Western Rifle Shooters Association

Do not give in to Evil, but proceed ever more boldly against it

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Vanderboegh: Praxis - A Plan of Instruction from The Trainer

From Sipsey Street:


From The Trainer, we have the following template of a POI, Plan of Instruction. This POI (and the man who prepared it) is no sh-t real. He runs a real group and has a lifetime of experience at the tasks he describes. He is not, to use the Texan phrase, "all hat and no cattle."

As the POI is a bit long, I'm going to break it up into parts, this being part one. If you have any questions, feel free to post them. Be respectful. He could teach a few things to Charlie Quintard.



The Plan of Instruction (POI) comprises the foundational training regimen for all _____ members. It is not meant to detract from any other training that members may have had or may participate in the future. However, successful mastery of the skills contained herein may place the member at a significant advantage when participating in other training or while engaged in a “real world” scenario.

To survive a 4th generation war, be effective in the field, and achieve victory, the __________ must have skilled warriors whose acumen exceeds that of the “regular soldier”, i.e., an automaton indoctrinated from induction to blindly follow orders, rely on extremely high volumes of fire, stand off weaponry, and technology. To achieve this goal, each member must resolve to undertake this regimen and accept its purpose and requirements. Once accomplished, the member will possess effective combat skills he can apply in any environment. He will be able to function as a semi-independent rifleman either alone or as a part of a team.

___________ builds teams from the bottom up: The rifleman, the fire team, the squad, and finally, the platoon. This is opposite of what most of us experienced in the military, but historically is the most effective way of building a cohesive, skillful, and effective unit. Everyone is a rifleman; it matters not what position is held in the team. No matter what technology is used or seen on the battlefield, it is always up to the rifleman carrying his Main Battle Rifle that determines the outcome of the final engagement. History is replete with examples.

Tactics are what happens when soldiers meet in battle. The practice of centering a tactic on what headquarters sees as the “big picture” is being proven more and more throughout the world to be disastrous to the individual rifleman, and conversely, centering one’s tactics on what the “small picture” shows the rifleman and his team in the field is being proven to keep more men alive, win more battles, and most importantly, works toward the worthwhile objective of passing along and retaining the corporate knowledge of hard lessons learned by the teams to new members. If we are to survive and win in battles ranging from one-on-one to full scale war, we must unlearn tactics and techniques that will not work and relearn those that do work. Much of what we will accomplish is taught primarily in the special operations community. This is fitting, as the _______________, per se, conducts only “special” operations.

The training regimen is neither simple nor easy; however, with perseverance, any dedicated member can complete it to one degree or another. Once mastered, the rifleman will find his effectiveness significantly improved and will enjoy a much higher degree of self-confidence. As effectiveness is increased, so proportionately is survival probability. A sad fact we must face that we, as a people, have lost the edge we had historically ingrained into us from birth by our environment, our values, and our motivation to be self-reliant and free. We replaced those things with soft, primarily urban, industrialized life with all its comforts and sense deadening conveniences.
The minutemen of old were adept at fighting an opponent in both the woods and in the villages; with a rifle or with a tomahawk. They could sneak up on their enemy, live off the land, and blend into their surroundings with the same ease their native could.

Today’s rifleman has a good chance of never having killed anything, been provided with too many comforts and layers of civil veneer, and to his detriment, has not been handed down from veteran to novice or father to son (as it used to be) the balancing knowledge of field craft, weaponry, and fighting technique he needs to keep himself, his family, his team, and his country alive and free. Chances are he hasn’t ever had to deal with real hunger pangs or discomfort for extended periods or learned to make fear his “friend”. This regimen is the first step in rectifying that situation.

The __________________ will not operate as a standard military unit operates – rigid obedience, little to no flexibility in methodology, encouragement of non-thoughtful response, equipment determining how a mission is conducted, rote tactics that never change, and high volume of fire as the panacea applied to all tactical situations. In short, the __________ will strive to be unpredictable to an opponent.

Does that mean there won’t be positions of authority, expectations of teamwork, or high levels of discipline among the members? Absolutely not!!

 Riflemen will be expected to follow their leaders and contribute effort to achieving goals!
 Leaders will be expected to lead by example!

As the team experiences the hardships brought on by learning the skills listed together, a bond will form that can mean the difference between life and death, success and failure, or winning and losing. Does this mean to say that we won’t have a good time? No, not at all! We’ll certainly have fun when and where appropriate, but we will focus on what we are gathered for: Increasing our skills as warriors. In undergoing and completing training lectures, exercises, and evaluations, each man will have to work hard to earn the respect of his team members by doing his absolute best. As long as a man gives his best, his brothers in arms can ask no more.

As time goes on, solutions to field problems, whether exercise or actual, will be generated, discussed, and rehearsed as much as possible by every man involved. Then, when implemented, it will be done with full confidence of each participant knowing his part is critical to the success of the two man team, fire team, squad, or platoon. Knowledge gained from tactical experimentation can be passed along to newcomers from the perspective of the collective “tool box” on what will work, what has worked, and what most likely won’t work.

Our move in this direction is necessary for several reasons:

• Limited manpower
• Limited weaponry
• Limited ammunition
• Limited replacements of anything useful

In short, we supply ourselves through our own wherewithal and recruits are hard to come by. For now. As time goes on and we see an influx of new members, we will introduce them to our way, “The Way of the Tiger” that was gained by our predecessors as they moved across, “The Last Hundred Yards”.

Concepts & Principles of Operations:

• Leaders must encourage thought and action decisiveness.
• Group members must strive to become skilled warriors – and as such, each can make strategic contributions.
• The success of any battle is determined by the extent of preparation.
• Never be a stationary target.
• Indiscriminate high volume of fire without regard to target legitimacy negates _____________ moral mandate. Pick your target carefully – don’t waste ammunition!
• Each time you fire your weapon, you telegraph to the enemy where they can come to try to kill you.
• Increased abilities are predicated on the possession of personal fitness.
• Train to achieve integrated mind and body awareness.
• Achieve the motivation and ability to operate semi-independently.
• Separate opposing columns into segments during the attack; if things go wrong, break off the engagement.
• Prefer to achieve victory by skill rather than force.
• Each man has the inherent responsibility to rehearse and visualize every aspect of his role during every mission.
• Small unit technique should dictate the equipment required, not the other way around!
• Reconnoiter all objectives from the inside. To do this, the recon team must be adept at infiltration and exfiltration.
• Mission orders will only be given in general parameters – the small unit leaders will generate the solutions; the team members will validate them.
• Study OPFOR’s tactics—not their operations.
• Use human battlefield intelligence over all other indicators.
• The criticism of performance by the team can improve tactics.
• Profit from errors comes from:
o Admitting they occurred
o Having the authority to change tactics
• A “zero-defect” environment prohibits learning.
• Avoid direct contact with superior might
• When threatened with encirclement, abandon the position.
• Always achieve surprise in the attack.
• Given enough time, any perimeter can be penetrated.
• Whenever possible, use low tech methods to beat high tech equipment.
• Pay close attention to the “small picture” of individual and team technique – this is how you will know what to change.
• Keep in mind that once an enemy learns your tactic, it will no longer work.
• Constantly experiment with situationally appropriate techniques to find the most:
o Rapid
o Stealthy
o Deceptive
o Safe
• Identify promising techniques by collective approval.
• Test all adopted techniques against:
o Time
o Observation
o Casualty simulation
• Require compulsory practice of all techniques by all group members.


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