Review: Combat Leader Course (CLC) April 2017: Jason
Being an alumni of Max Velocity Tactical (MVT) and having taken Land Navigation, Rifle Skills, Combat Team Tactics and Combat Patrol, I was quite familiar and aware of the style and quality of instruction offered at MVT. Bottom line, what is offered at MVT is quite possibly the best real world training in small unit / infantry / weapons tactics that is available to the civilian market. So when Max began discussing a possible leadership course distilling all the major disciplines of his course curriculum into one big class I was immediately sold on the idea. For a comprehensive breakdown of the class please look at the excellent AAR’s by JohnnyMac, Tango and HelloKitty. These three men were standouts in the class and I really look up to their skills, knowledge, preparation and generosity in sharing those attributes.
I came away from this class with some valuable lessons learned and some previous lessons strongly reinforced.
1. Leadership skills, especially under combat conditions, must be practiced under stress to find the failure points and weaknesses that most certainly exist. You must be tested to know what you are capable of. This class allowed us to “die” many times to learn some really hard lessons. The fact that I am still breathing to say this too you is of incalculable value.
2. Effective communication will save your life and that of your team and squad. Please watch Max talk session 3 and 4 (Links: Max Talk 3, Max Talk 4) I had a basic intellectual understanding of this but you have to take it beyond head knowledge and apply it to a combat scenario to truly understand what it means.
3. Planning, writing and delivering an Op Order to a squad was harder than I thought. Inspiring confidence in your squad and giving them the best chance of success starts right here.
4. DO YOUR JOB! Everyone has a part to play in the squad. Everyone must do the job assigned to them. Many of us died on the objective because of this breakdown. Max describes staying in the “bubble” which I feel is integral to this idea. Don’t be random, do your job and everyone has a chance at staying alive. Once again, this class allowed me to “die” many times to learn this lesson.
5. Work your cover and put rounds on the enemy. Max quickly caught this as a weakness in me and “properly” encouraged me during missions to correct my mistake. I had a few excuses in my own mind for why I was struggling with this but they all sound lame when I try to explain them. Bottom line, I must improve this weakness or die in combat.
6. Rain, hail and cold really suck, but they are you friend during missions. Some of the missions downright sucked, but once you embrace the bad weather and understand the advantages it gives you, you can then press on and do your job. Plus, it actually gives you advantages in dry, loud foliage like we had at the MVT site.
7. It’s hard to be told you are combat ineffective and that you should strongly consider not engaging in combat operations. As a squad and me personally I needed to hear that to jar me out of my lethargy and complacency to fully understand the consequences of my performance. We are not training to play some sport that we can walk away from. We are training to kill people who have already made the choice to kill us and our family and friends. This is winner take all, no rules, no second chances. Do your job!
8. FITNESS, FITNESS, FITNESS. You can’t be combat effective if your not in shape. This can’t be said enough.
9. I decided to buy some cheap ACU camo. I knew it wasn’t optimal but I didn’t think it was going to be that bad. I might as well have been wearing bright neon green. It’s easy to find me in the class pictures of course. Needless to say I’ve gone on a spending spree after class to add a bunch of multi cam and coyote brown clothing to my wardrobe. I’m hoping it at least helps me escape the wrath of Max next class when I’m not working my cover properly.
This class has truly opened my eyes to the possibilities of a well trained team of men and women who want to protect their clan. I have a much better understanding of what it takes to develop the skills necessary to make a successful team. This knowledge is absolutely critical. Let me repeat that . . . this knowledge is absolutely critical. This is the best class Max offers and it is a class I feel should be offered numerous times a year. I wouldn’t be surprised if everyone in the first class showed up for the next one. I want to be fair to the rest of the alumni and give you guys a chance to sign up for the next one, but if you wait to long, I’m taking your spot. Bottom line, it’s worth every penny I spent!
Max Adds: Let me distill a number of the issues down to two main ones:
- Many people do not train, do not see the need for training, and ‘don’t know what they don’t know.’ Dunning-Kruger, all that, which is ground we have been over many times to little effect. So we focus on those with the strength of will and purpose to get off the couch and train.
- Of those that do train, many do not realize what it takes to actually become effective. Showing up for one total weekend will give you a clue, but not make you effective. Alumni can testify to this. We have a number of live fire SUT classes that will set you on the road to progression, Insert Force on Force to that, and CQB, and then something like the CLC. You might finally get to a point where you can effectively shoot, move and COMMUNICATE as part of a team; where you can put your ego aside and DO YOUR JOB effectively in order to help the team succeed.