In the world of tactical training, there appears to be an uncommon density of traininers who are (or at least, claiming to be) of Special Forces background. Of the courses I've taken, I've had one with verified former LEO cadre, and another that claimed ex-SOF. I was content with the former's instruction; I was disappointed with the later. Has anyone else found reason to question those with ex-SOF credentials as a ploy, or has your vetting of instructors found that to be more fact than fiction?
Internet reputations may be one thing, but cold hard data is another.
To be honest, I'm not one to care so much about how "elite" the background of someone is before I learn from them. As long as I think they have the relevant experience and they are a capable instructor, I'm happy to hum along and learn what I can.
I think the SOF community has gotten so much reverence and fanboy-ism in the last twenty years that it just seems like everyone is cashing in on whatever experience they have. But I would argue you can still learn a lot from a career infantry dude from other backgrounds, so long as they have the instructional techniques down. I'll use small unit tactics as an example of that. Not many instructors out there will teach fire and maneuver to non-Mil/LE. I'm not going to argue why that may or may not be the case, but what I find interesting is taking some of that stuff I've learned and then watching videos out there.
In reality, a lot of these SOF units are doing the exact same thing that regular infantry units learn but to an extremely high standard. These guys have the benefit of nearly unlimited training dollars for ammunition and equipment and just have immense skill. But I would argue that they don't actually know anything significantly different from anyone else.
I could always be wrong, though. I'm not a SOF guy and don't even cosplay one on the weekends.
"Man is still the first weapon of war" - Field Marshal Montgomery
This has been all of my training, as a civilian, background. I spent an even 400 hours at Asymmetric Solutions in Farmington, MO. They have an entire roster ranging from MARSOC, Raiders, Recon, SEALS, Green Berets, Rangers, Delta, JSOC/Para Rescue, CIA, and a host of Police ranging from snipers and HRT and Demo and some other high risk undercover unit. Anyway, they're all very professional, very nice and no undue bravado.
I haven't personally vetted anyone because they have contracts to train Mil/LEO and I've been present when certain groups of people doing different things were on site. And after seeing facilities being blown up and the 68 mile off road course they have being used...well I just figured theyre above suspicion.
Anyway, I'm just a civilian who wanted some skills. I took to it fairly well, put in the time and paid attention. Showed up during rain and snow and skeeters...huffed and puffed on hot days with armor on and dropped dead after a sprint. I have no illusion about being Rambo, but the quality of the instruction was great. The cost is some of the best and I am in no way payed or a representative of them but for $127 a month, you get two classes - a course and application course for said class. I haven't found a better deal anywhere.
I will say this, about two years ago I quit due to financial obligations and the fact that a trend began that really bothered me...a lot of doctors and financial guys would show up with Gucci gear and not apply themselves. They were in higher level courses and were lowering the bar. After a few serious students complained and eventually quit, they put in to place qualification standards to keep a level 1 class guy from going to a level 2 course. In a weapons manipulation scenario, not a big deal. It is a much bigger deal with a 4 man team assaulting a shoot house and doing CQB and they don't have some weapon handling down that they should have learned in Carbine 2.
To the schools credit, there were enough instructors to cover such concerns and good students to keep everyone safe and accountable.
So that's been my experience. Professional and courteous, no need for bragging and happy to help. And the stories you hear when you just hang out and listen...Jesus. One fell in particular, we'll call him Gary, introduced me personally to the head of the St. Louis police acadamy school. I had put in an application and got some face time with the head of that organization. It was a very nice gesture of them both. It never went anywhere, probably for the better, but a kind act none-the-less.
And I would love to take a Pat Mac class...that guy is one brutal dude. I love his fitness program.
Any of you all take any training from Pat McNamara? Either hand gun or rifle? I like him, he seems to have that "old school" professionalism vibe and does not have to tell his back ground and experience. As an aside we had the luxury of training secure tactical comms with SF group out of Bad Tolz Germany way back in 1985 and also got the good fortune to go down to Tolz for training course on secure comms for platoon/squad level use. I think that was 10th Special Forces group at the time (not sure as I don't know the SF teams much). To a man those guys were total pro's and just flat out humble guys who did not lord over you that they were above you in any way shape or form. They taught us a lot but even better these guys were great listeners and curious as to the how and what infantry grunts and comms guys experienced in field use communications in terrain and elements of Germany. Beware of posers and maybe the first red flag is the constant ranting of SF credentials.
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