88 Tactical Offers Civilian SERE Training

By: Soldier Systems

First off, I have to address their name. 88 Tactical isn’t some nefarious code for something that would turn my stomach. Started in 2009, it’s made up of guys with a history of public service in the military and law enforcement. They are based in Nebraska and you may have seen them on one of the “survival shelter” shows on cable.

Second, I’ll address what they do. Aside from the usual firearms and tactical training, the guys at 88 Tactical are working to make a name for themselves in the bushcraft and survival arenas. There is definitely a demand for Survival training in the civilian market. But, I’ll address a concern some of you will share with me. 88 Tactical offers what they refer to as SERE training (Survive, Endure, Respond, Excel) but some of their courses, which I won’t cover here, are offered to select LE and civilians only, so this isn’t all open enrollment training. You’ve got to have the credentials to get more in depth training.

Of their offerings, Intro to Survival Skills is a good starting point. It’s a one day course with some basic classroom followed by “dirt time” where you’ll get hands on experience in these areas:

  • Survival mindset
  • What to do in a wilderness emergency
  • Choosing the proper equipment
  • Personal Survival Kits (PSK)
  • First Aid Kit (FAK)
  • Choosing proper cutting tools
  • Man made fire starters
  • Safety considerations
  • Shelter construction
  • Knot-tying
  • Building fires
  • Signaling rescuers
  • Procuring water

SERE Level 1 builds on those basic skills in a two-day course featuring an overnight in a shelter built using techniques taught in the course. Topics include:

  • Shelters
  • Firecraft
  • Water procurement
  • Sustenance
  • Personal protection
  • Signaling
  • Tool care
  • Land nav and making movement
  • Weather dependent skills

SERE Level 2 is an intermediate course that once again takes place in the field over a two-and-a-half period. You have to have completed their Level 1 course and the instruction goes into more depth in these subjects:

  • Personal Survival Kits (PSK)
  • First Aid Kit (FAK)
  • Choosing the proper cutting tools
  • Safety considerations
  • Sourcing food and water
  • Camp selection
  • Knife and saw use
  • Improvising
  • Sheltercraft
  • Firecraft
  • Foraging
  • Knots and hitches

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