The Brevity Matrix

If you aren’t taking notes here…….you’re wrong.


20151013_153203In the RTO Course we spend the bulk of our time on basic skill building- operator technique, antenna types and construction, planning and report formats for sending information rapidly and accurately. It’s a starting point, covering the basics in two days. With that said, one of the common questions I get is regarding the length of the reports when they’re sent. If interception is a concern, and it always is, how do we shorten this up or obscure it to the point of being useless to listen to? There’s a few answers to this question, including going high tech/more complicated/more expensive with equipment, more efficient antenna construction for directivity, and finally, creating a BREVMAT.

A Brevity Matrix, or BREVMAT, is a randomly generated series of codes that are commonly understood by your group and shorten the transmission. In the amateur radio world we use Q codes, and 10 codes are…

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Guidelines for Integrating Inter-Team Communications Into Your Kit

A must read from Brushbeater.


32 BN Recce.jpgThe cornerstone of why you need communications in the field is unit coordination. Teams must have a way to relay what they see and update the situation to other partner teams in the field and to a command location. This is what’s known as Inter-Team Communications and should be thought of as your lifeline for the Small Unit. One of the topics briefly covered in the RTO Course is how to integrate squad-level commo gear into your kit. After training with several groups I’ve noticed that this normally is an afterthought, so it’s something that I address through demonstration of my own gear during the second day. While I don’t require anyone to bring anything to class other than a notebook, pen, comfy shoes and a good attitude, on the FTX there is a little bit of team movement and scratching the surface on Small Unit Tactics (SUT)…

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MDT LandNav Essentials Course #103

Mason Dixon Survivalist Association

Re-posted from MDT

Our LandNav Essentials Course this past weekend went well. Here’s an AAR from one of the students. I don’t post many AAR’s (they are for me to use to help improve the class, not to try and impress the readership here) but this was the first dedicated two days of “LandNav Only” class, and is the reason for posting this AAR.  I always posted AAR’s when I first started the MDT blog 4 years ago, to show what I offered, and I still always post at least one AAR from each new class that is developed. 

LandNav Post


Terrain : Appalachian  mountainous  , heavily wooded, and  rocky.
Weather: cooler high 20- to low 40s. Dress appropriately but not problem once moving.  Summer bring bug juice  and be.prepared to do tick checks on a regular basis. No issue in this class.
Physical condition : You have to be able to walk…

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Skills Over Gear, or, Doing More With Less


Clothes don’t make the man. All too often in the Survivalist & Prepper scene a lot of focus gets placed on gear. In fact so much so that a lot of sites devolve into simply reviewing individual pieces, which in turn is basically an overview with nothing else. And don’t get me wrong, I love some good kit and appreciate original or out-of-the-box thinking that goes into really innovative products. But skill, specifically mastery of basic skills, can never be supplanted by a product. And in turn, no product will make you better if the fundamentals ain’t there first. Those fundamentals, with some very basic supporting gear, lay the foundation for you to be effective whether it’s combat weaponcraft, movements in potentially hostile environments, or tactical communications. The basics of anything never, ever change. And you might be surprised at what can be done with just a mastery of what’s…

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