I write this AAR from the perspective of a CRCD second timer. The first class I attended was in July of 2013. The changes and enhancements to the ranges since that time are significant. The courses of fire are longer, more in depth and present more challenges, both physically and tactically. In addition, administrative and infrastructure developments have been added.
Repeating the class is extremely beneficial as these are perishable skills if not practiced frequently. I think the next class I attend will be the CRCD rolling right into patrol. This is something I would recommend to anyone considering this training. The time and expense commitment seem significant at first glance. However, the skills gained and confidence built far outweigh the initial outlay. And consider this, if, GOD forbid, you must someday be forced to defend kith and kin in armed conflict, the skills learned and practiced on the MVT ranges may well save the lives of you and yours. What price would you be willing to pay for that?
The people attending these classes have all been experienced, to one degree or another, in basic rifle manipulation and shooting and this is an important requirement. Experience at the range or even with other tactical type training is a plus. The MVT program takes you to the next level, learning to employ the weapon as a system in a three dimensional, real world environment in coordinated team movements. In other words, yes you can shoot, but can you shoot and move and communicate (accurately and safely!) in the rain/snow/heat/cold/mud/obstructions while physically drained with your heart pounding amongst a group of people? At MVT you will learn and practice these very things. It is one of the most stimulating places I have experienced and I also speak from the perspective of an old 0311.
That these things can be accomplished in a safe manner is a testament to the teaching abilities and professionalism of Max. Prior to my attendance at the first CRCD I was concerned about this very aspect of the training. Live fire maneuvers with people I didn’t know. This time around I was unconcerned. The focus and emphasis on safety and procedure is ever present. Max maintains tight and direct control and supervision over all aspects of the course. Safety interventions are immediate and all exercises are debriefed for maximum benefit to the participants. No one is shamed or humiliated. There are no egos to get in the way of learning.
Among the many benefits related to employing the rifle, sorting out equipment and kit issues and options are probably equally important. There is just no better venue to test the utility and reliability of weapons and gear and set up than the dynamic environment encountered at MVT.
A last word about preparation. Don’t take a load off, put one on. This is West Virginia, everything is uphill, both ways. Max is very cognizant of the physical aspects of training the “older” participant and (within reason) tailors his approach accordingly. Having said that, it is still a physically demanding program so lay off the cupcakes and soda, push back from the table and throw on the ruck and hump. Prepare ahead of time. Your body will thank you! I won’t say my age but will say there are grandchildren. Several. So don’t let that, in and of itself, stand in your way.
A final thought about the experience. I have had the distinct honor of being in the company of some of the finest Americans I have come across in a very long time at the MVT site. They have been a source of inspiration, learning and motivation. In my own civilian occupation I am considered an expert practitioner and a resource person. I got (and get) that way by finding really smart and experienced personnel and learning everything I can from them and continuing to benefit from that relationship. Two ears, one mouth. Max Velocity brings a rare combination of intelligence, whit, experience and teaching skill to the table. The training and learning opportunities offered here are not readily available to the average person. Take advantage while you can. Tempus Fugit.