Greetings, Partisans! Today’s post is of a much different nature than all my other posts so far, in that it doesn’t deal directly with physical fitness. I’m writing to share my recent experiences with training my local crew in the skills I learned from the Brushbeater Scout Course, which I took in early spring this year. Hopefully, this write-up will be of interest and value to fellow Partisans who are already doing the same thing, or are thinking of training their own local crews in the essential tactical skills of the Scout Course as well.
Part 1 – Taking Detailed Notes at the Brushbeater Scout Course for New Skill Acquisition and for Re-teaching Locally
First off, I will say that the training of my local crew of bro’s (which I will call “The Crew” from here on out) in Brushbeater Scout Course skills began even before we physically got together as a Crew to train; the training of my local Crew actually began at the Scout Course itself, in that I made sure to take the very, very best notes I could at all times as I took the actual course. I’m already an obsessive notetaker by nature, but in most cases, I just bring my laptop, plug it in, and thunder away on the keyboard quickly and relatively easily. However, because of the austere nature of the Brushbeater Scout Course setting, there was no laptop, so I had to struggle quite a bit to go between typing notes on my crappy little “burner phone” (LOL) and physically writing them in an all-weather note pad that I always had with me, making sure I captured EVERYTHING being taught to us. I just don’t trust myself to remember brand new technical training details, so there was never a time during the Scout Course that I wasn’t furiously scribbling something down – dirty, sweaty fingers and all. Despite the annoying-as-hell difficulty of taking notes in these conditions, I was fortunately able to capture in writing pretty much all instruction in the vital skills and details Brushbeater taught (together with valuable inputs occasionally provided by his seasoned colleagues), while also participating 100% in the training.
Then, upon returning home, I immediately pulled together all my written and typed notes, along with the various photos I had taken of demonstrations, to generate my final master notes for the Scout Course – while the info was still fresh, post-course. The great prize of the notetaking struggle and final editing (also tedious) was that I now had a complete, finished reference upon which I could then base my own local efforts to teach my Crew these critical skills; I knew the thoroughness of the notes would make for a smoother, more effective delivery of training in a subject matter – Scout Skills – that I am just not an expert in. I mean, I would prefer to instruct only in areas of my expertise, but I felt that the knowledge taught in the Scout Course MUST be passed along, and that’s that – expert or not! I had already taken the Brushbeater RTO Courses (Basic and Advanced), as well as the SIGINT Course, so by the time I took the Scout Course, I had concluded that most of the empowering skills taught by Brushbeater simply have much less impact and utility for the individual than they do for THE GROUP. Like, having RTO skills is nice, but without a group to share and work them with, they are of much more limited value. Same applies to the Scout Course, perhaps even more – kind of tough to do a patrol of one person (for example). So when I signed up for the course, I already had in mind that I’d be teaching to my own Crew whatever I had learned. The reason I even mention any of this is not to boast about my high-quality notes, but rather, because without taking and possessing your very best notes, much of what Brushbeater teaches civilian operators (“Mossy Oak Militia”) in his courses will simply fall through the cracks, and create potential gaps in future training (for those that do follow up and practice Scout Course skills on their own, or for those that train others in these skills after the course is over). I mean, if a participant can remember these details and execute them correctly, that’s good on them. But I am just not that person, so notetaking is a huge deal to me, and it pays off!
Part 2 – Getting the Ball Rolling with Our First Local Scout Training Session
Being in possession of my typed Brushbeater Scout Course notes (in final form), the next order of business was to decide when to train, and what parts to teach. I was anxious to get right into things, but it took a good number of MONTHS before we were finally able to assemble everyone interested in romping around in the woods, Scout Course-style. A combination of real life obligations, time constraints, and schedule incompatibilities for my Crew kept us from getting together for a good long while after I’d already done the actual Brushbeater Scout Course. I was a bit nervous about the “freshness” of my own Scout Course experiences and the time lag between the end of the course and the Crew’s local Scout training, but what are ya gonna do? I managed to train my Crew in some RTO basics mid-spring (faithful to the original Brushbeater RTO Course, again, thanks to the notes I captured in those important courses), thus building my training credibility and worthiness in the eyes of my Crew, most of whom I have known and trained with for less than a year. But after a good spurt of Crew RTO training in March and despite keeping in touch, the abovementioned real life factors caused a very long gap in meeting up again at all until finally, we agreed on our very first local Scout training meet-up for a hot Sunday in mid-June.
When deciding what course content I’d be instructing from the actual three-day Brushbeater Scout Course itself, I figured it would be best to simply stay faithful to the order and content of the Scout Course as originally presented by Brushbeater. Out of that, I did my best to determine what could be taught properly in the 4 – 5 hour period we had available to us to train, and I printed up a segment of the Scout Course notes (as seen in the photo above) that would be doable in the allotted time frame. Due to the horrendous ammo shortage we’re still in the midst of, in addition to the particular equipment requirements of a proper day at the range, I opted to leave out the very first portion of the Scout Course, which is the shooting portion; I absolutely intend to make that a separate, dedicated training day with my Crew altogether – hopefully soon.
In the end, the first training module for the Crew’s local Scout Course covered important theory and practical exercises like:
- Overview of Patrolling and Planning: Principles of Patrolling; METT-TC; Terrain Analysis (OCOKA); etc.
- Types of Patrols
- Principles of Camouflage + Demonstration: Making and using the ghillie, sniper veil + IR netting; painting weapons; thermal signature mitigation etc.
- Building a Hide Site
- Stalking in the Woods: theory and field exercise
As far as location, even though I live in Western New York state, everyone else in my Crew lives in Pennsylvania, so we chose an isolated area in the middle of PA lease lands that much of my Crew was familiar with, and which are crisscrossed by trails and dirt roads, but are otherwise pretty austere – just woods, some open grassy areas, and rocks. It was a perfect setting to recreate the Scout Course! Nobody was around to bother us, there was no cell phone reception, and it was just us and nature. We all met up at the home of a Crew brother close by, and planned to proceed from there to the training site a few miles away.
Since I was in charge of this training session as the person having taken the Scout Course and delivering the training, I sent out a group text several days before requesting that everyone show up in whatever woods gear they had or intended to train with in the woods, as well as their weapons. So when 5 of us finally met up at 1000 hrs. that hot Sunday in June, I was taken aback with how under- or even outright unequipped pretty much everyone was! For example, one guy was wearing blue jeans, a t-shirt, and work boots, while another had cowboy boots on. Most didn’t have full camo outfits, some none at all. At first, I was really annoyed and turned off because I stupidly assumed everyone would be on roughly the same page as me gear-wise, but after my initial surprise and annoyance with the state of affairs, I decided it would be best to just proceed as planned and let the Crew conclude on their own that they needed more critical gear. I wasn’t about to call the whole thing off, and there ain’t no better teacher than hardship to highlight deficiencies, right? Also, I encouraged all Crew members present to take notes for their own reference.
In the end, the training meet-up went extremely well! First off, as far as I know, nobody is offering this kind of training in our area; an interested Partisan would have to travel at least several hours to obtain structured tactical training of this type. I mean, lots of guys in the area have cool guns and like to go shooting, but integrated tactical training is not common at all, neither in practice nor in local offerings. So those of my Crew that could make it were very attentive, and soaked up all the brand new information as I presented it. My thorough notes from the Scout Course made all the difference by spoon-feeding me my technical instruction points from start to finish despite the time that had passed since I had taken the course, and although there were some grey areas of training that I wasn’t sure about (again, I’m not the expert here), I was able to very smoothly relay the skills I learned in the Scout Course to my awesome Crew, and get them clarification on grey areas afterwards. We capped off the first training session with a stalk through the woods, and we got a good feel for the skills learned that day! I felt humbled and honored to be in the position of the trainer of my local dudes, passing along the sacred knowledge and skills as presented by Brushbeater.
Part 3 – Making Strides and Working the Scout Skills in Our Second Local Scout Course Training
Again, my Crew appeared to really get into and enjoy the Scout Course training in general – new, interesting, useful, practical, relevant, demanding, and fun… all at once, just like I (and I’m sure all of you who took it) found the actual Scout Course itself. Here was my Crew members’ second opportunity to break out of the confines of the old square range training and get out into the woods to pursue a different, fresh tactical discipline altogether. I was really fired up to do more Scout training with my awesome Crew, and I was also very keen on seeing who all would show up to get dirty in the woods once again. In my estimation, showing up to a comfortable gathering at a bar to chat about SHTF or meeting at someone’s house for radio training is fine n’ dandy and has its place, but at the end of the day… who’s ready to battle in the woods??? That’s the end all-be all here (more or less), as far as I’m concerned – that’s who I want with me!
Another four weeks went by before we could do a Sunday Scout training muster again (much longer than I’d have liked), and unfortunately, only four Crew members (including me) were able to make it this time. Justified circumstances kept two of the men away, while several more simply uh… couldn’t make it, I guess. Oh well. Shit’s going down, so the show must go on, and so we met earlier this time – 0900 hrs. just last Sunday – at the same place. This time, though, I was very relieved to see that those men who showed up that day were FAR more outfitted for the woods than the last time – they were taking this training seriously, and it showed: everyone now had full camo and most had proper boots (the one member that didn’t will definitely be buying some after patrolling in wet socks for several hours)… a vast improvement! I also performed a review of what gear they had, and made some suggestions as to what gear they might consider getting for their increased comfort and convenience (such as dummy cords and chest rigs) for the necessarily gritty affair of battling in the woods, as I understood it from my own Brushbeater Scout Course experience and previous training experiences.
For our second installment of the local Scout Course training, I simply proceeded with the skill-building in the order that Brushbeater had presented, and so I picked up where I had left off in the previous training session. This second training session with my Crew involved a good deal more “gettin’ dirty” field training and less theory presentation than in my first local Scout training session, and it involved the following:
- Team Movement in Formations
- Basic Hand/Arm Signals
- Battle Drills – Reacting to Contact/Breaking Contact/Bounding Overwatch
I’ll confess that things were a bit more awkward for me as the instructor for this second training session, once again because of my lack of expertise in the skills taught by Brushbeater in the Scout Course. There was much more hands-on work, and I was nervous that I’d foul up some detail(s) in the presentation of physical skills, but the hardcore notes saved the day with the level of detail they provided, and so I didn’t let my guys down! And the really neat thing was that we could seamlessly include in our second training session many of the skills we had covered in our first local Scout training session (stalking; camouflage; scanning; etc.) while we also trained in the skills learned in the second training session. As with the first local Scout training session, some specific questions came up during training that I, the non-expert trainer, couldn’t answer. But the questions asked also showed me that my dudes – my BROTHERS whom I intend to fight shoulder to shoulder with when that time comes – are invested in training, are thinking about what’s going on, and want to be good at Scout skills (side note: I was able to obtain the answers to their training questions afterwards by consulting with people “in the know”, fortunately!). Also, my Crew dudes made many interesting observations and contributions of their own that I was able to learn from, proving once again that by teaching, you learn much too.
And so the second training session was a mix of instruction and field training, first in individual modules, and then in integrated, multi-skill battle drills done again, and again… and again. I’m in my 40’s, and the young fighters in my Crew were definitely giving my old ass a run for my money, but it was absolutely excellent! Training, sweating, and working hard together are the essence of comradery, and we definitely had it that day – it gets better each time. The Crew was fired up and applying themselves maximally, and by the end of our training day, we were looking quite good as a fighting team, and we were executing semi-complex drills rather smoothly, in my humble opinion. We went nonstop for almost 5 hours, sweating up a storm and getting dirty without even taking a lunch break – there was no time to waste, and no need; beef jerky, CLIF bars, and water saved the day. I just loved the enthusiasm and commitment everyone was showing, and I was extremely honored by the experience and by my dudes’ vigorous participation. This was also my first time practicing these skills since I had taken the Scout Course myself, so it was really beneficial for me to reinforce these perishable skills.
One of the most important things that occurred that day was not training-related, but rather, a moment of clarity reached independently by the guys in the Crew: we need to train this way much more often! Of course, **I** feel that way, so it was critical that my fighting brothers come to this “aha!” moment on their own for the next time a Scout (or ANY kind of) training session is proposed. Plus, my Crew felt empowered by gaining this knowledge and practicing the obviously vital skills presented in the Brushbeater Scout Course – they felt like proper warriors – just like I felt at the end of the Scout Course, and that was a huge evolution in and of itself. Real men NEED and SEEK to feel like warriors, and training in the skills taught in the Brushbeater Scout Course is certainly an outstanding way for the red-blooded MAN to realize some of the fulfillment of true warriorhood.
Part 4 – Future Local Scout Training Plans
Fortunately, we’re scheduled to do more local Scout training again this coming Sunday, a mere week after the last training session – a big improvement! More men from the Crew are expected to participate – hopefully, we’ll have at least five guys, if not six. Those who have missed out on previous training are chomping at the bit to get into the Scout action, especially after hearing reports of what was covered in previous training sessions, and how awesome it was. Again, this type of training is simply not available locally, as far as I know. The Crew seems grateful to have this opportunity locally, and at no cost – these are my brothers, so all they need to do is show up and kick ass! More of the Crew fellas have put their hard-earned money down to acquire yet more gear, since every outing reveals deficiencies and/or gaps in the gear loadout. It helps to actually train, so that you know what you need, and what you don’t need, right? The Brushbeater Scout Course helped me A LOT in that regard, and I’m still learning.
For our Crew’s next training(s), I’ll be proceeding in the order of skills as I have them in my notes, so more patrolling variety is next on the horizon, as well as review for those who weren’t able to make our previous trainings and for reinforcing our skills. All told, I’m fully confident that we’ll evolve into a reliable core of civilian operators who are tactically capable of handling ourselves in the woods – and beyond. Finding reliable people for anything is very tough, and always has been… especially for doing tedious, dirty, physically demanding, and potentially dangerous training. But by presenting the valuable Scout Course skills to my eager and willing local bro’s of the American Partisan worldview (at least, as I understand and embrace it), I have been fortunate and honored to have them train with gusto under my supervision, to learn from them in turn, and to help them get ready for the “uglies” that are/will be part of the collapse of our beloved United States of America. The local Scout Course training experience has greatly helped me develop my Scout skills as well, and I look forward to more training and to refining these skills for use at the appointed hour. Hats off to all my American Partisan brothers out there doing the same with their learned skills! Thanks for reading.