Beyond Gear: Teamwork & Leadership


I’m going to throw this post together this morning after waking up to some thoughts that I want to put words to. Yesterday I put out the following blog post: ‘Book Recommendation: Company Commander by Major Russell Lewis MC.’ I was looking at this book last night and reflecting on the value of the experiences that are recorded in it. In particular, the lessons on command and leadership.There are many books out there about heroes, and how they needed to be heroes because they were placed in bad situations. That is usually where the requirement for bravery beyond the call of duty comes from: being placed in bad tactical situations. Often, due to a failure of leadership. This book isn’t about that kind of heroism, it has different lessons. It’s not war candy. You can apply many of the lessons from the book across to challenges you may face running a defended retreat location post-collapse.

When I look at the kind of response my articles get, it is overwhelmingly gear that catches people’s attention. Guaranteed: do a post on gear and people are sucking it up. Tactics, not so much. This is a sad reality: that many people can’t get beyond gear. Gear is interesting and important, I love gear, but there is so much that is essential beyond it. But I know, it’s hard, even finding a motivated battle buddy to train with.

If you have followed MVT for a while, you  may have realized that I am not about the gear and tacticool. I am trying to change things for the better. I’m not about being some sort of fee paying membership organization. I am about facilitating motivated armed civilians to become competent at small unit tactics (SUT). Why? Because it will aid your survival, and you should be competent at these things anyway.

One of the takeaways from classes such as Combat Patrol (CP), is the need for leadership at the team and squad level. On the classes, I simulate and provide that leadership. It is vital, it cannot be overstated. Once you get beyond gear and can conduct buddy pair movement, it simply isn’t enough. You need the ability to make tactical decisions.

There are a couple of objectives that I have been pushing recently. MVT is providing training that is unsurpassed in the civilian sector. Just check out this student review by a former USMC infantry officer. Stop thinking that you can never be as good as someone with military training. If you pursue this pastime by taking the right classes, working on your PT and putting time into your training outside of MVT, you can be better. We are giving you the distilled essence of infantry training without the accompanying BS. If you are that guy with prior service, then get YOUR ass to training also, like many others have done. You will benefit from it.

The couple of areas that I have been pushing beyond my usual training classes are:

I’m not doing this to make it exclusive, or take dues off you. This is essentially free information  that you can take and use to implement your tactical team. I am trying to change the prevailing mindset: from people being unfit and useless, and obsessed with paranoid ‘OPSEC’ to the extent that they won’t associate or train with others, to a situation where training is taking place and teams are being formed and trained. I won’t ever know about your team, or what you are doing out there. Please, just do it, and by doing so be prepared to defend hearth and home for when the SHTF.

My recommendation is that you are taking training seriously enough to be at a professional level with a local CUTT team. Tie that in with regional HAM communications and you are establishing a mutual aid network ‘farm net’ to assist each other in a crisis.

I have talked previously about a leadership class. I need to step up and provide that. I am going to start putting this into action. October is likely to be the month when I run the first 3-day CUTT leadership class. This will be a small unit leaders class. This kind of training is absolutely vital once you get beyond gear, PT and basic tactical drills. Comment from students about their awakening to the requirement for leadership, seen at the classes, is most welcome, to illustrate the point.

The MVT Rifleman Challenge has become (for now) an MVT alumni-only event where you need to have attended CTT at least before I can put you onto the tactical ranges. Thus illustrating the need for training. What it does do, however, other than provide a means of motivation for your training, is provide an established standard that you know that person has attained if you end up having to potentially work with them in a crisis. Thus, rather than asking for dues for membership, it gives an identifiable training standard that will work to create trust, That is the idea behind it. If you take that and apply those trained personnel to the CUTT concept, you have the makings of an effective team.

Do you see it now?

So I’m not that guy, that ‘tactical trainer.’ I have a vision to provide professional level training and I have built a facility to allow me to do that better. This tactical journey of learning is really not about ‘cool guy operator shit’ at all. It is about a training progression from individual to team level, and building tactical planning and leadership on top of that. Without leadership, you are just a bunch of guys geared up.

Who is going to plan and lead this when it needs to be done?:

A couple of related comments:

1) I have seen comments from Mosby about ‘tactical trainers’ and his refusal to invest in a training facility, and have a mortgage on one. That is his choice. I think having a facility is vital to provide a better level of training. My trip to Texas shows that you don’t need it, and I get where Mosby is coming from, but the sweat and treasure that my family and I have put into the WV facility is paying off with the level of training we can provide: It keeps getting better and better. And anyway, I don’t have a mortgage on it. That doesn’t mean there has not been considerable and ongoing investment into it (And thus business risk), but working for five years as a paramilitary contractor allowed me to gather a chest of pirate gold that I could exchange for the land.

2) I have seen several instances where students that have trained at MVT have subsequently advertised themselves as instructors teaching topics that are obviously straight off an MVT class. Often, for regional or national level dues paying organizations, or otherwise as part of free training branching off a website-that-shall-not -be-named. I have a couple of thoughts on this:

  • It would nice to be credited for providing the training, drills and SOPs that are taught.
  • Some of these guys should not be instructing, and otherwise did not get enough exposure to MVT training,to really be effectively passing on the knowledge.
  • When I see the curriculum, with a lot of information crammed into a couple of hours , and statements such as ‘Contact drills bolts out’ I question the utility of this training.
  • I know that many want to send an individual to MVT training in order to go back and train the group. I know from first hand comment that this often does not work. In most cases, people need the professional training first hand. If you can’t all come to WV, talk to me about putting on a class in your region.

UPDATE: my comments on dues paying organizations are not aimed at the III% Society, to be clear. Rather, at other, more ‘exclusive’ organizations(s).