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Old 08-07-2021, 11:47   #6
Quiet Professional
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Clarksville, TN
Posts: 1,140
It has been many years since I was required to execute a land navigation course for Special Forces qualification, but I did well. (PM me if you want a citation to authority).

If you are staring down at a map the whole time, and looking perhaps 10 meters in front of yourself, you have the wrong mind set.

Part of being a Special Forces soldier is a developed sense of “situational awareness.”

At anytime in the course (land nav or otherwise) you should be able to lift up your eyes and say – maybe even out loud – “where am I, where am I going? what is the date and time?”

Each leg on the STAR land nav is not a meandering “bubble” of time/place/circumstance. You want to put yourself in the position of “looking down” on the route from several thousand feet overhead. It is a mission that you should be able to say:

“I’m starting at this hilltop. I’m going to travel 3,000 meters, that’s a bit bit under two miles. My path will take me downhill, then up and down two small ridges.* When I descend the second ridge, as suggested by my pace count, and as confirmed by my boots on the ground, then I’ll be in a draw/valley that runs 320-140 degrees. I’m going to turn uphill on the 320 side, and walk 100 meters to the flat top, trying to keep the slope equal left and right. The point I’m looking for will be just at or just in the treeline.”

Plan your walk, and walk your plan.

*Know your contour interval, Fort Bragg and the scrub oak and pineland of Camp Mackall are very nearly flat, a ten foot change in elevation is a big difference, while in the Great Smokies you can “up and down” 20 feet changes that won’t even be a bulge in the contour intervals.
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