This was my first tactical training of any kind. I’m a 49 year old Civil Engineer, PE. I drive a desk; sometime 80 hours a week (one excuse for not going to MVT sooner). I was not in the military. I’ve owned guns and hunted most of my life. I’ve been playing with and building AR15’s since shortly after 9/11.
I prep, but I don’t live it 100%. I have at least a year’s supply of food for my family of five along with water storage, med supplies, etc… I have rifles and handguns for the family plus some loaners for our grasshopper friends. The problem is that I don’t know how to use them on a two-way range. My local range and Appleseed haven’t trained me to do anything other than leisurely insert a mag, chamber a round, flip off the safety and fire a few rounds then leisurely stroll down to the target and assess my handiwork. All of this in the shade and dry of the shooting shelter at a time of my choosing.
I’ve thought that the training would be handy, but how hard can it really be to flip off the safety and fire a few rounds? Max has written on the MVT Forum, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” I now understand that statement and I have a much better idea of what I don’t know.
In June, I attended the Intro to CQB Force-On-Force (1 day) and Team Force-On-Force (2 days). We used UTM Man Marker rounds in our AR15’s. We replaced the bolt with a special bolt that will only work with the UTM rounds and used our own GI mags. This allowed me to use my chest rig and try out my gear. We had to wear paintball type gear to protect our faces and especially eyes. They can leave a bruise through clothing and bring blood to exposed skin, but nothing permanent. Nobody lost an eye, and it was fun.
After three days of sending and receiving UTM rounds, I know that the list of what I don’t know is long. One thing we all know is that the safety has to be off to fire, but more than once, in the shoot house, I was face to face with OPFOR and pulling a stuck trigger, because the safety was still on. I was caught up in the action and didn’t have the function ingrained in my muscle memory and things were happening fast. I also had not been trained on what to do in case of a stoppage, which is essentially what I had. So, I stood there and got shot while my teammate went past me as he was supposed to do and also got shot, because I didn’t do my job. In the real world, with real ammo, that could have been a family member or a good friend that I failed.
CQB was a slow progression from instruction with Max and First Sergeant walking through the maneuver to drilling with empty weapons to entering a room and facing OPFOR with UTM rounds flying. My main takeaway is that if you’re faced with CQB, your shit’s weak, but it’s better to have the training and know how to diminish the room and where you and your teammates need to be once in there and increase your chances of walking back. It was eye opening and well worth it.
For FOF, I was teamed with MVT Alumni (I was the only newbie in the class) who had been through other team classes. We spent the first couple of hours on Saturday going over team movement and then moved on to team FOF. All simple concepts, but I later learned that when it’s 95 degrees and you’re goggles are fogged and your eyes are full of sweat and you’re breathing hard from running up a West Virginia mountain those simple concepts get difficult when the shooting and yelling start. That’s where the training and practice comes into play. Instinctively knowing which way to move and communicating with the team isn’t something you will figure out on the fly.
Both the CQB and Team FOF were well worth the money and the time. I drove 9.5 hours each way from Georgia to Romney, WV and I will do it again. I will be at the class in Georgia in October, to learn more of what I don’t know.
Who trains at MVT?
Well, I’m a licensed professional engineer and small business owner. We had several IT professionals and one guy that owns a few media companies. There were fed gov employees and local and state gov employees. We had a college history professor. There was an EMT and two MD’s. Several were licensed HAM operators.
The age range was 15 to 55 years old with the majority seeming to be in their 40’s. All male, except a 15yo girl that came with her father. They came from Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts; from small towns and big cities.
There were no beer-belly, militia colonels. There was no talk of conspiracy theories or overthrowing the fed gov. There were no idiots or loudmouths. It was just a good group of patriotic American citizens. A group that realizes that, Heaven forbid, if our world were turned upside down, we might need to defend our family and property and community from looting gangs and having the tools in the toolbox is better than being caught flatfooted. We also realize that these skills could be crucial in a more likely situation such as a home invasion or other event where the police are nowhere around.
Besides, we ALL know that shooting is fun and shooting stuff is more fun and better than any day in the office.
Max Adds: Thank you for the review. There is a common theme to all this” “You don’t know what you don’t know.’ An awful lot of people bluffing themselves as to what their true state of training and readiness is.
Next Class: November 3-5. These classes are accessible to alumni and new students, each for a different level of value. In many ways, a perfect introduction to tactical training for newbies.
A totally unrelated video:
General Info / Links: