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Old 02-02-2013, 2:25 PM
BMWguy206 BMWguy206 is offline
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Default AAR for The Academy of Saint Crispian SULE Course

The Academy of St. Crispian – Small Unit Leadership Evaluation (SULE) AAR
By: Jonathan Caldito
December 21, 2012
Angeles Shooting Range
Lead Instructor: Stanton Lee
Cadre: 5
Students: 8

I have been a student of The Academy of St. Crispian for about a year now. I’ve taken pistol, rifle, and shotgun courses from Stan as well as from other training companies that teach weapon manipulations and safety. Stan first talked to me about having a Small Unit Leadership Evaluation course (SULE) back in January 2012 on what it entails, how it would be different from what other training outfits offer, and I must say I was very excited about it.

The morning started out with introductions which included Stan, Stan’s wife, the cadre, and the students. As with most popular training companies, the day started out with a safety brief. Just to let everyone know that this is not a weapons manipulation class. One of the prerequisites of participating in SULE is that you have to take their Rifle/Carbine 202, Low-Light/Night Tactics 101, and Combined Arms and Tactics (CAT) 303 class. What’s most important is that you’ve taken a course that has bounding movement. If you have not taken a shooting course that has bounding movement, then I don’t recommend that you sign up for this class until you talk to Stan.

After introductions, we took a short 20-minute medical training course in how to use a blow-out or ventilated operator kit and how to deal with bone fractures.

Stan then showed us a PowerPoint presentation and a fictional scenario. This scenario is to drive the training and make it more believable. In this particular scenario, the United States economy has failed and a powerful earthquake has hit the Los Angeles area. The earthquake caused so much damage that it’s difficult for outside help and resources to enter the city and thus civil unrest has started and now gangs are forming to terrorize and steal resources from other people.

A mission brief was then lectured to us and was titled “Stan’s Operation Order for Mission #1”. Stan told us how commanders in the military passed down information so that a plan can be started. We went over several criteria such as the Situation, Mission, Execution, Administration and Logistics, and finally Command and Signal. These are known as the 5-Paragraph Operation Order (U.S. Military Standard).

After break, Stan and the cadre members geared up, had a little terrain model of the area of operations and the target along with a white board for actions on the objective portion, and we then followed them along the patrol. During the time they were patrolling, the cadre told us how to be in proper formation, to always scan your sector, the use of hand signals, and turning around 360 degrees to check your buddies behind you. The demo attack looked good, however, Buddy Team One started the assault before Buddy Team Two got into position. This problem was corrected right away.

When we got back to our base, students were then broken up into two teams and team leaders were assigned. The cadre members were also assigned to the teams and assisted the team leaders in how to properly give out a mission brief and the importance of assigning a chain of command within the team incase the team leader falls.

Mission #1 was to destroy a gang element to order to prevent any further attacks to local survivors and to your group.

I was assigned team leader for Team 1 so I told my fellow teammates our mission and how we’re going to carry it out. We then started our patrol only to be stalled by a faulty radio that I was carrying. As Stan would say, “It’s always the comms”. Once that was taken care of, we started our patrol and at the same time, the cadre still lectured us about what to do and what not to do during formation. It then got to the point where we were instructed to get off the trail and cut across a small field. A field that had bushes as tall as my armpits and dirt soft as beach sand. We even walked or climbed steep hills trying to find our target. Yes I must say we got lost and it was frustrating but guess what? This is a SULE course and getting frustrated is part of it. The SULE course is to see how a team leader and the students can think and react during these difficult times. The cadre then had me assign a team member to do some recon and I also switched my team members’ role from taking point to being in the rear of formation. Once we got close to our targets, we dropped our packs, gave some final execution instructions, assigned buddy teams, and then we began to setup our assault position. This is where it didn't go perfect. Buddy Team Two was suppose to start the forward assault movement however, one of my teammates rifle, in Buddy Team Two, suffered a malfunction. I saw this and decided that my team will move forward. It took me a few seconds to make a decision and I wish I could've made it faster. Once we reached our limit of advance (LOA), the cadre members brought out punching bags and instructed me and my teammates to start punching, elbowing, and kneeing it for about 2 minutes, which felt like 5 minutes. The punching really drained me, especially after doing a 2 hour patrol in the hills. After the punching bag, we gathered and collected resources, patrolled back to our base, and were debriefed by the cadre.

The second mission involved two teams working together. The mission was similar but the Concept of Operations was different. I was not team leader this time but was assigned to the Support By Fire Team or SBF. Daylight was burning up fast so the team leaders gave us the mission brief and we took a short path to our intended target. A miscommunication occurred on where the SBF team was suppose to be so all of us ran to the proper position and we had to be there in a hurry before the other team started their assault. This movement, in mission #2, is similar to the envelopment movement that’s at the end of CAT303, just more on a bigger scale. Once we marched back to our base, the teams were debriefed, and Stan handed out our hard earned black shirts and certificates to the day students.

This concludes the day portion of SULE.
Estimated round count 45. Ammo conservation is akin to real world scenarios.

I want to give many thanks to Stan, Melissa, and the Cadre members. They were all very professional, helpful in the training, and did an excellent job in assisting all of the students. The cadre members, I think, were all former Marines or Marine Reserves with combat experience from Afghanistan and Iraq. Cadre member, Charlie, assisted me and gave me lots of advice when I was team leader. He answered all my question and had a professional attitude. I want to thank him again for all his help.

If you have any questions about this course, please ask. Also, I didn't want to give too much information on the mission details because I'm sure Stan will use them again and I don't want to give anything away. You just have to take the course and find out for yourself.

Last edited by BMWguy206; 02-04-2013 at 8:39 AM.. Reason: Added more details
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Old 02-02-2013, 3:15 PM
rd2play rd2play is offline
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I think BMW’s post is a very accurate review of the class. Not much to add…

Our team's instructor was Scott, who also runs the long range class for TASC. The guy was an USMC scout sniper team leader, and the long range class is excellent. But I digress…

I stayed for the night part of SULE. It was actually the same mission as during the day, with different roles for the students (team leader, assistant team leader, point man). However, even though the mission was the same, the night experience was substantially different. It was more intense, maybe more “real”. We managed again to get lost in the dark (something that can happen in the real world as well). The route we took eventually to get on the right track was quite challenging, and the moon light helped a lot. The hike was tough, and I would say that on a moonless night, or maybe a dark and rainy night, the hike would be quite a challenge. That’s why I’m excited about the class – it is challenging for many different reasons.

(I would love a SULE class running throughout the entire night… but where can you shoot locally during the night… Actually, I would even love a SULE type of class all night long with everything except the shooting part.)

I don't think there are any similar classes being offered in SoCal. If you like this type of stuff, this class is highly recommended .
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Old 02-03-2013, 3:00 PM
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lewisracing lewisracing is offline
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That sounds like a great course. Will train with Stan soon I hope.
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Old 02-03-2013, 3:11 PM
BMWguy206 BMWguy206 is offline
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Originally Posted by lewisracing View Post
That sounds like a great course. Will train with Stan soon I hope.

You'll enjoy this course. You already have the advance skills in AR15 manipulation, team movement, and low light/no light training not to mention being physically fit. This class is more on team communication, team building, and leadership training. Stan did not teach anyone how to operate their rifles and there are no courses of fire. Just the mission. You patrol a trail east of ASR and perform the assault. I am starting to think Stan purposely got the teams off trail and got us "lost" to see how the team and team leaders act. That's the true purpose of this SULE course.

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Old 02-03-2013, 3:39 PM
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ramzar ramzar is offline
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Originally Posted by lewisracing View Post
That sounds like a great course. Will train with Stan soon I hope.
CAT 303 will cover you for the lingo and prescribed tactics. I took those a year ago.

I will probably give SULE a kick as well. Something different and more with keeping your wits about you, being in a team and communicating. I like long days too as it tests your physical and mental stamina.
Their drills are bloodless battles, and their battles bloody drills.
- Historian Josephus (AD 37-101) on the Roman military
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