Predictably, the main test that caught peoples attention from the post ‘III Rifleman Combat Task Proficiency‘ was the PT Test: ‘The 2-Miler.’
There are many reasons for this:
1) A desire to make the test ‘right.’
2) A knowledge that personal standards are probably not up to it right now.
3) A need for an attitude adjustment – this is not a hike, or anything else you have done. It is a ‘2-Miler.’
The ‘2-Miler’ is probably the best single test of fitness and aptitude for infantry work. If you can’t dig deep on a 2-Miler, why would you think you can be in a III Rifleman Squad? It requires intestinal fortitude. It is not really THAT HARD – it’s just you have probably never trained like that before.
What is the 2-Miler?
It is a 2 mile run with a 30lb ruck and rifle. It is done at best effort. It is a ball buster and a test – that is the point. The way you do it is with an ‘airborne shuffle.’ You can actually afford to speed walk up any inclines, but you need to keep an airborne shuffle going. It is done on flat or preferably gently rolling terrain, not steep, and should be conducted on roads or decent trails. Packed dirt road or similar. Not cross country or on steep hills.
The 2-Miler simulates a rapid reinforcement of friendly troops in contact. You have to get there, and get there fast. It simulates carrying a rifle and fighting load across the ground.
I am open to adjusting the times suggested in the original post. We need to beta test this in order to make it a challenge but not unattainable. But it WILL need training for. That is the point.
You see, not everyone will be a III Rifleman. It is not for everyone. Those guys are supposed to be the tip of the spear. Don’t forget it takes about 9 loggies to support one infantryman. There is plenty of space there for others to fight, and others to support. The III Riflemen are intended to be the real life incarnation of the capable fighters as exemplified in ‘Patriot Dawn: The Resistance Rises.’ Read it? if not, why not? It’s a novel, but a teaching tool. There are even examples in that novel, even a specific one of such a reinforcement taking place. In the book there were guys and gals in the Resistance Company doing unconventional warfare/light infantry work (the III Riflemen if you like), then there were others doing guarding work (the home guard, if you like), and then there was the support group – the auxiliary.
We are currently developing all the tasks and standards as laid out in the original post. The PT Test also needs to be beta tested and developed also. However, I have this idea right now, given that the PT test is people’s biggest obstacle, yet it cannot be compromised on if effective III Rifleman are to be produced:
Three Tiers of initial qualification badges, based on the PT Test alone (exact titles up for debate):
1) III Rifleman: completes the PT Test in the target time, completes the other tasks up to standard. For example, perhaps the 2-Miler cut off time for Rifleman is 24 minutes.
2) III Reserve: completes the PT Test in the secondary time, completes the other tasks up to standard. For example, perhaps the 2-Miler cut off time for Reserves is 30 minutes.
3) III Support: passes the marksmanship qualification. Does not attempt the 2-miler due to physical inability or other health reason.
There will also be some sort of PT award for those who do the 2-Miler in less than 18 minutes.
I had talked about doing some sort of competition – a ruck & shoot biathlon – but I think a qualification weekend such as this would take the place of that. It would not just be about passing the minimum, but about competing with others for Best Rifleman.
There was a question about how we could fit all the training for all the tasks into one 3 day weekend. We won’t. simple. This has to be trained back with your team. The actual qualification weekends will be run like an expert infantry badge. There will be a mix of testing, instruction and assessment.
Because this is a III badge, it will be adjudicated by III approved trainers. You can train wherever you want, but you will need to attend a qualification weekend with a recognized III trainer in order to qualify for the patches. You could have someone come to you if you wanted, and get assessed on your home turf. That is how we maintain standards.
More to come as this is developed. Gratuitous PT Motivational video here.