OK everyone is not a bad A supersealrangercommandodevgru etc. and I'm DEFINITELY not claiming to be anything special, just a random guy that's been training his whole life in this kind of stuff.

That being said, there is a few basic skills that are necessary for working with other people in the field.

The list below is skills (mostly common sense really) that seem to keep coming up at force on force events, live fire training exercises, etc.

When you read some of these, your going to say "yeah right Rob, no one did that on an exercise." But sadly these are all based on examples I've seen. You have to drill this stuff at every opportunity. You really need to "own" these very basic skills. Why? Because when it's 110 degrees (like last weekend), or when it's 5 degrees, when you've been patrolling for six hours straight, when your tired, hungry, semi comatose, whatever- you still have to perform to this minimum level. Yes there is a reason to have a modicum of physical fitness, yes there is a reason to stay somewhat acclimatized.

Some skills/common sense things-

*Look in to other team members/team leader regularly- What is going on? Oh I'm sorry I didn't HEAR your hand signal! Look in regularly. See the team leader and everyone else getting into a skirmish line and you don't know what to do? Pretty damn good assumption the TL wants you to get into a skirmish line also. What is your battle buddy doing? Do you have one? Now this "look in to other team members" has to be tempered with-

*Look out for the enemy- dadadaduuhhhh!!! Here's the reason we are out there patrolling. LOOK for the enemy. Here's a big clue- he's not on the ground right in front of your feet! So besides scanning the trail every so often, or if your tracking, no reason for most of your focus to be on the ground. Yet how do a lot of people "patrol?" Bee bopping along in the woods with their eyes down. Six OPFOR ambushed 15 guys three times last weekend and I'm very sad to say no one seemed to take these things seriously even after 3X of getting hit. We talk about training scars, walking along not actively looking for the enemy is a huge training scar.

*Repeated actions should NOT require a high degree of hand holding by your TL. It's not really "initiative" it's more your responsibility. Let's say your team is bounding forward with another team on it's right. Assuming no current contact but expecting possibility of. Your in a skirmish line. Other team stops moving and takes a knee. Team member on your far right waits a tic and then gets up and starts moving forward. This is your third or fourth bound. What should you do? Should the TL really have to throw rocks your direction to signal you and make a hand signal every single time this happens? No. And it's your responsibility to pay attention to these things.

*Walking in a formation. Almost all of us went to public school. One thing public school was good for- teaching kids how to line up. Spatial awareness. If your in a skirmish line the line should look like this-

____ ______ ______ _____ ________

Assuming five guys, moving towards the top of the screen.

This however, is a gagglefudge-

_____ ________


______ ______

Why is it a gagglefudge? Because the 2nd man from left and the 4th and 5th man from the left aren't keeping up with the two guys that are actually on line. It's not a skirmish line it's a gagglefudge line.... And once again, it shouldn't take your TL throwing rocks your way and wildly gesticulating to get #2 and #4 and 5 into line. They should see (based on looking around/looking in to other team members) that they are all fudged up and THEY should fix it.

This may seem nit picking but the TL and Squad leader have to both themselves fight AND manage all these "bits and pieces" like the team mates above that can't keep a line going. When they have to micro manage you, their eyes aren't up searching for enemy, thereby taking a gun out of the fight to micro manage you.

*Actually USE your weapon- Yes this has happened a time or three. People laying in cover with a functioning weapon and "enemy" crossing their front and they don't fire on them. Guess what, the enemy won't hesitate to shoot you! When your inside a building that is clearly under attack, your weapon should not be laying on a table on the other side of the room (fully functional) while you space out standing in a corner of the room doing nothing. Yes we train for some realism but no one is getting actually shot, no one is screaming, no blood gushing out of people, etc. I would submit if your setting your rifle down that's fully functional during a firefight that your new hobby needs to be training, a lot of training.

And when you do see enemy and the fight is on, once again your TL shouldn't have to TELL YOU to shoot at them (the fight was already on so this wasn't a sneaking around, or let them get committed to the attack type of deal).

All of these things aren't super badA skills, they are really just common sense- stay with the group, do what the group is doing, etc.