I’ve said for a long time now, that there is a certain level of dis-service we are doing ourselves with constant static square range training. Now, before I go any further, let me make this clear – Square range training is absolutely valuable and most certainly should be done. The catch is, to use it for what it’s good for, which is practicing marksmanship, weapon manipulation and handling skills, malfunction clearance skills, etc.. The problem is, when people use the square range to practice how they (think) they are going to fight. That’s where one has to keep things in context. To train to fight, you have to get off the square range, and get into the 360 degree world. That’s where some folks have a hard time. The more realistic things get, the less “cool” they are, and the less “fun” they are for most (some of us embrace the suck and love it though). Some folks also don’t like to throw out their sacred cows that they’ve become very attached to. Much of what is taught today, is heavily focused on cool guy door kicking, CQB, etc… Again, not bad skills to have, but folks seem to get caught up in that and not acknowledge that this is but a small part of what one should have training on. Make no mistake though, none of this is going to turn you into a high speed door kicker or seasoned light infantry soldier. What it will do though, is give you a leg up on those who don’t have any training at all, which fortunately for us, is the large majority of who we’ll most likely have to face as threats (there are exceptions obviously).
My friends Bruce and Brent discovered a place that appears to be an ideal opportunity though, to get off the square range, and get some fairly realistic time out in the field. That place is One Shepherd. http://www.1shepherd.com/
At One Shepherd you get the opportunity to get out in the field, conduct operations, and live out of your ruck for multiple days. Now, much of what they do is geared towards a military type structure. However, for the Armed/Prepared Citizen, there is still much you can take from the training. While, for our purposes, we most likely won’t be conducting multi-day operations with a squad/platoon size element, we may have to be out on our own, with just 1-2 friends/family members for a couple of days. I’ve spoke at length with Brent about their trip, and I think there are many valuable things to take from this training. It’s all good skills and experience to have mind you, you just have to be able to separate the military aspect of it, from what we’ll be doing as Armed/Prepared Citizens in a catastrophic situation.
For those who haven’t done it before, it’s a chance to really get a taste for some things. You’ll get to see what it’s like to live, in the bush, out of just what you have in your ruck. Forgot to pack something? Oh well, too bad. Think you can just blaze away at everything you see? Yeah, they had the ammo that was on them and that was it for the most part. They got lucky and were able to get a small resupply of ammo, but that wasn’t much. You’ll quickly learn that you don’t mag dump at every target. You pick and choose when to shoot, when not to, and you make those shots count. Running out of ammo sucks.
Ever had to do all the above, and do it while there were other humans actively looking to engage you and you didn’t always know where they were at? For multiple days? Well, here you go. There are multiple things that I want to touch on from their trip to One Shepherd, but I’m going to break them down into individual videos/posts so I can delve into each point a little deeper than if I do it all in one. Suffice to say, after talking with Brent, a trip to One Shepherd is on my bucket list for sure. Here are the 2 videos that Brent & Bruce did. The first, is their pre-trip video where they are going over their gear and getting packed up. The second, is of the trip itself.