What makes a "scout".

Discussion in 'Other Skills' started by THRsucks, Oct 6, 2017.

  1. THRsucks

    THRsucks Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2017
    Messages:
    1,170
    Likes Received:
    3,097
    I'm curious to hear what people tend to believe or suppose when they hear the term scout. What does it mean to you? What skills should a scout have? And what attributes do they possess?
     
  2. ClutteredShop

    ClutteredShop Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2016
    Messages:
    1,414
    Likes Received:
    3,455
    Location:
    Syracuse, NY
    Besides the whole wilderness skills and tracking stuff, the word has unpleasant connotations for me. It reminds me of how Whites took advantage of the inter-tribal rivalries of the Native Americans by hiring scouts from one tribe to lead military expeditions against other tribes.
     
    Beach Hiker, Staleym, OldMan and 7 others like this.
  3. bush-hunter

    bush-hunter Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2017
    Messages:
    162
    Likes Received:
    719
    I belive it to refer to that. But also pathfinder. With skills to take him far.
     
  4. GreyOne

    GreyOne Elder Lifetime Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    4
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2008
    Messages:
    41,378
    Likes Received:
    12,515
    Location:
    Texas
    I think many will see the term in relation to Boy Scouts.:)

    Scouts were skilled in wilderness travel, and were good observers able to give accurate reports, whether about an enemy or about terrain, water, camp sites and resources.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2017
  5. central joe

    central joe Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2012
    Messages:
    8,665
    Likes Received:
    53,792
    Location:
    upstate south carolina
    Scout to me is a wilderness man sort of like a forward observer of long ago. Go see and report, or open new territory. Or as said Boy Scouts. joe
     
  6. THRsucks

    THRsucks Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2017
    Messages:
    1,170
    Likes Received:
    3,097
    Yeah I agree. Interesting how traditional skills seem to relate to espionage, and intelligence gathering. "Craft" being related to magic and subversive/covert things. It's significant and interesting.
     
  7. ezra45

    ezra45 Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2010
    Messages:
    4,517
    Likes Received:
    6,220
    Location:
    Idaho/South OR coast
    Check out a skills list for a USMC Scout Sniper...many more skills than just shooting and in many cases, just as or more important.
    Also, check out Kit Carson, frontier scout...the skills that man had were quite awesome and he taught them to others.
    Finally, check out what it takes to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.
    All related...

    ezra
     
  8. THRsucks

    THRsucks Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2017
    Messages:
    1,170
    Likes Received:
    3,097
    I regret not being able to get involved in BSA younger in life...
    I have been employed by them and it smashed my ideas of the organization and the people in it when I worked at the Charles l. Sommers canoe base at the entry to the boundary waters.
    I don't think I've personally met higher quality people. It's probably what started it all for me.
    At 16 I thought the scouts were an organization of latent homosexuals, I learned to keep my opinions to myself as far as tgat was concerned, i had the misfortune of a hard lesson with a ranked junior Olympian wrestler although i dont remember his name...i dont remember much at all about him, i later learned he must have been a greco expert due to the memory loss. and I also learned to raise my three fingers in silence when i was supposed to...both hands if I wasn't sure. The early indoctrination of the hand signal to be silent freaks me out in the coolest possible way.
     
  9. GoKartz

    GoKartz Sharpaholic

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2017
    Messages:
    2,058
    Likes Received:
    9,442
    Location:
    Quakertown, PA
    Scout to me only has a military context. Observing and reporting on troop movements. Skills are going to be very geographic and temporally specific - a scout during the western expansion of the US in the 1800s is going to be very different from a scout during the Vietnam conflict. Overlap would include navigation and cartography, observant, detailed, patient, high degree of physical fitness, and proficiency in fieldcraft (fieldcraft not in the bushcraft sense).




    Hmm. Adding one, but not a primary one - in context, I'll think scout in term of sports.
     
  10. DarrylM

    DarrylM Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2016
    Messages:
    3,342
    Likes Received:
    17,924
    Location:
    NE Washington State
    Self-sufficient, observant, resilient, stealthy.
     
  11. Riverpirate

    Riverpirate Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    11
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2016
    Messages:
    2,754
    Likes Received:
    14,651
    Location:
    Milner Georgia
    My horse...I used to have a horse name scout.
     
    SoreFeet, Staleym, Horseman and 9 others like this.
  12. THRsucks

    THRsucks Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2017
    Messages:
    1,170
    Likes Received:
    3,097
    That is a fine name for a horse.
     
  13. THRsucks

    THRsucks Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2017
    Messages:
    1,170
    Likes Received:
    3,097
    You definitely tuned into the attribute part of the question. How do you personally improve and sharpen them?
     
  14. crewhead05

    crewhead05 caffeine, nicotine, knives and nature. Lifetime Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2014
    Messages:
    5,275
    Likes Received:
    14,567
    Location:
    NW Montana
    They drank copious amounts of alcohol and talked a lot of smack about the infantry. :)
     
    pb0201, riokid87, Staleym and 9 others like this.
  15. THRsucks

    THRsucks Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2017
    Messages:
    1,170
    Likes Received:
    3,097
    You am Army guy? I met a few cav scouts and they were a bunch of s***talkers.
    I wasn't in the military myself, but, I back packed out to Colorado springs where my brother was stationed and lived in the barracks as a stow-away. How i dodnt get us both in a world of stinky stuff i dont know.
     
  16. Winterhorse

    Winterhorse Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2013
    Messages:
    11,413
    Likes Received:
    41,348
    Location:
    Kansas
    My father was a Marine scout on Pellilu and Okinawa and was absolutely the stealthiest human being I ever knew. Absolutely able to count cue on anyone. A master of land navigation, eyesight that could pick a bullfrog out of grass across an acre pond and kill it with one shot from a .22 off-hand.
    Awareness of everything all around him as well as an extraordinary education in flora and fauna.
    That to me is the Scout.
     
    x39, Yellowbear79, PaPa K and 20 others like this.
  17. THRsucks

    THRsucks Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2017
    Messages:
    1,170
    Likes Received:
    3,097
    My brothers advice "make damn sure you salute the colonel!" I resorted to saluting anyone who looked at me, my brother shaved my head...i bet I looked as green and stupid as any other private fresh from basic to them...or maybe they didn't care.
     
  18. THRsucks

    THRsucks Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2017
    Messages:
    1,170
    Likes Received:
    3,097
    Well I can't in any way relate to that man, but I do know that change I would go through and get really " tuned in" after a month of being outside. Hunger made me smarter, I ate termite larvae and acorns the squirrels dropped, stuffed napkins into coin returns of vending machines to steal people's change...it was a sad kind of desperation, but I do think it improved me.
     
    Winterhorse likes this.
  19. THRsucks

    THRsucks Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2017
    Messages:
    1,170
    Likes Received:
    3,097
    You haven't seen a weird look until your wading around a public fountain with your pants pulled up to your knees trying to grab people's change they just tossed in there!
     
    Winterhorse likes this.
  20. MontanaMarine

    MontanaMarine Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2017
    Messages:
    345
    Likes Received:
    1,472
    Location:
    Canyon Ferry, MT
    One who goes ahead of the main body, survives independently, ascertains and relays useful information pertaining to resources, routes, the enemy, etc.

    Lots of variations.
     
    ExAF1N1, Horseman, THRsucks and 3 others like this.
  21. THRsucks

    THRsucks Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2017
    Messages:
    1,170
    Likes Received:
    3,097
    Speaking of stealth, I remember needing to get across town,I was in st.cloud if I remember right, (all these towns look the same) and I had no money whatsoever, there was a guy in front of me in a wheel chair, I grabbed it to "help" him get on, I didn't have a clue what I was I doing, I looked at the driver and said "sorry, first day on the job, " and went and sat down next to him. I dont think the poor crippled guy knew i was getting a free ride out of him.

    Anyway, it makes me wonder how many successful infiltrations and early social engineering like that may have been responsible for some very big things historically.
     
    ExAF1N1 and Winterhorse like this.
  22. THRsucks

    THRsucks Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2017
    Messages:
    1,170
    Likes Received:
    3,097
    How much do you think pure opportunism is a good attribute of a scout?
     
    DarrylM likes this.
  23. DarrylM

    DarrylM Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2016
    Messages:
    3,342
    Likes Received:
    17,924
    Location:
    NE Washington State
    It begins with a personal challenge to test one's abilities and skills against the real world. A challenge intense enough that the reward is life changing and failure is devastating. It requires a finely tuned ability to balance the risk/reward equation, and the honesty to recognize how one's self will tilt the equation toward success.
     
  24. FIELDCRAFTLTC

    FIELDCRAFTLTC Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    5
    Joined:
    May 7, 2014
    Messages:
    4,266
    Likes Received:
    20,558
    Location:
    Connecticut
    So, I will weigh in on the discussion.

    Noun - A Scout. An individual who is adept in their environment owning the skills to allow them to travel and traverse varied terrain with minimal equipment and/or outside support in order to obtain information on locations, other individuals, and the terrain itself.

    Verb - To Scout. Observing and/or traversing a location, observing individual(s) for the purpose gathering information on the location/individuals, stealthfully.

    For me, when I scout, I travel much lighter, equipment wise, than I would when just hiking. Usually, it is to gain some quick information on an area that I plan on spending some time in. I try to gauge how popular the location is. Where the water sources are located. What types of game might be in the area, and the type of vegetation is in the area (coniferous or deciduous).

    Not sure who the 19D Cavalry Scouts were you ran across, but I was a Cavalry Scout and a Scout Platoon Leader. When you are trained to and conduct operations up to 5 Kms forward of your main element to gather information, you get to brag a bit, IMHO.
     
    x39, jayclimber, riokid87 and 13 others like this.
  25. ezra45

    ezra45 Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2010
    Messages:
    4,517
    Likes Received:
    6,220
    Location:
    Idaho/South OR coast
    ...They still do ...that is, 8541...;)
    And rightly so.

    ezra
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2017
  26. mugsy

    mugsy Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 5, 2017
    Messages:
    1,767
    Likes Received:
    8,248
    Location:
    Albany NY
    to me scout is what i do when i chec out a newarea for hunting
     
  27. THRsucks

    THRsucks Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2017
    Messages:
    1,170
    Likes Received:
    3,097
    What made you a scout?
     
    Winterhorse and FIELDCRAFTLTC like this.
  28. FIELDCRAFTLTC

    FIELDCRAFTLTC Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    5
    Joined:
    May 7, 2014
    Messages:
    4,266
    Likes Received:
    20,558
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Skills, self-reliance, and mindset.
     
    x39, Crusher0032, ExAF1N1 and 4 others like this.
  29. crewhead05

    crewhead05 caffeine, nicotine, knives and nature. Lifetime Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2014
    Messages:
    5,275
    Likes Received:
    14,567
    Location:
    NW Montana
    Yep yep. I was an 11A in the 11ACR. I was put in charge of the scout platoon as a second PL job. I enjoyed the heck out of working with the 19D's.
     
  30. GoKartz

    GoKartz Sharpaholic

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2017
    Messages:
    2,058
    Likes Received:
    9,442
    Location:
    Quakertown, PA
    That's the truth right there. But we talked smack right back... :cool:
     
  31. Horseman

    Horseman Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2016
    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    167
    I think you nailed it. To the military men who replied to this thread, Thank you for your service.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2017
    ExAF1N1, central joe, Medius and 5 others like this.
  32. Seacapt.

    Seacapt. Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2014
    Messages:
    7,366
    Likes Received:
    20,555
    Location:
    Maine
    The result of the combined knowledge and skill set of the assembly line crew at the old International Harvester plant in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2017
  33. Tangotag

    Tangotag Field Gear Junkie Supporter Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,590
    Likes Received:
    12,126
    Location:
    WI
    I drove one for a while. It had a snow plow blade on it and it was a work horse until rust got the best of it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2017
  34. FIELDCRAFTLTC

    FIELDCRAFTLTC Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    5
    Joined:
    May 7, 2014
    Messages:
    4,266
    Likes Received:
    20,558
    Location:
    Connecticut
    One of the best missions I had was Border Patrol in Coburg. I will have to dig through some of my old stuff to see if I can find some pics. I took some picks through the Commander's eyepiece on my Bradley. The front of my track was right on the 1K line....! Our mission was to scout to find the new operational borders of East Germans.

    I had the only 19D platoon in the Bn. I was one of my best assignments. Gary Owen!
     
  35. TexasBushVet

    TexasBushVet Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2015
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    189
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    For me a scout is a 19D!! I was in 3d Armored Cavalry out of Fort Hood as a scout for 10 years.
     
  36. Denman

    Denman Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2016
    Messages:
    745
    Likes Received:
    2,454
    Location:
    West Michigan.
    Yes.
     
    Winterhorse, THRsucks and central joe like this.
  37. logan-boone

    logan-boone Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Messages:
    629
    Likes Received:
    566
    Location:
    Waters, Michigan
    I was a 19D and agree with alot of the above. The biggest thing I took away from scouting in the Army(and I learned alot) was actual physical toughness/discipline. Not push ups and lifting weights, the ability to tolerate and eventually become indifferent to extreme discomfort, whether from weather conditions, sleep deprivation, improper equipment, lack of food/water, freedom to move from a certain position or just boredom. Serves me well today, to the point that I am disgusted when someone ruins a hunt for me, because they were cold.
     
  38. Vanitas

    Vanitas Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2013
    Messages:
    7,137
    Likes Received:
    9,772
    Location:
    New England
    Don't worry, we embarrassed them at MOUT training for you. Did the same to the Army Rangers when they went through. When you know the training scenario it's so easy to quiet the smack talkers ;p
    Then again... I wasn't very nice to the infantry guys when they came through either. Oh the life of a contractor getting paid to play with soldiers... they eventually made us turn off our lasers on our miles gear
     
    THRsucks, crewhead05 and central joe like this.
  39. BradGad

    BradGad Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2012
    Messages:
    1,363
    Likes Received:
    4,160
    Location:
    NE Georgia
    I fear and doubt it means much of anything these days except in a military context.
     
  40. WhisperInThePine

    WhisperInThePine Wubba lubba dub dub Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    Messages:
    2,391
    Likes Received:
    4,909
    Location:
    Colorado
    When I think of a scout, I picture someone who is self reliant in the wilderness, able to navigate, read terrain and animal signs, move fast, and record their experience for others.
     
    Winterhorse, Corso, THRsucks and 3 others like this.
  41. riokid87

    riokid87 Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2018
    Messages:
    545
    Likes Received:
    1,732
    And wore stetsons
     
  42. Crosman999

    Crosman999 Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2018
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    111
    Location:
    Ventura, CA
    Great question,
    To me scouting means to get familiar with some new locations I may have future hunting and camping trips in. I usually do this every year in several locations for when I go hunting. Most animals are creatures of habit so I use the opportunity to locate them and keep track of times of day, direction of travel etc, This has led me to discover some "honey holes" over the years and has proven worthy of all the footwork I've put in.
     
    Winterhorse and Yellowbear79 like this.
  43. pb0201

    pb0201 Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2009
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    183
    Location:
    Maine
    0317
     
    Winterhorse and ezra45 like this.
  44. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    17
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Messages:
    14,873
    Likes Received:
    26,368
    I’m afraid I have a very different feeling when I hear the term scout. I’m inclined to recall the Calvary scout- a mercenary employed to track down Native Americans by the Army. Perhaps they had skills (or perhaps they were like the man with one eye being king of the blind) but IMO they lacked morals, honor and courage; anyone who uses their talents to lead an army against villages of women children and the aged for pay I have problems respecting. The Civil War was a dark time in the US but it pales compared to the pursuit of Manifest Destiny the truly darkest period in our past history.
     
    GoKartz and logan-boone like this.
  45. JoeJ

    JoeJ Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2018
    Messages:
    222
    Likes Received:
    599
    Location:
    ND/MN
    I would question your reference materials, in times past, actions taken by all sides were horrible by today’s Western standards. Native American or European’s didn’t think much about leaving behind survivors back then. Tribes fought terrible battles between themselves for territory. The Chippewa kick the Sioux westward and did so without giving any quarter.

    Scout to me in civilian terms is the guy who advises the others what to expect and if those expectations aren’t met, he buys the beer.
     
  46. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    17
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Messages:
    14,873
    Likes Received:
    26,368
    There was no love lost between certain tribes of Native Americans, however that did not give Americans permission to exterminate them. References here look up these handful of examples of man’s in humanity to man: Sand Creek massacre, Camp Grant massacre, Wiyot massacre, Three Knolls massacre, Clear Lake massacre, Bear River massacre, and the Yontocket massacre. The Little Big Horn could easily have been another native massacre if the timing was different; the 7th Calvary was not there for a peace conference.
     
    Winterhorse likes this.
  47. Crusher0032

    Crusher0032 Appalachian Arthfael

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 9, 2016
    Messages:
    2,087
    Likes Received:
    10,509
    Location:
    West Virginia
    FWIW all the above that listed themselves as 19Ds are Cav Scouts. The history listed above has nothing to do with the scouts of today. I 100% feel that happened in those times was terrible, but not unique to our part of the world or history. And I'll always be proud of earning my silver spurs and Stetson.

    Not at all trying to start anything and I respect the history you often share here WW1, but there are thousands of Scouts that are good fighting men for our country today that shouldn't be judged by the mistakes of our forefathers.

    Can't believe I'm defending Scouts, please don't tell my friends :D
     
  48. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    17
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Messages:
    14,873
    Likes Received:
    26,368
    Just as I don’t judge all doctors by Dr Mengele I don’t group modern scouts with the mercenary 1860’s clan. As I have posted in the past there is more to being a scout sniper than pulling a trigger—a lot more; and their commitment to professionalism is how they survive more than one mission. I have nothing but the utmost respect for all military even Marines :)
     
    Winterhorse and Crusher0032 like this.
  49. mlamb46

    mlamb46 Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2010
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    19
    Thank you that's what a scout is exactly. At least when I was in as a Cav Scout.
     
    Winterhorse likes this.
  50. x39

    x39 Hyperborean Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Messages:
    6,215
    Likes Received:
    21,333
    Location:
    Beneath the wolf pine
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
    Winterhorse likes this.

Share This Page