25 August 2009
How do you know when training works?
From the Soldier and Cop side: Over the last 30 years I've been able to go to some very, very good training in both the Army and Law Enforcement.
In the last 30 years I've gone to some very, very bad training in both the Army and Law Enforcement.
In my jobs, good training helps you do your job better and keeps you alive. I care very much about the survival training and I also teach it.
In my Cop job, I've gone to some of the best firearms instructor courses in the world. In the late 1990's, I went to Patrol Rifle Instructors Course for cops. Prior to this class I thought I knew a lot about weapons like the M-16/ AR-15. At this course, I found I really did not know very much. After this course, I feel I know a lot. I've trained a lot of cops on how to use patrol rifles.
I also took many pistol instructor courses.
When I deployed to Bosnia in 2003, then Iraq in 2004, I took every chance I could to pass on some of this knowledge to other soldiers. Most of those in our MOS, (Mess Kit Repair) were not really high speed when it came to weapons.
When my team went out to "help other units" in Iraq, we were often at some small F.O.B. or camp with lots of grunt types around. The grunts had ammo and never seemed to mind giving us some to practice with. I took my guys out whenever we could and showed them every trick I knew to keep their weapons working....keeping them fed and on target.
Over the year's time we were in Iraq, our teams got switched around...some of the guys were put on other teams, some got wounded or killed.
What really made my day, was at the end of the deployment...when all the remote teams came back to Baghdad to get ready to go home. A few of the guys came up to me and said: "Thank you for showing me what you did with the M-4s. We got into a gun fight at XXXX and I was able to keep shooting. If you didn't show me those loading tricks, I'd gotten killed. "
That made my deployment worth it. I can tell you when training will work and what will not.