Student Review: Combat Patrol 4-6 Aug: Jeff Sags

Jeff showed up for the Combat Patrol portion of the 5 day combined class August 2 – 6 (6 days after Sept 1).
” If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader”
-John Quincy Adams
I included the above quote because if relates not only to the MVT instructors, but because it relates to the students as well.  To be honest, I googled “leadership quotes” before writing this because I knew that leadership/confidence would be a key point in my student review and I think this quote pretty much nails it.
You always return home from MVT with more than you left.  Sometimes its an injury or a bollocking or knowledge or a lesson learned.  Other times it is a desire.  After my first trip to MVT, about a year ago, I left with the desire to get fit.  I realized being in shape was THE MOST important prep I could make.  Yes, #10 cans and big water filters have their place, but fitness is paramount.  If you can’t move long distances, carrying large loads, its all probably just a hobby.  Big boy legos.  After my most recent class I returned home with confidence.  No, not hubris.  A couple MVT classes did not make me some chest thumping, arrogant know it all.  It left me confident in my abilities.  Physically, I can hump a ruck (farther and faster each week).  Mentally, I can deal with less than optimal conditions and do the best with what is presented.  Its that never quit attitude that most of Max’s students have.  MVT has given me a chance to test myself and improve.
Why is leadership the focus of my student review?  More broadly, the further into these classes you progress, the more of a leader you need to be.  Leadership is an important quality that must be fostered.  You need thinkers.  Specifically, I write about leadership, because at one point during the Combat Patrol class ( I did not attend the full 5 days) Max and Chris solicited volunteers to lead the recce patrols and draw up the patrol base sentry routine.  I know now that I should have stepped up to the challenge.  After all, there won’t be anyone to lead my family if/when everything goes to hell.  The squad leaders did an excellent job and Max and Chris both praised the patrols the two teams conducted.  Still, I couldn’t help being disappointed with myself.  I realize now, that I have the knowledge and strength to make more decisions.
So, to refer back to quote above, Max and Chris and the instructors at MVT definitely inspire their students.  I am inspired to learn more, do more (PT!) and become more.  In my own family and perhaps community, I will need to be more than just a student.
I am sure many are more interested in the class agenda.  I would advise you to read or re-read the AAR written by Brian from Georgia.  I am in awe of his ability to travel 17 hours, synthesize and evaluate the class and post an AAR before I can drive a 1/3 of the distance and unpack my truck!  I will simply add that you can expect a very full 3 days (for the Combat Patrol class).  You will learn the basics of patrolling and conduct squad contact drills and the MVT box peel on day one.  On day two you will ruck out and conduct a hasty ambush before settling into the patrol base and going into routine.  That night you will plan and conduct a reconnaissance patrol.  It will be very dark and the hills will still be very steep.  Day three is start to finish adrenaline.  There is a planned ambush and raid on a fictitious enemy camp with a few surprises thrown in for good measure (casualty evacuation!).
Again, safety was never an issue.  You are in good hands at MVT.  Max and his AI’s are true professionals.  Hopefully I have made it clear that you will get more than your monies worth out of the training.  The clientele that frequent MVT also continue to impress.  I know I’ll be back for more!