air Base Ground Defense (Air Force for ‘Infantry’); comprised of 5 years teaching advanced ‘infantry’ training, rated “Master Instructor”, specialized in patrolling, 5 years on a RDT (Rapid Deployment Team) for 81mm Mortar & Hostage Rescue concurrently.  5 years as NCOIC of Air Base Ground Defense at field units building and conducting local unit training.  

 In relation to the previous post regarding training and capabilities from those wishing to increase their personal skills for defense of home and community, my perspective is the following based on my own interaction with people asking for training over the last 17 years:

Where You (or the group you’re in probably) Are:

Awake to the precarious position of our society, economy (over-inflated market reports notwithstanding), and culture (the ever-increasing lack of civility and respect for individual property and natural rights). 

  • Equipped, armed, and supplied to various levels from a minimum of a pistol, a rifle, and 500 rounds for the pistol and 1,000 rounds for the rifle, 6 months to a year of food for you and/or your family to the maximum of being able to arm your family and select friends, have a couple years of supplies, cases of ammunition, and a group of likeminded friends (some of which may or may not be former military with weapons and/or combat training/experience at one level or another).
  •  Steadfastly refusing to standardize weapons, equipment, and other important factors.
  • Able to use your weapons on various ranges to various levels of accuracy without added stress during the exercise.
  • Possess disposable income or the ability to save in order to pay for more advanced skill set training than you have.
  • The proper mindset regarding what you are willing to do to safeguard those you care about to one degree or another.
  • Varying levels of physical fitness; mostly on the lower end (upper body strength, cardio, etc.); much improvement needed.
  • Deficient in knowledge and ability to apply:

o    Realistic analysis of what training provides the largest return on investment for ‘real-world’ scenarios v. ‘cool guy’ training primarily centered on CQB or squad strength offensive operations.

o    An analysis of capabilities necessary for your local neighborhood defense

o    The ability to approach and persuade willing neighbors to join the effort

o    Finding which neighbors possessing specialized skill sets for SHTF scenarios (doctors, nurses, dentists, HAM operators, etc.

o    How to establish a secure defensive ‘pocket’ or area and keep it that way.

o    Leadership skills (not a shot; most people aren’t trained in effective leadership – leadership is a learned behavior – that is founded on the ability to subordinate oneself to the mentor leader, and then the respect from your group must be earned).

o    Intimate knowledge of avenues of approach into your personal AO by various organizations or entities (marauders, etc)

o    Networking with and participation in any local emergency response initiative (yes, that means local government entities, as they will be first responders when S does HTF and can use the help, so long as you or your group isn’t posturing as ‘wannabe operators’).

 Where You Need to Be

 In a nutshell, you need to be able to personally do or complete all those bullet points above as well as others that will be apparent when you get to that point.  Then, you need to get your group to buy in and do the same. The real trick is how you get to that point the most efficient and rapid way possible.

 How You Get There (One Way)

  •  Acknowledge that you need to refocus your efforts from attempting to emulate various high profile paramilitary groups and organizations to that of a “Neighbor Hood Protection” function.  Keeping your efforts localized will help you protect that which is most important: family, friends, neighbors and your property.
  • Understand that learning never stops.  You must constantly read and study a myriad of subjects from history to teaching methodology focusing on the adult learner to military tactics and strategy to classics that underscore the importance of personal courage and honor (some people have never been taught these values, and you may have to be the example and mentor).  Buy, beg, borrow a copy of, “A Failure of Civility,” which is now out of print, and make it your personal blue print.  It lines out exactly how to do what you need to do.
  • Read and apply Dale Carnegie’s, “How to win friends and influence people.”  Doing so will go a long way in networking with your neighbors and persuading them to participate in any local preparations prior to a SHTF event.  This might mean taking off the Oakley’s and boonie hat while having a barbecue, and losing the ‘thousand yard stare’ when being asked questions.  Smile a bit.  Talk about light hearted things during social events.  There’ll be time enough during your Neighborhood Protection Meetings to be serious about setting up the defense.
  • Subordinate yourself to the most experienced/trained person in your group for training activities.  If you are fortunate enough to have someone you know that’s a former combat arms type and was at least a staff NCO in your neighborhood or group, be humble enough to let the subject matter expert lead the training selected for the group.  If you are lucky enough to be invited to a seminar given by a former SF troop (or even be involved in a social get together for coffee), especially the ‘old school SF troops (trained in unconventional warfare and force multiplication with indigenous troops) sit down, open your ears, take copious notes, and try to see how it applies to your situation.  Not everything might be useful right away, but you’ll get an education.
  • Read and apply, “Extreme Ownership,” by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin.  You’ll not be sorry, because this reference will provide you a very good set of leadership principles that work.  There are others, to be sure, but at $17, it’s the best money you’ll spend. 
  • Disregard information on anything from anyone who tells you they have, ‘the only way’ or ‘the best way’ to do something, especially if they are selling their services.  Be intelligent enough to know that there’s nothing new under the sun, and having many tools in the tool box provides more return than following one particular method because, well, ‘cool guy’.
  • Keep information on activities flowing to your group members, or ask for more information from your leadership on schedules, plans, etc.  Don’t make your people be ‘mushrooms.’ 
  • Train with your team regularly in all areas you have learned.  Make sure that some of the training involves being miserable, wet, tired, and cold if possible.  Nothing makes a team come together better than shared misery.
  • Encourage personal defense weapon standardization. Platforms and calibers are not so important as everyone having the same tools, or as close as possible.  It’s essential for increased survival odds during failed civility scenarios.
  • Get some people HAM qualified and licensed. Practice using the communications.  Get a good scanner that’s capable of listening to emergency response organizational transmissions.  You’ll be surprised what you can learn and what kind of warning you may receive on situations you might face.
  • Make sure that the scenarios you train for match your local area. If you’re not rural, you should concentrate on built up area tactics (defense, NOT kicking in doors…).
  • Understand that your training standards are absolute minimum acceptable performance measurements. There’s an old saying, “You don’t rise to the occasion, you sink to the level of your training.  Train right along side your people.  If you’re doing dry fire, then dry fire with them.  If you’re doing land nav, do the same course.
  • In planning your neighborhood protection plan, leave nothing to chance. Make sure that you know everything there is to know about your defense zone.
  • Get the group to volunteer for service projects in and around your neighborhood. Be helpful.  Be cheerful.  Be something people want to belong to, or at least, something people are glad is in the neighborhood.  One way to do this is to either join or form a “Neighborhood Watch Association” or a neighborhood association and hold events that promote preparedness without information dumping on attendees on the imminent end of the world as we know it. Got an old folks home?  Get some people to volunteer for visitations to lonely old people, clean their grounds, cut their lawn, etc.  Be service minded because that is a very good way to gain local credibility and allay any fears you and your group might be wacko.
  • Do not use rank! Use positions, innocuous names are best.  Stay away from paramilitary sounding names and/or acronyms when dealing with the public.  Don’t have multicam or military clothing making up your wardrobe.  Earth tone field clothing works, too.  Have gatherings where the ‘uniform of the day’ is business casual, such as a golf shirt and khakis.  Why?  Because you look ‘normal,’ that’s why.  Remember, you’re not a military unit, and you shouldn’t dress or act like one.  Drill and ceremonies have no place in what you’re trying to accomplish.
  • Rid yourselves of any conception that you are some sort of ‘unit.’  You’re a protection group.  End of transmission.

If you try the above, you will eventually get to where you need to be to protect your local area that you are capable of defending.  No, you won’t be, ‘Infantry’ trained, but you don’t need to be.  There are other ways – this is one way.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Retired Infantry Captain

Apparently I was hard on PFCs, so here goes.

PFC used to mean you’d arrived at being a qualified Infantryman.  PV1, PV2 meant you were not yet fully functional.  Somewhere along the way, Recruiting Command was allowed to award rank for PT scores, bringing a friend, or making it through a semester of college without ending up with a “judicial enlistment.”  This was a mistake.

What makes PFCs are NCOs.  Full stop.  These are missing in JC’s scenario and, once upon a time, in Iraq.  Keep in mind the events below occurred concurrently, with lots of moving parts that don’t make for a logical narrative.

When I was a senior adviser to a newly formed Iraqi unit (2004-5), we had 68 guys in man dresses and flip flops.  We were issued Iraqi officers.  One company commander (Major) was outstanding and the lieutenants were surprisingly adequate.  That commander had fought Americans in Desert Storm and the first month of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  His comment to me?  “I’m tired of having

my ass kicked by you guys.  Our [Iraqi Army] problem is we have no NCOs.  We must train NCOs.”  “Yes, sir.”

Selection went something like this.  (Mob of Iraqis.) “Who here has combat experience?”  (Hands go up.)  “Great: Stand over there.  Who fought Americans?” (Iraqi vets look at the ground.)  “Ok fellas, we’re on the same side now.” (A few hands.) “Great: You guys stand over there.”  First group

was made team leaders.  Second group was squad leaders and platoon sergeants.  Brevet NCOs, pending combat performance, which was not long in coming.  The learning curve was quite steep, as the training consisted of new tasks, rehearsals, and off to the two way live fire.  Initially, Iraqi squads were sent on confidence patrols with American units commanded by friends who agreed to

help while we sorted out NCO and officer training.  (This doesn’t even begin to address the logistical issues, which were fixed with an unpretty combination of horse trading, deception, lies, outright theft, and confidence targets. That is the subject of another paper.  Suffice it to say the US Army had not given Iraqi Army logistics any thought whatsoever.)

Those who did well kept their new rank.  The less functional were promptly returned to the ranks for further assessment.  The newly blooded NCOs were then turned over to veteran American NCOs who had orders to impart discipline, skills, and organization. Once the original 68 were sorted, recruiting began.  Initially, we did all training in house.  All of it.  All. Of. It.  Iraqi NCOs were drilled in the evening on the next day’s training, then put in front of their flip flop shod recruits, with American oversight.  Emphasis on discipline, marksmanship, and

battle drills.   Keep in mind while this was going on, officers were being trained on their tasks, then integrated into collective training and combat operations.  Later, the US Army got around to setting up basic training in the middle of the desert.  It was satisfactory and wholly based on input from operational units.  The Iraqis did not get around to marching for some time.  PT was brutal, by design.

Keep in mind that medics, commo guys, drivers, supply guys, clerks, cooks, intel, personnel managers, staffs, etc. were being trained concurrently as well.  We were rebuilding an army.  Die, Bremer.  Just. Die.

Some of you will recognize the preceding paragraph as the staff formation discussion that was conducted at JC’s a few years ago.  One hopes you at least compiled the recommended manuals.

Here’s the deal:

​You must have good NCOs to have good PFCs.

Bonus, guaranteed to aggravate everyone who isn’t already ticked off: You must have good NCOs to have good company commanders.  Lieutenants are there to learn to be commanders, coordinate, and be brave.  If you have bad commanders, there are two reasons: NCOs who failed to train lieutenants, and senior officers who failed to get rid of the unwilling, untrainable, and unskilled.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Survivalist Tactics vs. The Infantry, II

This writer held every position on a Long Range Surveillance Team up to Assistant Team Leader (ATL) and on the Line as a Fire Team Leader, Squad Leader and Weapons Squad Leader, and had three deployments, twice to Iraq and once to Afghanistan.

In my last I identified why training and working under the assumption that you are an Infantryman and can conduct yourself as such is not only foolish but is likely a death sentence for you and your people. You do not have the material nor the support, and especially not the discipline nor the people. Perhaps that last one needs touching on again; what happens when your merry band of defenders say, “No.”? How do you compel a volunteer group to actually face death? Why would you want people who are generally blowhards and/or never-has-beens to do this anyway?

You know that type I’m talking about. That’s your average militia dud with a facebook or twitter page and his whole network on display posting circle-jerk memes. Enough of them, let’s get to you. Before we go anywhere or put on our cool guy kits, lets face reality:

  1. You Don’t Have an Army Behind You.
  2. You are your Own Logistics.
  3. You Can Only Defend What You Can Support (and you need to know how to support what you plan on defending).

These three are interdependent realities. You may not have an army behind you but you do have a community; they live there and know the area better than any occupying force will. Rural communities are better at self sufficiency.  Those same communities are far more likely to properly defend what they own as a means of ensuring posterity versus the house of cards that is modern suburbia. They’re leery of outsiders too; keep that in mind. What constitutes ownership, anyway?

The ability to enforce command over that which you claim; my the third point. The community and your standing within it, known as social capital, is what lays the foundation. It is the first tactic. With nothing to defend and no consent of those defended, you will be outcasts and killed off quickly as problems and not solutions.

Infantrymen as a cohesive unit have none of these concerns. Their supply line is theirs and the responsibility of an adjacent supporting unit. Their job is to close with and destroy an enemy; the consent to function is granted by that entity which feeds, trains and arms them. Nothing more. That’s why the Afghans call us ‘tourists’.

The second is planning. You must identify the objective before you can rock a mag into that sweet Kalashnikov you just bought. Community defense is exactly that; defense. You are not offensive troops and you lack the capability or tactical sophistication to be anything other than what you are.

Without overwhelming numbers, the use of converging routes, or the means to replenish significant losses you will remain defensive if you want to live. So if we’re planning a defensive posture, our biggest ally is terrain. All people are creatures of habit. We follow patterns and take the paths of least resistance generally. Some of the more experienced calls this ‘natural lines of drift’, meaning, paths people drift along, like roads, rivers, valleys, passes, etc.

The defender then, like a hunter, uses this reality to his advantage and can create natural choke points to create the maximum number of casualties among those he’s attacking. The faster the fight is over and the less material you’ve wasted, the better off you are. Using that AR-15 like a bullet hose is a bad idea- marksmanship matters, a bunch of noise doesn’t, and marksmanship out to longer distance (3-400m) then becomes another force multiplier.

Hit probabilities to those reacting to contact at 400m and from multiple angles is far less likely than those on the attack from pre-planned hides with the inclusion of other force multipliers. Once you’re in your positions, you should have the range to your killzone already known, drawn on an improvised range card (a piece of cardboard with hand drawn target references on it with distances) and

should train on coordinating fire from those positions.

The idea of an ambush is to quickly and efficiently kill everything in the trap, but in case you don’t, have a team watching the opposition’s march in, closing the trap once they pass by. Of course I have to know they’re coming first, which

​means my contacts in the community let me know one way or another…see the pattern here (more than just you or your ‘little group’)?

So the two most important tools to learn are terrain analysis and team marksmanship, coordinated over an area. These are called intersecting fires. Is there a time for the battle drill 1 stuff? Sure, absolutely, when you’re taken by surprise. You should rehearse this for that reason; what to do on unexpected contact, because the reality is that if you’re walking about with your band o’ bubbas and happen to forget the principles of concealment or quiet movement, it might happen. But you shouldn’t be bunched up to begin with, plan converging routes for your group members to get to their positions, and should be taking the path of MOST resistance to afford the maximum cover. Don’t forget the utility of crawling.

Once more we find our plan at the heart of staying alive. In order to plan, we have to know our terrain. In order to know our terrain, we have to be familiar with the lay of the land. In order to do any of the above, we have to have consent of our community. And you do none of the above, but parade about in a show of self importance, one will learn just how important they actually are.

Effective training on tactics, from any trainer with real credentials including time actually doing it, begins with learning to plan. This is why Operations Orders and Troop Leading Procedures are emphasized from the first day of any military school. This is why you should seek out those with actual experience for training; they know the value of the basics and the consequences of forgetting them in lieu of something you learned playing airsoft. And while this may seem mundane to the uninitiated, running around shooting fast at targets makes you an easy one to the guy who knows what he’s doing.

Do not lose sight of your reason for being.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

From an 18F

Nobody said don’t take classes or train. All we said in the last post is don’t give yourself airs you neither earned nor can claim. A couple or half dozen weekend “SUT” classes (they are no such thing) may give you some confidence in weapons handling or impart some elementary level of “buddy team” cooperation [how much is debatable because the “buddy” you trained with probably lives over 100 miles away], but it will never make you a “squady.”

What whichever classes are available to you will do for you is give you a skill set that is above the skill set of the street shit you are most likely to encounter – and that is all you will need. And here is the thing… with your weekend “SUT” classes you are in a position to train others who live around you. I’ve said this many times, and it bears repeating: Be cadre.

But here is the other thing… When you are cadre, in necessity others will look to you. At first for technical guidance (weapons handling, etc), and afterward for leadership –   because you know how to handle weapons, etc.. And there, guaranteed, is where you will fall flat on your face and put everybody who has turned to you in peril.

Because of your “SUT” training, which has nothing whatsoever to do with small unit tactics and cannot help you in small unit tactical situations. So there is your dilemma. As a “SUT” trained cadre you can train a neighborhood guard to whatever standard you learned. Which will largely be sufficient against common street shit. But, inevitably, someday, somebody is going to show up with an army. What are you going to do, cadre, when all eyes turn in your direction?

And that is what separates the infantryman from the weekend “SUT” class tourist. Keep taking “SUT” classes. Learn what you can. Be cadre and help your neighbors. Fend off street shit. When somebody shows up with an army… take an oath of fealty.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

I read a post by Bill Buppert at Zero Hedge, and although I understand where he is coming from, I don’t think he has a realistic view of the average people he is talking about. He said, “There is a stream of consciousness modality currently coursing through the prepper and III% community that if you aren’t infantry, you can’t take the fight to the enemy no matter how competent you may be as men of the gun or whatever background you hail from.”

So let’s get some terminology straight. “I haven’t said “Can’t”, I’ve said “Shouldn’t”. Why is that my opinion? Reality and practicality. The majority I have encountered cannot even get their defensive preps squared away because they’re too concerned with doing the “Tacticool” “Operator” shit (CQB, Raid, Ambush). You’re first priority should be to your loved ones defense, correct? Post SHTF, Offensive Ops shouldn’t even be considered till your defensive ops are underway, and even then, probably not because most just will not have the appropriate manpower for anything but defense.

Start with the basics. Lay the groundwork for a solid defensive foundation, then MAYBE move on to the consideration of an offensive action if urgently needed. But keep in mind, depending on perspective, that offensive operation you conducted could come back to bite you in the ass legally. If you believe that’s BS, look at some examples from the former Yugoslavia, and tell me that possibility isn’t there.

Another post that WRSA put up today, reinforces the point we made in the last post about, “on a good day, a civilian that has taken 3 or 4 SUT type classes from a Tactical Trainer won’t even be at the experienced Infantry PFC level”. “SPC Slick” can shown proficiency in the CTT. Can you?

If you still wanna run Offensive Infantry Ops I’d say, “Show me your group commander and it’s NCO’s and tell me about their experience. As was said earlier by the Captain, the NCO’s are the core of the group in an operational setting, and any operation being conducted by the group is made to work by it’s NCO’s, and you don’t have any….do you?

Organization is critical. Figure out what scenarios you believe you should prepare for, and prioritize preparations according to the degree of immediate threat, the likelihood of the threat, and your realistic ability to prepare for the threat. Here is some things I posted in this post,

  • 1). Do you have general, realistic preps in place?
  • 2) Do you have a solid, well thought out and realistic plan to deal with the general and specific concerns you’ve identified?
  • 3) Are you physically and/or logistically equipped and able to carry out the planned responses to these threats.

If your answer is “No” to any one of the questions above, you need to address and correct that. As was said by at least one of the contributors, after you get training in something, pass it on to your group as soon as possible. This doesn’t mean you are now a professional trainer. What it means is that hopefully, you have the ability to take what you learned and immediately regurgitate it to your family, friends and group members (it is critical that you teach it as soon as you can, so the lessons are still fresh and clear in your mind, a three day tactical class will give you familiarity, not proficiency or mastery).

An issue I had with a couple guys who received their “Bushbastard” tabs was that they wanted to be able to confer the award to those that they taught, and I said, “Under no circumstances will that be allowed.” The comment I received was, “I thought you wanted us to go home and teach what we learned?” To which I responded, “Yes, teach what you learned, but the only people handing out “Bushbastard” tabs are me or a designee that I feel are not only trained well enough to teach the material I have put together exactly as it is supposed to be taught, but will also enforce the standards in testing that I require for the award.”

Any trainer that has an issue with a former student teaching what they’ve learned to their family and friends is probably more worried about the almighty dollars they are missing out on, than they are about helping people prepare for what’s coming.

To recap,

  • Decide whether “Preparing for doomsday” is a hobby or a conviction. If it’s a hobby, stop reading. If it’s a conviction, continue with this list.
  • Pick the Leader of your group if he hasn’t been selected already. ( or was it going to be a democracy….? Good luck with that).
  • Make a plan that covers the scenarios you’re concerned about.
  • Organize you’re logistics on hand and plan your future purchases based on the realistic needs required for the scenarios you’re preparing for.
  • Determine which logistical preps can be generalized to cover all scenarios, and make their acquisition a priority.
  • Organize the personnel in your group based on A) Abilities they already possess via employment or hobby (Former Infantry, EMT, HAM, etc.), or B) capabilities they plan on getting via training course or new hobby. Encourage furthering the education in those areas.
  • Organize the critical information about your area (maps, area sketches, etc.) into something that is detailed, easily accessible, and understandable.
  • Get as much realistic training in personal protection (both empty hand, and firearm) and area/ retreat defense from a proven source (I wrote about how to find and verify the bona fides of the non-professional ones here).
  • Get as much First Aid, TCCC, and Extended Care training as possible.
  • Do as much PT as you are physically capable of doing. You know if you are cheating yourself and those who will be counting on you.
  • Learn as much as you can about how the pioneers of the 1800’s did EVERYTHING!
  • After your group get’s organized, network with other local groups for support.

Defending your area (to include presence patrols) is a full time job and takes a number of personnel for round the clock security. I wrote about how to put together a schedule for security here. This post contains some good defensive area prep info, and in this post I wrote about the steps I recommend for the individual to get prepared. This post is in no way exhaustive, but the bottom line is that five people took of their precious free time to try and give suggestions to help you get ready for bad times. Whether you agree with them or not, take that for what it’s worth.

YOU ARE NOT AN INFANTRYMAN, BUT YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE. YOU HAVE TO BE MUCH, MUCH MORE!

JCD

American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

 

 

 

Short And Sweet. The AR Pistol, And The Mossberg Shockwave, A Raison d’etre

Short guns2

Mossberg 590 Shockwave on top, 11.5″ inch barreled SIG M400 AR pistol with SB Tactical PDW collapsible brace and Spec Ops buttstock mag pouch with an AR 20 rounder in it. The Brace is in the collapsed position.

Recently, the BATFE has “ruled” that it is now (for now) legal to shoulder rifle type (AR, AK, etc.) pistols that have what is termed an arm brace on the rear of the weapon. From what I read, the ruling originally made by the BATFE back in 2015 said that shouldering the brace was considered a “redesign” of the weapon, and thus made it into a “Short Barreled Rifle” (SBR). The BATFE has now reversed that opinion, and you can read about it here.

Short guns1

Here the SB Tactical brace is in the fully extended position. The Shockwave is 26.5″ for scale.

On the shotgun front, we now have 14″ barreled shotguns with a birdhead grip, that are not classified as “Short Barreled Shotguns” (SBS) or “Any Other Weapon” (AOW). This is apparently because Mossberg figured out that if you start with a brand new receiver and register it as a “Firearm” instead of a “Shotgun”, the only length restriction for it was an overall minimum length of 26″ instead of that plus a minimum barrel length of 18″ (requirement for a standard shotgun) as long as it never had a buttstock or regular 18″ or longer barrel on it when built.

Regardless, I have been watching this for a while now. I have owned an AR pistol for almost two years, and recently purchased a Mossberg 590 Shockwave. Although I thought the original ruling on the illegality of AR pistols being shouldered was ridiculous, I’m also was not foolish enough to get pinched by doing it. My AR pistol was plenty accurate by shooting it with other methods that were not shouldered, but just as stable.

Why concern yourself with getting something like an AR pistol, when you can have a 16′ rifle. True, you can have a 16″ rifle, but can you legally carry that rifle loaded in your vehicle like you can a pistol. I don’t know about you, but I know of a few people that had something that was considered illegal (firearms wise) in their vehicle, and ended up in an accident which revealed that illegal item, and that ended up causing even more problems than just the accident would have. If you don’t plan on having any accidents, let me know, cuz………yeah, whatever.

Short guns7.jpg

Standard 16.5″ barreled M-4 on top, the Sig 11.5″ barreled M400 below for comparison.

If given the option, you always choose to have a rifle for self defense if at all possible. Anyone who does not agree with that, does not understand the realities of self defense and the degree to which a rifle user can dominate a handgun opponent in a fight. Here’s another example. In my state of PA, you cannot legally carry a loaded rifle in the state forest unless it is hunting season, and you have a license. Guess who can LEGALLY carry his AR “pistol” in the woods….. Yup, ME.

Guys who talk about having their “Minuteman Kit” in their vehicle, but are using a rifle aren’t really what I’d call a “Minuteman” since they have to dig out their rifle and load it. It’s not instant access, is it? I already mentioned PA’s rifle requirement in the state forest, but here’s another requirement. If you have a long gun in your vehicle, it must be unloaded and cased. Guess what doesn’t need to be unloaded and cased in your vehicle in PA? Yup, you guessed it, a rifle type “pistol”. The brand and model you get isn’t as important as understanding the advantages to having a rifle type pistol, especially if you have a carry permit.

SBR

SBR’s are a lot of fun, but the initial paperwork, and the administrative paperwork required for transport is a PITA. Also, you can’t carry an SBR for protection like you can an AR or AK type pistol.

As to the Mossberg 590 Shockwave. When I found out about them last year, I started doing some research and determined that they were not just a gimmick, but had some legitimate uses besides that of door breaching. I have owned a Mossberg 590 (20″ barrel, 9 shot) since 1988 when they were adopted by the military. Over the last 29 years it has had thousands of rounds through it, and never had one issue. I carried a 590 in Iraq (18.5″ barrel, 6 shot), and it’s function was flawless when in use.

Shotgun.JPG

Military issue Mossberg 590 with an 18.5″ barrel and 5 shot magazine (5+1)

One of the reasons I am partial to Mossberg’s pump shotguns is because of the placement of their safety. It is completely ambidextrous, and having not only hunted with, but also qualified with and carried an Rem 870 as a duty weapon ( and it’s “less than optimal” placement of the safety for a lefty), I appreciate the convenience and accessibility of the Mossberg safety by either hand.

Short guns5

Top is pictured a Condor shotgun scabbard for up to a 20″ barrel. I modified its length to fit the Shockwave exactly, and the Condor ammo pouch on the front of it holds up to 25 rounds. The Shockwave can either be carried in the scabbard on the side of a rucksack or back of a vest (it has molle attachment points), it can be slung while in the scabbard, or it can be carried via a sling attached to the QD sling points on the pistol grip and the magazine nut.

Short guns6

The 590 Shockwave is a 14″ barreled, birds head gripped, 6 shot (5+1), 12 gauge with an overall length of 26.5″. What are some of the uses I’ve come up with for the Shockwave? Well, let’s see, can you think of a better gun to have in a tent when you’ve been woken up at 0130hrs by a bear intent on getting those krispy creme donuts you left sitting on your pack? Would you rather have a pistol or a short shotgun in that instance considering you are half asleep, it is dark, and a bear moves pretty fast, unlike you.

Short guns3

A Shockwave or AR pistol would easily fit in one of these weapon concealment shelves by Tactical Walls.

What about you guys who have those nifty mantle or shelf gun holders near your front door. Look up the penetration levels of 00 Buckshot, or even better yet, #6 birdshot, compared to a 9mm. Read those, then tell me whether you think a shotgun is better than an average pistol (9mm) for an apartment. When I went out and shot it the first time, I took some birdshot hunting loads with me to see if it was at all viable as a small game gun.

Short guns4

The difference in length between a typical 18.5″ barreled, pistol gripped shotgun and the Shockwave is about two inches.

Both at 10 and 15 yards the pattern on an 8 inch target with #6 high brass was in the 80% range for shot on target. This target was over another bigger target to see approximately how many shot missed it. Would I chose it as my primary small game gun? Of course not. Would it work in a pinch for small game? Absolutely! Of course it would be easily maneuverable in a vehicle, due to it’s short overall length, and as already mentioned, people, especially military and LEO’s, automatically think of this as a door breaching gun, and it definitely would excel at it.

If you have a need for a very compact “Long gun”, and are able to buy either one of these types of guns, I highly recommend them. Are they a necessity? Generally not, but that is situationally dependent. What they are is convenient, and a lot of fun to shoot, even after what they can do for you in a defensive situation.

I know some of you get pissed off when people discuss legalities, and the laws pertaining to guns, but here is how I look at it. Can you get SBR’s and AOW’s in most states? Yes. Are they highly restricted concerning their transportation? Yes. You can either try to comply with what is on the books so you don’t have to worry about getting caught with a National Firearms Act (NFA) weapon and catch a Federal charge, or you can use what is legally available and make it work for you.

It’s easy to say things like “I don’t give a shit what is legal, the second amendment gives me the authority to Fill in the blank (carry concealed, own a unregistered SBR or AOW, etc.)”. Although I agree with your premise, when the reality of that statement hits you in the face with jail time (loss of freedom, probable loss of your job, and hefty fines, not to mention how it will effect your family economically and emotionally) simply because you wanted to violate a law you thought didn’t “apply to you”. In hindsight, you will feel like three kinds of a fool, and wish you had the opportunity to change what you did. Is what the Gov does to people in these instances wrong? You bet it is, but it doesn’t change the “real time reality” for the individual that gets caught one bit, does it?

JCD

American by BIRTH Infidel by CHOICE