In a recent “Testing” class (class 3 of the “Bushbastard” series) We had five individuals earn the “Bushbastard” tab. Is this a big deal when we compare it to guys who have earned things like “Ranger” tabs, “Special Forces” tabs, etc.? No. Are they now “Supah Dupah ‘Tres’ Militia Commandos”, prepared to defeat the Orcs of Mordor on the Potomac with one 30 round mag (only loaded with 10 rounds for political correctness) and a gleam in their eye? No.
So you ask “What are they JC?”. What they have become are individuals that were smart and realistic enough to realize that as civilians it’s a good idea to not only get some basic training, but to be tested on it.
Is being tested such a big deal? Yes, I believe it is, and here’s why. Most people can fudge through a training class as long as they are appearing as if they get it, and they can keep up (there is no test at the end of a typical Mosby, MVT, or MDT class). Getting a “Mason Dixon Longrifles” scroll is not the same as earning a “Bushbastard” tab. To get the Scroll you only have to attend a class and participate. You have plunked down your hard earned bucks and deserve to have something to show for it other than the skills you’ve learned.
Earning the Tab shows the end result of taking training classes over a period of approximately six months or more, and then being tested on not only retention, but proficiency. One of the other benefits of the six month time frame is weather. Each class is different. The last series had Fall “cool”, Winter “extreme cold/snow”, and Spring “warm/rain (ALL WEEKEND)”. This tests gear selection as well as the student.
The “Bushbastard” testing involves a written 25 question test to show retention of the things learned academically (they have to study it) from the 27 page handout. There is a “Practical” test that includes questions about setting up an ambush (from class 2) in the location chosen. It forces the student to assess the surrounding and say “I’d place it there.” and then they have to place the 4 elements of the ambush, using the terrain’s visibility ( denseness of terrain, available light, weather conditions, etc.) to determine spacing of the elements.
“Bushbastard” students must show they have a minimum of proficiency with their long gun by shooting a weapon’s qualification. They must also show that not only do they “Know” what the “Low Crawl”, “High Crawl”, and “Rush” are and when to use it, they have to demonstrate it physically till the instructor is satisfied they “Get it”. In reality, a minimum physical fitness requirement is needed for “active” patrol members (when I say “active” I mean if you are moving from point “A” to point “B”, the “active” guys are the combatant patrol members who will react to a contact and get the others that are being escorted to safety, whether by a delaying action, etc.). The other physical requirement in the “Bushbastard” test is a ruckmarch.
For the “Ruckmarch”, students are required to carry a combined weight of 60 pounds (Load Bearing Gear and Ruck. I believe this is the minimum amount of weight that a “survival and existence” load would weigh) for three miles in one hour over varied terrain (I like hills). You might say “That’s nothin’.” OK, good for you. These are basic minimums guys. This last class I had a guy who thought he’d never be able to do it before class 3. He worked at it over the six months (first to last class), and guess what, HE DID IT! I also had a guy who has chronic knee issues that was able to complete it, and he’s 61 years old (upon earning his tab, he also became the first Non-prior .mil guy to become an MDT Assistant Instructor). No one complains about the weight because I normally do this with 120 pounds of gear, so a complaint would be rather ineffective, and would probably be followed by instructions to “Massage your inner pussy enough that you can push it back in and cowboy the fuck up!”
Among other things, the “Bushbastard” students are also tested on the practical application on movement techniques (and formations) if moving as a detachment sized element (generally 8 or more personnel and two teams). They might be asked, “In this terrain, if you are the trail team, how far ahead would you place the lead team if you are using the ‘Travelling Overwatch’ technique?” Sounds easy right? The textbook (7-8) answer is 50 meters plus or minus, right? Well, this isn’t a textbook, and the terrain can change constantly. To have the ability to assess the terrain and make adjustments is not only critical for a leader, but it is just as important for the individual team member to understand and do it second nature.
If the team members can adjust because they know what is needed and the “why” of it, how much easier would it be for the team/detachment leader to concentrate on other priorities? This is the heart of the “Bushbastard” class. Giving the individual a base of academic and practical knowledge that they have been tested on. This gives them confidence in their ability to “step up” if needed. In combat, you can never count on the “Leader” (whether a Survivalist “Nuclear” Family group moving to safety, or a Neighborhood Protection Team) always being able to lead. Things happen, and if he is unable to lead due to injury, sickness ( but no one gets sick on a patrol, do they?), etc., someone has to fill that void immediately.
Being able to step in the shoes of the person above you was always a mantra for every unit I served in. It is impossible to do this unless you have a good base of training to build upon. The “Bushbastard’ series (3 classes) is designed to give you a base upon which you can build other skills (personal and team) to add to your group’s effectiveness in surviving whatever is coming. As I say in the header of my website concerning what MDT is about, we are “Getting beyond the video and manual.”. You aren’t getting a practical education on this from youtube or a manual. If someone tries to make you think that you are, you might want to check their bona fides.
The last class started with 16 people in class one, and we had 5 individuals earn their “Bushbastard” tab. The class before had 17 in class one and had 4 tab earners. We now have a light infantry squad’s worth (9) of “Bushbastard” tab earners. I’m hoping more people step up to test themselves. This is not about revenue generation for me (if it was, you’d hear about it all the time with student “AAR’s” and the “Why I’m the best instructor, and everyone else sucks” BS), it’s about helping those around me get squared away for survival. If you don’t have the basics for defending your loved ones when Ragnarok comes, your preps are for nothing.
PRAY, Plan, Prepare, PT, Perform
JCD aka “The Bushbastard”
American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE
I bet he’s glad this one isn’t specifically about him, isn’t he?