Frequently Asked Questions...

May I bring my personally owned AR15 to training and simulations?

Yes. Please do! One Shepherd maintains an armory of AR15 rifles and carbines for our members to borrow at no extra cost. Yet we also encourage Warriors to own the tools of their trade - a weapon. Now that said, be advised that there are a few caveats.

DO NOT BRING personally owned blank ammunition, magazines, or blank firing adaptor! This is forbidden.

1. Personally owned rifles or carbines must be of the AR15 variant in .233 caliber (5.56mm). One Shepherd uses the M200 LC blank cartridge in this caliber. Furthermore, our MILES 2000/IWS are programed for this caliber only. For safety reasons, personally owned blank ammunition is absolutely forbidden from our training facility. Period.

2. Personally owned magazines are not permitted. One Shepherd employs USGI STANAG aluminum magazines. The spines are painted to indicate "blank ammunition only." This is a critical part of our safety protocol.

3. Personally owned AR15 must have A1 or A2-type "bird cage" muzzlebrake. One Shepherd employs the government standard M15A2 red blank firing adaptor (BFA) for barrels 18 inches or longer, and the M26 yellow BFA for barrels 16 inches or shorter. Due to our safety protocol, we insist you use ours.

Personally owned AR15 weapons will be checked into the arms room and undergo a functions and safety check. They will be fitted with a MILES SAT laser on the barrel. Members are responsible for zeroing the SAT laser (dry fire), and should anticipate between five minutes and an hour to zero depending on their proficiency. Please do not bring your "Safe Queen" prized firearm. Personally owned AR15 should be a Warrior's weapon. It will become scratched, dented, and worn in our training environment!

OD Green Rules!

Solid OD green furniture is not required for the first fielding. However, you'll notice that solid olive green is One Shepherd's motif. We expect your AR15 to conform to our uniformity. Complete OD green furniture may be purchased for under $100. Alternatively, DuraCoat furniture finish can be purchased for just $16, and a can of OD green Krylon spraypaint costs just $3. So it's affordable.

Can civilians participate in One Shepherd's tactical training?

Absolutely. One Shepherd is a vocational leadership education program. While we are a rite of passage for the warrior community, and employ military simulation extensively, it is not the intent or purpose of One Shepherd to establish a military organization.

Some people have enthusiasticly remarked that One Shepherd brings an element of irreverance to a curriculum that has been heretofore "safe guarded" by the secret and clandestine faternal orders of martial art. Rubbish. The content of our curriculum is open source and readily available to every American citizen through the Freedom of Information Act. It's available online! We're not giving away trade secrets or national security.

On the other hand...all stories have been told; it's how you tell the story that sells it. And at One Shepherd we have a proven instructional pedogogy and incredibly talented, experienced staff and cadre. In short, we tell a good story. We tell it well enough to interest community members from the US Department of Defense, Department of State, and Department of Energy.

Come be a part of our story.

How Do I Pay For Registration?

You can pay online, via our register spring and register fall pages. This same sign up online system also accepts payment in the form of personal check, cashiers check, traveler's check, and postal or bank money orders. Currently we do not have any means to pay by credit card, in person or online. Payments must be received two weeks prior to the start of the semester you plan to attend. Please make check or money orders payable to TacComp Media. Mail to:

S1 Personnel Officer
TacComp Media, LLC
811 Bluff Brook Drive
O'Fallon, MO 63366

[Note: Please, DO NOT make the check or money order payable to One Shepherd.]

Are tuition fees ever refunded?

In the unlikely prospect of One Shepherd canceling an event, payments will be refunded to each participant.

Additionally, for those individuals who choose to pay well in advance of the semester, refunds may be issued prior to the registration deadline date set two weeks before the start of the semester. After that deadline date, no refunds are issued.

Transfers to another semester are not permitted. However, transfers to another qualified participant are allowed. To be “qualified” means (a.) the participant must meet our Policy of Eligibility, see our Policy page, and (b.) the participant will either be attending the Warrior Basic Course or has already completed the Warrior Basic Course.

Be sure to read our Refunds page for further information.

What Skills Will I Learn?

One Shepherd's Warrior Leader Program is an experiential learning environment that achieves practical application through immersive wargaming simulation. As such, you will learn patrolling competencies in small unit tactical operations during the Warrior track training:

- Establish Security
- Gain Situational Awareness
- Develop Contingency Plans
- Manage Resources
- Small Arms Gunfighting
- Land Navigation
- Tactical Communications

Additionally you will learn leadership competencies during the Leader track training:

- Envision Success
- Communicate Intent
- Conduct Planning
- Decision-making
- Build Consensus
- Assess Progress
- Mentor Others
- Recognize Culmination
- Celebrate Success

To explore these competencies further, be sure to read our Course Description page. Then plan your training through our Training Calendar page.

Can I Bring A Friend?

We prefer that you do (although it is not absolutely required). Over the past four decades One Shepherd has recruited primarily through word of mouth. Warriors come with their best friend, brothers, cousins, sons and daughters. We believe this makes our community stronger.

Entry to the Warrior Leader Program is offered through the Warrior Basic Course each spring semester in early June. This opens the door to all other training in our Warrior Leader Program.

If your friend has missed the spring semester, they may still participate in the Land Navigation Course scheduled for the fall semester in late September. The two-day Land Navigation Course is an "open event" and non-members are allowed to attend. Furthermore newcomers who attend the Land Navigation Course have no requirement to purchase uniforms or special equipment to participate!

All participants must meet One Shepherd's Policy of Eligibility. See our Policy page.

What gear will I need?

Duty Uniforms – You will need both uniforms, the Blue Forces (BLUFOR) and Opposing Forces (OPFOR) uniforms. This includes rain gear. Newcomers are not required to have the proper insignia for their first semester. Be sure to see our Uniform page.

Load Bearing Equipment – At a minimum, each participant will carry two quarts of water plus multiple 30-round AR15 magazines. Hydration packs such as the CamelBak are very popular, but canteens work also. For carrying ammunition magazines you may consider ALICE LC2 or LBV88, MOLLE vest, or bandolier chest pouches (BCP) of any make. The choice is yours, but the more versatile your gear, the better. You will carry AR15 series weapons. All equipment should be solid OD green in color.

Field Equipment (Camping) – At a minimum, each participant will carry:
Waterproof bag
Rain tarp w/ bungee cords
Sleeping bag
Sleeping matt
Entrenching shovel
Utility multi-tool
2 quarts water in extra canteens
First aid kit
Personal hygiene kit

Here is a link to our complete packing list.

Mission Essential Equipment – All mission equipment materiel plus AR15 and MILES 2000/IWS simulation will be provided by One Shepherd. Under specific circumstances clients may bring their own personally owned firearm. See FAQ Can I bring my own personal AR15?

Field Rations – The Warrior Leader Program tuition fees include the cost of all prepared meals and MRE. Furthermore participants will sleep in tented quarters provided by One Shepherd.

Why Do I Need Two Uniforms?

This is a question we get a lot, and that's understandable given the fact that few people have experienced immersive force-on-force simulation. So let's try to sum it up succinctly. The three reasons we insist on two different uniforms are (1.) identification, (2.) hygiene, and (3.) tradition.

One Shepherd is an immersive, force-on-force simulation-based learning environment. Your opponents will be your fellow community members. The quickest way to determine “friend or foe” in battle is to visually identify their uniform. Without two uniforms things become very confusing, very quickly. Two distinct uniforms offer the most immediate form of identifying enemy from ally in battle.

The uniform of the day is rotated daily. One day you wear the BLUFOR Woodland uniform, the next day you wear the OPFOR OD Green uniform. When living for a week at a time in base camp and deployed to the bush, rotating uniforms helps extend the servicability of your uniforms. It's more hygenic. It saves time and money.

One Shepherd began 1981, coincidentally the same year that the US Army began the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, CA and subsequently the Jungle Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, LA. Curiously enough, the Army too recognized the brilliance of incorporating a simple, solid OD green uniform for the OPFOR as a way of identifying forces. Independently, One Shepherd came to the same conclusion and we have a 30+ year tradition of maintaining two uniforms. Since that time, all Warriors are required to purchase and maintain the two prescribed uniforms.

You need two uniforms. You can manage with just one pair of boots, gloves, and belt. But you will need both uniforms.

Be sure to read our Uniforms page for further detailed information.

What Should I Purchase First?

Your uniforms! Uniforms are based on size and are therefore much harder to loan. Your first purchase should be focused on obtaining your uniforms – both of which are required for the semester (except for newcomers attending the Land Navigation Course). Uniforms are discussed in terms of cut pattern, cloth pattern, and color pattern.

BLUFOR Uniform:

ACU Shirt, Ripstop material, Woodland pattern
ACU/BDU Pant, Ripstop material, Woodland pattern
Boonie Hat, Ripstop or Twill material, Woodland pattern
Rain Parka, Breathable membrane or PVC, Woodland pattern

OPFOR Uniform:

ACU Shirt, Ripstop material, OD Green color
ACU/BDU Pant, Ripstop material, OD Green color
Boonie Hat, Ripstop or Twill material, OD Green color
Rain Parka, Breathable membrane or PVC, OD Green color

Uniform Items:

Combat Boots, Suede-out, Medium brown
Leather Gloves, Mechanic-style, Medium brown
Pant Belt, Duty or Rigger-type, Nylon, OD Green color
Under Garments, Cooling or Wicking material, OD Green color

Equipment on the other hand can be loaned in whole or in part for newcomers. Just ask. Borrowing equipment has several advantages. It keeps initial investment costs down. It allows you to gain first-hand experience with unfamiliar gear so that you can better decide which model you prefer. And it creates an opportunity for you to meaningfully connect with the One Shepherd community.

Be sure to read our Uniforms page for further detailed information.

Why must "Battle Rattle" gear be solid OD green?

This is a misunderstanding. Let's set the record straight. You are allowed to use either solid OD Green or Woodland pattern battle gear in ALICE, MOLLE, BCP or similar kit. We insist on OD Green gear if you have only a single set of battle rattle.

OD Green Rules!

Why? Because OD Green battle rattle gear can be worn with BOTH uniforms - either the OPFOR uniform in solid olive green or with the BLUFOR uniform in Woodland. So OD Green battle rattle gear is more versatile.

You CANNOT wear woodland battle rattle gear with the OPFOR uniform. Woodland gear must be worn only with the woodland uniform.

The OPFOR uniform is solid olive green. If you were to wear woodland battle rattle with the OPFOR uniform it would be very difficult in most cases to visually determine your status as "friend of foe". That goes completely against our rationale for having two uniforms!

Yet, you CAN wear OD battle rattle gear with the BLUFOR uniform. Why? Experience has shown that when the human eye sees a woodland pattern uniform we do not differentiate the OD Green color of battle gear. The OD green battle rattle just becomes part of the woodland pattern to the human eye.

So again, you can have both woodland and OD green battle rattle gear. But the OD green is universal, whereas the woodland gear can only be worn with the BLUFOR woodland uniform. It just makes good financial sense to purchase one set of gear – and if you own just one set of battle rattle, it must be OD green.

If you can afford both - fine! We allow both. We welcome it. Go for it.

Do I have to borrow expensive equipment from One Shepherd?

The answer to this question is both "yes" and "no."

Yes, you must sign for MILES 2000/IWS equipment, AR15 weapon, and magazines. This equipment is expensive and you are responsible for the care and safekeeping of all equipment assigned to you.

No, you are not required to sign for other mission essential equipment such as night vision, communication systems, or navigational systems – if you believe you are not competently trained in the use and care of this equipment. One Shepherd wants you to be competently trained on such equipment before you assume responsibility for it.

Equipment Replacement Policy

Keep in mind that the Warrior Leader Program is a community. The equipment provided by One Shepherd to the Warrior Leader Program is the responsibility of ALL members! As such we have a straightforward policy on equipment loss or breakage...