Max is a tactical, self-defense trainer and author, a lifelong soldier with extensive military experience. He has served in both the British and US Armies. He served with British Special Operations Forces, with the Parachute Regiment which is Britain’s elite quick reaction force and which augments the UK Special Forces Support Group (SFSG). Max served on six operational deployments, including to Afghanistan immediately post-9/11, and also a tour training and selecting recruits for the Regiment. In explaining what the Parachute Regiment is, it is easiest to compare it in role to the 75th Ranger Regiment, although it is of course its own unique and elite force. Max passed both Parachute Regiment selection and also UK Special Forces Aptitude Selection during his career.
I bring some diverse experience to the training game. I initially enlisted into the British Army (The Parachute Regiment) and then I went to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst to earn my commission. Sandhurst involves a lot of infantry tactics, but they are training officers for all branches so the tactics are used as a 'vehicle' for leadership training rather than the ultimate objective. I was selected and commissioned back into the Parachute Regiment. I left the British Army having attained the rank of Captain.
For those who don't know what the Parachute Regiment is, I often draw a parallel with the U.S. Army Rangers. The Paras are an elite, selected special operations force and the units do not exactly equate, but it gives you an idea. Of the three active duty Parachute Regiment battalions, the 1st Battalion (1 PARA) serves with UKSF directly alongside organizations such as the SAS and the SRR (Special Reconnaissance Regiment). 2 and 3 PARA serve in 16 Air Assault Brigade as the spearhead battalions. I served in both 1 and 2 PARA. The Paras are rated as Tier 2 Special Forces, the SAS being Tier 1.
As part of my time in the Parachute Regiment I was a rifle platoon commander, both for training and operations. Part of my responsibility was to train my platoon in between deployments. Part of my training to become a platoon commander in the Parachute Regiment involved attending the Infantry Platoon Commander's Battle Course (PCBC). This is an intense infantry school involving training in advanced infantry tactics and small arms. Part of the small arms training at PCBC involves qualifying to 'Stage 5 Field Firing' which allows you to plan and conduct ranges all the way up to full field firing exercises. That is how I know how to create and run realistic but safe live firing ranges for small unit tactics.
Following my initial stint as a rifle platoon commander, I was selected to be a training platoon commander at the Parachute Regiment training company (Para Company). I spent two years doing that; taking Parachute Regiment candidates through the 22 week long course. Unlike US Army training, where there is a drill sergeant per platoon, we ran things as a rifle platoon. The platoon commander is very much involved. Rather than a single drill sergeant for a platoon, each squad has a section commander (squad leader) who is a corporal, and there is a platoon sergeant, just like a rifle platoon. The platoon commander is responsible for running training with the section commander's, and the platoon sergeant supports with admin.
It was my responsibility to plan and conduct every single field exercise and the ranges, from basic marksmanship up to full field firing. For the live firing we would provide our own integral safety from within the platoon staff, until we got up to platoon level attacks, where we would bring in another set of platoon staff for safety and we would perform our roles within the platoon, play acting the pre-planned attacks for the benefit of the trainees. It is also a tradition within the British Army, and the Parachute Regiment in particular, to be involved as a leader and to lead from the front, which means being out there leading the trainees for PT and in particular the platoon tabs (ruck marches). You live with them in the field as if they are qualified paratroopers.
Following that job I returned to the Para Battalions for more command roles - my next job was as the anti-tank platoon commander in the fire support company - another platoon to train and lead. I spent the rest of my career doing similar jobs interspersed with deployments, also doing UKSF selection at one point.
When I decided to start Max Velocity Tactical and start running civilian training classes, I soon realized that to bring a professional standard of training that would equate to the standard I wanted to achieve I would need two things: 1) a suitable facility and 2) suitable targets.
It was because of this that I invested in the 100 acres of land in West Virginia, which I selected because it provides natural ranges with ridges that provide not only terrain to train on, but also natural backstops. I combined this with the purchase of suitable electronic pop-up targets that operate by remote control and will sense hits - they fall when hit. This allows me to bring the quality of training that I intend, and is the reason that I prefer to train at my facility, rather than travel where I am limited in what I can do with people.
After giving it much thought, I have gone heavily back to the 'old-school' ways of light infantry style training. I believe that this is exactly what is needed to prepare people for the kind of SHTF or resistance to ‘enemies foreign or domestic’ situation for which we are all training. I reject 'tacticool' in favor of battle tested light infantry team tactics. I am also influenced by my close protection background in order to bring an amalgamation of training and operational experience to give you what I sincerely consider is the best such training available in this field.
- Max Velocity Tactical