I have taken Combat Rifle/Contact Drills twice now with my best friend, my husband. I am writing this from a woman’s perspective to hopefully convince other women who may be undecided that they will be welcome, that they can do it, that they will have fun and learn a lot and that they will be glad they trained.
We were all greeted by Max with a sincere, thank you for coming, “I am really glad you came.” He led our car caravan to the trail head where we unloaded our gear into his 4 wheel Polaris for a short drive to the outdoor classroom. Since our first visit, he installed a four sided, camo latrine. So if you aren’t a backpacker and would be uncomfortable hiding behind a tree, have no worries. Toilet paper and baby wipes and hand sanitizer were provided.
We sat around the classroom picnic tables under a tarp for a short lecture/briefing. After it was clear that we knew what would be happening next, we donned our gear and went to the first trail with four pop up targets. We went through, first as individuals, and later as teams of two. Max provides clear guidance and a quick critique after each run. He is not a loud drill master. His positive attitude conveys that he really wants you to keep improving with each exercise. Our fellow students watched and gave encouraging feedback when we got back from each exercise, learning from each other too.
We then broke for lunch back at the outdoor classroom where we had time to get to know each other. The one thing I kept hearing was, I wish my wife had come too. I have been very impressed with the people who came for training. Excellent, really good people you would want to spend the weekend with. Everyone had good muzzle and trigger finger control and was safety conscious.
At no time did I feel rushed or was too tired ( I am 55 ). Max kept the sessions just long enough and made us go back to rest, get another lecture/briefing and made sure we were drinking enough water. I was getting over a knee injury and still was able to patrol with my heavy Sig 556, mags, pistol and water. Rapid fire and taking a knee or going prone in cover for precise fire was repeated with every exercise. Communication and moving with your two or four man team was practiced with multiple targets fighting forward or fighting back (retreating). Contact front, left, right and rear drills moving one at a time or as teams of two and four.
At the end of day two we had the choice of participating in the bunker buster drill or not if we were too tired. It was way cool with flanking to the left down into the dry stream bank, having the cover of a smoke grenade and then trying to crawl up the stream bank. My husband had to push my butt forward to keep me from falling back. I was the shortest in the class… Then I crawled with my Sig up to the bunker, and let the two targets have it, as my husband provided depth cover.
Since my knee was better this time, I tried more prone position in cover. I was not the fastest getting up and moving briskly to the next position, but I kept going safely. I think our communication and movement really improved this second time around and I look forward to training with other husband and wife couples next time. This is not just for guys. You have a responsibility to your partner to train and back him up.
Helen —ARRRGH! Left the safety on again!!!!