Student Review: Combat Team Tactics May 2015: Diz


AAR of Combat Team Tactics (CTT) 1505

First of all, I will say ditto to all those comments about the trip, Romney, the Kool Wink, etc. It is a very welcome break from the daily grind, wherever you may be. You are going to a rural setting, with all that entails, and learning SUT, as it applies to an armed citizen, in a WROL situation. For some this is going to be a complete break from your lifestyle. For instance, this is the first time I have been on line since Thursday. And deliberately so. So realize this is about mindset, first of all. Get your headspace set and get ready to work.

The training itself is hard, and it will push you to your limits. But it is attainable. A couple of guys had injuries. Everyone was hurting to one degree or another. But if you approach it with the idea of pushing through the hardships, you will find yourself doing it. Perhaps more than you thought you could. I am 59, going on 60 years old. I am in reasonably good shape. Max (and Lee!) put my dick in the dirt, but I made it. If I can, so can you.

You will learn individual movement, buddy team movement, 4-man team movement, and finally 12-man team (CUTT) movement. Yes, that is a lot in one weekend. But it’s actually a smooth, natural progression. To highlight it, the individual movement teaches you your scan, more than anything else. You are looking for those target indicators, in this case, the enemy popping up to take a shot at you. The RTR is being ingrained into you. The 2-man buddy team teaches you to do this in conjunction with someone else. Now you have to tie in with your buddy. The beginnings of fire and movement. Yes, you may have done this much on the square range, but believe me, it is completely different on real terrain. This starts to get you coordinated with teamwork. The 4-man team really starts to get things cooking. Now you are working with your buddy, with another buddy team. As this is the basic building block (IMHO) of the armed citizen in a WROL sit, this is where you make your money. We spent much time at this level. We learned teamwork, in some cases whether we wanted to or not. Individuals became a team. This is the key. And then it culminates in a CUTT-sized assault (12-man) on an enemy position. This is actually another key, because up until now you’re just basically doing fire and maneuver. Here you are actually doing small unit tactics, as you establish a base of fire, and a maneuver element, and so forth. This really brings it all together, as far as I’m concerned, if only to show you what the oppo may be capable of when coming at you. So there in a nutshell is the current CTT curriculum.

I have not mentioned the first day of weapons manipulation training. This is actually very good stuff and sets the stage for the upcoming training. Everyone needs it, to one degree or another, and now we are all on the same sheet of music, which is a very good tune, by the way.

If you can take the NODF in conjunction with CTT, do not pass it up. Yes, it is a lot of training on the first day, but you will not want to miss this one. Real capabilities, and limitations of night vision. Forget about all the nonsense on line about NV. It’s all bullshit. Take this course and see what actually happens in a night assault on an enemy position. You are not going to see this, live fire, unless you are in a Ranger Batt or above. This is truly an amazing opportunity worth the missed sleep.

All right, onwards toward the instruction. First off, just let me say, you’re going to get yelled at. Yes, actually yelled at. Oh my. All this noise about Max (and probably Lee going forward) being asshole(s). Remember what I said about mindset. Get past the fact that someone is screaming at you. Learn to operate in a high-stress environment. What do you think actual combat will be like? Learn to take that shit on the chin, and drive on. Figure out what you’re doing wrong, and fix it, real time, as the say. Don’t worry about getting your feelings hurt by harsh words. Remember all that OODA loop shit? Don’t let that keep you from operating. You are going to feel somewhat overwhelmed at times. Fight through it. That’s the whole point.

That being said, Max knows his shit. Guys if you are not aware of it, the Brits are some of the best light infantry in the world. Man for man, they are light-years ahead of most armies. I say this as a guy who has gone through Uncle Sugar’s training at Quantico. It is that good. There may be those of you out there that are naturally biased towards someone trained in the ‘Mericun army. These are the guys our top guys want to train with. Max himself is the real deal. He has deep knowledge and experience to teach you this stuff. And is actually a very good instructor who is capable of doing so. So I think we need to really define what we are throwing around as an “asshole”. If you mean someone who gets in your face and yells at you, you are wrong, and have completely missed the point. He is not trying to be your buddy; he is trying to teach you how to fight. If you are roughly treated, think of it as battlefield inoculation, not some kind of insult. Mindset, people.

Lee is a fucking gem. He reminds me of the ideal NCO. Even more, I could see him standing shoulder to shoulder with the Spartans at Thermopylae. Now this guy is the embodiment of the Marine Corps ethic at it’s finest. Will he get into your face? Oh yeah, skippy, indeed he will. But know this, if you can operate with his bark in your face, you are well on the way to being operational. He also brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from the NCO ranks to the party. So there you have it. A superb Company Commander and Company 1st Sgt to boot.

The training facilities. It is a heavily wooded, steeply hilled environment. In other words, the perfect “G” environment. It is difficult terrain and rightly so. You are operating in a primitive environment, but you have parking, places to sit, places to shit, etc., so it’s more than adequate. The live fire lanes are awesome, if not challenging. The training works on an interval system so you are pushed hard but always get recovery time before the next evolution. There is a covered, outdoor classroom for this purpose. But plan on being self-sufficient. You bring all your ammo, food, and water on a daily basis.

Weapons. Just a quick note. Keep your weapon light. Every extra ounce on that piece is extra work on every evolution. Strip it down to bare essentials. Use QD mounts for any accessories you may need. Keep them pouched up until needed. This is not a tier one doorkicker with all that shit on his rifle. This is you in the bush, with just what you need to fight.

Equipment. Again keeping it lightweight is the key. Every extra ounce of shit you will feel going up those hills. Strip it down to bare essentials. Ammo. Water. Some energy foods. Don’t sabotage your training experience by overloading with a bunch of shit you may need “just in case”. Take only what you need.

Ammo. Typical round counts were over a thousand. I think I went through about 1100. This includes the NODF. I ran Wolf and Tula without a hitch. YMMV.

Water. I would go through 1 1/2 gal a day, easy. I try for about 16 oz an hour when I train, so this is about right. My piss was a nice straw color throughout the training.

Food. Get good high energy carbs plus a little protein. I was too protein heavy at first, but pushed the carb intake up. Eat a good breakfast. Clif bars at breaks. Good lunch with lots of carbs. I also used GU gels, for when I could fell myself start to flag. So basically, I was trying to sustain about 20g of carbs and hour, with Gatorade, Clif bars, and occasional GU.

PT. Oh you knew this one was coming. I had just completed a tri season and was doing off-season sustainment training for the last 3 months. Basically averaging 10 hours of workouts a week. I just started the Improve Your Tac Fitness, Intermediate course from MVT. But I modified this to get ready for class. Lots of hill repeats and intervals. Some ruck runs, starting at 15 lbs and ending with 32. This course still kicked my ass. And that is how it should be. You really have to push through at times, at that’s the whole point. I would highly recommend getting one of the MVT PT courses to prepare for class. It will give you the basic fitness level to complete the class.


Improve. I would like to see more “encouragement” towards team building from the get-go. Perhaps establishing buddy teams as early as the first day. Get people thinking along these lines early on. We have limited time to work together and need to coalesce as a team as quickly as possible.

Again more “team-building” events. Encourage everyone to link up at the hotel and eat together as much as possible. Don’t “silo” in your room. Get out and talk with everyone else. Help each other prep for the next day. This is on us as students.

(Max: we traditionally have dinner together on the Saturday night).

Brief bios of everyone at the beginning. Instructors and students. Make everyone get to know each other. Quickly. Come out of your shell.

Sustain. Training progression. Emphasis on 4-man teams. TEAMWORK. Quality of instruction. MINDSET.

OK enough of this shit, I’m going back out there. Cheers!