It was early 2010. My team and I had just dismounted a ‘David’ (Land Rover Defender). The insertion point was just outside of Lapid, a small settlement located on the border with the West Bank. The insertion point was around two kilometers outside the village, in a beautiful grove, totally dark and illuminated by light from nearby Lapid and other settlements.

The grove was a small forest, overlooking the settlement that we were preparing to infiltrate. Streets were nearly empty and only a few cars drove by here and there—an illusively peaceful environment. After all, it was almost midnight. Quickly, I assembled my guys, did a head count, and began to egress toward the target as planned. In those moments, everything you’ve trained for and learned runs through your head. Excitement is high, so is the heartbeat. The possibility of getting caught in the process got the little kid in me thrilled, but still, I was focused. This was unlike any other dry training we’d done in the past.

RMT: What is it?

RMT, simply put, is a training exercise that is being done in a responsive environment and not in your own backyard. It’s like playing in a sandbox, but in a playground that does not belong to you, which makes it more fun and more real. RMT stands for ”real military training,” and is highly realistic, as the name suggests. The outcomes are quite real. For instance, one time, a couple came out of a bar in Tel Aviv so drunk, they didn’t even recognize they had just passed four guys in full assault kit.

Our task for this night’s exercise was quite simple: In the center of the village there was a construction site, a classic one with high fences, tons of debris, and dust. The course cadets were split into teams of four to six guys. Our objective was to get to the front doorway of a designated house and to place on the floor one M4 magazine. To make it trickier, we had to do so with a specific (marked) magazine, so if the carrier of said magazine were to get caught, your mission would be over. Of course, we had to get back within the time limit to exfil, too.