You’ve watched a thousand YouTube videos. You’ve carefully researched and bought good quality gear that will hold up. You spent good money on a rifle, optic, mags, and all the other associated errata. You’ve got maps of your AO waterproofed and ready to go. You even spent money and bought a good quality handheld radio and headset. Level IV plates, quality PC and a helmet? Check. You’ve been to a tactical first aid class, a radio theory class, and some other classes that cost you a couple of bucks. You even tribe up at least once a month and either shoot or practice what you’ve been trained on. You’re I your comfort zone feeling pretty good about how ready you are for when things get dicey.
Guess what? You’re probably sucking hind tit completely unaware of how ill prepared you actually are. I see it all the time. Guys show up in their comfort zones and get their asses handed to them, and that shakes them.
It’s not enough to just go learn, you have to put the real effort into reinforcing and expanding your training to develop honest genuine, repeatable knowledge, skills and abilities that you can exercise under stress. And to do that takes two things presuming you’ve been given the requisite training; Time and Effort.
I’ll give an example: A few months back I taught a basic static marksmanship class, nothing fancy, just the basics starting with sloth slow dry fire practice until everyone was smooth enough to go live, then back to sloth speed and working up. By the end of the class guys were breaking cover, engaging, reengaging, and returning to cover against a 100 yard silhouette with an appreciable amount of skill while being mindful of their exposure time. Less than 45 days later e all gathered together and it was apparent who hadn’t touched their rifle outside of cleaning (don’t show up with a dirty rifle). The guys that had practiced the skills they had been shown with at least a few weekly sessions of dry fire practice were still fairly proficient, the rest, well, they had the knowledge in their heads but it hadn’t been committed or refined to the lizard brain. And as a result they were freaking sloppy as shit. Bottom line: Once a month isn’t going to do you a whole lot of good without reinforcement. You wouldn’t want a guy that trained on brain surgery and performed his last surgery a couple of years ago to cut on your head, would ya? Why would you be willing to rely on something you’ve been exposed to for one day and never routinely practiced to save your ass?
Another thing is it’s not just about practicing and committing those skills to muscle memory. What are you doing on your own to expand your knowledge base? I think it was JC Dodge who stated “Knowledge weighs nothing in a rucksack” and that’s an absolute truth. Example: You might be the greatest tourniquet applier on the earth, hell you recognize an arterial bleed and can slap a SOF-T on that puppy in under ten seconds. But how about expanding that knowledge by studying some human anatomy? There’s online college level human anatomy classes that are free. A working knowledge of the circulatory and skeletal systems might be worth their weight in gold when you start having to deal with a GSW involving bone. There are low and no cost resources out there that just require some looking. Don’t be satisfied that you master the skills in one subject area – expand your knowledge base of the subject.
Is it a matter of time? Sacrifice that 30 minutes a day to something. PT, dry fire, studying antenna theory, etc. 30 minutes a day is a piss in the bucket compared to how much time the average person fucks off daily. Is it a matter of making the effort? If you lack the self-discipline to get offa that couch, phone, or whatever then amigo, you are probably fucked. You think you’re physically unable? That’s a defeatist attitude and ya need to check that shit at the door. I’ve got guys with artificial legs that show up and run drills. Are they as fast as everyone else? Some are, some aren’t. But they make the freaking effort. Lose the weight, give up the bad habits, and if you need a buddy to put a boot in your ass then find one, likewise with a reason.
Mosby, Dodge, Max, Culper, NC Scout, and the rest all offer quality training. And they can teach you a LOT. But when you pack your ruck and leave the training site if you do nothing to reinforce and expand that knowledge you’re not doing enough.
30 minutes a day. Not a whole lot to ask when your ass is on the line.
Carry on the conversation @ freezoxee