Student Review: Combat Team Tactics 19 – 21 Sep: Easy

Note: Class terminology has changed. Outlined in THIS POST. What was a two day CRCD class with an optional rifle manipulation class the day before, is now a 3 day Combat Team Tactics (CTT) class. In the review below, Easy is referring to the new first day of CTT, which ran fully for the first time on his class, which is a day of weapon manipulation and drills on the square range. This is followed up by days 2 and 3, which is the same curriculum as the old CRCD class. Combat Team Tactics is actually a more appropriate name for what students are learning on this class.
Student Review:
So this was my second rotation through CRCD, henceforth known as CTT for those of us in the know.
I would first like to address the RM primer, henceforth to be known as (edit: day one of CTT).
Doc (the buddy I went with) and I were talking about the necessity of such a thing for such highly experienced gun handlers as ourselves (right?) , and had thought perhaps we didn’t need it, but we went anyway. I have been shooting all my life, and have been handling and shooting AR’s since about 2001, and I learned several things during this portion of the class.
The main things I took away from it was how many different types of malfunctions there are, and how to clear those malfunctions efficiently. There was the added twist of clearing a malfunction under stress. They separated us by odd and even numbers, and the odds would go down the hill, while the evens created a malfunction in our rifle, and vice versa.
Then we were informed, by the sound of screaming and gunfire, that we were under attack, and had to sprint up the hill, clear the malfunction, load the weapon, and get rounds downrange while someone was screaming at us. Interesting to say the least, and extremely valuable. By the end of this drill, the majority of us were much better than when we started, and were clearing our rifles, and getting rounds on target within seconds.
The point is, it doesn’t matter how much experience you have, or how tacticool you think you are, you can always hone your skills. So, don’t balk at having to take this portion of the class, it might save your life someday.
Now to the CRCD portion of the class. This class is a must if you anticipate ever having to defend yourself, your family,  your farm or homestead while working with others. You simply cannot learn these types of tactics on a square range.
It is a bit of a ball buster, especially for older guys like me, as the ground is uneven, slippery, covered with rocks, limbs, and loose soil. I got by relatively unscathed. I say relatively because I pulled a muscle on the second day which limited my mobility when coming up from a knee or from prone. But the fact that I did pull a muscle alerted me to an area of weakness in my legs I need to address. The point is, expect to work, and work hard. Expect to run, and crawl, and push yourself up from prone, while screaming movement commands to your team mates, and putting accurate fire on targets. It will tax you, as it should, because gun fighting your way out of trouble will never be easy.
Now, everyone talks about PT, but let me tell you from experience how much easier it is if you prepare yourself. The last time I was there, in april, by the end of a drill, I would be huffing and puffing like mad, and have a hard time catching my breath. From April to now, I have done moderate PT, nothing crazy, walking, rucking, climbing hills, etc. And it made a huge difference. It wasn’t that i didn’t get winded at all this time, cause I did, but I recovered so much faster than last time. If you plan on showing up for this class without having exerted the effort to drag your ass out from in front of the TV to make a few laps around the block, you are in for a hard time.
The level of instruction is fantastic. Aaron taught the rifle portion of the class on Friday, with help from Chris. These are guys who have been there, and have done that, and would have every right to be proud of that, and act like pricks accordingly because of their experience. But they don’t. They are both great guys, easy going, soft spoken, and tend to encourage you, build on what you have, instead of tearing you down and making you feel like shit in front of everyone if you fuck up. It speaks volumes about Max, and his ability to choose the people he surrounds himself with for these classes. Of course, the tactical portion was taught by Max, and he always goes out of his way to break this down so that we (people with no military or tactical experience) understand what we are doing, and why we are doing it. He doesn’t take any shit, and he doesn’t pull any punches. If you fuck up, he is going to call you on it. He doesn’t do it to make you look bad, he does it so you learn, so you can survive if it is ever needed.
I have been amazed, both times, at the caliber of people that show up at Max’s for these classes. There wasn’t one person among them that I wouldn’t have been willing to fight beside if the time ever came. Well, maybe Mike (Hi Grub!) cause he talks a lot and eats bugs. Overall, a great group of guys, just as it was last time.
Finally, there is nothing wrong with square range tactical training. But, if SHTF, fighting for your life will not happen on a square range. If you really want to learn how to prepare your group to defend your place, your family, and your stuff, go see Max, he’ll get you squared away.