Combat Patrol 18-20 Jan 2014 AAR # 4 – ‘John P. Jones’

Classes Available: Combat Rifle/Contact Drills (CRCD) – FEB
January 22, 2014
Hobo Vehicle Armor
January 24, 2014


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:

  • It’s all about mindset. We had a great group for the class. Everyone put out their best effort. Again, prepare, but the most important thing is to get out and put your money where your mouth is. The weather was cold. Brutally cold. Each student was different physically, some big, some small, women and men, but not a single student ever quit (even though I’m sure just about everyone considered staying in their sleeping bags Sunday night). We all did it. You can do it, too.
  •  The battle belt/old-school ruck system that Max suggests really does work. I have used other load bearing systems in the past in similar training evolutions. The way Max does it sure beats everything else I have tried. Hell, it was downright comfy.
  • The tactics that Max teaches aren’t complicated. But as Carl von Clausewitz said, “Everything is very simple in SHTF, but the simplest thing is difficult,” or something like that. Training like this will be invaluable should the time come when you have to defend your family in a life-or-death survival situation. The time to start training was yesterday.

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’


  1. frenchie262 says:

    Thanks to all for posting the AARs. Very informative and motivating. Looking forward to the spring!

  2. anon says:

    I like the AARs but have one request. In future exercises, it would be great if you used a little better of a camera (not even a DSLR–just a 14MP point-and-shoot would be fine) as it would be nice to be able to zoom on these pictures and see what everyone’s kit is made up of.

    • Max Velocity says:

      Roger that: I’ll hire a professional photographer, and fire James with his iPhone. Class costs will double. 😉

      If you show up for the class, and bring a camera, I’ll give you a discount and you can see all the gear first hand. Up for it?

      • anon says:

        Even better–save money by not hiring a photographer and just strap GoPros on everyone…

        • Max Velocity says:

          Aha! So you can suck as much free shit out of the internet as possible, without actually showing for training? Gotcha! 😉

          Although my blog is full of free stuff, I like it when people occasionally buy a book or show up for training: it not only makes them better, but puts food on my table so I can keep the free service running.

          Are you donating the GoPros? Thing is, its not cold getting up for stand-to when you are watching it on YouTube.

          • anon says:

            True (for the record, I purchased one of your books and plan on linking/suggesting it for readers in a web feature due next month)…all I’m saying is that it would be nice to see what participants are outfitting themselves with.

          • Max Velocity says:

            True. However, I will say this: as per the AAR’s, many will attest that the gear they were wearing was not ideal. I refer you to my posts on gear, such as the latest one ‘initial thoughts’ after the patrol class, which has photos of some of my gear. Of curse, that is not so much about clothing, its more abouit LBE and sustainment loads.

  3. Skittles says:

    I noticed a lot of folks there this weekend had Skittles in their kit. Coincidence? I think not

  4. RobRoySimmons says:

    If I may ask of the participants and instructors, were slings a hindrance or help? Might help people snap in prior so those with little to no experience aren’t playing grab ass with a sling on a loaded weapon. I ask because today I’m fiddling with my padded and modified with a rubberized shoulder strap V-Tac, and it seems to take a bit to get used to it.

    Speaking of food on your table MV, when is the next installment of your book coming out?

    FWIW your free stuff is well done as from a marketing point, IMO.

    • Skittles says:

      For patrolling, long range movements, or choretime around the house or base camp slings are a great way to have rention and the weapon close at all times. I find it necessary to remove it when training or expecting actual contact. It becomes a tangled mess and tries to strangle you.

    • Max Velocity says:

      I’m writing the sequel right now. I was a little delayed, getting ready for the patrol class and designing/building the training etc. Back to it now.

      On the sling: I have asked people to unsling their rifles several times. Badly designed slings or when it does not work for them for crawling, such as into a position or to assault the bunkers – where you need to monkey crawl or push the rifle ahead of you. If people want to use slings, then fair enough. I have one, but I mostly don’t use it to carry the rifle. I use it when I actually want to ‘sling’ the rifle to do something else. That is why single point slings are not good for doing things such as kneeling to deal with casualties. Your barrel is in the dirt – better to have a 2-point you can sling around your back.

      So yes, at times the sling can be a pain and needs to be taken off your neck.

    • F says:

      I am a big believer in Slings (2 points only)

      While in a short term class such as this one they dont add a lot of value (if any) they add tons of value in the real world and this is what we train for so I liked ot wear them on this class.

      Me personally I have no problems high crawling with slings and they never get in my way.

      The ability to retain your weapon when you fall down a hill, sling it back for a chore such as loading a vehicle, taking a swing form your canteen, carrying a casualty or lifting a pair of Binos is invaluable IMO.

      If you know what you are doing and especially if you use a free float rail you can even use them to stabilize a weapon.

      You find Infantry in all the big militaries in the world use 2 point slings.

      PS: Not meaning to digress but 1 Point slings are a recent tacticool invention that do almost nothing what a sling is supposed to do (except retain your weapon when you fall down a hill) but they stay out of the way when the tacticool guys practice “transtions”

    • D Close says:

      RRS, I have used a Vtac and a Troy sling at a CRCD. I prefer the VTac. Max has made the point and I have finally listened, that slings are for after the fight, not during. If you need both hands to climb an obsticle, they come in handy. I used to start off a patrol using it only to discover it slowed my response time during RTR and didn’t really help me shoot the bad guys in that initial phase. I practiced at home with the VTac tensioner. It is useful.

    • Brian from Georgia says:

      I ran a VTAC on an AR15A4 at CRCD. Worked great. Just leave it exdended full length so you can go prone.

      • JeffSags says:

        I use a BlueForceGear Vicker sling (very tacticool!) and hang my rifle off my neck. It doesn’t get in my way and never had any issues during the 2 day CRCD.

    • ApoloDoc says:

      I purchased my first sling for the CRCD class and was told that I needed to keep it out of the way at times! It does get in the way on these types of movements. For this class, I removed my sling before we started and never used it. There were a few times when it would have been useful to throw it over my shoulder, but we are almost always carrying the rifle. As my weapon was quite light, it worked well throughout.

      Anybody want to buy a nice Vickers sling?

  5. RobRoySimmons says:

    Sorry to bother you but I just re-read the exchange with “anon.” Seems a bit strange that a person within the community who wants to write a web article would want clear pictures and would use “anon” to address this thread.

    • Jake says:

      I agree. Kinda fishy asking for all that info. Take the class and get the info first hand.

    • anon says:

      Didn’t mean to come off that way at all. After SHOT Show, I’ve just interested to see what people were wearing/using.

      The article itself is about a game called DayZ for a completely different type of website (not a SHTF site). I was planning to link Max’s books (I had the chance to read one last Dec.) as suggested reading for those further interested. Surprised that this is being interpreted as hostile.

  6. Submariner says:

    J.P. Jones: Thanks for the AAR.

    Of all The Laws of the Navy I memorized back in the day, that is the one that I remember best. BZ!

  7. See, this is where a forum would be nice, because I’d love to get some input on attendee’s pack loadouts for future reference-
    like what packs were used (seems a good bit of variety looking at the sizes in the pictures), how well they interfaced with other gear used, what folks carried in them, what was the indispensable “don’t leave home without” stuff, and what were the “why the hell did I bring that?” items as well.
    Being pretty new to the whole pack thing, sometimes it’s nice to get personal “why” info, on top of more generalized lists of “stuff”.

    Also, about the video cameras mentioned- like a mounted go-pro or such- if an attendee wanted to bring one to take some video clips for their own use- say for later review, or to share/use as an explaining tool to interested friends (sometimes video gets a better response than other methods). Would personal use be ok, or is there going to be gnashing of teeth and kicking of ass if anyone shows up with anything vaguely camera shaped? 😛
    Just figured I’d ask for general clarification.

    • Max Velocity says:

      Forum: wait 10 minutes and you will have one.
      Packs: most were unsuitable. Get an ALICE, as alluded to.
      Video: no. Policy.

      • Skittles says:

        You showed the thermal mat you used which was significantly less bulky than the typical ones. You called it a 3/4 mat. I did some looking and couldnt find one by that name. But i did find the Thermarest Prolite which is much smaller and compact. But it is also a foam / air filled hybrid.Is that the one you showed us?

        • Max Velocity says:

          Mine was a 3/4 length thermarest. But it’s old. I’ll look for a link. It isn’t a hybrid, just an air mat.

          • Skittles says:

            Thanks. One thing i noticed and believe you commented on was that a lot of peoples gear was just to bulky. That mat you had was a 1/4 the size when packed and could actually go inside an alice pack.

        • frenchie262 says:

          I got a Cabelas knockoff around xmas for $35…its 72″ x 20″ but using Max’s advice with the large alice(ditch the sleeping bag stuff sack) I got it all packed away. They do have a “short” model that is 48″ x 20″ and its on sale for $29. Search “sleeping pads”. OD green in color.