WeaponsMan: When Stopping On Patrol


More important instruction.

This material will be on the final exam.

Count on it.

11 responses to “WeaponsMan: When Stopping On Patrol

  1. Printed it

  2. just read it. I thought the part about hooking back to a PB so as to put your own trail under ambush/observation was pretty good. I’ll remember that. Just in case

  3. SemperFi, 0321

    I served as a S-2 Scout (3rdMarDiv 1973-4) and Recon Marine (2ndMarDiv 1974-6) just after the last USMC units had left VN. Most of my NCO’s were VN vets, and already we were missing out on some of the best training we could have gotten. The best Recon Marines I knew were SNCO’s and didn’t go out in the field with us, so we missed out on those little things they could have passed on, like setting up RON and employing claymores at that site, and sterilizing site when leaving.
    When I went to Counter-Guerrilla Warfare School at Ft. Bragg in 1976 (5th and 7th SFG), several of the senior SNCO’s were former SOG operators, and even though we got great classroom training from them, our field NCO’s were also non-combat vets like us. No matter what, peacetime training does not have the fear factor and learning curve that combat imposes on you, right Sean?
    I spent yrs reading books on Recon, LRRPs and SOG in VN, and from those books picked up many small things that even I never learned in the field. (John Plaster has several good books, I’ve met a few of his characters and 1 of his chopper pilots lives a block from me) B-52 tips were given to us by 1stSFG in Okinawa and I still have a copy. Learn them!
    In this day and age of desert warfare, many of us would do well to go back and study the tactics of the jungle wars, since a good part of the US is thickly wooded and the current desert tactics don’t apply across the nation equally. All my desert training was done on an M-60A1 tank in the early 80’s. Different picture, different game.

    • Salute

    • SemperFI 0321, I was right next to Onslow Beach in Lejeune
      for a few months in 77. We used to call it “BootHouse Bay” 🙂
      Got a choice of next duty station after getting 1st in school, so
      volunteered and shaved my head and went to Okinawa, in one
      of those Flying Tiger airlines.
      Have a cousin which I visited a few times in Bragg. After Jungle
      training in Panama, he kinda disappeared and ended up being
      Delta as time passed.

      • SemperFi, 0321

        Courthouse Bay was Amtracs, right up the Intercoastal Waterway from Onslow Beach. We paddled our IBS’s that way a lot.
        Amtracs were also at Camp Schwab, Oki, where I had just come from with 1/9.

        • Correctomundo… Combat Engineer School too (boothouse bay:)
          Paddled, but in a canoe with a Navajo (long distant runner too) by
          the Special Services area 🙂
          Heck! No wonder! Camp Hansen was next to Schwab. KinVille is where
          the JP’s confiscated and quarrantined AmTrack Amy!
          Tell you what, Oki was heavy duty in training. Good floats too. Good

  4. Alfred E. Neuman

    Reblogged this on ETC., ETC., & ETC..

  5. Brings back lots of 1990s teaching memories (and of my class in 1988) at Camp Darby; not uncommon for an RI (who is on the “podium”) to talk, demonstrate, field questions (and smoke their asses for dozing off) for 16 hours; during what was referred-to back then as lesson 13 day 1.

    The Battle Space is a fluid environment; occupation of patrol bases “By Force” happens more often than some planners and instructors may think, want to admit, or want to believe…..shit happens; if a leader finds his unit to be on a suitable site, go with it!

    Three other notes about “when stopping on patrol”; think outside the box and consider actions at halts during a mounted patrol.

    1. When stopped, get them off their asses and out of their vehicles any time the terrain and situation allows. People sitting in a stopped vehicle can be sitting ducks. Unless you are sitting in a taxpayer-funded quarter-million dollar urban hard car with a mounted Mark 19th or 25MM chain gun, your thin-skinned vehicles are death traps.

    2. When mounted and approaching a patrol base, a supply point, an objective rally point, or a danger area (such as a ford), etc., get a couple scout runners out front (and on foot), and successive bound to or through the area(s).

    3. Turn the engines off and coast when ever possible.

    • SemperFi, 0321

      Good points.
      One of the hardest things to teach anyone is situational awareness, some of us are born with it, and others will never learn it, even with the use of a sledgehammer applied to the brain housing group.
      Until someone has had the shit scared out of them and you finally have their full undivided attention, they will dittybop thru an area without doing a detailed scan of threat zones, they will sit down in full view of possible enemy spotters, they will leave trash laying around, and today, be distracted by their electronic toys. Lack of self discipline is probably one of their greatest obstacles today. People have a natural lazy factor built in, they will fuck off at the first opportunity, at anything they do. As a team leader, you will have to screen your people, and shitcan anyone whom you can’t trust with your life.
      A team must work as a cohesive unit depending on each other for every breath they take, and that takes months of tight knit training together. I spent weeks with guys on subs and cold weather training, we didn’t start working well together until AmphibRecon, where we were bobbing around a mile offshore in the Atlantic Ocean at 3am. Pitch dark and shark attacks somehow get your attention in the right direction quickly. After that we learned we needed each other for survival, and the learning curve grew fast. We were becoming a team that knew exactly what each man would and could do.
      Until the curtain falls, I don’t think folks will take anything serious except their own ego driven lives. Everything is still a game to them, until the first person gets hurt.

      • MichiganderJim

        “hardest things to teach anyone is situational awareness”

        That’s cuz it’s akin to thinking. I doubt it’s genetic though. Most people do what they’re taught. Some end up thinking like that and some don’t. Always seemed kinda basic to me, but then I’m from Detroit too. And a natural egoist to boot…survival matters.