Basic Fieldcraft METL

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  • This topic has 3 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 5 years ago by DiznNC. This post has been viewed 84 times
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    • #62995

        So the first thing I will say is that I haven’t posted in a few weeks because I got back into the Marine Corps Reserve and have been in the field leading a platoon of Marines through some of the best live-fire ranges in the world for the past two weeks. It has been a blast.

        With all that said, I am looking at moving to a focus on patrolling. Obviously, as several recent blog and forum posts have pointed out, modern forces are woefully undertrained in fieldcraft. I am a good bit better than most GWOT Marines because I have done a lot of training and studying outside the USMC, but I am certainly no expert.

        In the Marine Corps, a term we use to help organize training is “Mission Essential Task” or MET. A MET is a task that an individual or unit must accomplish to be successful. For example, a MET could be something like “Conduct a squad hasty attack”. We use these Mission Essential Tasks (MET) to form Mission Essential Task Lists (METL), which are just lists of all the MET’s a unit needs to be proficient in to accomplish its mission.

        So here is my question for some of you guys who are more skilled than I at fieldcraft:
        What would a METL for small unit fieldcraft look like? I will get started with some examples below.

        Small Unit Fieldcraft METL
        -Apply personal camo
        -Pitch a poncho/tarp shelter
        -Navigate with map and compass
        -Gather and purify water


        Keep in mind the target audience for this list: your average, everyday grunt – which includes the armed and prepared citizen. We don’t need to overload this list; let’s just figure out the most important fieldcraft skills to learn that can be trained quickly. The basics, if you will.

      • #62996

          Speaking towards/of the “prepared citizen” based on 20 years working on the Rio Grande and over 10 years guiding deer hunters, the first thing on my list would be teaching them how to be silent moving through the rural AOs. (IMO, urban is a whole different can of worms.

          Also, I would concentrate on having them know how to conceal themselves (goes with the camo mentioned) and sit/lay silently for hours, without the coughing, farting, hacking and moving/rustling leaves etc.

          Many, many people (including LEOs) are afraid to be more than a couple hundred yards from a vehicle, make it night time and that distance decreases rapidly.

          This of course is in addition to the skills involved with what Max teaches, but those items, to me are foundation skills that if not honed can negate what Max teaches or guarantees that they better be damned good at getting off of the proverbial X.

        • #62997

          looking forward to seeing what you come up with as a METL for fieldcraft

        • #62998

            Sounds like you’re having WAY too much fun there.

            My list:

            -Prepare and maintain:
            -your rifle (field vs garrison cleaning)
            -your rifle support gear (rig your fighting gear)
            -your rucksack gear (how to pack a ruck)
            -Prep your clothing and boots for the bush (camo, shine, rattle, etc)
            -Basic Individual Skills (camo, foot placement/stalking, muzzle awareness/safety, field sling, scan/target indicators, etc.)
            -Advanced Individual skills (land nav, night vision gear, survival, etc.)
            -Basic Patrolling Skills (positions/duties, security halts, DA’s, Actions On, etc.)
            -Advanced Patrolling Skills (recce, ambush, and raid patrols)

            I realize a lot of this is already covered in their basic and advanced infantry training, but I would do continuation training with an emphasis on how it’s different in the bush. For example, not many people tape their muzzle any more, but I still think it’s very good idea for extended patrolling. Also, camo crème has fallen out of favor but is in dire need of a revival, IMHO. Our uniforms and equipment have gotten slack with way too much Velcro, noisy buckles, and other crap. The Corps isn’t as bad as the Army but still…

            Just learning to walk in the woods, especially at night. Emphasis on dismounted patrolling, away from the vehicles. Humping and living out of your rucksack. Learning to keep your rifle, and yourself clean, under field conditions. Etc.

            The hardest part is trying to accomplish anything while the higher ups are trying to accomplish their training objectives, which may be entirely different. All the little check boxes on the CO’s dry eraser board.

            Maybe things have changed, dunno, but back in my time, the best way to get anything like this done, was to come up with NCO “hip pocket” training classes, that we whipped out whenever the “main plan” bogged down. Probably preaching to the choir here. But this is how we did our best training. Just wait for Mother Green to bog down, and then do our own thing. Training in the cracks and gaps as it were. When we were in the field, we’d just wait for the down time, and do our own training, at the squad level.

            It would be interesting to hear your thoughts about what you’re doing, vis-à-vis what we did in CTT/CP classes.

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