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Posted: 4/19/2008 9:48:30 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/19/2008 10:09:54 PM EST by ishoot2live]
This is an article from The Firearms Instructor magazine, the official publication of the International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors (IALEFI), of which I am a member. I thought it was interesting and worth posting.

I would have posted a link to the online magazine archives, but non-members wouldn't have access.

Enjoy the read.

Be Safe.

Joe


IS COMBAT EXPERIENCE NECESSARY TO BE AN EFFECTIVE
FIREARMS INSTRUCTOR?

by Mike Baum

I am a military combat arms instructor with a little over 10 years of experience in
teaching the use of firearms to both military personnel and civilians. Recently, an issue developed that I do not see getting a lot of attention in the various publications available and I thought I would submit this to you and would greatly appreciate any response you have to this article.

I was a professional Combat Arms Instructor for the military (let’s leave it vague as to not offend the guilty parties) and recently I was asked to re-enlist with a unit as an instructor/gunsmith. With this new reserve assignment, I would have the pleasure of continuing my education at various training facilities to bring me up to speed on systems that were compatible with the unit’s specialized missions.

As my new boss and I discussed various schools and their merits, I suggested attend¬ing the classes offered by a very well known instructor whom I have never met but respect through his writings. The NCOIC immediately shot my suggestion down because the instructor in question was, “Just a reserve cop.” I thought about that for a minute and then, in my usual tactful way (which has caused members of the State Department to become nauseous in the past) informed my new boss as to why I thought he was wrong. He responded with a gesture that told me I “was #1” in his book and that the subject was closed for debate.

However, the point in question still bothered me for a number of reasons. First of all, I had no combat experience either. If I was not qualified, why was I there? Yes, I had convinced a couple of people that I could and would make them play catch with my ammo but they had surrendered before that unfortunate option became necessary.

Common sense can be a much more valuable commodity than limited experience. I have worked with SEAL Team members in the past who were very honest with me – they spent their entire time on the Teams running up and down a beach while singing cadence and deploying to “friendly” countries, teaching basic infantry tactics to local forces. I can assure you that some of them knew a lot less than I do about weapons but had the instant credibility because they were SEALs. *The instant credibility I do give them is their outstanding professionalism and unwillingness to quit.

The third problem is that you get guys who are great at their job but they could not teach it to save their lives. A good instructor is patient, approachable and respectful. That’s a tough combination and frankly, there have been days when I can not begin to master all of those skills before having my morning coffee. (OK, you can’t have an ego either.)

The fourth and final problem is this; combat is not the norm for most people. It drives me insane when someone puffs out their chest and says, “I was there, man.” Great, you may have been “there” but that doesn’t mean you played dodge ball with bullets. Less than 10% of the personnel who saw service in Vietnam were attached to combat units.

Even if you were lucky enough to survive, it doesn’t mean you learned anything from the experience. Some folks never learn, others take the incident to heart and analyze it to death. The latter have the potential of being great instructors in the footsteps of Bill Jordan.

Weapons skills are like any other skills, the deeper your theoretical knowledge, the more adaptable you are to the situation you find yourself in. I humbly submit that while no school of thought has all the answers, all have a piece of the puzzle. Good instructors should always be searching for the next piece of the puzzle. Spend less time worrying about how much time an instructor has spent polishing their resume and more time considering the wisdom of what they are offering their students. TFI

The Firearms Instructor Issue 43 Page 55


Link Posted: 4/19/2008 10:25:21 PM EST
Simply put; no. Just because you are a capable fighter does it mean you are a capable instructor. Having combat expereince can certainly help you; but I dont see it as a requirement.
Link Posted: 4/19/2008 11:29:40 PM EST
I don't think you have to have been a combat vet to be a good instructor. One of the toughest warriors that I ever served with was Ranger and SF qualified. He served 20yrs of active duty in infantry, LRS, and SF units. He never saw a day of combat in his life. If I ever needed someone to watch my back, he would be one of the first that I called. As for you boss's comment, I am assuming that you are wanting to take a class with Ayoob. I have found that over the years, Ayoob rubs many people the wrong way. It may be a case of your boss just not liking him.

ranburr
Link Posted: 4/20/2008 2:53:46 AM EST
Great post ishoot2live.

Combat arms has a different mission from LEO's, time on the two way range is not a necessity
Surviving a lethal encounter as a police officer can be measured a lot of ways but using your mind to resolve a situation without pressing the trigger is at the top. Don't get me wrong when it's time to go it's gotta be game on!

Out of all the Instructors that taught my instructor classes some had seen combat and some had not but they ALL had credibility with me and I would have any of them on my six if it were go time.

I wonder if Maas has seen this article? Hmmmmm


Sean
Link Posted: 4/20/2008 3:25:09 AM EST
From the sounds of it, an AF reserve small arms instructor wanted to run his guys through a Massad Ayoob LFI class.

Combat experience has nothing to do with it - an instructor that teaches pertinent tactics and stays abreast in the tactical realities of the people whom he teaches has a lot to do with it.

Link Posted: 4/20/2008 5:05:53 AM EST
Excellent article and thanks for posting it.

Has your membership with IALEFI been worth the money?
Link Posted: 4/20/2008 5:33:09 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/20/2008 5:40:48 AM EST by WA_PeaceOfcr]
Is combat necessary? I hope not, my agency would have a pretty crappy firearms instructor (me) if it was. I'd have to state that it is much more important that your agency has an instructor that can TEACH tactics, drills, courses, whatever... to your rank and file as well as LEARN himself, new techniques and skill sets so that he can discern what is applicable to each agencies unique and specific missions.

I think that it helps if your instructor also attends the best training possible to learn these skills. If they are taught by ex-SEALS, Delta, Rangers, etc. so much the better for all involved.
Link Posted: 4/20/2008 6:06:50 AM EST
The big question for me would be, what kind of training are we talking about?

If I was a PMC, I don't think I'd want a NRA firearms instructor teaching me pre-deployment for Iraq.

At the same token, I don't think a ex Ranger, SF, front line grunt would be the best person teaching me CCW tactics/legal Judo.

There are some very bad hombre's out there sure. But I'd rather have someone with the knowledge AND ability to teach principal.

Monkey see, monkey do won't get you very far down the road sometimes.
Link Posted: 4/20/2008 10:03:42 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/20/2008 10:09:54 AM EST by 444]
I would be willing to go out on a limb and say that MOST of the people who eventually experienced combat were trained for combat by someone who had never been there. Yet, these people survived.

It is possible to have been in a firefight and survived by pure luck. You may not have hit anybody with your weapon and they didn't hit you either. That doesn't make you a great firearms instructor.

You may have been in combat and engaged in a firefight, did everything right and performed in text book fashion. IMO, that one encounter doesn't make you an expert firearms instructor either in fact, in this example you had the skills before you actually proved it in combat.

You could go on and on with different senarios but IMO, I agree with the article.


Disclaimer: I am not a combat vet nor am I a firearms insturctor.
Link Posted: 4/20/2008 10:29:06 AM EST
I think many of you are focusing on the thead title and Mike Baum's headline. not the actual subject of the article.

It strikes me as clear that the article title is a red herring.

He sounds like a guy with a beef against his supervisor, who is trying to convince himself he is right, and using poor logic to do so.
Link Posted: 4/20/2008 11:12:22 AM EST
I am focusing on the question asked by the guy that posted the thread: Is Combat Experience Necessary to be an Effective Firearms Instructor?
Link Posted: 4/20/2008 12:45:19 PM EST

Originally Posted By 444:
I am focusing on the question asked by the guy that posted the thread: Is Combat Experience Necessary to be an Effective Firearms Instructor?


The guy who posted the thread posted the name of the article.

Aparently, GD isn't the only place where nobody reads the first post.

I think we can all agree that combat experience is not necessary to be a trainer. The deal is, that wasn't really the gist of the article, despite the author's attempt to spin it that way.

"He's just a reserve cop" does not - in any way - equate to "he's never seen combat."

Link Posted: 4/20/2008 12:46:04 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/20/2008 12:48:25 PM EST by Stukas87]
I am a instructor with 3 Iraq tours behind me, No you dont need combat experiance but it defitnelty does help.

There are a assload of ranges drills, techniques other stuff out there that kicks butt on the flat range but does not have much value in real life

example: 1 second reload with a pistol looks trick makes you look great but has a speed reload ever really been required?

tactical reload again trick, briefs well but very very counter instinctive in real life, typically you keep shooting at something until you see it react and not be a threat. Most times with pistol end up running it dry. How many poelpe do you know that after being in a real shooting say they fired twice but realy shot 8 or 9 times.

My two cents I shot at some guys with my rifle in Iraq, now on the flat range I can bust out a slick 5 round tight string, in real life I dont even remember seeing my EO tech
dot. I just remember looking thru the screen and another bad habit, I was trying to spot my hits as I shot as opposed to watching my sights.

With a experinced instructor they have true insight into what things do really work and what does not.

Flip side to that there are plenty of combat vets that cant teach to save there life,

One more thing experiance really only plays apart in certain training IE If I want to learn how to shoot 4 shots a second at any range Id call Todd Jerret. If I want to learn how to do CQB well then Id look for someone with real working knowledge.
Link Posted: 4/20/2008 3:03:54 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/20/2008 3:06:45 PM EST by 444]
One big issue with this question is: what is being taught.
Teaching someone to shoot doesn't nessessarily mean teaching someone to survive combat.
Sight alignment, sight picture, and trigger control are techniques for good shooting. They absolutely have a significant role in any type of shooting but don't require the skills of a combat vet to be taught. Now if you are teaching actual combat operations then obviously someone who has done it knows what is real world and what isn't.


On the subject of quick magazine changes: you may have never done a "1 second reload" in combat, but does that mean it isn't a useful technique ? Doing a rapid, smooth reload isn't something that only is useful on a shooting range ??? Again, I have never been in combat but I would bet everything I own that at some point, somewhere the ability to rapidly change magaines has either saved or cost someone their life.
Another different subject: the tactical reload. I think that many people don't understand what it actually is. The shooting has stopped. You don't think there is any immediate threat: so, you put a fresh mag in the gun. What is wrong with that ? Why is that a trick ?
Link Posted: 4/20/2008 3:24:18 PM EST
I should have been clearer,

1 second reloads / tac reloads
I am looking at it from a total combat perspective, obliously if you can reload fast and smooth you are way better off.
Tact reload IDPA point of view totally un-realistic Where is the fire fight over or lull in action? Yes if you killed every body fight over re-load, but in most range training you see people tac-reload when there are still targets to be shot there just out of view.

IDPA sceneario If I have targets on two ends of a wall why would I tac-reload between targets when they can both come and get me? Tac-reload fine motor skill / fine motor skill first thing to go under stress.

No one ever can clearly define fight over lull in action most of the time. Thats why in IDPA you see peolpe round dump over tac re-load, its just faster to slide lock re-load.

By all means being very fast and smooth in all weapon manipulations is great but again training to control what is instinctive in a fire fight is more important than some other things instructors harp on. Tac-reload practice when fight is over or highlight slidelock gun empty re-loads I am justing pointing out what I see as way more important.

Also you see a big trend now in Tactical handgun training of shooting then turning your gun or head vis versa some combination scanning your sector left and right looking behind you after every target engagement. It becomes a range drill people do it without seeing just going thru the motions. Again civilian world shooting 9 times out of 10 one attacker and most cases peopel get tunnel vision in a fight (I do) why not teach close the distance with the threat after you blasted it! Own the area.

I dont have all the answers but having actual combat experiance can help. For me it helps me prioritize the importance of some drills. Thats all I dont want to bash all over certain techniques.

And yes I cannot spell at all.
Link Posted: 4/20/2008 7:58:59 PM EST
Great post and great followup.

Also you see a big trend now in Tactical handgun training of shooting then turning your gun or head vis versa some combination scanning your sector left and right looking behind you after every target engagement. It becomes a range drill people do it without seeing just going thru the motions. Again civilian world shooting 9 times out of 10 one attacker and most cases peopel get tunnel vision in a fight (I do) why not teach close the distance with the threat after you blasted it! Own the area.

Stukas87 ... I cannot speak for why this has become a "trend", but the fact is that physiologically, the single most effective way to "break" tunnel vision IS to move your head from one quadrant to another, ie: "scan". Obviously, and I guess this was one of your points, it is better to really see and be aware peripherally, than to simply go through the motions. But simply moving your head DOES move your eyes and DOES help break that visual fixation during stress. I'd sure kinda like to see that #10 out of 10, also. No flame.

Stay safe
Link Posted: 4/20/2008 9:10:31 PM EST
I cannot think of a single field of study where the best practitioners were ever the best teachers, in fact history shows the opposite. Thus not only do you not have to have combat experience, you do not even need to be a master shooter.
Link Posted: 4/21/2008 11:30:14 AM EST
The subject becomes much clearer if one puts ego aside. My own opinion is that combat experience may or may not contribute to an instructors ability to impart information and teach technique. Whether such is the case depends upon the nature of the combat experience (whether it is pertinent to the specific skills being taught), and the makeup of the instructor. Some teachers take everything and anything they have experienced and relate it to their teaching job; using it to reach this or that student who is receptive to one approach but not another. Some teachers can't teach, so it does not matter what they have done in life, they cannot convey it.

I wrote an article on this topic that got published in SWAT. I was surprised at how well recieved it was among full-time, professional instructors. I got calls and e-mails from people I had never met before, and I found that very gratifying.

I was equally suprised at how defensive and hostile other were. On the 10-8 forum, "those in the know" (just ask them) actually shut off a thread discussing my article, because I had never been a policeman (true) had never been in a fight (not true) and therefore couldn't possilby know what I was talking about (unwarranted conclusion based upon false premises ... which is actually what the article was about in the first place).

The various reactions spoke volumes about those who were reacting.

The text of the article follows ----------------------------------------------------

[SWAT, April 2006]

When Jeff Cooper founded the American Pistol Institute/Gunsite Training Center, he standardized a method for teaching the uninitiated the skills necessary to competently fight with a gun. Since then, the art and profession of firearms training has become a small industry. Hundreds have set forth to make their mark in the field, giving rise to economic pressure and competition for both institutional and individual customers. Advertising and self-promotion have been the result. Instructors used to claim they invented techniques; now they invent entire vocabularies.

All this hype leaves both providers and consumers of training services with a problem. How do we sort out which claims and selling points have substance, in an industry which is not yet sufficiently mature to have developed standards by which one might predict who will perform effectively as an instructor?

There has been a lot of discussion about standards in the past five years or so, but so far there has been very little progress in articulating measures by which one might evaluate the value of either an instructor or the instruction he provides. Trainers who work in the industry know the most about the subject, but all organized efforts to obtain consensus in the matter have failed for a number of reasons. Chief among these are: (1) “glass house” syndrome (an unwritten rule within the industry that no instructor will publicly criticize the methods, background or results obtained by another, lest they themselves become the target of criticism); (2) self interest (which destroys objectivity); (3) industry politics (“standards are necessary, so long as it is me or my organization setting them”); (4) agency politics (“since we are the best, the way we do things here is, by definition, the standard”); (5) enormous egos (“since I am the best, the way I was trained must be, by definition, the standard”); and, ultimately, (6) the lack of any empirical verification of any standard.

This is a problem for those who wish to obtain competent training for themselves or those in their charge, and get their money’s worth. It is a problem for those trainers who are experienced and competent, but who lack the time, money or stomach for relentless self-promotion. It is also a problem for those devoted to the art and profession of firearms training, who see the field being diminished by those who sell the sizzle because they have no steak, or, in fairness, because those to whom they are trying to sell prefer the sizzle and have never seen a steak.

I do not have a solution, but I may have a place to start. As with the definitions of art and pornography, the definition of good firearms instruction is hard to pin down. We might begin the search for those elusive criteria by cutting away everything that does not look like one, and then examine what we have left.

There are some generally agreed upon truths about what is not relevant in predicting the quality of instruction a particular instructor may provide. The uselessness of these indicators of competence is often discussed in private by those in the industry, but are not generally acknowledged in public. This is because one or more of these false criteria will serve as a useful marketing tool for just about everyone. With so many people invested selling themselves with one or more of these points, the worthlessness of these putative indicators of competence becomes the white elephant in the room that nobody wants to mention.

For this reason, I anticipate including any of these on my list of non-predictive information will be controversial with somebody. So be it. At least we will be talking about the elephant.

Police Experience.

The notion that police, as a group, know anything more about shooting, fighting, or shooting while in a fight, is a myth. My guess (and it is a guess) is that about the same percentage of sworn officers know how to shoot well as members of the general public, and for the same reason: they were interested as individuals, and on their own sought training and gained experience. Very, very little of what the vast majority of police do has anything to do with shooting, and the great majority of police firearms training is perfunctory.

Police Firearms Instruction Experience.

Whether this is a plus or a minus will depend entirely upon the particular department and what it considers “instruction.” “Instructor” slots in many departments are handed out as political favors, or are regarded as a place to put an officer who is physically disabled or so incompetent the administration is afraid to put them on the street. In many departments (probably most) the “instructors” are there to run people through annual courses of fire for purposes of qualification, with little or no actual instruction involved.

Programs of instruction in police departments are also prescribed, and instructors are usually directed by higher authority to rigidly follow the set regimen. At the end of five years an instructor in such a program may say he taught 250 classes, when in fact he taught the same class 250 times. The depth of experience is not what it might appear to be.

Obviously, there are exceptions, some of whom are quite notable. Large police departments are good places for one who has an interest and a talent for the craft to develop as an instructor. Police departments sometimes provide a trainer with range time, ammunition, a steady stream of subjects, and access to lots of incident reports. But this is not the rule.

It would be faster and easier for an average Joe who lives six states away from a prospective trainer’s former department to learn a detailed history of that individual trainer than to discover the particulars of the department’s training program.

Military Experience.

The military has lots of people that do lots of things, most of those things being completely immaterial to the individual use of small arms. Of those military activities that do involve the use of small arms, 99 % of them are nothing like police work or individual personal defense. Conversely, military experience is valuable if one is in the military, or training to perform military functions.

Further, the rigidity of military courses of instruction is legendary. They strive for uniformity, which means following a set program unless and until the manual is changed. The manual, in turn, is designed to “teach to the lowest common denominator.” As with police programs, these factors discourage individual approaches to individual students’ problems, and limit the depth of experience realized by the instructor. Perhaps this is why every significant innovation in shooting technique, equipment or teaching methods in the past thirty years has come from the private sector.

There are a few units within military branches where the use of small arms is emphasized. If there was a lot of use of small arms in the prospective instructor’s service, his experience with gun handling, marksmanship and related mind set should carry through. However, as with the police “firearms instructor,” one would have to know details about his specific program to evaluate the worth of his experience. That information rarely available or, if available, rarely verifiable.

There is a definite market selling military-style training to civilians. Many who never served, or who served in one of the majority of specialties that did not involve the use of small arms, are willing to pay for a taste of something they were never personally exposed to. That is fine, so long as that process is not confused with teaching a beat officer or home owner what they should know if the kind of trouble indigenous to their actual circumstances ever finds them.

Having Survived a Gunfight.

The notion that one who has survived a gunfight brings something special to the process is advanced by many knowledgeable individuals, including Jeff Cooper. With all due respect to those individuals, I see two difficulties with this idea.

First, it seems to me that whatever perspective or element of understanding a person attains by fighting with another for his life is very personal. As such, it cannot readily be taught. It may be related to others at length, but its essence cannot be passed along through conversation. This would seem to limit its value as a teaching asset.

Second, and more important, there are numerous reasons one might survive a gun fight beside posting a competent response. Many have survived gun fights by the incompetence of their adversary, by luck, or because they were rescued. Others have been “involved” in a gun fight to the extent they joined a dozen other police officers in kacking off rounds in the general direction of a goblin, and missed. There are many who became involved in an armed confrontation through incompetent handling of a matter before it came to a fight, and then had to be bailed out by others. These individuals would seem to hold nothing special as an instructor.

I submit that before one should credit participation in a gun fight as something to commend an instructor, he should want to know a lot of the specifics regarding how and why the fight got started, what the individual’s specific role was, and how the instructor acquitted himself. This information is virtually never available, at least not in reliable form.

Having Survived Several Gunfights.

We may be getting closer, but even this does not tell us what we need to know. The key bit of information here is why one guy is in so many gunfights. It might be the nature of the job; or it might be this guy is testosterone-poisoned and gets himself into jams through incompetent handling of situations before they escalate into an armed confrontation.

“Been There – Done That”

This vapid phrase epitomizes what is wrong with all of the pitches on the “useless criterion” list: it has macho, emotional appeal, but lacks any information content. Been where, done what, and what does that have to do with preparing me to solve my problem?

Any of these types of experience might possibly be pertinent to the question whether an individual is a good instructor. But one would have to know so much more to make any of these claimed experiences meaningful that it is hardly worth the effort. Conversely, I know several top-notch, highly competent, nationally known instructors whose pre-instruction careers included no police or military experience or gun-fights. These include a lawyer, a journalist, and jazz musician turned Tae Kwon Do instructor.

One does not need to rely upon stereotypes to determine whether a trainer is likely to be right for him. I have collected what I believe are much better suggestions directly from some of the “grey heads” who have been in the firearms training industry for decades. I will share their ideas here in a future issue.

Link Posted: 4/21/2008 12:36:39 PM EST
I remember reading that article the 1st time good read.
Link Posted: 4/22/2008 1:17:16 AM EST
What was Jeff Cooper's combat experience?

Link Posted: 4/22/2008 1:37:42 AM EST

Originally Posted By Stukas87:
1 second reloads / tac reloads
I am looking at it from a total combat perspective, obliously if you can reload fast and smooth you are way better off.
Tact reload IDPA point of view totally un-realistic Where is the fire fight over or lull in action? Yes if you killed every body fight over re-load, but in most range training you see people tac-reload when there are still targets to be shot there just out of view.

IDPA sceneario If I have targets on two ends of a wall why would I tac-reload between targets when they can both come and get me? Tac-reload fine motor skill / fine motor skill first thing to go under stress.

No one ever can clearly define fight over lull in action most of the time. Thats why in IDPA you see peolpe round dump over tac re-load, its just faster to slide lock re-load.



I'd never confuse what is done in IDPA mathces with what is and isnt viable on the non-square range. We have had several officer involved shootings where the officers topped off after exchanging rounds with suspects and then had to re-engage them. As far as I am concerned, the tac load is more than a viable technique and I teach it across all platforms.



why not teach close the distance with the threat after you blasted it! Own the area.


Because you (the solo shooter) will typically be lacking friends,body armor, and luck. A LOT of attacks feature more than one suspect and often these additional suspects are armed. If you shoot one suspect to the ground, it is foolish to move forward on him while other suspects may be around.

I would also venture it is foolish to advance on a threat, when you have the oppertunity to move to a position of cover, when you lack armor. As you close the gap, the suspect's hit probaility greatly increases. Sure he has already been hit (according to your scenerio) however he only needs to get off one lucky shot to drop you dead in your tracks or a less than lucky shot (for him) that lands you in the hospital.

Another thing you need to consider is this. If you do close the gap with the suspect; do you have the skill and ability to win a hand to hand fight should one occur?

Ultimately you need to remember that distance is your friend in a gun fight.
Link Posted: 4/22/2008 1:51:28 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/22/2008 1:59:02 AM EST by 444]

Originally Posted By juan223:
What was Jeff Cooper's combat experience?



Marine Corps. Officer
WWII, Korea
Link Posted: 4/22/2008 2:10:40 AM EST

Marine Corps. Officer
WWII, Korea



Thanks, I am well aware of that and respect him and all who serve and have served.

But did Jeff Cooper participate in gunfights?

I have asked this question before and was told he was a arty support officer based on a battleship.

If he did not participate in close ground combat does that make him any less of an authority on small arms than he is considered to be?

I am basically plaing devils advocate here....

Link Posted: 4/22/2008 4:31:05 AM EST
Teaching ability and doing ability are not the same.

I know some military veterens and street cops who are terrible instructors.

I know a great trainer who was an Air Wing MP who never left Conus.


Look at those who coach olympic athletes. They are not all olympians themselves. But they can effectively train others to be.
Link Posted: 4/22/2008 4:38:21 AM EST

Originally Posted By juan223:
What was Jeff Cooper's combat experience?



Shot one japanese soldier with a handgun out of a tree.
Link Posted: 4/22/2008 7:00:40 AM EST
Link Posted: 4/22/2008 10:32:05 AM EST
PeteG, I don't remember that article when it came out, but in lieu fo the recent "vetting" issue of some other instructors, I think it is very current and a good read. Thanks for the refresher.


Originally Posted By Stukas87:
I am a instructor with 3 Iraq tours behind me, No you dont need combat experiance but it defitnelty does help.

There are a assload of ranges drills, techniques other stuff out there that kicks butt on the flat range but does not have much value in real life

example: 1 second reload with a pistol looks trick makes you look great but has a speed reload ever really been required?

tactical reload again trick, briefs well but very very counter instinctive in real life, typically you keep shooting at something until you see it react and not be a threat. Most times with pistol end up running it dry. How many poelpe do you know that after being in a real shooting say they fired twice but realy shot 8 or 9 times.




First, let me say thanks for your service and welcome back home!

I do not want to try to bust your balls, here, but you are in essence saying the opposite thing here in your post. First you say speed reloads are not required. Then, you say when the SHTF, you will shoot to slide lock and that Tac loads are counter-intuitive. Wouldn't this be a good time for a speed load? Wouldn't Tac loading during a lull make for fewer speed reloads?

I know this is not the topic of this thread, but since you brought it up as an instructor with combat experience, I thought you may wish to clarify.

Again, thanks for your service, sir!
Link Posted: 4/22/2008 10:42:13 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/22/2008 10:44:59 AM EST by PeteG]

Originally Posted By juan223:

Marine Corps. Officer
WWII, Korea



Thanks, I am well aware of that and respect him and all who serve and have served.

But did Jeff Cooper participate in gunfights?

I have asked this question before and was told he was a arty support officer based on a battleship.

If he did not participate in close ground combat does that make him any less of an authority on small arms than he is considered to be?

I am basically plaing devils advocate here....



The answer is no, he was not engaged in personal combat. The ship he was on, the USS Pennsylvania, was involved in various actions during WW-II, so he was "in combat" in that sense.

He was, however, employed in various capacities as a contractor in South America, in situations where gunfights were a constant possibility. I do not know if he found himself in any, and it would be unlikely he would have told anyone about those except those to whom he reported officially and, perhaps, some close friends.

I think the point is well taken, however. Col. Cooper was an authority on the subject of personal defense with firearms, irrespective whether he was in any gunfights while a Marine officer. Was his perspective informed by his experiences as a Marine officer? Of course it was; I fail to see how it could have been otherwise.

Does that mean one must have been a Marine officer to be a good firearms instructor?
I can say for certain it does not, for I know first-rate, top-shelf instructors who were never Marine officers.

And I can say the same thing about first-rate, top-shelf instructors who were never in a gun fight. And the same thing about some who were.

So where does that leave us?
Link Posted: 4/22/2008 1:14:56 PM EST

So where does that leave us?


That "combat experience" does not necessarily matter when it comes to competent instruction. Some folks feel the need to only seek instruction from those that they feel have "combat experience". I go to class to learn, If I want to hear war stories I will turn on the history channel.
Link Posted: 4/22/2008 5:46:59 PM EST
When talking about the speed reload /slidelock reload I look at it as more important than a tactical reload, I was just commenting on how often has it really been used. Military side of the house I dont know anyone, now if we asked abunch of Policemen well then maybe you would get a totally different answer since a pistol most of the time is their primary.
As others have said I guess it all depends on not just what you are teaching but also who you are teaching.
My combat experiance might play against a certain audiance say if it was Cops they have a totally different set of rules they have to follow as far as escalation of force.
Link Posted: 4/22/2008 6:31:06 PM EST
I don't think it's necessary. How would you get that kind of experience in peace-time to begin with?

I have been a Use of Force Instructor (I just love fancy words...) for more than ten years. I've published articles, been cited in books, taught classes at international conferences, and provided training to hundreds of military and LE personnel over the years. I'm not a cop. Never been in the military. I am, though, very good at what I do - which is to teach people how (and how not) to use force on every level. I'm very passionate about it, and a lot of my free time goes into it. I'm not 'bad-ass' and I don't pretend to be. I'm just good at it, that's all.

I've had at least two dozen people come back to me and say, "The specific training you gave me saved my life."

When I applied to the NRA Law Enforcement Instructor Development School recently, I was told, "Without the experience of being a law enforcement officer, you cannot properly instruct a law enforcement officer..."

In subsequent communications, I was told that my training could not be credible because I was not a cop.

That was suprising news to a number of the people who keep coming back to me again and again for training.

Shane
Link Posted: 4/22/2008 6:46:02 PM EST

Originally Posted By PeteG:

I was equally suprised at how defensive and hostile other were. On the 10-8 forum, "those in the know" (just ask them) actually shut off a thread discussing my article, because I had never been a policeman (true) had never been in a fight (not true) and therefore couldn't possilby know what I was talking about (unwarranted conclusion based upon false premises ... which is actually what the article was about in the first place).



First, the reaction quoted above doesn't surprise me at all given the venue and the persons involved. Tolerance and an open mind are not qualities demonstrated in abundance in certain circles, and that place is a prime example. When you have too many sacred oxen roaming around, it's tough not to gore one if you deviate from the group mind's dogma.

Your article was excellent the first time around, and I'm glad you reproduced it here for us we we could all read it again. When I hear someone dismiss an instructor because they have never been in combat/military or they have never been a cop, I think of the examples given by the coaches in the NBA and major college basketball programs. Some of those guys couldn't make a basket or run the length of the court once without getting winded, but they are clearly adept at teaching and exacting maximum performance from their athletes.
Link Posted: 4/22/2008 6:50:11 PM EST

, I was told that my training could not be credible because I was not a cop.


I bet it is current or ex LEO instructors that set those "standards" Job protectionism at it's bet.

BTW who was teaching US Army infantry tactics or at USMC SOI inbetween Vietnam and Desert Storm?

Nothing but BTDT Vietnam vets? Or competent instructors that have been taught by their respective service branches on lessons learned throughtout our nations history?
Link Posted: 4/22/2008 7:02:51 PM EST

I bet it is current or ex LEO instructors that set those "standards" Job protectionism at it's bet.


That's definitely part of it. I was kind of suprised that the NRA would play 'us vs. them', but I shouldn't have been.


BTW who was teaching US Army infantry tactics or at USMC SOI inbetween Vietnam and Desert Storm?

Nothing but BTDT Vietnam vets? Or competent instructors that have been taught by their respective service branches on lessons learned throughtout our nations history?


Most of the people who developed the modern methods weren't combat vets either...

Another thing the good NRA folks accused me of was trying to 'get into' LE training to make money. I had to laugh at that because I make a lot more money on the civillian end.

That's another thing that nobody seems to really notice is that most of the innovations in firearm instruction happen on the civillian end of the pool, and it takes 10 years for LEOs to catch up...

Shane
Link Posted: 4/22/2008 7:32:00 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/22/2008 7:38:42 PM EST by Stukas87]
Alot of good points here is one more to add
Up until 911 all Army CQB was based on Somalia, so for 10years or so it was the same old thing. To break out of that box some started to see what SWAT teams were doing. Realistically The Army trains there ass off in CQB but again the only real peolpe that were doing actual room takedowns underfire were cops. I would say for a time SWAT teams had the lead in CQB, but now since 911 I firmly beleave the military has evolved again to the forfront of CQB based on our Iraq experiance.
LA SWAT one of the best in the world with FBI HRT in hostge rescue but put them in Iraq where its a 360 battle they would get there asses shot off.
Experiance plays a part again in what you are teaching. If you are trying to learn to bust out 4 shots a second with a pistol at various targets well you need a IPSC Master who cares if he has been in combat, but I would say that IPSC master class instructor would be crossing the line if he then goes into pistol in a shoothouse combat techniques.
You would not hire a broke stock broker to manage you money so in the instance of getting a instructor to train you in say CQB wouldnt you want one who has done it in real life?
Finally before I get blasted as being labled as "you must have experance" guy!
I will say this I have been to MidSouth twice the lead instructor there who has never spent a day in combat in his life but can shoot like a madman I lcan say I earned a huge amount about shooting from!

ShaneS too bad about the NRA that was kinda lousey of them
Link Posted: 4/22/2008 8:07:24 PM EST

Originally Posted By Stukas87:

LA SWAT one of the best in the world with FBI HRT in hostge rescue but put them in Iraq where its a 360 battle they would get there asses shot off.



How is clearing a structure in Iraq different than doing one state side?
Link Posted: 4/22/2008 8:31:07 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/22/2008 8:33:36 PM EST by Stukas87]
Its all about the external threats, police have the luxury of having a cordoned off secure area to stage from. Ushually a safe infil / egress route and except for the LA bank robbery ushually not too many AK weilding threats to deal with at anyone time.
Now look at Iraq Baghdad you end up shooting your way in on the OBJ and on the way out. RPG's IED's suicide vest wearing bad guys.
In iraq your target could be a 2 story house with 5 bad guys in it, soon as you show up to hit it 25 or so militants decided to join the party all around you!
Link Posted: 4/22/2008 8:46:37 PM EST
I want to learn from a good teacher, of course when it comes to skills I also want to learn from someone that has experience. Whether that be mountain climbing, performance driving, or combat (armed or unarmed) any skill that will be used in dangerous situations and especially in competition with other humans, experience is as important as teaching ability.

I have learned from experienced people who could not teach. In many cases some of the most insightful and important things I have learned are from these people, but it usually took me asking the right questions to get the information, and it was rare gems not a curriculum.

I have been taught by very good teachers that had no experience. In which case I learned much, much more, but much of what I learned was of limited to no value in real situations or was presented without the context to make it valuable.

Of course Gold medal athletes are not taught by former gold medal athletes. They are taught by gold medal coaches.

It depends on the subject and the level of the subject. It also depends on the totality of the instructor, his abilities, and his knowledge.

The best I have had was the rare great teacher with tons of experience. My normal favorite is a guy with enough experience who can really teach.
Link Posted: 4/22/2008 9:17:55 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/22/2008 9:18:39 PM EST by NCPatrolAR]

Originally Posted By Stukas87:
Its all about the external threats, police have the luxury of having a cordoned off secure area to stage from. Ushually a safe infil / egress route and except for the LA bank robbery ushually not too many AK weilding threats to deal with at anyone time.
Now look at Iraq Baghdad you end up shooting your way in on the OBJ and on the way out. RPG's IED's suicide vest wearing bad guys.
In iraq your target could be a 2 story house with 5 bad guys in it, soon as you show up to hit it 25 or so militants decided to join the party all around you!


That makes a little more sense. I thought you were reffering to the actual structure clear itself.

However, even police have to deal with external threats while during structure clears. This is why you have the ntry element along with the perimeter forces.
Link Posted: 4/22/2008 9:42:03 PM EST
From what I have only seen on police / SWAT shows looks like there is a ton of shield work and slow "soft clears". Columbine should have been way more dynamic.
Link Posted: 4/22/2008 9:51:54 PM EST

Originally Posted By Stukas87:
From what I have only seen on police / SWAT shows looks like there is a ton of shield work and slow "soft clears". Columbine should have been way more dynamic.


God; dont go off those shows. Slow & deliberate clears do occur, but they are often the exception rather than the norm. When we hit a structure we will typically own it in a matter of seconds. I've sat around comparing methods with guys from Group and the teams and we do a lot of things in very similar fashions.
Link Posted: 4/23/2008 9:51:54 AM EST
Right on!
Link Posted: 4/23/2008 11:49:20 AM EST

Originally Posted By Stukas87:
When talking about the speed reload /slidelock reload I look at it as more important than a tactical reload, I was just commenting on how often has it really been used. Military side of the house I dont know anyone, now if we asked abunch of Policemen well then maybe you would get a totally different answer since a pistol most of the time is their primary.
As others have said I guess it all depends on not just what you are teaching but also who you are teaching.
My combat experiance might play against a certain audiance say if it was Cops they have a totally different set of rules they have to follow as far as escalation of force.


Thanks for the clarification!
Link Posted: 4/23/2008 4:26:08 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/23/2008 4:36:41 PM EST by PeteG]

Originally Posted By ShaneS:
When I applied to the NRA Law Enforcement Instructor Development School recently, I was told, "Without the experience of being a law enforcement officer, you cannot properly instruct a law enforcement officer..."

In subsequent communications, I was told that my training could not be credible because I was not a cop.


Which is astounding, in light of the very inconsistent quality of NRA instructors.

I was at an IALEFI course about a year ago, and there were about 4 NRA instructors there. I could tell who they were, because they had "instructor" written on thier clothing in no fewer than seven places. I counted.

One in particular tried to impress the company assembled with how fast she could shoot.

I have, however, found it true that it is difficult to have crediblity with police officers if they do not know you, and you are not a police officer. Like anything else, it will vary from individual to individual, but many police simply do not credit anything a non-officer has to say about their job. I find I have to be careful how I approach them on a subject.

Letting them get away with some lawyer jokes helps.

Link Posted: 4/24/2008 9:07:00 PM EST
This is the first time on AR15.com during a thread discussion that I can say was (1). this was a great topic, (2). the first time I didnt get out right blasted for my views and it what nice to have a good debate with opposing views and mature responses, After my last few efforts on different threads I was starting to loose hope for this website I just wanna say thanks guys it should be more like this!
Link Posted: 4/24/2008 9:47:46 PM EST
If you keep away from General Discussion, things can get quite civil!!!
Link Posted: 4/25/2008 7:55:43 AM EST
Link Posted: 4/25/2008 8:30:52 AM EST
It all depends on what you instruct. I have no military service and no combat experience. I am a CCDW instructor here in KY and have taught military and non-military students. I have learned alot from both and hopefully taught alot to both.
One thing I have seen is the stance soldiers use us is not the stance I use with a long gun. I discovered this when a guy I shoot with was going to deploy as the breacher for his squad, platoon , whatever. He wasn't well versed in using a shotgun and I went over some things with him, rounds, reloading, stuff he knew existed but had never been shown. I noticed his chest towards target stance and asked why use that, it makes you a bigger target. He said body armor he wore protects best when hit straight on and that's why. Had he not explained it I would have never known.
I have noticed alot of military CCDW students don't know the first thing about concealing a gun and have alot of questions about holsters.

I feel confident I am teaching all my students a legal, safe and effective means to defend themselves in most situations they may encounter on the street. I will let other instructors teach them things I have no business teaching, like small unit tactics and such.
Link Posted: 4/25/2008 3:11:53 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/25/2008 3:14:54 PM EST by Stukas87]
Even without body Amour I would engage straight on why, I would rather be shot in one lung as opposed thru two in a bladed stance.
Link Posted: 4/30/2008 10:08:34 PM EST
I agree completely! There are some instructors who can really teach you how to shoot effectively and help fine tune your fundamentals to tack driving accuracy, but that is not going to help you in small unit tactics, dignitary protection, etc where specialized skill sets and fluid human relationships are required and experience in these areas definitly helps.

I wouldnt seek help from Todd Jaret on small unit tactics and breaching if I could get Paul Howe to teach me, but conversely I wouldn't be begging Paul Howe to teach me speed shooting if Todd Jaret was off that day and had some extra time. I am sure both are tier 1 guys in their respective disciplines.

The funny thing is I never figured this out (even as a patrol officer/leo) until I moved into a more advanced LEO job/agency that relied on both disciplines equally.

For what it is worth, and I am an LEO (as if it matters), I want the best training in each discipline I can get, regardless of prior service, etc, as other above posts have stated... some operationally sound guys just cant teach, and some of the best instructors I have had in general weapon handling and speed have been competition shooters/gun gamers and NOT LEOs. As a matter of fact, I can recall on numerous occasions where my nonLEO friends are kicking my LEO buddies asses all over the range in speed and accuracy!

Sorry for the redundancy, but this is an excellent thread! Very insiteful, I am sharingthis with the guys at work. Alos, please forgive the spelling....

-GD
Link Posted: 5/1/2008 2:31:33 PM EST
Tagging this most excellent thread.
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