Student Review: MVT Rifleman Challenge March 2015: Chris
MVT Rifleman Challenge, 26-29 March
I want to start out by saying what a great job Max and his cadre did putting this challenge together. We all had an awesome time. Got to spend time with some great patriots and time on the ranges, which is always good. I’m not going to get into specifics about the challenge, as I feel Duane has covered it pretty good in his AAR.
A little about myself, I’m 39 y/o, 160 lbs, and 6 feet. I was not in the greatest of shape (PT wise) prior to any of the MVT courses. I previously attended the CRCD/Patrol class back in November. That is when I was introduced to the possibility of the MVT Rifleman Challenge. When I got back from the class, me a few fellow patriots began thinking of what we needed to do to get our butts in shape for what is to come. In late December, we see that Hunter and Max had developed some training programs. After looking at the different programs they had to offer, we settled on the 12 Weeks to MVT Rifleman. They do offer others from beginner to advanced. The program starts out slow and builds up. At the beginning, I was getting a 2 miler in at about 30 minutes with a 35 lb bergen on flat ground. By the end, I had built up to a 25 min 2 miler on rolling terrain. I was a little concerned at first, but once I got into the program, I could see my fitness improving greatly. Now, on to the Challenge.
The MVT Rifleman Challenge is not intended to fail anyone or try to make someone look bad. It is designed to show what it takes to be a “Rifleman”. It is not only a challenge, but is also a learning experience. Even if you do not qualify in the 2 miler, you can still get a lot of good training the rest of the weekend. My original plan was to attend the fall challenge, but plans changed and I made it to this one. I’m glad I did. Max has worked hard on this. To me, it is not about a contest with other people, it’s about heart and determination. A competition with one’s self.
Day 1 – 2 miler/shoot qualification/TCCC
On the drive in to MVT, I kept looking at the hills and thinking, I’m not sure if I’m going to make the time under 28 min. Once I started I quickly realized how much the 12 Weeks to MVT Rifleman Challenge program from Hunter really helped. I made it to the 1 mile mark with only having to walk up one hill. Back up the hill is a bit harder due to the one big hill. You just have to want it and push through. I was thinking the entire time; I have to get to my guys that are under contact. If I don’t, they may die. Max being on the hills and encouraging all of us help to motivate me even more. When I finished, didn’t know what position I was in. I didn’t really care. After that, we had the shoot. Again, the PT program helped me tremendously, in that my recovery time was very short, which in turn, helped me concentrate more on my shooting than trying to catch my breath and recover. I tied for 1st on the shoot. After lunch, we had a short training session on TCCC. This something I had wanted to do prior to the 6 day class in November, but my schedule would not allow me. The class not only helped refresh my prior training, but also made me realize, I need to revamp my IFAK.
Day 2 – Navigation/Move Under Direct Fire/Break Contact
This is something I was looking forward to. I wanted to see if my skills were good enough. I had training on the use of a map and compass, but had never been able to go out and practice in terrain. When I got my first bearing and saw what I had to climb, I thought, it’s going to take me forever. Once I started I realized, again, that the PT program had done its job. It had prepared me for everything Max was throwing at us. After completion of the Nav course, we were shuttled to the shoot lanes. We completed the “move under direct fire” and “break contact” drills, as Max teaches. We had time to rehearse the movements. Always a great time on the shoot lanes.
Day 3 – Casualty Evacuation/Awards
Again, I thought I would be exhausted after this, but I wasn’t. Not saying it wasn’t challenging, just that the PT program, once again, helped tremendously. The method that Max showed us was something I had never done (switching out on the move). During the awards, when Max started calling out the order of our overall finish, I was surprised to hear my name as finishing 3rd overall.
What did I take away from this weekend? That you can do anything, if you want it bad enough and you have to PT. I cannot stress that enough. Quit sitting behind you TV or computer and arguing about what gear is better or that the shoot qualification isn’t hard enough and get out there and PT. When SHTF, it will be too late. The MVT Rifleman Challenge is two things. One, it’s a challenge to you. Max has challenged us all to do this. Let’s show him we can. If you need help, try the training programs that are offered. There are several to chose from that will meet your needs. And two, it’s a set of standards that we all need. Max and his cadre have a lot of experience. They know what it takes to be a “Rifleman”.
Don’t be “That Guy”.