Having chewed things over with students and a couple of others, I have made the decision to change that up. The background is this:
I am very happy with the format of the CRCD classes. In the overwhelming majority of cases I am able to get students through the class and achieve the training objectives. So I don’t want to mess with CRCD, it is a good product. I am also happy with the Combat Patrol class, and now having run it, the combination 5 day class. From comments that I have made, echoed by students, it is pretty clear that attendance on multiple classes really makes a difference to students. It’s not a one-shot game. You may get the basics first time, but your awareness, and competence level, will increase each time. Just look at Ernie’s recent AAR after the 5 day class HERE to see an example of that. He attended a CRCD in March and then returned with a buddy for the 5 day.
I often use the metaphor to students of treading water and keeping your head above water: my aim with first time students, whatever your level of competence, is to get you through the class while keeping your head above water (as the water rises, in the mine shaft!) If you show up with more experience, or gain it through attendance on multiple classes, you will get beyond treading water, and begin to swim.
I had the following feedback from students on the 5 day:
1) Many of them had friends who were intimidated to show up at class, doubting their ability level to complete it. The students themselves had in many cases been nervous, in the days leading up to class, about what they were about to undertake.
2) Weapon manipulation is different at CRCD. It is different doing it kneeling/prone on natural ground, while under physical and nervous stress. Dealing with the basics of malfunction clearance can be a pain when you really need to be focusing on the bigger picture. Better combat environment weapon manipulation would enhance the learning experience on the class. Rather than being focused on running their rifle, they could better focus on what is going on around them : shoot – move – communicate. Raise their game. Because let’s face it, not everyone is running drills in their basement before showing up, right? And even then, are they the right drills?
So I tried an experiment on the Sunday. I had a buddy, there to observe; a three combat tour Iraq/Afghanistan veteran. I roped him into running a background activity weapons manipulation class. Everyone benefited from the additional training time.
So this is the plan, which I will implement next week by updating web pages etc. It will go live as of the 26/27 April CRCD Class:
On the day prior to all CRCD Classes, including combination 5 day classes, there will be an optional training day:
1) 4 hours morning training on TC3.
2) 4 hours afternoon training on ‘Combat Transition.’
This training day will be an additional $100 to the class cost. I hope to rope in my friend to run the Combat Transition portion, but when he (or other future AI’s) are not there, I will run it.
Note that I said optional. I am going to update my pre-class weapons proficiency statement to include the ability to perform the stated drills, for those who cannot or do not want to attend the pre-CRCD training. It would be ideal for everyone to do it, but I know some have booked classes and can only afford leave for the weekend, so at least for now it will be optional.
The Combat Transition curriculum is still under development, but the outline plan right now is to include dry and live training to include the following:
(Note: these topics are covered on the CRCD itself, but this additional pre-training will benefit many with by improving levels of competence, and most importantly, confidence to attend the training).
1) An opportunity to Zero weapons.
2) Fire positions:
3) Use of cover
5) Target Indication
6) Stoppage drills:
– Emergency reload (Empty Magazine)
– Tactical Reload
– Immediate Action: Tap/Rack/Bang (OSPORTS)
– Remedial Action: more complex stoppages, such as double feeds and stovepipes etc.
7) Stress firing/reloads
(Note: don’t get hung up on terminology: get the weapon back in the fight!)
The key point to take away here is that this may sound like square range stuff, but square range is a vital part of the transition to field firing. However, the vital thing is that this is transition training between square range firing and field combat live firing. It will be designed to get you ready to operate on the CRCD at a higher level, and you will begin to identify gear shortfalls and learn to do things like weapon manipulation in the prone and ‘in the wild.’
A better run up, a shallower learning curve, and less intimidation for those on the fence about attending.
I highly recommend that you add this class. For now at least, it will remain optional, under ongoing review. Those already booked on classes are grandfathered in anyway.