The Woodpecker In The Quiet Wood


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


American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE



6 thoughts on “The Woodpecker In The Quiet Wood

  1. I’d rather be hurt by the truth than killed by it. Thanks. Then I might be a blessing and not a curse. Same way I pray. Gimme truth and strength and not delusion.

  2. All these micro aggressions are triggering me…I’m offended. On a serious note, I just took CQB 3 at Asymmetric Solutions down in Farmington, MO yesterday. I’ve logged about 290 hours of firearms training since last February (2016) and definitely know my way around my own carbine and pistol, but CQB is a whole different matter. It’s tactics. And when you run it with Simunition, it’s a real eye opener that folks who are more or less as able bodied as yourself with roughly the same level of experience can light your ass up. I know this is only one small sliver of the larger picture, but it is a high stress sliver and any illusions one has about being a badass completely disappear in a two-way shoot house.

    All of that to say this: thanks for doing what you do. The truth is a bitter pill to swallow some times and it hits all of us straight in the pride. Good training, regardless of where you get it, has been a revealing opportunity.

  3. Pingback: Two From JC Dodge | Western Rifle Shooters Association

  4. JC,I think most folks appreciate what you do and the time you and others take to pass along skills/info.,and well humor:” retarded monkey who has found a plastic banana”.I have not been keeping up lately so missed the comments but have never found you to be condescending to actual questions or legit counter points,you answer them or counter with your own points,seems reasonable.

    I would say the best thing you do for at least me personally is get me to think/research/try other things,so,thanks for taking the time.

    On a side note,love woodpeckers,we have the Piliated in my parts,size of a crow and when tapping sounds like a baseball bat against the tree!

  5. Amen to all the articles on this topic. I’m not in a combat arms MOS/AFSC, but I don’t see how anything you or the other article contributors have posted can be misunderstood. Keep sharing the knowledge.

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