The U.S. RSOG S.E.R.E training course was created as a 3 - 7 day course that takes an individual from basic to advanced wilderness adaptation skills, then to basic through advanced combat handgunning and on to close quarterís combatives. The longer the course the longer the field exercises, which include evasion and rescue scenarios. The shorter three-day blocks of instruction are based on the mastery of basic skills without the evasion scenarios. The word mastery is used to describe the studentís absorption of the skills that are taught to him/her. U.S. RSOG cadre believe that if a student leaves without mastering the basic skills that it takes to save a soldiers life, then it is the instructors fault.
There isnít any class room instruction during the duration of the U.S. RSOG training courses. All training is conducted in the field. We donít "put out information" so that a student can take back a "general working knowledge." Our cadre train individuals so that they can replicate that task right then and there. No one leaves our classes saying, "they showed me how to do something." They leave our classes saying "I know how and have real experience doing that task." Or more commonly know as "been there, seen it, done it." Until that student creates a spark with a bow drill or catches his/her first fish, he/she has no practical experience and all that information thrown at him/her is just hearsay. Infusing adaptation skills into an individualís mindset, so that he/she can operate unassisted is paramount to his/her survival. The following skills and tasks are the main part to the adaptation curriculum:
- The knowledge of natural insulation and its importance to the well being of the survivor.
- How to construct a shelter for any given environment and fend off death from exposure.
- The ability to produce fire from primitive as well as man-made devices in all weather conditions.
- How to trap game for real! Using both primitive and man-made devices.
- The collection and purification of water from many different sources.
- The use of many different fishing techniques.
- How to create improvised cordage.
- Improvising a cutting edge and other primitive tools to enable the survivor to complete many critical tasks.
- Conditioning the survivor to become preparedness minded and properly equipped at all times.
- Techniques dealing with evading enemy forces and aiding SAR operations.
- Developing adaptation skills and other useful bushcraft.
A great emphasis is placed on the practical employment of a sidearm. A soldier armed only with a pistol is usually intimidated by multiple assault rifle toting pursuers. It is a natural felling, especially when that soldier finds him/herself alone against the world. Knowing how to fire every shot in the ten ring (target reference) doesnít give an individual the edge over enemy pursuers. Being alone with a rifle doesnít even out the odds. To give that evader a fighting tactical and psychological chance, realistic training has to come from somewhere. Very few military units get pass the shoulder to shoulder military style ranges. Itís almost unheard of for a soldier to be able to engage targets for the top of a tree or while crawling through a ditch culvert. Training on a 360 degree shooting arena is another advanced training platform the U.S. RSOG use to better train the student. Our instructors stress ambidextrous gun handling skills that are missed at most ranges.
A student should expect to leave our cadres classes with the mindset that they are well on their way to becoming "professional gunmen." With skills such as shooting accurately while moving, performing smooth moving magazine changes, making consistent 50 yard shots on multiple targets (thatís 50 yards not 50 feet), firing accurately with either hand in any position imaginable, and the list goes on. Combat handgunning takes a lot out of the students because so many new skills are thrown at them at on time. It's as much a mental game as a physical one. Just the very important basic shooting skills portion is mentally draining by the end of the day.
Each student will shoot a minimum of one thousand rounds through the course of at least two training days (3 days is the average during the long course). Throughout the combat-shooting phase close quarter combatives (hand to hand) is incorporated as a way of giving the student a break from the shooting program. The REALISTIC use of blades and improvised weapons are part of the curriculum, as well as weapons disarming training. Individual confidence and an advanced skill level is the goal of this block of training. And saving the individual soldiers life and keeping him out of a hostile foreign prison is the goal of the entire course.
Combat Pistol Training
Consist of the following blocks of instruction and tactical drills:
- Critically important fundamentals of close quarter pistol in engagement.
- Unconventional shooting techniques and malfunction drills while moving.
- Mastering ambidextrous shooting and magazine changes while under "stress fire."
- Engaging multiple threats 360 degree from various shooting platforms.
- Fighting from the ground and covered positions in urban and field environments.
- A heavy emphasis on ambidextrous one hand shooting skills.
- Shooting and engagement techniques to gain the tactical edge over a threat.
- Shoot, Move and Communicate drills for two man teams.
- Scenario re-enactment training with the aid of paint guns technologies and SIMUNITIONS.
- Special shooting techniques used while wearing full tactical equipment.
- Limited night firing techniques.