Category Archives: decision making

METT-TC and how it applies to us

Excerpt from: FM 6-0 Mission Command: Command and Control of Army Forces – August 2003
RELEVANT INFORMATION SUBJECT CATEGORIES—METT-TC

B-10. Relevant information is all information of importance to the commander and staff in the exercise of command and control (FM 3-0 [Operations – February 2008]). In the context of information management, the six factors of METT-TC — Mission, Enemy, Terrain and weather, Troops and support available, Time available, and Civil considerations—make up the major subject categories into which relevant information is grouped for military operations. The commander and staff consider R[elevant] I[nformation] for each category in all military operations. The relative impact of each category may vary, but the commander and C2 [Command and Control] system consider them all.

MISSION

B-11. The mission is the task, together with the purpose, that clearly indicates the action to be taken and the reason therefore (JP 1-02 [Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms]). It is always the first factor commanders consider during decisionmaking. (See FM 5-0 [The Operations Process – March 2010].) A thorough understanding of the mission focuses decisionmaking throughout the operations process. … Commanders and staffs view all the other factors of METT-TC in terms of their impact on mission accomplishment.

B-12. The mission statement defines the who, what, when, where, and why of the operation. A thorough understanding of why the unit is conducting an operation provides the focus for planning.

METT-TC table square 2

In every encounter there is an element of chance.

–John Hall, former head of the FBI Firearms Training Unit

Family mourns loss of single father of two girls

The perils of Intervention are very high. The question I like to pose about mission definition is:

To whom does your primary duty and allegiance lie, a total stranger or your family?

That’s a moral decision I do not choose to answer for anyone else, only myself.

The Role of Questions in Personal Protection

Who is around me and what are they doing? – Tom Givens

What are you capable of? – Ken Hackathorn

What’s the object of the exercise? – the Tactical Professor

What is the best use of my time right now? – Alan Lakein

METT-TC is a well developed structure for asking questions when developing plans for Personal Protection.

  • Mission
  • Enemy
  • Terrain and Weather
  • Troops and Support Available
  • Time Available
  • Civil (Legal and moral) Considerations

SALUTE is a good structure for gathering information in the moment.

  • Size
  • Activity
  • Location (proximity)
  • Unit
  • Time
  • Equipment

When we are children, we are constantly asking questions. As adults, we usually get in the habit of providing opinions, experiences, and self-promotion instead of asking question. Information gathering is a vital skill in Personal Protection. Putting ourselves back into the question asking mode requires a shift in our thinking patterns that requires practice.

asking the wrong questions annotated

My thanks to John Correia of Active Self Protection for stimulating my thinking about the topic.

My Patreon page is where I go into more depth on Personal Protection topics. https://www.patreon.com/TacticalProfessor

The Mission

If I went out looking for bad guys for 8-10 hours a day every workday, I’d be carrying a high capacity autoloader too. And I’d be wearing a helmet.

Thinking about what’s important

Man shot in neighbor’s home charged after allegedly undressing in 12-year-old’s bedroom during break-in

https://www.wdrb.com/news/man-shot-in-neighbor-s-home-charged-after-allegedly-undressing/article_184841ce-5f90-11e9-be1f-e328e3b39e3e.html

Although this incident occurred in April, it recently re-surfaced as an example of a Defensive Gun Use. As is frequently the case, Internet common taters had numerous things to say about it.

  • Needs more practice.
  • Only six? Should have emptied the magazine!
  • Too bad the dirtbag’s not in the morgue.
  • Etc.

It’s easy to focus on the unimportant aspects of an incident. All of the commentary focused on feelings, which are unimportant, instead of Lessons to be Learned (LTBL), which are important.

How do we focus on what’s important? One way to start is to identify who was involved by role rather than name. Most the time, news stories use last names but that tends to obscure who did what. Substituting a role for names in the story leads to more clarity about the actions of the participants. For this incident, it would look as follows.

Cast of characters in the drama

Donald Oliver – Intruder

Tina Burton – female of household (Female)

Ali Bracey – male of household (Male)

Daughter

Important aspects of the incident

  • The Male knew there was an actual intruder because of the Daughter’s text.
  • Despite knowing it wasn’t just a ‘bump in the night,’ the Male went to confront the intruder unarmed.
  • The confrontation between the Male and Intruder started verbally and then turned physical.
  • It was either an entangled fight or within arm’s length.
  • When it went physical, the male employed an improvised weapon, to wit: a broom.
  • The broom was apparently ineffective in the confrontation, so the male continued using unspecified improvised weapons.
  • They had a gun but didn’t think initially to bring it to the fight.
  • The Female eventually brought the gun to the Male to use.
  • There was a weapon handoff from the Female to the Male.
  • Shooting the gun caused the Intruder to flee.

Unimportant aspects of the incident

  • The intruder wasn’t killed.
  • The householder didn’t practice enough at the gun range.

Lessons To Be Learned (LBTL) and other important aspects

Guns are not useful if you don’t bring them to the fight. Have a plan ahead of time about how to handle an intrusion.

You can’t practice appropriately for an entangled or close range fight at a gun range anyway. This would most likely have been best handled as a retention shooting situation. Retention shooting is a skill best learned by taking a class from someone who knows what they’re doing. Few instructors are qualified to teach this task. I can recommend Brian Hill of The Complete Combatant, Greg Ellifritz of Active Response Training, and Craig Douglas of Shivworks.

Males of the household will often confront an intruder unarmed. It’s not uncommon for another family member to have to access the firearm and bring it to the fight. A handoff to the Male periodically occurs at that point. This means that several implied Personal Protection tasks for the other family member come into play.

  1. Know where the gun is.
  2. Be able to access the gun. Is it in a safe and can the family member open it?
  3. If the gun is not stored Ready to Fire, be able to place the gun into Ready to Fire condition.
  4. Move safely from the storage location to the fight location. Having an Unintentional Discharge en route will probably be a Tactical Disaster.
  5. Either be able to engage the Intruder with the firearm, or
  6. Safely hand off the firearm to the Male engaged in the confrontation. If the confrontation is physically entangled, a handoff may not be safely possible.

Whether the Intruder is killed or not is completely irrelevant. Let’s keep in mind The Cost of Killing. Achieving a Break In Contact is our objective as Non-Sworn Citizens. Note that in this incident, the Intruder had to be taken to court in a wheelchair. That probably means that he has some serious injuries, perhaps debilitating for his entire life.

We need to focus on the important tasks in Personal Protection incident analysis and not our feelings, which are unimportant. That is what I will be doing in the monthly incident analysis on my Patreon page.

https://www.patreon.com/TacticalProfessor

My Patreon page is live

I’ve created a Patreon page and it’s now live. My plan is to create at least four posts monthly about Strategies, Tactics, and Options for Personal Protection.

https://www.patreon.com/TacticalProfessor

I’ll still be posting a few short articles here monthly but the Patreon page will allow me to do some things I wasn’t able to before.

My first article is an evaluation of the H&K VP9SK pistol. My object is to create a more rigorous and standardized evaluation process than I generally see pistols subjected to. I will not be accepting any compensation for the hardware reviews I do. Each month I’ll be reviewing one handgun with an emphasis on subcompact and compact guns because I think those are the real concealed carry pistols.

There’s also a printable trifold brochure that describes the shooting tests I plan to use. It’s a good reference guide for anyone who wants to use it.

trifold pic 2

 

Other subjects I’ll be addressing will be things like the decision process, incident analysis, practice drills, non-firearms personal protection topics, surveillance detection, et al.

I hope you’ll subscribe to my Patreon page. I guarantee it will have value for you.

 

‘Good Guys’ is a relative term in this video

From my Strategies, Tactics, and Options for Personal Protection Class:

Triumvirate of Success in Decision-Making (adapted from David Brin’s The Uplift War).
In no particular order:
• Consequences [nee Cost and Caution] – financial, political, and physical.
• Decency or Civility [nee Propriety] – honor and nobility. Actually being ‘the good guy.’
• Courage [nee Beam and Talon] – Aggressive spirit, daring and seeking out opportunities.

Failure to achieve some balance of the three factors significantly increases the possibility of a catastrophic failure to achieve the objective. In this incident, there was no sense of decency or civility among the ‘Good Guys.’

Unintentional Discharge (causing the death of an innocent) – Serious Mistake

Mistaken Identity Shootings – Serious Mistake

After the fact beatdown of an innocent party – Serious Mistake

Most likely spending a long time in a Brazilian prison – Negative Outcome.

What gets people in trouble is usually not marksmanship but instead Serious Mistakes in the Decision-Making process. There are exceptions but that’s the general rule. The reason we become proficient with firearms is not because the marksmanship problem is likely to be difficult but rather to avoid having the tool (firearm) become our focus in the moment instead of the situation.

Tactical Professor books (all PDF)

Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make http://seriousgunownermistakes.com

Indoor Range Practice Sessions http://indoorrangepracticesessions.com

Concealed Carry Skills and Drills http://concealedcarryskillsanddrills.com

Advanced Pistol Practice http://bit.ly/advancedpistolpractice

Shooting Your Black Rifle http://shootingyourblackrifle.com

Worst Possible Case and 100 percent Standards

#Fridayfundamentals

Last night, I had an interesting conversation with John Daub of KR Training about the new NRA CCW Course. KR Training is one of, if not the, premier provider of firearms training in Texas, so his thoughts about the CCW Instructor Course he and Karl recently completed were something I wanted to hear. One of the most interesting items of the conversation was that the NRA has adopted a 100 percent hit standard for the NRA’s Qualification Course, if instructors choose to use the NRA’s Qual Course.

I’ve been a big believer in 100 percent standards for a long time. The importance of an exacting standard was emphasized by a recent Incident where a woman in Oroville, California shot and paralyzed her husband as a result of taking a Hostage Rescue shot on a home invader. Although she killed the home invader when she “emptied the clip” at him, her husband is now paralyzed for life. That incident reminded me of how imprecisely we use the term Worst Possible Case.

‘Worst Possible Case’ discussions inevitably devolve to one of two possibilities; TODD, the heavily armed criminal who is as impervious to gunfire as Superman or becoming involved in an entangled fight. However, there are numerous possibilities of what could be the Worst Possible Case as listed in Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make. So there actually is no single Worst Possible Case, there are various Negative Outcomes; it’s situationally dependent. The situation will dictate which of the possible Negative Outcomes is the ‘worst.’

It’s very important for us to understand our capabilities. The CAN, MAY, SHOULD, MUST paradigm developed by Steve Harris, Esq. puts CAN first for a reason. CAN, what are you able to accomplish at that moment?, has two components – Mental and physical. The Oroville woman had the mental part of CAN but not the physical. Let’s compare and contrast her incident with that of Meghan Brown, who also shot and killed a home invader during a struggle.  Ms. Brown had been to the range with her pink Taurus revolver and knew she was not a very good shot. As a result her strategy was to close with the struggle and take the shot at a point where she was sure she could make her hits.

The ‘Downrange problem,’ in which an innocent person is downrange of the shooter, is far more common than we think. Those who keep a firearm for Personal Protection need to keep in mind that the situation may not be ‘self-defense’ but rather protecting another person.

How to put this into practice becomes the question. The Decisional Exercise Family taken hostage from Concealed Carry Skills and Drills is one example. Simply use two sheets of paper as the hostage. Put them on the same side as your Support Hand so you maximize your opportunity to hit them if you jerk the trigger. If you hit those two sheets of paper, assume you seriously wounded or killed a member of your family.

Q hostage 4

To add some realism, you can put a facial photo of a family member above the printed sheets or just draw a face above them. Here’s a Non-threat PDF Printable Non threat Silhouette torso that is included in Advanced Pistol Practice and Shooting Your Black Rifle. When practicing on an indoor range, you probably won’t be able to set up the full scenario but you can still do the individual strings.

What’s the Worst Possible Case? It’s a situationally dependent individual decision. Using a little forethought and doing some practice may help you solve it without a Negative Outcome. Going to the range and figuring what distance YOU can make 100 percent hits will give you a very important piece of information in the context of Personal Protection.

Tactical Professor goes to Burger King

#fridayfundamentals

I had lunch at Burger King yesterday. Say what you will but I enjoy the BK Lounge. Their fries are the best IMO and a Whopper with cheese is pretty tasty.

While I was there, a bum (aka ne’er do well) came in, went to the drink dispenser, and refilled four empty Coke bottles he took out of his backpack. Then he left. I.e., he stole about four liters of Coke and then took off.

His brazenness about it was interesting to watch. So was either the apathy or completely unawareness of the employees. I was tempted to not intervene so I didn’t. Not my circus, not my monkeys.

musical monkey shines

Getting stabbed for 50 cents worth of Coke was not on my To Do list for the day. I assume all bums carry a knife and that they are likely to act irrationally.  As John Hall, former head of the FBI Firearms Training Unit said:

Every encounter carries with it an element of chance.

Another interesting aspect of the BK visit related to PERSEC (Personal Security).

This particular BK asks for your name for the order. A lot of places do that, for instance Starbucks. I never give my right name.

An attractive woman was in front of me. She had walked in with her son but left him in a booth to order their meals. Of course, she gave her right name when asked. Being behind her, now I know her name.

When her order was ready, the cashier called her name loudly and she got up to get the food. Once again, her son was left alone in the booth.

I was tempted to do a little Sport MUC with them just to see how much personal information I could get out of her and the boy just by knowing her name. I had other things to do so I didn’t.

Not all fundamentals concern establishing grip, seeing the sights, trigger manipulation, and follow‑through.

Tactical Professor books

Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make http://seriousgunownermistakes.com

Indoor Range Practice Sessions http://indoorrangepracticesessions.com

Concealed Carry Skills and Drills http://concealedcarryskillsanddrills.com

Advanced Pistol Practice http://bit.ly/advancedpistolpractice

Shooting Your Black Rifle http://shootingyourblackrifle.com

Avoiding Mistaken Identity Shootings

Another Mistaken Identity shooting occurred last week. A teenage girl came home from college to surprise her mother with a visit and got shot instead.

https://www.wkbn.com/news/local-news/police-report-mom-mistakenly-shoots-daughter-in-girard/

The teen’s mother told police that she was in her bedroom when she heard a commotion inside the house. She said the noise scared her and that she was not expecting anyone.

The mother said someone came running into her bedroom and that’s when she fired one round from her handgun. She then realized that she had shot her daughter, the report stated.

Obviously, in between hearing the commotion and firing the shot, the woman armed herself. It’s unlikely that she said anything in the process or her daughter probably would have said something back. The ‘surprise visit’ was most likely a bout of homesickness.

decision inputs dont understand

As I mention in my book Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make, any ‘bump in the night,’ or in this case “commotion inside the house,” carries with it a set of competing probabilities. It could be an intruder, which is the assumption most people make when they hear it, or it could be a member of their household. The member of the household is the most likely scenario. Why is this true? Simply because they live in the same house as you do and they are not constantly updating you on their location. Where teenagers, such as the unfortunate shootee in this incident, are present, the chances of them leaving the house and returning without informing their parents is extremely high. This fact has to be figured into the home defense plan of any parent or adult in the household.

Competing probabilities

Continue reading →

Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make – The Book

So many people asked me for a book version of my Serious Mistakes CD that I sat down and wrote it.

It’s available for download at http://seriousgunownermistakes.com

This book is not about techniques of shooting firearms; it is about Decision Making, specifically what leads to Bad Decision Making.

Our Mindset leads to our Decisions. Our Decisions lead to our Actions. Our Actions lead to our Outcomes. This sequence controls our destiny in everything we do, including using a firearm for Personal Protection. Unfortunately, decision making in the firearms community tends to focus on the tool, the firearm, instead of the desired outcome for owning it. Endless debate goes on about caliber, action type, ammunition capacity, and other material oriented aspects of ownership. In the broad context, these are extremely minor considerations as long as the owner can operate the firearm adequately.

Where the discussions don’t go nearly enough is the circumstances involving the usage of firearms and the decisions about our internal software that we have to make. “Usage” doesn’t always mean shooting the gun, either. There are a host of other issues, such as storage, legalities of carrying, and even possession, that aren’t often discussed. But those internal software issues are much more likely to determine the difference between a Positive Outcome and a Negative Outcome than hardware issues like type of gun and caliber. The amount of misinformation that runs rampant within the gun community leads many new owners down the wrong path in their Mindset and potential Decision Making.

This book provides some insight about how to avoid the Serious Mistakes.

It’s available for download at http://seriousgunownermistakes.com

https://store.payloadz.com/go/?id=2617872

It is a PDF document. If you want, you can send it to your Kindle or Kindle app on your SmartPhone. PDFs can be converted to the Kindle format so you can take advantage of functionality such as variable font size, annotations, and Whispersync.

To have a document converted to Kindle format (.azw), the subject line should be “convert” when e-mailing a personal document to your Send-to-Kindle address. Instructions for sending documents to Kindle and Kindle apps are available on Amazon’s website.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/sendtokindle/email

How to send a document to your Kindle:

To find your Send-to-Kindle e-mail address, visit the Manage your Devices page at Manage Your Kindle.

Documents can only be sent to your Kindle devices or apps from e-mail accounts that you added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List. To add an e-mail account, visit the Personal Document Settings page at Manage Your Kindle.

To send a document to your Kindle device or app, simply attach it to an e-mail addressed to your Send-to-Kindle e-mail.

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