So you can shoot well – especially when you know ahead of time you’re going to the square range in the morning and you have time to organize and pack your stuff. Are you ready to endure privation and fatigue and the unpleasant tasks necessary to survive in a SHTF “loss of rule of law” situation? Breach Bang Brad talks a little about some training offered at 88 Tactical that might help you do that very thing. Mad Duo
88 Tactical SERE Courses – Don’t Just Train. Survive.
During our recent trip to 88 Tactical, a training facility nestled in the rolling, green foothills of southeastern Nebraska, I learned they offered several courses in a true interest of mine – SERE. For those unfamiliar with SERE, I’ll save you a loquacious dissertation of details and link you over to the Wikipedia page later on. It does a decent job of laying out the specifics.
When I heard that 88 Tactical wrote the curriculum and instructed their own SERE courses my interest was immediately piqued. We were there for Will Petty’s VCQB class, but I’ve attended a number of DoD level SERE courses and was selected by the Department of the Army to be a SERE instructor (not to mention having an immense amount of respect for the Code of Conduct and those who have been held captive and returned home honorably). This is a topic near and dear to me.
Now just to be clear, 88 Tactical’s SERE courses are developed to offer common and advanced survival techniques for everyone from Joe Civilian to experienced military veterans. Their courses are unclassified and do not divulge any confidential information or techniques to the general public; however 88 Tactical does treat their internal curriculum with discretion. Traditional SERE is categorized as Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape, and 88 Tactical classifies their courses as Survive, Endure, Respond, Excel to better prepare those citizens who seek a survival foundation to build upon.
So, no secret-squirrel shit – just solid survival skills by an experienced group of experts.
Good to hook? Okay.
88 Tactical’s SERE courses are broken down into two primary courses: Civilian SERE Level 1 and Civilian SERE Level 2.
Civilian SERE Level 1 builds the foundation of the survival skillset and opens the student’s eyes to the mental and physical obstacles commonly faced when you are cold, wet, hungry and alone and do not have the luxury of the creature comforts typically associated with everyday life. The course is supervised and run by Special Operations veterans, career bushcraft masters and longtime certified firearms instructors, so qualified and professional cadre from all facets are present at all times to complement the curriculum. Level 1 spans a full 48 hours and focuses on navigating terrain and negotiating specific difficulties that are applied to elicit a response and create learning events that are easily accessible for future application. These invaluable and attainable skills can easily save you or your loved one’s life one day.
Civilian SERE Level 1 Objectives:
• Principles of evasion
• Camouflage techniques
• Communication protocols
• Land navigation
• Intro to bunker survival
• Improvised shelters
• Rural water purification
• Off-grid medical care
• Weapon handling skills
• Live-fire drills
Civilian SERE Level 2, as you may expect, is a much more advanced and in-depth training course that 88 Tactical calls “The Ultimate Test.”
Level 2 is coined Escape from Metropolis. In it students are again tested mentally and physically on a 2-day, 2-night excursion that continues to challenge those who have either completed the Level 1 training and or have other previous experience preparing them to attend. This secondary course will equip the student with a much richer understanding of some of the advanced techniques of survival and urban evasion.
Civilian SERE Level 2 Objectives:
• “SITREP” – economic collapse/rogue government
• Rules of engagement and safety brief
• Route planning and vehicle convoy movement
• Evasive/escape driving, three-point turns and reverse 180s
• Vehicle intervention techniques and “PIT” maneuver
• Urban foraging for survival supplies
• Low vis heat source and fire-making
• Improvised shelters
• Urban water purification
• Hasty, unauthorized breaching into fortifications
• CQB, combatives and edged weapons
• Covert movement; solo and team based
• Wilderness survival
• Land navigation
• Camouflage and booby traps
• Off-grid medical care
• Improvised tools
• Counter-tracking and detection of enemy sniper
• Waterborne team exercise
• Precision rifle live-fire exercise
Says 88 Tactical,
“There is no requirement to be a professional athlete or expertly trained commando to participate here. What you will need is a sense of adventure, a willingness to be stretched, and an earnest desire to leave SERE 2 a more confident human being than you were before you arrived. Come with that attitude and you’ll leave with an indelible mark on your heart and soul – we guarantee it.”
Think about it…everywhere you turn, there’s another cool-guy photo of a guy doing a mag dump or performing some maneuver on a square range. Everyone takes firearms classes, but what happens when you don’t have that firearm to hunt with and that square range is now the open terrain of an unplanned and unsecure area? How will you mentally prepare yourself for that type of seclusion? Do you have the fortitude to make your own shelter, find and kill your own food and survive the harsh lessons that Mother Nature and Human Nature so often dole out? Just some food for thought.
We all train, but who will survive?
You can learn more about the US military SERE program right here.
Mad Duo, Breach-Bang& CLEAR!
Emergency: Activate firefly, deploy green (or brown) star cluster, get your wank sock out of your ruck and stand by ’til we come get you.
About the Author: Breach Bang Brad Walker is the Mad Duo’s Bureau Chief of the Dept. of Manly Shit. He’s a US Army Warrant Officer and combat veteran of both Afghanistan and Iraq who may or may not be a part owner of Nancy’s Squat ‘n’ Gobble. Brad has written for numerous publications, including Breach Bang Clear, Military.com, RECOIL Magazine, Monderno and possibly The Advocate (though we neither ask nor tell). Not unexpectedly, Breach Bang Brad married way outside of his league (like, way out of his league) and he once broke his ass jumping on trampoline – true story. Hit a Tough Mudder or Carry the Load event and you might run into him.