AAR’s-Class Three of “The Bushbastard Course”

26 April, 2015

Bushbastard Tab

Last weekend (Apr 18-19) the group I’ve been working with for nine months, finally finished the “Bushbastard Course”, and four of the original eighteen earned their tabs. I originally developed the idea for this course early last March, and after seeing some of the problems at the Bundy Ranch standoff a month later, I decided to give the graduates of the course something that would show they had a retained working knowledge of small unit tactics, up to the squad level. From first hand accounts I had been told that a lot of the people showing up at Bundy ranch had no way to prove SUT competence, short of submitting a DD214. The “Bushbastard” tab was developed to give people a way to show they’d done something that required them to actually pass a course of instruction that employs mandatory testing at the end to earn the tab, not just be in attendance, and get a patch (this does not show retention).


Going over Buddy team individual responsibilities in July.

The student receives a lengthy handout at the beginning of the first class. Everything tested in class 3, is covered in the handout, and each student has the handout in the interim between classes for them to practice the techniques and study the information. It’s one thing to learn a skill or info on a Saturday, and be tested on it the following Sunday. It’s something completely different when you are taught a skill in July and January, and then tested on it in April. This is a proof of retention, not just a rote regurgitation, and is the point behind the time frame between classes. Last April I decided I wanted the first Test weekend to be on April 19th (when I saw it was on a Sunday), if for no other reason than the significance of the date to patriots across the nation. Fortunately, a lot of other patriots decided to get involved in one way or another this year and show that they’re not just sitting on their hands, and I was glad to be able to participate in the manner described.


ABC Drill live fire in July.

The testing requirement is pretty simple. The first task is to take the written 25 question test, which shows retained knowledge of certain “By the book” answers. Questions will be anything from illustrating the “book answer” differences of movement techniques and formations, to illustrating the requirements for a good ambush set up. Test pass grade is 80%, the lowest grade in this class was an 88%, and averaged 92%.

After the written test, the student is taken out for practical testing. This part consists of showing how to lay a proper ambush (all 4 elements), using the terrain available. The student shows how formations are set up, and illustrates practical distances (not just the by the book answer) for personnel in different formations and using different movement techniques.

Next is rifle qualification. This is relatively easy, and the student has to fire his rifle from the prone supported position at a 250 meter scale target, set at 25 meters. This is the US Army sight-in target, and students are required to achieve 8 out of 10 hits in the silhouette (no, you don’t have to prove you’re a sniper, this is basic proof of skill, not advanced weapons manipulation and use). Following that is the demonstration of  the Low and High Crawl, and the Rush. The ABC Drill, shows the student’s understanding of how to perform the rush (I’m up, he sees me, I’m down) proficiently, and have the physical ability to complete the tested skill, wearing your Loaded LBE/V.


Squad Ambush in January

Last up is the ruck march. The requirement I came up with was 60 lbs.total weight. The reason I use that is simple. A basic load bearing gear loadout with six 30 round AR mags, two 1 quart canteens, a knife, and a BOK weighs around 20 lbs. Basic bugout gear in a ruck weighs around 40 lbs, for a total of 60 lbs. (60 lbs. is the total gear requirement, and if the LBE weighs 40lbs. the ruck only need weigh 20 lbs.) Students are required to stay with me throughout the ruck march, and the pace is a 20 minute mile, for a time of one hour. Although I don’t use the 60 lb. minimum personally, this is the pace I average (sometimes it’s faster) on my weekly rucks, and it is on a road with varied terrain. The ruck march illustrates the student’s practical PT ability and shows some intestinal fortitude (especially when the students average 40 yrs old +).


January class, Illustrating the team wedge, with a follow on team in the diamond.

Is the “Bushbastard” test hard? Not really, not if you study, practice, and do practical PT. Do students fail? Yes, but they are not ostracized or given grief, they are just encouraged to try again another time, and are recognized for their attendance of the classes (that’s a big first requirement, right?). This course is geared towards the AFOC NPT model, but is good for any group wanting to square away their basic SUT skills for implementation after SHTF.  I’m proud of everyone who tested, and although some did not earn their tab this time, they are still miles ahead of where they were last year, and continents ahead of the average “Keyboard Commando”. Well done gentlemen!


Last half mile of the Ruck march.

After Action Report : Mason Dixon Tactical

Regional Security Forces Small Unit Tactics Series (The Bushbastard Course)

Date: 4/20/2015

Report prepared by: Christian J. Yingling,

Laurel Highlands Ghost Company 

     This past weekend we finished up a series of instructional courses on Small Unit Tactics. The entire course took place over eight months and centered on the proper employment of S.U.T in a non permissive environment. The course employed both class room exercises, and then practical application exercises to prove that we could perform the things we had been taught. It was all brought together in the final class with a weekend filled with a written exam, practical exams, a shooting qualification, and a timed 3 mile ruckmarch wearing 60 lbs of gear. Our instructor, JC Dodge, Owner of Mason Dixon Tactical provided top notch instruction throughout the series of classes. Mr Dodge was VERY accommodating in the fact that he was willing to travel to our training site (twice). This was a great help to us because we got to see how exactly we could employ our training right in our own AO. He caters the training to the individual which was very impressive when you see some other tactical trainers just “pushing people through” to get their money. For Mr Dodge, this is truly not about the money and more about him personally seeing that his training was well received and understood. He never degraded anyone for not understanding or being able to perform certain tasks, but instead, took the time to answer all question and helped people to get to the point where all tasks assigned could be completed.  Of the 18 people who started, only 4 members actually completed all the training. So to say this class is for anyone is foolhardy. While I fully believe it is in a person to complete these courses, one should not fool themselves into thinking this is easy. It’s not. It was a lot of hard work and to get your “Bushbastard” tab, you had better believe you are going to earn it. These courses will teach you more about yourself than you ever could have imagined. In a time of “armchair commandos” who think that when the time comes, they will be some Call of Duty champion.. these courses very quickly teach you the reality of your capabilities as well as teaching you PROPER employment of small unit tactics in a non permissive environment. In short, it’s a serious gutcheck. I would highly recommend these courses to ANY militia or NPT who is serious about getting their people trained. The price of the classes was more than affordable especially when considering what some others are out there are charging to teach the same material. This further goes toward demonstrating that for Mr Dodge, this is NOT about the money and more about preparing the individual to operate in a hostile environment.  

Christian J. Yingling

Commanding Officer

Pennsylvania Lightfoot Militia, Laurel Highlands Ghost Company



After Action Report :   Mason Dixon Tactical   

Regional Security Forces Small Unit Tactics Series (The Bushbastard Course)

Prepared by: Larry Yingling
April 19, 2015

     I finished up a series of 3 classes on small unit tactics with Mason Dixon Tactical this past weekend, Let me tell you it was not easy. I have no military background what so ever ,So all this was a new and eye opening experience. We started of last July with A.B.C drills, Doing dry runs at first. This was to insure the instructor JC Dodge that we were operating in a safe proficient manner. Let me say that JC is very big on safety, and for good reason. This was followed up with the Low crawl and high crawl movement’s, Then in to class room basics and review. We then had another class in January (bbbrrrrr) , ya it was cold! This class entailed team and squad formations and ambushes and how to insert them in real world scenarios. Our Final class (my favorite ) Was a massive review on all things learned! We had to demonstrate What we learned and how to apply what we learned, Written exam and qualification with our rifles. All this followed up with a gut check 3 mile hike with 60lb. Ruck and gear. Let me tell you this was not an easy series of classes. I personally learned a lot about my self and the meaning of Brotherhood. J.C Dodge took his time to make sure everyone understood and acted in a safe and proficient manner ,He also catered to you’re needs, Unlike other instructor’s that are into it for the money. I myself Highly recommend contacting Mason Dixon Tactical to get your men trained right. Thank You! 

Larry Yingling (Training officer ) Laurel Highlands Ghost Co.


The four who earned their “Bushbastard” tab


American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

2 thoughts on “AAR’s-Class Three of “The Bushbastard Course”

  1. Pingback: Two From Mason Dixon Tactical | Western Rifle Shooters Association

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