Confrence Course
training Bulletin No. GT-6

Thunderbird of the 45th Infantry Division, Second Worldwar

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Training Bulletin No. GT-6




This Bulletin contains instructions for the construction of a Combat Reaction Course (Section I), a Test Course of Basic and Tactical Training (Section II), and a suggested method for combining these courses in order to test a large number of men, concurrently (Section III).

The Combat Reaction Course described in Section I is designed for men armed with the rifle, bayonet, and grenade, but can be modified so as to test men armed with the carbine. Similar courses may be devised for testing members of weapons platoons of rifle companies, or members of heavy weapons companies.

The Test Course described in Section II is suitable, with only minor modification, for use by all units in the infantry battalion.
Section III outlines a combination of these two courses.

Section I
Combat Reaction Course

1. PURPOSE.-The purpose of the Combat Reaction Course is to test the ability of the individual soldier to think and act quickly, to evaluate his aggressiveness, and to test his technical ability to use his basic weapons effectively.

2. CONDUCT OF TEST.-a. The test is conducted by having the soldier run a designated course in which he is suddenly confronted with various unexpected situations along his route of advance. This bulletin outlines one suggested course as a guide only. See figures 1 and 1 to 10, inclusive. The course must be adapted to local conditions and available terrain. Energy and initiative are required on the part of instructors.

b. The terrain should be of varied type, and wooded. Rough terrain with deep ditches, gullies, thick woods, and hills, is most suitable for the construction of the course. Where the terrain will permit, the course should be laid out approximately in circular form, both for convenience and to facilitate control. See figure 1.

c. The following points should be stressed during the running of the course by the individual soldier (the pupil) :
(1) Use of available cover and concealment.
(2) Prompt use of the correct weapon.
(3) Correct use of weapon selected.
(4) The follow-up.

d. The unit, or group, selected to run the course may be assembled at one of the stations on the course, where the instructor explains the purpose of the course and demonstrates the method of running it. It is preferable, however, to have a separate station, similar to one on the course, constructed nearby where the instructor can explain the purpose of the course and demonstrate to the unit or group the method of running it. By using this method, a subsequent unit or group may be oriented at this station while


the unit or group first oriented is running the course. Having completed the explanation and demonstration, the instructor designates previously instructed noncommissioned officers to act as assistant instructors, one noncommissioned officer for each station. One additional man is detailed as the operator for each station. The position assumed by each operator at the respective stations should not be too obvious to the pupil. At each station, the noncommissioned officer assistant will point out errors made by the pupil on the four points listed in paragraph c above, as soon as the pupil's reaction to the situation is complete.

e. In order to keep the maximum number of men busy, the unit or group may be subdivided into two groups, one of which starts the course at Station I, while the other starts at a midway station. (See also Section III.)

3. EQUIPMENT.-Each rifleman should be equipped with a rifle, bayonet fixed, and two dummy hand grenades. Each man armed with a carbine, running a modified course, also should have two dummy grenades. Light packs may or may not be worn. The assistant instructors may be provided with check sheets for grading each pupil on the four points listed in paragraph 2c, above.

4. DESCRIPTION OF THE COURSE.-The combat reaction course is constructed and operated as follows:
Station 1.-a. Material required.-A medium size gunny sack filled with shavings or other light material. (See figure 1.)

figure 1

b. Method of operation.-One operator concealed along path of course to throw the gunny sack in front of the pupil.


Station 2.-a. Material required.-A bayonet dummy concealed behind a tree beside the path, with a No. 10 can (containing a few rocks and with holes punched in bottom for drainage in rainy weather) tied to the bottom of the dummy; about 10 or 15 yards of cord should be tied to the bottom of the can. (See figure 2.)

figure 2

b. Method of operation.-One operator concealed nearby to pull the cord, thereby rattling rocks in the can.

Station 3.-a. Material required.-A dummy made from a gunny sack or an old unionall, filled with shavings or other material, suspended by a wire from a tree limb over the path (See figure 3.)


b. Method of operation.-One operator to hold a dummy concealed behind the tree until the pupil is nearly abreast of the tree, when the dummy is allowed to swing out.

Station 4.-a. Material required.-A bayonet dummy, hinged to a post or tree. (See figure 4.)

figure 4

b. Method of operation.-One operator to release the dummy as the pupil approaches.

Station 5.-a. Material required.-A log placed across a deep ditch or gulley. Tangled barbed wire may be placed under the log if desired. (See figure 5.)

figure 5

6. Method of operation.-One operator concealed in brush on the far bank of the ditch to represent the enemy, and to fire a blank round at the ground or otherwise simulate firing on the pupil as he nears the middle of the log. (See Note 1, below.) (Be sure the action is arrested before the man representing the enemy can be harmed.)

Station 6.-a. Material required.-Three prone silhouette targets on a hinged frame concealed in a shallow trench (l1/2 feet deep), with a cord attached to raise targets. (See figure 6.)

figure 6

b. Method of operation.-One operator concealed about 15 feet to a flank to raise targets when the pupil is about 20 yards distant. Targets are exposed for just a moment. (Be sure the operator is placed so as not to be endangered by the dummy grenade.)

Station 7.-a. Material required.-A log fence 8 feet long and 4 feet high. (See figure 7.)

figure 7

b. Method of operation.-One operator concealed about 50 yards away, to fire a blank round at the ground or otherwise simulate rifle fire as the pupil tops the fence.

Station 8.-a. Material required. A shed, constructed out of logs or slabs. (See figure 8.)

figure 8

b. Method of operation.-One operator runs from the shed and disappears. (If desired, a dummy may be hung to swing out from the door if the pupil approaches the door. An additional operator may be used to release this dummy.)

Station 9.-a. Material required.-A bayonet dummy near the path of the pupil with a cord attached for moving it. A concealed sliding bayonet dummy on wire. (See figure 9.)

figure 9

b. Method of operation.- (two operators.) One operator pulls the cord and thus moves the prone dummy; as the pupil thrusts at the prone dummy, another operator releases the sliding dummy.

Station 10.-a. Material required.-A bayonet dummy concealed in a shallow pit behind logs, with a cord attached to cause the dummy to pop up. (See figure 10.)

figure 10

b. Method of operation.-One operator concealed near the dummy to operate it by means of the cord.

NOTES: 1. If blank ammunition is lacking, it may be necessary to improvise means of representing firing in order to make the course realistic. Any improvised means which actually produces the noise desired is suitable. Examples for operators are: two 1" x 3" x 18" boards, joined by a hinge, give a fair representation of rifle fire when clapped together; cap pistols with large caps may be used. Also the pupil can be instructed to shout the instant he squeezes the trigger of his rifle, in order to indicate to the assistant instructor that he has fired,

2. The above outline of material, and the use of operators, is given only as a guide for the construction and operation of a combat reaction course. Many situations can be developed for testing the reaction of the individual soldier when he is suddenly confronted with the unexpected, along his route of advance.

3. Personnel for operating the combat reaction course (one previously instructed noncommissioned officer and one previously rehearsed private at each station) may not be readily available. In such case the following procedure is suggested:

To have one previously instructed noncommissioned officer and one operator assigned to each two stations, thereby reducing by fifty per cent the number of men required to operate the course. In this method the noncommissioned officer (assistant instructor) and the private (who is to operate the apparatus) precede the pupil to Station 1. After the pupil has performed the desired action at Station 1, and while the noncommissione'd officer is checking, criticizing, and scoring the performance, the private moves to Station 2, where he takes a suitable position, prepared to operate the apparatus upon the arrival of the pupil. The noncommissioned officer and pupil then proceed to Station 2 After the pupil has cleared Station 2, the noncommissioned officer and operator return to Station 1 and there await the arrival of the next pupil. Thus a pair, consisting of one noncommissioned officer and an operator, controls and operates each two stations.

Section II
Test Course of Basic and Tactical Training


5. PURPOSE.-The purpose of the Test Course of Basic and Tactical Training is to test the soldier in his knowledge of individual training, and to bring to light any deficiencies in that training so that corrective measures may be taken.

6. PREPARATION.-Prior to the time a unit is to be tested, the unit commander should put a sufficient number of noncommissioned officers and selected privates through the course to provide an assistant instructor for each station. If this is not feasible, the coach-and-pupil method may be used. When the coach-and-pupil method is used, the group being tested is divided into pairs of coach and pupil. Each pair is then assigned a test course to go over.

7. CONDUCT OF TEST.-a. The test is conducted by having an individual (or a pair-coach and pupil) go over a staked out course of 8 to 20 stations (each station marked by a numbered stake). At each station along the course the pupil is given a situation to solve, by an assistant instructor posted at the station, or by the coach. Each situation pertains to a phase of individual training. After a solution is demonstrated by the pupil, the assistant instructor (or the coach) then gives the correct solution and the individual (or pair) moves on to the next station along the course where similar action is taken for the next situation. An improvised form of score card should be kept by the assistant instructor at each station for by the coach for all stations he grades) on which the name of the pupil (s) and the proficiency attained is entered. (Assistant instructors may be required to have the pupil, after he is graded and is given the correct solution or other explanation, repeat, for purposes of instruction, any test incorrectly performed.) When the coach-and-pupil method is used, men may be instructed to change over, after one-half of the course is completed.

b. The example given below shows how a series of tests can be made up to provide a test course comprising eight stations. These tests preferably should be conducted by assistant instructors, one at each station. However, the coach-and-pupil method can be used if closely supervised by one or more instructors.

1 You have one minute to conceal yourself near this bush and observe to the front.

Conceals himself, observing through bush. If he cannot see through the bush, he should observe from its rightto observe. (Assistant instructor, or coach, checks for field of vision and correct concealment.)


2 Set compass (prismatic or
lensatic) for a night march
on 178 degrees magnetic azimuth.

When the 178 degrees graduation is in line with eyepiece(or rear sight)and etched line on cover, the luminous line on the glass face should coincide with the luminous arrow.


3 Using watch and sun method, determine which one of two colored flags is north of the numbered stake. Watch is set at local standard time.


Blue flag (or whichever flag is correct).

(Note: In determining direction by means of the watch and sun method, care must be taken to set the watch at local standard time, not war time.)


4 Here is an intrenching shovel. You are exposed to enemy fire from the front. Dig yourself in from a prone position.


Pupil should lie on left side with left foot forward; start trench, throwing dirt to front to form parapet. (When the pupil has demonstrated his ability, terminate the test.)


5 You are the point of a reconnaissance patrol which is moving along that line of stakes. I am your patrol leader. When I say, "Start," move forward. - While you are moving forward, I will tell you that an enemy has appeared to your front (left flank) (rear).1. Drops to a concealed position.
2. Signals to patrol leader-"Enemy
in sight" as follows-
a. Rolls on back.
6. Holds rifle horizontally above ground as far as arms will extend.
3. Then keeps enemy, or the dangerous locality, under observation until arrival of the patrol leader.

6 Orient your map. (Assistant instructor, or coach, gives the pupil a map and a compass.)

Pupil places map on ground and places sighting line of compass on the magnetic north indicator of map, rotating map until luminous arrow of compass rests at 0 degrees and coincides with magnetic north indicator on map.


7 Find the best cover from the front within 20 yards. I will give you ten seconds. Ready -Go!

Assistant instructor, or coach, counts ten and checks pupil. Pupil should take COVERED, not CONCEALED, position.


8 You are the leader of a reconnaissance patrol moving in the direction of the line of stakes. I will take the position of the left (right) flank man near the crest of that hill to your left (right) Hank. When I have signalled "Enemy in sight," demonstrate your action.Pupil, acting as patrol leader, moves to left (right) flank man and takes prone position beside him, observing left (right) flank. Advantage is taken of all available cover and concealment, both while moving and in taking position from which to observe.

c. Many other phases of individual training can be introduced, such as crossing a dangerous area under simulated artillery or machine-gun fire; climbing a tree to take up a position as a sniper; the use of arm-and-hand signals; selecting a route for a reconnaissance scout; and such others as available terrain permits and the ingenuity of the instructor can devise. See figure 11.

Figure 11 Individual test course for basic and tactical training. This is an extract
from an actual course; it shows only a few selected stations

d. Another illustration of drawing up situations and solutions, particularly applicable to the coach-and-pupil method, is as follows: Note: In scoring this test course, coaches may be instructed to enter each man's name on a score sheet, list all stations by stake number, and indicate the proficiency attained at each station, prior to corrections by the coach, by the following symbols:
V Correct;
/ Partially correct;
X Incorrect


Instructions given pupil by the coach


1Assume a prone position within 10 yards of this stake with good observation to the front and flanks.-You have one minute to search this area.-At the end of one minute, tell me how many silhouette targets you find.1. Looks first at ground and the trees nearest him.
2. Searches a narrow strip from right to left, including more distant trees.
3. Searches a second strip from left to right, farther away but overlapping the first strip.
4. Continues procedure until entire field of view is covered.
5. Locates silhouette target (in tree { to--.-----.-. (direction)).
2(Blindfold Pupil)-It is night.-You are near the enemy.-Demonstrate how to walk at night by moving ten yards in the direction I now face you.- (Coach faces pupil in direction he is to walk.)-Go ahead.1. Raises foot well above any grass or weeds before carrying it forward.
2. Lowers heel first.
3. Puts ball of foot down slowly and quietly.
3See that hill? (pointing to right or left flank).-Now take a prone position.-Rush 15 to 20 yards and take a prone firing position to deliver fire on that hill.1. Slowly raises head in order to ! select next position.
2. Slowly lowers head.
3. Draws in arms until hands are opposite head, elbows down.
4. Raises body quickly by straightening arms and jumps off.
5. Runs forward in a crouched position (affords low silhouette).
6. Drops to both knees, sliding right hand to butt of rifle; at the same time places rifle on ground.
7. Assumes firing position.

4(Blindfold pupil in front of wire.)
It is night. You are near the
enemy.-You are to walk
over wire.-I will guide you
to the point where you will
start to cross the wire.

1. Feels carefully for first strand with one hand. (Does not shake or jerk wire.)
2. With the other hand feels for a clear spot where he can place his foot without stepping on the other strands or objects apt to make a noise.
3. Lifts the other foot over wire, close to the hand which grasps the first strand.
4. Carries rifle slung, or pulls it through along the ground, being sure not to get dirt in the muzzle.

5(Place pupil in a prone position five yards from a trench.) That trench represents a part of a continuous enemy trench.-The enemy may be occupying it.- Demonstrate how you will cross the trench.1. Crawls, or creeps, up to the trench and looks in.
2. Removes all loose dirt and rocks from the edge.
3. Springs up and leaps across trench, landing on one foot with the other foot held to rear to catch himself in case he misses edge of trench.
4. On other side, drops noiselessly to ground.
5. Lies motionless and listens before proceeding.

6Camouflage this helmet with whatever vegetation you can find at hand. (Helmet is provided with a strand of wire fastened loosely around base of crown.)1. Places one end of vegetation in wire on outside of helmet.
2. Draws vegetation across top of helmet and under wire on other side.
3. Assures that top side of leaves are up.
4. Has no plumes sticking up that will wave when head is moved. (After problem, remove camouflage.)

7The enemy may be on the other side of that crest to your front (right flank) (left flank). When I say, "Start," move forward. Ready? Start.1. Walks, crouched, toward crest; drops to the ground when he reaches a point where he is apt to be seen.
2. Creeps or crawls remainder of distance to crest.
3. Takes concealed position for observation.
8You have uncontrollable desire to:
a. Cough.
b. Sneeze.

a. Pupil presses against Adams apple.
b. Pupil presses upward on nostrils.
9Take a prone position.-You have ten seconds to run about 20 yards and conceal yourself from me.-I will keep my eyes closed for ten seconds.-Are you ready?- Go!1. No part of pupil can be seen.
10Creep ten yards1.Rests body on-
a Lower legs with knees in rear
of buttocks.
b Elbows.
c Forearms.
2.Rifle is cradled in arms or carried in hands.
3. Drags body forward by alternately pulling with either arm being sure to keep knees in rear of buttocks.

11Crawl ten yards
1. Body and legs flat on the ground.
2. Rifle in right hand.
3. Draw up either leg and push body forward, pulling up with hands.

12(Wire is strung between two tall pickets; pupil is blindfolded.) Crawl under barbed wire.1. Pupil lies on back.
2. Feels for wire and raises it over his head.
3. Edges himself forward at same time.
4. Guards against fouling muzzle of his rifle with dirt.

8. EQUIPMENT.-Each individual undergoing the test should be equipped with a rifle with bayonet fixed, or with a carbine. Light packs may or may not be worn. Equipment required at each station of the individual test course will be that needed for the particular test. For example: at a station requiring orienting a map, compass and map; at a station requiring the pupil to dig in, an intrenching shovel; at a station requiring direction by the watch and sun method, a watch and two colored flags; and so on.

9. TERRAIN.-a. The terrain should contain streams, hills, gullies, and wooded areas. The course should be laid out in such a manner as to take advantage of all natural features which will aid in presenting the specific situations at the various stations.

b. As many courses as are desired, and as the terrain will permit, can be staked out. The courses should be about 20 yards apart to prevent assistant instructors (or coaches) and pupils from interfering with each other, and to prevent pupils from getting on the wrong course. The stakes marking the stations and direction of the course should be lettered with the course designation, such as A, B, C, etc., and numbered consecutively throughout. The stations may be placed from 20 to 35 yards apart along the course in order to take advantage of natural terrain features.

Section III
Combined Combat Reaction and Test Courses

10. COMBINED TESTS.-a. Figure 3 shows a schematic layout consisting of two combat reaction courses (lettered A and B-see paragraph 2) and six test courses of basic and tactical training (lettered I, J, K, L, M, and N-see paragraph 7). Combat reaction courses A and B may be constructed so as to provide different situations within each area, or they may be constructed alike. All test courses of basic and tactical training will contain the same tests, but the tests may be arranged in a different order or sequence in order to take advantage of natural features afforded by the terrain. If available terrain permits the various courses to be arranged as shown in figure 3, a large number of men may be tested concurrently.

b. A suggested division of personnel to be tested is as follows: Assume a unit or group of 100 men is to be tested on a terrain layout similar to that shown in figure 3. Divide the unit or group into two groups of 50 men each; send one group to the combat reaction course marked "A" and the other group to the combat reaction course marked "B." Further divide each group, upon arrival at combat reaction courses A and B, into sections of 24 and 26 men, respectively. Assign each 24-man section to tests on the combat reaction course, and each 26-man section to tests on individual test courses. The 26-man section from combat reaction course A would use courses L, M, and N (8 men might be assigned to courses L. and M, respectively, and 10 men to course N). The 26-man section from combat reaction course B would use courses I, J, and K (10 men might be assigned to course I, and 8 men to courses J and K, respectively). Upon the arrival of all men at the last station on the respective test courses, they would be reported to the instructor in charge of the nearest combat reaction course and then be required to complete that course. Also, when the men of each 24-man section complete the respective combat reaction courses, they in turn should be assigned to individual test courses.

c. The method of testing outlined above assures a minimum of lost time and insures keeping a maximum number of men engaged at all times. The two groups of 50 men each should finish the respective courses at approximately the same time.

d. Availability of suitable terrain is the only limitation as to the number of the courses that can be constructed. Twice the number of men could be tested by adding combat reaction courses "C" and "D" and six additional individual test courses to the layout shown in figure 12.

Figure 12 Schematic diagram of combined courses.

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