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Thread: Lessons Learned In Combat

  1. #11
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    Paul I do agree that the current training (or at least when I did it) isn't all that great for work ups for deployments. Good to see that your still pulling triggers. Take care and Semper Fi
    "There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion." Gen. William Thornson, U.S. Army

  2. #12
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    Thanks for sharing your story and great AAR for TTPs.

    The Army has modified their marksmanship program in an attempt to simulate a battlefield. Getting Soldiers in Basic Training to shoot on the move and do mag changes while on the move and finding cover, but unfortunately, it's a day late and a dollar short. IMHO, all of the services should send some folks to a couple of these civilian courses taught by some former Tier 1 folks and adopt what they learned and apply to Basic Training and Boot camp. I wonder how many other combatants have suffered or will suffer in the future due to a lack of practical gun fighting skills.
    For God and the soldier we adore, In time of danger, not before! The danger passed, and all things righted, God is forgotten and the soldier slighted." - Rudyard Kipling

  3. #13
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    Thank you so much. This will be shared with some cadets that will be shooting the 3 gun at River Bend next weekend.

    This thread could go a lot of directions. There are some major TTP issues raised so I have a question about one and if it's judged to not belong here my apologies in advance.

    Scenario is not exactly Pauls but one that might include training in use of the dump pouch.

    Why the training emphasis on the tactical reload with immediately placing the magazine in the dump pouch vs letting it hit the ground and get back to condition 1 (or full capacity) asap - then if safe to do so, pick it up and put it in the dump pouch? I understand the need to retain magazines in the military/combat environment. But surely that's not priority 1. (?)

    This sounds to me a little like that Newhall incident that LE learned so much from about conditioning to save the brass. (CHP shootout long ago).
    "Whatever it's for; it wasn't possible until now!!!" - KrampusArms

  4. #14
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    That's getting saved, printed and read by every leader in my company.

  5. #15
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    Best post in years.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by JHC View Post
    Why the training emphasis on the tactical reload with immediately placing the magazine in the dump pouch vs letting it hit the ground and get back to condition 1 (or full capacity) asap - then if safe to do so, pick it up and put it in the dump pouch? I understand the need to retain magazines in the military/combat environment. But surely that's not priority 1. (?)

    This sounds to me a little like that Newhall incident that LE learned so much from about conditioning to save the brass. (CHP shootout long ago).
    Well this whole dump-pouch thing is all new to me. I think it's a great option if your gear setup and situation allows you to wear it.

    I see what you're saying about letting the mag drop on the deck and picking it up vs tossing it in the dump pouch during a tactical reload. But if you did that, it would then be a speed reload, and nothing more. The only time you would perform a true "tactical" reload is during a lull in the fight, if you have the spare time and you're not engaging the enemy or being engaged by the enemy. If you are still in the fight and your weapon runs dry, or you are keeping a really good round count and you know your magazine is almost spent, you would do a speed reload and just let the magazine drop on the deck and insert another one. But there's really so many different situations and scenarios that would call for them to be handled differently on the fly. Like everything else, our particular situation at the time dictates your actions and responses.

    For example:

    Say you are in the middle of clearing a house full of scum bags in the Battle of Fallujah, and your weapon runs dry while you and your boys are engaging the enemy and the enemy is engaging you. You would just drop your empty mag out of your weapon (hopefully behind decent cover and with your mates covering you with plenty of 5.56 from their rifles), let that bitch land wherever the ****, and then insert a fresh mag and get up and running again. That would be an example of a speed reload and also when NOT to retain your magazine. However, once you cleared the house of bad guys, you could return to the spot you dropped your mag and pick it back up if you felt you had time and safety on your side.

    Now say you just cleared a house full of bad guys (i.e. killed every last one of them), and you were now about to move on to the next house and do it all over again. Since you're now in relative safety, and the immediate threats are now taken care of and then some, you would perform a tactical reload and stow the partial mag in your dump pouch/cargo pocket/gas mask bag or wherever else you have free space other than your ammo pouches that contain fresh, full magazines.

    And, of course, you would need to ensure that you didn't mix partial mags with empty mags in the dump pouch either.

    I think that while in training, this really needs to be emphasized though. The leadership needs to make damn sure that their Marines/Soldiers know when and when not to retain empty and partial mags during combat. This was where one of my training scars developed.

    It was driven into my head ever since boot camp that you do NOT by any means lose your gear. After a while I feared losing my gear as much as I feared pissing off my company Gunnery Sergeant! That shit always stuck with me. Whenever we were training out in the field, we were expected to never lose anything, regardless of our training environment or any other factors. My entire company of Marines once had to stay several hours after liberty had started for the rest of the battalion and walk on line in a large field searching for one dude's bayonet. We didn't stop searching until we finally found it, then we could leave to go out.

    Who cares about a $15 bayonet or magazine? A disposable magazine at that?!

    The way training should be conducted is whenever you're training you should act as if your life is on the line in combat. So if you perform a speed reload in tall grass out in the middle of a big field at Camp Pendleton, CA, drop that mag on the deck and keep going! Don't retain it just because you're afraid of losing gear and could get thrashed or written up or even NJP'd by your superiors. I mean, sure you should genuinely attempt to look for that magazine after the training op is over, but if you don't find it, so what? At least you didn't retain it so that you didn't lose it out of fear of being punished harshly, which in combat in Iraq could very likely lead to you retaining it in the middle of a firefight when you should just drop the damn cheap piece of aluminum on the deck.

    No one in the military has any problem when fighter pilots in training drop hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of dollars or ordnance during a weeklong training operation. But God forbid the jarhead grunts on the ground lose one of their "high-dollar" aluminum GI mag (which should be PMAGs by now too... just sayin'). The high-level leadership within our govt and military all say that the reason we are investing Billions of dollars into Unmanned Aerial/Ground/Sea Vehicle Programs is simply in order to save the lives of the grunts and other personnel on the ground... why not invest just a few million in something as basic as magazines for grunts on the ground so that they don't have to worry about getting their asses chewed out if they lose couple during training (which could in turn save their lives in combat)?

    BTW I'm not trying to assume what your level of knowledge is concerning reloads and dump pouches by any means, and I apologize in advance if I came off like I was assuming anything about you, because I'm not. I'm pretty sure I understood and answered your questions (and then some), but I could've misunderstood them too I guess. Also my apologies for ranting on a bit by the end

    -Paul

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by RetreatHell View Post
    snip
    Also my apologies for ranting on a bit by the end

    -Paul
    Dude, I think you're entitled to a little ranting.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by RetreatHell View Post
    It was driven into my head ever since boot camp that you do NOT by any means lose your gear. After a while I feared losing my gear as much as I feared pissing off my company Gunnery Sergeant! That shit always stuck with me.
    Unfortunately that's a common story. Stuff done for the sake of administrative purposes has a way of biting good guys in the ass in a gunfight.

    Also my apologies for ranting on a bit by the end
    Rant away, my friend. You've earned the right.

    Your situation demonstrates clearly that weapon manipulations matter. They may not change the course of a war, but they can make a big difference in the individual situation of a single ground pounder caught in the suck. There is, after all, no guarantee in combat that you'll be backed up by a squad of your buddies should you encounter a nasty problem.

    In various forum discussions about the best way to do X or Y I often hear people say that it doesn't matter. Your unfortunate situation shows that it does matter and that all those "little things" that top level trainers teach can make a world of difference, even if it's just in one guy's life. Your story serves as a wakeup call in that regard...one that hopefully lots of others will heed.

  9. #19
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    Thank you for your service and posting a great read.

  10. #20
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    Enjoyed it. Fantastic information. Thanks for your shooting dedication and service bud.

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