Get off the square range and throw out some sacred cows….

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.

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.



4 thoughts on “Get off the square range and throw out some sacred cows….

  1. HOO-AH!

    My sincere thanks for the call-out, Hawkeye. And of course, we couldn’t agree more. First and foremost, One Shepherd is FUN! The learning is intense and academically rigorous. But it is also a great deal of fun! After all, you’ll do something painful or boring once…but you won’t repeat it. So, we had to build the One Shepherd curriculum with community in mind. That means high energy, and lots of fun.

    The next thing your readers need to know about One Shepherd is that we’ve created a safe place to fail. This is a BLANK-FIRE ONLY environment. Every training lane is a 360-degree shooting lane. This includes all 4 days of individual and collective coursework, plus the entire 3-day FTX wargame at the end of each training semester (7-day week). Blanks are very forgiving. Yet beyond that, we ask our Warriors to push themselves intellectually and emotionally to failure. We take risks! That’s how we learn. There is no shame in this.

    Your opponent will be other Warriors, just like you! They will be lead by Warrior-Leaders, just like you. They will take risks, seek the upper hand, and fail or succeed in their mission, just like you.

    One Shepherd has NO CELEBRITIES who role-play “bad guys” and play stump-the-chump to make you feel stupid. We don’t do hero-worship here. Instead, we patiently and compassionately mentor leaders through an apprenticeship of Warriorhood. A brotherhood.

    In 2018, the One Shepherd fall and spring curriculum will cover special purpose attacks – the ambush and the raid. If the utility of these two small unit tactics isn’t immediately apparent to every Warrior, then I promise, it will be apparent by the time you’ve complete this training. It’s powerful stuff. Join us.

    As we fondly say at One Shepherd – “See you in my rifle sights!”
    Dr. Christopher Larsen, Founder

    Liked by 1 person

    • Roger that Sir! Thanks for the comment. As I said previously, it’s on my list to make it out to see you as soon as possible. 91′ was the last time I got to have fun with MILES gear…. I will be waiting anxiously for the 2018 schedule to come out.


      • MILES….what a PITA that stuff was. Especially having to draw it for mech infantry companies and turn it back in at end of training cycle. Did you have to remind me of that stuff ? Like a bad dream that won’t go away.


  2. Dan III – Ha! Yeah, I remember that, too. I served in two Mech Infantry regiments (1/17 INF and 1/314 INF). Okay, I admit that strapping up a ‘track’ with MILES was a PITA. On the other hand, you really should get out to the field with One Shepherd to try out MILES 2000/IWS. This Gen. 4 stuff is fantastic.

    We zero the SAT to each weapon, and the mounting system on Gen. 4 MILES is so solid that when we check it at the 6-month mark, less than 30 percent have even come unaligned! No joke – head shots at 200m are common place at One Shepherd! Awesome. And Army/Marine grunts are always a bit amazed, saying, “Why the hell doesn’t the military use MILES like this?!”


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