Leader & Led

Rifleman Challenge: Updates to the 2-Mile Speed March Event
May 27, 2015
Student Review: Combat Team Tactics April 2015: Palmetto
May 28, 2015


This post is a comment brought on by observations during the last Combat Patrol Class. It is not intended as a detailed dissertation on leadership, merely comment. I do dedicate a section of ‘Contact! A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival’ to this subject.

Contact! A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival

(As noted in a number of Student Reviews, you really should read this before attending class, and then again after. The first read will help with learning at class, the second read will then make a lot more sense afterwards).

Regarding leaders and led, this is a topic that really needs to be addressed across the board. The bottom line up front is that to effectively operate in a tactical /survival environment, you have to operate as a team. The team must have persons filling positions of leadership. For you extreme anarchists, it doesn’t mean they get prima nocta on your wife, or you have to offer tribute; it simply means that they should be filling positions of leadership to allow the team to operate effectively. The people that are filling those roles need to be competent and the best ones available to do so. To form a tactical team, you have to temporarily subsume self to the interest of working together as a team, because that is ultimately in the best interests of self and your group.  Bring strengths as individuals rather than tear it apart and make the team weak as individuals.


Read the rest on the MVT Forum:  Forums Tactics & Leadership Teamwork & Leadership



  1. StarvinLarry says:

    “Colossal unassailable egos.
    Lack of PT, will to PT, and general fat-assness among the self-proclaimed ‘liberty movement.’
    The lack of serious tactical training,and lack of the will to train.”

    You hit the nail on the head-that’s 90% of the problem-the other 10% is guys who think they don’t have to train because they watched you tube videos of others training,plus they read a few books,and were in the military back in the Vietnam days-or Desert Storm,or in the years just after when there were no wars going on and they think the tactics they used way back then are good enough for today.
    The Colonels in the militias are usually a part of the general fat-assness and/or provide training using Vietnam era tactics-I already went through that horsepucky with one of the supposed militias here in Ohio.
    You’re spot on about some of the other trainers out there,many are shysty and only in it for the $$$-ran into that in Ohio years ago too.
    There’s 3 new “studios” that claim to teach combatives around here that have opened in the past few months-the last one of those I tried was a huge waste of hard earned $$$.

  2. Diz says:

    This is a very important issue. Training time is precious. Lead, follow, or get the fuck out of the way.

  3. Christian Yingling says:

    Why don’t you take your own advice Max… disreputable trainers? you mean the ones who you “claim” are stealing your market share? you’re a joke. Ive trained with MANY trainers.. and you are nothing special. I am fully aware of what you claim to offer. I know people who have taken your classes.. and were hardly impressed. Take your own advice, respect your fellow trainers and get the hell off your high horse. Jesus.. and to think I used to respect you. But I’ll damn sure be sure to pass along to all the militia contacts I have that you’ve called all their training shit because they didn’t get it from you. have a nice day.

    • Max Velocity says:

      Well….what a great example of what we are dealing with, and completely off topic to the subject of the post. What is your agenda?

      I’ve never met you, you have never trained with me, you have no point of reference as to the quality of MVT.

      But…..a great example of the problem.

      Thank you.

      Enjoy yor training. But remember, you don’t know what you don’t know.


    • StarvinLarry says:

      Christian Yingling

      “you mean the ones who you “claim” are stealing your market share? you’re a joke. Ive trained with MANY trainers.. and you are nothing special.”

      Max has already responded to you,and is fully capable of defending himself from unwarranted bullshit-but I’m gonna add my two cents to this anyhow-

      At no time has Max ever claimed anyone was stealing his “market share”.
      The training Max provides is highly recommended by class alumni-it is those alumni who claim Max offers better training than many other trainers.
      I made my comment earlier today about the quality of training I’ve found in NE Ohio,along with the quality of SOME of the “militia” folks in Ohio.
      They all sucked-period.
      I didn’t name the trainers or the “militia” groups by name as they are not commenters on Max’s site,and there’s already far too much backstabbing bullshit going on in the III/Patriot/prepper community-I refuse to be a part of it because my goal is to work toward the restoration of Rightful Liberty ASAP so my children and grandchildren do not have to grow up in the ever growing police state we are living in.

      Please do as you claim you will do,and pass along to your “militia contacts” that their training sucks-because in NE Ohio-at least three of the so-called “militias” training does in fact suck,as does the so-called “tactical” training offered by many in NE and N. central Ohio.
      I still have several “militia” contacts as there were quite a few guys who I would like to have in any group I am a part of-they stay with the “militia” they are a part of because it’s the only option in their AO’s and it’s hard to find like-minded guys by yourself.

      Max made several valid points in this post-do you really want the guy who’s real world job is a chef to be in charge of planning ops?

      Do you really want the guy who’s real world job is a surveyor to have nothing to do with map reading/land nav?

      Do you want the guy who’s real world job is Army reservist staff Sgt. who has about 10 years of real world experience planning/executing missions to be the guy cooking your food?
      The idea is to use those who are the most experienced at a certain task to do that task-it ain’t all that complicated.
      So-exactly what is it that Max stated that is wrong?

    • Former Sapper says:

      Interesting. I bet you’re a militia colonel, aren’t you?

  4. WTL says:

    Seems there is only one way to overcome this and that is PRIOR to a SHTF situation. If random people (unknowns) are thrust into a precarious, life and death situation I ‘m afraid human nature would get the best of any such group.

    The answer is to build localized groups where the people know each other and have consented to a leadership hierarchy. Of course working with other groups will offer its own challenges but perhaps such macro challenges are more manageable than intra-squad bickering.

    And isn’t that the missing cog in all of this? Group. If you’ve trained with Max you’ve seen first-hand the effectiveness of groups vs individual. Is there a sponsor out there who might subsidize group training? Might Max offer discounts for groups of 4 or more?

    You’re not going change human behavior. Seems smarter to incentivize the very thing that can sort out the leader/follower problem best: group training.

  5. Bergmann says:

    “prima nocta on your wife,”


    On a serious note many times you get stuck with ppl that dont want to be led, but rather have their own nefarious and demented reasons for showing up. Running a school give you a chip in the game that guys trying to coordinate a team (I’m not a leader)and depending on volunteers will never have. For a school, ppl have payed money to be there. Its as good as fidelity bracelet in many ways.


  6. Diz says:

    Truth hurts.

  7. D Close says:

    I just aspire to be a good squad leader someday. How could we do that without first learning to be a good rifleman?

  8. […] yesterday, I wrote a post ‘Leader & Led‘ which mentioned ‘colossal unassailable egos.’ Well, NPD is definitely something […]

  9. Jim Klein says:

    Bravo, Max. Great piece. Yes, any action that takes a team, requires a leader of that team. I’ve no idea why this is hard for so many to grasp. I mean, “lone wolf” is a decision, so that’s not a team…if there’s going to be a group of people doing any particular action, one of the MUST lead the team. Can’t be done without that. That’s true for any team goal at all, but battle a bit more critically, eh?

    In my experience, good leaders also make good followers because they understand this at such a basic level. Important stuff. We can debate another time whether big or small egos make the best of either leaders or led.

  10. WTL says:

    “Good leaders also make good followers”. That’s an interesting premise but perhaps inconclusive if you look across the valley of leadership. At a high level, it’s hard to consider the top military leaders in recorded history as anything resembling’followers”: Khan, Scipio, Alex Great, Caesar, Grant, Rommel, Eisenhower, Patton, Macarthur, etc, etc.

    Though more anecdotal in nature, successful lower level leaders have probably been closer (class and culture) to their troops – though I might not go as far to say they would have made good followers though. And are we talking about leading a team of killers or survivors? Big difference IMO. Many of the “kids” of WWII were just looking to survive and a different type of leader would be more successful for them than say, SEAL Team 6.

    The point is there as many different leadership styles as there are leadership needs. The great leaders in any organization will adapt to the needs of the people they lead with the end goal always in focus . That is how you define leadership success – can you get the MOST out of your people in a way that completes your objective.

    That all said, I don’t consider ego the deciding factor in whether one makes a good leader or not. Certainly large ego Generals have fallen to countless defeats. Rather, can the leader remove yourself from “the myopic bubble” and see you as your opponents AND led see you and adjust accordingly? Can you see your own mistakes before you make them?

    Therefore, my premise is that self-awareness is the ultimate value shown by good leaders.

    • Max Velocity says:

      I think the ego question is more aime at those who cannot or will not be followers. I am sure many great leaders have had egos to boot – I am sure Alexander the Great had one! But I am sure they also has the ‘common touch’ and ability to inspire their troops.

      Ego is really an inability to train as part of a team, function in one, or have unrealistic ideas of your leadership abilities.

      • Jim Klein says:

        Funny definition there at the end, Max; I agree with the rest. WTL, the very best of leaders will often not be in a position to be led. That would explain most of those examples and plenty of others; the counter-examples would be the millions who excel at both. Lotta leadership out there; division of labor too.

        The one thing ALL good leaders AND followers share is a drive to do exactly as you say…complete the objective. When an objective is chosen and committed to, nothing else counts.

        Since you offered an odd definition Max, I’ll offer one fact. Strong egos tend to be eons better than weak egos, at fulfilling committments. Logic tells you that and your experience tells you that. I mean, keep your definition if you wish. Me, I only care about how reality actually is, whatever it’s called.

  11. WTL says:

    Yep, all comes down to self-awareness. A most rare trait. Hence the rarity of truly great leaders.Then again I’ve read much of Patton and you’d be hard pressed to call him self-aware. He was simply convinced of victory and this bled down to his troops. Sometimes the power of will is leadership enough? Though not without its risks for sure.

    I think leadership is more art than science, IMO.

  12. […] recently wrote a post titled ‘Leader & Led‘. In a comment on that post, Bergmann wrote the […]

  13. […] a recognition of skills and strengths in certain areas. I have commented in another post ‘Leader & Led‘ and it would seem economical to simply reproduce some of that post […]