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Review: HEAT 2 Combat Tactics Oct 23 / Texas Live Fire Feb 24: Jason

I’ve been a student of MVT since August of 2015.  My first training experience with Max was a land navigation class, which introduced me to the excellence of the classroom training he provides, that dovetailed into some amazing practical application.  That class has always stuck with me, number one because it’s a weak point in my skill set, and number two, it’s such an important aspect of effective small unit tactics, and number three, Max is so good at it and he demonstrates that competence in every class I have taken. 

I followed up that land navigation class with a combined HEAT 1/2 (back then it was called Combat Team Tactics and Combat Patrol), two years later I attended the first Combat Leader Course (now called HEAT Squad Tactics), a year later I attended an alumni weekend refresher (a murder hornet took me out on day two) and I repeated HEAT 1 in ‘20 and ‘22.  When the Texas classes were opened up to all MVT alumni I knew I had to make that a priority.  I decided in preparation I needed to repeat HEAT 2 so I got back to the VTC in November of ‘23 and refreshed that course. 

Max and Scott are such a complimentary set of instructors.  They were in top form during that class and I’m very grateful I went because it really gave me the review I needed to prepare me for the added nuance and scope of the scenarios presented in Texas. 

During HEAT 2 I was reminded how attuned Max and Scott are to the students, our progress and adjusting quickly to our ability to complete the tasks presented.  It’s a testament to the excellence of the instruction, strict adherence to safety and uncompromising push to offer the best small unit tactical training on the market. 

Armed with that review, I made the 1100 mile trek down to Brady, Texas this March.  I’ll just say up front, the Texas Alumni week was the capstone event of my training experience with MVT.  There are several other reviews that break down the class in its specific components, but I will speak about it in a broader 40,000 foot view. 

Firstly, I have to say thank you to Max for persevering through 3 weeks of training while still recovering from major surgery.  He is a force of nature and all Chuck Norris jokes should be replaced with Max as the hero in them.  This was primarily a solo teaching affair for Max, and his workload was heavier.  All he did was answer the call every day and raise up his game to the challenge.  His example continues to inspire me to push harder.  Speaking of pushing harder, that is not in my nature.  So speaking for myself, I am generally uncomfortable at every MVT class I attend, which is good for me, because I need that push to get out of my comfort zone.  There has been no one as effective as Max in my life to push me to the edge of my capabilities.  Texas pushed me to the wall, physically and mentally.  Two things specifically got me through, first, Max’s relentless pursuit to find answers to my struggles and get me over the finish line, and second, the much needed comradery that Max fostered in the group, which manifested in other team members pulling me through to the end. 

The Texas classes (and MVT training in general) are not easy, and I’m glad they are not.  Small unit tactical training is serious business, and it requires of the training staff and students a commitment to understand yourself, your limitations, your abilities and identify the path forward to grow and improve.  MVT fulfills this need in spades, and the Texas classes are the nuanced and refined decades long journey that Max has undertaken to give us the tactical wisdom that he earned through blood, sweat and tears. 

One final thing that I have taken away from this class is that I can’t continue to whine and give myself excuses for not practicing this stuff with a local team.  I have treated MVT as my yearly or bi / yearly refresher in these skills, and that’s just not enough.  My new friends in Colorado (shout out to the T3 tribe) that I trained with in Texas have inspired me.  Thanks.  Thank you again Max.  You’ve brought us all together and given us something truly valuable.  Team up, tribe up, stand together in unity and love each other unconditionally.  Peace.