Showing posts from October, 2012

Repost of start next month...

Teamwork for tactical units - Medical stuff

As we are focusing on being a Gunfighter and not just a "trigger-puller", we must include medical skills in the definition. The military and specifically SOCOM, began to realize this reality after the TF Ranger operation in Mogadishu.  This is what led to the TCCC/TC3 concept (Tactical Combat Casualty Care). This follows the logic of “every fighter a medic” insofar as lifesaving and stabilization skills are concerned.  This was a huge step forward from the former CLS (Combat Lifesaver) protocols as this addressed the most common lethal injuries on the battlefield and provided for a committee that would regularly evaluate and implement the latest innovations and lessons learned.

To this day I still see organizations that go in harm’s way and only require CPR and sometimes basic first aid (Red Cross style)…..this is shameful to put it politely, especially considering that we have over a decade of combat operations experience…

Re-post of spare parts.....

Had a co-worker's Glock go down the other day. The culprit was a broken trigger spring, which I have only ever seen happen twice now, but it is a definite showstopper. Luckily, we had a spare spring available.....which got me thinking....a $1 part is the difference between a functioning weapon and an expensive blunt object. I would encourage all to stock up on replacement parts while it is easy and cheap to do so. I will be.

You do realize that all those springs in all those various guns and bits of equipment you have, have a finite lifespan......right? Springs are cheap folks, buy extras now.....they may not be around later.....

Will get some fresh posts up shortly.....overcoming my jetlag and getting my course schedules in order - stay tuned.

Pardon the re-post....currently in transit....

"A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks."
-- Thomas Jefferson

   As any of my former students can attest to, Jefferson's point is something I strive to integrate into all my shooting courses. Gunfights generally take place under less than ideal circumstances and I feel training must reflect that reality. It is a difficult thing to maintain an acceptable degree of marksmanship while cold, tired, wet, dirty or injured. A couple concepts to ponder...

1. You rapidly exit your helicopter on a hot LZ and immediately find yourself up to your knees in soft mud. The barrel of your rifle is now packed with you have the tools available to …

Liberty double dose...

"Over grown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty."
-- George Washington

.....and while we're on the subject of liberty....

"Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves."
-- Henry David Thoreau 

That my briefcase??

If you will all forgive me for using a "movie" example, I think this scene from Collateral demonstrates some skills worth examining.....
I remember thinking at the time that the gun-play in this film was better than I have come to expect from Hollywood, and after a little investigating,  found that the actor had spent a substantial amount of time receiving firearms training from SAS veteran Mick Gould. So what skills are we looking at here specifically?

1) Social engineering & positional assessment - As the badguys approach, goodguy chats them up and slips into a more passive profile, raising the hands slightly, wearing a faux "startled" look on his face.....this can all serve to have a disarming effect on the badguy. A little basic Sun Tzu prepping of the the battlespace if you will. As to position....instead of allowing himself to be centered equally between threats, he stayed in a position (granted the badguys kinda helped here) where he would have the opti…

Took his task to heart...

Thought this was worthy of a re-post. It was said Simo would hold snow or ice in his mouth to cut down on the telltale "steam" from his exhalation and that he stuck to iron sights in order to lower his profile. Ingenuity can carry you far folks.... 

I give you Simo Hayha (The White Death, as he was known to the Soviets)

During the Soviet invasion of Finland circa 1939; this 5 foot 3 inch farmer served as a sniper in the Finnish militia. He conducted his duties alone in the harsh winter, armed primarily with an un-scoped Finnish variant Mosin-Nagant. Was this one man effective? 705 dead Soviet soldiers will endorse his efficacy. By the way; he accomplished this task in about three months time.
The Soviet army was so terrorized by this small man and his little rifle, that they eventually tasked an entire battalion to hunt him no avail. That's an entire battalion tied up with one partisan......think about it.
One could say he ended up being a one man psychologic…

More on Crisis Hygiene...

Someone asked in the comments of the recent "crisis hygiene" article, about the specific applications for cinnamon, cloves and charcoal. I wanted to address that question and bring up a couple other points as well. I also would add that this information, besides being backed by research, is based upon my own personal experiences with said items.

Cinnamon, (Cinnamomum cassia or verum), has been shown to exhibit a strong antimicrobial effect on E. Coli, Salmonella, Listeria and Staphylococcus aureus, just to name a few bugs. I normally travel with a bottle of 500mg capsules. As a prophylaxis, you can take one capsule with each meal to avoid many food borne illnesses (this also can have a favorable affect on blood sugar modulation). As a treatment if illness sets in, you can take two to four capsules as needed. Be aware that overdosing (handfuls) can potentially irritate the liver and kidneys due to the coumarin content. Also, cinnamon can act as an anti-coagulant and would be…

Can't get to the range? Try this...

As most of my readers know, I am a strong advocate of the practice of “dry-firing/dry-practice”. Some of the particular techniques I like to employ are:

1)With empty pistol up on target, have a buddy balance a penny on your front sight post. Maintaining sight picture/sight alignment, press the trigger until release – repeat five times (if the penny falls during the cycle, it zeros you out and you start from scratch).

2)Conduct the above with strong hand with support grip, strong hand only and support hand only.

3)Walk while maintaining the sight picture/penny setup described above. Execute a smooth trigger press when your buddy calls it at random (while in motion). Same rules apply – drop the penny, start over.

4)From the holster, draw and maintain steady SP/SA while dry firing. The goal here is to be as fast as you can while maintaining zero movement in the SP/SA through the “firing” cycle. Follow the drawing principals of “Fast to the holster – deliberate to set the grip – fast to the …

The wit of Mr. Clemens

"The political and commercial morals of the United States are not merely food for laughter, they are an entire banquet."
-- Mark Twain

...Yeah, that was 1890, if only he could see it now.

Some thoughts on crisis hygiene...

Sanitation & Hygiene in the field or a SHTF setting

Selco had a good post the other day (HERE) on survival hygiene that I wanted to attempt to flesh out a bit. Granted, this topic is not as thrilling as gunfights and multicam gear, but it is nonetheless a crucial aspect of survival, as improper sanitation & hygiene can kill you just as dead as gunfire.

Let’s look a few different scenarios…
1)Suburban family sheltering in place due to grid-down/disaster situation.
2)Team at a camp/patrol base with a potential for enemy troops in the area.
3)A couple in a high rise apartment in a large city and the utilities cease to function.

Family awakens to no power or water. The family members continue to use the non-flushing toilet as they assume things will return to normal at any moment (normalcy bias at work). Luckily, they have a couple cases of bottled water on hand, as the misses hates the taste of the local tap water. Father heads into town to see what he can find out and…

Evolution of field garments..

Why wool has become my go-to gear for field use (or: How I learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Wool)

Once upon a time, it was rather common to find wool in use by military units. From the Navy peacoat to the winter field pants (both axis and allied) circa WW2. Problem was; it was heavy and itchy. In more recent years we have seen an ever increasing amount of synthetics being fielded, such as fleece, under-armor type shirts and the much loved "smoking-jacket". While having a decent weight to insulation ratio and being fairly cost effective, they did have their shortcomings. Not the least of which was the tendency to exacerbate thermal injuries and the marked increase in various skin infections due to the microbe friendly environment created by operating for days on end in the field.

( If you have some time on your hands, HERE is an in depth piece on the subject of battlefield burns over the years).

I began trying various Merino wool garments a couple years ago and have bee…

Let's talk patriotism....

"I have heard it argued that the Constitution and the principles of the Founding Fathers are outdated and inadequate for our new age of technological wizardry and terrorist ideologies. This is pure intellectual idiocy. The principles of freedom never expire. Individual liberty is inherent and eternal. It is the driving force of every great accomplishment in the history of mankind."

Brandon Smith makes a solid and eloquent argument in his piece HERE

The Three Man Team

Combat effectiveness – a view from the outside in
Years ago while still in uniform, I was selected to take part in a large training exercise as part of the OPFOR.   The exercise was to take place in a high desert setting, not unlike the Afghan mountain areas, and involved a battalion plus hunting down our 12 man “insurgent” unit.

We were up against a battalion of infantry, augmented with a cav scout troop and a company of NATO soldiers. Their sole purpose was to find, capture and/or kill us.

We broke our team into four, three-man cells. We also had a HQ element and two sets of 81mm mortars with organic crews attached.  Besides our indirect fire assets, we were armed only with M4 carbines and frag grenades.

Ten days later we were being dressed down for the sin of rendering the battalion "combat ineffective" as well as destroying the TOC and killing most of the staff officers. 

All in all I found it to be a useful learning experience.  Without violating any OPSEC, let me break …

The Everyman

Wanted to share this essay written by a colleague of mine. I found it to be a thoughtful and well articulated piece.  


The Third Way

The meaning of the current heated debate in modern American political life can be extraordinarily difficult to decipher in light of the myriad conflicting assertions regarding the best direction for the country politically, ideologically, socially and economically.  Without a means of comparing and weighing each of these positions and claims, making sense of the debate can be an impossible task.

Fortunately, there is a way of understanding and comparing each of these claims.  By reducing all of the competing assertions to their principles, by going to the philosophical foundation of each claim, clarity and an ethical dilemma begins to emerge.  This distilling and cutting away brings us to a singular issue underpinning every single one of the various ideologies clamoring for ascendancy.  Do we argue that the everyman is incapable of managing his or he…

Embrace the suck

Really wish I could have made it to this event. With any luck, they will be doing it again next year. Check it out here..

C.D. 24 Hour Sniper Challenge

Vuurwappen Blog has a good write up on the event here...

9 Lessons Learned

A moral effective team

As I watch current events in our nation unfold like a slow-motion train wreck, I can't help but be reminded of John Adam's warning.....

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” 

As we sink deeper and deeper into the collectivist quicksand, I have to wonder what Adam's reaction would be if he were able to peer through the ages and see our current state of affairs. Would he be shocked? Disappointed? Or perhaps he would just get that sickened feeling one has when a loved one, despite all admonishment,  foolishly meets their demise. 

Individual responsibility goes hand in hand with individual liberty....... while collective responsibility (which really should read "it's not my problem") passes the buck to some conceptual entity (bureaucratic government) and ushers in all the Marxist principals that we currently see being established.

For a mental exercise, lets frame this in a tacti…