Student Review: 6 Day CTT / Combat Patrol: HybridMedic
The biggest part of preparation other than physical is mental. Be prepared to suffer a little, but if you ever end up in UW type operations such as a collapse or invasion etc, you will be fighting in the heat, the cold, the rain. We got SOAKED the 2nd day with torrential rains so be ready to work in all weather environments. Want to be truly miserable? Find the ONLY yellow jacket nest on the range and dive into it for cover while it’s pouring rain. I got a whole new definition of miserable from that.
I highly suggest that if traveling you NOT do what I did and just show up the day before and try to find lodging. After the 2nd and 3rd day of CTT, you will want the hotel. It’s appropriately rigorous for the seriousness of what you will be expected to do and a warm shower, hot meal, and soft bed are very welcome to rehab some sore muscles, and you will be sore. We ended CTT with a hasty attack, which from my own personal standpoint was nice because you will do a lot of break contact drills. Which in retrospect, you will be doing a lot of when it’s just your CUTT and you don’t have a large support apparatus. You will want to save your strength and pick your battles, so it’s realistic.
The patrol class started on Day 4 with more lessons on proper patrolling, spacing, and types of patrols. More break contact drills. Day 5 is kind of a no firing day and you will get a lot of instruction on patrol bases and the creation thereof and creating blind sacks in recce patrols (see what I did there) (Yeah, Yeah, inside joke….). Day 2 ends with a close target recce patrol on the mountain side. The Mountain Men (good2go, Jon R T, his kid Brent, and myself) went WAAYYYY up on the side to come back down and do the recce. If you’ve never hunted before or done any stalking, this part will be a bit difficult to keep from making so much noise (historically the best infantrymen have been long time hunters and stalkers). Max provides instruction on night movement which is useful but some prior practice might be useful.
Day 6 goes ****************** (you’ll see) and you’ll ****************************** (censored by Max for OPSEC purposes). Then you’ll roll into rehearsals for operations related to the enemy force you observed the night before. I thoroughly enjoyed some lessons and hands-on on offensive operations, and the raid was just an absolute blast.
Instruction was high quality. Max, Lee, and 1SGT all were top notch, personable but serious about their work, and held no grudges but would use mistakes and randomness as jabs for improvement (Max adds: see how he wrote ‘top’ only two words away from 1SGT? Uh Oh!). I made PLENTY of mistakes and got yelled at a few times (as did others) but so long as you take that in mind with what you’re doing is saving your life and that of your buddy and use it to IMPROVE you will do well.
- The gear I did bring helped on day 1 (knee pads) saved my knees for the rest of the time
- My hydration level and physical conditioning was adequate, the CamelBak did help keep me in it
- Rain gear saved me a little misery. My gortex jacket helped keep some rain off.
- Leverage technology but don’t depend on it. FLIR and NOD are nice, but if you’re not used to using them, they can be an impediment at least to me.
- Marksmanship fundamentals – remember proper cheek weld and sight alignment. I held up everyone because my zero on Day 1 was off because of bad sight alignment.
- Ask the question – even if it sounds stupid. Better look dumb now than get yelled at because you didn’t understand the instruction. Safety is paramount.
- Paint mags a bright obnoxious color for faster pick up
- Gear checks before departing home – left my shooting gloves and clear eyepro at home and make sure it’s all set up the way you want it
- Velcro sucks – I removed the cummerbund on my PC and replaced it with clips.
- Steel case ammo – leave it at home. My extractor broke the rims off 2 steel cases and there were untold issues with it that I did not experience with brass cases
- Buy an AR armorer’s wrench and blue loctite – my castle nut came loose and I had to ask the resident AR builder for some quick gunsmithing. Apparently failures of some sort are common.
- COMMUNICATE COMMUNICATE COMMUNICATE – most of my issues on the ranges came from late movement calls from getting sucked into my sights and having a recoil-gasm because I’m sending rounds downrange.