5 Day Combined Class – Update + Some Photos

The First 5 Day Combined Class
April 4, 2014
AAR #1: CRCD/Patrol April 5-9 – Ernie
April 10, 2014

I’m just back in from the 5 day combined class. It was great. A really good bunch of students. It is good to have the full 5 days to work with people, and although the class is a sequential CRCD / Combat Patrol combination, having it all together allows greater knowledge transfer and flexibility in the schedule as required.

We had two students leave from the class. My sympathies and best wishes go out to John, who had to leave on the Monday due to a family emergency in Alabama. We have been in touch and he will be coming back. Alan, who was there with Fred to help me out with safety/enemy, was able to fill the slot and ensure no-one was without a battle buddy.

We also had another gentleman withdraw on Monday night; the class was too much for him. Please bear in mind that, more so with the Combat Patrol class, this is an infantry class. My students are not 18 year old recruits, and part of what I bring as an instructor is the ability to work with varying ability levels. There have been many in their 60’s on CRCD, and even a 71 year old spry USMC veteran (with an M1 Garand!) So if you are an older gentleman, don’t be off put. But bear in mind what I say on the class PAGE:

Fitness: Tactical training requires a basic level of mobility. Instructors will tailor the level of physical intensity to the capabilities of the trainees and rest will be incorporated into the training day. A moderate level of physical activity will be involved with the training.

You will be required to walk over rough wooded terrain carrying your rifle and battle load; fire your rifle from the standing, kneeling and prone positions; make short rushes and get up and down from standing to kneeling and prone positions. You will be exposed to the prevailing weather conditions at the training site and there is no air conditioning and limited shelter.”

And perhaps more importantly, you must have the mental alertness and spacial awareness  to understand what is happening with the drills, and your role in them. Otherwise, we have to stop and adjust for safety more often. Random behavior is not encouraged – moving slowly is OK, just not in the wrong direction! If you are unsure of the suitability of your age and PT ability, I recommend that you book a CRCD to gauge this, before committing to a Combat Patrol Class, or combined class.

Combinied Class Group Apr

Above: The class prior to moving out on the tactical phase to the patrol base. The colorful tape on the magazines is a safety measure to designate empty magazines/cleared weapons for this phase of the training.

Combinied Class Group Move Out

Above: First rally point after leaving for the patrol base. Moving into a ‘herringbone’ security formation.

Combinied Class Group Hasty Amb View

Above: View from the trail looking directly at the 12 man hasty ambush, established after breaking track to ambush the patrol’s back trail, where the photographer is standing. This is part of the patrol base occupation procedure. A useful exercise in camouflage and concealment – can the hasty ambush be seen from the back trail? What, if anything, is giving it away?

Combinied Class Group Hasty Amb View 2

Above: Yes, there are 12 men in that hasty ambush!

Combinied Class Group Occupy Patrol LUP

Above: Occupying the patrol base/LUP. The site is selected for concealment and terrain masking. And to put it on the ranges, to allow further tactical activity 😉

Combinied Class Group Bashas

Above: Bashas (tarps) up.

Combinied Class Max Tea

Above: Tea in the patrol base, of course!

I am introducing a new class variation, for the day prior to all CRCD and combined classes. I am going to do a follow-up post on that later today. I will be amending the current TC3 full day offering to a split day: TC3 in the morning, and a Combat Transition Class in the afternoon. More to follow on that.

Live Hard.

Die Free.





  1. Brian from Georgia says:

    That looks like a well-placed ambush. You’d have to be on top of your game to spot it.

    Did the majority feel like their conditioning was good enough for the 5 days?

    • Tater in SC says:

      Tater here (the big, ugly, bald-headed bastard in the group photo). Having had the benefit of 3 previous CRCD and 1 previous CP classes, I can tell you that the 5-day combination of the 2 classes kicked my butt, despite my continued attempt to get in shape following my 1st CRCD back in August 2013. As Max always says, and as we all know, PT PT PT (you can never get enough).

  2. Hawkeye says:

    Good stuff!! Making me really antsy to get up there.

    Observation note – Something I’ve preached in the past. Solid earth tone can/will work in the bush. But they do NOT work as well as a good camo pattern.

    Regardless, excellent pics and it sounds like a great class was had all around.

  3. MW says:

    Man, these classes look awesome. MV, do you ever anticipate the formation of associations with trainers in different regions that would could offer similar education?

  4. Tater in SC says:

    Damn! Who’s the ugly bald-headed bastard in the back row (far right) of the group photo?

    • JeffSags says:

      Tater, looking good man! Nice hair cut! That’s quite a resume you’re building. I’m jealous.

  5. Bergmann says:

    Outstanding..5 days is a long piece.

    As to the gentleman that had to leave, well he tried. No one can ever take that away. Its far more then most do. It takes real courage and character to chest up to what isn’t for you then it does to keep going and roll till you get hurt because you’re to scared to admit it and really become a mess for everyone to deal with..

    Great pictures..


  6. Diz says:

    Congratulations Max, on your first combined ops class. That had to be a hell of a long 5 days. Job well done for all those that made it.

  7. Shmitty80 says:

    Looks like a good train up! Hope i can come out and join in the fun this summer!