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Old June 24, 2009, 09:06 PM   #1
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Is there anywhere that allows civilians in their LE/Military classes?

Does anybody know any (decent) school that allows normal civilians to take their LE and/or military courses? Or maybe would offer the same content as private instruction? I've found a sniper school that does (LE anyway) but I haven't come across a handgun or carbine course.

Yes, I know many are going to ask "why" but for the sake of this question let's just assume I have good reasons, besides it's my time and money right?
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Old June 24, 2009, 11:39 PM   #2
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Old June 26, 2009, 05:24 PM   #3
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If you got the money and time

I'm sure there are many comparable courses out there given if you have the experience, time and money to afford such schools.

What course are you specifically interested in?

Look at it this way. When you took a college class you started off taking 100 or 101 courses. You don't just jump into a 400 level course without going through the proper chain right.
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Old June 28, 2009, 07:50 AM   #4
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Check with your local police or sheriff dept. Many of them offer citizens academies these days to teach some basics of what is taught to police and familiarize them with how police procedures and laws work in the real world as opposed to the b.s. on television and movies. It usually includes ride alongs as well. A lot of departments also have ride along programs separate from any "academy" program.
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Old June 28, 2009, 08:17 AM   #5
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If you are so hell-bent on learning military tactics, why not enlist?

To quote John Candy in the role of Pvt. Dewey "Ox" Oxberger in the 1981 movie Stripes, "And I thought to myself, join the Army. It's free."

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Old June 28, 2009, 12:36 PM   #6
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There's this perception out there that a class for military or LE would be somehow "better" for ordinary citizens. That's a myth!

It's absolutely true that many of the best instructors have a LE or military background. Certainly it gives instant credibility when someone has BTDT.

But ...

The mission for ordinary citizens is radically different than the mission for the military, and somewhat different from the mission for LE.
  • Military mission: kill people and break things.
  • LE mission: track down criminals and bring them to justice.
  • Citizen mission: stay safe and keep your family safe.

The rules of engagement are different.
  • Military ROE: dictated by someone higher up the food chain than the guys doing the work, but may easily include killing every human being in a given area.
  • LE ROE: use of necessary force to bring the offender to justice
  • Citizen ROE: use of reasonable force to defend self and loved ones

The available resources to do that mission are totally different too ("...bring all your friends that have guns" applies very nicely to a military combat unit, notsowell for John & Jane Doe in their comfortable suburban lifestyle).
  • Military resources: boots on ground have instant communications between multiple units; armed buddies within yelling distance; long guns and grenades and lots of other goodies; all firearms are carried openly and instantly accessible, including keeping long guns within arm's reach at all times
  • LE resources: even a solo patrol has instant radio communication with backup which will drop everything and come running if he gets in trouble; most have long guns including shotgun and patrol rifle available in addition to handgun with multiple magazines; pepper spray, Taser, baton, training in unarmed defensive tactics; full-size handgun is carried openly on belt with a Level 3 retention holster, but long guns are typically kept in the vehicle so officer must retreat to obtain weapons with longer reach
  • Citizen resources: may or may not be able to get to a phone to dial 911, and 911 operator may or may not understand urgency & get help immediately on its way; typically, handgun (often a compact or sub-compact) is carried in a concealment holster and (except in the home) no other weapons are immediately available; typically, citizen has either no reload available or just a single reload.

Obviously, the differences in mission, ROE, and available resources tends to dictate that different techniques and different tactics are appropriate for these different groups.

For example, if we took a guy straight out of military combat in Afghanistan and put him to LE work in an American city, that guy would find that a lot of what he learned overseas just did not translate well to domestic work. It isn't that it would necessarily get him in trouble (though a lot of it would!), it's that most of it simply would not apply to the new task. Knowing how to use a grenade isn't going to help him when the task is to talk the drunk driver into complying with the roadside tests; being well-practiced at transitions from a slung long gun to a handgun carried in a thigh holster doesn't help him one bit when the rifle is either in his trunk or locked up back at the station under his supervisor's control; knowing the proper military protocol for organizing an area engagement doesn't help when the mission is to locate and question a single individual. It's just a different mission, with different resources on hand and different rules for using those resources.

Similarly, give a regular citizen training truly intended for military or law enforcement, and you're going to pay the instructor to teach you a lot of stuff that won't help a bit when you really need it. Again, it's not a matter of "those guys" learning stuff that "mere civilians" are prohibited from learning -- it's just a matter of wasting your resources, your time and money, on stuff that's just not going to apply or truly help you do what you'll need to do.

All that said: try calling your local cop shop and ask them about a citizens' academy. Most larger departments make these available to the public once or twice a year, and you'll be able to learn the basic procedures that your local LE follows at a fraction of the cost of professional training.

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Old June 28, 2009, 03:25 PM   #7
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The problem is, as with many posts, the OP is not giving us all the information we need to know in order to give him a good answer. Even though Pax took the time to give us some extremely well reasoned thoughts on how military/LE/civilian training has its own purpose, the OP as much as told us that it is none of our business why he is looking for this type of training.

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Old June 28, 2009, 03:34 PM   #8
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Old June 28, 2009, 04:47 PM   #9
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Old June 28, 2009, 09:21 PM   #10
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I've been through military courses in the past and there seemed to be a few limiting factors. First, the instructor is not always that great. I couldnt pick the instructor. Second, the budget seemed to be constrained. I could only fire so many bullets and there was only so much time. Third, big groups seem to diminish the effect of training. I couldnt simply raise my hand and ask the group to repeat the exercise for my benefit just because I missed something. Fourth, I couldnt choose the weapons. I was limited to what was mandated by the Army. I couldnt bring down say a Glock to their range.

As a citizen, you can choose the instructor and do whatever you want imaginable as long as you have the cash. You can get better training then any SWAT team or military unit out there.

I bet if you placed an advertisement up on this board asking for training and offering a $1000 then I bet you a lot of experienced and well qualified guys will be beating down your door. Maybe even Pax will come down to give you some training for a few grand...
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Old June 28, 2009, 10:27 PM   #11
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Old June 28, 2009, 10:29 PM   #12
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Holy crap Kathy that is the best post I've ever seen
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Old June 28, 2009, 11:08 PM   #13
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I'm always shocked that so many people think that military and police training is so great. Let me tell you from personal experience, it ain't. Even the so-called "special" units aren't automatically all that special. I have gotten my best training from civilian instructors.
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Old June 29, 2009, 08:34 AM   #14
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Great Post, Pax. Spot on.

To follow up, for I.C.E., the fundamental skills are the same regardless of whether we teach them to military special ops guys or accountants, the Combat Focus Shooting program is the same, for example. So in that case, we teach the same courses to civilian and LE. The only time we restrict a CFS course is when the host needs to (a police department that can only have LE personnel on their range, for example).
It is the application of those fundamental skills that can be radically different, which is why we have specific tactics that we teach to specific students. The minute we have police officers in a Home Defense Tactics course asking about moving through the house during an Alarm Call, it ceases to be about HOME DEFENSE. The same kind of thing would happen if a non-LE student started asking questions about a car jacking during a course on Traffic Stops. So, in these cases, we run very different courses, tailored to the context of the students.

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