Student Review: HEAT 1 Combat Tactics June – Olga

I recently attended a HEAT-1 class at the Romney WV location.  Prior to attending the class I had no experience with handling any sort of firearms, aside from a brief tutorial on how to hold, load, and shoot a weapon.  I’ve always been intrigued by and interested in learning the art of weapon manipulation but never considered myself “the kind” of person to be able to take on and pursue this activity successfully.  I just didn’t have “what it takes,” I thought.  I wrote myself off, mistakenly, because of my gender, my complete lack of experience, and my personality. 

However, as a result of accepting a very honorable invitation to join HEAT-1, I found myself in it.  The days leading up to that class were both exciting and nerve-wracking!  I’ve heard so much good feedback about the class that I already knew it’d be a great one with the highest possible level of instruction.  The big unknown was my ability to keep up with the class and the fit between my personality and the requirements of the class. 

Day 1 of HEAT-1 went well!  Day 2 went better!  Day 3 was awesome!  And on Day 4 I, personally, inquired about joining a HEAT-2 class!  Every day I was able to learn, practice, and perform tasks that I previously would not even dream of taking on!  For the most part, I felt that I was keeping up with the rest of the group!  The skills we learned were technical but the thought process behind them, including situational awareness, organized chaos, and critical thinking made them transferrable to everyday life as well!  The conversations initiated by both the instructors and other group members during break times were both stimulating and thought provoking.  Neurogenesis is definitely a side-effect of attending HEAT-1!  I walked away not only with newly learned hard skills but with additional personal confidence and some great soft skills as well!  

I must add that the balance of freedom and safety provided during the entire course was superb!  I was both honored to have the trust to perform such highly technical firearm maneuvers, considering my lack of prior experience, and relieved to feel proper supervision and complete safety at all times. 

In conclusion, the take-away from my attending HEAT-1 is that, truly, anyone can successfully attend the class and to benefit from it, in complete safety.  I hope to repeat this course again in the near future, and I am looking forward to attending HEAT-2 as well.  And how awesome would it be to have other females in future classes?!

Max Adds: This class saw a total of 9 brand new students out of a class of 12 (3 alumni). It was a great class. One of the teams was made up of two couples. Both ladies (Olga being one) were entirely new to this training. For many others, this was also their first firearms class. The team with the ladies did really well, with both of them stepping into the communication roles within the teams i.e. calling the moves etc. This requires a situational awareness level beyond just being there and doing what is expected of you. The word from the student AAR was that everyone could not have felt safer – this is a theme that we constantly hear. Bottom line, don’t let fear of failure hold you back!