Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Basic Training - Gear SOPs and Location Standardization

Just one random example.

As I hope I've made plain, because I don't know what you're worried about, or training for, and what you think you can accomplish, I have no idea what a detailed gear loadout should actually look like for you.

Only you can figure that out.

I can give you the resources to help you plan things out, and I have. But this is the part where the "You're-not-going-to-be-IN-the Army/Marines-when-SHTF" rubber meets the "this-is-what-you-need-for-yourself-and-all-your-people" road.

The broad generalities will apply.
The specifics will vary based on more factors than it's worth exploring in a blogpost.

One thing thast must occur, is for you, and all your people, to put your heads together, and figure out what's crucial. Then enforce everyone taking everything that's on the list, and nothing that's not on the list. When you're dealing with 50-100# loads, the only thing as bad as not taking what you should have, is taking anything you shouldn't have. It's not a big deal if you're a pound or two heavier than everyone else, but it's a yuuuuuuuuuuge deal if you're twenty or thirty pounds heavier than everyone else. In a you're-going to-hurt-yourself/poop-out faster and/or-get-us-killed sort of way.

Come up with an SOP - Standard Operating Procedure.
(The military ones are generally written in blood, just like safety regulations. Learn from their mistakes, rather than learning from your casualties. Your conscience, and their next-of-kin, will thank you.)

Split team gear and mission items to even out loads.
Inspect for compliance with the SOP.
Inspect for your guys not taking everything but the kitchen sink "just in case".

And once you've done the headwork to figure out what you're about, or want to be, and figure out your SOP load items for each level, there's something you should do with a lot of them that I can guarantee.

You need to standardize where you put a lot of stuff.

Obviously, lefties vs. righties should be a primary concern, but we can live with mirroring the placement based on a single parameter, i.e. your own handedness.

But if you get shot, would you rather I spend the time while you bleed out trying to discover which one of seventeen places you squirreled away your CAT-T, and do you think it might be beneficial if everyone in your group all marks them the same way, in the same pouch, and puts them all in the exact same spot? And if you're the radio guy, do you s'pose if I need to call for help now, because you can't, that it would be a great help if the Signal Operating Instructions with all the comm frequencies, call signs, etc. was always in the same pocket, every time, for every radio guy, forever? If you're the leader, and out of the fight, and now I need the map, should I need to spend ten minutes trying to look around your body, or should it always be in the exact same pocket, for every leader, on every stroll outside the fenceline?

Clever readers will deduce some subtle foreshadowing from the use of italicization for emphasis in the preceding paragraph.

You can buy, download, or link to, any number of copies of patrol "lessons learned" from prior conflicts, and the better ones will note, time after time after time, that every single group looking for any success quickly learned and shared that finding what worked, and then enforcing that uniformity ceaselessly improved performance and save lives when it counted.

I don't care what your designated SOP loadout or arrangement is.
Only two things matter:

1) Did you field-test it to come up with what works best?
2) Do you inspect to verify that that's how everybody does it, every time?

Do what you like.
The grading curve for the Final Exam will be a harsh one.


Anonymous said...

once you ruck uphill with a pistol and load mag on your leg/quad. you will be looking to get that thing up higher towards your hips or on your chest. great way to fuck your self up is add 5lbs + on one side of your body and hump some miles. a old beard SOF guy told me, the two times he was hit was because he was too slow and the a purple heart medal was the reminder. ,

Aesop said...

Sigh. Hence the caption "just one random example".

Anonymous said...

When I was doing this for pay and giggles the only thing (well almost the only) thing I was a dick about was everybody's medical stuff was in the exact same place on all of us. The Team Guys were more or less standardized on all of their kit depending on their LT. I was particular that both boats were rigged and showed the same but gave my guys a little more leeway otherwise. Dunno if I would now.

Anonymous said...

Goddam machine