Student Review: Combat Team Tactics June 2015: ‘The First Sergeant’


A little background on myself first. I am a retired U.S. Army Infantry First Sergeant, with several deployments during my career. I started following the blog several months ago. I had originally signed up for the Combat 2 gun that was cancelled. Max asked if I wanted to take the CTT (Combat Team Tactics) class. I asked him if it was worth my time, seeing as I was an Infantryman. He sent me a couple of reviews by one retired Army guy and one from an AD Soldier. And I read “Contact”. That convinced me.

Contact! A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival

I attended CTT 1506 June 5-7. I showed up for class with an open mind, ready to learn and prepared to knock some dust off of some skills that I haven’t used in a while. If you are AD, retired or ETS’d some time ago, this is well worth your time and money. These are perishable skills that will get rusty if you don’t practice them. Everything was very professional, well laid out and safe. Max knows what he is doing and has the experience to back up what he is teaching. He was assisted very competently by Chris.

Day 1 is on the square range. Range is well laid out and there is plenty of room. You will start by confirming zero. Do this at home before attending the class with the ammo that you are going to use. I would also recommend that you zero your BUIS before coming to class. You do have BUIS on your rifle, don’t you? I had no issues with my optic, but Murphy has a way of biting you in the ass when you least expect it.  You will cover load and unload, combat reloads and tactical reloads. Malfunctions and how to clear them along with an exercise that will allow you to put that knowledge to use. Chris, thanks ever so much for allowing me to have the privilege to do that drill with both groups. You will then move on to ready ups and movement drills. All of this will get you ready for Days 2 and 3.

Day 2 and 3 are conducted elsewhere on the facility. Everything that you learned on Day 1 will come into play. Everything is based on shoot-move-communicate. You will start off with basic buddy pairs and expand from there. You will have the chance to run all of the lanes multiple times. Everything will continue to build on what you have learned previously. Day 3 ends with lane that will have you smiling from ear to ear at the end of it. Max and Chris ran multiple evolutions  very safely. If someone did something incorrectly, it was immediately addressed and corrected.

Gear-I used a Colt LE 6920 with an ACOG, PMAG 30 round mags and a couple of 20 round mags. The lube I use is Slip 2000. I used it in Afghanistan and it is the only lube that use now and their cleaning products are top notch. I had zero malfunctions except for the ones that were part of the drills on Day 1 and those were done on purpose. I used a HSGI chest rig and a VTAC Brokos battle belt with a couple of HSGI Tacos. Knee pads are a must have. Mine are Arc’Teryx Knee Caps. Gloves in my opinion are a must have especially when you start shooting a lot of rounds, weapons get very hot. When the air temp is up, they get even hotter. Electronic ear pro, mine are Peltors.  Good shooting glasses, preferably ones that have inter-changeable lenses. This is your chance to find out if your gear works. You will find that answer very quickly. One last thing, buy cheap, buy twice. You don’t have to buy the most expensive gear out there, but do your research and get on the forum and ask questions.

PT- Please don’t skip what I am about to tell you. I know some get frustrated hearing about this constantly. Some are worried that they can’t attend this course due to not being in shape or because of injuries. While you need to get in shape, you don’t have to be a PT stud to attend this course. Will you get winded, hot, sweaty, dirty and tired? Yes, but it is worth it.

Injuries-I know some are worried that they can’t do this training due to an injury. I have a knee that will have to be replaced in the next 5-7 years, a torn shoulder and I broke my back my first tour in Afghanistan. It is fused together with donor bone and rods and screws. If I can do this, so can you. If you have a question about an injury that you have, send Max an e-mail and ask. He is very approachable and will give you a no BS answer.

You will meet like minded people from all walks of life and abilities across the spectrum. It is well worth your time and effort to attend. I hope to get a chance to train with the people that I met over the weekend.

Lastly, thanks to Max and Chris for the excellent training that was provided.