Odin All Father, King of the Aesir, in his quest for Wisdom drank from the Well of Urd amongst the roots of the world tree Yggdrasil. He whispered these words of wisdom into the ears of the warrior poet Archilochus that “We do not rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.” The GORUCK Advanced Pistol class gave an excellent baseline of training to fall back to.

GORUCK introduced the Firearms Day or FAD to their lineup in 2014.  There were 10 classes in 2014, there are over 90 scheduled in 2017, so they are doing something right. The lead instructor, ‘Cadre’ in GORUCK lingo, for the event was Garret “Machine”.

From the GORUCK website:

Machine is a “former Israeli Defense Force Special Forces Operator with the elite Duvdevan”.

Machine’s Cadre was rounded out with an Active Duty Green Beret and a former SEAL. One of my favorite things about GORUCK is the high-caliber of their Cadre, they all exemplify the Quiet Professional. Shooters receive training from instructors that have been there, and done that. Often the Cadre are putting into practice the lessons they are teaching in the real world.  All three instructors knew their business and attempted to push each shooter to the next level.

GORUCK FAD Pistol | Active Shooter Intervention
Photo courtesy of GORUCK: Garret Machine, GORUCK Cadre

I have had the privilege of attending a plethora of firearms classes. I aim to take bits and pieces from each. If I can pick up at least one piece of information that makes me a better more efficient shooter, I consider the class a success. There were several I took away from the FAD Advanced Pistol. My goal is to have enough tools in my toolbox that I can ‘rise to the level of my expectations’. As pointed out in class, the Police are a solution 5 minutes away from a situation that needs resolution in seconds. Wherever you go, there you are; and you probably used a car to get there. If not, there is one waiting just outside. Let your surroundings work for you, rather than against. If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

We started the day with a safety brief and introductions, then wasted no time moving to the range. On the range Machine gave a familiarization brief covering the fundamentals of marksmanship. Machine has imposed on the FAD a very specific methodology to ensure that weapons are CLEAR and SAFE. These procedures were practiced in-depth. Safety was an important aspect of the day, as should be expected from a class involving an instrument of deadly force. The instructors did an outstanding job ensuring safety was primary, but not in a method that detracted from the actual instruction. The day escalated quickly from fundamentals to dynamic movements with multiple elements moving in and out of a vehicle. There were zero casualties, human or vehicle, so a resounding success in the safety department.

Once the instructors had gauged the ability of individuals to operate their firearms in a safe and efficient manner we moved on to dry fire drills involving shooting in and around vehicles. Shooters were paired up in buddy teams, and each team member worked through each drill. The cadre was there to provide feedback that would help improve efficiency later in the day. Each drill led in a logical manner to the next and built upon the last gaining in complexity. The Cadre were also very open to questions. Unlike a lot of GORUCK events, the Cadre created a constructive learning environment. Instructors had a logical reason for each and every correction made, or movement technique taught.

GORUCK FAD Pistol | Active Shooter Intervention
Some GORUCK Weirdos getting their Blaze On.

We went through each drill we would be doing later that day, and took a short break for water and food. After the break, the fun started. All the drills that we had done dry earlier in the day, we did live. It was interesting to put into practice the points and tips and tiny adjustments made by the cadre earlier in the day. The instruction culminated in an awesome final drill.

GORUCK FAD Pistol | Active Shooter Intervention
Magnus closing the distance on the threat.

I became a fan of the target that Machine had developed and we used throughout the day. You can find them on Amazon. Each target is two-sided. There is an anatomical center mass zone target on one side that can overlay a cardboard IPSC target, and a standard IDPA 8” bull target on the back. When combined with the 3 – 5 round shot string recommended by Machine, a shooter can see the DeAnimating effects on a thoracic cavity. Being a visual learner, it’s also nice to put a picture on that IPSC ‘A’ Zone. They will easily fit in any range bag and would come in handy to cover the giant hole in that used cardboard hanging up at your local firing range.

GORUCK FAD Pistol | Active Shooter Intervention
Machine’s Tactical Law Enforcement Target on Amazon.com

Both days of shooting were outstanding. I would recommend both classes, the  FAD Active Shooter Intervention is a prerequisite for the Advanced Pistol day. Increase the speed of your Decision making process, your OODA will thank you. Everyone has the ability to rise to the level of your expectation when you given the right tools and proper mindset to do so. The world is not becoming a safer place. I love the quote, “don’t bring a knife to a gunfight.” If you are bringing the gun, you better know how and when to use it. If your life or your loved ones depends on that concealed carry, you better have the skills in your toolbox. GORUCK Firearms training can help you get there.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Ft. Discovery facility that we shot at. Great place to shoot if you are out on the Olympic Peninsula.

Featured image courtesy of GORUCK.com

This article was originally published on the Loadout Room and written by