Review: HEAT 1 Combat Tactics May 2024 – Carter

With the world in the state that its in, I realized the need to learn the skills necessary to protect my family and my community from bad actors. But as a young father of two with zero military experience to build on, I was limited on both the amount of time and money I could realistically spend on a training course, so it was important that I chose a high quality course and got the most out of my time and money. I was looking for a course that would teach me the basic skills needed to be proficient with a rifle and not be a complete liability as part of a small unit in a combat setting. HEAT 1 is exactly that. You won’t leave MVT as a fully trained rifleman who is primed for deployment, but that’s simply because there isn’t enough time to fit ALL of the knowledge and the repetitions that (I assume) service-members get in basic training. However, you will leave MVT with the tools you need to take back and practice to the point that weapons manipulation and appropriately reacting to contact becomes second nature. The skills I learned in HEAT 1 will serve as a solid foundation upon which I can continue to improve my “combat readiness” by getting repetitions in during my individual training until I can attend HEAT 2, then another course, and so on.

The main, yet very necessary reason that Max and Scott can’t possibly get to EVERYTHING they’d like to teach is the safety dynamic established the first two days and remaining throughout the entire class. Both instructors went to great lengths to ensure that safety was everybody’s top priority, not just their own. The first two days on the flat range are where you learn the safety SOP’s. That’s when you get truly familiar with your rifle, how to keep it running, and how to do so safely. Without spending the first two days just getting everybody on the same page safety-wise , there would be no safe way to conduct the live fire drills together on the tactical ranges, which is one of the many features which sets MVT apart from other training facilities. At no point during the entire 4-day class did I feel unsafe, which is a testament to how thorough the safety instruction was.   

My advice for anybody who is registering for their first HEAT 1 would be to come ready drop your ego and be ready to learn from instructors who have been teaching idiots like you and me for a while now. If they tell you do do something, there’s a good reason for it. It doesn’t matter how the high speed Youtuber said you should do it, (fuck that guy, he hasn’t seen combat) do it the MVT way. If you fuck up, just take the chewing and fix it on the next go around. Simple.

 I would also advise any new students slow down and take a breath just to calm down a bit so you can actually think about what you’re doing and actually learn from the drill. It’s not a race and nobody is impressed if you do the drill fast but incorrectly. You came to learn, not to race. Pack an easy lunch  for the range so you can hang around and soak up knowledge from the experienced guys as they shoot the shit and tell stories. READ THE FORUM. It’s a treasure trove of information that a prospective HEAT 1 student definitely needs to read, but also contains information on pretty much every combat and/or preparedness related subjects you can think of. Read the student reviews, read the gear recommendations, read the MVT manual, then practice what you can ahead of time. 

This next piece of advice is very important: your cheap PSA rifle WILL FAIL and make your life miserable until you manage to get your hands on a different rifle, or until class ends. It doesn’t matter if you shot it just yesterday and it worked fine. I literally shot my PSA just days before I left for class and experienced zero failures of any kind, yet I got to class and all it took was shooting rounds from a can containing various brands of various quality ammunition for my rifle to start short-stroking every other shot or so. That was on the very first day. If the squared-away vet next to me on the firing line didn’t lend me his spare Colt AR for the rest of class, I would have had to use my faulty rifle and make every drill take 10 minutes longer to finish, or use my AK and be “that guy”. I ordered a new Colt before I even got back home. That’s how important the quality of your gun is to your survival in a firefight. 

Overall, I was very impressed with what Max and Scott are doing out there and its worth your time. Yes it can be tough getting time off work, or pushing that beach vacation back a year, or holding off on purchasing the latest and coolest new gear, and yes its tough leaving the wife at home with two kids to watch for 4 days, but  its all worth it just to get the quality of training you can only get at MVT. In fact, there were several vets who have received countless hours of instruction over their military careers, yet they came to HEAT 1 to train, two of them being repeat HEAT 1 alumni in addition to the other MVT courses they’d taken before. If that doesn’t speak to the quality of instruction, then I don’t know what will.



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