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Offline Jungle

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The Canadian Commando Course
« on: February 17, 2003, 18:59:00 »
Long article, but I couldn‘t link.

Article from the (CDN) Infantry journal
The Canadian Commando Course
Capt (PERSEC)

The Army is suffering a moral crisis. It is losing it‘s "combat mindset", that outlook of the profession that sets it apart from the rest of society. Combat mindset is the way of thinking that causes leaders to ask "will this make my unit more capable of defeating the enemy" or "Will my soldiers be tougher?" as opposed to what will this do to my career... or why bother, anyone can be uncomfortable". Indications that a combat mindset exists are intense interest in weapons, and tactics, physical Fitness, combat survival and adventure training. Minor injuries are considered part of training, experimentation with methods and tools to defeat the enemy is encouraged and physical luxuries in the field are seen as weakness.
If the current decline in combativeness is not reversed quickly the army will soon be little more than a police force. One step toward instilling combat mindset into the corporate body of the army is to establish a school with the sole purpose of training soldiers mentally, physically and technically for close combat. I propose that the Army establish a "Commando Course" for this purpose.

AIM

The aim of the Commando Course shall he to indoctrinate soldiers with A combat mindset and improving the armies ability to right. It will achieve it‘s goal by:
Instilling combat mindset through rigorous indoctrination,
Vigorous training in close combat and covert mobility,
Creating a big desired qualification to improve morale,
Motivating soldiers to prepare themselves for a challenging course,
Creating a test bed for infantry weapons, equipment and tactics.
Creating a cadre of highly trained irregular warfare instructors.

SCOPE

The course will be based on the World War 2 Commando Course run at Achnacarry, Scotland. It is not a version of SAS selection, the U.S. Army Ranger program or Special Forces courses. It is a course in how to fight. It is a combat skills course not a leadership course nor a unit selection device.
The course would be six weeks long and would be based at the CTC. It would he open to any trained combat or combat support arm soldier who could pass the pre-course physical fitness test. Which would consist of the current combat swim test with all times and distances doubled, the 13,78 km battle fitness test in 1 hr 45 min minutes, 8 palm down pull ups and a bench press of the candidates body weight. Candidates would also have to fire
the infantry PWT to marksman and complete all tests of elementary training on rifle platoon weapons and the pistol within 3 months of attending the Commando School.
The course would last 45 days (39 training, 3 admin, 2 travel days). Each training day would consist of 16 training hours. The course content (with the percentage of course time devoted to each and approximate hours) would consist of the following:
a. Close Quarter Battle with small arms including training with pistols, M203, flame-throwers, jungle lanes, room clearing, night fighting, expedient weapons and unarmed combat (15.51/ol 97 hours).
b. Demolitions using issue, expedient and foreign explosives (12,5%/78 hours).
c. Combat Survival including resistance to interrogation and counter tracking dog techniques (14.5%/90 hours).
d. Watermanship including combat swimming and the use of assault and recce boats (6%/ 37 hours).
e. Mountaineering (19%/ 118 hours).
f. Combat Medicine including IVs, CPR, practical gunshot training and drug administration (2.5%1 16 hours).
g. Foreign Weapons including training on all Russian company level small arms, RPGs and automatic grenade launchers, G3, MG-31, M-60, SA-80, Steyr AUG, MPS, FNC1‘ and FAMAS Fl. (10%1 62 hours).
h. Live Fire Tactics including bunker,, building and trench clearing,
section and platoon ambushes, attacks and counter ambush drills (12.5%/ 78 hours).
i. Helicopter Operations including ILZ marking, rappelling and fast
roping. (3%/ 19 hours)
j. Tank Hunting with M72, RPG-7, V, mines and expedient weapons (4.50 %/ 28 hours).
k. Battle Indoctrination including close work with artillery, demolitions and gas (1%/ 6 hours).
l. Physical Training including cross country speed marches and assault courses (15%1 93 hours).

The course would he broken down into a number of phases:
Phase 1 (2 weeks)
Combat survival, mountaineering, watermanship, combat medicine
Phase 2 (2 weeks)
Demolitions, weapons, close‘ quarter battle, tank hunting, helicopter operations.
Phase 3 (2 weeks)
Weapons, demolitions, live fire tactics, battle indoctrination.
The school should have a number of foreign subject matter experts on staff to help ensure that the curriculum is first rate. Canadian staff would be expected to he graduates of Allied "combat" schools and would receive intensive preparation training over the course of a year. Classes would he
based on platoons of 36 students. Five to six classes would be taught annually. The stringent entrance requirements will keep intake low. Staff would fill all platoon and section command slots on tactical exercises with students acting as team leaders. Safety distances would have to be modified by approximately 50 % to increase realism. The number of safety staff required would need to be reduced as would the need for special identification or rules preventing them from fitting in with the unit, for example prohibitions on the safety staff from camming up and carrying
weapons. The ration scale and accommodation would be austere. There would be few amenities at the school. Students would train for war for six weeksand nothing else. The final exercise would consist of a platoon live fire air assault supported by artillery and attack helicopters followed by an attack on a bunker complex using demolitions, M72, M203 and flame throwers. Preferably, the requirement to climb a cliff could he fitted somewhere into the scenario.
On successful completion of the course the graduates would receive a ornate metallic badge, similar to those awarded for the French Commando Courses, to be worn on dress uniforms and DEUs and a subdued "Commando" flash to be worn on combat.

CONLUSION

The establishment of the Commando School just might save the Army by stopping the rot. It would mold the minds of junior leaders and, slowly fill units with tough combat trained soldiers with the correct combat mindset. Ideally in the future it would be expected that an infantry officer or sergeant major will have graduated from the Commando School and similar intensive training would become the norm throughout the Army.   :cdn:
"I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind."
- John G. Diefenbaker. July 1, 1960. From the Canadian Bill of Rights.

Offline Ditch

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Re: The Canadian Commando Course
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2003, 19:14:00 »
Nice concept, but will it fly?
Per Ardua Ad Astra

Offline Michael Dorosh

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Re: The Canadian Commando Course
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2003, 20:48:00 »
Is the flamethrower not outlawed by the Geneva Convention, and hasn‘t Canada agreed not to train in their use?

I don‘t doubt we‘d actually use them if we ever went to war, but I thought that we promised not to....

I stand open to correction, this is dimly remembered from a much earlier conversation I had years ago...
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logistik

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Re: The Canadian Commando Course
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2003, 20:59:00 »
that‘s what I was puzzled about too. There were a few mentions to the flame thrower. I hadnt even known these were used since ww2. But hey what do I know?

Offline Jungle

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Re: The Canadian Commando Course
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2003, 21:21:00 »
Some of you always have to look for the glitch... LOL!!!
Seriously, I also believe flame throwers are out, but I remember being taught about a chinese model while in the CAR. We had one for the training but it was not functional.   :cdn:
"I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind."
- John G. Diefenbaker. July 1, 1960. From the Canadian Bill of Rights.

Offline Ditch

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Re: The Canadian Commando Course
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2003, 22:24:00 »
Section II. FORBIDDEN CONDUCT WITH RESPECT TO PERSONS

36. Weapons Employing Fire
The use of weapons which employ fire, such as tracer ammunition,flamethrowers, napalm and other incendiary agents, against targets requiring their use is not violative of international law. They should not, however, be employed in such a way as to cause unnecessary suffering to individuals.
Per Ardua Ad Astra

Offline Michael Dorosh

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Re: The Canadian Commando Course
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2003, 22:27:00 »
It‘s a terrific idea, don‘t get me wrong.  

How does it fit in with our current operational tempo....if we‘ve committed 1000 to 2000 more troops to Afghanistan for six months, to be replaced after six months time, seems to me the Army will be pretty busy along with out other commitments.  

Wouldn‘t we be better off putting our resources to actual formation training (in anticipation of ground warfare in the Gulf), or mountain fighting (anticipating real combat in Afghanistan) rather than individual training in street fighting or jungle warfare?

Wouldn‘t the infantry units get more use out of doing this on a unit-by-unit basis?

Aren‘t they supposed to be doing all this stuff as a unit right now?
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Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: The Canadian Commando Course
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2003, 02:16:00 »
That sounds like an amazing course.

I think it would be a great thing for raising moral and the effectiveness of our infantry soldiers and other trades that would be interested in taking it.

Might lower the amount of people getting out of the combat arms too.  Maybe even having a course  like this tailored to each combat trade (artillery, engineers and armored). Obviously it wouldnt be a "commando" badge but something like it maybe.

We don‘t have that many combat arms soldiers though. I can see people at NDHQ easily thinking it‘s a waste of money. "Were not fightign wars were peacekeeping" or even people getting spooked because "commando" is associated with the Airborne Regiment.
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Offline Fishbone Jones

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Re: The Canadian Commando Course
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2003, 04:58:00 »
I Think Ghost may be on to something. When it ultimately gets to the bean counters and gov‘t for approval, the statement that we already have JTF2 will come into play. Politicos have no concept of morale, training, etc. The bottom line is where they live.
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toms3

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Re: The Canadian Commando Course
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2003, 10:09:00 »
Quote
The stringent entrance requirements will keep intake low
This point should be looked at again.  This course should be open to more than just 36 per serial (x 6 courses), especially if it is to be used to increase moral and overall fighting skills.  Reason, at the orignal pace, it would take years to achieve a critical mass of personel with these skills.

However, overall...I find the concept interesting, I would sign up for it!

Offline Recce41

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Re: The Canadian Commando Course
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2003, 13:38:00 »
The course sounds like the French Commando and a Ranger course put together. A Ranger course is not a SF course, any Tom, **** or Harry can get a Ranger course in the States if you pass the PT test, etc. I have the joining instuctions somewhere and prepackage. It is open to Legs and real men both. (HAHA)
 A SF/JTF is different, 5 days of ****  and then 30 days of more **** , then 6 months of training. The Airborne did have the Airborne InDoc and for us Armour types, Armour Airborne Indoc. 9 days of ****  for a coin.
 The PF course was open to jumpers only.
 This course would be great, due to the Army is going Recce. The Inf and Armour and weeding out what courses to combine, what to throw in and what to throw out.
Canadian Decoration,Chief of Defence Staff Commandation.Bold and Swift/Airborne

Offline radiohead

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Re: The Canadian Commando Course
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2003, 13:55:00 »
The course sound great.  I just hope it‘s there by the time I get in and have some experience to apply for it.  This is teh type of program the CF needs to keep people interested, and to give us the skills needed if and when we get into combat.  It could easliy apply to Peacekeeping missions, because they do get hairy.

Its only hours to go before the big budget, I have my fingers crossed that CF gets at least 1 billion extra.  Because they are going to need it if we go Afghanistan this summer for a whole year or more.

Offline WB

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Re: The Canadian Commando Course
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2003, 16:51:00 »
Isnt anyone afriad of the word "commando"?

I read somewhere that the CAR was originally going to be called the Airborne Commando Regt, but someone thought it was too "mean sounding".

Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: The Canadian Commando Course
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2003, 19:59:00 »
IF this course was actually made to happen  I wonder how long it would take for someone to look at the physical requirements and say

"Due to the fact that the canadian forces has a wide varity of soldiers in various forms of fitness and size we have to lower the standards to ensure all peoples of all sizes and fitness levels are guarenteed an equal chance to take and pass this new course"
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sgt.shmedly102

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Re: The Canadian Commando Course
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2003, 00:16:00 »
So when is DND going to lower the physical requirements of combat for the same reason?
"It‘s just too hard for some people."

Don‘t worry, DoD will attempt to follow suit.

Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: The Canadian Commando Course
« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2003, 16:18:00 »
The article is from a back-issue of the Infantry Journal, dated (IIRC) from 1997 or 1998.

Jungle, did you find a way to navigate to the on-line back issues?  The "front door" only leads to volume 34.
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Offline Recce41

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Re: The Canadian Commando Course
« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2003, 17:08:00 »
Its in volume 33, I found it in that one. Dated 1999.
Canadian Decoration,Chief of Defence Staff Commandation.Bold and Swift/Airborne

Offline Jungle

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Re: The Canadian Commando Course
« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2003, 18:18:00 »
I foung it while searching the Infantry School page on the DIN. They have links to a number of issues of the Journal.   :cdn:
"I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind."
- John G. Diefenbaker. July 1, 1960. From the Canadian Bill of Rights.

Offline Rider Pride

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Re: The Canadian Commando Course
« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2003, 20:51:00 »
Hey all,
It sounds great but here are two basic reasons it will not fly...
1. MONEY, nothing more need be said there...
2. It goes against the freindly peacekeeping image our gov‘t wants the world to have of our regular (vs JTF)soliders.

And would it be opne to all army trades or just the cbt arms?
Any arguements.....  :cam:
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Re: The Canadian Commando Course
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2003, 17:25:00 »
First post on this forum. I don’t think we need a commando course. More realistic training is what we should be doing with live fires being the norm rather than the exceptions. My first 9 years in the military where in the infantry and I can tell you the best training was always with ream ammo. Looking foreword to all your comments.

Offline RCA_UBIQUE

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Re: The Canadian Commando Course
« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2005, 14:50:29 »
Jungle, I like how you think. The concept of bringing our Army to a higher standard of physical fitness and combat readiness is brilliant, and something we should strive for.

cheers
John
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Offline Tracker 23A

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Re: The Canadian Commando Course
« Reply #21 on: October 27, 2005, 15:37:18 »
Jungle, I think you have an excellent idea here.   The question is, have you forwarded it up through the chain so they could look at it?

I think you are onto something solid and sought out in the army, especially the Infantry and other trades where it feels like something is missing.

Dealing with some little points; I think the course would need to be a little longer than proposed since you are talking about a lot of intense and specialized training.   This just makes preparation and coordination that much more difficult for an effective course package.  

Secondly, on the point of cutting safety by 50% to increase realism, I have to say will probably not fly.   I understand the point, and on numerous occasions agree that some safety issues make training more of a burdone than effective.

On the issue of it not flying because of our "Peacekeeping" image.  Comparing the ideas and concepts of this course to those that already exist in the regular force such as:  Basic Para, Mil. Free Fall, Pathfinder, Recce Patrolman , Sniper, Urban Operations and Unarmed Combat
Those of us who have completed any combination of these courses know that peacekeeping is only one task in our job but one that does not offer a course to prepare for it.  Since we prepare for war and not peacekeeping, makes soldiers the ultimate peacekeeper, since it is war fighting skills that give the ability to make it possible.

Overall, it is a great idea and surely someone could take this idea of yours and review it.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2005, 15:45:50 by Tracker 23A »

Offline Chop

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Re: The Canadian Commando Course
« Reply #22 on: October 27, 2005, 15:51:40 »
Great idea.....

Thanks for the article Jungle..

Offline karl28

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Re: The Canadian Commando Course
« Reply #23 on: October 27, 2005, 16:04:37 »
This would be a great Idea but didn't the original post for this say that it was from Feb 2003 ? Its been two years did the course actually come about or is it still in the planing phase ?

Offline MikeH

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Re: The Canadian Commando Course
« Reply #24 on: October 27, 2005, 16:14:43 »
I think it would be awesome for this course to be available my grandfather took the commando course in  Achnacarry, Scotland.For the assault on Juno beach he was 16 yrs old ( he's 90 now) so everybody should be able to pass the PT if you cant your weak.Go flip burgers lol.
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