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Training Multi-Media


Deliberate Attack


Hand and Arm Signals Movement To Contact


Hand and Arm Signals Hasty Attack


Hand and Arm Signals Hand and Arm Signals


Know Your Gear


Load Bearing Equipment
It is said that since the days of Christ, the foot soldier has fought with 60 pounds of battle gear. Let’s talk “battle rattle” by looking at it in various forms, keeping in mind that each variation is designed to aid the modern warrior carrying and using a range of battlefield operating systems.


Night Vision & Observation Devices
For the record, Night Observation Device (NOD) is the more encompassing term, as compared to Night Vision Goggles (NVG) and Night Vision Devices (NVD), which generically refer to both passive and active light amplifying equipment. This distinction may seemed nuanced, but when we think in terms of NOD we must avoid thinking of only NVG.


AR15 - The Dubious Underdog
It might be argued that the AR15 consistently wins “second best”. It cannot outshoot long range .30 caliber battle rifles. It lacks the penetration and energy-to-target ratio of that weapon class. It is not as agile as the bullpup series of rifles and carbines. Nor is it a particularly cheap weapon to manufacture. And it certainly doesn’t have the reputation of reliability such as the Kalashnikov!


In Praise of the Kalashnikov
Let me be clear, I am not an aficionado of the Kalashnikov, better known as the AK-47, or more properly the Automat Kalashnikov Modernizirovannyj (AKM). Yet there are countless millions who have been singing the praises of the AKM for the past half-century. It did not become a beloved weapon by accident or mere happenstance. And so it’s time to give this weapon its due.


Worst Case Scenario


Behind Enemy Lines
It’s an oddity of battle that there are numerous tactical reasons to find oneself behind enemy lines. An envelopment or in the case of airborne troops a vertical envelopment will almost invariably and intentionally place friendly forces behind enemy lines to achieve specific effects.


Outnumbered Assault!
We’re bound to be outnumbered sometimes. That is unless the MILSIM scenario planners intentionally set the opposing forces at exactly an equal number of troops – and that almost never happens!


Weapon Jam!
It happens. Weapons jam no matter how sophisticated or primitive. Even a club can break. Frankly, the more moving parts in a weapon system, the greater the chance that something will fail—particularly in the rugged demands of the battlefield.




Jordon John Webb, known to us in One Shepherd as simply “Jay” entered our community in the fall of 1998 and began the warrior path at age sixteen. He graduated Camdenton High School in central Missouri just two years later, and enlisted in the Marine Corps in the summer of 2000.


Dr. Ozy Sjahputera’s long and unlikely path led him to One Shepherd in the late 1990s and he continued to serve amongst our rank and cadre until 2008 when his research pulled him away.


Patrick Larsen joined One Shepherd during its very first year of existence in 1981. As an active participant in simulations, Patrick planned and led patrols at just 16 years of age. He completed his studies at West Platte High School in spring of 1984 and enlisted in the US Army later that fall.


Dr. Allan Ensor's favorite saying is, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” Al appeared as a teacher early on. He found his calling as a learning disabilities instructor at Webb High School in Webb City, Missouri. He went on to serve 21 years as a teacher and director at the Missouri School for the Deaf in Fulton, Missouri. Al is now a professor at William Woods University in Fulton.


2005, 2006, 2007
We’re very happy to announce a new tradition here at Olive Drab Journal. Each year we will honor members from the MILSIM community whose actions exemplify the quintessential traits of the warrior, the leader, and the shepherd. This recognition does not come lightly. We look for strong characteristics—something akin to the leadership audacity of Erwin Rommel, the compassion of Mother Teresa, and the teachings of Dale Carnegie.


Tactics & Leadership


After Action Review: Process-Oriented Enhanced Performance
The US Army has used the After Action Review (AAR) since the end of the Second World War, although this process did not become institutionalized within the Army until the onset of the National Training Center at Ft. Irwin, CA in 1981. Notably, the AAR achieved the rare feat of instantaneous and unanimous hatred.


Leadership Styles: Calling warriors to do their best
There is no single, magical solution in leadership style. The cliché of “one size” does not and will not fit all situations. For this reason it is best if we are aware of the various leadership styles; the situations in which each is best suited; and the limitations of each style.


Principles of War: Tactical guidance for small unit leaders
The brilliance of Carl von Clausewitz’s essay Principles of War (1812) is that his words are as relevant today as they were 200 years ago. This work places Clausewitz, along with Sun Tzu, as one of the most quoted military philosophers of all time.


Mission Planning: In Seconds, Minutes and Hours
Planning can be found in Troop Leading Procedure (TLP) and its parallel build, the Military Decision-Making Process (MDMP). Decision-making is also very much a part of these two processes, but this topic has been discussed in a previous ODJ article (see “Decision-Making” 1 November 2007).


Operational Warfighters: An Intro to the Modern Battle Staff
Battle staff officers are warfighters at the operational-level of conflict. They work on behalf of the commanding officer and employ a myriad of technical expertise and knowledge.


Commander’s Critical Information: What the leader needs to know, and needs to hide
Commander’s Critical Information Requirements (CCIR) are defined by the Department of Defense as a comprehensive list of information requirements identified by the commander as being critical in facilitating timely information management and the decision making process that affect successful mission accomplishment.


The 70 Percent Solution: Perspectives of Time Management
I am quick to point out that while leadership and management are inextricably entwined, leadership is a universal art whereas management is industry specific. Alright then, it’s time I put some weight behind that statement. Let’s talk time management from multiple industry perspectives – corporate, academic, and martial.


Elusiveness: Force protection means being hard-to-kill
As with any other aspect of warfare, force protection includes various measures and concerns, with situational awareness, simply knowing what’s coming next, being preeminent. Too, it’s always a good idea to establish 360 degree security around us; an umbrella of protected space above us; and a networked bubble below us. For large formations of troops, say a brigade, division or coalition joint task force there is little in the way of alternative options


Gunfighting: The Force-on-Force Quantum Leap
The best way to win a gunfight is to train for it. The training regimen is straightforward and follows a banal sequence – firearm safety, basic marksmanship, combative shooting, and finally gunfighting against actual human opponents. That’s force-on-force training.


Reconnaissance: Masterful Use by Small Unit Leaders
Most warriors understand reconnaissance – the need for it, it’s objectives, and how to conduct various reconnaissance techniques. Yet when tasked with an Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance (ISR) asset, few small unit leaders are comfortable with this asset. In fact, it is commonly viewed as a burden.


Management of the Defense
Few tacticians give the defense its due. But for the record, history does. The slaughter of Union troops at Fredericksburg, Virginia; the massive carnage of Confederate forces at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; the unimaginable horror at Ypres, France; and the wasting of a million Chinese lives along the 38th Parallel between the Koreas. All of these examples illustrate the effect of a well-managed defense.


Advantage of the Offense
The effort of the offense is to maintain a tempo of operations that the defense cannot match. Too abstract? Yeah, I agree.


Violence of Action
What is the objective of armed conflict? The answer, in its purist form is to impose will. This means to impose our will upon our opponent, both for brief moments of time and for a lasting duration. Imposing will for a lasting duration is decidedly not a military objective – However, to impose will for brief moments of time is very much a military objective of armed conflict.


Participating in MILSIM events over the past couple decades as an observer/controller, I get asked a fair amount of questions on the field. As often as not, those questions could be boiled down to, “Okay, what do I do next?” The answer is always the same. You can attack, defend, or withdraw. In tactical engagements, it pretty much boils down to that.


Vocal Commands
Noise and light discipline are essential to remaining elusive. Yet some of the most successful teams employ a great deal of noise and yelling to seemingly fantastic results. So which is it? Should noise and light discipline be enforced, or should these considerations be scrapped for running amuck while yelling back and forth?




Beyond the Square Range
There is something amazing about watching a Steel Challenge shooter hit 5 plates scattered about in just a few seconds. Watching guys decked out in full armor punch out of a vehicle blasting an array of steel targets while flash-bangs go off is just down right cool.


Full Spectrum Training: Which conflict…this one, or the next?
I’ve heard the grumbling for a handful of years now. This mild dissention is understandable. An artillery captain in the 10th Mountain Division at Ft. Drum, NY tells me his troops train so little on their guns that they can barely pass their firing battery.


Failure in Training
I’m riding across Missouri with four members of One Shepherd’s staff, headed to a 3-day immersive field exercise. Invariably the war stories start flying – as that is the birth right of all troops. And this is good because war stories often turn into lofty discussions of what went wrong and how to fix it.


Contemporary Issues
If you look at a broader perspective, action pursuit games could arguably be classified as either speedball or scenario games. MILSIM falls under scenario games and has a specific emphasis on real-world military missions.

1Shepherd ACS