Pax: Brickyard, Maize, Nomad, DC, Kenny, New Day (kotter), PVC, Motorboat, Kneehigh, Tulip, Thin Mint, FNG John (now known as Quick)
0655: Gear inspection, lined up in 2 ranks, and debriefed TL and ATL about the first objective.
First Objective/movement: find the ammunition box behind home plate.
Second Objective/movement: Locate Andrew Luck and get him back to the heli by 0800.
Interval: cover and move exercise on the baseball field.
Endex: mission successful with less than 5 seconds to spare.
AAR (After Action Report)
This was our first mini GORUCK simulation, to the best of my knowledge. It was fun to finally share some of my Goruck training and experiences with these guys to see how well they measure up. They didn’t let me down. They crushed it! I think everyone had a good time and I saw the group come together and grow even in the span of 1 hour. I’d be honored to have any of you alongside me for a Goruck event and /or just life in general (or the Zombie apocalypse)
Yesterday I made Marshall the team leader and gave him a series of instructions and objectives to complete. I know he was swamped with work, but everyone stepped up to help him out. Great job supporting Marshall.
When I arrived at 0652, things were pretty unorganized and people didn’t quite know what to do. This is sort of to be expected for a first time. My recommendation to the TL is to have everyone arrive at least 15 minutes early, instead of 5. Otherwise, the gear checked out. Not sure how people were feeling, they can share that.
I debriefed TL and ATL on the first movement and instructions. I have them 2 minutes to share with the team. In my opinion, they were more concerned about getting people moving instead of clearly sharing all of the information necessary. I would recommend letting the whole team know all the details to get everyone on the same page. Taking a little more time up front can save time later and save lives.
The first movement was to the softball field, the team got a little spread out. GORUCK stresses keeping the team tight and together. Some easy ways to do this is put the coupons up front and put the slowest person to set the pace.
We made it to the softball field and the team found the ammunition can. Inside were instructions for their mission to rescue the robbed, left for dead, and dismembered Andrew Luck. I instructed TL and ATL to keep the team together, that they were not allowed to carry any coupons, that they needed to have crossing guards, and once we entered the neighborhood everyone was to go silent.
There was a little bit of confusion about where to go, but TL decided to get the team moving south and then figure it out as they went. This turned out to be advantageous, but it could have turned out badly if they were going in the wrong direction. But the team followed and figured it out. The movement from the softball field to the neighborhood was going really well until Knee-high put his coupon down to switch hands. Free tip: If you were going to break the rules and set your coupon down, don’t do it right in front of the cadre, haha. Or set the coupon on your feet, or have someone help you to switch hand positions.
The penalty was 15 mericans.
We continued south on Hazel Dell until we came to one of the roads we were supposed to be at. TL’s GPS wasn’t working, so to save time I instructed them to turn left and cross Hazel Dell. We got to the intersection that was our rendezvous, but then people started walking away from the intersection. What made this tough was being in silent mode. Coming up with a way to communicate in silence would’ve been helpful. GORUCK likes to go silent because it changes the way we work together, how we lead, and provides a good challenge.
I asked TL if he was sure he wanted to do continue going, so he pulled out his paper and double checked the instructions. They ended up finding Andrew Luck and decided to build a stretcher with a tarp and boards. They did a good job making the stretcher in a pretty short amount of time, got Andrew loaded up and rolled out in great time. They were starting to think and move together as a team. People were communicating better together, people were starting to take better rotations on the coupons, and the movement was going pretty smoothly.
We made it back to the softball field with zero casualties, which was a huge success. At the softball field we did an exercise of cover and move for about 75 yards. Then we loaded up the coupons and tried to make our time hack. The group decided to cut through the grass and go over the hill towards the final endex. They made it back in time, got the coupons cleaned up, and got back into formation with less than five seconds to spare.
Mission accomplished! Well done!
Great job today men! For this being most of your first time doing anything like this, no one complained, and everyone seemed to chip in and work really well together. This to me says a lot about you as a group. I hope you all learned some things from this experience.
Some key nuggets to keep in mind for the future:
TL- your job is to make sure the mission gets accomplished. This means you have to delegate responsibilities, communicate well and keep the big picture and the end goal in mind. Use your ATL as your workhorse to get the specific tasks done. Your job is not to do work (carrying load work) but to keep the team focused on the task and achieve the goal. The success and failure of the team is all on you.
ATL- your job is to help the TL achieve the mission in any way necessary, except for carrying coupons. The hardest part about being TL and ATL is the feeling that you aren’t helping carry the load, but the team needs you to guide them and assist them so they can work more effectively and efficiently as a unit.
TL and ATL need to always be communicating. ATL needs to update TL on how things are going with the team while the TL is focusing on achieving the larger task. As TL, i usually stay to the side of the pax and just keep an eye on everybody, check in on them, see how they’re feeling, and I am always evaluating to see if we can improve in anyway to our advantage to achieve the goal.
I usually have my ATL making sure guys are drinking water, rotating couples, staying together as a team, checking in on how people are doing, looking for inefficiencies, etc. They should also be the one to do a headcount after every stop before you move out and report to TL that all are accounted for. This was not done today. TL and ATL must always know how many people are present and that they are accounted for.
-Rotate the coupons regularly;
-don’t wait for someone to ask for help just go ask them if they are ready to switch;
– take breaks, but get right back in there and help your teammates;
-listen to your TL in ATL and don’t argue with them. It is their job to complete the mission. You can make suggestions to them if you notice something that might help, but keep in mind they are trying to see the big picture as well. This is one of the hardest parts. Let them lead even if you don’t agree. They are doing the best they can. Give grace. It’s a hard position to be in.
-I found it helpful to put all the coupons at the front of the line and keep them up there. Then you just rotate guys from the back to the front to switch out.
– Flag carrier: it is your job to help set the pace. Keep an eye behind you. If you are walking too fast your team will get spread out and casualties will happen. It’s better to take a slower pace and stay together and stay alive then to walk fast and get spread out and die. “Slow is smooth and smooth is fast.”
Guys, that was a blast to put together and watch you execute.
T-claps to Swanee for getting the practice dummy.
This concludes The Week of Cornwallis!