In the Summer of 2008, I was just back from a combat deployment to Iraq. The writing on the wall told most of us that Barry Soetoro would be the next President, and there were many out there that were inquiring online about combat training.

I had several friends who asked me what the possibility was of me putting on a class that taught the basics of Infantry skills needed in a fight. Understanding what was needed and what they wanted to receive, I put together a two day class that gave them what I thought were the minimum skills needed on the battlefield.

That class was a success, and was the beginning of what would become Mason Dixon Tactical LLC a few years later. The purpose behind starting Mason Dixon Tactical in the summer of 2010, was two-fold. First, I like to teach, and I very much like to teach things I’m passionate about.

A young “Bushbastard” waiting on the Soviet Hordes………………..

Having been a Survivalist since approximately 1981, two subjects I became passionate about were armed and unarmed defensive tactics, and wilderness survival skills. I was fortunate enough to learn a lot of these skills while in the U.S. Army. During my time there I served in several types of Infantry units, two of which required “Airborne” qualification.

The older two of my four “Dodglings” (One of my Soldier’s moniker for them), when I first started teaching them “Small Unit Tactics”. After my time in the military, these were my most important “Students”.

Learning different weapons systems is an important part of firearms training for a Partisan or a Survivalist.

The second reason I started MDT, was the lack of availability of the type of training I thought needed to be offered to civilians. Rural combat Infantry training was not something you really saw advertised much before 2010, unless it was for mercenaries.

Two quotes I am fond of that are applicable here are these,

“Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.”H.L. Mencken

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”
— Robert A. Heinlein

These epitomize Survivalism. You should know how to do these things, especially if you are responsible for the safety of others. Mason Dixon Tactical provides training in two areas. The first falls under the “Mason Dixon Survival Institute” header, and consists of two wilderness survival courses, geared towards the complete novice, or the casual woodsman. The second is a series of Combat Skills courses called “Bushbastard”.

As said earlier, the “Intro To Survival” Course is designed to give an individual with no woods experience, a basic foundation of skills and understanding to survive in the woods with basic tools, and more importantly, how to prepare for that situation ahead of time.

Constructing the basic “Lean-to” shelter.

The “Survival Essentials Course” is geared towards the avid woodsman, hunter or Survivalist that would like to add a number of skills to their “Quiver”. Learning how to build a proper shelter, procuring then purifying water, build a fire, trap or hunt food and protecting yourself from the elements and predators, while in the woods are the topics taught in this class.

The “Two-Piece Notch Trigger”.

Learning how to set a cable snare.


The “Bushbastard Series” consists of three classes geared towards building on the previous course’s skillsets.

Class 100 is called the “Rural Buddy Team Essentials Course” (RBTEC). As the name implies, it is designed to train a pair of fighters how to effectively function together in a non-permissive environment. First you learn individual movement techniques. Next you learn how to properly use them in conjunction with a buddy to effectively defend your Buddy Team by moving through or out of harms way.

You will learn how to effectively assault or break contact with an attacker, while moving as a Buddy Team. How to safely patrol through a rural environment for the purpose of gathering information, protecting your area or even evacuating it. Since crossing “Danger Areas” happens a lot on a patrol, two methods are taught in this class.


Day and night patrols are conducted with different scenarios that among other things, include ambushes. Although patrolling and some “Battle Drills” are the majority of the skills taught, there is also a Close Quarters Battle class taught during RBTEC. A well written and greatly appreciated AAR was posted after the November class, and the author gave a great overview of the class.

An OpFor gets into position.

Class 101, also known as the “Rural Team Tactics Course” (RTTC), is meant to teach the 4-12 man team how to integrate the Buddy Team skills taught in RBTEC, into a larger element. It also teaches the different types of movement techniques designed to get the group from one location to another in a safe and efficient manner.

If engaged the team will learn how to maneuver (movement in contact) to effectively engage the bad guys, or disengage and evacuate the area. The majority of this class is spent on patrol, practicing methods of “React to Contact” (Battle Drill #2) or setting up ambushes. A practical exercise in setting up a patrol base or defendable base camp is performed, depending on what orientation (Partisan or Survivalist) the group is oriented towards.

In RTTC, Students learn how to set up a proper ambush, which involves terrain analysis and learning what the elements of an ambush are. They learn where to emplace personnel for good observation, group security, communication and effective fire