Combat and Competition

An overview of the similarities and differences of training for combat compared to competition as experienced by a combat veteran, sniper, drill sergeant, and competitive shooter with the U.S. Army Reserve Marksmanship Program.

An overview of the similarities and differences of training for combat compared to competition. Are there any actual bad habits or training scars caused by fixed, square range competition courses?

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2 comments on “Combat and Competition

  1. John Tate says:

    The interviews with Kizanis and Volmer were excellent – plus a bit of timely humor (bodies that won’t cooperate).

    I had to smile when empty & show clear were discussed. I’ve never understood why so many of the cops I work, with when on the range, will run around with empty guns. Well DUH – it’s how they are trained at the academy and that “bad” training then reinforced by mindless “firearms instructors” (really just range officers) when shooting quals.

    When I run a range, I tell the officers (supposedly all seasoned vets), that the range is always hot and I expect them to stay loaded and ready. But it never fails that I get the question, “Can I load now?” Or, worst of all, someone has a jam/failure to fire, and his hand goes up.

    Arrrrgh!

    All this goes back to what we were discussing recently – cops aren’t allowed to “graduate” from basic firearms training. What they learn at the academy stays with them. So why not train them right to begin with? SAFETY!

    Arrrrgh!

    Congratulations on some good work on these videos. I doubt the Army will listen, but you’ve done your part in telling the truth. The trends seems to be s, qual, quit. No pursuit of excellence. It frustrates me no end – but that’s what
    Kizanis said, and he’s right. The army doesn’t care about marksmanship;
    just fill the air with lead. Bullets are cheaper than training.

    Finally, why did you stop using “Caissons Go Rolling Along” intro music. The tune you now play is so drab!

  2. >> I had to smile when empty & show clear were discussed… All this goes back to what we were discussing recently – cops aren’t allowed to “graduate” from basic firearms training.

    I recommend the competitive route because it is usually available reasonably close and often for those willing to look and is one of the few venues where participants are asked and encouraged well beyond the limits of some fixed standard. The skill and confidence that accompany improved performance as seen at matches significantly reduces the effects of the “bad” training you mention. While organized events remain one of the better ways to “graduate” some see fit to lambast the better competitors even though there is no evidence competitive programs create problems or training scars.

    The Canadian Forces at Connaught Range maintain a series of 360 degree shoot houses and use surprise courses as a part of the competitive schedule at the Canadian Armed Forces Small Arms Concentration. Despite completing a series of square range courses prior, there were no incidents of competitors displaying any of the claimed “training scar” problems or any of the issues you mention.

    I asked SSGs Kizanis and Volmer to further comment because of their military and combat experience just to show I’m not making this up.

    >> Shoot, qual, quit. No pursuit of excellence. It frustrated me no end – but that’s what Kizanis said, and he’s right.

    I understand why this has to be at something like BASIC training when working with recruits like Kizanis and Volmer were training. It’s the lack of direction when those introductory courses are complete that’s bothersome.

    >> Finally, why did you stop using “Caissons Go Rolling Along” intro music. The tune you now play is so drab!

    I was using The Army Song (adapted from the U.S. Field Artillery March)

    Asked to change that up, I started using the Army Strong Theme with the section everyone recognized from the commercials. After everyone on the team started greeting me by humming that bit, I figured I was due for another change up and started using the somber intro that rarely gets played.

    Guess it’s time for another change :-)

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