Technology and training.

So ladies and gents I’ve been a tad slow in posting here. So I’ll try to fix that. Specially now with my new kindle fire hd. You want a good tablet I’d go this route. But that’s not what brings you here.


Let’s talk about rifle marksmanship training. Specifically virtual training. Now I know some of you are saying “virtual .. you mean like video game virtual? That isn’t training. That’s just playing. Video game!”

Well in some ways I’d agree. And so would the military specifically the Army in regards to actually qualifying. But here is some important key facts to virtual marksmanship trainers, specifically the EST 2000 (engagement skills trainer 2000).

DAPAM 350-38 states that virtual systems are authorized for qualification on only two tables of fire. The CBRN Course of fire and Night time Course of fire.

Now with budget cuts and such many units and commanders are looking for cheap effective training to maintain rifle and weapon handling. Especially as ammo allotments dry up for units.

In a way it is sad the EST and other virtual trainers cannot be used as an replacement for actual life fire qualification. But in all reality, and in this I firmly believe, it should not and cannot replace life fire qualification on any weapon systems.

Now saying this I will state and will hold firm on the fact virtual training systems can and will improve any marksmanship skills a shooter has. But (always with the buts) you need a good marksmanship coach who not only knows the live fire aspects of shooting but how to read and use the virtual systems as well.

Let’s look at a few of the pluses to the virtual systems.

– They are relatively cheap in the terms of training budgets

– Weapons function/feel just like liberalism with a 75% recoil.

– An experienced operator of the virtual systems can program in a small amount of time almost any range/engagement situation.

– Most virtual training systems such as an EST 2000 have a multitude of previously scenarios ranging from force on force to zero/qualification to shoot don’t shoot as well as quick response drills.

– You can diagnose a check of a lot on a WAY when it comes to bad shooting habits using its built in weapon and system sensors.

– A good marksmanship coach will become a better coach through utilization of these systems and working with shooters on them.

– You have to use Iron sites.

– You can engage targets out to a virtual 700 meters.

And these are just a few of the many bonuses from using a system like this. But they do have their cons. Such as

– They are not live fire.

– it’s a 3d weapon system shooting on a 2d flat simulated surface. So basically simulated distance is hard to judge for long rang engagement

– Because of the above optics don’t work on virtual systems (yet).

– If you are not military or associated with the military moat likely will not have access to a system like a EST 2000.

– Let’s not talk about the initial purchase cost, weapons purchase, software purchase, and maintenance.

– Trained and experienced operators/marksmanship coach’s aren’t a huge commodity.

Even these listed cons still do not out way using an EST 2000 or any available virtual training system for weapons/course of fire familiriaztion and your crawl/walk phase of training for marksmanship.

It’s actually recommends by the DA PAM 350-38.

I’ve used many virtual training systems for marksmanship training and highly recommend them. Just remember they supplement training but do not nor can replace life fire.

So with that, Howdy, Semper Fi, and have a wonderful freakimg day.




Period of Instruction: Maintaining a high level of alert readiness.

Good Afternoon, For those of you who don’t know me I’m Art, For those of you who do, I’m still Art, Yep I checked, I’m still Art. Today’s Period of Instruction.

“Maintain a high level of alert readiness. Never stop observing your surroundings and be aware of everything that takes place within your field of sight and every noise you can hear.”

The question is how do you do this with out over taxing your senses and becoming overly paranoid? And yes being over observant can happen and cause stress to your system.

A few suggested ways are as follows.

1. Kim’s Games (Keep in Memory) – a simple game you can play, best done in a group. One person picks a group of objects, from 10 to 20 total, and places them inside a cardboard box. From this point you can conduct the Kim’s games in three different styles.
A. The Students receive a period of time, typically 1 Minute to look at the objects in the box, then they return to their seat and write down the objects. But they do not write them by name, I.E. If you have a paperclip in the box they would write a “silver wire bent into three loops”. The Purpose of writing the description rather then the name is you cannot always positively identify an object or know what it is in the field so describing it is better.
B. The students are given five minutes to examine the objects then move off to conduct other training. At the end of that training or the training day the students sit down and write down the descriptions of the objects they can remember from the box.
C. The students are given five minutes then move off to another location to conduct training. At the end of that Training they return to the box and find it empty. All the objects that where in the box are placed in a field in front of them ranging from 10 to 50 meters away. They must identify and locate each object.

Kim’s Games work on your connotative abilities to identify and remember details and greatly enhance your metal abilities to maintain a high level of alertness.

But what about your listening skills? Have you ever sat in one spot and just listened, then tried to identify the sounds you are hearing? You can do this in any location, a busy mall, a park, an open field etc. Take the time to sit and just listen. Then try to identify the sounds you are hearing. work at listening to one specific sound or voice. Work at listening rather then seeing. I.E. Don’t look at the area the sound is coming from but listen to the area its coming from.

The biggest thing to having a high level of alertness is simply SLOW DOWN. Today’s society is so bent on speed. Faster, Bigger, Better. Often times we miss so much by hurrying through things.

Slow Down. Take the time to observe, to listen. Not only See, but Identify what your seeing. Identify what your hearing.

Questions? If there are no Questions I have one for you.

Have you sat in your own home, with no electrical objects on that create sound and can you identify every sound that happens inside your home? No? Then your assignment is to sit for at least 30 minutes in your silent home (If possible) and identify as many sounds as you can within your home.

Then post about just what you heard or realized in that time about your own home and your awareness.

So with that Howdy, Semper Fi and have a wonderful Freaking day.

Period of Instruction: Morale in a survival/combat situation

Good Morning, For those of you who don’t know me I’m Art, For those of you who do, I’m still Art, Today’s Period of Instruction.

Morale in a survival/combat situation. There is a question at the end of this period of instruction please answer it.

Last week we talked about humor, and how it’s an important tool to survival/combat. This week we are going to continue in that manner but talk about Morale.

One of my biggest pet peeves is 90% of all Movies, TV, and Stories/Books do not show Morale as a important factor in survival/combat situations. Sure they have that humors individual in the corner that makes everyone laugh during bleak moments but everyone takes him or her as comedic relief to keep the movie/book from being to “dark”. And actually 90% of the time that is exactly why they are in the movie/book. Plus you always have to have that plucky, comedic idiot type to kill off at some point that every one mourns over. But in the truth of the matter that individual plays a vital role on all the survivors.

Morale. Morale is a emotional or mental condition with respect to cheerfulness, confidence, zeal, etc., especially in the face of opposition, hardship, etc.: the morale of the troops. (Thank you Webster’s dictionary of awesomesauce).

So lets look at Morale in an personal example. SCENE: “Your alarm goes off after a good night’s sleep, from which you had a great evening with your significant other the day before. You reach over and hit the button shutting it off, stretch, yawn and sit up in bed. smile to yourself remembering the day prior and you feel great.

Your mood is high, you get out of bed pad to the bathroom and do shit/shower/shave etcs. While you’re brushing your teeth in front of the mirror it hits you.

Its Monday. You’ve got to go to work. You have a project/task/meeting, you’ve been avoiding/putting off/just don’t want to do because it’s worse than pulling your own teeth with pliers.

And you get that sick feeling in your stomach, your shoulders slump; the world becomes a little less lack luster. Yesterday’s enjoyable day becomes just a memory and your mood is shot to shit. ”

How many of you have had that very situation happen? Yep I have probably almost EVERY Monday, Hate Mondays, when the apocalypse happens Mondays are the first thing I’m shooting. Well probably actually the second thing I’ll shoot, but they are getting shot.

Any ways. That is Personal Morale in a nutshell. Morale can be affected by anything. Typically it’s an outside influence in the negative regards. Can something affect your Morale Positively? Absofreakinglutly, and that is your goal.
Personal Morale is actually quite easily controlled by the individual person, you do it on a daily basis by either avoiding the morale eating problem, changing the situation, or doing something that improves your morale on a personal level.
But now let’s look at the group dynamic for Morale.

Morale becomes a huge factor when you are in a group. And yes two people constitute a group. Time is also a factor, in most cases the longer you are with or near a individual their morale will effect yours. So what are some things you can do in a group to positively and negatively affect morale?
Well let’s look at the negative aspect first. What are some things that can negatively affect Morale in a group?

1. Piss poor attitude. Self explanatory, negative will beget negative
2. False Motivation. This is almost as bad as a piss poor attitude, pretending to be motivated and positive when you are actually negative only makes the situation worse and often times irritates people
3. Not pulling your weight. Biggest contributing factor to Morale loss.
4. Lack of Communication. In a situation where potentially all forms of technology is cut off, communication is vital. Any news is good news. Keeping information to yourself can and will potentially destroy morale at great lengths. This is a double edged sword though in regards to communication and information.
5. Inclusion/seclusion, including or secluding someone from the group for whatever reason can affect your morale.

There are many many many many etc etc factors to what can cause negative Morale, if we continued to list them your morale would be negative just by reading it! So lets look at some positive ways to improve group Morale

1. Positive Attitude, Now.. this isn’t the “bubbly cheerleader, squirrel chasing a laser dot” attitude “YAY GO TEAM!” blah, It’s the end of the freaking world, everything can’t be rainbows and unicorns. But there can be some positive to it. You’re alive, you’re breathing, you’re supporting each other, your surviving. And you’re shooting zombies. That’s a positive thing!
2. Lead by Example. In many instances Morale can be improved just by the simple fact that someone is stepping up and doing something that everyone has to do first AND they are doing it without complaining/whining etc.
3. Communicating. Information is power, again the double edged sword, but when everyone is informed of what the plan is, and given the opportunity to voice their opinion, regardless in most cases of wither its followed or not. Will help with Morale.
4. Inclusion/Seclusion. Include people in the group when they are needed to be included. Kick the dumb ass out when they need to be kicked out. This is a large contributing factor to Morale.

Wait.. lets look at that list again, outside of number 2. Isn’t that almost exactly like the negative list? Well actually yes it is. Are you now seeing what can negatively affect Morale can positively affect it as well? And these are just the emotional/personal factors. And this isn’t even all of them! These are just a FEW examples.

Are there other factors that can affect morale? Yes. Danger, Stress, Food, Shelter, all the standard survival “items”, are a factor to Morale. And can all be mitigated by alleviating or reducing through standard or non standards methods.

Over all Morale is a balancing act. It can and will teeter towards one direction or other. The only way to really develop an understanding of how to balance Morale is balance your personal Morale in a situation that tests it on a minute to minute basis. Many people will not have that opportunity. So outside of that just taking the step to be aware of what Morale is, will start you on the path to balancing it in any situation.

“Improve your own Morale, and you will improve the morale of those around you.”

A book.. I know, I apologize I didn’t intend to go long winded, but I feel sometimes that you have to, in order to present information that’s vital or important to a topic. I am trying a different format for these, presenting them more as a Topic of Instruction like I do to Military Students I teach then just a “tip”. Let me know if you like it this way or the old way better.

So now, Questions? and if you have no Questions I have one for you.

“You are in a Group that has low Morale, to the point people are considering just giving up. How would you, NOT using any of the above mentioned ways to improve morale. Improve their Morale for them to survive? And yes, it is your responsibility to see that they survive as they are your Family.” Please post your answer.

So with that Howdy, Semper Fi and have a wonderful Freaking day.

The Rifle Coach


I drew this free hand in a digital format using

It is dedicated to all the Coaches out there who’ve taken the time to pass on the art of the Rifle.


Thank you.

So with that Howdy, Semper Fi and have a wonderful Freaking day.


Reality Chapter 10

Walt looked over at Alex but slowly brought the truck to a stop pulling it off the road and down into the embankment as he looked up at the blinking emergency lights of the vehicle. He then turned the radio down.

And the sun will set for you
The sun will set for you

And the shadow of the day
Will embrace the world in grey

And the sun will set for you

“Might be folks that need help.” Walt looked over as Alex opened the door on his side slowly, same time pulling his rifle from the gun rack hooked to the dash.


Alex stepped into the wanning light. Walt watched sitting in place. He had a feeling he should stay put till Alex called or signalled. He reached up and pulled the bolt down on the M14 and the metallic sound of the bolt slapping a round home in the chamber filled the cab of his truck.

Alex disappeared. Literally Walt had him one minute the next he was gone.

“That boy is just scary.”

Alex had crouched down and pulling a compact of camo paint from a side pocket in his BDU’s he quickly put three fingers into the paint and started applying it to his face. No pattern, nothing fancy. Just shadow the light sheen from his face. He grunted when satisfied and put the compact away. He looked back at the Dodge and nodded seeing Walt had killed the lights and was sitting in the vehicle watching.

A few steps took him further down the embankment, just to the edge was a small copse of tree’s but really nothing better as in the way of concealment so he stayed low in the ditch as he worked his way towards the vehicle.

They’d stopped almost a good 700 meters from the vehicle and Alex made his way towards it in a low crouch. His knees screamed at him. Muscles not used to this movement in a long while started to growl as well as he continued ignoring them.

Body doesn’t mind. Mind doesn’t matter.

In the back of his mind a song started on random.

Working nine to five
what a way to make living
Barely getting by
it’s all taking and no giving.
They just use your mind
and they never give you credit

Alex had covered the distance of relatively quickly for being in the position he was. He was glad the ditch had run the whole length He found himself sitting roughly about 100 meters away from the car as he bellied up to the edge of the road on the opposite side his rifle aimed as he scanned over its sights looking for movement. It didn’t take long to see something.

The rain had stopped, sun setting behind the vehicle in the distance figures where highlighted. A light wind had picked up making everything chilly blowing from the west as Alex lay their watching and listening. Bits and pieces of conversation drifted with the wind towards him as he watched and waited.

“You’re sure you saw headlights?”

“Yeah Dammit I saw them.”

A whimper.

“shuddup in there..”

Some one explain this to me please.

I’ve been doing some reading/surfing of the net about something I’ve recently seen in a multitude of pictures from “Tactical Shooting” Courses. And every time I come across a picture like this I have a “WTF” moment. It doesn’t make sense to me.

Specifically the Extended Left arm holding the weapon at the very front of the muzzle, especially when you have a broom handle attached to the weapon.

Now the two pictures I’ve posted up are of Chris Costa. Outside of hearing his name mentioned a few times in conjunction to Magpul and Tactical Shooting, I’ll admit I very little about him or his methods of shooting other then I’ve seen it with other “tactical shooters” recently and it looks extremely uncomfortable and less stable then standard methods of engagement.

So I’m asking you the readers, who may have experience or knowledge in this. What the Fuck over.

The Position looks extremely uncomfortable, and extremely unstable. Does it give you engagement speed bonus? Whats the purpose, the reasoning, or rhyme as to it if any? Any one used it before?

I’m seeing this stance pop up all over the place in the tactical shooting scenes and circuits. So its either one of those “I’m doing it because some billy bad ass said it was good” or it actually works.

Interesting enough I’m not seeing it being used by our current Special Operations or The Grunts. So whats the skinny folks.

I also found this, reading Tactical Fanboy

Admittedly Extremely funny but it just brings further questions to light for me not knowing the deal with this stance.


So with that Howdy, Semper Fi and have a wonderful Freaking day.