Student Review: Combat Team Tactics (CTT) 12-14 Dec 2014: Matt
Max Velocity Training After-Action Report – Combat Team Tactics (CTT)
The Combat Team Tactics (CTT) course offered by Max Velocity is at its heart an instructional course on communication and coordination under stressful conditions. Knowledge of the fundamentals of marksmanship is an assumed prerequisite. The first day of the course was mainly devoted to clearing malfunctions and practicing ready-up drills. This was extremely helpful for the next two days, and if I could do things over again, I would have spent some time practicing malfunction-clearing before coming to the class. I only experienced malfunctions during live-fire drills once or twice, but it gave me a very strong appreciation for just how necessary it is to commit malfunction-clearing to muscle memory. The ready-up drills were excellent preparation for the reflexive shooting that is necessary when contact with the enemy is first established.
It is important to commit the low-function tasks to muscle memory. This prevents confusion when attempting larger coordinated maneuvers, such as advancing on a position with a squad of four or more. Low-brain-function tasks are the things your body should be accomplishing while demanding a small portion of your concentration. This includes getting into and breaking cover, dashing, training your sights on the target, and squeezing the trigger. High-brain-function tasks are more complicated, and include: telling your teammates to move once you’re firing on target, moving when you need to move, edging your way under cover to have a clear shot on target, observing your surroundings for additional threats (scanning), rallying once contact is broken, and keeping the bigger picture of the purpose of the drill in mind.
Being fit allows you to focus your brainpower on the more important parts of the exercises, even at the end of the third day of the class when everyone is tired. Being severely out of breath affects your ability to break cover and move to your next piece of cover. It also affects your brain function. Your ability to observe what your battle buddy and squad mates will deteriorate if you pass a certain level of exertion. Max made a comment at the end of CTT that nearly all of the errors that our class made over the weekend were due to lack of physical training.
Endurance training is an important thing, but if I were to train specifically for another CTT course, these are the sorts of exercises that I would prioritize.
When this happens, it becomes very easy to do dangerous things like muzzle sweep things that shouldn’t be muzzle swept. Physical exertion isn’t the only thing that makes this happen. Max made multiple comments to me saying that I’m “up at 20,000 feet” when I need to be down on ground level. I was getting carried away with my stress, and when that happened, it would affect my performance and my cognition. Over the course of the weekend, I learned how to manage that stress much more effectively. I was able to stay cool even in more elaborate and complicated drills.
Max discusses the importance of height over bore. It seems simple, and the lesson he gives is straight-forward. However, once you’re actually running drills, it is incredibly easy to shoot up objects in front of you. I remember feeling proud of myself that I got into good cover from the target just by using the curvature of the earth, but that faded quickly when I realized I was shooting into the dirt about 5 yards in front of me.
During day 2, and the beginning of day 3, I was treating each drill as a scripted event. In hindsight, doing so was the main cause of my mistakes. If the drill deviated from the plan slightly, I would get stressed, forget the objective, and forget the fundamentals. Do your best to calmly observe everything happening around you, so when things go slightly off-course, you can correct for it and complete your objectives.
Practice clearing a variety of malfunctions, and get a buddy to set up mystery malfunctions for you to diagnose and solve.
A malfunction, even if you know it’s easy to clear, is just one of those unpredictable things that can derail you during a drill if you let it. Try to stay cool, and stay focused.
Do your best to keep your wits about you, and never forget that if you’re firing at the target, you’re providing your teammates covering fire while they move. Don’t forget to tell them to move! Don’t pump rounds into the target indefinitely! Remember:
This is a great course to take to understand the principles of small unit tactics. Defense of your life and property without the infrastructure of our society cannot be done as a lone wolf, and any necessary operations will require the type of communication and coordination that Max teaches in this class. This class is also useful to take for developing your ability to think straight under pressure: flight-or-fight stress, pressure to perform, confusion due to multiple sensory inputs. Max mentioned battle inoculation at the beginning of CTT, and it’s evidenced by the way he ramped up the complexity of drills over the course of the weekend. As he increased the difficulty, we the students went from making mistakes during simple drills, to mastering simple drills, to making mistakes during complicated drills, to (maybe?) mastering the complicated drills. Mastery might be a little generous, but we all greatly improved with experience. I think the principles that Max teaches here can be also applied to the conflicts that we experience in daily life, to avoid being mugged in crowded locations, and more.
Also, one quick word about Fred’s CBRN lecture: it was refreshing to hear someone with a scientific background speak frankly about the possibility of various disaster or grid-down scenarios. He was non-alarmist, analytical, and thorough with his explanations. Not only did he explain the threats and probabilities of disease, attacks of various kinds, and natural disasters, but he also explained what he thought which were credible and which were blown out of proportion. My main takeaway from his lecture was that, while preparation and self-sufficiency are admirable, it is unwise to become so preoccupied with the collapse of society that it interferes with your ability to lead a full and enriching life.
Student Review: Combined CTT / Combat Patrol Class 6-12 Nov: HighCountry
Overall impression of the course was excellent. It was completely worth my time and expense. Definitely a 9 or a 10 out of ten.
Even after the first day of CTT what we learned was worth the effort and expense of tuition and travel. I won’t go into the same detail as Dennis since he already covered so much. One of the things that struck me coming away from the class was the stress and intensity of the drills.
The ‘combat inoculation’ was real. We had to perform what we’d been taught under genuine pressure. To be on line firing and maneuvering with a buddy or an eight man squad was intense. Previously shooting at the range it would be distracting to have someone firing next to me. By the end of the class i was really used to and unfazed by the muzzle blast from my team members on either side of me (after sending 10,000 rounds downrange in our class (class total!)).
The way the class was conducted allowed me to come away with a better grasp on dealing with the noise and stress of a violent defensive situation. It truly was like trying to drink out of a fire hose. However, the scope of the skills that were presented and drilled took me from not having a clue about how i would defend those i love to having clear knowledge, techniques and procedures in which i could mount a credible defense with a team. Also, I’d read Contact prior to the class and much of it went right over my head, but now that i’ve gone through a class and i’m re-reading it it really makes sense. Just having the book and reading it isn’t enough.
You need to get out there and do it. If at all possible it would be incredibly valuable to attend with people you would be working with in whatever defensive situation you imagine yourself in. Some of the other folks in the class came with friends and family and they not only gained the skills but the experience of working with the people they will likely be applying these skills with in adverse circumstances.
During the class our safety was thoroughly looked after, Max and the other instructors did an excellent job of ensuring that students were conducting themselves in a safe manner.
Student Review: Combat Rifle, Nov 8-9, 2014, “Palmetto”
I have three goals in writing this report. First: to provide an objective account of my experience and review the quality, quantity and value of the services I received. Second: to offer practical “nuts and bolts” advice to anyone preparing to take the Combat Rifle course. Third: to advance a motivational argument to anyone undecided about training with the MVT group.
For context, I am middle-age with a wife and small children. Prior military, non-combat role. Life-long firearms shooter/owner. Desk-job for the past 20 years. I have taken courses in defensive handgun instruction from a highly proficient trainer with a background as a military handgun instructor who taught military personnel, law enforcement and private security. The military training tailored to civilian needs that I received for the handgun made an incredibly profound difference in my proficiency and confidence. I wanted to find that same level of instruction for the battle rifle. Additionally, I wanted to learn the proper skills to work with others in small unit rifle teams.
The MVT Combat Rifle course is taught by Aaron who is both a combat veteran and a military firearms instructor. Aaron has “been and done.” The instruction he brings is not “theory” or “Hollywood” or “paintball” or “competition shooting”. The instruction Aaron brings is modern, battle proven skills that he has both seen and used to prevail in combat firefights.
The two-day course began with a clear foundation of safety guidelines, expectations and procedures. Safety was always Aaron’s chief concern throughout the course. The only safety issues over the weekend was that everyone, at one point or another, got a deserved chiding from Aaron over muzzle awareness. Nothing escaped Aaron’s eye and he was quite serious about maintaining a safe range.
The training progressed in a logical sequence: marksmanship, zeroing rifles, malfunctions, reloads, movements, positions, support side shooting, cover, rates and types of fire, two-man team movement. Everything was paced. We were never rushed. Aaron would not only explain the “how to” but also always the “why” of each thing we did. Aaron would first demonstrate each movement or task then we would dry-run to ensure everyone understood and was comfortable. Aaron was relaxed, patient, personable, humble and quite humorous, yet always maintained his professionalism and military bearing.
Each section and topic came with a lot of solid information to absorb and the drills were often physically taxing with bursts of movement, extended muscle control and elevated heart rate and breathing – it’s much more difficult than it looks on TV to run to cover with a rifle and support gear and then lay down effective cover fire. However there was a good balance between instruction and action with several built in breaks to rest and recover. During instruction and break periods Aaron included frequent stories and insights that were invaluable as both illustration and advice. Brutal truths from a combat veteran served to emphasize the gravity of our training.
The other students in the course were all high quality, like-minded individuals. There were no attitudes or egos. Everyone was open and friendly while maintaining a serious professionalism about our training. I was somewhat surprised to see that they came from all over the country and most had traveled quite a distance to be there.
Max did not participate in instructing Combat Rifle; he was instructing a combined CTT/CP course that week. However, he did make a point to welcome us and greet us when we arrived the first morning. Over the weekend we also had a few other opportunities to chat with Max when he would stop by the square range during his movements about the property. From the brief exchanges I had with Max, he was no-nonsense and focused on “the mission” of the training. But it was also clear that he genuinely cared about the people attending his courses. What made this most evident to me was what I observed in the handling of a student who was moved into Combat Rifle from a more advanced course.
From what I could tell, a student in the 6-day combined course sustained a muscle injury and was unable to continue at the required level of activity. Max personally transferred and transported him into the Combat Rifle course where he was readily assimilated. The rest of the weekend I observed how the MVT instructors and volunteers worked with that student to shuffle schedules and create special training opportunity for him to still get the most value for his time and investment while he was at MVT. I was not privy to the details of that situation or the final arrangements but what I did see was instructors who respected and honored that student’s commitment of time and money and who worked to go “the extra mile” to do right by that man.
The Koolwink Motel is where you want to book your room when training at MVT. It is very convenient. It is a great value. It is a gem of “Americana” and you would be hard-pressed to find cleaner motel rooms anywhere in the world. Additionally, the Koolwink is three minutes from a newer shopping-strip with a Food Lion grocery store, CVS pharmacy, Burger King and good little Mexican restaurant.
After class, the instructors and students will often gather as a group for dinner at one of the local restaurants. If you get the opportunity, be sure to join the group for dinner. You have to eat anyway, right? This is where you can really get to know the MVT instructors and volunteers and to network with like-minded people who come to the courses. This will definitely enrich your experience.
Combat Rifle is taught at the MVT “square range” which is next to where you will park. You will have access to your car during the day but you may be walking up to fifty-yards to get to it. Plan on carrying your essential gear to the range and accessing everything else from your car during the longer breaks or during lunch. Lunch, extra ammo, extra water, gun cleaning gear, etc. are fine to leave in the car.
Bring your own water. I believe that there were water coolers provided on site by MVT and they have just recently installed a hand pump well but my advice is to think of those resources as your back-up plan. Count on a gallon of water per day, probably more in hot summer. Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. Drink frequently and stay hydrated during the day. Also, bring high energy snacks like trail mix or Clif Bars to munch throughout the day to keep you going strong.
Bring a waterproof, pocket notepad and take diligent notes. This will help you retain the instruction and also give you reference to continue training when you get back home.
Gloves and kneepads should be considered essential. When you see some of the jagged shale at the range you will be glad for kneepads. Sustained manipulation of your rifle over two days can create abrasions and hotspots on your hands that good gloves can prevent. Again, better to have these things and not need them than to need them and not have them.
Prior to attending the course, work on organizing your support gear to the best configuration you can. Try it on and test it. Move with it. Every student in the course had a different configuration of load bearing support gear, pouches, harnesses and belts. The important thing is to have a configuration that works for you. Plan to wear your support gear for the duration of the course. This gives you the opportunity to see how it actually works in action and will give you a strong indication of what needs to be changed or eliminated. Something may seem comfortable and convenient at home in your living room but prove to be quite wrong when, for instance, you are wearing it under stress and shooting from cover or doing a reload while lying prone. Additionally, Aaron covers gear placement and theory and is there to help you configure your system. The key to getting the most from this is to dedicate a lot of thought to your gear setup prior to attending the course.
Physical conditioning is something everyone can do more of and benefit from. I did train for this course but I underestimated the training I needed to do. You certainly do not need to be super-fit or athletic for this course but the better shape you are in, the more you will be able to concentrate on your skills. I tired much more quickly than I anticipated and my core needed to be stronger to effectively execute some of the drills. My advice is work on your core, your leg strength and your “wind.” If you are physically able to do “burpees” then a good daily regimen of those for a month or two should more than put you where you need to be.
If you are on this website to begin with and you are still reading my review, the odds are I’m preaching to the choir. But maybe not. The bottom line is that if it is your intention to defend your life and your family with a rifle but you aren’t training, you’re wrong.
Don’t deceive yourself and don’t cheat yourself. Aaron hammered on this. Don’t take shortcuts because “when it’s for real” you will fail and failure means people are going to die. You can’t move better than you actually are. You are not going to “rise to the occasion.” You are not (as Max has stated on the blog) going to magically find your “inner mall ninja.” You are not even going to “default to your training.” The reality is that you will default to the level of training that you have mastered.
So what is the level of training you have mastered? Have you mastered correct methods or have you mastered a bunch of bad habits and “Hollywood”? How do you know?
Do you have a place to shoot your rifle? A place you can shoot your rifle and move? A place you can shoot and move with all your gear on? A place to shoot and move with gear in buddy teams? Are you doing it correctly? Are you doing it safely? How do you know?
Can you shoot supine or lying on your support side? Can you do it correctly? And safely? Can you do it effectively? With gear on? Under stress? When you are fatigued? How do you know?
MVT offers you combat proven training from combat proven instructors in a safe and dynamic environment. They will give you correct instruction. They will give you the opportunity to apply the instruction and they will observe you, correct you and give you feedback so that you know what to do, how to do it and why it should be done. You will test your skills, test your rifle, test your gear, test your body and test your mind. All the while you can be confident that you are building a solid foundation on which to build and progress to more advanced levels of training.
So if you aren’t training, you’re wrong. If you aren’t training correctly, you’re wrong. Don’t be “that guy” (or gal). Max offers a rare and unique opportunity to have access to world class instruction; commit and take advantage of it while you can.
Student Review: Combat Rifle Nov 8/9: Weber
Combat Rifle (CR) AAR – November 8-9 – Weber
This AAR isn’t going to deviate much from other AARs regarding Combat Rifle. If you have never taken a formal combat rifle training class, my only question is; what are you waiting for? My follow up statement to whatever your answer is would be; get your ass to MVT’s Combat Rifle class!
A little background on my background. This was my first formal training class on any firearm platform, hand gun or long gun; therefore I bring no former instructional bias to this AAR. I am a civilian with no .mil background.
With that being said I originally signed up for Combat Team Tactics (CTT). However, after reading a couple posts by Max stating that swallowing your pride when you DKWYDK may be the best course of action. I decided to take this course instead of CTT. I do not regret my decision one ounce. In fact, I think if had went ahead and taken CTT, even with RMP, I may have really slowed the pace of CTT for other more advanced students. In other words, I think if you DicK WhY DicK, your incompetence could potentially screw up a more advanced student’s experience at CTT.
Combat Rifle is instructed by Aaron. He is an awesome dude. His tours in the Iraq and Afghanistan give him 100% credibility to teach this class and a lot of real combat experience. From the start he makes it clear that safety is his number one priority for all students. No exceptions. If you make a safety mistake, he will let you know. In front of everyone. Publically announcing a safety mistake is not meant to humiliate you. In fact, it should serve as a learning opportunity for all others in the class. Treat it as such. Tuck your ego away. I honestly appreciated every mistake my classmates made as each one was a learning opportunity for me. I’m sure they felt the same about mine.
As far as rifle manipulation goes, you are going to learn some incredibly valuable lessons over the course of the weekend. One of the first and most important things we learned was clearing rifle stoppages. Tap, Rack, Bang! clears about 95% of your issues and this is the foundation for entire class. But if you don’t know how to clear a bolt override or double feed, you have no place in a theatre of combat and I don’t want you fighting alongside me. You’ll wind up getting us both killed if you can’t clear a jam. Again, forget about your ego and learn the basics of operating a combat rifle and how do deal with Murphy’s shitty sense of humor when it comes to guns.
I’m not going to cover all the different skills that are covered in the class but I promise you, every drill Aaron teaches is value-add. Here’s a list of my personal take-aways from the class;
Combat Rifle was a great learning experience for many reasons. Primarily because I felt I was being taught correct doctrine and I was being taught in a safe environment. It also allowed me to meet a lot of great, like minded people over the course of the weekend. I’m glad I was able to build a solid foundation on this class. I feel I will be very well prepared for taking the next courses in the MVT progression cycle.
After Action Max Velocity Tactical Combat Rifle 25-26 Oct 2014 with Instructor Aaron
This is a basic bare bones course on military rifle manipulations. As an infantry Marine and security contractor, I was looking for a course which would go over the basics and fundamentals of carbine use and Max Velocity delivered just that. Day one consisted of a quick zero of the weapons, weapons malfunctions and drills associated, and reloading procedures and drills. Day two followed up with basic individual movement, different shooting positions, and basic buddy team fire and movement. These are the building blocks that every rifleman is taught and needs to know in order to move onto more complicated techniques and tactics.
For those with little to no experience, this course offers you a chance to see military shooting doctrine as well as techniques that have been developed through that past decade of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. The instructor will go into detail about the how and why of each technique is used and fosters a great environment for learning. Anyone seriously interested in being proficient in the carbine should learn these foundations.
For those with military training this course will bring you back to the basics. It will be a little painstaking as you have already been drilled these techniques and can dry fire them at home. However, if you have been away from the military range, there are things that I forgot and often were a good reminder of how to set up my weapons training maintenance of skills. I suggest however that you look into the other courses offered with more intermediate or advanced skills to challenge you. With that said I still recommend this course and definitely enhanced my skills.
Personally, I was looking for a course that would bring me back to basic military marksmanship. I no longer drill in the prone or kneeling positions as often as I should. My training usually revolves around high paced, moving environments from 25-100m distances. Though the period of marksmanship is short, the instructor will help you find ways to achieve your goals. For me I focused on tightening up my shot groups during drills and even spent time afterward diagnosing some of my marksmanship fundamentals that need work.
These instructors are very knowledgeable and want to see you succeed. The training facility has a lot to offer, is a short distance from the DC area and has good local accommodations. I recommend the courses offered and look forward to the always evolving and new courses offered. A special thanks to Aaron and the work that he put in over the two day course. Thanks again.
Student Review: Combat Rifle 25/26 Oct: Mike
I attended the Combat Rifle class conducted on 25 – 26 October. Although I have had over 30 years’ worth of experience shooting rifles of various types in hunting and competition, I have never had any formal training, and I decided it was time to acquire that training.
The class instructor was Aaron. It was obvious during the two days that he had a wealth of information and experience with this subject. Just as important, I found that he had the ability to transmit that information in a clear and understandable manner. His style was natural, laid-back, and oftentimes humorous. He used a classic teaching method: an explanation of the new topic, a demonstration, a dry run by the whole class or individually, followed by closely supervised live fire. After each module, there was time for questions and follow-up. The result of this training was clearly evident by the end of the second day. The students were clearing malfunctions, changing magazines, and shooting on the move with speed (usually) and confidence.
In determining whether to take a class of this nature, I believe it is important to know how the range will be run. Will the training be conducted safely or not? I found that Aaron was uncompromising when it came to safety. We were constantly reminded to always be aware of where our muzzle was pointed, and to keep our minds focused on what we were doing. Aaron also appears to be blessed with 360 degree vision. Not much got by him. When safely violations did occur (and there were not many), they were promptly and appropriately dealt with. Many were used as ‘teaching moments’.
I certainly can and do recommend this class. For those with prior military training or those who have taken similar training some time ago and allowed your skills to get rusty, this class will certainly get you back up to speed. The portion of the class dealing with clearing malfunctions alone is worth the price of admission. For those new to the combat rifle, this class is essential to your successful progress, especially if you plan to continue your education at Max Velocity Tactical.
Student Review: Combat Patrol 24-26 Oct: D Close
1) If you are serious about acquiring relevant combat skills, you must take Combat Patrol. If you are serious about taking Combat Patrol, you need to read ‘Contact!’ before you get there. There are several areas of study that every student of infantry tactics needs to be familiar with. Max attempts to avoid doctrine heavy lectures. I support that effort, however, it is helpful to understand and process in a time suitable for the student, the ideas behind basic tactics and planning. It helped me immeasurably to have studied beforehand. Some of the drills, such as peeling, ambush, setting up a patrol base and assault the bunker, are greatly aided by prior study, especially the diagrams. Time during the class is at a premium and Max is quite ambitious in his training goals. Chris commented that similar training in the Army took weeks to achieve the place we leave class at. Meeting these goals as students will be greatly aided by prior study. Buy and read the freakin’ book people!
2) NVGs. NODs, whatever. We had 2% illumination on our night recce. Even that low, without NVGs you could move through the woods with the starlight available. Modern warriors are creatures of the night. Learn to move with or without NVGs and pay attention to illumination and weather to anticipate conditions for your mission. You can find moon rise and illumination on weather underground dot com and a variety of other sites. Check out what different phases mean for your aided and unaided vision.
3) Navigation. I recommend reviewing map skills and land navigation. In my AO, it is more important to have a street atlas than a topo map. If you find yourself in a different AO than the one you are currently living in, a compass and topo map can mean the difference between success and dying. You will not have the time at a CP class to spend much time learning this. Consider it homework. Learn how to nav in the dark. Terrain association and limiting features are key.
4) Stay away from the radios! I mean, if the threat allows it, then go ahead. When fighting tyranny, your phone, radio, GPS watch (yes, really) might end up killing you. Turn it off and leave it home. Or better, leave it on, under your enemy’s house. With the skills you learn, radios on the objective are not really necessary. Put 100ft of 550 cord in your pack. Good comms right there.
5) Hydrate. With all the shit going on for three days and the quick Mountain House and power bar chow I was eating, I failed to drink enough water. Rookie mistake. I felt better about my fitness now than at any time since I retired from .mil. I wore armor and a helmet for most of the class. I hit a wall during the last raid insert as my back and hamstring cramped up. It hurt so bad I wasn’t sure I could climb the damn hill. It passed, we kicked ass and ran home. Still, don’t be “that guy.” Force yourself to drink.
5) Aggression. I believe the hardest thing for guys like Max and Chris to do during the training time is impart this to students. For a variety of reasons all our own, we often hesitate. Max has mentioned this before on the blog and forum. It bears repeating. We are talking “dark side of the force” here and it is a dangerous and necessary ally. Your victory in battle will depend on it. As sheep, we are not encouraged to display this, except in controlled situations. If you are going to go full Grizzly, you better bring it all. You cannot afford to become passive in a firefight. Your buddies are depending on you to cover the flank; to kill the leakers; to destroy the center of evil in your AO. During an ambush or raid, you better bring the fucking hate upon the enemy. As a professional, you also need to compartmentalize that once the action is done. I will submit that this may only fully develop as our collapse or tyranny becomes more apparent. Be ready.
If you take this class, if you heed the advice of your instructors, if you do your homework in the gym and in the books, if you train, you will be as ready as you can be when the shit goes down. You will have done the best for your family, your tribe and your team as you could possibly do. And here’s the thing: If you tell me in some future time, that you attended MVT Combat Patrol and you need help defending the homestead against the mob or tyrants, dude, I’m there. I know what you know and you know what I know. We can fight like lions and win (and not die in our underwear) because of what we took away from this class.
– – Tyranny, like a serpent, is best killed in the egg.
This course (Combat Rifle) is the first rifle course I have taken. Before the class began, I wasn’t sure what to expect. All the knowledge that I had about my rifle was what my Husband had taught me, and all the experience I had handling it was at a friends make-shift range.
Student Review: Combat Rifle: 25/26 Oct: Leanne
Before I took the course I had a few concerns. I had a few concerns, because I am kind of shy, and really did not know a whole lot about guns. I didn’t grow up with guns in the house. I just started to learn a few things from my husband and brothers-in-law, maybe a year or two ago. I was nervous because I didn’t know a lot about guns.
We really did not need to know a lot before coming to the class. We started the class at a very slow pace, which was great! Our instructor (Aaron) was very thorough with the importance of safety. We were given a ton of information and taught a good amount of skills, but I know that if I do not practice I will forget everything. After taking the Combat Rifle class I have learned that I have so much more to learn and practice.
My reason for taking the class was because I want to know how to defend my family in case of emergency. If my husband wasn’t home, and there was a threat of danger, I want to be able to defend my children and myself. The things that I learned are necessary skills for both men and women.
I did not think that the class was going to be fun going into it, but it was a ton of fun. If any women are thinking of signing up for The Combat Rifle class I want to encourage them. Nobody made me and my sister-in-law feel weird about being girls and taking a gun class.
Few sentence summary of Combat Patrol: It was worth every penny. It left me feeling both more confident and at the same time that I have a lot to learn and practice.
Background – I attended Combat Team Tactics (CTT) almost exactly a year ago (back then called “CRCD”) and got a really great base for the CP class. The CTT class takes you out of the static/square range mindset and raises a whole new level of awareness and tactics. Prior to attending CTT, I have had many years of rifle/pistol shooting and a few other classes on square ranges, shoot and move, etc, but nothing like the pop-up Ivans and small team tactics training from the class.
The class structure…
Day 1: Meet up and start learning. Lots of theory, explanation of things you should have read in “Contact!” Lots of learning here, but useful, and comes into play in the later evolutions. Per Chris, we had ~$1M worth of college education sitting there (doctors, IT guys, various Type A professionals), but we managed to take “simple” and make it complicated via asking questions and looking for absolutes. Lessons learned on Day 1 – lots of great background info, terms, things to do, etc, but also, KISS (keep it simple, stupid), and everything is “situation dependent.”
Day 2: Things started to get more involved on Day 2. We started with a squad attack on some bunkers while practicing patrolling tactics (spacing, quite, herringbone, etc). After lunch, the tactical portion of things began. This involved setting up patrol base (MVT Shields for those that had them) and a bit of rest prior to planning for the night adventure and the night mission itself. Next was planning, then the actual night mission (think recce patrol, leave no evidence of your having been there). Mission debrief/AAR, then finished up with light sleep if possible, combined with sentry rotation.
Day 3: Wake early, stand-to, and get the day going…more fun things on the day, including ambush/RAID, then a final debrief, request for input, etc.
Having been once (CRCD, now CTT) before, I know Max’s style of teaching – to the point, then crawl, walk, run. It was more of this type of training…there was some apprehension as to being thrown into the dark without proper info, but that was without warrant. Everything was briefed, explained, rehearsed before execution. Max is an excellent trainer/instructor – he (almost) never makes you feel like a dumbass, even when you do dumbass things. C
hris was a new addition from my last visit, but as assumed, if Max chose him, he is GTG. He brings yet another huge knowledge-base of experience from the US/Ranger side of things. He too is a wealth of knowledge and always willing to share info and provide positive feedback on how to improve (vs. negative feedback). Both guys are excellent and will not even try to smoke you even if you are lagging in the rear of the column (inside joke).
– Make sure you are in shape. The hills of WV are unforgiving. By my own thickheadedness and/or desire to push myself or maintain something close to realism, I wore plates, a chest rig and battle belt for all evolutions. By day three, I was feeling all of it, despite training at home regularly with a similar setup.
– Make sure you are in shape.
– Make sure you are in shape. This is not JUST for the class, but as a mindset and a way of life. Maintain the ability to grab your stuff and hit the road if necessary.
– Make sure you know how to run your gear, where everything is, and have some muscle memory so you can get to it in the dark if you need to.
– LISTEN and follow instructions. There are reasons for everything you are told.
– There are NO absolutes, but basics and concepts. Apply what is taught at the concept level based on the terrain, personnel, and situation. DON’T try to mimic or mirror what was drawn on the board and the exact spacing of people, position of people. Take the concepts and apply to the situation. This did not really hit me until about 15 minutes before leaving the training area.
– Everyone at the training, including the instructors, are like-minded patriots. I never felt unsafe, uneasy, or concerned in any way. In fact, I felt like, for once, not one of the few people “in the room” concerned about the future of our country! Safety was clearly a top priority as was making sure everyone understood the concepts and was able to execute what was requested.
– If you are on the fence about it, don’t hesitate to sign up!
Combat Patrol 24-26 October
For those of you who are really serious about your training Cadre, then the next phase of your tactical training experiences should include MVT’s Combat Team Tactics (CTT) and Combat Patrol Class (CP).
These 2 classes are not for your average guy. They are advanced courses that command higher levels of both physical and firearm handling skills. I recommend establishing a training regimen at least 3 months prior to your trip. For those of you in rural areas I would recommend biking up as many hills as you can find or backpacking. For those in urban areas, find a building with many floors and train on the stairs. The training site is located in a mountainous area at the bottom of 3 large draws to be exact. There is not one level piece of ground to be found at MVT, except maybe for the parking lot and the new square range!
Each time I have attended classes at MVT, I have met awesome like-minded folks from all across the country, from a wide spectrum of career fields. Everyone came there to learn and maintained great attitudes. I can’t say enough about the quality of people I have met and will keep in touch with while hopefully training again with them in the future. All of us shared similar concerns for our future and have made decisions to better prepare ourselves in hopes we will never need said training.
Max and Chris are top notch instructors. Chris and I were class mates for CRCD/ CTT 6 months ago. He had just come off of a Contract overseas and wanted to brush up on some training. Due to his vast experience as an Army Ranger, combat veteran and contractor, Chris and Max hit it off and he started assisting classes with Max. Chris makes an awesome addition to the MVT team!
Max is a very dedicated, experienced and knowledgeable instructor. He has a no B.S. and FUTW approach sometimes. He may also jump all over you like a D.I. when you screw up or do something stupid, so get over it butter cup and don’t be “that guy” as most of us were at some point over the three days. Max runs a well-planned course and maintains a high safety factor in a dangerous environment.
the Patrol class is the closest thing to experiencing what infantry field life is about and gives you the fundamental experience of working as a team. All the combat drills such as Break Contact, MVT Box Peel, Fight Through, Ambush, and the Raid are top notch and Max goes all out to make sure they are as realistic as possible. One of the most difficult tasks I found was navigating the terrain at night to find an objective without night vision.
In closing, I highly recommend training at MVT for any of the classes. It is high value training money well spent!
Antony / JAFO
Student Review: Combat Patrol 24 – 26 Oct: Stinger
Where do I start? Attending Combat Patrol was the best money I’ve ever spent on a weekend activity. What an incredible weekend! I attended this course with my oldest brother and another friend of ours while my wife ad sister-in-law attended CR.
This course is extremely valuable in so many ways it’s hard to know where to even start with describing what we learned. Here are some highlights:
Day 1: Instruction
On the one hand, the instruction we received seemed overwhelming at times with all that was involved. However, the more we were instructed and were able to practice, the more I became comfortable with what was taught. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by overcomplicating what Max teaches and getting way too intricate about details and absolutes. If you simply apply common sense to what Max says, everything starts making sense!
Day 2: Preparation and Tactical Phase
Things really started getting fun when day 2 began with a squad attack almost identical to what we did on Combat Team Tactics (previously CRCD). Talk about an adrenaline rush! After a frickin awesome squad attack on two bunkers on a hillside, we delved into the practical application of patrol techniques we learned the previous day. At 1300 hours (after lunch), the tactical phase of the weekend begins. No goofing off; this is the real stuff now. Our squad patrols out to patrol base and begins the work routine after posting sentries. After setting up our shelters, we have dinner and then patrol to the school-house for briefing on our night recce patrol mission. As darkness descends, Max finishes up his briefing on each team’s mission then sends us out. What a learning experience that was!
Some things I learned:
1. Moving in unfamiliar landscape in the darkness with little moonlight is difficult, especially when you are carrying your load-out and weapon.
2. Use all your senses: look, listen, smell, feel
3. Don’t think the only way to successfully navigate terrain in the dark is with night-vision or thermal optics. It’s nice and all, but if you don’t have it you can still accomplish your recce.
Day 3: Raid and Ambush
After a night recce patrol, and being woken up in the middle of the night for sentry duty twice, the sun begins to rise as the word is passed around for stand-to. At this point I’m really “getting into it”. We are survivors and we don’t know who is out there looking for us.
The rest of the day is constant live fire exercises including an ambush we perform from a hillside on an enemy patrol walking up the road. After the ambush, we decide that we have enough intelligence gathered from our evening recce patrol to make a full force raid on the enemy encampment. Our squad patrols up a steep hill, and sets up a support fire team, while the second team waits for the signal to attack down the hillside. There really is no way to describe the excitement but seriousness of what is about to happen. I look to the left and see our support team hidden; making ready to barrage the enemy encampment as we rush down the hillside for a full on fight forward attack. I look to the right to see the other guys in my team posed ready for the command to attack.
Gunfire cracks through the air as the support team unleashes hell on the encampment below. Max shouts “attack”, and we rush over the peak of the hilltop, rapid-firing as we go; getting as much fire down on the unsuspecting encampment as possible before we roll into our fight-forward drill down the hillside and right into the camp.
Long story short, we eliminated the enemy.
1. Has anyone heard Max talk about PT? Well guess what, he’s not messing with you. PT is important for Combat Patrol. I consider myself to be “average” physical fitness, and this weekend made me realize that I need to get my act together and rise above “average” and strive for “elite”. I didn’t have any trouble per se but it was a good weekend of exercise, and I was exhausted after. Below are four things I encourage everyone to do before attending Combat Patrol:
a. Quit eating the crap they call “food” nowadays: eat healthy and workout.
b. Go running to strengthen your cardio
c. Go on ruck hikes up and down hills to strengthen your legs and shoulders
d. Do your pushups at night
2. Buy an MVT SHIELD
i. Chances are very likely that who ever you are fighting will have thermal optics on the ground as well as in the air, and you need a way to protect your patrol base from being detected.
ii. They are lightweight and extremely customizable
iii. They are strong, durable, and long lasting
iv. It could save you and your family one day
2. Can you put a price on that?
3. Practice traversing unfamiliar landscape at night
a. Before coming to Combat Patrol, I did a couple conditioning hikes with my ruck, including a time where we went out to a state park with lots of hills and hiked 4 miles.
i. I strongly recommend that you practice this before the class; it will help you immensely with being able to perform well on the night recce patrol
If you are reading this, you need to take this course. If you haven’t taken CTT yet (prerequisite), then take it, then sign up for Combat Patrol OR attend the 6-day course that combines both. These courses could save your life one day, so stop stalling and get trained. Instead of buying that new TV, spend the money on training! Do you really want to play the odds that you will be able to survive without proper tactical training? Good luck with that. Have you seen the news recently? It’s not getting any better out there, folks. Get trained, be prepared, be an American.
I attended the October 2014 Combat Team Tactics (CTT) class. When I signed up for the three days of training it was at the time designated as RMP/CRCD (Rifle Manipulation Primer/Combat Rifle Combat Drills). RMP/CRCD have since been combined into one three day class, CTT. The CTT class as it is now structured, provides the student with one day of square range tactical carbine instruction and drills, and two subsequent days of individual and small unit training.
The first day on the square range covered range safety, zeroing the rifle, extensive instruction and drills in rifle malfunctions and how to clear them, and finished with individual and group tactical movements and contact drills. The second and the third days were conducted entirely on the tactical ranges. We were trained in react to contact drills at the individual level, then progressing to buddy pairs, teams, and finally the squad level. The specifics of the drills and maneuvers have been thoroughly described in other student reviews, and in publications such as Contact! which is an excellent companion reference for this training. I thus won’t try to give a detailed explanation of those things, but I would like to give you my perspective on why I think you and the people important to you need to go and attend this training.
You can get pretty much all of the content of the CTT class by reading ‘Contact!’ and similar manuals. Reading a book is a form of training, but it’s not “training” in a real world sense. I frequently run into this problem when trying to motivate other people in my community to seek training. This isn’t “training” in the corporate world sense where you read a book and maybe even go listen to a lecture, and might say afterwards ‘we got trained on the new employee reimbursement policy’. “TRAINING” (let’s use all capital letters to distinguish the let’s sit in a coffee shop and “train” on tactics, vs TRAINING yourself to be able to do it for real) in the sense I’m talking about means actually being able to fill a role and to perform a variety of actions on-demand, under stress, in non-ideal conditions. “Training” in that sense means that you read the books and get lectures as the starting point. Attending an MVT class though, completes the TRAINING you need to learn the concepts, and TRAIN yourself to be able to carry them out. Max and his cadre use the well-proven crawl-walk-run training methodology, wherein you begin by learning the concepts, then practice them at slow speed without external distractors, and progressively with each exercise repetition work on performing the drills more quickly and with fewer and finally no (hopefully) errors, in the face of growing physical stress. That, my friends, is what TRAINING is, and that’s what you get at MVT. Yes, it’s uncomfortable at times and can make you feel nervous and puny. If one is serious in purpose about wanting to be able to protect your family, then I don’t see how you could accept anything less than to learn and drill up to something like this level of proficiency. Education and “training” are useful and have their places, but “TRAINING” and being able to actually do it, is what I was seeking.
“Stress inoculation” is one concept that many believe helps one learn to perform better under stress. The idea is simply that if you practice doing things under stress, you’ll adapt to the experience and will learn from it, and you will actually perform better and faster in a real-world stressful situation. Without the experience of having performed under stress, in an unexpected life-threatening situation, the natural human response is to freeze. In the CTT class, students benefit from stress inoculation by repeated exposure to calibrated increments of increasing stress. The entry-level version of this is simply the team malfunction drill on the first day of class. After receiving training lecture and practical exercises on clearing rifle malfunctions, Max broke the class into two teams. One team would go to the bottom of the hill while the other team set up each student’s rifle with a particular malfunction. On the signal from Max, along the lines of “Contact Front!” or “Stand to! Stand to!” each student at the bottom would race to the firing line at the top, attempt to fire the (sabotaged) rifle, and analyze and correct the malfunction in order to engage his or her paper target. It doesn’t sound like a lot of stress, but a set of drills like this shows you the difference between what you think you know, and what you really know. If nothing else, would you care to try this while you’re huffing and puffing from having just run up a small hill? After a number of repetitions, every student was able to get a malfunctioning rifle back into action, expeditiously. I’d say that’s TRAINING not “training”, wouldn’t you?
Things progressed the following day to performing individual “RTR” (see Contact! and the MVT forum for details) react-to-contact drills. MVT has a portion of the tactical range which was constructed for this purpose. The student and instructor are in an area in which pop-up targets can appear anywhere within a more than 180 degree span around the student, not just in front. If nothing else, wanting to appear to be halfway competent in front of the instructor and your fellow students is enough stress on its own to make that simple drill just a little more difficult than it would be if you were doing it alone in your backyard. That’s a good thing, get used to the feeling, adapt to it, perform the drill well enough, and progress. The physical and mental stress increases as the day goes on, and students become mentally stronger and more adept at the techniques through this. I have several years of experience as a military instructor (former U.S. Navy submarine officer who served in roles of nuclear operator and as an nuclear instructor, and in nuclear weapons security), and as an instructor/faculty in my post-Navy life. This post is about the MVT training, so I mention my background only to give a bit of professional weight to my observations of Max, Chris, and the MVT training program while they were instructing us. I’ll simply say that although I may not be the highest speed firearms guy myself, I recognize and appreciate professionalism wherever I see it, and the MVT operation is totally professional at imparting this TRAINING to the students. The MVT cadre certainly did a great job of that in the several days we had, in training us and molding a mixed-experience group of guys into small teams with an ability to work together and function as a small unit. This knowledge and experience is exactly what I was hoping to learn, and I’m most satisfied with the CTT class experience.
The best compliment I think I can give to Max and his cadre is to say I’ll be back for more TRAINING before long. I think it’s significant that in our CTT class of nine attendees, three were repeat attendees, and one of those three was taking CTT for the third time. You wouldn’t see that if the quality of the TRAINING experience, the instructor cadre, and the training facilities wasn’t top-notch. Although I think I got through the CTT class respectably, I know I have room to improve. Doing, perhaps falling short, and doing better the next time around are part of TRAINING, no? I look forward to repeating CTT (and eventually the Patrol class, as well) with more people from my community, and improving my own abilities towards a goal of completing each CTT drill without mistakes. If you are concerned that your family and perhaps your community may need the ability to provide defense and protection, you should consider attending a class such as CTT at MVT. There are many training operations running where you can learn crucial individual skills, but very few with the team and small unit skills that many people think could be important someday.
One last thing comment about PT. Max, as does pretty much every other serious trainer, tells you to “up your PT”. I’m fortunate to have a PT training partner back home (a retired soldier) and have been running/biking several times a week for the past couple of years. Being in aerobic shape, as I understand it, is being able to exert significantly and steadily for periods of 30-60+ minutes. Being aerobically conditioned will help a lot. However, one “up my PT” thing which I am adding to my exercise program after taking CTT is “anaerobic conditioning” – things like 25 yard dashes at full speed. I absolutely hate that stuff, to me it hurts and is uncomfortable. Well, suck it up, the point is to use your opportunities and time now, and to do the best you can to strengthen yourself if you ever need to draw on these skills. I’ve never been in combat. But, the live-fire training experience at MVT was realistic enough to make me realize I need to improve my ability to properly do 3-5 second rushes without dying of exhaustion. “Up your PT” sounds like what every in-your-face instructor will tell you. One of the things I appreciate about Max and his cadre is that their passion truly is to TRAIN us, not to get in our faces and tell us we suck like a DI in the movies would do (I don’t know about you but I got enough of that back in my service days). Getting this valuable information about my conditioning from Max is part of what I’m talking about. TRAIN with Max and Chris (and Aaron, who we did not meet), and you may get the thumbscrews of more motivation/try harder tightened on you, but you’ll also get the information you need to be more effective. How’s that for TRAINING!?
A very satisfied student – Tom
Student Review: Combat Team Tactics 17-19 Oct: JustARandomGuy
I attended an original CRCD almost a year ago exactly from the 2014 class covered here, and it was an eye opening experience- I immediately made plans to return, but was delayed, hence the year wait. For brevity’s sake, I could simply direct all interested parties to my previous review posted here on the MVT blog (Oct. 2013, AAR #2) because everything I said there still applies. However, in the year it took for me to get back up to WV, a lot has changed with the CRCD class, (now CTT) and it would be a disservice not to cover the impact these changes have had on the course, as well as additional other takeaways.
So there I was a year later, standing there in the early morning dark with 8 other attendees…
The new CTT (Combat Team Tactics) has had a third initial square-range day added to it that in itself was a great idea, aside from how it impacted the rest of the class. For day 1 we spent the morning either zeroing or confirming zero on our rifles, then moving on to loading/unloading, reloads, and malfunction clearance drills, ending the day with some basic static movement drills that would lead into the RTR drills on day 2. So in essence aside from a team tactics class, you get a basic carbine class in as well. Frankly this is a much needed essential that was good to see added, considering last year there were some minor hiccups with folk that had less experience running their weapons and “Barbequing on the X”. The new square range day did a great job of mitigating this, and therefore freeing up time to work through the more involved portions of the class during the next two days.
Day two we moved into the basic Contact/ RTR drills. The original “short” range has been expanded, which means that not only are there more options to run the drills, but more space to run them in. For example, the “peel right” now ends up feeling little more “full” if you will, since you can get a couple more movements in before running out of range space. And did I mention the expanded area is all uphill? Not only does this add an extra level of physical exertion on the Day 1 portion, but working with the terrain can come into play as well. I’ll leave it at that, but it was a great way to up the intensity of the first day.
Also, another thing that was great was the ability to run an actual walkthrough of some of the more complex drills (like the team “peel right”)- remember all that time freed up for day 2 by working out all the weapon related issues on day 1? That pays off here, where the fifteen extra minutes that would have been spent having a Tactical BBQ can now be spent in developing a better understanding of how the drill works, or discussion of related issues.
Day 3 we moved onto the fullsize range which has also been expanded (and yes, it’s all uphill too). We warmed up with the classic jungle walk, and then moved into buddy pair assault/break contact drills, then on to 4-man break contact and peels. The new expansions really came into play on the large range, and especially on the final “bunker assault” drill of the day. Without giving any of the new fun stuff away, you get a much better feel for how a squad attack would work- engaging depth targets, the “assault cycle” and shifting of fires were all demonstrated in fuller detail than last year, and overall the final exercise was just that much more awesome.
Freedom boner activate!
As far as secondary takeaways;
-Situational awareness. It’s easier to get sucked into your site, and shooting the target popping up and down than you would think. It’s also easy to default back to what you did at a previous class, which could lead to a situation where you jump in a ditch like you did before, and completely miss the new target that has popped up on the extension range… On another drill, I missed the “contact front”, but it was called by my buddy, and the target was then engaged and we rolled into the rest of the drill. Fail on my part, *but* a great example of the oft repeated “every man is a link”.
-Shameless product plug of the day- the BCM Gunfighter Mod 4 charging handle is some of the best spent money you will spend on upgrading your rifle. My personal rifle has one of these on it, but I spent this class T&E’ing a budget built rifle for a family member. Since you perform reloads and malfunction drills with your left hand (unless otherwise applicable), while keeping the shooting hand on the grip, this means you need to work the charging handle with one hand. To put it simply, a charging handle with an extended latch and textured surface provides so much more positive control over your actions when running the charging handle one-handed, you don’t realize how much less effective the standard USGI charging handles are until you go back to one. Especially if you wear gloves. Not that there’s anything wrong with the USGI CH, but after a decent optic this should be the next thing you upgrade your rifle with. End plug.
-Don’t attempt to communicate into your stock. There’s no microphone there, and at times it can impede your buddies ability to hear you- especially if you’re a fellow who doesn’t do much yelling at full volume on a regular basis…
-Earpro- I switched to some basic active earpro since last class (the Howard Leights almost everyone in the picture is wearing). This is definitely an improvement over the foam plugs, or just basic earmuff hearing protection, and as far as I can recall I did not have any issues in this class hearing communications from other team members.
-Fred’s talk at the beginning of day three was great- it’s always good to get unfiltered factual info on the various CBRN threats from an expert on the subject. Further, the addition of an extra instructor (Chris) helped some of the larger drills run more smoothly, and made an exercise like the new bunker assault possible.
-If you can help it, don’t wait a year to go back. Need I bring up the old cliché of “perishable skills”? Especially if you’re largely without others to practice them with… While I was surprised at how much I remembered from a year back, I still had to re-learn a lot.
Final note- the original CRCD class that I took a year ago did more than an adequate job of explaining all the essential concepts for a base of team contact drill knowledge. The new CTT class does it that much better. Personally I would have liked to see a basic medical portion kept on (why the lack of interest in the TC3 class I don’t get….), but aside from that I would go so far as to say that the class is now as it should be.
If you’re looking to take a basic team tactics class for the first time, or re-take the CRCD course, the new CTT version won’t disappoint.
Student Review: Combined 6 Day Class Sep 27 – Oct 3: Kevin:
This was absolutely the best vacation I ever had. It was, of course, taxing at times, but I honestly can think of no better way to have expended my efforts or funds than in learning from Max and the cadre. I told Max this, and he asked that I review the class. For someone like me to be able to get this kind of training seems almost like an act of providence. After spending seven days at Max Velocity Tactical, I originally had no intention of writing a review, mainly because of being more fit to receive advice than to give it. Besides, many others have reviewed the courses more ably and more eloquently than I can. On his blog Max has provided synopses of all parts of the instruction (and goes into great detail in his excellent books), and there really is nothing of substance that I could add.
So, none of this is going to be new, but I will share some thoughts. First, I could not have been more impressed with the quality of instruction. Max and his cadre are not only operator as fuck, they are simply outstanding teachers. They take you where you are and skillfully guide you through the obstacles to quickly get you to where you understand the skills you need and the reasons behind them.
If you go to Max Velocity Tactical, you are also going to meet some fine, upstanding Americans in your fellow students as well. Spending a week with my class and the cadre was a welcome respite from the horripilating freak show that much of the populace in my AO has become.
Do it. Sign up for training at Max Velocity Tactical. Do it now, while you can. Arm yourself, get your kit squared away, get in condition, and most importantly, get trained. At the least send someone from your team. I know it seems expensive. Someday it may seem very cheap compared to the cost you might pay otherwise. And the opportunity may not last. Max is a warrior. It may be that he has other wars to fight. Or he may cease his operation for some other reason. You do not want to miss out on this. Max has put together the best training there is, but it is all for naught if we don’t get it.
Student Review: TC3 + Combined 6 Day Class September 27-October 3
David from Nevada
Reading Max Velocity Tactical can certainly give you some insight as what to expect during your training and I would encourage everyone to investigate all the AARs’ presented. They speak volumes to the truth of the experience. However, one must attend to gain a full appreciation for the journey that you will endue while here. Upon arrival, one is struck by the autumn colors, serene background, and the pure silence of the locale. Until of course, the training begins. Much has been said about the lack of flat land in the beautiful, woodsy hills of WV. The topography and the challenges it presents will be come immediately apparent once you set foot upon the terrain. You will be tested physically, make no mistake. I need to do more concerning PT, and this entire trip made that crystal.
Max, Aaron, Chris, and Fred are truly outstanding, exemplary professionals and exude confidence and professionalism that reinforces the participants resolve to perform at the highest level possible. They deserve it in view of their commitment to freedom and willingness to provide the necessary skill sets required for citizens to face the coming breakdown of society.
The TC3 class exceeded my expectations, and I am a seasoned health professional. Despite having worked in trauma centers, emergency rooms, those experiences are not in the field.
Having completed the class, I feel confident that I could provide life saving techniques learned here and transfer that knowledge out in the ‘real world’ as it were. I was particularly humbled by
the evacuation procedures for casualties. I had no fucking clue as to how difficult it is. I wish to emphasize the word “difficult”. And that was without being shot at.
CTT class is the new designation for the RMP class combined with the CR/CD class. Day one was learning all the basics of our rifle (everyone had an AR which helped), zeroing, speed and tactical reloads, weapons malfunctions and how to clear them. Aaron was our instructor. Bright, cheerful, loaded with information that he imparted to us most effectively. Oh, I almost forgot, Aaron can yell. No correction, YELL , like no one I have ever heard before. I think that ear pro would strain attempting to attenuate his volume down to just normal.
Days 2 and 3 concerned the contact drills noted in the book, “Contact”. First on individual level, buddy pairs, then groups of 4 and finally the squad level (8). All with live fire. Here was the essence of Max Velocity Tactical training, conducted by Max and Chris. I have had only one other experience on a ‘hot range’, and that was child’s play compared to what onewill be exposed to here. You quickly learn that this is serious business, and no room for error. As Chris would sometimes say, “big boy rules”. Safety here is of paramount importance and was continuously emphasized throughout the entire stay here, and rightfully so. Safety procedures learned here will endure for life. Any transgressions were immediately addressed by Max, and if need be, one of his infamous ‘bullockings’ would ensue. During some of the lull in training, Fred lectured us about CBRN on a variety of topics. His knowledge base is voluminous to say the least, and more importantly, his ability to breakdown complex ideas into information that was easily assimilated for the non technical audience.
Lastly, Combat Patrol, Night Patrol, and I suppose, our ‘graduation exercises’, contact with the enemy ( which included casualty evacuation), then ambush and a raid. All of which began just after breaking camp the early morning of day 6. If you wake up tired and cold, that early morning contact is akin to drinking 5 cups of espresso, and running a few miles. I really enjoyed the
night patrol led by Matt. He was all gung-ho on our initial jaunt up the slope and thankfully he slowed down a bit. Fortunately, as night encroached one must proceed more deliberately so as not to bumble through the forest like an bull in the china shop, giving away your position, or stepping off into a drop, or taking a branch in the eye. One learns to move almost predator like, testing the footing, looking about carefully utilizing your night vision abilities of the human eye. We played cat and mouse with Max driving about on the Ranger with his lights on, attempting to discern our location. Chris was down in the ‘enemy camp’ with NOD doing the same. Interestingly, even from atop the ridge, far down below we saw him using his cell phone with that characteristic blue/green glow. And that with the naked eye from afar. Light discipline is of paramount importance was the lesson. The other big rushes for me was being the ‘grenadier’ on one of the bunker assaults. Lots of close up rapid fire. Enough to bring a warmth to ones’ heart. Or, being on the fire support team for the raid on the enemy camp. Again, lots of rapid fire. I’m sure I saw a few smiles after that one.
My takeaways from attending were that there is no substitute for real, professional training. It is a very reality based, visceral experience. While gear may be of importance, if you do not possess the ability to use it, sooner rather than later, you will not prevail. Another observation is that you must have a mindset for controlled violence, be ‘dialed in’ as Max would say. After one exercise, he admonished us not for the fact that the drill went “just ok”, but we lacked that killer instinct and crisp execution. We all received a dressing down by Max. Perhaps not all deserved it, but it was, as they say, group therapy. He was telling us in effect, we will be fighting for our lives and those of our loved ones, and if we don’t act accordingly, very bad things will happen. Max possesses an extensive vocabulary that will reach even the most thick of folks. And I must add, realized it just now, another prized component of his… patience. Almost Job like. I am sure we tested it several times and am thankful for it. I hope to return and perhaps accompanied by my wife, because as many have said previously, women need this type of training also.
Get the training that is not available anywhere else before it is too late.
Student Review: TC3 + 6 Day combined class (+ NODF) 27 Sep -3 Oct: Dennis from North Florida
Student Review: TC3 + 6 Day combined class (+ NODF) 27 Sep -3 Oct:
Dennis from North Florida
Matt’s AAR was spot on and there is not much to add about the classes and instructors.
I attended this class with my daughter, who was Matt’s battle buddy.
I signed up for the class in May before the changes were made to classes. It would have been a 5 day combined class CRCD/CP with the TC3/RMP added on as the 6th day. When I signed up, I started an exercise routine consisting of hiking 1–3 miles with 30-40 pounds of battle belt and pack 3 days a week. In between those days I did pushups, sit-ups, squats and pull-ups. I lost 20 pounds before the class and had no problem hiking here in North Florida where it is relatively flat. I am 5’9” and 175’, and turned 62 a month before the class.
The CTT class was done with just the battle belt and rifle, but there was no way for me to be totally prepared for the physical part of this class. I live in an area that ranges from 60-90’ above sea level, and could not believe how steep those hills are in WV. The maneuvers themselves are not that difficult but doing them after and/or while going up those hills will wear you out. Luckily there was usually a short pause between exercises.
I have read and reread both Patriot Dawn and Contact several times prior to the class. I had a basic understanding of the maneuvers as described in the books, but you really must go and do the class to fully understand how to do these maneuvers properly and safely.
During the TC3 class, we carried a 130 lb person on a soft stretcher a short distance which was not too bad, as there were 6 people carrying. During the Patrol class, we carried a 200 lb person about ¼ mile using a hard stretcher with only 4 people, up and down the hills. We did not drop him, but came close a couple of times. Now that was hard.
The Ruck march during the patrol class was also very tough. Make sure that you do not have anything in your pack that you do not absolutely need.
Ammo: Bring more than you think you will need. We brought 3000 rds (1500 each), and used all but 300 rds. Near the end we cut down on our usage, when possible, to make it last. We could have used another 500 rds easily.
The bottom line is, I feel that the classes are useful and necessary. We traveled 14 hrs to get there and back and I plan to continue training and return again soon. Sitting home reading about it will not get it done.
TC3+ 6 Day combined class 9/27/14-10/3/14
Traveling from California was a relatively easy process. I flew from San Diego to Washington DC/Dulles using Southwest Airlines. Yes, Dulles is in Virginia. Just don’t cross the river into DC with your firearms!!!. I checked two AR15 type rifles (bullet button included) and one Glock 30. One rifle was in soft bulldog case inside of a locked Samsonite f’lite 30 hard roller case. The second rifle was packed the same as the first rifle with the the addition of the Glock, ACH helmet, esapi plates w/ carrier, and 12 pre-ban USGI 30 round magazines. My NOD was in my carry on bag with all the batteries. It was never questioned by TSA. Just declare the firearms to the person at the check in counter, they will give you a little card to fill out, they will place the card in the bag and send it on its way. Some airports will have TSA search the bags but it is fairly painless. Just allow enough time for the screening. Max was nice enough to pick up my ammo from his UPS mailbox. If you don’t want to hassle with all of this, just rent the AR and mags from Max. He will even sell ammo to you if you give him advanced notice. Living in one of the more restrictive States is no excuse to not get trained. However you decide to do it, get to West Virginia and get the training provided by Max and his Cadre. I have trained all over the left coast and even in West Virginia and nothing I have seen comes close to the facilities or skill set provided by Max Velocity Tactical.
Was well structured and very informative. I am now confident that I could provide the basic life saving care needed in a combat environment instead of just freezing with a blank look on my face while a family member bleeds out. It doesn’t do much good to carry that IFAK around if you have no idea how to use it. Now I just need to practice these skills with my family members to keep everything fresh in my mind. These are perishable skills so a dedicated training regimen is necessary.
A few words on fitness. I had read the many reviews and posts emphasizing the importance of PT but I still wasn’t really sure what to expect. I am 31 years old 5’10” and 165 lbs (161 Lbs after the class). Before signing up for the class, my workout routine wasn’t much more that running a 10 minute mile a couple times per week with a few push ups and pull ups here and there. In preparation for the class, I decided to do the GORUCK 6 week plan with my Wife. Having a workout partner really helps. At the beginning, I scored 154 out of 300 on the APFT test (2 Miles in 20:44, 60 Sit-ups in 2 min, 38 push-ups in 2 min) and 6 weeks later I got a 200 on the APFT test (2 Miles in18:16, 65 sit-ups in 2 min, 50 push-ups in 2 min) still not a passing score but it was an improvement. While the drills at MVT were physically challenging and I was definitely huffing and puffing after each drill, there was plenty of rest between each drill and none of the exercises were the grueling death marches that I had read about. At home I was doing a lot of my PT with my plate carrier and four steel plates. Two front and two back. Trust me, training at home is nothing compared to assaulting up a hill. Even with lighter ceramic plates. Day 1 I tried wearing my ceramic plates with a camel back and it was pretty rough. I took out the front plate and the camel back for day two and it was manageable. Day three, I worked back up to two ceramic plates and it was survivable but it did slow me down. The takeaway for me was that steel plates are a joke. Unless you are superman (or woman) there is no way you can run these drills with steel armor. Even ceramic plates will be too much for most people. This class has given me a new outlook on the level of fitness required to physically defend myself and my family and I have every intention of continuing the GORUCK level of PT as a new base line for my fitness throughout my life. Without these classes provided by MVT, I may not have learned the importance of PT until it was to late. Thanks Max!!!!
CTT Day 1 (previously RMP) 9/28/14
Aaron is an awesome instructor. He is very calm, confident, and knowledgeable with a great sense of humor but he can ramp it up when he needs to. I was very glad that Max added the third (first) day to CTT. It gave everyone a chance to brush the cobwebs off and it gave Aaron a chance to break some of our bad habits before moving into fire and movement.
NODF 9/28/14 19:30-23:30
This class is a must if you have any intention of operating at night or defending against others that have NOD capabilities. Max, Aaron, and Chris were very capable at moving in low/no light and this class will give you a glimpse of what it really takes to work at night. The experience from this class was also very useful during the night recce patrol in the combat patrol class. There were three students in the class including myself. I was using a somewhat less capable Armasight Nyx-14 Gen 2+ unit mounted to my ACH. While this unit isn’t as good as the PVS-14, for $1700, it will make a great backup unit and it was still plenty capable. My laser was an OTAL purchased from TNVC and as long as you take the lens cap off it works great. (Yes, Max and Chris had to walk me through that embarrassing moment).
We started on the square range with basic firing techniques and then onto fire and movement. We then moved onto a team fire and movement onto a simulated enemy position. The whole time there was an instructor within a few feet and they made sure that safety was always a priority.
I went into this class fully expecting to NOT own the night based on previous reviews and blog posts but I was still very humbled by my lack of capability in the dark. Walking around my property at night didn’t even come close to the experience provided Max and his team.
CTT days 2-3 9/29/14-9/30/14
The remainder of CTT covered the many contact drills that Max and Chris are amazingly skilled at. It was very impressive that they were able to take a group of individual strangers with widely varied levels of experience and turn us into a squad sized element capable of moving and fighting in a coordinated fashion. Yes we received the occasional “correction” from Max when we behaved randomly but I’m sure that the stress induced my Max’s verbal corrections is nothing compared to the stress of a real life and death contact. Just suck it up, listen to what Max is saying, and correct the behavior. No ego’s!!!!
We were also fortunate enough to have Fred visit our class during the Jungle Walk and the glimpse we got of his knowledge of CBRN is astounding. I have read the books and most of the Internet info out there but Fred’s level of understanding based on actual experience cannot be found on any forum or book that I have seen. Thank you Fred!!
Combat Patrol 10/1/14-10/3/14
Day 1 of Combat Patrol gave the class a chance to recuperate from the previous two days of running up and down the hills of West Virginia. Max and Chris reviewed the basic patrol concepts and ruck setup and finished the day with instruction to setup our gear for the next two days.
Day 2-3 10/2/14-10/3/14
Day 2 consisted of more theory and practice on the patrol base which has been covered on previous student reviews. Max provided a thorough safety briefing for our Recce patrol (actions on) in the event of injury, individuals separated, individuals lost, patrol lost. The whole process was very controlled and between the radio, individual whistles, light sticks, map, and compass. It seems very unlikely that the exercise could go wrong. Our 5 person patrol moved out about 19:00, just as the sun was setting, and I set a “moderate” pace, cross graining the terrain (billy-goating was the term my team accusingly used), to reach the ORP about 15 minutes after it got dark. Myself and one other from the NODF class used NOD’s and they were extremely useful in designating the best path and locating any light sources that may be emanating from the enemy camp. I found that it was almost easier to walk in the moon light without the NOD and flip the NOD down occasionally to locate the best path and to scan for any additional light sources. Another student used a FLIR scout to scan during halts or linear danger areas and it was very educational to see what an advantage you or your enemy has with these technologies. Our team moved around the enemy base camp to perform four separate close Recce patrols. Despite our teams impression that we were stomping around the woods making enough noise to be heard miles away, we found that we were never actually heard by the enemy camp. This exercise was very educational and provided a necessary lesson on the importance of the Intel provided on a Recce Patrol. After our close Recce was complete we exfiltrated to our base camp and completed our mission in three hours (one hour early). After taking the NODF class, navigating through the woods in the dark was plenty manageable. Our team never needed the map, compass, or other contingencies and the whole exercise felt very safe and controlled.
After a quick debrief, our squad occupied the patrol base for the night and worked through our sentry roster until morning stand to. In the morning, Max ran us through a few more of his very inspiring exercises and the day wrapped up with a full squad assault on the enemy camp that we Recce’d the night before. Awesome!!!
I had very high hopes for this class based on other student reviews and Max and his team definitely delivered…and then some. I started this journey after reading Contact, Rapid Fire, and Patriot Dawn but even though these were excellent resources, it was obvious that I needed to go to West Virginia and actually perform the drills with Max’s instruction if I wanted any hope of actually practicing these drills at home. All of my fellow classmates were great people from the patriot community and it is a true testament to Max and Chris’s abilities that they were able to turn us into a mostly functioning squad in one week. Bring your wife or girlfriend if you can convince them to go. Women need this training too. My battle buddy was a female and she was unstoppable. If you want to have any chance of surviving what is coming. Don’t just read about it on the internet. Get the training now while you still can.
Matt from California
Aaron is an excellent instructor. He’s very knowledgeable, competent, and easy to learn from. He can be stern when safety violations occur but easily reverts back to calm; nor does he hold grudges against students when problems occur. However, woe be to anyone who brings pmags…(Max adds: what’s the deal, I love PMAGs?)
The sequence of the class itself falls in the same mantra as MVT’s standard; crawl, walk, run. Every exercise was first demonstrated by Aaron, then each student did at least two or three dry runs, then actually performed the exercise two or three times. Our class had eleven students so we split into two halves with one half working the exercise and the other half watching. Throughout each dry run and subsequent actions Aaron walked behind each student and offered suggestions, corrections, or encouragement as needed. The second half of the second day was run using only individuals or pairs of students depending on the exercise.
As the class went on I felt more and more comfortable. Each exercise built my confidence little by little. At no point in time did I feel rushed or not understand the exercise. Aaron promptly answered any question at any time. As others have said he really explains the why of each step so you can understand the theory.
For me the highlight of day one was the pressured malfunctions exercises. Running up the small hill to fire my weapon that a “friendly” fellow student had set up a malfunction on was great. Got my blood pumping, heart rate up, and then forced me to clear the rifle to get two shots down range. LOVED IT!
The highlight for the second day was the dual fire from cover exercise. We shot from both our strong side and support side. Support side shooting was a little odd at first but really got comfortable after a few iterations.
I’ve only taken one day of previous training before and I learned some from that class. This two day training greatly expanded on that and reinforced what I had learned previously and helped to identify other areas which need improving. Tactical mag changes are challenging for me. Slowing down is another one (taking that extra half second makes all the difference) A few small gear issues still need to be worked out. (Pmags – I simply can’t do a tactical mag change while standing using Pmags. Kneeling I can, but not standing.) I think as I progress through the classes (I’m going to go to CTT next, followed by Combat Patrol) my gear will be adjusted and dialed in a little more each class.
All in all I had an excellent time. I cannot wait to come back for the next round of training.
Thank you to Max for allowing me to come onto your property and add a few new holes in the berm!
Corporate Guy (CG) from Carolina
AAR – Combat Rifle class (CR) – 20-21 September, 2014
I recently attended the 20-21 September, 2014 Combat Rifle class (CR).
About ten months ago I made the decision that I did not want to be one of those guys that buys an AR, puts it in the closet and hopes for the best. I committed myself to the idea that I was going to acquire some basic skills and work towards achieving competency with this tool. Prior to the weekend of 20 September, 2014 I had previously attended TC3/RMP, CRCD (twice, although the second time I missed day 2) and NODF (twice). I have posted AAR’s describing my experiences as a student at MVT in each of these classes. If you search the blog, these AAR’s are readily available and may provide additional context.
In May, I showed up for the initial CRCD class that I had signed up for and for what I had anticipated would be a full day TC3 class. As a result of training schedule changes I found myself somewhat unintentionally a student in the Rifle Manipulation Primer class (RMP). To be completely transparent, I would likely have not signed up for the RMP class had I not been planning to be on site that morning anyway for the TC3 class. As noted previously, RMP was a pleasant surprise. RMP gave me an opportunity to shake off the cobwebs and build some confidence ahead of CRCD. I also discovered that I did not know everything I needed to know about running my AR effectively and found an instructor with real world experience, committed to teaching. I left RMP with the notion firmly planted that additional training would be a good investment.
Several months later the MVT course structure has changed a bit and RMP no longer exists. Its been replaced by a beefed up two day Combat Rifle class. As indicated I attended this class last weekend – with my wife. It was her first class at MVT, but I will let her tell her own story.
The class runs as described in the curriculum description. Aaron runs the class participants through the basics including the principals of marksmanship, zeroing procedures, tactical and speed magazine changes and stoppage drills on day 1. Day 2 is focused on shooting positions, shooting on the move and some drills that begin to segue towards CTT. The quality of instruction remains high and an impressive amount of material is covered in two days. If your eyes are open during the course it is impossible not to recognize the progress each student has made at the completion of the class.
So here is the thing. Part of my ego would love to claim that I knew it all or had it all down cold when I got there, but that’s just not the case. The truth is, I had been exposed to some of the material over time but not all of it. I had absorbed some of it along the way in earlier courses but not all of it. For example, some things like the impact of optics height over bore on accuracy at short distance I had heard before but did not click until last Sunday. Some things I had just not been exposed to before – like support side shooting. Let alone had a chance to do enough of it to convince myself I could hit what I was aiming at using the techniques taught. I suspect for most mortals, even those who have had previous training, there are things to be learned in CR.
The final training block and associated exercise introduces buddy team fire and movement. My wife became my battle buddy in this drill. As somebody who had come to prior classes by myself, for me this was also a learning moment. Bluntly, it felt a bit more real with a family member in the game than it had in the past.
As my wife and I worked our way thru this exercise I tripped into a couple of other things to consider on the drive home and eventually share. A final bound or two from our target, as I began my bound, my wife yelled “stoppage”. Well trained, down I went intending to provide covering fire. One round later I was yelling “stoppage” as well. There was not much thought to it, muscle memory I guess. But that magazine change was likely the fastest I had ever managed. My rifle was up in a flash and the exercise ended. When I stood, I had one of those little moments where you know you did it right. Clearly a small victory, but for me that moment was priceless. It was done well enough that both my classmates and Aaron commented. Aaron’s final comment to the class across the range was “I taught him that”. Smiling ear to ear my simple response was – He did!
On the ride home I found myself considering Max’s prior statements that life can be defined in seconds and inches in certain circumstances. Mostly pondering whether my magazine change would have been fast enough to make a difference. No way to know the answer to that question, but I am going to keep working at it.
CG from Carolina
Max Adds: I think CG has outlined some issues perfectly:
1) The benefit of training that many people don’t know, or don’t think, they need. This has been the problem with the Combat Rifle class for the outset – without really knowing the content of it, many think thy are already better than it. Tip: we design these classes with a purpose, and they will really help you. But yeah, I can run my rifle fine. Right? Right?
2) The vital matter of training with those you are likely to fight with. Like your family! Your family, band, tribe, whatever. We have many who come as individuals and small groups in order to take back the training to their group. Limited ‘train the trainer’ stuff – because these guys are on the whole not really trainers. That has merit, but how much better to receive the actual training at source? When you are down, and they are closing in on your family, your kids, don’t you want your wife to pick up her rifle and rain hell fire down upon them?
I mean, look at the photo at the top of this post for a momnet. That’s America right there. That’s suburbia gone live firing. Good job, because I want you people to survive. That’s why we at MVT do this.
Student Review: Night Optical Device Firing 19 Sept: ‘Hello Kitty’:
WTF? OK, before we get into this Student Review, I want to disabuse you of the notion that it is written by a female. I’m a little nonplussed by the handle ‘Hello Kitty’ myself. The guy has a shaved head and a bushy goatee, and looked like a viking on the night firing class!
AAR Night Optical Device Firing – Sept 19
Hello Kitty from TN
I got the opportunity to take the NODF course in conjunction with the updated CTT course. It was well worth the money and time.
Instructors: Max, Chris and Aaron.
Only 2 students including myself attended.
We started at 1730. Course lasted roughly 4 hours.
I used a PVS14 and a Crye skullcap. Along with a rifle mounted OTAL infrared laser. I also used my battle rig I used during the CTT course.
We started out with a lecture on how to setup your NVG with personal preferences from each instructor. (See Chris’ NVG article on blog.) Max discussed some tactical applications to consider when using NVGs. Excellent learning opportunity.
Next we moved to range. All while using our NVGs, by the way. Entire class was done in the dark. On the range we zeroed our lasers on our rifles. Once we got zeroed, we began shooting in different firing positions, moved to reactive firing drills, RTR (return fire, take cover, return effective fire) drills and then to fire and movement drills.
We ended the class with a final exercise. An assault on an enemy camp. We patrolled 300 yards into a valley, got into position and assaulted a mock camp with campfire and multiple targets using the fire and movement we learned on the range.
I am still processing everything I learned in this course. The amount of info I did not know was astounding. And it was only a 4 hour course.
Some of the many lessons I learned: how to quickly and accurately put the laser on my target from patrol ready, how to move better on uneven ground, dealing with fogging when sweating heavily, making your laser safe from negligent discharge when moving into position, shadows can hide bad guys even when you have NVGs on, scanning constantly/head on a swivel, which is particularly challenging when assaulting, where is the enemy, where is my battle buddy, where am I taking cover next, etc. using NVG is not easy and you have to put hours and hours of time using them tactically.
If you have NVGs or considering buying some, you do not know how to use them. Trust me. This course will make a huge difference. Taking them out now and then and walking around is not the same, plinking with them on is not the same. You need to train with them. Our instructors had years of experience behind NVGs, why would you not want some of that knowledge? Take this course. And repeat.
Student Review: Combat Rifle 20 – 21 Sep: Trailwoman:
Aside from basic NRA courses, attending Max Velocity’s CR (or CRM) class is the first formal rifle training that I have taken. While I have shot various firearms since I was about 9 years old, I have never done any extensive work with them. The little bit of one-on-one training that I have had has been from my father, my husband, and generally a bunch of cranky old men…which I think has left a few training scars, making it difficult for me to take instruction with an open mind, especially from anyone I have a relationship with.
My husband has been pushing me for a while to get into some solid practice with shooting. He has read Max’s books and does shoot regularly. He signed us up for this CR course months ago.
My main goal for attending the course was to become more comfortable and confident handling an AR. Quite frankly, they WERE intimidating to me. They’re loud; for a petite woman, they’re a little on the heavy side; they’re high powered. All of that packed together made for intimidation.
When I say that my husband signed us up for this months ago, I mean that. So far back that the class structure changed between the time we were signed up for it, and the time that we took the course. What my husband had worked out was some one-on-one training for me on Friday, prior to us taking the CR course. While that was going on, he was going to attend day one of the CRCD course, now called CTT. When we arrived Friday morning, Max pulled us aside and asked me how much experience I had. I was honest — I had very little experience. What he was getting at was that while he was perfectly willing to honor the arrangements that had been made, where I would have one-on-one training with one of his instructors, he was pretty sure I would be fine in the day one of CRCD/CTT AND, then I would have the benefit of being in the course with all of the other folks there. So, I agreed to trying that. He assured me that if at any time I felt overwhelmed, all I needed to was raise my hand and they would pull me out and I would go off to one-on-one training.
At the end of that day, I think I was more frustrated with myself than anything — frustrated that I had not practiced more before hand, and that I was having a hard time pulling all of the fundamentals together to make one good shot. Don’t get me wrong, my shooting wasn’t horrible. I wanted to be able to take what Chris was saying, what Aaron was saying and what Max was saying and roll it all into one to be able to make my shots and I was having a hard time with that. But that was _my_ problem. And to quote Aaron, “I’ll get over it…” And I did. On day two.
So on Day 2 for me, it was really Day 1 of CR, the course we were really signed up for. Which turns out to be the same as Day 1 of CTT in the new structure of classes. For me, personally, this gave me the opportunity to practice everything I had just learned the day before. I was a lot more comfortable with what I was doing.
The biggest take aways that I have from my experience this past weekend are:
1) I know how to zero in my rifle. I feel confident that I could go to a range and do this without having an instructor stand over me.
2) I know what the 5 main malfunctions with an AR are, how to create them, and how to clear them, and I intend to practice doing both. I even know about pregnant unicorns: a bolt-override gone seriously wrong…again, my sincere thanks to Fred for cleaning up the mess on that.
3) I know that my left hand should be the one pulling the charging handle, even if I have not perfected that yet. And that I need to be much slower in pulling my finger off the trigger until I hear that trigger reset (thanks to Chris for his patience). I can actually do both an emergency reload and a tactical reload without dropping it all.
4) I CAN move, while firing, and I can do it safely, AND I can make the shots I need to, effectively. I can even do this with a partner.
5) Before you go to a class. Spend half a day wearing the hearing protection and eye protection that you intend to wear for the class, because you’ll be wearing it for 8 solid hours, two or three days in a row. I learned a lot about my gear, what worked, what didn’t work and what I want to change. Think about it. Most of the time when you go to a range, you aren’t spending more than an hour or two there. Well, maybe you are, but seriously, most of us have day jobs. Spend half a Saturday wearing your stuff around the house to see if you really like the way it feels. If you’re in a shitty situation, you probably want as many comforts as possible. Figure it out now, before you need to put it to practice.
6) I don’t flinch every time a shot is fired anymore, I can confidently carry my AR, I’m not uncomfortable or intimidated anymore.
7) I want to come back and take the Combat 2 Gun (C2G) course.
The knowing and the can do attitude are attributed to one heck of an instructor. Aaron is a born teacher. He is able to incorporate student’s questions into his curricula in an effective and efficient manner — and everyone takes interest when he does.
At the end of the day or class, I think the most important thing is that it doesn’t matter how much experience you have, this is a phenomenal class, and even if you are “experienced” which shooting, you will learn things you didn’t know you needed to learn. I think that everyone in the class with me learned a lot and was able to smooth out skills that they may have already had. Oh, and the classes aren’t just for men: women take them too, and I wasn’t the only one in the class this weekend.
Corporate Guy (CG) from Carolina
AAR – Night Optical Device Firing – 19 September, 2014
I recently attended the 19 September, 2014 Night Optical Device Firing (NODF) class. I was also fortunate enough to attend the inaugural 20 June, 2014 NODF class. At the risk of being repetitive I will repeat some of what I included in my initial AAR on this subject from June 2014.
As noted previously, I consider myself young at 52, but self-aware. I know I am not 22 any more. In the interest of leveling the playing field a bit, I made the determination last year that I wanted to take advantage of the available technology. I invested in good quality equipment. That said, my exposure to NOD equipment prior to these two classes was largely limited to occasionally using it to wander around my pasture and local woodlands. I had never fired a weapon while employing NOD nor tried to establish zero with this equipment. I was smart enough to know I needed help but not smart enough to know how badly I needed help. If this resonates for you, I encourage you to read on.
In the alternative, if you are thinking you can pull this equipment of the shelf and use it effectively without help, I urge you to read on! There is real danger in not knowing what you don’t know!
As noted previously, the inaugural event turned out very well and I left very happy with that experience. Without getting to deep in the weeds:
As a matter of perspective, all of this this was perfect. It’s why I went. In addition there were lots of little ah ha moments! For example, I learned that (and will not forget) technology designed to amplify light does not work as well as you might think on a moonless rainy night with heavy cloud cover.
I went into the first class with tunnel like vision focused on learning the details, the mechanics related to operating the gear. And the thing is I did learn. When I showed up to retake NODF I knew how to set the gear up and how it functioned. I am not saying 4 hours of instruction during the first class made me an expert. I am saying it laid a foundation I could build off of (not unlike CR in the context of CTT). I was ready to take the next step.
From a personal perspective, taking NODF a second time was a good investment. In my NODF class #1 the instructor to student ration was 2 to 4. In my NODF class #2 the ratio was 3 to 2. It does not get any better than that folks. I was able confirm that I had learned some things in my first go at NODF and build on them. For me confirmation translates into confidence. For example:
The list above is not intended to be comprehensive. My only point is that I believe I made demonstrable incremental progress (even if on a range).
Not surprisingly, at MVT you will move off the square range and into a more tactical environment. This transition offers tangible benefits. For example:
Its pretty clear to me that there are some things that you can’t learn from a users manual. Experience matters. If you purchased this type of gear for reasons similar to mine, please recognize, that you are not going to just pull this stuff off of a shelf and use it effectively.
I get that every body learns differently and you may absorb everything you need to know in a single class. However, I suspect that for most people, confidence and competency in the field are going to require more effort than turning up for a four-hour class. At the risk of being melodramatic, lets face it, we aren’t talking about recreational youth soccer (football for Max). This is not a game where everybody gets a trophy at the end of the season.
I still feel like I just scratched the surface and I will likely return. Do yourself a favor. Make the time.
CG from Carolina
Student Review: Combat Patrol Class Aug 30-Sep 1: Jon R T
After reading and hearing directly from MVT alumni about the value of repeating training at MVT, I decided to repeat the Combat Patrol class.
The environmental differences between my two experiences in CP were significant. During the day the temperature was in the mid 80’s as opposed to near perfect temps in April. This class had almost no moon on night patrol. The forest had a full leave canopy this time which mostly blocked the small amount on available moonlight. These factors made movement of our 6 man patrol team difficult particularly after 2230 hrs. I had NOD’s, so our team’s formation after moonset was almost like a 6 man human caterpillar attached to one guy with NOD’s. We had a FLIR Scout, and this was very useful on the RECCE patrol as well. If you have night vision gear, bring it. I think that maneuvering on the RECCE patrol would have been really tough without NOD’s.
It is a fact that repeating the class reinforces the previous lessons, and I certainly felt more at home with the drills, goals, and expectations of the class. Max’s lessons had subtle refinements and improvements. I can’t emphasize enough how impressed I am with the teaching techniques used by Max and Chris.
The drills were much the same as my last patrol class. I had originally attended the CRCD/CP combined class, so, at that time, I was a bit overwhelmed with the concepts. After 5 months to reflect on the lessons, I felt completely comfortable with the drills. I knew where to go and picked out my cover before moving where possible. My situational awareness was much better. Of course, my battle buddy was excellent as was our team. Our communication was great. There was far less Max bollocking.
I think the most important aspect was that I finally picked up on what Max called controlled aggression. I think it allowed quicker movement and target acquisition and made me less tired during the drills. It was particularly helpful during the raid drill. Once the 24 hr patrol drill commences, act as you would if the exercise was real and you can’t go wrong.
Lessons learned and reinforced:
Jon R T
Company: Max Velocity Tactical
Course: Combat Patrol (CP)
Instructors: Max / Chris
Location: Romney, WV
Dates: Aug 30th 2014 – Sept 1st 2014
Another great training weekend at Max Velocity, I want to share my experience and highlight some of the training that left an impression on me.
The class curriculum can be found at here.
The Combat Patrol class is a 3 day class that covers the theory and practice of patrolling. The class consists of both lecture and practice. Many of the concepts are taught, rehearsed several times, and then executed in the field.
Below is a rough outline of each training day (borrowed from Submariner):
TD1 was the theory of patrolling, including, but not limited to, types of patrols; planning; movement; field craft; actions on contact, etc.; patrol movement/security; gear requirements and packing. Afternoon was live firing as a squad: Offensive react to contact – squad hasty attack; Squad level break contact drills – options; and The MVT Box Peel – an MVT designed drill for withdrawing for contact front/flank simultaneously. Think reaction to an L-Shaped ambush or enemy flanking move.
TD2 Instructors conducted an equipment check to weed out unnecessary items and taught us how to set up a basha/tarp in the field. Practical instruction on living in the field and how to operate in a patrol base followed. Then that afternoon, we commenced the 24-hour tactical exercise: Patrolling out; Occupy Patrol Base; Routine in Patrol Base, including Evening Stand-To in Patrol Base; Night Recce Patrol; Routine in Patrol Base overnight, including sentry duty.
TD3 began with Morning Stand-To in Patrol Base; a Proprietary tactical exercise – live firing; AM: Live ambush; PM: Live Raid; Patrolling in. Again, theory of ambushes and raids were presented; rehearsals were conducted and the evolutions were run until we got it right.
Thoughts, Ramblings, Learnings:
PT… freaking PT. It doesn’t seem to matter how much PT I do, I’m gassed when running through some of the drills. I work out 5 days a week (weights, P90X, Cardio/Running)… but you can never do enough. Carrying a rifle and my loadout changes the game considerably… and I’m reminded of that every time I attend a class at Max’s. I need more PT.
PT… again. In typing the above, I was thinking that it’s rare to attend a training class where you are gassed even before the shooting starts. I’ve heard of some instances where instructors will make you do some jumping jacks or burpees to get you breathing heavy, but it’s almost the norm at Max’s to be breathing heavy before you start pulling the trigger (CRM is a little different as you are on the square range, but the above holds true for CRCD and CP). In CRCD there are several drills where you need to patrol up the mountain a good 150-200 yards before you experience your first enemy contact… then you need to use break contact drills to fight your way back down the mountain.
During the last day of Combat Patrol we rehearsed the final Raid drill several times and I even heard Max say “The assault team will sprint the last 100 yards up the creek bed to make the assault on the base once the fire cover team starts to lay down fire.” (Max: I deny it all! Come on guys, it was about 40 yards and I was shuffling… that’s adrenalin for you!) In my mind, sprinting 100 yards translated to “we need to move quickly for 30 yards to get into position for the attack”… but when the fire team started their covering fire, Max started sprinting up the riverbed… he was freaking moving, by the time the assault team got into our first firing position, I could hear my heartbeat thumping in my ear pro. From there it was covering fire, a left peel, more covering fire, an offensive react to contact drill and fighting through the camp, a brief pause while another team attacked, a break contact drill, frag out, more break contact, and then a sprint down the main road out of the camp. It was 15 mins of non-stop movement… and I was once again gassed. Need more PT.
Night Recce was my favorite drill. Patrolling through Max’s property with a team of 4, staying as stealthy as possible while not being seen by the sentries or Max driving around on the Ranger was another eye opener for me. Having the search beam float over you while you are face down in a creek bed is enough to make you hold your breath in hopes of not being seen.
Night Vision / FLIR: If you have read the other AARs you’ve heard attendees talk about how dark it is; it was pitch black. I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face for most of the night. I didn’t’ think it would be possible to be walking 2ft behind someone and not see them or be able to follow them, but we did operate for most of the night that way. I hadn’t seriously considered NODs… but they are back on my procurement list. We all train for different reasons, and if you think that the “lights might go out” at some point… NODs are going to be a must.
Team: I’ve been fortunate to meet some very good people at Max’s. This class was no exception. I was impressed with how quickly a group of motivated guys could get together, learn a skill, and then apply it in a professional manner.
Having a team is vital to surviving… Max talks about it, Mosby addresses it, I’m sure the MIL community also understands this. Being a loaner is a non-starter when operating in this type of environment. Build a team.
Battle Flow: Another big take away for me was watching the flow of the battle during the drills. In CRCD you get a taste of this, but in CP, you are fighting with multiple squads all working the same objective. The concepts of flanking, covering fire, and movement all come to a head as Max directs the squads on the ranges… it’s an art as much as it’s a science.
Quote of the Week: “It’s complicated, but it’s simple.”
Another great weekend, I will definitely be back to train again with Mr. Velocity .
The march in followed a trail up some hilly terrain. We broke off the trail and traversed down a steep slope. The squad reached an intersection of two trails and halt was called. This was our ORP. Watches were coordinated and the fire support team hiked up into an overwatch position. The assault team was led up a dry creek bed. Walking slowly and carefully placing each foot the assault team silently moved into position. Security was set and the squad leader passed down the time remaining to the assault. Ten minutes. Five. Two. You flex your fingers and re-grip your rifle. Tension is mounting. Moving signal was given. We all stood up and got ready. Waiting. The calm before the storm is about to break. Suddenly a crescendo of gunfire roared from the hillside. Raid initiated. It was on!
You never know who is going to show up to the training class. The group that showed up to this class had their shit squared away. Everyone was in good shape, ran their rifles well, and knew the drills. After the first drill I could tell everyone took safety seriously and had active muzzle awareness. Everyone came to learn, no one hesitated to ask for clarification, and the drills ran well.
Its a testament to the ability of Max, as a teacher and the program he’s running, that ten guys who have never trained together before can gel together and pull off some “Complicated…but simple drills.”
Student Review: TC3/RMP, CRM, 15-7 Aug: Arthur
Class Review TC3, RMP & CRM August 15-17, 2014
This review comes on the heels of 3 excellent reviews of the CRCD and Combat Patrol classes from 8/2/14 to 8/6/14. This review coming after those reviews seems appropriate, since for almost everyone reading this review of CRM, you will need it. Unfortunately, you don’t know it. As I drove home last night, reviewing the weekend it occurred to me, that most do not know how much they need this class until they have taken it. That is unfortunate.
Let me back up a few months. I originally scheduled myself for CRCD for this weekend. I have taken some square range courses, read a lot and look at YouTube videos like most and do a lot of PT. Then in the Spring the discussion of taking CRM before CRCD began. But if you had previously signed up you would be grandfathered in. However, it was clear from the posts that CRM was strongly suggested and as I read the early CRM AAR’s I decided to switch. Hindsight being what it is, this turned out to be a very good choice.
TC3, RMP & CRM for August 15th, 16th & 17th.
As noted above, I had signed up for CRCD and at the same time signed up for TC3 & RMP. When switching to CRM I decided and was encouraged to stick with TC3 & RMP.
Quickly on TC3, since format is changing to a full day class, all I will say is take it. Someone in your family, group, tribe needs to know this. You don’t need to be a medical wizard, you need to be willing to step up, keep your head in the game when it’s all going to hell, be able to act perhaps save your buddy, spouse, child, friend, etc. because, if this happens there most likely isn’t going to be a 911. You will be 911. Max does an excellent job of conveying the information, equipment needed and going to full day will be value added.
As I understand it RMP is being rolled into CRCD and will be day one of three, which is another good idea. Here’s my take. When I showed up Friday I was probably like most, nervous, apprehensive, don’t know anybody, etc. As it turned out RMP was the perfect “tune up” for, in my case, CRM. Got to meet the instructor (Aaron, discussion of instructor later), began doing some drills, meeting other students, albeit compressed into 4 hours. However, the time spent doing zeroing your rifle, speed & tactical reloads, and malfunction clearances was the perfect way to get you into the right mindset. As much as you may think these are boring, tedious, mind numbing they are crucial to running your rifle and from what I saw we all would not be wasting time practicing these drills. In my case I brought an M1A in scout configuration. It is much easier to clear than the AR (in my opinion). That said, I participated in the AR clearances because it seems that I could be faced with having to use a “battlefield” pick up and knowing how to get it back into the fight would obviously have great value.
Moving onto CRM, this is meat and potatoes. Again, there is going to be some juggling of courses so I will leave to Max what that will but it sounds like another excellent refinement. As stated above, you do not know how important this is until after you have taken it. First let me say that we were fortunate in this class to have only 5 students. I do not know the max size but clearly this was good for the students.
I would say that this class and its format is highest and best use of square range training. Why is that? As I see it, it has been created to build you towards CRCD. How? The curriculum is laddered to slowly and deliberately increase your knowledge, develop skills and create confidence to move you towards stepping into CRCD. As Aaron put it, each segment of the course is a building block. Each building block may have sub building blocks. As an example, malfunctions is a building block with 5 sub-building blocks.
We started with the basic building block, marksmanship, gathered a whole bunch of other building blocks and progressed over the next two days to the final segment of buddy team movement. We were bounding down range, fire & movement. I do not know of any square range course where that happens. At the end, when we finished buddy team movement we had assembled all the blocks necessary to create the building block to take to CRCD. That is how I analyze and perceive it. In addition, after each segment we would do mini AAR allowing us to extract more info from Aaron. Aaron NEVER moved on to the next segment unless everyone understood what we had just done.
All the above is great but doesn’t happen without well trained, professional instruction. First, safety was never an issue. Everything we did was controlled and checked. We walked through drills (perhaps multiple times) before the drill got run. Anyone with a question got it explained to satisfaction. Anyone wanted to repeat and we would do it over. The best way for me to put it is, Aaron has the skill to weave his real life and personal experiences (which are many) into the drill being done and make it more interesting and understandable than it might otherwise be. During the instructional phase of a drill he was never condescending or short tempered. He took the time to make sure we not only got the mechanics right but understood the theory as well. As we ran the drills he would turn up the stress levels so that everyone could experience operating under pressure. So as not to make it sound like it was all easy and only good stuff was happening, there were plenty of mistakes, cascading malfunctions, etc. made and Aaron would deliver the appropriate “correction”, pushing you to correct and perform the drill. As best I could tell no one had there ego with them for the weekend, so you took your “correction” and moved on. I think we like to call them teaching moments.
In summary, you need to take this course or whatever its next iteration is. As stated earlier you don’t know how important this is until after you have taken it. There are drills and knowledge you will pick up here that you will not get anywhere else right. A final note on PT, just get in shape since it is one of the building blocks, only you need to do that one yourself.
First of all, Thank you Max and Chris(aka Steve) who brought their A game. The information was vast and well thought out. Max had the challenge to not only teach his material but to teach it to civilians with NO military knowledge. They not only met the task but kept us engaged. They were even willing to “play with rocks” to show the moves that we needed to obtain. If you are the sensitive type do not go to this class with your feelings on your sleeve. If you are the type that wants to learn this is the place for you, and learn you will. Max is there to teach not wipe noses “GOT IT”. We have never been to any kind of training like this before because there is no other training like this. Would I return? Yes I would and will. We not only need to get up the hill but to also get another bollocking. Mark says that this training is very similar to the first time you have sex. You can study about it and you can even practice by yourself but without actually doing it live you do not realize what you do not know.
We have returned home August 7th and have found ourselves both imspired and knowing that we have a great deal to accomplish if we were ever to meet our team’s goals. This class was not only eye opening but one of the biggest challenges that we have faced as husband and wife. Yes, your family needs to be involved with this training. The family is the core team then you bring in the rest of the Georgia crew. It will take more than just one person to save/rescue your family or crew. Mark and I went into this class knowing that were going to be part of a team from Georgia but came out with not only tightening our bonds as teammates but meeting the best group of people that we could meet. The men and youth that we met there were full of heart and the idea of freedom. If you read on Max’s blog that you need to do PT, THEN YOU NEED TO DO PT. The most important prep that we could do is to get in shape. Gear is important but not as important as being able to carry the gear that you need. Speaking of gear you can buy thousands and thousand dollars of gear but being unable to use it makes it useless. You cannot buy your freedom. The ‘tactical yardsale’ is very humbling. Fight through and do not feel sorry for yourself if you have a minor issue, your team is counting on you to cover them.
If you want the best review of the class read Brian from Georgia’s AAR. I will make a simple post regarding the days of the class. I encourage you to go to the RMP class prior to any other classes. I also encourage you to read ‘Contact‘ and ‘Patriot Dawn‘ to get you in the mental mind frame of what you are about to learn. Just reading about it does not make your muscle’s work. You have to do it and do it right, which means you must go the classes. You can read about formula one cars and you may even be able to buy one car but without being taught how to drive you are nothing. That is why this class is so important to us Patriots.
Day 1: The course started with movement techniques and basic fire procedures. This started at the individual level then increased to the two man teams. The targets were amazing and made this course of fire jump out at you. MAKE SURE YOU DO YOUR PT.
Day 2: This day demonstrated the need to have a group of friends/teammates that would be able to work together with live fire. May I say that safety was never a problem. Max and Chris handled us bumbling fools very well but made sure that we learned what we needed to learn. MAKE SURE YOU DO YOUR PT.
Day 3-5 Was the most exciting to us. This is where the PT really comes into play and the correct equipment is essential. I enojoyed being able to take the time out from the hasty ambush (to look at the ambush from the enemy’s perspective) and to see what Max sees when we should have been hidden. I learn best visually. Max and his instructors taught all the patrolling topics that are covered in his book. As Brian from Georgia stated reading is not enough, you have to practice the concepts that you are reading and what is being taught by someone that knows what the hell they are doing. That someone is the “Dread Pirate Max”. Max did a great job to include situations that you cannot always account for in real life like injuries on the battlefield. At the recon point in this class we were both pretty bummed that we were not in top notch shape. Acutally accomplishing the mission with just a map and compass, whistle, and a flare brought the smallest amount of satisfaction to my own self esteem. Our team has now been cemented with a bond that will never be broken. Brian, Jamie, Mark and I were able to smile at this very small achievement. Knowing that you are looking for intel in the blinding, yes I mean blinding, dark is such a rush but knowing that Max is out there looking for you is scary as hell. The last day was a victory for us. Seeing all of this knowledge that was laid before us was well worth any penny or time off that we had to dish out.
Thanks for the time that was given by other instructors of their knowledge. Question and answer time was great Fred.
Things we learned other than what was outlined in the books:
2. A shiny rifle can get dirty. Dirt is a tactical color. You and your rifle WILL become tactical colored.
3.You need a team to make it. There is not an I in team. Brian and Jamie thanks for making us a team.
Thank You Max,”Steve”(Chris), and Fred. It was nice to meet like minded people that understand the need for training for our freedom.
Mark and Mandi
Student Review: Combat Patrol 4-6 Aug: Jeff Sags
Student Review: Combined CRCD / Combat Patrol 2-6 Aug: Brian from Georgia
I attended CRCD for the first time last year. That experience revealed two things:
(1) Merely owning a rifle is not sufficient; you need to know how to fight with it in a real 360 degree environment
(2) A single man, even if he knows how to fight with said rifle, is nothing without team.
With that knowledge, I was determined to go back to the combined CRCD / Combat Patrol class, this time with friends. We had a group of four all set for the 2-6 Aug 2014 class.
The course starts with basic fire and movement techniques at the individual level and then goes on to team tactics for break contact and advance to contact. Max made some significant improvements to the facilities and the course itself in the year since I last visited. There are now more targets in depth, allowing students to push the assault further down range. This really hammers home the light infantry tactics Max teaches. With two fire teams conducting a simulated satellite patrol, the improvements allow both teams to go through the assault and fire support cycles. Violent, amazing stuff. By the end of the second day, the teams started to gel and became more efficient in prosecution of the enemy targets.
The two-day CRCD course is a great jumping-off point for the 3-day Combat Patrol class. CRCD class made me think I wanted a team of well-trained buddies if things go bad. Patrol class removed all doubt. You need a well-trained team.
The Patrol class is simply packed full of classic light infantry stuff. Since I don’t have a military background, my knowledge was limited to reading the Ranger handbook, FMs and other books on small unit tactics. But reading alone does not prepare you or give you the feel for the violence, confusion and excitement of battle. This class does it in spades.
Max does two things here. First, he gives classroom teaching on patrolling topics: formations, hand signals, rucking, recon, ambush, raids, patrol base site selection, set up and routine, and clearance patrols. Then he puts it all into practical perspective by running drills around a pre-defined scenario and fictitious enemy. This is where the class gets really fun.
After a review of your ruck contents, the class goes out on a patrol towards the patrol base and lays a hasty ambush on the backtrail. Then it’s on to the patrol base site to occupy, run clearance patrols, set sentries and begin the work phase. Thankfully, he already dug the shell scrapes! Later that night, a briefing is held on a recon mission.
The class has the feel of an actual operation here, with maps, objectives and orders given. Teams are assigned recon patrols on two different objectives. Once the patrols are out, Max and fellow instructors switch over to OPFOR roles. You better hope you’re a snesky SOB, or they will spot you with thermal and NVG. A debrief is held afterwards to relay the intel, all in preparation for a raid on the enemy encampment the next day.
After the recon, patrol base routine begins at midnight, complete with sentry duty and attempting to sleep without the comforts of home, and stand-to in the morning. It’s a sure-enough field training exercise at this point.
The last day makes you feel that you really get your money’s worth. The team is taught, rehearses and then executes a prepared linear ambush on multiple pop-up targets. Loud, violent and nasty, you find out what is meant by “ambush weight of fire”. Then the group quickly withdraws back to the rally point since it, as Max says, just did a very bad thing to the enemy.
The capstone of the patrol class is the raid on the enemy encampment. Mannequins and pop-up targets are used as an unsuspecting OPFOR. The assault element slips up a creek bed while the fire support element gets into position. When fire support opens up, it’s game on for the assault group running up the creek bed to a flanking position. The fire support group shifts fire before the assault group jumps off in bounds. It is executed aggressively with the final targets shot at near point blank range. I really wished I would have installed my bayonet. Maybe next time. The exercise finishes with exfil before enemy QRT can arrive.
In summary, this class exceeded my expectations in delivering practical knowledge of combat rifle and patrolling tactics. If you always wanted to learn classic light infantry tactics but didn’t “sign up”, this is the course for you. There are few instructors that teach these tactics to civilians, and I’m not aware of anyone that has the terrain or facilities to match. Max and his assistant instructors all have the experience and passion to teach, so take advantage of it as soon as you can.
Brian from Georgia
Student Review: Combined CRCD / Combat Patrol 29 Jun – 3 Jul: Wattage
Max: Wattage already reviewed the initial day of the class:
Note that after 1 September there have been some changes: CRCD has gone to 3 days, Combat Patrol remains at 3 days, and the combined class is now 6 days. TC3 is now an optional standalone class, RMP has been incorporated into the new first day of CRCD. This post details it: ***New MVT Class Structure***
Student Review: Combined CRCD / Combat Patrol 29 Jun – 3 Jul: Wattage:
First off, I want to say that Max’s knowledge is impressive. He can stand up and instruct on any of the subjects in the class at length and clearly from a place of experience and as an expert in the field. He, along with his AI, Chris, were able to give us what I believe the perfect system to learn: 1) Tell them what you are going to tell them, 2) Tell them, 3) Go out and actually do it, 4) Come back and review the lesson, correcting mistakes, praising good actions. This was exactly the SOP for all of the CRCD/CP and as someone that also instructs clients and does camps albeit in a different arena, I appreciate his ability to clearly articulate the concepts and lessons, along with his expertise. From Day 1, he took a group of diverse individuals that had never worked together, had vastly different skills and fitness levels and turned us into a fighting squad on Day 5. Going from simple fire and movement lessons and engaging the “Ivan” targets by ourselves, to learning to fight forward and fight back as buddy pairs and then as two buddy pairs to complex peal maneuvers with enemy engagements at the front and to our side, we learned a lot in 5 days. At the end of the CRCD, it culminates in a complicated(to us anyhow!) squad attack in which there were three different simultaneous elements engaging targets and we not only executed it perfectly, but did it with safety and precision. And let me tell you, it was just freaking BADASS too! When 12 guys open up with the AR’s at the same time, and start the assault/maneuver, if I was the enemy…. I would have been shitting my pants because we were rolling them up quick.
The first day of Combat Patrol was mainly theory, which was great as not only did it set the stage for the next two days and Max imparted vital information to us, but it was also a nice respite from running around in the woods all day. Max gave us some great information about what we needed in our patrol packs and that helped us to pack for the following day. Day 2 introduced us to the principles and actions of patrolling with squad movement, packing all our gear up with inspections by Max and Chris and then we rucked to our Patrol Base. Once at PB, we set up camp, complete with sentry duty, and total silence among the squad. After dinner(MRE’s-Yum!) was finished, we headed back to the pavilion for our night recce mission instructions. Each patrol was given an objective and then had to be back at the pavilion by midnight. My patrol didn’t have any night vision, and that only added to the excitement of moving through the woods in the pitch dark! We were very excited when we got two guys to within 20 yards of our objective without being seen (well, Chris saw us, but only because he had to use “cheater” high tech FLIR!) and got important intel to bring back to the squad that evening. That night was a night of sentry duty, not much sleep and a beautiful night sky filled with stars. Day 3 put all of our skills to the test and I won’t spoil it for it for you, but it really showed us just how much we HAD learned over the 4 days and also how well we worked(sometimes not so good) in the chaotic “contact” environment with little sleep and fatigued bodies.
For me, these combined classes were the perfect combination of classroom theory, gun fighting, patrolling actions and physical work. It allowed me to see just how much I didn’t know about combat(never having serving in the military), small unit tactics and gun fighting skills and then improve on these. It also put together all of the things I had read about in Max’s book, “Contact” and see how they actually are implemented in the combat environment. It’s very clear now that I need a group of guys that have these skills in order to survive a SHTF situation, and I also now have some of the skills needed to either protect my mountain of “Mountain House” or bug out and fight out of contact. I will still be absorbing the massive amount of knowledge that Max and Chris heaped on us for a while, am re-reading “Contact” as well to solidify the instruction and I have already signed up for the December CRCD in order to keep my skills honed! Thank you Max and Chris for giving your hard earned knowledge and for your valuable time, it’s very clear that you truly care about our future.
Max: I have commented on some subsequent changes that we implemented to the Combat Patrol class in this post: ‘Update on the Combat Patrol Class Curriculum.‘
Student Review: Combat Rifle / Contact Drills (CRCD) June 21 – 22: Lowdown3
Student Review: Night Optical Device Firing (NODF) June 28: Wattage
NODF- This class is INSANE awesome. First off, I don’t know of another place in the entire country that is teaching this class! Aaron, Max and Chris all instructed this class and taught us how to properly adjust our Night Vision gear, helmets and use them. Then we headed to the range to align the bore with the IR lasers on the rifle, which was accomplished really quickly and easily (because they knew how to do it right and quickly!). We then spent time on the range doing some shooting drills which included movement toward and away from targets and basic night vision skills. Afterward, we all loaded into Max’s Ranger (Max had on his night vision, so no lights!) for a night ambush on targets that Max, Chris and Aaron had set up in the woods earlier. Talk about exciting!!! If you have night vision or are thinking about investing in night vision, then this is the class for you. The MVT instructors teach you every step of the way and then put it into action as well. For four of our group that also took the Patrol Class, they really got a big bang for their buck as they got to use their new found skills in the night recce, which was just badass.
Max: The ideal setup for this class, which applies to the actual use of night vision gear at night, is:
If you are able to rig this gear to your head/weapon in advance, that will save time, rather than getting it out of the box on the night. If you don’t have a clue, we will help as necessary. We will give you the basics, and also show you the utility and limitations of this gear. You can’t pull it off the shelf and suddenly own the night, ninja! Hours under NVG’s are precious training. If it is dark night and you have never used this gear before, you can feel a frustration and claustrophobia that we will help you with. Training time is vital with this gear.
Under safe and controlled conditions, we will zero your IR laser, get you night shooting, do some controlled movement /target engagement on the square range, and take you out on a simple controlled night ambush on the tactical ranges.
Also check out this coming advanced class: Night Fighting (NF).
Student Review: Rifle Manipulation Primer (RMP) 28 June: Wattage
Max: Rifle Manipulation Primer (RMP) is discontinued after September 1. The Combat Lifesaver (TC3) that currently happens that same day will move to the day before as an optional standalone 8 hour class. RMP will now be subsumed into the first day of the new 3 day Combat Rifle / Contact Drills (CRCD) class.
The changes are explained in this post: ***New MVT Class Structure***
Student Review: Wattage
Rifle Manipulation- Instructor Aaron really knows his stuff. I was thoroughly impressed with his teaching ability, his ease of teaching (clearly he has taught for many years), and excellent instructions. Safety was paramount of course and we all felt very safe during this entire course. After zeroing in our rifles, Aaron had us doing various types of re-loads and then progressed onto different jams. I had never even seen the bolt-override jam before and quite frankly if I had one of those, I am not sure I would have ever gotten it unjammed. With Aaron’s clear instructions, we all were easily able to get that jam cleared and back in action. Aaron is a real asset to MVT and if you get a chance to take a class with him, then do it. I am coming back for the three day CRCD class later this year, just to get in some more class time with him. After getting instruction, even experienced gunners will learn some tricks to raise their confidence and novices will really up their shooting game.
Max: Aaron is also available for the Combat Rifle Manipulation (CRM) Class, which is a two day class. Once we schedule into 2015, we will also be adding the Combat Handgun Manipulation (CHM) 2 day and the 3 day Combat 2 Gun (C2G).
Student Review: Combat Lifesaver (TC3) June 28: Wattage
Max: This class was the 4 hour version that goes along with RMP in the afternoon. Please note that after September 1 2014, the TC3 will go to a standalone 8 hour class and CRCD goes to 3 days. RMP is subsumed withing CRCD. This post explains: ***New MVT Class Structure***
Student Review: Wattage
TC3- This class taught us how to use everything in our IFAK, which was great since I had no clue how to use most of the stuff in there! Max taught us clear, concise step by step instructions on how to assess a casualty, how to correctly put the tourniquet on, what to use to pack wounds, exit wounds, along with Hi-fin seals. It was very sobering from the fact that if I ever have to do this, it’s going to be intense and messy, but also now I have a very clear understanding of just exactly what to do. Max is an excellent instructor making the material very “real” by putting you in the mental state that you might find yourself in during in a contact situation with a casualty. For all of you out there that have an IFAK but haven’t gotten any training in using it, then this class is for you. In a SHTF situation, you are going to want that step by step method that Max teaches to save your buddy.
Student Review: 6 Day CRCD / Combat Patrol 28 Jun – 3 Jul: Submariner
Submariner attended with his 3 sons, making a four man team:
The following quote regarding success in completing Pegasus Company training contains the key to success with MVT:
“On and on we went until we were all knackered enough to have a go on a huge, forty-five-foot high piece of scaffolding called the Trainasium…. But the real key to it came from the training staff. I’d watched others going on the Trainasium rig and noticed that those who trusted the staff and followed their orders and instructions seemed to succeed. I decided to put my trust in the instructors completely and I just followed the orders they bellowed up at me from below. It worked.” John Geddes & Alun Rees, Spearhead Assault: blood, Guts and Glory on the Falklands Frontlines (London: Century, 2007), 38.
Max is quite passionate about passing on his hard-won skills to his students. He and his AIs will patiently explain what is to be done, demonstrate/rehearse it, and then allow you to perform it until the lesson is learned. Trust them and do it his way. You will learn and more than get your money’s worth.
THIS is customer service.
Student Review: Combined CRCD / Combat Patrol Jun 28 – Jul 3: Brian
I attended the TC3/RMP, CRCD, and Combat Patrol courses this past week. They exceded my expectations, extremely impressed! Thanks Max for making this all possible. Also thanks to the guest instructors Chris, Aaron, Fred for passing on your knowledge and helping us.
All classes I feel are laid out very well in what he says to build up with the crawl, walk, run method. Theory, practice, drills. If you are serious about training get yourself signed up asap for these courses, and a few tips before you go and while your there.
Get in shape! PT,PT,PT!
Listen, Take notes, ask questions, visualize.
Be aggressive when conducting the drills.
This is no joke and not easy if you have never done this sort of training before, it gets intense, but this is serious stuff and I did not go just to have a “fun” time and shoot stuff. Get in the right mind set and train hard! again PT! Thanks again Max, I’ll be back.
Student Review: Rifle Manipulation Primer (RMP) 20 June: Lowdown3
This was the second of the Friday classes I took up at MV Tactical in June.
Max states very succinctly in his description that RMP is not “general rifle lite” class. With roughly 4 hours, it truly is a “primer.” My suggestion would be to definitely take the Combat Rifle Manipulation (CRM) class if you have not had a lot of formal training- i.e, with some real instructors not you and Jimbo messing around in the back 40 type stuff.
I have quite a few rifle specifics classes under my belt but I still wanted to attend RMP. The reasons were simple-
1. I was there for TC3 and NODF that day also. With RMP in the middle of the day, it would have been stupid to leave and then come back.
2. You can always get something out of training, even if it’s on a platform you don’t work with any more(see later notes)
3. It’s another chance to practice.
4. Since I (rightly) assumed that everyone that was going through CRCD would probably go thru RMP on Friday, this would give me a sneak peak of everyone’s weapons handling abilities, etc. I know that sounds crappy or prideful, but it’s good to know for safety, I could care less about how I did compared to someone else. The point is safety. Max and Aaron run a safe range.
5. It gave me an idea how Max and Aaron run a range, how they expect safety, etc. This can widely vary from one instructor/school to the next. I got absolutely berated one place for NOT moving “muzzle up”. When I asked “what if I fall down?” The answer was simply “don’t.” Then oddly enough the same buttdart pushed me forward on the range almost making me fall down! You won’t find any of that asshatery at Max’s place!
We began by checking zero. I brought 3 Kalashnikovs with me to the class. It’s a 13 hour drive and in the unlikely event of a weapons failure, I damn sure wasn’t going to just sit on the sidelines for lack of a rifle. A decade or more ago, a scope went down on me at a Precision rifle class 10 hours away and I was forced to borrow a scoped rifle. I learned my lesson there and always bring another rifle when traveling distance to a class. I used my wife’s Arsenal AK without optics for the RMP portion of the class and used my Arsenal with a DBAL and Acog for the Night course and CRCD.
Yes I brought a Kalashnikov. I was the odd man out. Yes I know you’ve read where: “The AR is more accurate” yet I shot a fat cloverleaf during the zeroing phase with no optics, it had no problems regularly dropping the pop ups during CRCD. You might have also heard that the AR is “way faster to reload” yet I paid attention during RMP and the AK was up after a reload way quicker than the ARs. The AK also did not suffer ONE malfunction during the weekend, something that cannot be said for the other types.
Enough soapbox… the moral of the story- learn to run whatever rifle you choose and actually practice. It’s the user, not the tool. We should more concerned about skill at arms than how much ammo we have tucked away in a closet. Train, train and train some more. Then go home and actually practice and yes that includes actually shooting real ammo not just dry work. I’ve seen dozens of guys that say “dry fire is all you need” that flinched like mad when the gun actually went “bang.”
The new “square range” is nice but be prepared for it. Like most square ranges, there is no shade so drink plenty of water. (MV: there is shade there now, both on the range firing point and also in the wooded picnic/rest area next to the range). Everyone THINKS they do, but few actually do. I’m around 40, in decent shape, wasn’t “gassing” during any of the training all weekend, but I drank THREE gallons of water on Friday and a couple quarts of Powerade. If you take the time to go to training, do the smart thing and take care of yourself enough to get the most out of the training. Sunscreen and a smegh or sniper veil that you can dip in a cooler or wet by the creek there and then wrap around your neck really helps. Get in the shade during breaks and don’t wear 100 lbs. of unnecessary gear if you are not fully used to carrying it. Standing in front of the mirror with your gear on and thinking you look like a bad arse is NOT the same as truly being used to wearing the gear all day.
Kneepads. I hate them. I brought them but didn’t use them Friday. It’s all rocks up there (best we have down here is dried mud balls that resemble rocks). Your knees will thank you. We do a lot of ground fighting and low platform weapons work, so I figured my knees would hold up, and they did, but I put the darn knee pads on for Sat and Sunday. Lesson learned.
And be ready for temperature swings. Friday morning during TC3 I was cold. Saturday morning was worse- rained all day, cool in the morning and wet. The fleece beanie tucked in the chest rig saved my butt. A lightweight Gortex shell that scrunges down small helped during the rain.
The lengthy section of instruction on AR malfunctions and how to handle them was neat to see, even for an AK user. I owned a couple AR’s in decades past and had ALL of the problems Aaron covered and it brought back memories plus added some new ideas on how to deal with AR malfunctions. During the drills I worked some simple and some more complicated AK malfunction drills on my own. In retrospect I should have asked to borrow someone’s AR in order to get some more experience clearing AR jams in the unlikely event I’m stuck with one some day.
Student Review: Night Observation Device Firing (NODF) 20 June: Lowdown3
Here is a review of their new “Night Optical Device Firing” NODF class.
I took this class the Friday before CRCD in conjunction with the TC3 medical class and the RMP rifle class
It was like the training trip that just kept on giving! Max emailed me a few weeks before the class date saying he had added a Night Optics class that Friday night. Heck yeah I’m in!
Being that I sell Night Vision and Thermal, I was no stranger to the equipment, the usage, etc. Still, you don’t know what you don’t know right? Any training is beneficial and this is no different.
Experience levels in students seem to range from semi-seasoned users down to “hey the night vision box just arrived, can you help me put it together!” But that’s what this class is for.
Most students seemed to use a PVS14 or a close variant, although one student did sport a pair of PVS7’s. The main advantage of the 14 over the 7 being that the 7 requires both eyes to use, drawing both eyes into the green glow. Whereas with a PVS14 you normally mount it over the non dominant eye via helmet or head mount and still have one eye “normal.” This reduces eye fatigue from long hours in NV and I think it helps maintain a “brain contact.” All students went with a weapons mounted Infrared Laser for their aiming point, most using a DBAL-I2.
Weapons were zeroed via a neat glow tape target deal. In previous things I’ve done, we used lightsticks cause I’m cheap Max didn’t spare any expense with these targets and evidently has better plans for next go around also!
The light conditions were very poor which actually is a good thing from a training standpoint. You can take a PVS14 outside on a full moon night and it practically hurts your eyes how much you can see with the gain almost off (these new Pinnacle autogated tubes are SOOO bright!). However when it’s raining, completely overcast and you are in the deepest, darkest jungles of West Virginia…. then the lighting conditions are drastically different. Night vision works off of light amplification. It gathers every scrap of light it can from any and all sources and greatly greatly amplifies it. Therefore when there is practially nothing as far as ambient light due to the fact that absolutely no clouds can be seen, it gets progressively harder to fully utilize NV. That sounds like worst case scenario right? Well yeah, that’s what we are preparing for right?? If we can learn to work and be effective in bad conditions, it only stands to reason we will be better in good conditions.
A short patrol was done and since all but one of the NODF students had been at the training site going since 0630 and were unmistakably worn out, it was decided to move right into the final part of the class that involved a night ambush utilizing the NV and infrared lasers. KEWL!!!
If your new to Night vision use, you need to get to this class. I’m going to recommend it to all my night vision customers!
MV: Coincidentally we just ran the second NODF class on Saturday night. After a few stutters on the first class, I feel justified to say that we nailed it this time around. We rapidly zeroed the student IR lasers, moved onto ready up and walking engagements on the square range, then did a simple familiarization patrol/night move in the ranger/simple night ambush. Bearing in mind these students had only done TC3/RMP at that point, they have now completed CRCD today, and are now moving on to the Combat Patrol class tomorrow – the idea was to keep it simple, controlled and safe.
However, it was joyous to behold, as an instructor, how awesome the class was and how much the students got out of it. I don’t think anyone else is providing training like this. We are all stoked about this class.
Student Review: Combat Rifle / Contact Drills (CRCD) 21/22 June: JC
Be Prepared. And Crawl, Walk, Run.
I’ve just completed my first Combat Rifle / Contact Drills (CRCD) class. It was excellent.
As “Prepper’s” we tend to fixate on stocking up. But acquiring food and kit is not the end game – it is just the beginning. Acquiring your stuff without adequate proficiency with it is false security.
If you are serious about protecting yourself, your family, and your friends in a deteriorating security situation then you must get this training to be adequately prepared.
CRCD is basic training in combat fire and maneuver – reaction to contact, use of cover, moving & communicating in teams, advancing and withdrawing from contact, etc. And as Max has said – the basics are all there is!
The training will teach you the fundaments. It will also induce stress, and probably overwhelm you. This is a good thing. You will probably make mistakes – maybe a lot of them. I did. But that is ok. That is what a training environment is for. It is the place you want to make your mistakes. Learn from them and push on.
People do not multi-task well. We tend to fixate on one problem at a time. While fixated we tend to lose sight of what is going on around us. Fixation is also called tunnel vision. People also become overloaded when presented with a lot of new information. The answer to these two problems (fixation & overload) is experience through exposure to the environment, and repetition. Lots of exposure and repetition.
Which is what makes this training so valuable. It not only introduces the principles of combat fire and maneuver, it also puts you in a controlled training environment which allows you to experience (to a limited degree) the sights, sounds, confusion (lots of that), running a rifle, difficultly with communication, keeping track of teammates, difficulties of moving over rough ground, finding and braking from cover, physical exertion, keeping track of static targets, etc.
Until you & you buddies learn the mechanics of this and become acclimated to it, until it becomes practiced, until it becomes second nature so you can execute without thinking, you will tend to become fixated on what you’re doing, and lose your awareness of what is going on around you. This is called loss of situational awareness (and also having your head up your ass).
So, for example, if you are not very well practiced at changing a rile magazine (or clearing a malfunction), and must do so while in the middle of a tactical drill (or the real deal!), you will become preoccupied with getting that weapon back up, and lose awareness of the bigger problem raging around you. (Planes have crashed because both pilots are fixated on a stuck gauge, and lost track of the mountain they are now 10 seconds away from hitting.)
You have to learn to break the tunnel vision. This was one of my personal biggest challenges during the course. Here’s an example: my teammate and I were fighting back (breaking contact) from a contact to the front. We were about 40 yards away from the target when it went down (lost contact). We were scanning forward toward the target – but we were looking 40 yards down range. We did not see a new contact that was 45 degrees to our immediate left! In a real fight we would have both been dead. We had tunnel vision. We were fixated on the prior target location and had lost overall situational awareness of our soundings.
One trick to help break fixation is to just breathe. Deep steady breaths – Inhale 4 sec/ pause a sec or two / exhale 4 sec. Do at least 3 or 4 of them. It does wonders to help calm you down, re-oxygenate your eyes, etc.
Another technique is to physically verbalize – say to yourself and/or your teammate “scanning left” “scanning right” (or whatever). And then do it.
If you are really serious about preparing to survive in a SHTF situation, you must get this training – now. There is no substitute for experience, and the more you acquire in training, the better your chances during the real deal.
But – are you prepared for the training? Which leads to the second part of this AAR
Crawl, Walk, Run
Every skill you have ever developed has followed the same learning progression – crawl, walk, run.
Shooting skills, weapons handling, and combat maneuvering are no different.
CRCD class is basic training in combat fire and maneuver. But it is not basic. There are several prerequisite skills that you should develop before taking this class. Until you become reasonably proficient in these prerequisite skills, you will not be able to absorb the bigger lessons of CRCD because you will become fixated (there it is again) on simply performing (or attempting to preform) the prerequisite skills.
Think of it this way – you would not dream of taking a course in race car driving, if you did not know how to drive.
The prerequisite skills for CRCD are:
-Safe weapons handling: how to carry and move with your weapon.
-Weapons manipulation: loading & emergency drills from all shooting positions.
-Your ability to shoot and move
(The last two are not really skills, but are still prerequisites)
If you do not already have the skills/experience, you can develop them by attending the 2 day Combat Rifle Manipulation (CRM) class which Aaron teaches. This class, and/or the 4 hour Rifle Manipulation Primer (RMP) class, also taught by Aaron the day before CRCD, are also a good refresher for those who already have some training. (and you can never have too much training).
Aaron is a great instructor. I really like the malfunction procedures they are teaching – they are simple, effective and easy to remember and implement under stress. This was a great benefit while running CRCD.
Ideally, you will be able to execute the prerequisite skills without thinking. If you’re not at that level yet – practice, practice, practice (and take another CRM class).
Start you gear selection by evaluating your needs (mission drives the gear). Max has written many many articles about gear. Read them! Learn from them. It will shorten your learning curve.
Once you have acquired some gear, get out in the woods (or even you yard) and experiment. Can you go prone? Can you change mags from the prone. Does your sling hinder your movement? Can you wear a light pack (or heavy pack) with the rest of the gear? Is it too heavy? Does it restrict your movement? Etc. Don’t be afraid to change it out. Try different configurations.
If you have never used your kit in the field, its difficult to really appreciate or anticipate what problems you will have with it. And you will have problems. Everyone does. It’s part of the learning cycle. You really don’t want to take CRCD with untested gear. CRCD is a good place to refining your gear. But the more problems you have, the more fixated on gear issues you are, the less you will be able to absorb the bigger lessons of CRCD.
Taking Combat Rifle Manipulation (CRM) class will allow you to test your gear and get feedback from Aaron. He is a tremendous resource and can really help sort things out.
Physical conditioning (‘PT’)
PT has been discussed often – and for good reason. It is another of those prerequisites that you need to address to get the most out of this training.
Sprinting from position to position up a slope with your fighting kit is physically demanding work! The better your physical conditioning (particularly aerobic and leg strength), the better you will be able to handle the stress of the job. So get in shape!
If you have physical issues (knees, etc) don’t be discouraged. You can & must still do it. I’m 60. I’ve had an active life which has taken its toll on knees, left hip, lower back, left shoulder, and wrists. They give me problems and I have to dial back the intensity and duration of my PT to preserve them (I might need them for the real deal very soon). The point is, don’t let physical issues be an excuses to not get this training. Get in the best shape you can. Understand your limitations, and push yourself to those limits.
In conclusion, what Max offers is absolutely essential training. There are very few places civies can get this training. So, get prepared. Develop your skills and take CRCD. Then take it again. Take it until you can operate without your head up your ass. Maybe then you might be able to survive a real contact situation.
Student Review: Combat Lifesaver (TC3) 20 June: Rob
Posted over at his forum HERE
Going to be a three-four post series covering a couple classes that Max offers. This one is about the half day medical class given usually the day before a CRCD class.
First and foremost a couple general tidbits.
I came up I-81 to Winchester, VA and then went over via Route 50. I’m a flat lander. Once you get a few miles out of Winchester it’s those crazy winding Flintstones type hills the rest of the way. I left on a Wednesday after work, overnighted in South Khakilackee and finished the drive Thursday. I did this specifically so I would arrive in daytime. I’m glad I did. There is also about nothing between Winchester and the rest of the way. Make sure your gassed up. Cover your bases and if you need lunches for the class, water, pogue bait type stuff, get it at the Walmart there in Winchester. There is a CVS, Food Lion and other stores in that other town, but the closest Walmart is in Winchester.
Get in the day before your class starts and be 100% sure you get a good night’s rest. Especially if you are doing one of these TC3/RMP/NODF combo classes on Friday. I awoke at 5am, had to be at the Rally at 6am and finally laid my head back down at the motel at 12:45 pm Sat morning. Getting a good night of rest is CRUCIAL. Every one of the three that camped out during the class were heard at one point in time lamenting not staying at a motel. Motels- the “Koolwink” is probably 5 minutes closer than the Southbranch but the Southbranch looked a little newer. Both seemed equivalent to a Days Inn.
The Med class-
Max will start everything on time, it’s that military mindset. I appreciate that. I train a lot of places and often times statements like “we will be on the range ready to go at 9am” turn into “let’s have coffee and BS about stupid gun talk for an hour starting at 9am”. You won’t experience that with Max. You WILL get every single minute training value. I appreciate that no BS approach. You will be tired at the end of the day, but at least you won’t be looking back at the end of the day thinking “what the hell did we do between 9 and 11?”
Like all current tactical medicine thinking, the class focuses around use of tourniquets, control of massive bleeding, airway, respiration- including needle decompression, chest seals, etc. shock and hypothermia. Essentially the new MARCH acronym.
When I began seeing the newer tourniquet use protocols over a decade ago, my first question was- “OK from a survival standpoint, what about AFTER that?” My concern was one anyone who had worked on plumbing would have had. When the “pressure” is put back on, what’s to stop the clot from blowing, or the wound to start flowing again? Different schools simply did the “leave the TQ on and let someone else worry about that” answer. I sought about seeking an answer to this because simply leaving the TQ on forever isn’t an option for a survival medicine situation.
Max covered that in a section about “tourniquet reduction” and honestly in commercially available classes like this, that is the first time I’ve seen that covered. Bravo.
Due to the short time constraints on the class the amount of hands on practice was limited, however quite a bit of it was done including TQ usage, some simple drags and some simulated walk thrus involving a team coming under contact and receiving a casualty.
Overall an awesome class. I’m looking forward to Max making the class an entire day with more thrown in. I will probably attend again then, despite the 13 hour drive.
Great “day trip” class for those only able to train for the day or so.
P.S. Rob runs JRH Enterprises which is a great resource for night vision technology, gear, and a whole bunch of prepper stuff.
Student Review: Night Optical Device Firing (NODF) 20 June: Corporate Guy
Corporate Guy (CG) from Carolina
AAR – Night Optical Device Firing – 20 June, 2014
I recently attended the inaugural 20 June, 2014 Night Optical Device Firing (NODF) course. Context matters – understanding something about the author of an AAR’s background may be useful in determining how applicable the comment may be to the reader.
To cut to the chase, I am a youngster at 52, but not as quick as I was in the 80’s. In an attempt to level the playing field a bit, I made the determination last year that I wanted to take advantage of the available technology. I invested in good quality equipment. That said, my exposure to NOD equipment prior to class was largely limited to occasionally using it to wander around my pasture and local woodlands. I had never fired a weapon while employing NOD nor tried to establish zero with this equipment. I was smart enough to know I needed help but not smart enough to know how badly I needed help. If this resonates for you, I encourage you to read on.
You may recall that when MVT initially placed NODF on the training schedule, MVT staff noted that they put this together at student request (and on rather short notice at that). I signed up and was perfectly happy to be one of the guinea pigs in the first outing for this course. To be fair, I went in with few expectations. Meaning simply that I knew it was a course “under construction”. It seemed reasonable to assume that a complicated subject matter, narrow time constraints, a broad range of technology turning up with students, and a diverse student group were bound to cause some stress the first time out of the gate (and that’s before you factor in rain and heavy cloud cover) and that refinements would no doubt follow. It also seemed reasonable to assume that I did not know enough to really understand how deep the rabbit hole went.
I point some of this out to make a simple point. At the risk of sounding preachy, from my perspective, it’s important that as students we view the relationship with MVT as a two way street. If as a community “we” are going to ask MVT to develop specific course work to meet our needs, then we need to recognize that in some cases its going to take some trial and error to figure out how to best package and deliver some of this training in a manner suitable for the audience. I am reminded of the chicken or the egg first question. As a realist with a long list of training interests (and I assume I am not alone), I encourage you to recognize that the continued evolution / development of the course curriculum offered at MVT is in our collective best interests. I suspect that we can best support these efforts by voting with our time and dollars and taking advantage of the opportunity presented.
In simple terms, I think this inaugural event turned out very well and I left very happy with the experience. MVT got a chance to try out the course design and begin to refine their approach to teaching civilians how to use these tools and I learned some very valuable stuff. Without getting to deep in the weeds:
As a matter of perspective, all of this this was perfect. It’s why I went. In addition there were lots of little ah ha moments! For example, I am now aware (and will not forget) that technology designed to amplify light does not work as well as you might think on a moonless rainy night with heavy cloud cover.
I went into the class with tunnel vision focused on learning the details, the mechanics related to operating the gear. However, I also learned a few other things at a macro level that were just as important (maybe more so) that are worth sharing:
I feel like I just scratched the surface. I got a taste of it and left with a strong desire for more. Much like CRCD I suspect there will be tangible benefits to taking NODF more than once. I will be going back to retake NODF in September.
Do yourself a favor. Make the time.
CG from Carolina
I can’t emphasize enough how night vision is a perfect example of the common thought process that problems can be solved by gear without the required training. Take it off the shelf and ‘own the night.’ Night vision, particularly on a dark and rainy night, with helmet and ear pro on, can be very claustrophobic and can lead to panic. I have seen it on a patrol class and also a little on the NODF: when people realize it is not the magic pill they think it is, they start to stress out. It is less stressful to walk around at night without NV, but then you don’t get the benefit of the technology. To be effective with NV, such as the PVS 14, you need to log hours operating in it. You have to deal with the monocular over one eye and the reduced field of view. Also, if you don’t know how to adjust gain and focus, you will rapidly lose faith and think that the NV is not working, when it fact familiarity with the adjustments will bring the world into clarity.
Student Review – Combat Rifle Manipulation (CRM): 31 May – 01 June – R
Student Review: Combat Rifle Manipulation (CRM) – R
Why you NEED THIS course.
My wife and I attended the CRM on May 31 and June 1. Our instructor was Aaron.
Our objectives were to reinforce and expand on training received in a previous class with another trainer. The MVT Combat Rifle Manipulation class far exceeded our expectations. It also gives you the basic essentials to expand upon for CRCD.
Are you training every weekend? Are you performing dry fire drills every week? Are you so proficient that your rifle manipulation speed and efficiency cannot be increased? I didn’t think so.
You NEED THIS course!
If you have not taken this type of class before, it is essential. If you have taken another rifle manipulation class that is not battle-based, this class will add knowledge, understanding, and experience to your existing abilities
As many people have told you, rifle skills are perishable. If you are as busy as I am, you are not training (or exercising) nearly enough. You need to practice regularly to maintain and improve your skills. This is the class you could take multiple times and you would come away with something new each time.
Expect to be challenged to think. This is not “in your face” training, but it is factual training based on real life experiences and proven techniques. Have an ego? Leave it at home — you will learn faster and will get more out of the class.
Aaron provided exceptional training tailored to the capabilities of each person and the group as a whole. Aaron supported his training curriculum with real life experience, logical reasoning, and research. For people like myself, it is much easier to remember something when I understand the “why” behind the training.
The “square range” facilities have been improved since our class was held (icing on the cake), but my experience reinforces that superior training classes are a result of a safe course/range, experienced instructors, and superior training techniques – Max Velocity Tactical provides all of these. There were references to upcoming classes currently being developed — I am looking forward to these new classes.
And finally – practice, practice, practice . . . and DO MORE PT!
Student Review: TC3/RMP/CRCD by Rob
Student Review: Combat Rifle Manipulation (CRM) 31 may – 01 June: Tater in SC
AAR / Student Review
Course: Combat Rifle Manipulation (CRM)
Date(s): 05.30 – 06.01.2014
Student: Tater in SC
I will not bore the reader with the course description and intent which are readily available on the MVT site. In addition, those looking for exciting details of the skills taught and the drills performed should direct their attention to the AAR’s of others, as I will instead concentrate on what I believe to be the number one reason to attend this particular MVT course, or any other MVT course offering, for that matter. In a word “professionalism”.
Already having taken several non-MVT “square range” classes from other “tacticool” trainers, as well as 3 CRCD, 1 CP, and 1 CRCD-CP MVT courses over the past year, I was not sure what I would actually learn from this particular course that I had not already learned from previous courses. Not that I am a high-speed, low-drag operator. Hell, I am nothing but an old man trying as best he can to be prepared for the upcoming North American Liberty Games. However, I had previously met Aaron during the 04.05-09.2014 CRCD-CP class before he officially became an AI on the MVT staff, and was extremely impressed by a little preview of what eventually became the CRM course, so I decided to attend the inaugural CRM class. As usual, I was completely wrong in thinking that I would not learn anything new. Although the CRM course is not as “sexy” as the CRCD or CP course, it is definitely not your typical “square range” class.
Aaron is an impressive young man (I say “young man” because I am an “old fart” and he is not much more than half my age), and one of the best instructors of any type of class I have ever taken, including all of the work related continuing education, OSHA safety training, etc. over the years. As is to be expected from any MVT course offering, Aaron, as a former Army NCO and current VANG member who has honorably served his country during several tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, possesses the requisite real world experience and is not just someone who knows a lot about “guns and stuff”. However, what impressed me the most about Aaron is that he has, in my opinion, mastered the fine art of teaching “old dogs new tricks” as it may be. Anyone who has taught an “adult education” type of class knows that simply reciting facts does not work with adults. We each carry to any class our own unique perspective on things and are reticent most times to listen to anyone else who tries to tell us how to do something we have already been doing for years. Aaron combines his knowledge, expertise and experience with a unique, engaging blend of real-world stories, anecdotes, and humor. In addition, he possesses the rare ability to almost instantly read each student and find the most effective way, “on the fly”, to reach each one individually.
In conclusion, I strongly recommend that anyone seeking “professional”, real-world, and non-tacticool weapons training sign up for this course.
BRAVO ZULU Aaron
P.S. Hurry the hell up with the CHM course J I’ll be there for the inaugural class
Student Review: Combat Rifle Manipulation (CRM) Class 31 May – 01 June – JohnyMac
TC3/RMP and CRM Review
I attended MVT (Max Velocity Training) classes May 30, 31 & June 1. This AAR (After Action Report) is a review of the three classes, some observations and recommendations for future students.
TC3 was a four hour class that involved identifying and treatment, (in the correct order) of life threatening injuries, to maximize survival caused by massive hemorrhage till evacuation could be executed upon.
Overall I would rate this class a “4” on a 1-5 scale where 5 is perfect. I deducted 1 point because the class left me wanting for more. In my opinion, this class should be a full day event where students bring and then use items in the IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit) of the injured person. Yes this will cost some money but not unlike the cost of running ammo for MVT other classes. There is nothing better than “hands on” experience.
(Max: This class was changed to a half day to allow Rifle Manipulation Primer (RMP) to take place in the afternoon, while taking up as little vacation time for attendees as possible (Going to a Thursday was not felt to be workable for most students). Given the topic of the weekdn, either CRM or CRCD, we felt the RMP class is very importnat. If you want longer duration TC3 training, I can work a private class or you should go to a specialist medical schoolhouse).
RMP was a four hour class to prep students for certain tasks that CRCD students would encounter in the following two day class. Tasks like: Magazine manipulation, rifle malfunction recovery, safety and etcetera
Overall I would rate this class a “5” using the above mentioned criteria as a precursor to CRCD. For me though, it was totally frustrating due to my lack of AR 15 experience. Thank heavens for CRM which I took the following two days and will address later in this review.
In order for the reader to understand where I am coming from for the CRM part of this review, I think a little background of old JohnyMac is appropriate.
First, I am a prepper, second I am not a soldier and when the SHTF does happen I will probably fall more into the preppers/defend the community/auxiliary function. I have no illusion’s of leading like minded men & women against the statist government (s).
The training classes I have taken in the past was limited to handgun manipulation as I have a CCW (Conceal Carry With) and an interest in handguns.
I hunt small and large game using shotgun, small caliber rifle & handgun, flint lock rifle and love vintage Savage model 99 in all calibers. Until post the 2008 Presidential election, I had no desire to own a “black ugly rifle.”
In 2005 my family started to prep in earnest. We purchased property and built a 250 sf start-up cabin followed by a 1,400 sf log cabin in 2010. Much of which I have reported on here and other forums.
Purchased “Beans, Band-Aides and Bullets along with the tools needed like: Tractors, chain saws, solar panels, plows, disc-ers, deep cycle batteries, black ugly rifles, and other survival related items.
Then one day I found myself staring at the last two items on my prepping “bucket list” – Physical fitness and combat training.
I started in earnest on my physical fitness (PT) about two months ago. Since that time I have lost 16 pounds which is about half-way to my goal of being at 200 pounds by the fall of this year.
At the same time of my renewed interest in PT I started to review combat type classes offered on the east coast. After much review (I tend to research things ad nauseam before I commit) I decided on MVT as my main education academy for this needed skill.
CRM was a two day class. Day one was a repeat of RPM but done over eight hours rather than the earlier day’s four hour class. This was perfect for me which helped a “non AR guy” learn by using “building blocks” of combat rifle manipulation like: Magazine changes, rifle clearages, shooting positions, movement under fire, etcetera, to feel confident with my rifle and “battle rattle.”
The second day involved primarily movement while using the building blocks learned during the first day and RMP. By the end of the two day class I was managing my AR & kit rather than my AR & kit managing me.
Overall, I would rate the CRM class a “5” using the above mentioned rating. It is absolutely a must if your background is anywhere similar to mine. If you are an AR aficionado (Several of my team members were) I think that this class would be important to add to your “must take” rifle manipulation class “bucket list.”
As one of my more gun savvy team mates shared with the group during the debriefing at the end of the CRM course (AAR for you military types); This course was outstanding and he had learned things that were not taught in previous classes with other training professionals.
It goes without argument, Max is a very good trainer; However, I want to take this opportunity to speak of our training instructor, Aaron. He handled adults as adults should be coached and trained.
I have trained thousands of adults over my career in both small and large groups and have attended many training sessions too. The successful trainers always know the write balance between curriculum, humor and the most important ingredient… “The Why!”
Adults want to know why before they will give the trainer 100% commitment on an exercise. Aaron did a great job of taking the time to use this step!
In closing, get off your butt and get in shape. There are plenty of mind sets out there on how to do that however it really comes down to commitment from you.
Then sign up and get some training! Whether you go with MVT or someone else – Get some bloody training!
I will say though, if you go with MVT you will be 100% satisfied. You have the JohnyMac seal of approval here. NOW DO IT!
When you attend any of MVT classes here is a must bring, should bring and would be kind of nice list, over and above what Max asks you to bring.
Arm & knee pads
I was very pleased with the practical nature of this class. The how to and why for each procedure was presented in a clear, concise manner. This type of class is not as “cool” as CRM, CRCD, or CP type stuff but it is of vital importance and should be a priority for all patriots, just as much as the the shooting and tactics classes.
This class is kind of a condensed, refresher course in rifle manipulation and malfunction clearance. It is not a substitute for a more comprehensive course such as CRM. I found it to be quite valuable to sharpen and refresh skills that are needed during CRCD. Being able to manipulate your rifle competently during CRCD allows you to focus more on the tactics being taught without having to worry so much about just keeping the gun going. I definitely recommend this class for anyone taking CRCD, regardless of experience level.
This was the second time I’ve taken CRCD and it was as valuable the second time as the first. This is the type of class that I’d be happy doing every other month if I could. It never got old and the lessons learned the first time I believe got more ingrained so that they’ll be there when I need them. A couple take aways/recommendations for folks considering this class.
1. Wrap your mags with bright colored duct tape. You’ll be dropping them in the woods and then looking for them later.
2. If at all possible, bring an AR 15. Believe me, Max will appreciate it and if you’ll keep an objective mind, so will you. Compared to an AK, it’s more accurate, way faster to reload, easier to carry mags for, lighter, easier to manipulate the safety on and just all around a better way to go.
3. I’ll echo what Max said in his post about this class. You’ll get way more out of this if you’re in decent shape. If you are red faced and hyperventilating from carrying an extra 50 lbs of fat up and down the hills you’re not going to be able to concentrate nearly as well on what you’re doing. You’re also going to develop bad habits when it comes time for taking cover because you can’t get down or back up quick enough during practice. Our group for this class were in pretty good shape and we got more out of the instruction because of it. I was particularly impressed with the guy with the Burris MTAC (you know who you are). I’m sure he was at least in his 50s and he kept up with
us the whole time.
I didn’t take this class as it was running concurrently to ours. Based on my conversations with Aaron, Max and a couple of the students from this class I would definitely recommend it. It seems to be particularly valuable for those who either haven’t had formal training before or have maybe taken some square range courses and have seen the need to transition to learning actual tactics that work in the real world. It’s also appears to be beneficial for those with more experience who wish to sharpen and
reinforce their skill
I also attended these classes with Stinger and others. I ditto all his comments.
There is a lot of info on the subject. Max clearly and in a well thought out presentation cut through all the BS into this half day course.
Take away. High and tight.
Aaron. Excellent instruction. I’ve sat under a few instructors in my time. Some good some not so. A good instructor can read a an individual, connect and teach. Aaron is that instructor. Also a well thought out safe and no ego class. I wish I had this years ago. It takes forever to stumble through on your own.
Take away. Stoppages will happen and have to be dealt with properly, effectively, fast then back into the fight and maintain momentum.
Max must have instructed a lot of guys, it shows. Again, well prepared and thought out class. His instruction has opened my mind. I had some preconceived notions of reacting to contact, many now corrected and some confirmed. No ego, no BS correction and feedback.
Take away. Com is key (communication). Don’t over think it. Look before you leap (bound form cover to cover). Work through tunnel vision. More PT. “FF” does not stand for function or effective.
Also, lets not forget Fred. Very insightfully presentation and Q&A. Fact and opinion clearly defined on event possibilities and misconceptions regarding SHTF scenarios.
Student Review: 30 May – 01 June Training Weekend – Stinger
TC3/RMP + CRCD – May 30 – June 1
Student Review: Combat Rifle Manipulation (CRM) Class 31 May – 01 June – Batsoff
Company: Max Velocity Tactical
Course: Combat Rifle Manipulation (CRM)
Location: Romney, WV
Dates: May 31st, June 1st
I recently attended MVT’s Combat Rifle Manipulation (CRM) class and wanted to share my thoughts on the class. In my last AAR for Combat Rifle / Contact Drills (CRCD), I stated that I would not be headed back to the square range for training… well call me a liar, I’m glad I went!
Aaron was the instructor for the class, he’s a combat Vet that brings what he learned down range to the square range. He also follows the crawl, walk, run methodology that Max preaches. One of the great things about getting instruction from those with experience, is that they not only share with you how to do something, but WHY you do it that way. Most agree that experience is the best teacher, and given our subject matter, I don’t need to learn anything the hard way. I was thankful that Aaron was able to back up his teaching methodologies with real life proof points. Hat tip to Aaron for being open to other methodologies as well.
The class starts off as you would expect with a safety review, zeroing of rifles, and basic rifle manipulation (loading and unloading, etc… ). From there the curriculum continues on to firing positions, clearing malfunctions, theory of cover, shooting on the move, and buddy pairs / contact drills. The class covered all the necessary aspects of rifle manipulation and does an excellent job for setting you up with the skills to be successful in the CRCD class.
Thoughts, Ramblings, Learnings:
1. I surprised myself with how much I enjoyed this class. This was my 4th “rifle manipulation” class and I was excited at how much of what we reviewed was just different enough to make it interesting and new again.
2. One of the primary take-aways from rifle manipulation is to come up with a process to deal with rifle malfunctions. If your rifle goes down, how do you get it back in to the fight as quickly as possible? Aaron does a great job of giving you the necessary procedures to do this. He was also open to other procedures, just be ready to defend why you are using your procedure, there may be a better way. Be open to new learning.
I know everyone wants to take the “advanced course,” be an operator in the shoot house, and train in SUT… but if you can’t keep your rifle in the fight when failures occur, you are not going to be helpful to the team.
3. Tacticool – for all the “tacticool” talk seen on the forums, I didn’t find anything tacticool about the training. The training was straight forward rifle manipulation and problem remediation.
4. 3rd party induced failures was a highlight. It consists of moving off the range while someone sets up your rifle with a particular failure scenario, then it’s your job to quickly re-enter the range and clear the stoppage as quickly as possible.
5. Burst Movement – This was another highlight drill for me. This was simply Getting off the X. Moving quickly and efficiently and responding with the appropriate amount of fire.
6. NSR – Non Standard Response is my favorite response. I was happy to see Aaron giving so much leeway in the drills. There were drills where we ran single taps or controlled pairs, but many of the drills were NSR. We are running these drills to simulate a problem, do you what you need to do to solve that problem.
7. Urban Prone – it sucks, and I suck at it.
8. The 1st day is a work day… 2nd day is where the action is. We spent most of the 1st day reviewing and practicing rifle manipulations with less than 200 rounds fired. The 2nd day is a shooting and drills day.
9. Break Contact / Buddy Pair Drills – enough said. I could run these drills for hours. They are part of day 2 and will give you a primer to what CRCD is about.
10. Round Count. This varied within the class. On the low end I’d guestimate 600 Rounds. I shot ~800 rounds (the NSR drove up my round count).
11. If you were born in the 70s or 80s you’ll likely understand all of Aaron’s teaching references and examples.
12. And as always, the best part of the class is meeting like-minded Patriots. Class ages ranged from 39 (I was the young-in) up to 56-ish. I was able to expand my network and truly enjoyed the company. Participants came from VA, TX, SC, and PA.
So how do you know if this is the class for you?
If you don’t know how to recognize and clear a double-feed, failure to feed, failure to eject, bolt override, or whatever Murphy is going to do to ruin your day… then this is a class for you.
If you think “tap – rack – bang” is some type of sexual preference… then this is the class for you.
If your remediation procedure consists of looking at the bolt, shaking the rifle, looking at the bolt, cursing, announcing your rifle is broken, more cursing, working the charging handle, looking at the bolt, dropping the mag, inserting a mag, running the charging handle, etc… then this is the class for you.
Combat Rifle Manipulation (CRM) 30 May – 01 June – F
Max: This was the inaugural Combat Rifle Manipulation (CRM) Class on the new MVT Square Range.
Above: not yet complete, the new range is shaping up well.
I took Aaron’s Combat Rifle Manipulation (CRM) class this last weekend.
I know some of you will ask, “F why take it? isn’t it a basic class and I know you shoot Carbine all the time?”
There is one reason,…… I know how well credentialed and competent the Instructor Aaron is and I was curious, eager even, to take a class from him and see what I might learn or improve about my weapons handling.
The Class didn’t disappoint, here are some just some highlights:
The facility was spartan but had all it needed and the focus was definitely on the shooter and the gun.
Aaron, showed himself to be a natural instructor who enjoys what he does and is good at it.
I can unequivocally recommend this class to anyone.
Combat Patrol 24-26 may – Rob
You’ve all read AAR’s on previous patrol classes so I won’t go there. What I will comment on is the value in, and the need to attend the same course multiple times. We all remember the first formal/paid square range training we attended, right? The first class was pretty overwhelming and we absorbed/retained maybe 10-20% Did we stop going to square range training after that first class? No. We went again and, feeling more comfortable and knowledgeable the second time around we absorbed and retained more. We picked up things we completely missed the first time around. And so on with the next training class, etc…
Rifle Manipulation Primer (RMP) 2 May – BC
Having completed the TC3 and CRCD classes on the weekend of May 3 / 4, I wanted to give special mention to Max’s newest addition to the training cadre, Aaron. Aaron has recently started to provide training in the MVT camp, and he is an outstanding individual, who reflects properly on the vision which MVT offers to its trainees – competent, focused no BS training in SUT tactics.
Aaron ran the Rifle Manipulation Primer (RMP) for us on Friday afternoon, and overall it was an excellent prep class for the CRCD to follow. I had signed up thinking it would be a good refresher in rifle manipulation, with perhaps some new topics presented on problems and shooting positions.
In reality it was a wake up call for how much better I “could” be at rifle manipulation “if” I learned more (read failure drills), “and” I practiced more. Aaron took some preliminary square range concepts and ramped the volume up to about 10 in the intensity level. I won’t tell you how, as I don’t want to spoil the surprise when you take the class. You are registered for the class, right?
He also expertly demonstrated the five major types of stoppages – ones which you’ll probably encounter in the CRCD class, combat or life in general.
In fact – with the exception of only one type of stoppage, I suffered all of them at various times in the CRCD class the next two days. So, these skills aren’t “nice to have’s”, they are MUST HAVE’s. I found I could have done much better in fixing them during the class, hence the need to practice this stuff on your own. The point is, Max and Aaron are teaching important, real world skills, which might just save your ass some day, if you know how to respond. Even when it’s dark outside…
So to sum things up, take this training if you’re going to take the CRCD class. Take it even if you aren’t. Trust me, you need Aaron’s expert feedback and training skills. He’ll prep you properly for the CRCD class, and will make you a better rifleman/riflewoman in the process.
Thanks again Aaron for your great teaching and for your awesome attitude. Hope to see you again soon.
Combat Rifle / Contact Drills (CRCD) 3/4 May –BC
There have been many excellent AARs concerning the Combat Rifle/Contact Drills class written in the last few months. In fact I reviewed many of them in making my decision to attend the class May ¾. The earlier reports have all been very detailed, and that’s why I was so excited to get down to WV and attend Max’s class.
I have to say this was the best training I’ve ever been through. Period.
I’ve taken a few basic carbine manipulation classes in the past, primarily as a way to learn how to shoot and run the rifle properly. This, as Max has commented, is a valid way to go through your learning curve. However, as anyone who follows the topics on this site knows, there is way more involved with protecting one’s self, family and community than can be gained from standard square-range training. So the training that Max is providing is a natural evolution in competency and tactical skills.
A few specifics that stick in my mind from the weekend:
First off, Max is the real deal. In my professional life I’ve spent quite a few years training telecommunications professionals, and although the fields are light years apart, I can recognize a first-rate instructor when I’m trained by one. Max has a passion for what he’s doing which reflects in the class. He’s serious and engaging, cracks down hard when necessary, but can still crack you up when needed with his dry British humor. He’s engaging almost to the point of being hypnotic – I suppose that’s a reflection of how serious he takes his path. He expressed several times how this training is now his passion, imparting his knowledge to as many people as possible. Quite simply, living where I do, I could NEVER have found this level of training without attending this class.
The mark of a good professional is the people who they choose to surround themselves with. Max has chosen wisely and had two outstanding individuals assisting with the CRCD class, and the ½ day RMP primer class given Friday afternoon.
Aaron – This outstanding young man has 10+ years of combat experience including multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. His training skills were first-rate, as was his level of attention to the class and to our skills training (I still can’t believe he noticed my safety off from like 15 feet away). Aaron was able to quickly run our group of 10 through zeroing, reaction and failure drills which set us up well for the CRCD class to follow. EVERY person I spoke to felt the same – that we received excellent, focused training from Aaron, all of which we’ll all take home. The failure drills were particularly good. Although I must add that these need to be practiced regularly, as getting your rifle squared away quickly is definitely a perishable skill.
Fred – Fred provided some great commentary on issues ranging from WMD, pandemics, security and overall awareness of the world we now live in. We were very fortunate to have his input during the class, and I highly recommend joining the MVT forum, as a way to keep gleaning his wisdom as well as that from others. Thank you Fred for all that you added to the class!
Both Aaron and Fred assisted with the training evolutions in the CRCD class. Following a drill, they would also provide feedback to the student in addition to what Max may have already expressed. Their feedback provided even more value to each lesson we were taught, and often Max would default to their opinion or critique of our performance. Having an extra set of eyes & ears during the live fire drills also provided a comforting level of safety, and they all did a great job of managing the focus of the group.
I’d sum it up with a question – where else can you run through unlimited live fire exercises both individually and as a group, instructed by first-rate military professionals with dynamic pop-up targets challenging your skills – all in a safe, controlled environment? MVT training, that’s where.
Max has built a fantastic facility with which to train. The thought that Max has put into this range is simply amazing, and it continues to grow day by day. Again, all I can really say (that hasn’t already been said) is there can’t be more than a few places like this in the entire country where you can train like this. I would venture to say that Max is the only one who is incorporating his dynamic target selection with great use of terrain to create a truly challenging, realistic training environment. Amazing stuff indeed. You really have to experience it for yourself to appreciate just how cool this facility really is.
As I mentioned earlier, Max’s training is a natural progression from the familiar square range training to being able to shoot and move as an individual, or in a team. The emphasis in these classes is on understanding the tactics and the reasoning behind them. We’re not trying to go FAST, we’re trying to get it RIGHT. As Max likes to say – “Don’t F*ck it up…”.
Seriously though, it’s hard to explain in a quick AAR Summary how much someone like myself, with no prior military training, can learn in a weekend. The building blocks of RTR Drills (Individual and team), Break Contact Drills, Contact Left/Right Peel Drills, etc. were introduced and practiced over and over again. Not to mention the stoppage drills covered so well by Aaron on Friday afternoon, which all contributed to an amazing learning experience.
I have to stress that what I came to learn from Max, I most definitely learned. From the TC3 training on Friday morning, through the RMP class Friday afternoon and all weekend long in the CRCD training – we were “drinking from a fire hose”, and I loved every minute of it. I’m still grinning from ear to ear from all of the cool stuff we did, but most of all I’m really thankful for all that I had the opportunity to learn. These are important skills to learn, and to practice when you’re back home. I feel now that I have a much better ability to protect myself, my family and my community should things go sideways in a SHTF future. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about? Mission accomplished!!
OMG these classes were a friggin blast, outside of the serious nature of what we were taught. Like I said – where else can you go running through the woods shooting live fire drills with Max and Aaron pointing the fire hose at you…
Overall an amazing weekend – great new friends have been made, awesome things learned and a few rough edges polished. Thanks again Max and Aaron for your time, patience and passion. I can’t wait t get down your way for some more training. Perhaps a 3 day Christmas present in December? Hmmm.
Combat Lifesaver (TC3) 2 May – BC
MV: Combat Lifesaver (TC3) is offer as a morning block of instruction the day prior to CRCD classes, including the combined 5 day classes. The afternoon comprises Rifle Manipulation Primer (RMP) Training.
AAR: Combat Lifesaver (TC3) 2 May – BC
I recently had the good fortune to take Max’s newly offered Combat Lifesaver (TC3) class. I was excited when I first saw the addition of this course, not only because I think it’s critical that we all have some level of first aid/lifesaving skills, but because I had been looking for a class like this for quite some time. Living in the Northeast, I had been unable to find any courses offering immediate trauma/gunshot wound treatment.
Let me preface my medical experience as basically being able to slap a band aid on someone and calling 911 as needed. Essentially no experience. After taking Max’s class however, I now have a basic understanding of the steps I’d need to take to assist someone who just suffered some kind of battlefield trauma. Given what I knew before, my knowledge level has increased dramatically.
More importantly – I can make a difference now.
This is a consistent thread running through all of Max’s training – empowering people by teaching them simple, effective no B.S. solutions to real-world problems. Doesn’t matter if we need skills to survive a gunfight post SHTF or if we need to stop someone from bleeding out following an industrial accident. Max’s crawl-walk-run approach is really effective at making the important parts stick.
Max’s training material was comprised of some excellent trauma documentation (which I’m still reading through) as well as some flow-charts designed to keep the process direct and SIMPLE. We iterated through the exercises multiple times allowing each student to put the techniques into practice.
We ended the exercises by dragging a downed buddy “off the X” and into safety. Interesting – here’s a clue – I recommend everyone go and try this at home. Trying to move the dead weight of someone who isn’t participating in the process of movement can be a real eye opening (read difficult) experience. You don’t want to find this out the first time you actually have to help someone get to safety. Try it with someone who’s bigger than you, and you’ll understand what Max means by increasing your PT.
Anyway, let me wrap up by saying this was an excellent, and most important for me empowering training class. The content was specific and relevant, and the process by which Max presented it to us was “spot on”. I’m by no means a qualified medical technician, but I now have a good shot at saving someone’s life if needed. That’s important.
Go get this training!
Combat Rifle / Contact Drills (CRCD) 3/4 May – Jim W
AAR May 3-4
I have read a number of AAR’s about the CRCD class to help figure out what I would write. One thing stood out for me that has been mentioned, but not highlighted. Max and Aaron are excellent instructors, they even have a little “good cop, bad cop” thing goin’ on. There is nothing more I can say that hasn’t been said by many/most- but this class was the most fun shit I have done in years! Exhilarating! Heart pounding, physically demanding, chest thumping freakin’ awesomeness!
Our fire team assaulted a bunker and proceeded to lay down suppressive fire for another team. Max called cease fire, and I realized I was breathing hard, my feet hurt, my knees and shins were bruised from dropping for cover all weekend, and my barrel was smoking. I looked over at my teammates, and everyone looked like I felt, and all had smoking barrels and big ass grins on their faces. All I could think was, “Awesome! I want to do this again. I gotta schedule another class!”
The other students were all great, friendly people. If you are hesitant to go because you think it might be a class of psycho revolutionaries, rest easy. I was surprised at the amount of educated folks who were there. PhD’s, a lawyer, tech folks, a retired pilot; all very friendly and motivated. I was easily the meathead of the group- I wasn’t “that guy” though. But even “that guy” was a friendly, engaging fellow who was there to learn. He even offered me one of his last beers upon arrival Friday night before class.
I have been to other square range type tactical schools and a few Appleseeds. All were excellent and informative. One thing I don’t like is you spend all your time loading three rounds in your magazines in anticipation of stoppages or reloads. At MVT you are out on the range, contact comes and you are either advancing or withdrawing with full magazines. You don’t know when the stoppage or reload is going to come. It seemed to me, often it was right before I bounded. My teammate would yell “move!”, and just as I was about to move- empty… “Reloading/stoppage!” To maintain any type of rhythm or flow, you need to be able to perform the proper action quickly. You’ll get plenty of practice.
If you’re thinking about going, do it. You will be glad you did.
Excellent job Max, Aaron and Fred. Thanks!
My wife and I attended the aforementioned classes this previous weekend……….and what a weekend it turned-out to be!
I am now back aboard my ship & Heather aka ‘Momma Grizzly’ or ‘Shortbread’, is running the farm and keeping the home fires burning.
We decided to jointly attend MVT for a number of reasons, but what became apparent during the live fire exercises was nothing short of an epiphany. Your wife WILL cover you and get you out of the shit……a stranger may not be as motivated. In short, pick your team very cautiously and develop a ‘Brotherhood’ mentality….or train with your wife! Class attendees, along with Max & Aaron can vouch…….she is fierce….don’t mess with her!
Onto the RMP course. Aaron, I praise your professionalism and thank you for your patience. Initially, we sighted-in our rifles and proceeded to address the ‘Big five’ stoppages. If you don’t know what they are, you need to attend this class prior to attending CRCD. If you do know how to recognize the ‘Big five’ and correct the stoppages effectively, I’d still recommend attendance. There is no such thing as too much training! Remember to take on-board the ‘Sneaky peek’ method that Aaron abides by. It’s all about seconds and inches and dicking-around with a stoppage is guaranteed to shorten your life expectancy! Having simulated the stoppages randomly with each class attendee, you should proceed to the CRCD class and spend less time with your face in the rifle and focus more on the battlefield and be aware of your surroundings and of your squad members too.
Max expertly leads and instructs the CRCD element with Aaron’s cool and calm assistance. You will also get to meet ‘Fred’, who delivers a very informative lecture and assists with safety on the final bunker assaults. This is all about live fire exercises and reactions to contact. You will not meet a better Range Master than Max. Furthermore, I suspect there are very few establishments that can offer this degree of instruction other than the battlefield itself. You will become one of the few who has trained ‘Live fire’. Wear your patch with pride!
There are so many elements I have taken from these classes. By best advice is to listen to your peers. Max & Aaron’s advice is sound and based upon battlefield experience. I now run a 2-point sling and wear my drop-leg a lot higher. My rate of fire is now marginally less than crazy……you’ll see what I mean after CRCD. The ‘Jungle walk’ and bunker assaults are the pinnacle of the weekend. Check-out everybody’s ‘shit-eating- grin’ after the bunker assault exercise. It’s priceless.
Finally, I salute my fellow class attendees. You are the characters that will stand-up and be counted, when the time comes. You are warriors!
Corporate Guy (CG) from Carolina
AAR – Combat Rifle / Contact Drills (CRCD) – 3-4 May, 2014
As an aspiring new MVT student, I read many of the AAR’s posted on this site over the months leading up to the Combat Rifle / Contact Drills course (CRCD) I had signed up for. It occurred to me while reading them that context matters. Meaning, understanding something about the writer’s background is potentially useful in determining how applicable the comment may be to the reader. I recently posted an AAR addressing the RMP class – please see that document for relevant background detail.
I recently attended the 3-4 May, 2014 CRCD course. I assume you have read the class description for CRCD and I will not regurgitate that detail in this AAR. It plays as described. For additional perspective, I would also refer you to Barry’s recent AAR focused on CRCD 26-27 April, 2014.
If you have taken the first steps and found your way to the MVT web site and have concluded you need this type of training I would highly encourage you to take the next step and sign up. The face value of the training is likely apparent based on the course overview and described intent. But as you read the course description recognize that there is more to it than that. Frankly, there are some less apparent reasons to attend the MVT CRCD class that I would encourage you to consider
First. This is not your typical training facility. It’s not a range in the sense you normally would use the term. It’s a little tough to wrap words around but it’s not that simple. It’s more like a training environment. That probably sounds a bit goofy but it’s a fair description.
A great deal of thought and energy went into creating the site. It’s visceral. Step out of the Ranger that is used to shuttle you from the parking site to the schoolhouse and you will quickly recognize that you are not in Kansas anymore. There is no cell service (not much anyway). There are no distractions. It’s quickly apparent that you and your classmates are there for the same reason. To learn some things about what is ultimately very serious subject matter.
Second. Max. The man is genuinely dedicated to the mission of training the rather diverse group(s) of individuals that grace his facility. It’s obvious from the first few moments the man is dead serious about the task at hand. Focused on the clock and not because the scheduled training day ends at five. The emphasis is obviously focused on making maximum use of the training opportunity. There is no time wasted but you get the clear sense this about the student’s education and not about dinner.
Third. Student feedback. If you read my first AAR focused on RMP you may be aware that I had attended a carbine manipulation class previously offered by another trainer. During that class the feedback was mostly directed at the class level. The student was compelled to sort it out on his or her own along the way.There really was very little student specific feedback offered during the conduct of the class. CRCD IS NOT RUN IN THIS MANNER and as a potential student you should be ecstatic about this fact. Feedback is offered directly to the student on a drill-by-drill basis. Based on my observation and experience, Max consistently encourages every student, is quick to offer praise when earned, and willing to offer frank constructive criticism to the student (speaking from personal experience) when needed to facilitate a course correction. I submit you want nothing less. You aren’t asking him to teach you to play tennis.
Do yourself a favor. Make the time. I am going back to MVT in late June.
CG from Carolina
TC3/RMP & CRCD 2-4 May: Rick
May 2nd RMP/TC3
May 3rd and 4th CRCD
Rick Smith – Suspect1 MVT Forum
This was my 2nd time through the CRCD program that MVT offers, my first go round having been October ’13. Not having been prior military, LEO, or mujahedeen, I had no prior reference on how to prepare, or what to expect that weekend. I showed up rifle in hand, brand spanking new AR-500 armor and PC (truly not knowing what to expect, I did not want to be around strangers with guns without some sort of protection), Fobus Paddle Hoster and an open mind. I stepped up to take a drink from a water fountain and was hit in the face with a fire hose. If I did not have the help of one of those strangers with guns, who had taken part in CRCD previously, then I’m not sure if I would have made it through the class. As an aside, based on my two CRCD weekends and the time I spend on the MVT Forum, Max, his brand, and the AI’s must be a magnet for quality individuals. The 22 other strangers with guns with whom I have trained at MVT may not have been high speed super heroes (there was at least one killer spider monkey though), but I have seen no quit in any of those lanes, injuries, age, or equipment malfunction has not stopped any of the folks, and to all that I have met through MVT, here is a tip of the hat. I came away from my first visit knowing I needed to rethink my “kit”, with some idea as to an overall “theory of gear” that may work for my needs, also that you need to bring your best “command voice” the drills are loud and there is confusion at points but you must be able to be heard for the safety of you and your training buddies (MV: Howard Leight Impact Pro electronic ear pro, works wonders). Last but not least, my first visit to MVT convinced me that even though I do physical labor to put bread on the table, and am no stranger to hard work or sport, that gun fighting is in a world all its own, the only thing I can personally compare it to is collegiate style wrestling, a few minutes of fighting for your life, a short breather, back to the fight. In the intervening months I exercised every other day, some weights, moderate cardio, and rep after rep of push-ups, pull-ups, and burpees. I also knew I would be back, that this was far and away better than any class or militia FTX that I had participated in before.
I procrastinated (don’t do that) and by the time I decided to lay down the days wages for a deposit, it would be 6 months at minimum before I could attend my 2nd CRCD. What if the SHTF before then? Bundy, Ukraine, OAS, Ebola, f#*k I’m a dead man. I’m only half joking, as a full blown member in the tin foil hat club, these are some of the reasons I prepare, boiled down to a single word. I know that the world is much more nuanced than just these flashpoints, that we humans have built a very robust yet extremely fragile system of systems, stacked upon one another…..but f#*k man 6 months did you hear me say Ebola, hemorrhagic fever, dogs and cats sleeping together…puppykittens, but now I know that with a low basic reproduction number, my chances of contracting Ebola are quite low, thanks MVT forum moderator.
In short Max and Aaron are now offering the RMP/TC3 before CRCD, so in the process of adding this to my CRCD 6 months in the future, I saw an opening on a previously full CRCD with the RMP/TC3 on continuous days, my birthday weekend no less. The Creator does smile down on occasion. On a serious note, these classes are filling up, the free market does work, and Max offers something that you CANNOT get but in a few other places, so, unless you sign a contract with Uncle Sam, or join the French Foreign Legion, you better hop to hop sing, and send in a deposit. Oh, oh, oh, Aaron is offering a new MVT class, you’re in luck, CRM (Combat Rifle Manipulation) MVT’s answer “driving” your AR, or the free market answer to “Tacticool”, sign up now!
May 2nd 2014
This is a basic outline of what you will need to do if a buddy, team member, family member or complete stranger is wounded……in a gun fight. Remember that. It is not Red Cross first aide, there are no chest compressions, no defibrillators. Your first responsibility to the wounded is to win the fight or hit the enemy hard enough to create the space needed to help the wounded. The class covers proper use of a tourniquet, Israeli Battle Dressing, Nasal Pharyngeal Tube and chest decompression needles. The idea is that you will follow specific steps to identify wounds, take actions that will prevent the wounds from causing immediate loss of life, and arrange for the wounded to be transported to a more secure location for treatment. Being seriously behind the curve on the first aide side of preparedness this class has stoked the fire to learn more, take a Red Cross course, invest in knowledge, I have the tools in my preps, but lack the skill to use them. I will be fixing that soon. Remember though, this TC3 instruction is 4 hours long, on a topic in which professionals train for a lifetime. The class is a good start, it is up to you from there.
I added the Rifle Manipulation Primer to my CRCD weekend thinking it would just be extra trigger time, and it was that and so much more. As a group it gave us time to coalesce, to make introductions, chat during down time, all things that people will do anyway, but being at a much more relaxed pace and separate from the main thrust of CRCD it kept these things from interfering with training. As individuals it seems to have given a chance to blow the cobwebs out, to settle nerves. There was a marked difference at which this CRCD gelled compared to my last visit. Aaron focused the class on firing under pressure, diagnosing and clearing malfunctions, and magazine changes. All things that the students have done before, yet not one complained, this in large part was due to Aaron as an instructor. Aaron had command presence, confidence, and impressed his knowledge on the class in a manner that engaged all. I knew the skills that were covered, but now I know the how and the why. I now know how to induce malfunctions giving me a firm grasp on how to diagnose and clear them, not just the tap, rack, bang that was previously in my tool box. Even if not technically required before CRCD, I would have to say that the TC3/RMP day is essential to attend before CRCD. Also, if RMP is just a taste of what Aaron will cover in CRM, then I have no doubt that I will walk away from CRM a better gunfighter.
May 3rd and 4th
I cannot add much to the many AAR’s written by others both more knowledgeable and verbose than I am. I will expound on two almost off-handed comments that Max made this weekend and both struck me at the time, stuck in my craw the remainder of the weekend, and brought me to tears (you see, I love the ideals that this country stands for and it rips me apart to watch it die) as I unloaded my “war gear” from my truck Monday morning. #1. “This is my revolution!” Teaching patriotic Americans SUT. Preparing a menagerie of fruits and nuts for the possible realities of a very uncertain future. #2. “I know you’re tired but do you want to push on…….this is what selection classes are about, not the biggest or toughest person, but those who won’t give up when things get hard………life will be hard when the SHTF but you won’t be able to go back to camp for a hot meal and sleep, you will either push on or give up, and if you give up, well you, your family, or your group may die” (this second quote is not word for word but is close enough for purposes of discussion here). Max is right, and you probably will not be reading this AAR if you don’t feel some version of the same. I was struck by the simplicity of those comments though, let’s face it, no matter what the obstacle in your life, you either push on, or you give up. The people you meet at a CRCD are the kind who will push on, strive to make the best of it, whatever “it” is. They will not willingly hand over their liberty to anyone, much less a government who will lord over them. These are the progeny of the men and women, who at the tipping point that was the founding of this country, chose to push on, into an uncertain future rather than release their sovereignty to the will of others (in this case a monarch, thousands of miles away). If this is his revolution, then other patriots need to do what they have to, to ensure that they can make it to a class. Join with Max and revolt. Revolt against the status quo that says civilians do not need to train in SUT. Revolt against the perception of what the militia is. It is my understanding that the militia is “the whole of the people” and it is time that the average “everyman” (or woman) lay claim to the title of minuteman, because we all know that with the right stimuli, society could collapse any minute. It is your responsibility to make sure that you are competent to protect you and yours, and without someone like Max (and his cadre) who are willing to put their necks in the chopping block to ensure that there is a place for you to train, then how do you get the training? What the hell, sign up already, did I forget to say that dumping 150+ rounds in 2-3 minutes is about as much fun as you can have with clothes on? You’ll have your chance.
P.S. – Before coming to West Virginia, do yourself a favor, since ammo isn’t cheap and the classes themselves aren’t free, make a list of goals, things to accomplish, questions to ask. Focus on the task at hand, this isn’t adventure camp with guns, if that is what you want, there are other trainers out there. This is a deadly serious business, treat it as such. If you feel your training getting away from you, revisit your list, double down and focus, it is what you make it…………push on always!
Rick Smith – Suspect1 on MVT Forum
Combat Lifesaver/TC3 2 May – Jack (“Take this for your teammates’)
Take this class for your teammates. While training with your battle buddies it does not take long to form a bond. As you go along this bond deepens and you actually start doing things for your teammates. In moving that forward it is your duty to be able to come to your teammates aid in a time of need. Weather it be a training accident or actual battle wound you need to be able to do whatever it takes to help your teammate survive the situation. If you have no training in gunshot wound care you will be at a total loss as for what to do if it happens. If you train, fight, with me I want you to have the knowledge and training to be able to keep me alive if something happeneds. Not that TC3 will keep everyone alive, it wont, but to die needlessly because no one knows how to apply and manage a tourniquet would be a total waste of a human life.
In a tactical pistol class I took last year the instructor explained why you should always carry a gunshot wound kit in your range bag. He went on to explain that in all actuality, discounting SHTF, we would likely encounter an actual gunshot wound at a shooting range. So it made great sense to have a kit with you when at the range. He also was adamant about having a tourniquet and some dressings with you, in your pants, when you carry a gun. The reasoning being if you were shot, emergency help takes time to get to the scene and you might need to keep yourself from bleeding out while waiting. This all made sense to me so I sought out training.
In seeking gunshot wound care training I found something very interesting, it is very hard to find. I searched for months and finally settled on a Red Cross First Aid class, which I highly recommend . Although helpful still not gunshot wound care training.
When Max offered TC3 I will venture a guess I was the first person to sign up. I have all of the gear, I have been carrying it around with me for months but I still didn’t really know how to use it. I read everything I could about using my gear but could I really come to someones aid in a meaningful way?
After taking Max’s TC3 class I can say YES, I can. I feel confident enough after taking TC3 that if you are in survivable condition you will not die because I didn’t have a clue what to do.
Can I access your injuries and apply intimidate measures to keep you from bleeding out? Yes I can. We were given a Combat Casualty Assessment sheet to follow in an actual emergency. That is now in my range bag with my kit. If I go into the field there will be one in my shirt pocket.
There are many more steps to Combat Casualty Care and I feel fairly confident I can do all of them if need be. You may not want to be the first person I stick with a chest decompression needle but I bet I won’t let you die. Maxes instruction has given me the confidence in myself to be willing and able to jump right in and fix what needs to be fixed in an emergency.
This class is more valuable than you might think. Take this class for the sake of those that you fight alongside. If for no other reason this class is a huge self confidence builder. If you can perform this kind of care, performing other first aid duties should be easy as pie.
I have read many of the CRCD AAR’s, that is what convinced me to come to MVT. What I am trying to do is to possibly give a different perspective to why MVT is the place to train.
I did tactical pistol training last year at a name brand tactical facility. The price was $500 for a two day session, it was great training. The facility was about 5 acres, flat, a dirt bank with stationary targets. Some simulated concealment and cover, otherwise very similar to ranges I have been on all my life.
Fast forward to MVT Tactical range in West Virginia. 100 acres of mountainous terrain with all of the dips, lumps and obstructions you would expect. MVT also employes electronically controlled pop up targets that momentarily drop when hit with a bullet, you know if you have a hit or not instantaneously.
Here is why that is all so important.
In, I believe, our first live drill, Reaction to Contact, Ivan (targets nick name) pops up and you go into the drill. This includes yelling contact front, shooting Ivan twice while standing, move off of the X, looking for cover, going prone, using cover and shooting Ivan again and the drill continues on. This should be no problem right? My rifle is zeroed, the target is pretty close, it’s pretty big I should hit him first shot. He pops up, I shoot him he drops, I move left, drop prone into cover, I put the Aimpoint dot on his chest, take a breath, exhale, squeeze the shot off and Ivan is sitting there looking at me. I repeat the same thing and Ivan is still looking at me, now I am not sure, is he malfunctioning, has something gone wrong with my gun, it can’t be me, right? I fire again, this time I see a dirt clod fly up about 10 yards in front of Ivan, impacting a dirt bank I didn’t notice. Shit, I am shooting into the dirt. I am in prone so I lift my rifle up, line him up, squeeze one off, down he goes. Lets stop here and analyze.
If the target was stationary I would have happily went along thinking because my dot was on him when I squeezed a shot off I was hitting him. This would have robbed me of very valuable information, information I could have only gained in the actual wild.
In the wild just because your dot is on something does not give you the automatic hit.
When you are on uneven ground, and prone, other things get in the way. I saw plenty of tree branches flying around while I was shooting with resulting misses and had to adjust accordingly.
After this I was now watching for obstructions between me and my target. On the flat range that would really not have ever come into play. If we put this into a real life situation, and this was my first real contact, I may have never gotten the chance to figure this out.
As we moved further along in training new drills came up that included Ivan popping up and you were not told where this was going to happen. This was fabulous training. I hate to admit it but I had to be told more than one time that Ivan was up and I had not seen him. Put that into a real life situation. Stationary targets are stationary targets, even I can see them coming. Add the element of surprise and that is an entirely new level of difficulty.
MVTs’ CRCD class cost less than what I paid for my previous training. The facility at MVT is massive and very sophisticated. I am sure there is a very sizable investment there not to mention what it cost to maintain the entire thing. You throw in that Max is a Master at his craft and has an amazing staff, the training at MVT is vastly under-priced. I am a business person and I know what it cost me to run my little business, these classes are a bargain.
The following is just my opinion. I feel safe in saying training with Max will vastly increase your chances of survival when SHTF. Also if I encounter you somewhere and I see you are wearing a MVT patch I know you are someone I have common knowledge with and are probably on the same page as me.
As a side note, about the people you meet at MVT. The people I encountered at Max’s were by far the brightest bunch of people I have met in a very long time. These people did not come to MVT on a whim, you can bet they all did their homework and came up with the same answer. Just getting to talk to my class mates, staff and assorted others at MVT was worth the price of the class to me. I got a real education on a lot of different subjects this weekend.
I hope this was of some help to you in making a decision about training with MVT?
Corporate Guy (CG) from Carolina
AAR – Rifle Manipulation Course (RMP) – 2 May, 2014
As an aspiring new MVT student, I read many of the AAR’s posted on this site over the months leading up to the Combat Rifle / Contact Drills course (CRCD) I had signed up for. It occurred to me while reading them that context matters. Meaning, understanding something about the writer’s background is potentially useful in determining how applicable the comment may be to the reader.
So by way of introduction – I am a 52 year old ex medical service corps officer. Since leaving the Army I have spent the last twenty plus years representing the interests of large companies and managing their interaction with various regulatory agencies at the state and federal level. My battles are routinely fought with a pencil, my voice and occasionally thinly veiled sarcasm.
The point is – I run a desk for a living, not an AR. My experience with a carbine prior to CRCD was limited to basic weapons qualification exercises thirty years ago as an ROTC student, and more recently (Q1 2013), Chris Costa’s Carbine Manipulation course. Like many, my schedule is charitably “complicated”, and while my rifle does not ever collect dust, if I get to exercise it more than once every 6 -8 weeks or so it’s a good month! If any of this resonates with you I encourage you to read on.
I recently attended the 3-4 May, 2014 CRCD course and will post something about that experience shortly. In addition, interest and schedule flexibility led me to sign up for the Combat Lifesaver course (TC3) recently added to the MVT training schedule. As the TC3 course evolved into a half-day program, I found myself somewhat unintentionally a student in the Rifle Manipulation Primer class (RMP) as well. To be completely transparent, I would likely have not signed up for the RMP class had I not been planning to be on site that morning anyway for the TC3 class.
In hind site – this was POOR JUDGEMENT on my part.
I assume you have read the class description for RMP and I will not regurgitate that detail in this AAR. It plays as described. However, I would encourage you to not let your schedule or ego convince you to take a pass on RMP. It is not my intent to preach but there are very good reasons to attend the RMP class that I would encourage you to consider.
First. The odds are high that you have signed up for (or are thinking about signing up for) the CRCD class. CRCD ultimately represents a significant investment in terms of dollars, time and emotion. As a business guy I tend to think in terms of a return on investment. You obviously want to get as much as possible out of CRCD in terms of training value. RMP represents a valuable opportunity to protect the investment you are making.
Speaking for myself I was a bit anxious about CRCD. RMP gave me an opportunity to shake off the cobwebs and build some confidence ahead of CRCD. The class gave me a chance to confirm that my rifle, ammunition and assorted other gear were going to function as required the next morning when CRCD started. These are very tangible benefits that will help to make the start of your CRCD class as productive as possible. There is enough to absorb that first morning of CRCD without having additional stress thrown in unnecessarily. While reluctant to speak for my classmates, by mid morning of the first day of CRCD, this perspective appeared to be shared by both those that attended RMP, and importantly by those that did not attend RMP.
Second. The instructor – Aaron. Value added all the way around. Aaron is quietly confident and well experienced in a manner that can only be developed from exposure to the real world. As important to the potential student, Aaron has a genuine passion for teaching and sharing his knowledge. Not just getting through the material but making sure the student absorbs the material.
As noted above, I had recently taken a Carbine class. To be fair, I enjoyed the class. The two classes were different in lots of ways (intent, length, content ect ) but overlapped a bit as well. As an example, both classes provided a block of instruction focused on clearing weapons stoppages. It did not really occur to me until I was sitting in the Kool Wink motel the night after RMP but I got more out of the RMP class on clearing stoppages than I did in the carbine class I took. The thing is – I actually walked away from RMP confident I could clear a weapons stoppage. Some of that was no doubt due to class size (12 max in RMP versus 20 +/- in the carbine course). However, I think the fact that I walked away with the knowledge and confidence that I could clear a stoppage reliably; I would largely credit to the quality of the instruction (and if he happens to read this – its Tuesday AM and I can still clear all five).
Do yourself a favor. Make the time.
CG from Carolina
Rifle Manipulation Primer (RMP) 2 May – Jack
When Max announced the RMP class I was all over it. I signed up for it the first day it was available. Being a handgun guy and new to the AR platform it just made good sense to get instruction from professional AR runners. In a nutshell it was the smartest thing I did in preparation for the CRCD class. If I had not taken the class, the CRCD class would have been much more difficult. (I also should have done more PT but that is another AAR).
Aaron was our instructor. When you meet Aaron you know you have encountered someone special. Soft spoken, well mannered, sincere and serious. For a young man he has way more battle experience than most. He has been there and knows what works and what does not. He understands what we may encounter someday and wants to prepare all of us for that day so we can prevail. That is the kind of man I want teaching me how to run my rifle.
For a 4 hour class it contained tons of information. Safety being the first subject, as it should be, also gets you up to speed for what is expected of you, safety wise, for the CRCD class. All the less for you to absorb the following day. Getting your rifle zeroed, or just confirming you have your rifle zeroed correctly is also included. This has an effect on the following day, you need to make your hits in CRCD. Proper technique for reloading, this comes into major play in CRCD. In the CRCD class you will do more reloads in 2 days than you could possibly keep track of. If you are not up to speed it would make for a long, long two days. The clearing malfunctions portion of the class was worth the price of admission. Aaron’s method of teaching this is brilliant. He teaches you the diagnostic steps to take when you have a malfunction and then uses buddy teams taking turns setting up malfunctions on each others guns. I actually found this fun and exciting using this method to learn. There was so much more information imparted to all of us. Even after class Max and Aaron stood around fielding questions. Everyone at MVT is very generous with their time.
Being a gun guy and being mechanical I did not know how to properly run my AR. I plan to sign up for the CRM (Combat Rifle Manipulation) class before summer ends. I believe I have so much more to learn about this rifle and quite honestly I found the class fun and stimulating. My prediction is that Aaron will become one of our country’s premier tactical instructors if that is what he wanted to do. I would recommend this class to anyone taking any one of Maxes classes even if you feel you are up to speed. Sometimes we just don’t know what we don’t know.
CRCD April 26/27 2014: 2 x Reviews/Comments:
These AAR/Comments on the 26/27 April CRCD came in as comments on this post: ‘A Great CRCD Class! + Comment’:
As the father of the 15 yr. old you mentioned at the beginning of this article, I have to say thank you for a great weekend of training. My son and I learned so much that I almost feel I owe you more money!
The training was top notch and was as good as or better than any of the infantry training I received in the late 1980′s.
We WILL be back in the near future for the patrol class or maybe even to do the CRCD again. It was that good!
Thanks again Max and Aaron.
Good stuff this weekend! I hesitate to report my thoughts on your classes because it makes it more difficult to find openings in your class schedule for me! Good to get to know you and Aaron and allowing us to pick your brains and broad based experience. To those who may be considering training with Max Velocity Tactical I would say… DO IT! My training buddy and I collectively have a fair amount of training between us, with some renown trainers and can attest that MVT need not concede anything to them.
Top shelf training in a real life environment, that challenges your preconceived paradigms on tactics, PT, gear and what you “think” you know, combine for a great value training experience. God willing, see you again soon Max!
I just got settle from traveling Monday and wanted to comment here on the April 26 MVT CRCD class while still fresh in my mind. I’ll get right to the meat and potatoes.
This was my first class with MVTactical and also meeting the man himself. It is evident that both Max and his AI, Aaron, have extensive experience in various theaters of war (read his bio). Given the inherent complexities of small unit tactics, Max does an excellent job teaching this and dovetailing it to the requirements of the smaller, “prepper” families and communities. This was not my first SUT class but what sets apart MVT’s curriculum from other classes I’ve attended is his qualifications to teach it. In fact “over qualified” might be an appropriate term here.
He has love for this country and understands its Constitutional principles. I can tell this because he enjoys sharing his wealth of experience with us “civilians”. I would best describe him as British by birth but American by choice. That being said, I can see he still enjoys his “tea”.
For those who didn’t make the class, we had a special guest speaker (name withheld out of respect for his privacy). It was an open forum on Nuclear, Chemical and Biological topics and the question/answer period was incredibly eye opening. Many, many internet myths were dispelled and all I can say is “wow”. Thanks again Max for providing us with that opportunity to speak to an expert.
Whether it be societal collapse, natural/man-made disasters or roving hordes or cannibalistic San Franciscan bikers(?), everyone can benefit to be better prepared. But, get the proper training NOW, while you still can.
CRCD/Patrol April 5-9 – Big Al and Lil Al
AAR CRCD/PATROL APRIL 5-9 by Jon R T
I reviewed all of the AAR’s previously posted from students who completed the MVT courses prior to signing up for the first 5 day combined class. Considering the long drive, I concluded that the combined class would be the best use of my time. It is hard to focus on the best items to cover in this AAR. I decided to add a bit of equipment detail to this AAR, since, when making my plans, this was a concern.
The other AARs helped prepare me for the physical rigors of the class. To get the most out of the CRCD/combat patrol class, I strongly suggest that PT become a top priority (unless you are a mutant like Ernie!). If you are going to just the CRCD, you should still get in shape, but it is not an important as in the combat patrol class. I would image if one was to enroll in the two classes separately, the physical demands would be reduced as compared to the 5 day long slog. After the obvious need to practice hill climbing with rifle and ruck, consider pull-ups as a top PT priority (if that seems strange, go to the class and that will be clarified.) If you live in a flat area like me, then climb stairs with your loaded ruck or go somewhere will hills.
I urge attendees to go through the equipment list and ensure that you have adequate ammo and a fully squared away rifle. If you have an extra rifle, bring it. Bring tools and extra parts also. If you are coming with a buddy, it helps to bring similar rifles.
As for ammo, I fired about 1000 rounds over the five days. I could have easily fired more, but I learned to tune my rate of fire as instructed in order to achieve sufficient target suppression while decreasing magazine changes. Magazine changes can cause gaps in fire inconveniencing your buddies. Pay attention to Max’s lessons on appropriate rates of suppressive fire when working as a team. When dumping empty magazines, putting them inside your shirt (or inside you plate carrier) will reliably retain them. The dump pouches (including mine) seemed to just spill the mags on the ground by the next bound. We found several mags from previous classes (PTR-91/HK-91 x 2 and several others).
I think it might be helpful to describe the rifles and associated gear that the attendees brought. After one student’s 308 began to chronically malfunction causing a switch, everyone used AR-15’s shooting 5.56 NATO/223 in various configurations. Most students used red dot sights of some sort (Eotech seemed the most common). Others used ACOG’s or variable rifle scopes with low magnification. I used a Leupold VX-R patrol (1.25-4). A least three students used iron sights and did well. The longest shot was approximately 70 yards with most targets at 25-30 yards, so magnification was not really necessary. Backup iron sights are a good idea. I used the canted iron sights and they were useful several times particularly when prone behind cover.
Slings were great from patrolling. At least one student didn’t use a sling. Make sure that your sling will easily detach from you rifle because it’s easier to crawl without it.
I used a battle belt (with 8-10 mag pouches) and an empty plate carrier with two mag pouches (and a couple of other items) on the front and a hydration pack on the back. I used the front plate pocket as my dump pouch. Other students used similar setups. The students that used chest rigs seemed to have no problems. Certainly, they could sit in the classroom area for a quick lesson with their gear on easier than us battle belt guys.
I carried a handgun for nearly the entire class but never fired it.
Knee pads are essential. I began the class using build in soft knee pads and paid dearly for it. In the first group live fire exercise my pant leg shifted while going prone, and I was rewarding with a sharp rock to the unprotected knee and limped a bit on it for the remaining 4 days. Needless to say hard plastic knee pads were my choice from then on. Sharp rocks are quite common out there. Elbow pads are a good idea also. I used shirts with built in elbow pads during the entire class.
Pay close attention to footwear. High and tight boots are essential. The ground is uneven and when pivoting a bad ankle twist or fall is possible. It rained during the class and the muddy ground became slippery. If you boots have poor tread, repeatedly falling on your ass is likely. I think every student fell at least once. We walked through deep puddles and up flowing creeks, so waterproof boots are a blessing. Whatever boots you choose, tryrunning in them, turning and stopping on wet, leaf covered, and muddy ground. I used 7” Under Armour Speed Freek boots and they passed muster.
For the combat patrol class, read Max’s posts on rucks and equipment to ensure that you have the right gear. Bivy bag, appropriate sleeping bag and poncho/tarp are essential. The patrol base is on rocky ground, so bring a sleeping mat or suffer. If you are not sleeping during the patrol phase, it’s best to keep your battle belt or chest rig on at all times and your rifle close at hand.
For the evening patrol, night vision or thermal work wonders (as does knowing how to generally read a topo map.) Move slow in the dark and hopefully a decent moon will be out. We had a ¾ moon, and it virtually negated the need to NVG’s until we reached the objective.
The terrain is rough but absolutely ideal for the type of shooting. For the patrol class, the terrain was challenging and great for patrolling in the dark. The land consisted of ridges with draws or creeks between. Some of the slopes are very steep.
I have attended more classes and lectures that I care to think about. Max was one of the best teachers that I can recall, and he had an engaging style that keeps one’s attention. Of course, he allowed and entertained questions as appropriate.
I have never met a nicer group of guys that those that took the class with me. Everyone was 100% committed to learn the small infantry tactics that few can teach as well as Max. We were all sorry when John had to leave to tend to an illness in the family, but luckily Alan was able to fill in. I attended the class alone, but, in a short time, I felt that I was attending the class with 11 good friends.
Fred and Alan were great guys, and their help was essential and greatly appreciated. Aaron’s input and his session on rifle manipulation were excellent. Fred’s lecture was very good as well.
Prior to the class, I was relatively confident in my shooting abilities with a rifle; however, during the class, I discovered how much I didn’t know. After five days of treading water, I think that I began to swim. I certainly plan to attend another session if at all possible.
P.S. A special thanks to Ernie and Jake for walking it with me nearly every day.
April 5-9 Combined CRCD and Patrol Class
John our prayers are with you and your family, thanks for being my partner.
Everyone talks about how Max is a great teacher. You have to see him in action to understand just how incredible he really is. He uses so many different teaching methods to help you understand the principle he is transferring. He has such an innate understanding of the topics and so many personal experiences that he flows from one area to another seamlessly and links all of the principles together in an understandable manner.
I came to the classes because even after reading the books the tactics used in an asymmetrical battlefield eluded me. Max teaches asymmetrical tactics for small sized unit operations. This is not a class where the focus is on expending ammunition. The principles are transferred through a series of short lectures, activities, and drills, to teach students how to: understand the tactics that a well trained adversary would utilize against your family/team; become situationally aware of the activities occurring around you; and, tactics used to defeat those actions. Again, Max teaches tactical classes. This is training on what to do to survive/win an encounter.
One more comment about Max’s training methods, even though there were 12 of us in the class, the training, to me, was very much personalized. Max was transferring so much information during the training that you were indeed treading water (he mentions this would happen at the beginning of the course). However, Max sees when you don’t get it, at the individual level, and will reach down and pull you back up with personal attention when needed. His mission is to transfer his knowledge and experience to the class attendees and he does it as fast as you can receive. It felt like it was fire hose speed, but in retrospect I realize that at times, when needed, he was just spoon feeding me. I’m NOT saying that if you do something unsafe that Max is going to run over and offer you tea and crumpets. Unsafe examples would include flagging other students, walking into the fire range without explicit approval, preparing to fire from an unsafe fire position, or other random acts. No, if one is unsafe, be prepared to receive another type of individual attention, but that is because for Max, safety is the first and foremost issue. Max said that he was going to introduce a new transitional class to help students move from the range to the field. Regardless of your experience, I would strongly recommend this course. We got a taste of it while there and it included things I would have never guessed (my favorite was the rifle jam/clear where the round is stuck and partially hidden above the carriage bolt).
One of my concerns when signing up for the CRCD/Patrol classes pertained to safety. That worry was invalid. Max utilizes safety rules and drills which are then coupled to safety personnel to ensure that all the participants are safe. The location of the facility and ranges aid in this as well, but it is the constant management of the students by the safety personnel that makes the difference. One doesn’t notice the watchful eyes of those administering the tasks unless one does not abide by the safety rules. I never felt I was in danger in any way during the training. I was NOT.
There is so much information covered in the training that I will be taking the class again. Returning students say they learn just as much the second time as the first and I believe it. Great job and thanks Max.
CRCD/Patrol April 5-9 – Ernie
To start, prayers for John and his family in their time of troubles. God bless and hope to see you again.
I was fortunate enough to attend the TC3/CRCD March 14-16 with an incredible group of guys. I was nervous leading into this class, worried about my gear, PT, and all this being so new to me. I would have found it hard to believe I could train with this many quality strangers, until attending this class.
I found that I learned more my second go through the CRCD as most of the nerves were gone and I had a minimum amount of confidence. I was able to flow with the drills instead of being drug through them. The repetition developed muscle memory and I was able to be instinctive instead of robotic. I would recommend that every hit this class at least twice.
The experience was also enhanced by attending this time with a buddy from home. It made the drive easier and the experience better. We were fortunate that we stayed paired with the same buddy-pair the whole time. Ed and Bryan, what can I say…….you guys kick ass! Thanks for being such a big part of my training experience.
The Patrol Class continues right where CRCD leaves off in Max’s crawl-walk-run training style. The transition was seamless and you did not feel like you were attending two separate courses. To twice have experienced how twelve individuals so quickly act as a team is amazing. I believe this is a testament to Max’s leadership and the quality of the persons attending.
I won’t detail the whole class for you, if you want to know sign up! I can tell you this, you will be pushed to your physical limits but not beyond. By the raid on Wednesday afternoon we were all spent. Max jumped in and through his leadership, determination, and drive he led us through the objective. It was amazing watching one man carry 11 others through the drill.
A quick word on Max himself. I have taught classes at various points of my career. I have attended yearly mandatory training for over 18 years now. I don’t believe I’ve ever had a better instruct than Max. His dedication, drive, and enthusiasm are evident from the second you meet him. It is amazing how quickly he gets the guys into team mode and how fast you see improvements in their performance. I watched him handle situations with ease and grace during this class that would have sent other instructors I’ve had into a screaming rage. To sum it up, first-class professional.
If you are thinking of attending the combined class, do it! I only recommend that you be honest with yourself, and Max, about your physical ability to complete the course. As I said earlier, you will be pushed to your limits but not beyond. In addition, when preparing to move into the Patrol Base is not the time to be still idling with your gear. Have your kit squared away and ready to go before attending. I’m pretty sure there is a list on this sight somewhere of needed items.
For fun I’d like to add some bullet points to the week that will mean more to those that attended.
Randomness is not good.
It’ a conspiracy.
Don’t hold you rifle like granddaddy’s shotgun even if it’s in a save direction.
Scan means you can look to the other side of your cover, who knew?
I like good in the “Gimp” mask.
The new road makes walking in and out, even with a ruck, not so bad.
Old people like water.
and last but not least,
That hot cup of coffee during morning stand-to was worth every one of those twelve pull-ups!
I’m sure I forgot to mention a thousand things that made these five days special. Oh wait, that’s what comments are for.
44 pull-ups total
CRCD March 29/30 2014 – CH
So, what did you do on your vacation? I decided to leave the warmth of the Sunshine State and trek up to the rainy and snowy backwoods of West Virginia. Why you ask? To move beyond the square range. Being a reader of Max’s website, I decided to take his TC3 & CRCD classes.
The TC3 class is not “you got a boo boo, here’s a band aid and a lollipop and get on your merry way” type of class. It’s serious SHTF stuff. We’re talking about sucking chest wounds, arterial bleeding and more. Max is an Army medic and EMT so he has the skills and experience to teach it. His philosophy of “crawl, walk, run” isn’t lip service and the repetition of things has a purpose…to drill it into our brains. This is why we train. Dragging a casualty off the “X” or carrying them properly on a stretcher isn’t easy. Trust me.
The 2-day CRCD class was amazing. I had the opportunity to train with 11 other patriots from diverse backgrounds but one common goal: move beyond the square range and learn real world tactics. The British Army does light infantry tactics very well and Max’s Para pedigree makes him a great teacher. Safety is a priority and Max always watches what goes on. Remember we are all adults, safety starts with you.
Again Max applies the “crawl, walk, run” philosophy to the CRCD class. For someone like me with no military or LEO experience, I didn’t have a hard time grasping the concepts Max was teaching. Applying it on Max’s ranges takes it to the next level. Terrain, weather and my less than stellar PT were an eye opener. Embrace the suck and learn from it.
Fun? Yes. Intense? Very. Educational? Absolutely! The CRCD class gives you a fantastic foundation to build on. This is why we train.
Some random thoughts and observations:
-The facility is amazing even though there isn’t a square inch of level ground on the range!
Max was proud as hell over the completion of the expanded parking area.
-There is such a thing as “Navy right.”
-Max’s dry British humor is very underrated.
-Remember we have the accent, not Max.
-F’s & Duane’s Sunday lessons were great and insightful!
-Wear kneepads! My Blackhawk Hellstorms saved my knees.
-Work on your PT, you will need it!
-Max takes his tea seriously. PG Tips lads! Max, where were the McVitie’s Digestives?
-The class is a great way to test your rig and weapons setup.
-Bring your crappy weather gear! Thanks to my battle buddy Anthony for the use of his raincoat!
-Stay at the Koolwink. “So you’re here to see Max…” Guess MVT is becoming local legend!
The bottom line is get Max’s books, read them, take the class, read the books again because the things he taught you in the CRCD will make even more sense. Then get a like-minded battle buddy and train!
In Max we trust.
BTW I am Keyser Søze.
CRCD March 29/30 – Mike H
Observations for my notes over the weekend…
Travel to site- It was a long round trip. I tried to stay low profile as possible. The weather did cooperate with no icy conditions encountered. I will post more in the traveling thread.
Hotel- Stayed at the Koolwink Friday night, camped on Saturday, and back to Koolwink on Sunday before heading out on Monday. Its a nice clean place. I liked having my truck right out in front of my door for easy access to my stuff.
Range-Great setup with terrain that takes no prisoners. Max has put and continues to put a lot of effort into his place.
Camping- Want to check out your field gear? Here’s an opportunity to camp primitive on site. The weather was horrible but I did learn some things about my gear load out. I had a cold war era German pup tent and it kept me dry of the most part. It is too heavy though when wet so I have to come up with a lighter option. I was toasty in my bag but don’t forget a spare watch cap to sleep in…had one packed inside a ziplock bag for this use. One piece of advice I can give(I got it from Bergmann) is to purchase and use those construction grade black bags. I stuffed a couple of extras in my ruck before leaving home and they provided a dry ground cover to place gear inside the tent.
Training- The training was realistic and physically demanding. The progression of the weekend was well laid out. For me the most important point I took from the weekend was working as a team. Communication is the key as this is how you manage movement, volume of fire, “getting your team out of the pickle”, and dealing with adversity.
PT- By Sunday afternoon I was gassed. Max’s place has terrain very different from my AO. I’ll be working harder this spring to upgrade my PT levels.
Gear- My clothing consisted of a Smock w/ a USMC fleece zip up and long sleeve t-shirt on top w/ old Army long john bottoms and French chem pants on the bottom. Altima boots. The only clothing I switched out during the weekend was my socks(Saturday night just before I slipped into my sleep bag. I was damp but fine during the entire class.
Rifle(RRA AR) ran fine. My optics(Burris AR) came loose from its mount on Saturday afternoon. I took the entire optics off the rifle, tightened the screws, and re-mounted. I was fine the rest of the weekend but will get some loc-tight on there.
I thought I was so-so with mag changes off my Battle Belt. I’m sure they will get smoother with practice.
Reloading mags from stripper clips is the cats meow. I would suggest getting them if you haven’t already. I purchased a couple of cans of ammo on stripper clips w/ the cardboard sleeves and then bought bandoleers from Numrich Corp.
Max- Training others is hard work. My various jobs over the years has had one constant…training. I also am a trainer at my current job. Having to speak in front of others and conveying information in a structured way while keeping it flowing is draining. You also have to field questions as you go along. IMO Max nailed it! The class flowed thru the day on Saturday and Max fought through what we call ” the time monkey” and got us through Sunday afternoon.
A note on Saturday night… after class Max was up on that range in the crappy weather as I was setting up camp. He was preparing for Sunday. I believe he wants his students to get the most out of the class and puts in a lot of effort to achieve that.
Reasons to attend this class-
1) The experience of the training is well worth the cost. I wasn’t disappointed.
2) It’s a realistic weekend….you’ll be sore and your gear/self will get soiled….that’s realistic!
3) An opportunity to test yourself and that gear…you’ll even have time to make adjustments.
4) Spend a weekend with a dozen good people. There were some spirited debates about the world but Max’s place was definitely a “cry-baby free zone”.
Get to this training. I plan on attending again…maybe I’ll see ya there!
CRCD 29/30 Mar 2014 – DuaneH
I won’t bore you with every detail of what happened in the CRCD class 29-30 March because you can read all the other AARs out there to get the nitty gritty details. I will share some of the things I took away.
This was my fourth class in tactics. After going to many tactical rifle and pistol classes I realized that even though these were not square range schools, I had come to a plateau in my training. I also realized that while individual weapons handling skills were good, ultimately it was tactics that won the fight.
With a group of friends, I attended a one day introduction to small unit tactics at One Shepherd. I had been reading John Mosby on WRSA and when I found out he was going to be in WV, I sent my money in right away. I came away from both of these classes with the realization that I needed more training because there was too much to learn at one class.
Sometime in the summer of 2013 I heard about MVT. I checked him out on WRSA and I signed up for CRCD in September of 2013. I saw a marked improvement by the end of the first class and I also realized how multi-spectrum tactics were. Not only did I have to shoot, move and communicate, but I had to keep and eye out for the enemy, keep an infantryman’s eye on the terrain and maintain situational awareness. ( I am sure there is more, I just haven’t learned it yet). At the September class, there were two prior service Marines with multiple combat tours and they were in the class for about the fourth time. I asked them why they would keep taking the same class and the reply was “I get something different out of it every time. I also get to work on different aspects in each class. Like improving my ability to take cover and take better cover.”
By the end of the first class, I understood what they meant. There were just so many individual tasks that had to be done in a short space of time, there was no way I could learn it in one class. At the end of the first class at MVT I was pretty good at returning fire and taking cover, but I totally sucked at communicating and situational awareness was non existant. So when a couple friends of mine signed up for the class in March 2014, I figured it was a good excuse to do it again.
Even though range 1 and 2 were somewhat familiar territory, the popups still took me by surprise. I thought I did pretty well in the RTR drills but as I was driving home and replaying the weekend, I realized that I left out a very important part of it. I did not seek to improve my cover. I also realized by day two that I was not going prone like I did last time. It seems that since the ground was muddy that I instinctively didn’t want to get muddy. I began correcting that on day two. I noticed a marked improvement in my communication. I also noticed that I was able to maintain some situational awareness and take my face off the rifle from time to time to figure out what everyone was doing.
I still have a long way to go, but I plan to take this class again and of course I plan to take the 3 day patrol class.
Now I will begin talking about equipment and what worked and what didn’t.
The Vortex extra battery holder that was on the rail of my rifle, didn’t. It broke at some point and fell off. I did recover it, but will not be putting in back on the rifle as it is not durable enough to take a beating.
The Aimpoint H1 that was on my AK74 worked, but I had recently installed it (this was the second one after I overheated the last one and sent it in for repair) and only put about 20 rounds through it to sight it in. One student said he was watching me and noticed my rounds were impacting high and right. I dialed it in and was making head shots after lunch of day two. Apparently it had settled in a little and shifted POI. Note to self: Put more rounds downrange before declaring a zero.
My chest rig was a Strike Hard gear and one of the mag pockets was smaller than the other and would not allow easy removal of the mag.
My FIME converted Saiga AK74 was modded with the following:
Solar Tactical extended safety tab.
Colorado Shooting Sports AK Lightning Bolt.
Midwest Industries handguard with built in AImpoint H1 mount.
Needless to say it ran like a raped ape. I still prefer the AR platform, but with the cheap ammo this is a good alternative. The one thing I would do to any AK is get an extended safety so you can sweep the safety down with just one finger. The Lightning Bolt speeds up reloads as well.
Kneepads: I used 10$ Franklin soft volleyball kneepads and they worked just fine. Light and maneuverable.
PT! You can never have too much of it. Even though I scored a 250 on my APFT, I still felt like I had lead in my ass.
TC3 28 Mar 2014: Antony:
If you ever were interested in learning how to potentially save a buddy or family member from high velocity puncture wounds, then Max Velocity Tactical has the course for you.
Max takes a no B.S. approach to learning lifesaving skills during his TC3 class. Although I attended the second TC3 class taught at his school, Max was well organized and informed. His experience as a current serving combat medic helped authenticate the latest tools and techniques used to save lives in the field.
His crawl, walk, run method of learning kept us well focused and engaged during the full 8 hour class. We learned how to perform procedures that are quite over the edge and not taught in any advanced first aid classes that I have ever taken. Furthermore, Max goes into a detailed medical equipment list that you should carry with you in your modified IFAK kit. All students must embrace the suck as you are required to distance drag a person off the “X” to a position of cover, perform simulated assessment with required treatment then load the casualty onto a stretcher and carry them for a distance to experience how difficult the task really is out in a wooded hilly terrain.
This class is a reality check for any SHTF scenario and will challenge your med skill sets to the limit.
I highly recommend taking TC3 as part of the CRCD class!
CRCD 15-16 Mar 2014 – Ernie
I had been wanting to attend training for some time but was caught up in trying to save money for better gear, and improve my PT. The money was building up slowly, three kids, a farm, and normal life, and PT was behind due to being lazy. I finally decided to just bite the bullet and sign up for a class. This was one of the better decision I have made lately.
I arrived in West Virginia with PT that I would generously call less than average. My kit was a straight off the shelf Rock River Patrol Carbine AR with iron sights only, and a very inexpensive battle belt. I ran a basic ALICE suspender with GI pistol belt. The pouches were a three mag frag pouch, two MOLLE two mag pouches, an IFAK, canteen, and an admin pouch using an additional IFAK. I only mention this to show how basic, and inexpensive my gear was.
I was able to function in the training environment with no problem and never came close to running out of magazines. I was able to engage all targets with no problems using only iron sights. I did suffer from my PT shortage but not enough to diminish my learning.
The takeaway I have from gear and PT is that it would have been great if I was in better shape, had optics, and a better battle belt set-up. However, running with the basics only did not detract from the most important aspect of the class, learning what Max had to teach! My gear only brought done my personal performance not the skills and tactics I was able to absorb.
I’ve attended various training courses for over eighteen years now and I would put Max at the top of instructors I have had. His professionalism, dedication, and enthusiasm are apparent from the second you meet him. He is able to instruct, correct, and improve your performance in a simple non ego-inflated style. Through tunnel vision, and lapsing into previous training because of stress, I earned two well deserved “bollockings” from Max. They were delivered in a professional manner and very directly addressed the problem actions and gave immediate steps to correct. I would describe Max as a quiet professional.
The biggest point I want to make with this AAR is to not be like me. Don’t delay attending while waiting to get that cool optic, fancy chest rig, or to improve your PT. I will readily admit the importance of all of those items, but they will not help you LEARN more. The instruction is waiting for you to come get it, better gear can be acquired later.
I had the good fortune to attend my second CRCD class the weekend of March 15-16. This was also the first time MVT offered the TC3 class. Before I offer my thoughts on the classes and my reasons for returning a second time, I want to point out that Max’s professionalism and enthusiasm are clearly evident. It is apparent that Max is very knowledgeable and cares a great deal about the subject matter he is teaching. Max’s patience is also greatly appreciated.
The Tactical Combat Casualty Care class or TC3 included approximately 8 hours of instruction. Max (a Combat Medic) managed to condense 16 weeks worth of information into an easy to understand one day class. A tremendous amount of information was presented, but at no point did I, or any other attendee, feel overwhelmed. By the end of the day, we received a level of instruction equivalent to an Army Combat Life Saver. Now, I realize that in no way am I a qualified medical anything, but I do feel I have a foundation of skills to build upon. I am more confident in my ability to render aid to my family or buddies, should something unfortunate occur and at the end of the day isn’t that what really matters? TC3, like CRCD followed a crawl, walk, run approach. We started with schoolhouse instruction, but ended the day dragging our buddies by the battle belt and rendering simulated care.
I decided to return for a second go at CRCD for a number of reasons. I attended my first CRCD in August and I walked away from that class with the realization that “I can do this!” You see, I was overweight and knew that more PT was in my future. Since then I have lost 30 pounds. Returning in better shape only enhanced the experience. Running through the first CRCD really motivated me to become fit and returning for the second CRCD allowed me to test my new level of fitness.
Having addressed the movement portion of, move, communicate, fire I wanted to improve my initial Return Fire accuracy (return fire, take cover, return appropriate fire). Admittedly, I struggled with this on day one. Nerves, adrenaline, arrogance, whatever it was I literally danced around during some of the early drills and was upset with myself. The feedback and motivation from some classmates (Ernie and Mark!) helped to remind me that slow is smooth and smooth is fast. I slowed down, calmed down and was much more pleased with my progress and production from that point on. While there is still much to be done, and many dry fire sessions of “ready ups” to be had, I did see improvement throughout the weekend.
Max is constantly making improvements to his facility. His 100 acre training site has undergone a multitude of changes over the last 6 months. None of the drills I preformed felt repetitive or old. There were new surprises around every corner (and holler)! Max also talked at length, during down time, about his plans for additional renovations. These planned renovations place Max at the forefront of tactical self-defense instruction for civilians. The improvements will provide students with the most realistic training scenarios and contact drills possible.
I am drawn to the community building (not to be confused with community organizing!) aspect of the classes. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting and training with everyone. I was genuinely impressed with the knowledge, skills and backgrounds of all participants. I was equally impressed by everyone’s ability and effort. Safety was paramount and I honestly had no reservations about attending a second class. Safety was addressed early and often by Max and at no time did I ever feel unsafe. In fact, I was so confident in Max and the students that I was more concerned with terrain related injuries than anything else. I mean that as a compliment to all. Max, his facility and the students it attracts have earned my respect and admiration and I will be back for a Combat Patrol class!
Discussion over at the MVT Forum HERE
CRCD 1-2 Feb – KTL
I write this AAR now 2 days from my return from taking the CRCD class with Max Velocity Tactical in the beautiful hills of West Virginia and I still cannot wipe this [expletive] eating grin from my face. I attended this course with 3 friends of mine from our prepper group/mutual aid group in Tennessee. We train regularly and from time-to-time we attend training courses offered by professionals; this course by far has left a lasting impression on us all. We went in expecting to learn a little and with the intention of getting this class out of the way so we could get on to the patrol course. We left trying to figure out how we can fit another CRCD course in before and/or after the patrol course.
CRCD 1-2 Feb – TacticalM4
After much discussion with several friends of mine, we decided to attend the MVT CRCD Class of Feb 1/2, not expecting great weather for this class and actually looking forward to some snow and the fact that we already train in all weather types anyways, unlike many in the “Patriot” community who are “fair weather Patriots”, we signed up for it and started making plans.
Max sent us our info packets which was very informative and helpful to help us prepare for bringing what we need to the class. I found inside the packet a the motel of which we stayed at, it was the “Koolwink” in Romney. The gent who checked us in was very nice and helped with eating recommendations. Upon getting into the room I was impressed as to how clean it was and the size, wow, very nice, frig, coffee pot, nice, being that there we’re 4 of us everybody was comfy, being one of us slept in the floor on a make-shift bed pallet. There was plenty of snow on the ground for our little adventure there in the foot hills of West Virginia for our training. Saturday morning found us meeting up with Max and the others at the specified location and we’re lead back up into the training parking area, where we got all our stuff out and Max ferried us back, several hundred yards to the actuall training location. We had brought John Mosby to our location in 2012 and didn’t really know what we would find with Max and his style of training.
What we found was incredible, his approach, his method and his debrief, his facility. I’m not going to tell you what all we did (if you want to know what we did, then sign up for it) it was a crappy weather weekend, snow, mud, some wind and cold made for fantastic training conditions. Max has poured a lot of blood sweet and tears into his training facility and MONEY! The jungle walk was one of my personal favorites out of the individual things we did, as well as pissing Max off and making me do “Heartbreak Ridge” for not telling him about my constructive criticism when he asked me too, during one of our breaks and making him wait until last thing Sunday, which is when you do your AAR’s on him (LOL). The squad bunker attack was my other favorite thing we did for the weekend, that was frigging awesome!!! Max gives you a good taste of what it’s like to be in the infantry with his style of training and any “Group” out there will take back some serious fundamentals and train on it with their own group and pour some heart & soul into it, they will do good with it. Basic mechanics for a foundation to build off of. We had already been through the “PT Shock” with “MG” when he came to our place in 2012, so we had all been PTing prior to this class. Some of the guys there had a reality check with what it takes to do this with inadequate levels of PT, it’s HARD. We also met some great folks there, SC boys, Ohio Boys and F. I was ready personally for the physical challenge, even for “Heartbreak Ridge”.
In Max’s debrief with you, once you run a drill, he tell’s you directly as an individual where you went wrong and what to focus on, the same goes for the team drills we did as well. I highly recommend this class, Max is a GREAT instructor!! He is thorough and sharp. Max in his presentation is also clear, with MUCH dry eraser board time and then his personal demonstration of what he is telling you what to do and how to do it. He also uses magnets which is a great idea on the board showing you how the drill will go down. We also did many dry runs through the drills before we did actual “Live Fire”. The money, time, drive, weather was ALL WORTH IT, you will NOT be disappointed with what you get for your money. Show up with your head right for this game though, there is more thinking to this than most understand. Do yourself and your community a favor and take this training to be prepared for the coming future events……the NWO are coming, God Bless
CRCD 1-2 Feb – Bearcreek
The basic schedule of the CRCD class has been covered in previous AAR’s so I won’t get into details of terrain and program of instruction. Let me just state first off that every person who is physically able ought to be taking classes like this. It is every American’s responsibility, not option mind you, but responsibility, to own and be competent with a semi auto, detachable magazine fed rifle (even if it’s an AK. Sorry, had to throw that in there.) For now, taking that responsibility is still legal. Being competent involves a whole lot more than just being able to reload fast, transition to your backup, or make small groups of holes on paper while standing 15 yards in front of a berm. Being competent means that you know how to work with your team to patrol an area, it means knowing how to work with them to attack an objective, or break contact, or move using bounding overwatch, or flank attack, etc etc. These are not things you can learn on a square range using SWAT type tactics, or from a book, (although getting and reading Max’s book Contact! will certainly help).
Here’s some of the things that I took away from the class as it relates to gear. Some of this is personal preference, so you can take it for what it’s worth:
1. Low top boots, even quality hiking type boots suck, at least in snow and mud.
2. Dump pouches are overrated. I tried Max’s suggestion of just dumping empty mags down the front of my shirt and it worked great. I didn’t reload during a drill while standing still a single time. When you’re laying in the dirt or kneeling or moving it’s a lot easier to feel a mag into the front of your shirt or see where you’re putting it than to fish around behind you for a dump pouch opening. Also, the pouch with empty mags is not rattling and smacking you in the ass or legs while you’re running.
3. A couple of mags in open top pouches is a good idea. I used a HSGI double TACO as the first pouch on my battle belt and it worked good.
4. Wear knee pads. I cut up an old sleeping pad to fit in the velcroed pockets on the knees of my pants. Elbow pads are not a bad idea either, although not quite as important.
5. A pistol is nice but not necessary. I wore mine but never fired it. I still intend to wear it in the future but always keep in mind that it’s much more important to get my rifle going again than to switch to a pistol.
6. Quality optics are important. You’re better off just running irons and saving your pennies till you can afford quality than messing with a shitty, cheap optic. 7. Optics with hooded lenses of some sort are good. If the lense is flush with the body of the optic, such as on an Aimpoint T-1, it tends to get dirty more easily (and your optic will get dirty, along with the rest of you and your gear). A somewhat hooded lense such as on a Comp M3 or ACOG stays cleaner.
Overall assessment, this class is awesome. Sign up now.
CRCD Feb 1/2 – ‘Baldrick’
I participated in the Feb 1-2 CRCD class. This was my first time at MVT, and it was terrific. There have been a great many AARs written already by previous students that deal with the content of the class, and explain it well. Reading these AARs was instrumental in my decision to attend the class. I would encourage you to check the archives of the blog yourself if you want to know about content of the course, and instead of telling you what the course contains, I am going to tell you why you should spend your 400 bucks and 600 rounds at MVT instead of somewhere else.
Much of the current tactical training scene revolves around a few core skillsets: weapons manipulation, close range target acquisition and speed shooting, and CQB/dynamic entry style tactics and shooting. This is not useless in and of itself, as I believe no one has ever been in a firefight and said “Darn, I wish I couldn’t manipulate this weapon as well as I can,” but this style of training is still a very incomplete picture of why I own weapons. I am not a cop, SWAT team member, or Navy SEAL, and never will be. As we discussed during a bit of down time this weekend, this kind of training has a very narrow philosophy of use (POU).
These classes, and more importantly the mindset that accompanies it, is frankly misdirected at the armed civilian. Students will learn to crouch, drive their rifle, and very speedily and efficiently stand by themselves on a firing line, shoot ten rounds in 2 seconds into a target that is 7 yards away and then perform a blazing fast magazine change, and if they are really tacticool, they can flip their rifle over their shoulder and pull out their GLOCK brand GLOCK and do the same thing again while walking slowly towards the 7 yard target. So you learn to shoot 1, maybe 2 targets to shreds from 7 yards away while standing/sticking your butt out in the open at breakneck speed, and look appropriately HSLD while doing it. Heck, you can even do the goon check when you’re done shooting. Big freaking whoop. Sells lots of DVDs, but doesn’t do jack for anything but a very few specific scenarios that a civilian wouldn’t find themselves in. Students walk away having taken several seconds off the time clock on a drill that involves lots of bullets at a stationary target, and feel good about themselves. They also basically wasted hundreds of dollars and even more hundreds of rounds of precious ammunition.
The founders never intended for this country to have a standing army. Ever. When we entered a state of war, the government would call up the unorganized militia to protect the people of the country. This of course assumes that the unorganized militia (all males 17-45/60, depending on who you talk to) have their own weapons, kit, and the ability to use them effectively in a military style. Back then it was standing in lines in fields, today it looks quite different but the philosophy is the same. An American who knows his history, and understands the founders’ frame of mind, needs to be able and willing to take up arms to protect the country. This means having weapons, ammunition, and the gear and fitness to get them to where they are useful in battle and having the skill to use them effectively. This, ladies and gentlemen, is not CQB dynamic squatting and gratuitous mag-dumping and transitions, this is light infantry tactics. Patriotic Americans who are students of history understand that having a nation of able bodied light infantrymen was the founders’ vision.
For whatever reason, a lot of people in the community are not cool with civilians being able to act as a cohesive small unit in a military fashion. This could be for several reasons, be it that they believe that is the government’s role (read a history book mate!) or only cops and the federal military should have that kind of ability. Some may be ignorant of history and believe that simple civilians who don’t get a government paycheck will never need to use military tactics in defense of themselves, family, or country. They make their living and gain notoriety by training civilians to be wannabe SWAT operators in the same classes as the SWAT operators, and just lump it all in together and call it good.
MVT’s CRCD is not a carbine class, and it is not a shooting class. It is a light infantry class. Be it a foreign invasion, periods of lawlessness or natural disaster, or whatever situation where you may need to protect people important to you, learn how the pros – military light infantry units – do it. Yes there is lots of shooting and carbines, but this is about putting it all together in SUT (small units tactics), and the CRCD is just the beginning. Teamwork: shooting, moving, and communicating, all at the same time. Bring a buddy or 3 or 7, and learn how to be a team and be useful when the SHTF and this country needs you. Your Magpul/Vickers Tactical/Insert Pantaeo Productions Trainer Here DVDs will still be there when you get back exhausted with all your kit and weapons covered in mud from learning how to use microcover, which you can’t learn how to do on a 25 yard gravel covered square range. If you are a militia member, prepper, or just an informed and armed citizen like me, get off your butt and train!
Combat Patrol 18-20 Jan 2014 – Eddie
AAR: Patrol Class, Jan 18-20, 2014, Eddie
Everyone else has covered the class in very well written AAR’s. I’m going to say that Max outdid himself on this one. If you’ve been to CRCD and were impressed… then hurry up and lock in your spot for the next Patrol class!! To the other 8 and JC, it was an honor to meet and train with each of you, I commend you each for your dedication and willingness to come out in January when you knew the temp wasn’t going above freezing until the 3rd day of class and train with the dedication and enthusiasm that you each displayed! JC’s ruck in was pretty impressive, for an old man.
Saturday was cold enough to freeze the balls of the old brass monkey, and the temp was still dropping when we left the parking lot. We covered safety briefing and moved right into new drills, center peel (a contact front option for a larger group, such as a squad), then combined two break contact drills (contact front & contact left) into one drill and ran that (simulating contact from two direction simultaneously, such as an L-shaped ambush. Moving things on a step from CRCD). This was as close as we came to reviewing the basics of CRCD for the weekend. Max quickly got everyone squared away and we took off into all new information. Gear review of what to pack for rucking in to patrol base and several other drills to include the removal of a dead tree for Max V, no charge Max. (Yes, Eddie pulled down one of my trees, I’m charging him for it)
We broke for the evening and most everyone met for dinner which was great camaraderie as usual, and Max even showed up to join us.
Sunday, we covered new drills, reviewed the gear we were all packing in (more on that in a minute), put up tarps and then rucked in to set up our patrol base. If you’ve never tried to sleep in a nylon bag, in a nylon bivvy, on a thermo-rest, then you need to try it. After setting up the patrol base we reported to HQ and were briefed on and then executed two separate recce patrols, departing at 8pm with a 4 hour deadline for return to HQ. Each was done by a 4 person fire team under the leadership of their team leaders who both did a great job. One team, we’ll call them the wanna-be mountain goats, picked a route as a team that would indicate that though we were spot on in our reckoning and feature navigation, we should have brushed up on our ability to count how many contour lines really can be squeezed into ¼ inch on a topo map…. We had fun, we successfully recconed our target and we had 15 minutes to spare when we returned to HQ, 2 hours after the other team and yes, we did update our return route to take the “easy” way home. KUDO’s to Doc & Stuart who both did a great job on those bluffs (no Max, they are not called hills, those were vertical bluffs) (you can only blame yourselves….sympathy is found between shit and syphilis in the dictionary).
After the recee’s we all returned to patrol base and tried to get some sleep, between the 2 rotations that most had to pull on sentry duty. I will commend every man and woman there, not a single one even considered not getting up to pull their stints on sentry and it was COLD!!
As was covered in earlier AAR’s, safety was never a concern. Max did a great job of making clear what the expectations where and when anyone approached a violation they were quickly reminded. Everyone marked an empty mag with special tape, had it and the rifle inspected as it was inserted into the rifle. These mags remained in the rifle from Sunday before the ruck march until Stand-To at 07:00 Monday morning when given the order to load and make ready. I think this was a great call by Max to assure 100% safety during the ruck march and the night time activities.
Monday morning following Stand-To we moved directly into more drills which eventually led to an ambush and then the class was closed with a full on 8-man attack on an encampment of enemy Ivan targets. One team provided covering fire while the other team attacked from a flank. Again, safety was never an issue as Max and JC did a great job of assuring that the covering team had shifted their fire to “shift” targets approximately 40 degrees off the encampment that was being assaulted, before the assaulters moved from cover.
I have no previous military service but have been studying this stuff for years and in my opinion there is no one in the US who is providing anything above this level of training to any civilian student. There may be two or three who’re doing similar courses but none that are better or more realistic. If you’re adamantly apposed to ever being in front of someone who’s shooting past you, at a militarily approved angle of fire than this class may not be for you. BUT, if that’s the case I truly hope and pray that you never consider yourself ready for combat in protecting your family, friends, neighborhood and Country. Training HAS to be realistic, safe YES! But, realistic and Max has done a great job of allowing enough realism while maintaining exceptionally high levels of safety.
Equipment, I speak as one who has been known to fall for gadgets and being a gear hoarder. If you can live without it LEAVE IT AT HOME!!! Here’s MY new take on gear:
Fighting belt: 6-10 mags, knife, 1 qt water, IFAC with tourniquet (SOF-T or CAT), dump pouch (that will keep your empty mags from bouncing out), water tablets &/or life straw, compass, whistle, lighter, 1000 calories in power bars, 2 trioxane bars, pistol with 1 spare mag, PVS14, FLIR, very small cleaning kit.
Day pack(small): 1qt water (bottle or bladder but the keyboard ninjas need to be aware that bladder tubes FREEZE very quickly when the high for the day was 23F, it doesn’t get that cold in momma’s basement and rarely on the 25M square range), extra socks, extra gloves, warm hat,1 extra fleece top(wrapped around water bottle to keep it from freezing), red head lamp, foot powder, boo boo kit, aleve, extra ammo (at least 360 rounds in combination with belt), 1000 calories in power bar type foods, helmet for PVS14’s if they’re on your belt. As weather warms, trade extra clothing for more water.
Large ruck with 1qt water, tarp, sleeping bag, bivvy sack, way to heat water (LIGHTWEIGHT), coffee/ hot chocolate, 3000 calories of food – drier is better, mre’s are HEAVY and suck beside hot LRP or Mtn House rations. My day pack will fit inside my large ruck easily now for a simple quick load out that I’m estimating to be about 30lbs less than I toted up the mountain on Sunday afternoon.
I also want to address Max and JC’s commitment to our Great Country and passing on their training and experience to you. How often do you see two guys, who’ve only known each other for 5 months, who are direct competitors within 45 miles of each other to come out and assist each other with a project, regardless of the nature of the business? JC came and helped Max for 3 very long, hard & COLD days because he wants to get the training out to as many Americans as he can. Yes, they are both trying to make a profit in this business, as a business owner I can tell you that they won’t be doing it long if they don’t turn a profit so don’t begrudge them for that, especially if you’re just too damn lazy to come to one of their classes and use that fact as an excuse on your internet postings. Pathetic!! They have to feed their kids the same as you and I.
If you have not been to one of Max or JC’s courses, or some other similar training then I personally don’t care what you think about gear or commando tactics. Yes, you have to have gear to do this but you need to get over the idea that “this” or “that” smock or holster or belt or pack will make you a better prepared Patriot. IT WILL NOT!!! Training is the only thing that will matter when the shit DOES hit the fan. Don’t ask me what coat, smock, hat, this or that I was using. Odds are I don’t even know the name and I assure you I don’t care. But if you want to know how to do a center peel break contact, I can show you. It was a coat, and I had a hat, the same ones I wore to work Tuesday morning, I had boots and I think they’re rocky’s but don’t ask what model. Did I mention that I can teach you how to set an ambush now? It doesn’t matter if your rifle is gas or piston driven or if it cost $800 or $3,000. Your rifle doesn’t need to shoot ¼moa groups because I’ll bet you $1000 you can’t shoot a ¼moa group anyway, when you’re leaning over a log preparing to spring an ambush or returning fire in a “contact front” drill. Buy quality gear but don’t get hung up on gear. Can you plan a route with nothing but a compass and topo map? Buy a good rifle, great optic (Aimpoint), and get most of your gear off of ebay or from clearance sales and spend what you saved on training and ammo. Remember, gear color doesn’t matter, Krylon has green, brown and black spray paint. Your rifle is camo’ed,,, isn’t it????
Just remember, T R A I N I N G is what matters!! GET SOME!!
JC Dodge left, Max right
The ease with which I write this AAR cannot be understated. I take pleasure in saying “This course rocked!”. The reason I feel so strongly about how well done this course is, goes back to why I also teach these skills. It’s simple, TIME IS SHORT!”. And we’re both passionate about passing it on. Knowing that someone else is also teaching these skills, in a easy to understand, no BS manner, means that many more civilians will be ready when the music stops. After meeting Max back in August, I’ve been continually impressed by his matter of fact, “Call a spade a spade.” manner. He constantly uses this on the blog to shoot down the “Modern Warfare 3/ retreat sniper theoreticians”, whose presence infects the blogosphere with their “tacticool” madness.
Infantry skills/Small Unit Tactics are not hard to figure out and implement with proper instruction,. However, if you were not fortunate enough to have served in the military, and more specifically in combat arms, understanding these skills and tactics can be overwhelming, not to mention the “Suck” of the “implementation” part, and constantly wondering if your doing it right. Max has designed a Program Of Instruction that addresses these concerns. Upon my arrival on Saturday morning (I decided to ruck in) Max was in the process of explaining some basic tactical theory, and was getting ready to do a practical exercise. Introductions were made, and greetings were exchanged with some of my former students, then we got on with the class. Everything that Max taught was a carefully blended combination of military techniques with an eye towards the reality of the armed civilian in a SHTF context.
Max has evaluated and implemented the most necessary infantry skills/drills into a three day course that will test the student physically and mentally, without being a “Because I said so!” military style fantasy camp. The students were able to conduct live fire drills that included Center peel-break contact, Break contact with follow on flank attack, Ambush, and Raid. There are some other drills that were conducted, but those are surprises for future students, so you’ll only know if you’ve been there. Max gave spot on instruction (different terms, same content) in How to plan for a patrol, How to plan and set up a patrol base, How to form and implement an OPORD (operations order), How to plan and conduct a reconnaissance of a target, and How to put it all together, using the principles a patrolling to make sure your not trying to reinvent the wheel or are violating basic standards that were figured out a long time ago. Planning for an ambush and then a follow on raid was something most people in the military don’t even get to do, especially with a live fire exercise, so take that for what it’s worth-GOLD!
As a trainer, it can be hard to implement live fire training that is realistic, yet doesn’t violate concrete safety rules that have to be enforced so all go home intact at the end of the day. As someone who has seen poor safety procedures be allowed while conducting a live fire (another trainer), I can tell you that there was never any safety issues in this course, and anything that appeared to come close was squashed in a hurry, before it became an issue. Max has planned out the ranges well, and it gave me, as the safety for the support by fire elements, a huge advantage. I never had to worry about the students not getting the full affect of “real world” techniques, but we were still able to keep the safety of students at the forefront of the exercises.
In the end state, “The nut behind the butt.” And most importantly, what’s between his ears, trumps the latest tacticool gear and weapons. What Max gives people is a hands on example of real world tactics, techniques, and procedures, and the understanding to make your own, and implement those TTP’s into a plan which will take care of business when Pandora’s box is opened. It was a pleasure to help Max with the class, and after seeing their performance, I’d go to war with any one of them if asked. My reasons are simple. They’ve got the desire to spend hard earned pay to learn (Max and I used to get paid to do this crap) when it’s easier to watch a YouTube video, and call that a “training day”. They also have the heart to perform, which is something we can’t teach. I consider Max a friend, and kindred spirit, he has the same drive as I do to get people ready for when, not if, we end up in SHTF, and hopefully that desire will save lives. In the end, that’s what it’s all about.
P.S. As an aside, something you as a student will take away from this course, is what “SUCK” actually means from an Infantryman’s perspective. It’s a small taste, but it’s a taste. As I told one of my former students that attended this class, “This stuff sucks just as much for Max and I, as it does you guys. We’ve just learned to deal with the reality of infantry life, and to a certain degree, embrace it. As leaders and trainers we’ve learned to hide it so it might help motivate those that look to us for direction.”
American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE
Combat Patrol 18-20 Jan 2014 – ‘John P. Jones’
The Patrol Class is the most recent evolution in the training offered by Max Velocity. Completion of a Combat Rifle/Contact Drill is a requirement for attendance. That being said, you really must attend one of Max’s Patrol classes. I don’t mean to overstate, but it was some of the most effective tactical training I have ever received. Especially if you don’t have any experience in the combat side of the military, the jump from CRCD to Patrol will open your eyes to the reality of life in the field (i.e. life without central heating or 500 television channels… or pizza delivered to your door…!) In short, the Patrol Class curriculum picks up where the CRCD Class left off.
CRCD gives you the basics of fire and maneuver. It offers a chance to familiarize yourself with your weapon system and your basic fighting load. It introduces you to the three pillars of SHOOT, MOVE, and COMMUNICATE within the context of the fire team. Only at the very end of CRCD do you conduct a squad sized evolution.
Patrol gives you the tools to begin to think like a light infantryman (and if that’s not your proverbial cup of tea- the tools to think about what survival without modern conveniences may look like). Max covers a broad swath of information: organization and administration, gear, as well as some of the tactics and skills needed to be a contributing member of a survival group. There’s so much good information that, to truly gain the most, I think you need to study up before you go. Obviously attend a CRCD class. Review fire team tactics. Brush up on land navigation and how to use a map and compass. Don’t be afraid to pack light, and see how you fair without every fuddy-duddy gadget plus the kitchen sink. Start an exercise regimen (if you haven’t already done so) that includes walking with weight. You must prepare to get the most out of a challenging experience. That being said- you don’t have to be Rambo to complete the course. The most important thing is that you get out and DO IT!
Here are the things that I took away:
For those who are on the fence about attending the class- do it. I’ll leave you with a short rhyme:
On the strength of one link in the cable,
Dependeth the might of the chain.
Who knows when thou mayest be tested?
So live that thou bearest the strain!
And to those who bore that strain with me this past weekend- well done!
‘John P. Jones’
Combat Patrol 18-20 Jan 2014 – F
Just got done with Max’s Patrol Class, what a way to spend a 3 day weekend!!!
His attempt to make a concentrated Infantry curriculum that builds on the CRCD class was highly successful IMO.
First off, It….. was….. COLD.
Yes 19F doesn’t sound as cold as some other weathers we’ve all been in but remember here we are not just crossing a parking lot to get into the office we were outside all day for 2 days and at the end the it was a full day AND a night and then the rest of the next day until 1630.
When you add that most of us tried to dress light enough so we could still move fast and low and that it we sat still on our chairs during the (outdoors) classroom session, then you realize it was COLD.
We had 9 students so we were enough for a full squad and this enabled us to fully exercise flanking and fire support elements, more on this later down in this review.
One of the first things we did after Max taught/reviewed Small Unit Tactics on the Squad/Platoon level was a flanking live-fire Squad attack against a fixed position (“Bunker”). In other words we basically picked up where CRCD left off which is perfect IMO.
This served to reinforce the lessons learned at earlier classes and also to switch us on.
As a group it took us a couple of hours to hit our stride and get “into the game” so to speak, because the cold served as a training distractor IMO.
Early on we performed Squad level patrols in difficult terrain and honed our ability to act as part of a squad/fire team on the move, going into the Herring bone formation or diamond formation at the halt, hand signals etc etc.
We learned and then practiced, setting up a lay-up patrol base including the security elements inherent and so on.
Those without military experience were introduced to some new concepts/applications and those with ground forces experience got some much needed refresher training.
One of our highlights was when we sent out 4 man Nighttime Recon patrols made up of students. This were based on the scenario in a logical way and included night time land navigation with maps that Max provided. This was a real good student led exercise which honed our skills showed us what we can do and what we cant do (yet).
We exercised our terrain association, capabilities and limitations of night vision equipment , we (re)learned how the night turns a easy mission into a challenging one and how to integrate the strengths of individual team members.
On the Recce I was blessed with a mature, attentive and well equipped Fireteam …. this allowed us to successfully complete our mission, get the needed Intel while avoiding detection and injury…. all while traversing challenging terrain at night.
Our overnight stay in the patrol lay up was very chilly since we were trying to keep our signature low (it was a patrol lay up site NOT a bivouac ! ) so we were not in tents but just under tarps, And the 19 F wind how all thru our tarps.
When I went to my Sentry Duty shift I was wrapped in my Poncho liner,.. (brrrr)
This Infantry weather added a lot of realism.
The ambush training event was also a high payoff exercise.
Learning how to lay a professional ambush was also included and this is an event that deserves all of our attention.
Our capstone event was on Day 3, after a chilly night of very little sleep, we marched up some hills and down some hills on a part of the facility we had never seen before and conducted a raid
We had been briefed on our objective: a location were elements of the (exercise notional) NT14 death squad, were laid up to rest from (also exercise notional) reprisal and terror operations against the areas patriot towns in the service of notional rogue agencies..
We split up into an assault and fire support element.. The fire support element laid down suppressive live- fire, and lifted/shifted fire when we, the assault team moved in.
As soon as the suppressive fire started , we the assault element raced up a dry creekbed (dead ground) , while the rounds were zipping into our objective.
A flare signalled the fire support team to lift and shift fire and the assault team sprung up from the creekbed and overran the objective all while pumping live rounds into the generously supplied “enemy” targets.
I have not been this this exhausted for a long time as when I was hitting the limit of the objective and bounding back.
I would say to Max who designed this course, this training is the real deal, Mission accomplished!