Monthly Archives: April 2015

Grid Down Laundry: Not Expensive at All!

Clean clothes; not always appreciated until one must live in the same clothes for weeks….or longer.  From a grid down perspective, the following article provides the NPT a method to make life a lot more comfortable, providing you have a good water supply and some laundry soap.  As an aside, for a more natural soap, one might try mixing grated Fels Naptha with an equal amount of Borax powder.  No perfumes, no UV brighteners, just good old fashioned soap that will clean your clothing.

See the full article here.

“Even though modern washing machines tend to be big, noisy, and use a lot of water, they operate on the same principles as the bucket washer. Essentially, a central agitator swishes the water and clothes around, which causes the dirt to be released from the fabric.

Soap aids in the process because one end of the soap molecule attaches to dirt, while the other attaches to the water. As the water agitates, soap them “pulls” the dirt from your clothes.  For this particular design, a simple plunger acts as the agitator. You will find it much easier to use than a scrub board or a nearby rock sitting in a stream.

Tools You Need:

  • Drill
  • Spade bit or round hole bit
  • General purpose bit


  • 1 plunger
  • 2 – 5 gallon buckets. You can also use bigger buckets or trash pails as long as you can get a long enough handle for the plunger
  • 1 – 5 gallon bucket lid”

Essential Skills: The Learning Curve – It’s Harder to Traverse Than You Might Think

Qulafication 5

Originally posted March 13, 2015.  Reposted by reader request.

All over the blogosphere, including here, you will find various posts on the ‘how to’ of performing a particular task or a certain skill from basic to advanced levels of performance and knowledge.  A great majority of the posts are not only well-written, but provide pure gold, so to speak, when it comes to essential information.  What is typically not found, however, is, “the other shoe,”, that is, clear information on how long it takes to master those same tasks or skills.  And truly, it’s not by attending one or two or even five 3 day courses at one school or another, no matter who’s running the course. It’s great that there are schools available to get the training; it really is, and we here at DTG are very happy that training is being sought after and attended by people who want to really know how to take care of their own, whether it’s our courses or someone else’s.  Our mantra has always been, “If you can’t or prefer not to come here, go somewhere else that offers good training, but get the training!”  No complaints here, because the more skills increase, the better chance we all have should SHTF.

You’ll read or hear from time to time that one should only go to a school that’s conducted full-time and that schools that hold classes occasionally don’t offer ‘top quality’ training.  Don’t fall for that.  Full-time schools may or may not offer ‘top quality’ training.  It all depends on not only the skill of the staff in performing what the school purports to teach, but the ability of the staff to impart the information and skill in a manner that the student can learn and retain.  In other words, having well-skilled instructors.

Something else to consider is that a full-time school is most likely dependent upon a heavy student load to pay or otherwise compensate it’s staff.  Because of this, quantity requirements may overtake quality delivery in importance.  Not always, but the concern is there, nevertheless.  Part-time schools do not have that to worry about.  That’s one reason our school (and others as well) is a part-time endeavor; DTG does not depend on training funds for a living.  We have day jobs to take care of our personal financial needs.  Everything we do for the school is done on our own time.  From lesson planning to teaching practicums, we are responding to a calling, not ‘doing a job.’  We provide quality training because we believe in not only what we teach, we believe students who train with us do so because we teach the, “why” of the moves as well as provide pre and post requisite study recommendations to participants.  We also endorse those schools, like Mason Dixon Tactical and Guerrillamerica,   among others, that do the same.

As a potential student, here’s a learning curve truth you need to accept: No matter where you go, no matter who the instructor is, unless you’re attending a course that’s between 160 and 220 contact hours in length (that’s 20 to just over 27 eight hour days), you will not reach a basic mastery level in skill performance.   Notice, that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to perform at a ‘consciously skilled’ (I can do this if I think about it or follow my checklist) level, you means you won’t have basic skill mastery, which is necessary to achieve ‘muscle memory performance (a good example of this level of learning and how the author achieved it, is described  in this article, linked from Mosby’s site, here).

qualification 2

My perspective comes from long experience teaching and evaluating trainees in infantry skill and leadership based courses and employing ‘school graduates’ from professionally taught military schools over a career.   This is not be taken that mastery cannot be achieved in a relatively short time, rather, it means that  the ‘average’ person learning these skills for the first time (or refreshing skills that were learned and used long ago, but rarely since) is, at best, at an apprentice level upon completion still requiring further study (yes, book work) and practical application (practice, practice, practice) in variable environments for a good while.

This is why when the .mil types graduate their basic courses and report in to their units they’re put under the watchful eye of an experienced team leader.  Until such time as the ‘noob’ demonstrates skill mastery, life resembles a more intense version of school, with much of the practice (or at least a good portion of it, done on personal time).  Then, finally, after an extended period of time calculated from months to years, depending on the skill set performance requirements involved, the ‘noob’ enters the ‘reliable’ category.  Hours wise, not counting formal training, the amount of time spent can be from 1k to 4k, or anywhere in between to achieve skill mastery on a particular skill set.  Once achieved, though, the trainee will continue to practice, because skills are perishable.  If you don’t use them, you will lose them.


Since opening our doors, and when training with various NPT type associations (before and since),  we’ve observed from various student descriptions that at the end of the 2 or 3 day period, the student many times mistakenly believes they are ‘good to go.’  “OK, I’ve been through so and so’s ‘Super Condensed Elite Multicam Manipulation Course’, and I’ve got it down. Next subject.”  The student most likely has also received a token of having completed the training, such as a certificate of completion (much different than a certification of competency) or a patch, ball cap, whatever, which cements his mistaken belief. Here’s the reality:

To achieve skill mastery, it comes down to repetition of each sub-task, task, skill, and skill set until ‘muscle memory’ or ‘2nd Nature’ performance is achieved. 

As JC at MDT has been known to say, “Practicing until you can’t get it wrong.”  That cannot be accomplished in one, or even several classes.  It takes hundreds and sometimes thousands of hours of study and practice to achieve the desired end state of competency, and then, when not actively performing, hitting the books and studying the concepts and principles involved.

qualifcation 4

Whether the skill in question is building fires with no accelerants, conducting land navigation, operating as a staff member, ‘running your gun’, or setting up and participating, let alone ‘running’ a security or recon patrol, until it’s practiced until it can’t be done other than correctly, the apprentice (student) never achieves more than being ‘Consciously Skilled (Competent),’ when attending various courses (even as a repeat attendee) which is a concise way of saying, “he can do the task, but must think his way through, and may make one or more errors.”

qualifcation 3

The bottom line is that when you complete a course of instruction, no matter what or where it is, you’ve only just begun, in most cases.  Concentrated study and practice is in your future if skill mastery is your goal.  You’ll get there, but don’t fall for the mistaken notion that you’re a ‘journeyman.’

Camouflage 101

Class 51a


Excellent advise, as usual.


This very long post is in response to Tex, a reader who requested information regarding the camouflage clothing and equipment being utilized by the characters in “The Patrol”. His questions, as well as those submitted by others, are one of the reasons why I decided tackle the project. I wanted to provoke questions and debate as well as put out information that covers: BASIC tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs), equipment that we have used/are using, and some unusual skill sets all wrapped up in a (mildly entertaining, I hope) story. Time will tell.
I occasionally hear the statement “Camouflage is something you do when you get there.” And while that statement has some merit, my question is: “What do you do until you get there?”. I believe that not taking advantage of manufactured camo is a mistake, as long as you don’t think it will make you invisible.
Stack the…

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Essential Skills: Land Navigation 1 & 2, 25/26 April 2015

land nav 1

 Gone navigating; back next week!!


Now that crunch time is here, if you want to attend, first, send your payment via PayPal to ‘’.  We’ll see it, and expect a follow up email from you to the same email address.  Soon as we get that, we’ll send you out the links you need to get everything ready.

LODGING:  For those coming in from out of state, here are a few local motels you may wish to try.  Our staff has not stayed at these establishments so we have no personal rating for them.  This information provided for attendee convenience.

Closest to the area we’re doing the field work:

Rodeway Inn
1471 N Opdyke Road
Auburn Hills, MI, US, 48326
(248) 370-8100
Holiday Inn Express
3990 Baldwin Road
Auburn Hills, MI  48326
248-322-7000 (Front Desk)
Fairfield Inn
1294 North Opdyke Road
Auburn Hills  Michigan  48326   
Red Roof Inn & Suites Lake Orion/Auburn Hills
2755 S Lapeer Rd
Lake Orion, MI 48360
You may also wish to do a web search for lodging in Lake Orion or Orion Township, MI, which is a bit closer (maybe 15 minutes by car)

Not Much Time Left to Register, folks!  Slots are filling FAST!!  This is looking to be a great class with quite a few attendees!  So, if you’re thinking about, STOP, and get an email to us ASAP to get your slot confirmed!!  We’ll help expedite your map/protractor/compass order to the companies we trust, so you can get what you need on time!

DTG will conduct a full length Land Navigation course with the classroom portion taught on Saturday, April 25 with the field work done on Sunday, April 26, 2015, at the Bald Mountain State Park recreation area in Southeast Michigan.  Classroom work will be done at a local venue, most likely a restaurant (for convenient food, beverages, and facilities).  No ‘At the Door’ admittance; pre-registrations only.  Field work will be done rain or shine.  All participants should dress for the weather and have their own food/drink for the field work.

At the completion of this course, the novice will be able to competently plot and navigate a basic route employing dead reckoning and terrain association.  Experienced navigators will find this course to be a great refresher and excellent practice!

If you can’t navigate, you can’t conduct a security patrol around your NPA.  The ability to navigate effectively is a cornerstone of patrolling.

Cost:  $100 per registrant; groups of 4 who register together as a team and IIIPSFA members (with card) receive a 15% discount.

Subjects/skills covered:

      • Navigation tools nomenclature and correct use (USGI Lensatic & Suunto MC2 type compass, protractor, UTM scale, and map).
      • Azimuth and back azimuth determination.
      • USGI Lensatic Compass Bezel Ring use.
      • Natural or manmade occurrences that degrade compass accuracy.
      • Topographical map marginal information identification and use.
      • Correct identification of grid squares by four digit coordinates.
      • Grid Plotting:  Four, six, and eight digit grids.
      • Grid and Magnetic Azimuths.
      • Declination impact on grid azimuths; conversion of grid and magnetic azimuths using provided map declination.
      • Intersection
      • Modified Resection
      • Plot and execute a predetermined route finding each point provided within the given time limit without becoming lost.

Confirmed registrants will be provided a link to purchase their training maps ($9.,95 plus shipping) in 1:10,000 and protractor/UTM scale ($8 each plus shipping).  Release date for information is end of March.

Mason Dixon Tactical & Defensive Training Group Joint Course!

Field training

UPDATE:  Due to extenuating circumstances, DTG & MDT are delaying this course offering until Fall 2015.  The new date will be published when finalized; currently registered students have a guaranteed slot.

YOU WANT THIS; YOU NEED THIS!!  You’re not going to find a better Basic NPT Skills course for the money anywhere!

From 15 to 17 May 2015, MDT (JC Dodge) and DTG (Tom Randall) will conduct a Neighborhood Protection Team skills oriented course as described in, “A Failure of Civility”, by Mike Garand & Jack Lawson, comprised of classes taken from both MDT’s, “Regional Security Forces” and DTG’s “Essential Skills” series at MDT’s training site.   While MDT & DTG will be hosting the class, there’ll be additional ‘guest’ professional instructors  conducting various classes – we’ve got a great line up! Participants will be exposed to various perspectives of NPT operations, skill enhancement methods, and ‘tricks o’ the trade’ that demonstrate a resource and information rich environment for the person who wants to either refresh or learn what might be necessary in a grid down situation they may face one day. Classes will be presented from a ‘Train the Trainer’ perspective so that the participants can pass along what they learn to their own NPT members.

Arrival, Meet & Greet: 1000 15 May

Class start: 1200 15 May

Class end: 1700 17 May

Location:  Echo Valley Training Center, WV –

Participants will live in a field environment the entire class period and provide their own food & water. Recommend getting individual fitness levels as good as can reasonably be expected by class start in order to get the most out of the class as the participant possibly can.

Cost: $300 per person; Teams (6 people registering together) $250 per person

Hand Outs on various classes will be provided to all attendees.

To confirm attendance, contact either MDT or DTG via email for specifics on payment. Once attendance is confirmed by course fee payment, each participant will be sent a Release of Liability, a recommended pack list, a link to purchase a MGRS map of the training area (optional), and directions. The Release of Liability must be executed per the instructions provided and presented on upon arrival at the training site.

Class size is limited to 36 people, so don’t hesitate if you want your team to attend.

Subjects include:

  • Proper Wear – Clothing/Equip
  • Rucksack Packing/Waterproofing
  • Basic Survival (Shelter, fire, water, etc.)
  • Edged Weapons Selection & Familiarization
  • Field Hygiene
  • Land Navigation Review & Practicum
  • Individual/Team Movement
  • Small Team Patrol Base Ops
  • Night Operation Fundamentals
  • TC3 Orientation
  • Basic Field Fortifications (Hasty Positions)
  • Camouflage, Cover & Concealment
  • Basic Patrolling Walk Through

This is going to be a great class!

EDC Solutions Compact Hemorrhage Control Kit

This is a great little kit!

Every Day Carry Solutions

EDCS Compact Hem Control Kit–tccc.html

EDC Solutions has a great new product!  The Compact Hemorrhage Control Kit is small enough to be carried just about everywhere AND it gives you the tools to handle massive bleeding of the extremities .  For the LEO or concealed carry permit holder, this kit is a no-brainer – especially if you frequent high-threat urban areas.  At approx. 4.25” x 3.25” x 1.50” this kit is VERY easy to slip in a coat pocket and be prepared.  Put one in your glove box or on your motorcycle.  Going into the wilderness? Throw one of these in your pack or in your shirt pocket.

Here’s what you get – 1 Vacuum Sealed Kit Containing:

TK4 Tourniquet
H&H Mini Compression Bandage
NAR or H&H Compressed Gauze
2 – Packs Celox Hemostatic Agent – 2 gram ea. (4 grams total)

EDCS Compact Hem Control KitIMG_20150415_213004444_HDR

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ISIS Operating in Juarez, Mexico…Right Acrosse the Border


Originally posted 29 Aug 14.

UPDATE:  From Judicial Watch, via Drudge, here.  Apparently confirmed by ‘Mexican authorities.’  Emphasis added.  We’ve got a NPT class scheduled in May….info here.

ISIS is operating a camp just a few miles from El Paso, Texas, according to Judicial Watch sources that include a Mexican Army field grade officer and a Mexican Federal Police Inspector.

The exact location where the terrorist group has established its base is around eight miles from the U.S. border in an area known as “Anapra” situated just west of Ciudad Juárez in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. Another ISIS cell to the west of Ciudad Juárez, in Puerto Palomas, targets the New Mexico towns of Columbus and Deming for easy access to the United States, the same knowledgeable sources confirm.

During the course of a joint operation last week, Mexican Army and federal law enforcement officials discovered documents in Arabic and Urdu, as well as “plans” of Fort Bliss – the sprawling military installation that houses the US Army’s 1st Armored Division. Muslim prayer rugs were recovered with the documents during the operation.

Law enforcement and intelligence sources report the area around Anapra is dominated by the Vicente Carrillo Fuentes Cartel (“Juárez Cartel”), La Línea (the enforcement arm of the cartel) and the Barrio Azteca (a gang originally formed in the jails of El Paso). Cartel control of the Anapra area make it an extremely dangerous and hostile operating environment for Mexican Army and Federal Police operations.

According to these same sources, “coyotes” engaged in human smuggling – and working for Juárez Cartel – help move ISIS terrorists through the desert and across the border between Santa Teresa and Sunland Park, New Mexico. To the east of El Paso and Ciudad Juárez, cartel-backed “coyotes” are also smuggling ISIS terrorists through the porous border between Acala and Fort Hancock, Texas. These specific areas were targeted for exploitation by ISIS because of their understaffed municipal and county police forces, and the relative safe-havens the areas provide for the unchecked large-scale drug smuggling that was already ongoing.

Mexican intelligence sources report that ISIS intends to exploit the railways and airport facilities in the vicinity of Santa Teresa, NM (a US port-of-entry). The sources also say that ISIS has “spotters” located in the East Potrillo Mountains of New Mexico (largely managed by the Bureau of Land Management) to assist with terrorist border crossing operations. ISIS is conducting reconnaissance of regional universities; the White Sands Missile Range; government facilities in Alamogordo, NM; Ft. Bliss; and the electrical power facilities near Anapra and Chaparral, NM.


So says a leaked government bulletin.  Read it here.  Basically, it says ISIS is going to assault the Southern border with Vehicle Born IED’s, RPG’s, etc.

Might be your wake up call to network with the III Percent Society for America here.  Well worth the $10 a month to find others you can depend on in your area.

Might be your wake up call to get some training in our Essential Skills course on 18 September, if things hold out that long.

If you’re all set, great!

Based onthings we see during class, I’m betting there’s a whole big bleeding bunch of folks out there who aren’t……remember, if you’re a IIIPSFA member, you get 15% off our training.