Caitlin’s AAR – Oct 12/13 CRCD Class – A Female Perspective

Caitlin sent me her AAR, posted below. I hope that this will encourage more wives/girlfriends/ladies in general to attend the classes. I believe it is important that, although it may not be best to place women in the ‘front line’, the women are able to fight, particularly to defend the kids when the men are dead or away. 
In my experience, a lot of women (just like many men) are not suited to combat. Perhaps, in some kind of ersatz theory dragged up from the back of my mind, there is a smaller portion of the female population suited to combat than there is in the male population. However, there are some women who have that combination of physical ability and tactical common sense that allows them to be effective operators. Many men lack this also, but some have it. 
And no, I’m not talking about butch bulldog types with short haircuts. Although I don’t want, for example, my wife or daughter to be fighting, I want them to be able to fight if necessary. As a father and a husband, I want to take on the brunt of the risk, to shield my family from it. However, in an SHTF situation, or when I am dead, there may come a time when all need to fight to survive. 
So although I believe that when the SHTF mothers should be with children, there are other women who will not have any children and who will fill a role in a resistance force. Some will have the ability to be actual fighters. Some will perform auxiliary roles, perhaps as medics, and yet others will engage in espionage. 
When debriefing Caitlin on her jungle lane, I told her that I was impressed. I was impressed because she had that rare combination of physical ability and tactical understanding  that allowed her to be effective. So many don’t. So many females (and many males) in the US Army and US Army Reserves have no tactical ability. They are simply not an’act of war’. Many joined for the wrong reasons. I have run ‘movement under direct fire’ training lanes where it has been atrocious. Utter lack of determination, aggressive movement, or really any clue at all. What I see on my CRCD classes is 100% better- mainly because students come with the right attitude, regardless of physical ability, and they have heart. 
In ‘Patriot Dawn: The Resistance Rises’ I have several female characters who are part of the force and who get it, they are capable: ‘Val’, ‘Caitlin’, ‘Jenny’. These are all based in part or whole on people I have known or met. 
I don’t go in for sexism/misogyny, and at the same time I have no time for  feminism/feminazism- I am performance based in my judgement. If you are a man or a woman, I will judge your ability to fight simply based on the tactical competence, the heart and understanding, that you show me. 

October 12-13. Rural West Virginia. 1 professional instructor. 2 experienced TAs. 11 weapon-toting men. 1 female. Yes, I am that one female, and it is with excitement, a desire to furthur my training, and no regrets that I write this review.

First a bit of background. I am a 25yo, athletic female. I grew up hunting and shooting, and while I am quite comfortable wih firearms, I have had very little tactical training. Prior to taking this course, I had taken one other “tactical” class, which consisted largely of moving and shooting drills – very helpful skills to learn, but I had very little practice with them. It was therefore with a bit of apprehension that i headed west for a weekend in the woods. > > From the beginning, Max set a very professional, welcoming tone for the class. The other students came from a variety of backgrounds, as you may glean from the other AARs. Because these other AARs have done a fine job of outlining the specific schedule and material covered by this class (great job, guys!), I’ll focus on a female’s perspective. I’d like to share a few highlights, and a few comments for the ladies…


I truly enjoyed the individual drills. The “Jungle Walk” in particular was a great opportunity to practice the techniques and maneuvers learned in the schoolhouse. Being able to focus on my own moving, situational awareness, and ability without the added variable of a team or partner was very helpful. It laid a good foundation for the team drills.

Max’s professionalism was great. He was able to engage each student at their level, teaching and challenging individuals while keeping the whole class involved.

I found the format of the class to be easy to follow – whiteboard lesson in the schoolhouse, followed by a drill using those lessons. I would have liked more time to go through each drill a few more times, but still valued the practice time we did have.

A few thoughts for the ladies re: the class overall:

Perhaps the biggest consideration for any woman taking this class: Don’t be afraid. Yes, spending two days in the backwoods of WV with a bunch of guys and more camo ‘n’ ammo than you’ve probably seen in one place (outside the military) sounds nerve wracking  Get over it. These guys are our boyfriends and husbands and dads and brothers…take a chance to come see what all their time and money have been directed to lately.

Learn to shoot. And learn well. Prior to coming to a class like this, prepare! Find a weapon that fits your body type, needs, and ability. Learn the weapon inside and out. You don’t need to be a crack shot, but be comfortable shooting and reloading. The value of a class like this lies largely in the fact that you’re learning things which can’t be taught or practiced at your local gun club. Learning about the weaknesses and strengths of your gear will happen over the course of the weekend, of course, but it shouldn’t be the focus of your training. I used a Mini14 with open sights and loved it. I brought 5, 20-round mags and never found myself wanting for ammo.

I’ve saved the hardest for last. The mental hurdle it takes to jump from range shooting to patrolling with the option to kill. As women, we have no problem protecting those we love. Yes, it isn’t too hard to imagine dispatching a ne’er-do-well if s/he threatened those whom we hold dear. The biggest challenge for me is to make the jump from the defensive mode to the offensive mode, that is, to be mentally prepared to patrol and engage in a more battle-type scenario. I admit it: I do not want to do this. I learn these skills with the hope and prayer I will never have to use them. But if the need ever arises, I’ll be damned sure glad I have them. 

Thanks again to Max for leading and teaching this.

Live Hard.
Die Free.