Badlands Fieldcraft: Review: Brushbeater Scout Course

This is coming by way of Badlands Rifleman, who is himself a former Marine Infantryman, excellent shooter, and highly capable guy in the field with the experience to back it up. He’s offered one heck of a generous write up for the course. But bottom line, there’s no replacement for confidence- none- and while the course ranged from well seasoned guys to one gentleman who had never shot past 100m or with a magnified optic, seeing the growth in the students both in skill and confidence is always the biggest reward for me. There’s no doubt they’re more dangerous today than they were before the course and most important, they know it. -NCSThis is a class about hunting and killing people as ateam.” – NCScout

I just finished the Scout course put on by NCScout in Wyoming at Tactical Solutions International Inc. The Scout Course is a course that teaches many useful skills including practical field marksmanship, stalking, camouflage skills, tactical planning, fire and maneuver and teamwork. NCScout himself being a former Long Range Surveillence Unit member with much experience in Iraq and Afghanistan demonstrated a great deal about how to apply these skills effectively.

The class was hosted at a great facility by Tactical Solutions International with basic accommodations provided. Four members of their training staff attended the class as well and it was very interesting getting to know them. TSI puts on various tactical training and from the impression I got from working with the staff/ fellow students during the class I plan on attending classes by them as time permits. I also want to give a bit of a shoutout to another fellow student who just happens to be a Force Reconnaissance Marine and was very friendly and helpful to all the students and who also happens to train for On Point Tactical. Thanks for all the advice buddy!

This was an excellent class and experience and all the other students at the class agreed. We had a diverse group of people at the class that I thought was very representative of the various levels of experience, skill, and ability out there. I feel that despite the diversity of skills, we were able to make very effective teams under the guidance of NCScout’s teachings.

NCScout himself was very approachable and treated everyone as if they’ve been friends for years. He presented the topics clearly and took all the time necessary to answer any questions and address all comments while always respecting the student’s dignity and building them up in the process. He is a very capable teacher, having the ability to scale the complexity of the teaching to the students skill level while always leaving in challenges for the students to solve and thereby grow. I learned a great deal from him, and just like an ice berg that is mostly hidden, I can tell he is extremely knowledgeable on all the subjects taught but could only present so much given the time constraints.

The class itself was the largest Scout course to date with 18 students total. The experience level of the students ranged from former SOF guys from the Army and Marines to regular guys with no military or formal training at all. From the class after action review I got the impression that everyone, regardless of previous experience, learned a great deal.

This class was also an excellent learning opportunity for people who have never led in combat or stressful situations as the class was split on the second and third day into two opposing units. We practiced ambushing and raiding each other in the daytime and night for all of day two and day three. An interesting point to note was that even though one squad had vastly superior NOD capabilities and military experience, by correctly applying the tactics and techniques taught by NC Scout the squad that was predominantly civilians was still able to perform very well against their rival squad.

Practicing camouflaging equipment and selves

What seemed to me to be the deciding factor in most confrontations was which side properly applied the tactics and techniques taught and also which side had good, decisive leadership and clear communication with each other. In many of the training events plans had to amended on the fly and decisions made quickly. I think this was a great opportunity for those new to this style of leadership and was a very good refresher for me.

Practicing buddy supported seated position

We spent the entire first day on the rifle range and although I considered myself a good shooter before attending, NCScout’s rifle course was designed to challenge the shooter and expose weaknesses in their technique. By the end of the day I had identified numerous flaws that I needed to improve on. I personally witnessed some very impressive shooting by two students who had all but given up on themselves during grouping exercises, and had it not been for the encouragement of the instructor and other students they might have. Instead deficiencies were corrected, including an improperly mounted optic, and both of these students went on to engage targets out to 350 yards very confidently. This was all done with less than 60 rounds, impressive to say the least and very conscientious of the instructor at a time when ammo is so expensive. We wasted no time on typical square range “raid mentality” type drills, just good solid, practical field marksmanship.

This class was a great experience shared with many kindred spirits and I feel I made many friends during it. After three days of training you could cut the camaraderie with a knife at the end of the class. I also learned a great deal of new information as well as improving on some things I thought I knew. I would highly recommend it and I definitely plan on attending it again.