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.